Grocery store soap challenge

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Tara_H

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I'm a little concerned about using cinnamon for fragrance. It should be used with a light touch otherwise it can be VERY irritating
Good call out! I'm only intending to use this as hand soap at the sink and it doesn't have huge amounts of cinnamon, but yes, I should have pointed that out considering this is a learning thread!
 

KimW

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Ah...hmmmm...ahh... I just noticed the challenge is for at least three oils. The sunflower oil blend is Sunflower and Corn Oil. May I get passed to use this as two oils @FragranceGuy?
 

FragranceGuy

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Ah...hmmmm...ahh... I just noticed the challenge is for at least three oils. The sunflower oil blend is Sunflower and Corn Oil. May I get passed to use this as two oils @FragranceGuy?
That is perfectly acceptable! The only reason I specified at least 3 oils is because I want to learn from you all and if everyone made Castile or 100% CO with 20% SF I might not learn as much. I selfishly created this challenge to learn. This is an unofficial challenge, and I think the rules should be flexible. Robert Frost famously said (paraphrasing to the best of my recollection) “Writing poetry without rhyme is like playing tennis without a net.” That’s where I’m coming from. I don’t care if you follow the rules to a T, I just hope that you buy the tennis ball in person from a store 😉
 

FragranceGuy

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My fresh (two weeks cured) grocery store soap is already my best soap! I’m happy because I would hope that each batch would get better, but considering that I plan on experimenting a lot in the beginning, I figure I’ll have plenty of ups and downs. Jessica raved about this “uncured” soap and enjoyed it more than the soap I made specifically for her. This surprised me because her soap used OO for soft oils whereas the grocery store batch used less popular canola and sunflower oils. I did this out of curiosity and also because of discussions about linoleic fatty acids with @ResolvableOwl The linoleic value is 18% and although I can’t speak to longevity or long term problems with DOS I can say that it’s a surprisingly lovely soap. Jessica specifically mentioned that she enjoys how easily it washes off the skin and how clean she feels without feeling overly cleaned. I’m happy 🙂 More inspiration for the next batch!
 

ResolvableOwl

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I know what you mean. Once you've reached an agreement with yourself, to have made the greatest soap of all time, the next iteration comes out of cure to be even better! Don't expect this was the last time this happened.
 

ResolvableOwl

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Okay. I eventually got weak and decided to actually, IRL, take part in this challenge too!

Since I love to make things needlessly complicated, I decided to combine this with my initiation to proper cream soap via the famous Lindy cream soap.

The original oil blend can be, up to the P/S ratio and <1% SAP deviation (lye amount), replaced by things I've already bought in a grocery store/drugstore/supermarket (or got at by similar means): 55% canola wax (calculated as soy wax), 23% HO safflower oil and 19% coconut oil.

The extra glycerol was difficult. Good thing that a local supermarket had fog machines for sale an age ago, and my dad bought one, that's now catching dust somewhere – but clever me has secured the fog fluid, which happens to be a 20% aqueous solution of propylene glycol. I took the artistic liberty to replace the propane-1,2,3-triol (glycerol) by this propane-1,2-diol (140%ppo fog fluid), plus a 6%ppo pinch of pentane-1,2,3,4,5-pentol (xylitol) from the hipstery sweeteners shelf. These two have to somehow provide/replace the emollient properties of glycerol. Haven't heard of glycerol in a grocery store/supermarket, but fog fluid at least once 😜.
For reasons discussed later, another candle, this time the cheapest, most rustic looking white candle advertised as 100% stearin (stearic/palmitic acid blend) came in handy for the infamous “super cream” of the Lindy recipe.
I also left out the kaolin clay.

  1. Arguably, I am an exceptionally lazy person (particularly when it comes to clean stick blenders). So I will use the canola wax as the main source of stearic acid (and for a small extra kick of glycerol), and exploit its properties to cut down on mechanical tools. I prepared the lye solution (3.6%ppo NaOH + 13.1%ppo KOH) in as little fog fluid as possible and heated it up in a hot water bath. Once above the melting point of the canola wax, I added it, and waited until molten. Note that the amount of oils added here is, contrary to the original recipe, not sufficient to eat up all lye, so the batter will stay lye-heavy for now. I then swapped the hot water bath for cold water, and stirred until reaching deliberate false trace, all the way down until the batter fully solidified – and let rest the clump for one day of partial CP saponification. The idea is that the very hard fat (“wax”) retains an appreciable interface with the lye, so unlike separation with liquid(ish) oils, a noticeable reaction will occur.
  2. The next day, I put it into a hot water bath once again, and the batter quickly melted up and – separated 😠. There is no such thing as a free lunch, I guess. It turned out that I needed pretty much the same 1½ hours of HP cooking like mentioned by Lindy, until the batter reached applesauce/mashed potato consistency, and I could consider the “extra” stearic saponification as largely done. At least I didn't need to SB yet.
  3. Enter the oleic and lauric oils. They blended/melted into the batter quickly, and made it a more malleable, creamy-silky mash. I left them alone for another day of CP, this time at abundantly positive superfat. The split saponification stages were required to match the fatty acid/superfat profile of the original recipe: The stearic acid (that I wanted to avoid because not only I hate how it instantaneously forms hard soap with lye) should exist fully saponified, and the superfats (partially cleaved oil molecules) originate from the natural oils (almond-coconut-shea, or safflower-coconut, resp.). If I had added all oils at the beginning, chances are, the superfat contains major amounts of un- or partially saponified canola wax – clearly an inacceptable intervention into the recipe, which I intend to adhere to as faithfully as the challenge would allow 😁.
  4. Heated up another time in the water bath, I added the super cream along the rest of the water/fog fluid: 6%ppo xylitol, and some shavings (3%ppo) of the stearin candle. At this time, we're comfortably in the positive superfat regime, so we wouldn't have lye left any more to convert canola wax into stearic acid for us. So we have to rely on the candlemakers as suppliers of pre-made fatty acid.
  5. To some (initial) astonishment, after a few minutes of simmering, the soap had become clear and runny liquid. The surprise was not long, when I realised that the original instructions are essentially a (mediocre) melt&pour base recipe – augmented by propylene glycol, which is arguably an even better-performing M&P solvent than glycerol. So I patiently waited for the fluid to cool down. It gradually became thicker and opaque, until, about at body temperature, it developed a beautiful pearlescent shimmer when stirred/kneaded. Oddly enough, later on the cream became a bit thinner again, and the colour became a thick white, think of toothpaste.
  6. Finally, I scooped the paste into the coconut oil jar, to hand it over into its infamous “rotting” phase. No idea yet at which consistency I'll eventually like it to have, maybe I'll add some water at some time in the future. Anyway, I herewith apply for the laziest and boldest original container usage bonus trophy.
The first jump into cream soap making, zero stearic-HP-soap-on-a-stick(blender) troubles, actual hands-on participation in @FragranceGuy's challenge (besides eloquent parlando), and no usage (and cleaning) of any kitchen machines – what to expect more?

ETA: Yes, you can expect photos. People love photos!



Disclaimer: Yes, I cheated. Please forgive me. I didn't actually waste fog fluid, but combined it from pure propylene glycol and water. I also subbed palm kernel oil for coconut, since I don't have CO atm and didn't want to buy some.
 

KimW

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Since I love to make things needlessly complicated,
But I learn so much from your complications!

(xylitol) from the hipstery sweeteners shelf.
Hey now - that there's "Birchwood Sugar" where I come from. Better than molasses (that's moooooeeeeelasses, btw). 😆

Disclaimer: Yes, I cheated. Please forgive me. I didn't actually waste fog fluid, but combined it from pure propylene glycol and water. I also subbed palm kernel oil for coconut, since I don't have CO atm and didn't want to buy some.
You know what - stop it. 😅😅😅🤣🤣🤪🤣🤣😅😅😅
 

FragranceGuy

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Okay. I eventually got weak and decided to actually, IRL, take part in this challenge too!

Since I love to make things needlessly complicated, I decided to combine this with my initiation to proper cream soap via the famous Lindy cream soap.

The original oil blend can be, up to the P/S ratio and <1% SAP deviation (lye amount), replaced by things I've already bought in a grocery store/drugstore/supermarket (or got at by similar means): 55% canola wax (calculated as soy wax), 23% HO safflower oil and 19% coconut oil.

The extra glycerol was difficult. Good thing that a local supermarket had fog machines for sale an age ago, and my dad bought one, that's now catching dust somewhere – but clever me has secured the fog fluid, which happens to be a 20% aqueous solution of propylene glycol. I took the artistic liberty to replace the propane-1,2,3-triol (glycerol) by this propane-1,2-diol (140%ppo fog fluid), plus a 6%ppo pinch of pentane-1,2,3,4,5-pentol (xylitol) from the hipstery sweeteners shelf. These two have to somehow provide/replace the emollient properties of glycerol. Haven't heard of glycerol in a grocery store/supermarket, but fog fluid at least once 😜.
For reasons discussed later, another candle, this time the cheapest, most rustic looking white candle advertised as 100% stearin (stearic/palmitic acid blend) came in handy for the infamous “super cream” of the Lindy recipe.
I also left out the kaolin clay.

  1. Arguably, I am an exceptionally lazy person (particularly when it comes to clean stick blenders). So I will use the canola wax as the main source of stearic acid (and for a small extra kick of glycerol), and exploit its properties to cut down on mechanical tools. I prepared the lye solution (3.6%ppo NaOH + 13.1%ppo KOH) in as little fog fluid as possible and heated it up in a hot water bath. Once above the melting point of the canola wax, I added it, and waited until molten. Note that the amount of oils added here is, contrary to the original recipe, not sufficient to eat up all lye, so the batter will stay lye-heavy for now. I then swapped the hot water bath for cold water, and stirred until reaching deliberate false trace, all the way down until the batter fully solidified – and let rest the clump for one day of partial CP saponification. The idea is that the very hard fat (“wax”) retains an appreciable interface with the lye, so unlike separation with liquid(ish) oils, a noticeable reaction will occur.
  2. The next day, I put it into a hot water bath once again, and the batter quickly melted up and – separated 😠. There is no such thing as a free lunch, I guess. It turned out that I needed pretty much the same 1½ hours of HP cooking like mentioned by Lindy, until the batter reached applesauce/mashed potato consistency, and I could consider the “extra” stearic saponification as largely done. At least I didn't need to SB yet.
  3. Enter the oleic and lauric oils. They blended/melted into the batter quickly, and made it a more malleable, creamy-silky mash. I left them alone for another day of CP, this time at abundantly positive superfat. The split saponification stages were required to match the fatty acid/superfat profile of the original recipe: The stearic acid (that I wanted to avoid because not only I hate how it instantaneously forms hard soap with lye) should exist fully saponified, and the superfats (partially cleaved oil molecules) originate from the natural oils (almond-coconut-shea, or safflower-coconut, resp.). If I had added all oils at the beginning, chances are, the superfat contains major amounts of un- or partially saponified canola wax – clearly an inacceptable intervention into the recipe, which I intend to adhere to as faithfully as the challenge would allow 😁.
  4. Heated up another time in the water bath, I added the super cream along the rest of the water/fog fluid: 6%ppo xylitol, and some shavings (3%ppo) of the stearin candle. At this time, we're comfortably in the positive superfat regime, so we wouldn't have lye left any more to convert canola wax into stearic acid for us. So we have to rely on the candlemakers as suppliers of pre-made fatty acid.
  5. To some (initial) astonishment, after a few minutes of simmering, the soap had become clear and runny liquid. The surprise was not long, when I realised that the original instructions are essentially a (mediocre) melt&pour base recipe – augmented by propylene glycol, which is arguably an even better-performing M&P solvent than glycerol. So I patiently waited for the fluid to cool down. It gradually became thicker and opaque, until, about at body temperature, it developed a beautiful pearlescent shimmer when stirred/kneaded. Oddly enough, later on the cream became a bit thinner again, and the colour became a thick white, think of toothpaste.
  6. Finally, I scooped the paste into the coconut oil jar, to hand it over into its infamous “rotting” phase. No idea yet at which consistency I'll eventually like it to have, maybe I'll add some water at some time in the future. Anyway, I herewith apply for the laziest and boldest original container usage bonus trophy.
The first jump into cream soap making, zero stearic-HP-soap-on-a-stick(blender) troubles, actual hands-on participation in @FragranceGuy's challenge (besides eloquent parlando), and no usage (and cleaning) of any kitchen machines – what to expect more?

ETA: Yes, you can expect photos. People love photos!



Disclaimer: Yes, I cheated. Please forgive me. I didn't actually waste fog fluid, but combined it from pure propylene glycol and water. I also subbed palm kernel oil for coconut, since I don't have CO atm and didn't want to buy some.
I’m super glad you decided to participate! If there was an award for most original recipe it’s safe to presume you would get it. I learned so much from your soap creation, thanks!!
 

impish

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Late jumping in but, I'm a regular "grocery store" soap maker (i.e. super impatient, poor impulse control) and I only color with infused oils so here's my go to recipe:

40% Olive Oil (see color infusions below)
5% Castor (local fancy store carries 16oz bottles)
35% Lard
20% Coconut

Pour into oval Crystal Light containers lined with freezer paper, family and friends seem to prefer this shape to my proper rectangle loaf soaps
Grocery store olive oil infusions: Paprika, Annatto, Turmeric, Parsley (dried)
Paprika, Annato, Madder.jpg
These are from a previous batch, the pinky/purpley part is infused madder, orange is annatto, yellow is turmeric.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Lindy Lou

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I am currently experimenting and have oils for several batches that I just bought (waiting on lye as there is none locally). I have lard, coconut, grape seed, olive and avocado. Sea salt for a brine batch. Is a trip to the post office allowed? My first batches were all molded in boxes from the post office lined with freezer paper. I have not tried it but wondering if powdered buttermilk would add something to the soap? Hmmm
I think Buttermilk powdered would be nice, I have used it and like it. Any milks I have used, be it, the buttermilk, powdered goatmilk, half and half, etc. add a nice creaminess to the lather and perhaps some more bubbles too.. Any products with sugars in them, honey, milks, I have noticed add a bit more to the lather in a nice way.
 

Basil

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A grocery store find!!! So........ I had my grand daughter over mother's day weekend and made cinnamon rolls with her. I'm planning on gaining a lot of weight now as I need to stock up on these lovely treats since I disovered their icing cups make perfect molds!!!!! I have instructed my daughters to start buying these nutritious items and saving for me 😂
 

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KimW

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A grocery store find!!! So........ I had my grand daughter over mother's day weekend and made cinnamon rolls with her. I'm planning on gaining a lot of weight now as I need to stock up on these lovely treats since I disovered their icing cups make perfect molds!!!!! I have instructed my daughters to start buying these nutritious items and saving for me 😂
Love it!
 

FragranceGuy

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Lard, coconut, safflower and castor. Pringles can for a mold.
I’m planning to use a pringles container as a mold today. It seems to be lined with a metal foil and metal bottom. I figure it could be problematic with the lye. I have freezer paper to line the sides... any suggestions about the bottom?
 

Zany_in_CO

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Cut the bottom off. Use the plastic top for the bottom.
Remember to leave about 1/4" headroom when filling. It makes the soap easier to unmold.
Have a single-cavity mold handy for excess soap.
If the soap doesn't budge when ready to unmold, stick it in the freezer for 1 hour. Take it out and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then run warm-hot water on the outside.

Pringles cans make a nice size round bar. :thumbs:
 

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