Feedback on recipe using avocado oil

Discussion in 'Recipe Feedback' started by Dannyritz, Mar 7, 2019.

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  1. Mar 7, 2019 #1

    Dannyritz

    Dannyritz

    Dannyritz

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    Hello everyone. I will be making soap for the first time, just waiting on a pair of safety goggles to arrive first. After looking at the ingredients on the natural soap I use, as well as the different properties of oils online and experimenting on soapcalc, this is the recipe I came up with. Some of the measurements and percentage points look a bit weird, that's because I'm buying in smaller quantities and plan on using the whole container. I'd really appreciate it if someone with more experience could tell me if I've gone wrong somewhere:

    1. Olive oil: 430 grams: 41.87% (A full 500 ml bottle)
    2. Coconut oil: 300 grams: 29.21% (It comes in a 300 gm bottle)
    3. Avocado oil: 227 grams: 22.10% (250 ml bottle)
    4. Castor oil: 70 grams: 6.82%

    Total oil weight is 1027 grams, or 2.264 ounces. All oils are virgin/extra virgin
    Soapcalc says to put 390 ml/grams of water, and 145 grams of lye. (5.1 ounces of lye, 13.7 ounces water)

    I have some peppermint essential oil so I might put just a few drops. I don't want any strong fragrances. Should I add anything else like honey or oats? I don't want to complicate the gel phase, not for first time, so I might leave honey out. But if I add ground oats, how much should I add?

    I've attached the soapcalc file if anyone wants to look at the stats.
     

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  2. Mar 7, 2019 #2

    IrishLass

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    Hi Danny! Welcome to the forum! :)

    Your recipe looks fine to me....it's not too far off of one of my own favorite formulas as far as the fatty acid profile goes.

    The only thing I would do different is change your water amount. With that % of olive oil in your formula, your water amount 'as-is' will cause things to take a little longer for it to firm up enough to unmold. If it were me, I would lower your water amount by using a 33% lye concentration (just go to the SoapCalc page where you can type in your recipe amounts and click on the Lye Concentration box and type in 33). That will give you a ratio of 1 part lye to 2 parts water. Right now, you have a ratio of 1 part lye to 2.6970 water (a 27% lye concentration). You can totally ignore the "water as % of oils" box, by the way, which provides you with a different, but inferior way of calculating water. The best way to calculate water for one's batch is by using the Lye Concentration box which is basically water as a % of the lye, which makes more logical sense and will give you more consistent results from formula to formula.


    IrishLass :)
     
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  3. Mar 7, 2019 #3

    Clarice

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    As a relatively new soaper, I suggest you make smaller quantities - you would of course need a scale, but since you are having to weigh your NaOH and Water, I assume you have one?

    Why smaller? Because if something goes wrong you will not have to throw out more than two pounds of oil.

    I have made probably more than my fair share of mistakes - and one of them was a BIG initial batch that ended up as "GDF" (Garbage Disposal Freshener)

    Good luck and have fun - there is SO much help to be had here if you look for it - and if you cannot find it, ask - someone will direct you to the answer, or answer your Q.
     
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  4. Mar 7, 2019 #4

    amd

    amd

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    1027 grams is 36.22 ounces, so you have a typo in your email - I suspect you meant 2.264 lbs.

    I think your amount is a fine amount to make for a first go, although it will make a lot of soap (I cut my 2lb batches into 9 bars, which would last quite a few months). If you wanted to size the batch to half of that, that would be fine too for a first batch go. Most of my batches for my first 6-9 months were 16-19 oz. That's oil weight, not total batch weight. We (experienced soapers on the forum) only caution new makers who want to tackle large 5lb batches (for example) on their first go around.
     
  5. Mar 7, 2019 #5

    dibbles

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    I would leave out both the honey and the oats for your first batch. It's a good thing to just see the process, and you can try oats or honey in a different batch so you can see how they behave.
     
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  6. Mar 7, 2019 #6

    Dannyritz

    Dannyritz

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    Thank you for all your replies!

    That does make more sense. Thank you, I'll adjust the water quantity. The soapcalc recipe now reads as less water, at 294 grams, and the lye unchanged at 145 grams. I'm glad it's close to an experienced member's favourite!

    Yes absolutely. I have a digital scale. I'd be scared baking a cake without one let alone making soap :) Also concerning the size of the batch, I am considering making it smaller in case things go badly wrong. It's something I'll decide when I get started in a few weeks. If I'm feeling super confident I'll go with the first measurements.

    Yes that's right. Sorry, I sometimes get confused between ounces and pounds. I tend to weigh in grams and kilos.

    I'm thinking I agree with you. The first time shouldn't be over complicated.
     
  7. Mar 7, 2019 #7

    Clarice

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    I have been having fun with 500 gram batches - I get to try out more options - and I use individual molds for them!

    Where in Denmark? I lived for a time in Aarhus - and have spent time all over!

    Hej Hej!
     
  8. Mar 7, 2019 #8

    Dannyritz

    Dannyritz

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    Ah, so the site asked for a location so I just randomly put in Denmark because a friend of mine lives there. I have always wanted to travel there though! edit: changed to N/A, now I feel better :)
     
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  9. Mar 8, 2019 #9

    Dawni

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    I'd like to mention that while your coconut oil amount is good for some, there's been some new members on this forum, me included, that found they had to lower to between 15-20% over the course of several batches, because they felt more than that was stripping for them (or other family members).

    If your skin is more the type that needs quite some moisturizing after a shower try a slightly lower percentage? But it really depends on you. Your recipe is fine as is if I was to use it, not so my sister, for example.

    You'll like avocado oil :)

    And I agree with a smaller batch if your scale and containers can handle it. Just in case you do find the coconut to be too much, you'll be stuck with lots of slightly stripping soap if you make a big batch.

    I started with 800 grams total because my slow cooker was huge and I could not submerge the stick blender but I've since learned a workaround. That batch ended up in a rebatch lol
     
  10. Mar 8, 2019 #10

    midnightsoaper

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    I agree with doing a smaller batch too. Even if you make a huge batch and it turns out amazing, you're going to want to make more. You're going to want to try different additives, like oats & honey, try different swirls & color combos, scents, recipes, etc. At least I did :D

    I make 1lb (454 g) batches and get 4 bars. It's the perfect size batch for me to keep making batch after batch, trying new things, that doesn't make the drying rack completely overflow but still gives me a fun variety to try out.

    I'm one of the ones that had to back down on the coconut. When I started soaping again back in November, I started with a recipe that had 30% coconut. My skin (and everyone else around me) couldn't tolerate it. I've since backed down to 10%.
     
  11. Mar 8, 2019 #11

    Dannyritz

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    If I adjust the coconut oil to 25%, would it be okay to increase the castor oil to 11%? So the recipe would read:

    Olive oil 42%
    Coconut oil 25%
    Avocado oil 22%
    Castor oil 11%

    I read online that castor oil should be 5-8% of a recipe. (I could go lower on the coconut oil but then I'd have to balance with castor oil)

    Edit: Just saw midnightsoaper's post. Okay, so I think maybe I will go with a smaller batch and if I do that, then I can decrease the coconut oil and not have to replace it all with castor oil. One of my motivations for this batch size was to use up all the oils in the bottles they came in and then buy fresh, but I guess if the batch is a small one, then I can easily make a second batch with any changes if needed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  12. Mar 8, 2019 #12

    Dannyritz

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    If I take coconut oil down to 15%, and increase the proportion of olive and avocado oil, then the soapcalc hardness rating goes down to 27, the minimum in the hardness range is 29. Is this something I should worry about?
     

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  13. Mar 8, 2019 #13

    midnightsoaper

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    It's true, castor should be kept to 5-8%. I personally often use 10%, but my recipes are also heavy on lard & tallow. If you want to adjust your recipe, I'd probably add the balance to the olive. But I think you should try your original recipe, you just might love it! A lot of people are fine with higher coconut. We just wanted to give you a heads up that it could be an issue. Maybe you could just plan two smaller batches using the oil you have....one with higher coconut and one with lower, decide which you like best.

    With a recipe high in olive, the soap calcs will show a low hardness number, but it cures very hard! A 100% olive soap has a hardness of just 17. I bent the hinge on my multi-wire cutter on a loaf of olive oil soap that was less than 12 hours old :)
     
  14. Mar 8, 2019 #14

    Dannyritz

    Dannyritz

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    It's good to know the difference between the soapcalc stats and real world results!

    Okay, so I'll start the first batch at 500 gms of oil with a lower coconut oil percentage:

    Olive oil: 42%
    Coconut oil: 22%
    Avocado oil: 29%
    Castor oil: 7%

    Superfat at 5%, and lye concentration at 33% (140 gms water, 69 gms lye). If the coconut is too high on this batch I'll keep it as hand soap and make another with a lower coconut %
     
  15. Mar 8, 2019 #15

    midnightsoaper

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    That seems like a good place to start :)

    The property numbers on soapcalc are just guidelines, not hard fast rules. They don't always tell the whole story. One of my absolute favorite recipes (Genny's Shampoo bar) has a hardness of 21 (no coconut and a cleansing value of 0).
     
  16. Mar 8, 2019 #16

    Dawni

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    Are you limited to these four? If not, butters are good hardeners.. As well as palm, some waxes, and the animal fats.

    But if it's just these four it'll work with even that low coconut. I'd add sea salt to your water before adding the lye. Search around the forum and you'll get loads of info on it. I've been playing with amounts but I can tell you that it does help with hardness.

    Also, olive oil doesn't really follow the numbers on the calculator. If you're aware of Castille soaps, or even any Bastille, they harden up very well after a long cure, somewhat contrary to what the numbers tell you especially regarding hardness and longevity.

    I'd say go for it with this recipe. Since you're making a small batch you can try again with different numbers if this doesn't suit you.
     
  17. Mar 8, 2019 #17

    midnightsoaper

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    I agree with @Dawni, when you're ready to branch out to other oils go for something solid like butter, lard, tallow, palm, soy wax, etc.
     
  18. Mar 8, 2019 #18

    Zing

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    Welcome and have a great time, it's a fun adventure every time! Let us know how it goes. And we love photos!
     
  19. Mar 8, 2019 #19

    Dannyritz

    Dannyritz

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    Thank you everyone for all the good advice! I'll update this thread when I unmold. Photos will be included. It'll take another couple of weeks maybe before I have everything I need to get started.
     
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  20. Mar 8, 2019 #20

    MarnieSoapien

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    Small world! I lived in Aarhus for 2 1/2 years when we first moved here! Aarhus V and Risskov to be exact :D

    @Dannyritz Good luck on your first batch! Keep your first few batches simple until you start feeling comfortable with the process then let your imagination go wild. That's what I love about making soap, you can have humble, no frills soap to super fancy soaps with beautiful swirls, embeds and amazing fragrances and all of it is ok as long as you're happy with the results. There is a wealth of amazing, helpful and knowledgeable people on this forum.
     

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