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First Soap and where do I go from here

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thursday48

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I just cut my first soap! I did get soda ash and some weird texture on some. The weird texture I'm pretty sure is because I cut one mold to early and when I took it out of the mold some of the soap stuck to the freezer paper.
Okay other than the soda ash "issue" (and looking at the pictures of it cut maybe a partial gel issue), my other issue is that I don't really know where to go from here. I made up my recipe so should I just make up an entirely new one for every batch until my soap has cured enough to use and make judgements about what I like from there?

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Soap attempt one.jpg
 

Cindy2428

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Find what inspires you! Try new oils, EO's vs FO's. HP vs CP. When I had to take my medical-year off, I filled 2 notebooks with recipes, things I'd like to try.
 

thursday48

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I keep coming up with design ideas, I think I need to put in an order for some FO, EO, and colors and I think that would help. And just letting myself come up with random recipe ideas.
 

KristaY

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Your first recipe is a very good one and probably very close to many soaper's standard recipe. I suggest subbing part of the OO with another soft oil like avocado, high oleic canola or sunflower, sweet almond, etc. See what you can find in local shops so you can buy a small volume in case you don't like it. Make small 1 lb (500gm) batches and see how you like it. You can also play with SF. Make a batch at 3% and another at 7% to see what you prefer.

I did a few experiments a while back where I played with SF and CO. Our favorite for home use is 3% SF and 22-25% CO. This would be very drying to a lot of people but for DH and me, that's what we prefer. I also dislike the feeling of castor oil in soap so rarely use it but lots of people love the bubble enhancing property it provides. Some people dislike OO and some prefer lard over palm. Lots of options to explore!

So play around with a few different oils in various percentages to find what suits you. So much will depend on the water in your area, the climate where you live, your skin type, the work you do, etc. Experimenting is such a fun part of soap making and the possibilities are enless!
 

Arimara

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I'm a sucker for OO and AO in a soap or just straight AO instead of OO. OO is nice in a soap but AO gives soap a nice slip that can't be beat.
 

dibbles

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Congratulations on your first soap! I've been making soap for about a year and a half, and am still playing with recipes. I don't have fussy skin, so experimenting with different oils is fun. Lately, I have been using oils I can buy locally so I don't have to order everything. I really like avocado oil, and have also been using high oleic sunflower oil. Hemp seed is lovely in soap, but it does have a rather short shelf life.

Maybe your next step is to tweak the recipe you've started with. Use one butter at 10%, then make a batch with the other butter at 10% and see what the difference between the three is. Or swap out some of your olive for avocado, sweet almond or another of your choosing. Or try lard if you have no objections to animal derived oils. I also like to sub 100% aloe juice for the water. Have fun!
 

penelopejane

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Congratulations on your first soap! The blue is great!

I'd follow what dibbles suggested.

And you can try cutting the Coconut oil to 10% then 0%.
Then try 5% castor oil and see if it makes a difference to the bubbles.
You can try 1 tsp of salt ppo dissolved in part of the water in the recipe to see if it makes the bar harder.
 
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