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Betty Boop

Oct 2, 2023
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Thank you for welcoming me to the forum. I am looking for a substitution for squalane oil for a soap "recipe". I have noodled around with amateur soapmaking for family and friends since 2017, with the occasional sales in boutique coffee shops. I am getting tired of buying so many different, often expensive "designer oils" that get used once or twice for various soap recipes, then go rancid.

It is terrific to find a forum that is alive, active and has knowledgeable people who are willing to share their expertise. I look forward to becoming an active participant.
I don't see the advantage in using squalene in soap as it is a rinse off product. Without knowing your recipe, it is hard to make a suggestion.
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I agree with @lsg. Squalane is amazing in lotions, but way too expensive for soap, esp bc it is no longer squalane once it reacts with the NaOH.

You can probably substitute olive oil for the squalane, but you have to run the new recipe through a soap calculator to ensure the lye amount doesn’t change when you do that. Why not make a simple recipe without it and then compare the soaps to see if you notice any difference? :)
Thank you both. That gives me the information I need. I had thought to replace it with olive oil (since I read it is made from olives). The soap recipe (which I have not tried) calls for:
  • 13.8 oz. Coconut Oil (25%)
  • 2.8 oz. Jojoba Oil (5.1%)
  • 5.5 oz. Squalane Oil (10%)
  • 2.8 oz. Argan Oil (5%)
  • 16.5 oz. Olive Oil (29.9%)
  • 13.7 oz. Palm Oil (24.9%)
  • 7.6 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye
  • 16.4 oz. Distilled Water (10% water discount)
As you can see, there are 2 other (what I refer to as) "fancy oils" besides the 3 workhorses of palm, olive and coconut. My interest is in the particular "swirl" technique being demonstrated in the recipe, which I will be able to obtain doing as you all suggest - use my usual simple recipe and not worry about the "fancy pants" stuff. I do so appreciate your help!! Thank you, again.
I would just go with coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil and Castor oil. Have you tried stick blending just to the emulsion stage? Emulsion is when you pause mixing for a second or two and the batter does not separate with patches of oil present. Using a high percentage of slow moving, liquid oils can also slow down trace. Palm and Castor oil can speed up trace, so use them in small amounts. Let the oils and lye solution cool to 90-95F. You can also substitute lard for palm oil.
Thank you. It took me a long time to recognize the "batter" did not have to be thick to be blended. Your explanation of the emulsion phase is also helpful. Even though I follow recipes, it helps to hear tips like that, especially when examples or explanations of "thin trace" vary depending on the source of information. It is certainly a continual learning process!