Formulating a recipe?

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RamenParty

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Hey guys! Sorry for the dumb questions...

I just made my first batch of CP soap and I am in love!

I'm hoping to change up the recipe a bit. I would love to avoid using palm oil. I know it's a big debate but I personally would prefer not to use it. I also wanted to see about adding in 'other oils' such as avocado, rice bran, etc. I've been reading lots of articles and searching through this forum, but I'm getting very confused and I'm afraid of making a recipe that doesn't turn out like at all and wasting ingredients.

I was also wondering what is best for dispersing colorant in. I tried to use green tea powder in my first batch but didn't disperse it and it didn't mix well AT ALL. I also suspect I waited too long to pour since it was a very thick consistency and I couldn't pour it into the mold and had to use a spoon. It was very gloopy.

The recipe I used the first time was:
8oz pomace olive oil, 8 oz coconut oil, 8 oz palm oil, .7 oz FO, and 1 1/2 oz green tea powder.

I have not unmolded yet but can see some discoloring in them, spots of brown. Not sure what happened but I'll post those after they cure to see if I can troubleshoot. Maybe it was the green tea powder not mixed in well enough?

I also have some sodium lactate I plan to add in the next batch to assist with the hardness.

Anyway, if anyone has any awesome resources on oils and what you can substitute. I don't want to use random oils and have a mushy bar or something!
 
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kchaystack

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If you do not want to use palm, then you can use lard or tallow. If you do not want to use animal fats, you can use butters (shea, cocoa, mango, etc.) but they tend to cut later if used in a high %. If you just use mostly olive, avocado and the like you will need a longer cure.

The brown spots are probably the green tea powder, botanicals (leaves, most flower petals and the like) tend to go brown in soap. Also, pomice olive oil traces faster than regular olive or EVOO. It is not bad to use - you just have to remember it moves faster.
 

dixiedragon

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I use rice bran at 15% and olive at 15%. I really like it. If you don't want to use lard, palm or tallow you can use a butter - cocoa butter, shea butter, mango butter. I've got a recipe that's 50% shea that I've been waiting to try, but it only has a 2% superfat.
 

Jsoaps21

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I am new to soap making as well. I have made about 2 batches, after I spent a year researching. I am by far not qualified to answer your Palm oil question, although I have made a few batches without palm oil, but mostly Castile soap, but that is a whole different animal, and a few batches with lard.
I disperse my colorants in High Oleic Canola oil mostly, Sweet Almond Oil a few times.

I have not had issues with un-molding so I have not even considered Sodium Lactate.

That's all I got...good luck!
 

nikkisessence

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An easy place to start with non palm recipes, like kchaystack mentioned above, is to use butters. I used to start with 15% butter, 20% Coconut Oil, and 65% Olive. You can try other oils in part of, but not (in my findings) in total of, Olive. I also like to add 5-15% Castor Oil (subtracted from Olive oil portion). I find tallow is my best bet for replacing palm (it's also easy for me to get since my husband raises beef cattle). For issues with unmolding you can try water at 33% of oils as well as salt or sodium lactate. Table salt is known to decrease lather. I have tried both vegetable glycerin and oils (mostly Olive) for colorant dispersal. I liked glycerin with micas but not with activated charcoal (it made not so lovely specks within the color line). I believe most people would say that for dispersal of any color, your best bet is to use a small amount of your base oils (and then try to use all of the color back into the soap). I have found that green tea powder gives an oxidated brown color in cold process. I have heard of people using spirulina powder for green, but I have also seen reports that it fades here in this forum. Good luck with your soapy endeavors!
 

mzimm

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How best to disperse colorants is a pretty big subject that you're just going to have to gain experience in, like everything else in soapmaking! But you already knew that, because you're here asking.:)
Here's a pretty good place to start:
[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ph6-AMQLkEg"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ph6-AMQLkEg[/ame]
Even though Amy doesn't cover every colorant in the book, she does give great tips on how to figure it out when working with a colorant you're not sure of. Best bet is to take the time well in advance of actual soapmaking to test a small amount of your colorant in water, glycerine, oil, etc and decide then what you'll use.
 

RamenParty

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I'm super glad to hear my ugly soap is still going to be usable! I'm definitely still learning. I read and watched so many things but realized quickly that actually doing it is MUCH different! It's a good and not so good thing. CP soap is really easy to mess up, but also very able to make your own wonderful thing. I am planning to also try melt and pour soap because I know there are physically some things you simply cannot do with CP, but I absolutely love making CP soap, even if I may suck at it right now. The colors, ingredients, additives, scents, textures, shapes. I cannot wait to get into all of it! It's a little bit scary at first but I love the mad science behind it! Thanks for all the replies. I will definitely disperse my colorant next time and will be trying out some palm oil free recipes by using butters or other hard oils. I'll also post a picture tomorrow of my super ugly soap when I unmold!
 

Arimara

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Rice bran and avocado oils are great in soaps. You may want to consider keeping them at the suggested 20% mark or so until you learn what you like, especially the rice bran oil. Avocado oil you have a little more leeway with since it has some similarities to olive oil but you may not want to treat it like a full on substitute.
 
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