GW 415 - Soy Wax

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Mobjack Bay

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I posted most of this in another member’s thread, but it’s a bit of a rabbit hole, so I deleted it there and moved it here. I have another thread on this topic, here, but haven’t been able to get much feedback on my calculations or assumptions. That thread is pretty dense, so here is a condensed version.

Many seem to be using the sap given for “soybean, fully hydrogenated” successfully when using GW 415, but when I was first contemplating using “soy wax,” I found some posts on this forum where makers reported softer or stickier than expected soap. There has also been quite a bit of uncertainty expressed about the fatty acid composition of GW 415. In my quest to determine the “real” FA profile of GW 415, I tracked down the manufacturer’s product sheet and Certificate of Analysis (COA) documents on the CandleScience.com website, here. Key information:

Partially hydrogenated soybean oil

Fatty acid composition (typical values per 100 g):
  • Saturated fat 44 g
  • trans fat 39.4 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 16.6 g
  • Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
Iodine value: 45-55

So, what is the trans fat??? Based on research papers linked in earlier soy wax threads and some I found on my own, it’s highly likely that the trans fat is mostly elaidic acid, an unsaturated C18:1 fatty acid. If it is, the sat:unsat of GW415 is 44:56. I think that also mean that GW 415 does not contain trans versions of polyunsaturated FAs, which is good to know when calculating recipes.

If you don’t want to make that leap of faith, it’s easy enough to compare the iodine value range of 45-55 for GW 415 given by the manufacturer with the iodine values given for partially and fully hydrogenated soybean oil in the soap calculators.

First, as given on the Soapy Stuff website, here:

“The Iodine Number indicates the amount of of unsaturated fatty acids present. Soap made with mostly unsaturated (liquid) fats will tend to have a high Iodine Number and soap made with mostly saturated (solid) fats will have a low Iodine Number.”

The iodine number given in the SoapMakingFriend calculator for “soybean, fully hydrogenated” is 1 and for “soybean, 27.5% hydrogenated” is 78, both quite different from the 45-55 range for GW 415 given in the manufacturer’s COA sheets posted on the CandleScience.com website.

My research, calculations, reasons for settling on an NaOH sap of .144, estimated FA profile, and the results of some of my trial runs using various sap values are given in the thread I linked above. I was more or less stumbling along at first, which probably makes it challenging to read the thread, but eventually my estimated numbers aligned well with the information available from the manufacturer. The FA percentages were determined by trial and error until I achieved the iodine value, sat:unsat ratio and percentages of saturated and unsaturated (oleic +trans) fats given by the manufacturer. The percentages I settled on are:

Palmitic - 10%
Stearic - 34%
Oleic - 55% (this is for the oleic and elaidic acids; elaidic acid, the trans fat, is also 18:1)

This FA profile looks more like lard, tallow and palm and not at all like the profiles given for the hydrogenated soybean oils given in the soap calculators. I then estimated the sap (.144) using this FA profile and by substituting stearic, palmitic and oleic acids in as proxies for the triglycerides. The estimated sap is similar to lard (.141), palm (.142) and tallow (.143) and higher than the sap values in the calculators for unhydrogenated soybean oil, 27.5% hydrogenated and 100% hydrogenated, which are .135-.137.

I recently discovered that the SoapMakingFriend calculator allows a user to add a custom oil to the oil list. I used that feature to add “GW 415” with a KOH sap of .202, the FA percentages I calculated and an average iodine value of 50 based on the range given by the manufacturer. SMFriend calculates the NaOH from a KOH sap. A KOH sap of .202 returns a NaOH sap of .144. If the “real” sap is close to what I calculated, using a lower sap will result in more SF.
 

Jackie Tobey

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I posted most of this in another member’s thread, but it’s a bit of a rabbit hole, so I deleted it there and moved it here. I have another thread on this topic, here, but haven’t been able to get much feedback on my calculations or assumptions. That thread is pretty dense, so here is a condensed version.

Many seem to be using the sap given for “soybean, fully hydrogenated” successfully when using GW 415, but when I was first contemplating using “soy wax,” I found some posts on this forum where makers reported softer or stickier than expected soap. There has also been quite a bit of uncertainty expressed about the fatty acid composition of GW 415. In my quest to determine the “real” FA profile of GW 415, I tracked down the manufacturer’s product sheet and Certificate of Analysis (COA) documents on the CandleScience.com website, here. Key information:

Partially hydrogenated soybean oil

Fatty acid composition (typical values per 100 g):
  • Saturated fat 44 g
  • trans fat 39.4 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 16.6 g
  • Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
Iodine value: 45-55

So, what is the trans fat??? Based on research papers linked in earlier soy wax threads and some I found on my own, it’s highly likely that the trans fat is mostly elaidic acid, an unsaturated C18:1 fatty acid. If it is, the sat:unsat of GW415 is 44:56. I think that also mean that GW 415 does not contain trans versions of polyunsaturated FAs, which is good to know when calculating recipes.

If you don’t want to make that leap of faith, it’s easy enough to compare the iodine value range of 45-55 for GW 415 given by the manufacturer with the iodine values given for partially and fully hydrogenated soybean oil in the soap calculators.

First, as given on the Soapy Stuff website, here:

“The Iodine Number indicates the amount of of unsaturated fatty acids present. Soap made with mostly unsaturated (liquid) fats will tend to have a high Iodine Number and soap made with mostly saturated (solid) fats will have a low Iodine Number.”

The iodine number given in the SoapMakingFriend calculator for “soybean, fully hydrogenated” is 1 and for “soybean, 27.5% hydrogenated” is 78, both quite different from the 45-55 range for GW 415 given in the manufacturer’s COA sheets posted on the CandleScience.com website.

My research, calculations, reasons for settling on an NaOH sap of .144, estimated FA profile, and the results of some of my trial runs using various sap values are given in the thread I linked above. I was more or less stumbling along at first, which probably makes it challenging to read the thread, but eventually my estimated numbers aligned well with the information available from the manufacturer. The FA percentages were determined by trial and error until I achieved the iodine value, sat:unsat ratio and percentages of saturated and unsaturated (oleic +trans) fats given by the manufacturer. The percentages I settled on are:

Palmitic - 10%
Stearic - 34%
Oleic - 55% (this is for the oleic and elaidic acids; elaidic acid, the trans fat, is also 18:1)

This FA profile looks more like lard, tallow and palm and not at all like the profiles given for the hydrogenated soybean oils given in the soap calculators. I then estimated the sap (.144) using this FA profile and by substituting stearic, palmitic and oleic acids in as proxies for the triglycerides. The estimated sap is similar to lard (.141), palm (.142) and tallow (.143) and higher than the sap values in the calculators for unhydrogenated soybean oil, 27.5% hydrogenated and 100% hydrogenated, which are .135-.137.

I recently discovered that the SoapMakingFriend calculator allows a user to add a custom oil to the oil list. I used that feature to add “GW 415” with a KOH sap of .202, the FA percentages I calculated and an average iodine value of 50 based on the range given by the manufacturer. SMFriend calculates the NaOH from a KOH sap. A KOH sap of .202 returns a NaOH sap of .144. If the “real” sap is close to what I calculated, using a lower sap will result in more SF.
Thank you for explaining how to set up GW415 in Soapmakingfriend. Your the best!!
 

RDak

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Thanks Mobjack Bay.

I noticed in the Soapee Lye Calculator their Beef Tallow has a KOH sap value of 0.20 and a NaOH of 0.143 which is pretty close to your numbers. Just thought I would pass that on to you and others.
 

Mobjack Bay

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Thanks Mobjack Bay.

I noticed in the Soapee Lye Calculator their Beef Tallow has a KOH sap value of 0.20 and a NaOH of 0.143 which is pretty close to your numbers. Just thought I would pass that on to you and others.
Yes, I agree. I initially worked my way up to the higher sap by using intermediate sap values for lard and beef tallow. I got nice hard soap that popped right out of the silicone mold at the 18 hr mark. Just keep in mind that the FA profile for beef tallow isn’t quite what I estimated for GW 415. That will affect the soap qualities you get in the calculated recipe.
 

SoapSisters

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I posted most of this in another member’s thread, but it’s a bit of a rabbit hole, so I deleted it there and moved it here. I have another thread on this topic, here, but haven’t been able to get much feedback on my calculations or assumptions. That thread is pretty dense, so here is a condensed version.

Many seem to be using the sap given for “soybean, fully hydrogenated” successfully when using GW 415, but when I was first contemplating using “soy wax,” I found some posts on this forum where makers reported softer or stickier than expected soap. There has also been quite a bit of uncertainty expressed about the fatty acid composition of GW 415. In my quest to determine the “real” FA profile of GW 415, I tracked down the manufacturer’s product sheet and Certificate of Analysis (COA) documents on the CandleScience.com website, here. Key information:

Partially hydrogenated soybean oil

Fatty acid composition (typical values per 100 g):
  • Saturated fat 44 g
  • trans fat 39.4 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 16.6 g
  • Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
Iodine value: 45-55

So, what is the trans fat??? Based on research papers linked in earlier soy wax threads and some I found on my own, it’s highly likely that the trans fat is mostly elaidic acid, an unsaturated C18:1 fatty acid. If it is, the sat:unsat of GW415 is 44:56. I think that also mean that GW 415 does not contain trans versions of polyunsaturated FAs, which is good to know when calculating recipes.

If you don’t want to make that leap of faith, it’s easy enough to compare the iodine value range of 45-55 for GW 415 given by the manufacturer with the iodine values given for partially and fully hydrogenated soybean oil in the soap calculators.

First, as given on the Soapy Stuff website, here:

“The Iodine Number indicates the amount of of unsaturated fatty acids present. Soap made with mostly unsaturated (liquid) fats will tend to have a high Iodine Number and soap made with mostly saturated (solid) fats will have a low Iodine Number.”

The iodine number given in the SoapMakingFriend calculator for “soybean, fully hydrogenated” is 1 and for “soybean, 27.5% hydrogenated” is 78, both quite different from the 45-55 range for GW 415 given in the manufacturer’s COA sheets posted on the CandleScience.com website.

My research, calculations, reasons for settling on an NaOH sap of .144, estimated FA profile, and the results of some of my trial runs using various sap values are given in the thread I linked above. I was more or less stumbling along at first, which probably makes it challenging to read the thread, but eventually my estimated numbers aligned well with the information available from the manufacturer. The FA percentages were determined by trial and error until I achieved the iodine value, sat:unsat ratio and percentages of saturated and unsaturated (oleic +trans) fats given by the manufacturer. The percentages I settled on are:

Palmitic - 10%
Stearic - 34%
Oleic - 55% (this is for the oleic and elaidic acids; elaidic acid, the trans fat, is also 18:1)

This FA profile looks more like lard, tallow and palm and not at all like the profiles given for the hydrogenated soybean oils given in the soap calculators. I then estimated the sap (.144) using this FA profile and by substituting stearic, palmitic and oleic acids in as proxies for the triglycerides. The estimated sap is similar to lard (.141), palm (.142) and tallow (.143) and higher than the sap values in the calculators for unhydrogenated soybean oil, 27.5% hydrogenated and 100% hydrogenated, which are .135-.137.

I recently discovered that the SoapMakingFriend calculator allows a user to add a custom oil to the oil list. I used that feature to add “GW 415” with a KOH sap of .202, the FA percentages I calculated and an average iodine value of 50 based on the range given by the manufacturer. SMFriend calculates the NaOH from a KOH sap. A KOH sap of .202 returns a NaOH sap of .144. If the “real” sap is close to what I calculated, using a lower sap will result in more SF.
I finally bought my soy wax today (I'm so excited!) and I have a question about adding it as a custom oil on Soapmaking Friend. The soy wax is not GW415 but is called "soybean oil hydrogenated Ph. Eur. 9.0". It's produced in Germany by a company called gustavheess. The fatty acid composition is as follows:
myristic 0.1%
palmitic 10.3%
stearic 88.1%
arachidic acid 0.7
behenic acid 0.4

iodine value g12/100g
unsaponifiable matter max 1.0%

If I input the fatty acids, will it be calculated like all of the oils already listed? I didn't understand what you meant by calculating a KOH sap. Is that something I need to do before I can add it as an oil?
 

HowieRoll

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Thanks, Mobjack, for the detailed explanation (although I must say that my eyes glazed over at some of the math... lol).

I'm one that has been using "Soybean, fully hydrogenated" on SoapCalc (SAP 0.137 for NaOH), and I have been absolutely loving the soap with it. My skin has never felt better through a winter season, and I've had very little need for lotion. A typical recipe is:

30% Olive Oil
25% Soy Wax (415)
20% Coconut Oil
15% HO Sunflower Oil
10% Shea Butter

Lye concentration 38%
Superfat 2%
5% oil weight sugar added to lye water

At some point I would be curious to try a batch with a higher SAP for the soy wax to see what, if any, differences I can discern. I don't have soapmaking on my list of things to do in the near future, but if I ever try it I'll try to remember to report back.
 

tobeyjackie

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Thanks Jackie. How do you like the soap you made using the higher sap?
I’m living it. Honestly it’s the best soap I’ve made so far. And all my new soap is made with this recipe or one very close to it based on what I have available or need to use up. Getting ready to order some more GW415. Where do you recommend purchasing from. The last one I purchased is from natures garden.
 

Mobjack Bay

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I finally bought my soy wax today (I'm so excited!) and I have a question about adding it as a custom oil on Soapmaking Friend. The soy wax is not GW415 but is called "soybean oil hydrogenated Ph. Eur. 9.0". It's produced in Germany by a company called gustavheess. The fatty acid composition is as follows:
myristic 0.1%
palmitic 10.3%
stearic 88.1%
arachidic acid 0.7
behenic acid 0.4

iodine value g12/100g
unsaponifiable matter max 1.0%

If I input the fatty acids, will it be calculated like all of the oils already listed? I didn't understand what you meant by calculating a KOH sap. Is that something I need to do before I can add it as an oil?
I’m sorry this is not a quick answer. I want to try to be as thorough as I can in my explanation.

You need to estimate a NaOH sap for the kind of soy wax you are using, which is not the same as GW 415. I estimated the sap for GW 415 by trial and error until the known FA classes (saturated, oleic + trans, polyunsaturated = 0), iodine value and sat:unsat ratio matched information from the manufacturer (or that I calculated based on the manufacturer’s data). Given that your wax is primarily palmitic and stearic FA, I think it poses a bit less of a challenge. I just gave it a try by setting the SF to 0% and calculating a recipe for 1000 g of oils that is 10.3% palmitic and 88.1% stearic. The soap calculator doesn’t like that because it doesn’t add up to 100%. The soap calculator also does not provide options for the C20 FAs which is what I think the last two FAs on your list are. To get to 100%, I added 0.1% myristic acid and then put the remaining 0.6% into the stearic acid. Using that approach, 142.41 g of NaOH are needed to make a 0% superfat soap. 142.41 g/1000 g gives me an NaOH sap of .14241. To get the KOH sap, I have to multiply that the NaOH sap by 1.403, which yields a KOH sap of 0.1998.

My estimate of the NaOH sap for your soy wax is close to the NaOH saps for tallow, lard and palm oil. I want to emphasize that although it is an estimate based on relatively few unknowns, there are still unknowns. The saps for FA were used, but you’re adding triglycerides, not FAs. I also used stearic acid as a proxy for the C20 components in the soy wax. If you’re going to try this sap, I strongly urge you to make a test batch to check for zap when you cut it after 18-24 hours. My trial soaps that gelled did not zap after 18-24 hrs. My ungelled trial soaps zapped for up to 40 hours (but it’s not unusual for ungelled soaps to zap for longer). I made my trial soaps using 3% SF and I didn’t correct for lye purity, which means I probably had at least 2% more SF than I calculated. That gave me a safety margin to produce a non-zapping soap. Another approach for a test soap would be to make the batch with 0% super fat, gel it and then expect that it could be right at the borderline of zapping/not zapping when you cut it at the 18-24 hr mark. You would want to be sure to wear gloves when you cut it.

The box where you enter “sap” in the SMF calculator isn’t labeled “KOH SAP” but that is the value you need to enter, not the NaOH sap.

If you give the estimated sap a try, please be sure to let us know how the soap turns out.

edited for spelling errors (darn autocorrect!)
 
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Mobjack Bay

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Thanks, Mobjack, for the detailed explanation (although I must say that my eyes glazed over at some of the math... lol).

I'm one that has been using "Soybean, fully hydrogenated" on SoapCalc (SAP 0.137 for NaOH), and I have been absolutely loving the soap with it. My skin has never felt better through a winter season, and I've had very little need for lotion. A typical recipe is:

30% Olive Oil
25% Soy Wax (415)
20% Coconut Oil
15% HO Sunflower Oil
10% Shea Butter

Lye concentration 38%
Superfat 2%
5% oil weight sugar added to lye water

At some point I would be curious to try a batch with a higher SAP for the soy wax to see what, if any, differences I can discern. I don't have soapmaking on my list of things to do in the near future, but if I ever try it I'll try to remember to report back.
You’re recipe is quite similar to my recipe except that I use some RBO and don’t use sugar. I made some simple syrup yesterday to add to the soaps I make this weekend. I already get great bubbles, so I can’t wait to see what happens with the sugar added.

If the actual sap value for a recipe is .144 and you use a lower sap value of .137, for example, it amounts to a relatively small bit of extra superfat in the finished soap. I discussed this in the other thread if you want the details. Since I make relatively low SF soaps, typically 2-3% SF without a correction for lye purity, I was less worried about the SF than I was about the FA profiles. RBO is 36% polyunsaturated FAs and 27.5% hydrogenated soybean oil is 8% polyunsaturated FAs. To keep my linoleic and linolenic FAs at 15% or lower, I needed to know the FA composition of GW 415. I also just like to know the FA profile of a recipe.
 
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Mobjack Bay

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I’m living it. Honestly it’s the best soap I’ve made so far. And all my new soap is made with this recipe or one very close to it based on what I have available or need to use up. Getting ready to order some more GW415. Where do you recommend purchasing from. The last one I purchased is from natures garden.
That’s great to hear! So far I’ve only purchased GW 415 through Amazon, but I may try CandleScience.com the next time. I really appreciate that they provide the documentation on their website. I’m using their website, but not supporting their business, which I don’t feel good about.
 

SoapSisters

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I’m sorry this is not a quick answer. I want to try to be as thorough as I can in my explanation.

You need to estimate a NaOH sap for the kind of soy wax you are using, which is not the same as GW 415. I estimated the sap for GW 415 by trial and error until the known FA classes (saturated, oleic + trans, polyunsaturated = 0), iodine value and sat:unsat ratio matched information from the manufacturer (or that I calculated based on the manufacturer’s data). Given that your wax is primarily palmitic and stearic FA, I think it poses a bit less of a challenge. I just gave it a try by setting the SF to 0% and calculating a recipe for 1000 g of oils that is 10.3% palmitic and 88.1% stearic. The soap calculator doesn’t like that because it doesn’t add up to 100%. The soap calculator also does not provide options for the C20 FAs which is what I think the last two FAs on your list are. To get to 100%, I added 0.1% myristic acid and then put the remaining 0.6% into the stearic acid. Using that approach, 142.41 g of NaOH are needed to make a 0% superfat soap. 142.41 g/1000 g gives me an NaOH sap of .14241. To get the KOH sap, I have to multiply that the NaOH sap by 1.403, which yields a KOH sap of 0.1998.

My estimate of the NaOH sap for your soy wax is close to the NaOH saps for tallow, lard and palm oil. I want to emphasize that although it is an estimate based on relatively few unknowns, there are still unknowns. The saps for FA were used, but you’re adding triglycerides, not FAs. I also used stearic acid as a proxy for the C20 components in the soy wax. If you’re going to try this sap, I strongly urge you to make a test batch to check for zap when you cut it after 18-24 hours. My trial soaps that gelled did not zap after 18-24 hrs. My ungelled trial soaps zapped for up to 40 hours (but it’s not unusual for ungelled soaps to zap for longer). I made my trial soaps using 3% SF and I didn’t correct for lye purity, which means I probably had at least 2% more SF than I calculated. That gave me a safety margin to produce a non-zapping soap. Another approach for a test soap would be to make the batch with 0% super fat, gel it and then expect that it could be right at the borderline of zapping/not zapping when you cut it at the 18-24 hr mark. You would want to be sure to wear gloves when you cut it.

The box where you enter “sap” in the SMF calculator isn’t labeled “KOH SAP” but that is the value you need to enter, not the NaOH sap.

If you give the estimated sap a try, please be sure to let us know how the soap turns out.

edited for spelling errors (darn autocorrect!)
Thank you SO much for taking the time out to do the calculations for me!! I'll definitely let you know if I try this.
 

RDak

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Yes, I agree. I initially worked my way up to the higher sap by using intermediate sap values for lard and beef tallow. I got nice hard soap that popped right out of the silicone mold at the 18 hr mark. Just keep in mind that the FA profile for beef tallow isn’t quite what I estimated for GW 415. That will affect the soap qualities you get in the calculated recipe.
For people who might try to use soy wax and are switching from tallow, lard or palm what difference should they expect relative to the bolded part above in your post?

How would you compensate for those differences, or are the differences not "bad" differences in your opinion?
 

Mobjack Bay

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For people who might try to use soy wax and are switching from tallow, lard or palm what difference should they expect relative to the bolded part above in your post?

How would you compensate for those differences, or are the differences not "bad" differences in your opinion?
Good question! What you like in soap and what I like in soap may not be the same, but it’s easy enough to get an idea of how GW 415, lard, palm, and tallow will affect a recipe by comparing the FA profiles.

Tallow, lard and palm all contain small percentages of polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic +/or linolenic) which are “conditioning” oils. The FA profile I calculated for GW 415 does not include these fatty acids. In my most recent recipe (25% GW 415), linoleic and linolenic comprise 12% and 1% of the fatty acids, respectively. These FAs are linked with DOS when they are used above 15%, but I like the way they feel in soap, so I use rice bran oil, or occasionally hemp oil, to keep the recipe close to 15% linoleic + linolenic. The FA profile I estimated for GW 415 is relatively higher in stearic vs. palmitic compared with tallow, lard and palm. Stearic acid has an 18-carbon backbone, while palmitic has 16-carbon backbone. Both are saturated. The higher proportion of stearic in GW 415 probably adds a little extra hardness and longevity compared with the other hard fats when controlling for the total percentages of stearic + palmitic. I actually want more hardness in my soap recipe than I can get from GW 415 at 25%, so I’m also adding Shea butter and also benefiting from the stearic and palmitic contribution from the rice bran oil. Finally, tallow contributes Lauric and myristic FAs. They add cleansing and bubbling. I adjust bubbling and cleansing in the calculator mostly by adjusting how much coconut oil I use.

ETA: comparison of hard fats is not as simple as it seems from what I wrote above. Lard, for example, makes (IMHO) a very nice soap that is not explained simply by the calculated FA percentages. The way I learned this was by comparing soaps made with lard vs. lard + tallow vs. palm vs. GW 415 (but not tallow alone because I never found an affordable source of good tallow).
 
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