First TIME! using Neem Oil!!

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Nov 25, 2011
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Ok, that was an intense soap session.
5pm-8 including cleanup.
Any input would be greatly appreciated - there are some things that didn't
seem to happen as conventionally compared to other batches.

For the 4th batch of soap ever I decided to try Neem Oil.
Had some laying around, about a year old, stored well.

Before doing this I read about Neem soap a little:
"The neem oil content in neem soap varies. (Some manufacturers may use
mainly cheap ingredients and just add some token neem oil. So don't buy
just any soap that says "neem" somewhere on the label...

To get the maximum benefit look for "maximum strength". 20% neem oil
content is good. 30%-40% is about as high as you can go."

"Neem oil has insecticidal properties, is antibacterial and antifungal,
soothing and moisturising... Neem oil soap is a real treat for the skin, even
for healthy skin. But skin problems are where it shines.

Here are just some skin conditions where people have used neem soaps for
centuries and with great results. Follow the links to find out more.

Acne, scabies, psoriasis, ringworm, preventing infections and ulcers, skin
problems in pets, ..."

"Extracted from the bark of the Neem Oil Tree. This oil has the ability to treat a variety of skin disorders such as dandruff. Use as a base oil up to 40%. "

So I warmed the Neem up in its bottle, with warm water and shook it like crazy,
probably a total of 15 minutes shaking over an hour.
It was all nice and mixed, very little chunks, if any.

Had a set amount of Palm & Coconut oil to use up, and wanted to keep
Olive oil to a minimum, while putting Neem oil to the max.

To cover up the smell is Patchouli Essential Oil. Oh yes.
After spilling 1/8cup of neem oil on the bed, it was time to rock.
Brought it up to 100deg or so.
Read somewhere that >95F is bad for neem.
Who knows if that's true or not.


It took about 20mins to get to trace, stirring a lot with the stick blender:
It wasn't this dark, probably closer to butterscotch pudding.

After 1 hour of cooking at 100-120F, this is what it looked like:

Weird, ok. The top 3/4" was thick and waxy, almost solid.
The inside was 120F at this point.
I wasn't sure what to do, previous olive/coco/palm oil batches
have self-gelled on their own, from the outside edges in.
This time was different. Broke through to see this inside.
Was this "gel?" Probably. But it'd been an hour of cooking,
and I didn't have the time to let it go for another hour.

So I stirred, wondering if this was a failure because of 33% neem being used:

Stirred more:

And stirred more:

After 45min stirring my hand was tiring. This stuff was getting thick!
Put 3/8cup coffee grinds in. Then started putting Patchouli in.
Had a 0.5oz bottle of Patchouli and used about 1/3 of it.
(This was 5.1g of Patchouli Oil - a whopping 21.23% of base oil weight!)

In the end after an hour of stirring and mashing to incorporate the
waxy and non-waxy (gel..?) portions, it looked like this:


After the next few days and weeks we'll see what happens,
hopefully by then my room and entire body will stop reeking of patchouli oil...haha.

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