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Radsoap

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So I was given a "tried and tested " recipe for Aloe Vera soap. Seems fine, but I hear i can substitute Palm for lard and I'd much rather use non animal fat. As im a little dumb when It comes to the calculations, how do I figure the ratio out for lard to palm oil?

14.9 oz coco oil
13.4 oz olive oil
10.5 oz lard
2.5 oz Shea butter
9.6 oz Aloe gel puree
6.7 oz lye
9.9 oz water.
 

Bladesmith

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As KiwiMoose said, no matter where you get the recipe from, plug everything into a soap calculator to make sure the lye amount is correct.

There are a bunch of lye calculators. If you’re thinking of turning it into a business, Soapmaker 3 is a good choice as you can keep track of supplies and inventory, etc in it in addition to using it as a lye calculator.

I’ll also just mention that Lard makes a nicer soap than palm (imo). There’s also a lot of controversy around palm that may be worth looking into. I’d encourage you to try both with lard and palm and see what you think unless you are vegan or have other reasons for not doing lard.
 

earlene

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So I was given a "tried and tested " recipe for Aloe Vera soap. Seems fine, but I hear i can substitute Palm for lard and I'd much rather use non animal fat. As im a little dumb when It comes to the calculations, how do I figure the ratio out for lard to palm oil?

AHA! No wonder it was coming out LYE HEAVY when I plugged it in. You did not say it was Fractionated Coconut Oil. That makes a big difference in the lye calculations!

Okay, scratch everything I was going to say and start over.

Fx CO is rather expensive for bar soap, but you can use it; I have when I wanted to use up a bottle of it and get rid of it. But even so, that's still way too high a cleansing number for me. That gives you a whopping 36 cleansing number and with only 5% SuperFat, that'd turn my skin into a dry itchy mess; my skin would start cracking and bleeding if I washed my hands with that every time I have to wash my hands. Your skin may not respond so badly to so much lauric & myristic, and the Aloe might counteract some of that, but I'd still say go lower on the CO.

I suppose the good thing about it though, is the soap would wash away down the drain really fast because that soap will just melt away in use super fast. But you'd have so many bars of it, my gosh. You're going to have to love it because that's a lot of soap for a first time soapmaker.


This is what I would do if I was new (and knew what I know now) and wanted to make a soap like this using palm instead of lard:

I'd make the following changes, using my lye calculator:
I'd keep the SUPERFAT to 5% because you are a beginner, and that's a safe place to start.
I'd set the water to lye ratio to 2:1 or 33.3% lye concentration (they equal the same thing.)
I'd change the Coconut oil to no more than 20%, but I would use regular CO, not fractionated.
Instead of using Aloe puree, I'd use Aloe juice from Walmart, because for a beginner it's easier.
The aloe juice can be a straight water replacement, so no need to split the water & the aloe at all, but you can if you want.
I'd use 30% palm oil. Do you know where to buy it? Spectrum Brand shortening is hydrogenated palm oil, costly, but it works fine in soap. (Target carries it, as does Whole Foods, and some other grocers.)
I'd add Castor oil to support bubbles and provide a bit more creamy lather.
True the Aloe will also help with bubbles, so you could choose not to use Castor, in which case, I'd add that 5% back in one of the other oils.

I would also make a much smaller batch, enough to make only about a pound of soap. If something goes wrong or you don't like it, you won't have wasted a lot of materials. It gives you 4 bars of soap to see if you like it or not.

Then it would look something like this:

30% Olive
30% Palm
20% Coconut 76° (the stuff that come in a jar & is spreadable like butter)
15% Shea
5% Castor

with 5% SF, 33.3% Lye Concentration (which equals 2:1 water to lye ratio), and using aloe juice instead of water,
you end up with a hard bar of soap and it won't have to cure for too long, as it would if your Olive oil was at the higher percentage of the original formula.

If you want to use the Fractionated CO, I'd suggest using only 15% and raising Palm or Olive to 35%.

But that's my own preference about how oil-stripping I want my soap to be (or not be); you may be fine with a stronger soap, and as I said, the aloe may counteract some of that making it easier to handle. Some folks are fine with higher amounts of coconut oil in their soap; some are not.
 

Radsoap

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AHA! No wonder it was coming out LYE HEAVY when I plugged it in. You did not say it was Fractionated Coconut Oil. That makes a big difference in the lye calculations!

Okay, scratch everything I was going to say and start over.

Fx CO is rather expensive for bar soap, but you can use it; I have when I wanted to use up a bottle of it and get rid of it. But even so, that's still way too high a cleansing number for me. That gives you a whopping 36 cleansing number and with only 5% SuperFat, that'd turn my skin into a dry itchy mess; my skin would start cracking and bleeding if I washed my hands with that every time I have to wash my hands. Your skin may not respond so badly to so much lauric & myristic, and the Aloe might counteract some of that, but I'd still say go lower on the CO.

I suppose the good thing about it though, is the soap would wash away down the drain really fast because that soap will just melt away in use super fast. But you'd have so many bars of it, my gosh. You're going to have to love it because that's a lot of soap for a first time soapmaker.


This is what I would do if I was new (and knew what I know now) and wanted to make a soap like this using palm instead of lard:

I'd make the following changes, using my lye calculator:
I'd keep the SUPERFAT to 5% because you are a beginner, and that's a safe place to start.
I'd set the water to lye ratio to 2:1 or 33.3% lye concentration (they equal the same thing.)
I'd change the Coconut oil to no more than 20%, but I would use regular CO, not fractionated.
Instead of using Aloe puree, I'd use Aloe juice from Walmart, because for a beginner it's easier.
The aloe juice can be a straight water replacement, so no need to split the water & the aloe at all, but you can if you want.
I'd use 30% palm oil. Do you know where to buy it? Spectrum Brand shortening is hydrogenated palm oil, costly, but it works fine in soap. (Target carries it, as does Whole Foods, and some other grocers.)
I'd add Castor oil to support bubbles and provide a bit more creamy lather.
True the Aloe will also help with bubbles, so you could choose not to use Castor, in which case, I'd add that 5% back in one of the other oils.

I would also make a much smaller batch, enough to make only about a pound of soap. If something goes wrong or you don't like it, you won't have wasted a lot of materials. It gives you 4 bars of soap to see if you like it or not.

Then it would look something like this:

30% Olive
30% Palm
20% Coconut 76° (the stuff that come in a jar & is spreadable like butter)
15% Shea
5% Castor

with 5% SF, 33.3% Lye Concentration (which equals 2:1 water to lye ratio), and using aloe juice instead of water,
you end up with a hard bar of soap and it won't have to cure for too long, as it would if your Olive oil was at the higher percentage of the original formula.

If you want to use the Fractionated CO, I'd suggest using only 15% and raising Palm or Olive to 35%.

But that's my own preference about how oil-stripping I want my soap to be (or not be); you may be fine with a stronger soap, and as I said, the aloe may counteract some of that making it easier to handle. Some folks are fine with higher amounts of coconut oil in their soap; some are not.
Thank you for the response! The chosen ingredients were the ones I randomly picked in the calculator, I had no idea there was a difference in coco oil! My main goal is just to make use of all the Aloe Vera I have naturally on my property and it represents the SW US pretty well. Im certainly going to give your recipe a try.
 

earlene

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Ah, well of course, then the juice at Walmart is certainly redundant. I've never harvested Aloe for soap, but others here have. I'm sure it will be fun to make soap using ingredients available from your environment.
 

KiwiMoose

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I use 'real' aloe as well. I just peel all the green off and put the gel part into a blender until it is all pureed finely. Then force it through a sieve. Weigh it out into 300g baggies and put it into the freezer to use in future soap batches.
 

KiwiMoose

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So with the numbers plugged, for lard at least, this is what I get. How do I know how much palm would be comparable? Seems the calculator auto changes the amount of oil so that doesn't help me know x amount of lard is equal to x amount of palm.
Lard and palm have different qualities/different fatty acid profiles, so you would be best to become familiar with those. I found this quite helpful when starting out: The Most Popular Fatty Acid Profiles in Soapmaking
Bear in mind that these are the most popular profiles - not necessarily the best. Everyone has different preferences.
 
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