Hard water soap

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TeresaT

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I believe any recipe will work, you'll just need to add a chelant to the soap to reduce the soap scum. You can try citric acid, sodium citrate or tetrasodium EDTA. They all work well; however, the EDTA works the best because it reduces soap scum and boosts the bubbles.

Take a look at this thread, specifically post #62 from DeeAnna. This has been one of the most helpful pieces of info I've found on this forum and I know it by heart now.

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?p=538270&highlight=chelant#post538270

Take a look at this one too, specifically my "analysis" of the three different chelators in post number 4.

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=59839&highlight=crunchy

I hope these help.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Welcome to the forum. Pop over to the Introduction section and let us know a little bit about you. It makes it more likely that people will share recipes with you if it isn't your very first post with no real intro to you as a person
 

Gaisy59

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Hard water soap recipe

Hi to all who replied to my request...I thank you very much. For the efficacious gentleman...HELP! LOL this is my first time on a blog and I have no idea what I am doing. I clicked on your link which did not take me anywhere near introducing myself. I am swimming in deep water here.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I didn't actually post a link to the introduction section - it is accessible from the main list of forum sections, in the upper section (Announcements and Site News). It is called "The Introduction Section"
 

lenarenee

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Welcome Gaisy!

Hard water is hard because of the mineral content of the water. There are soap additives such as citric acid, sodium citrate and edta that are chelators - they bind to the minerals and reduce soap scum, increase rinse-ability and increase bubbles.

The soap recipe doesn't matter much if you add chelators, although some people think lard makes more soap scum. (I use a lot of lard, but have a water softener in the house so I can't speak to that)

If you read through the forum you'll find plenty of recipes to try; also instructions about using chelators. I use sodium citrate added to my measured water for I add the lye. (I give away a lot of soap to people with hard water so I use a chelator)
 

DeeAnna

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Lard soap really doesn't make more soap scum, but the effect of soap scum is probably more obvious with a lard soap than other types of soap.

The reason why -- lard soap contains a lot of stearic and palmitic soaps. These soaps often do not make a lot of lather, because they are not very soluble in water. In hard water, a lard soap may not lather much if at all -- the hard water minerals will react with the small amount of soap that can dissolve to form non-sudsing sticky soap scum.

A coconut oil soap will make about the same amount of soap scum as with the lard soap, but a CO soap will still form a reasonable amount of lather because this type of soap is very soluble in water. By the soap dissolving more easily, more suds are formed, and the problem is disguised.
 

Steve85569

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Welcome to the forum.
I use any one of my "regular" recipes ie;
80% lard
10% coconut oil
5% Pomace olive oil
5% castor oil
In addition I use sodium acetate to which I add 1% citric acid per pound of oil. This also means that I compensate for the acid by adding "extra" lye to the water at the rate of ( .624 times the weight of citric acid) . I also will add in some sugar or coconut milk to boost lather.

Since We have hard water here I use the citric acid. I use the sodium acetate ( vinegar reacted with lye) because some of my recipes are fairly soft and it helps harden the soap. I really don't need it in the high lard soap.
 

lenarenee

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Lard soap really doesn't make more soap scum, but the effect of soap scum is probably more obvious with a lard soap than other types of soap.

The reason why -- lard soap contains a lot of stearic and palmitic soaps. These soaps often do not make a lot of lather, because they are not very soluble in water. In hard water, a lard soap may not lather much if at all -- the hard water minerals will react with the small amount of soap that can dissolve to form non-sudsing sticky soap scum.

A coconut oil soap will make about the same amount of soap scum as with the lard soap, but a CO soap will still form a reasonable amount of lather because this type of soap is very soluble in water. By the soap dissolving more easily, more suds are formed, and the problem is disguised.
Any idea why a 30% co soap made with palm, olive and castor (from another soaper) would leave tons of residue in a sink with softened water? Something I never found with my soaps.
 

DeeAnna

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Not sure, Lenarenee -- perhaps it came from some additive the soaper used?
 

Gaisy59

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Adding a Chelant

Hi folks, havent posted for a while cause just too scared/dumb to figure out the chelant factor. I have my recipe but from what i understand you use 1 tsp sodium citrate per lb of oils? So for:
25.55 oz olive oil
15.75 oz co
18.55 oz palm oil
2 ozz shea butter
I would need 4 tsps of sodium citrate? Then i would use my lye water to dissolve this first then add the lye?
 

lenarenee

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Hi folks, havent posted for a while cause just too scared/dumb to figure out the chelant factor. I have my recipe but from what i understand you use 1 tsp sodium citrate per lb of oils? So for:
25.55 oz olive oil
15.75 oz co
18.55 oz palm oil
2 ozz shea butter
I would need 4 tsps of sodium citrate? Then i would use my lye water to dissolve this first then add the lye?
Hi Gaisy, the typical method of figuring sodium citrate is based on oil weight, which you can find listed on your lye calculator - look for total weight of oils.
I use 2% sodium citrate per 1000 grams of oil.
(1 to 3% sodium citrate is common)
 

TeresaT

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Hi folks, havent posted for a while cause just too scared/dumb to figure out the chelant factor. I have my recipe but from what i understand you use 1 tsp sodium citrate per lb of oils? So for:
25.55 oz olive oil
15.75 oz co
18.55 oz palm oil
2 ozz shea butter
I would need 4 tsps of sodium citrate? Then i would use my lye water to dissolve this first then add the lye?
No. You are not dumb. It is math. Math sux. 'Nuff said. In my opinion, your greatest mistakes so far are (1) combining weights with volume (2) using weights instead of percentages for your recipe and (3) using the imperial system of measurements instead of the metric system of measurements. I am a card carrying, flag waving American and buy all of my groceries in pounds and ounces. However, I soap only in grams. I weigh everything, including my micas and other colorants. (I'm sure everyone else is shaking their heads over that one.) The reason I weigh my colorants is because a teaspoon of mica can vary tremendously from (1) the manufacturer of the measuring set used (2) if there is air in the mica -- fluffy or not so much (3) what the mica is composed of besides mica (4) how exactly you filled the spoon -- was it level, slightly over, heaping? If it's heaping, how do you measure one "heaping" from a different "heaping"? However, one gram is one gram is one gram. It doesn't matter how you get it onto the scale, it is still going to be one gram.

Why am I saying this? Because the recipe you posted comes out to 58.85 oz of oils. That is 3.678 pounds of oils or 1,668.37 grams of oils according to SoapCalc.com. The percentages are:

Coconut 15.75 oz (26.76%) 446.50 grams
Olive Oil 22.55 oz (38.32%) 639.28 grams
Palm Oil 18.55 oz (31.52%) 525.88 grams
Shea Butter 2.00 oz (3.40%) 52.13 grams

Those are some odd percentages to work with and will be hard to adjust the size of the batch up or down. It can be done, but it will be a bit confusing to the mathematically challenged such as myself. And, it makes figuring out the amount of citric acid or sodium citrate to use a bit more challenging.

When you are using sodium citrate, you need to increase the percentage of sodium citrate by .3 to get the equivalent effect of citric acid. Basically this:
1% citric acid = 1.3% sodium citrate
2% citric acid = 2.6% sodium citrate
3% citric acid = 3.9% sodium citrate.

You either use 1% citric acid OR 1.3% sodium citrate for the same chelation effect. 2% CA OR 2.6% SC for the same effect. 3% CA OR 3.9% SC for the same effect.

You use your chelant based on the weight of your oils. When we talk about the weight of our batches, we are talking about the oils only (unless we specify "total batch weight"). So if you want to make a 1000 gram batch of soap with a 2% chelant added you can either use 20 grams of citric acid and add an extra 13 grams NaOH to the lye solution OR you can use 26 grams of sodium citrate and not have to worry about extra NaOH. If you make a 500 gram batch of soap you will halve these (10 grams of CA or 13 grams of SC).

If you want to use your recipe exactly as it is written (58.85 ounces) then the amount of your chelation ingredient would be:

1% CA = .58 oz 1.3% SC = .76 oz
2% CA = 1.17 oz 2.6% SC = 1.53 oz
3% CA = 1.76 oz 3.9% SC = 2.29 oz

I don't know about your scale, but mine does not measure in .01 oz increments. It only measures in .1 increments as long as there is at least one ounce on the pan. I could not weigh out .58 or .76 oz. That is why I always use grams. 1% CA = 16 grams. 1.3% SC = 21 grams. However, to get that, I had to first find out what the imperial weight would be and then multiply that by 28 (there are roughly 28 grams in one ounce). For me personally, this is way too much math. Using the imperial system is not as easy, nor as accurate, as using the metric system. Therefore, I switched to all metric when making soap. It has saved me a huge amount of time and headaches.

Another thing I have gotten into the habit of doing is making either 500 gram test batches (which is roughly a pound) or making 1000 gram standard batches (roughly two pounds). I can get four bars out of the first and seven out of the second. Since I always used the same chelant (sodium citrate) at the same rate (2.6%) I knew that I was going to need either 13 grams for a small batch or 26 grams for a bigger batch.

I have since switched to EDTA, but the principle is nearly the same. When using EDTA, you only use .5% and you use the batch weight (water, NaOH and oils) to figure out how much to use. So, my small batches use 4 grams of EDTA and my large batches use 8 grams of EDTA.

By consistently making the same sized batches, it takes the guess work out of how much chelant to add to the mix. By using the metric system in my soaping, it makes everything much easier and far more accurate than using the imperial system. And lastly, by weighing everything, including salt, sugar, and colorants (which most people use volume for) it is much easier for me to make a recipe exactly like the one that so-and-so liked so much. But, hey, that's just me. You need to do what is best and most comfortable for you. I hope this helps a little bit. At least with figuring out how much chelant to use.

Sorry this is so long. Y'all can fill my PM box with "shut up!" messages. I won't mind. I'm going to clean the kitchen and finally make the soap I've been yapping about all day.
 

Gaisy59

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No. You are not dumb. It is math. Math sux. 'Nuff said. In my opinion, your greatest mistakes so far are (1) combining weights with volume (2) using weights instead of percentages for your recipe and (3) using the imperial system of measurements instead of the metric system of measurements. I am a card carrying, flag waving American and buy all of my groceries in pounds and ounces. However, I soap only in grams. I weigh everything, including my micas and other colorants. (I'm sure everyone else is shaking their heads over that one.) The reason I weigh my colorants is because a teaspoon of mica can vary tremendously from (1) the manufacturer of the measuring set used (2) if there is air in the mica -- fluffy or not so much (3) what the mica is composed of besides mica (4) how exactly you filled the spoon -- was it level, slightly over, heaping? If it's heaping, how do you measure one "heaping" from a different "heaping"? However, one gram is one gram is one gram. It doesn't matter how you get it onto the scale, it is still going to be one gram.

Why am I saying this? Because the recipe you posted comes out to 58.85 oz of oils. That is 3.678 pounds of oils or 1,668.37 grams of oils according to SoapCalc.com. The percentages are:

Coconut 15.75 oz (26.76%) 446.50 grams
Olive Oil 22.55 oz (38.32%) 639.28 grams
Palm Oil 18.55 oz (31.52%) 525.88 grams
Shea Butter 2.00 oz (3.40%) 52.13 grams

Those are some odd percentages to work with and will be hard to adjust the size of the batch up or down. It can be done, but it will be a bit confusing to the mathematically challenged such as myself. And, it makes figuring out the amount of citric acid or sodium citrate to use a bit more challenging.

When you are using sodium citrate, you need to increase the percentage of sodium citrate by .3 to get the equivalent effect of citric acid. Basically this:
1% citric acid = 1.3% sodium citrate
2% citric acid = 2.6% sodium citrate
3% citric acid = 3.9% sodium citrate.

You either use 1% citric acid OR 1.3% sodium citrate for the same chelation effect. 2% CA OR 2.6% SC for the same effect. 3% CA OR 3.9% SC for the same effect.

You use your chelant based on the weight of your oils. When we talk about the weight of our batches, we are talking about the oils only (unless we specify "total batch weight"). So if you want to make a 1000 gram batch of soap with a 2% chelant added you can either use 20 grams of citric acid and add an extra 13 grams NaOH to the lye solution OR you can use 26 grams of sodium citrate and not have to worry about extra NaOH. If you make a 500 gram batch of soap you will halve these (10 grams of CA or 13 grams of SC).

If you want to use your recipe exactly as it is written (58.85 ounces) then the amount of your chelation ingredient would be:

1% CA = .58 oz 1.3% SC = .76 oz
2% CA = 1.17 oz 2.6% SC = 1.53 oz
3% CA = 1.76 oz 3.9% SC = 2.29 oz

I don't know about your scale, but mine does not measure in .01 oz increments. It only measures in .1 increments as long as there is at least one ounce on the pan. I could not weigh out .58 or .76 oz. That is why I always use grams. 1% CA = 16 grams. 1.3% SC = 21 grams. However, to get that, I had to first find out what the imperial weight would be and then multiply that by 28 (there are roughly 28 grams in one ounce). For me personally, this is way too much math. Using the imperial system is not as easy, nor as accurate, as using the metric system. Therefore, I switched to all metric when making soap. It has saved me a huge amount of time and headaches.

Another thing I have gotten into the habit of doing is making either 500 gram test batches (which is roughly a pound) or making 1000 gram standard batches (roughly two pounds). I can get four bars out of the first and seven out of the second. Since I always used the same chelant (sodium citrate) at the same rate (2.6%) I knew that I was going to need either 13 grams for a small batch or 26 grams for a bigger batch.

I have since switched to EDTA, but the principle is nearly the same. When using EDTA, you only use .5% and you use the batch weight (water, NaOH and oils) to figure out how much to use. So, my small batches use 4 grams of EDTA and my large batches use 8 grams of EDTA.

By consistently making the same sized batches, it takes the guess work out of how much chelant to add to the mix. By using the metric system in my soaping, it makes everything much easier and far more accurate than using the imperial system. And lastly, by weighing everything, including salt, sugar, and colorants (which most people use volume for) it is much easier for me to make a recipe exactly like the one that so-and-so liked so much. But, hey, that's just me. You need to do what is best and most comfortable for you. I hope this helps a little bit. At least with figuring out how much chelant to use.

Sorry this is so long. Y'all can fill my PM box with "shut up!" messages. I won't mind. I'm going to clean the kitchen and finally make the soap I've been yapping about all day.
Omg this is too funny because i am canadian and all we use is metric, but this is an older recipe that i found and have been using. And yes i really really suck at math but your basic numbers helped a lot!! So i will convert to metric for future use and my scale sucks so metric would be much better. As i finally found sodium citrate and bought lots i will use that plus all your suggestions. Thanks very much and hope i can do this. What i would really like is a class on how to soap but alas nothing here
 

DeeAnna

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Wow, T. I'm speechless with awe. Amazing post -- well done! :)
 

TeresaT

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Omg this is too funny because i am canadian and all we use is metric, but this is an older recipe that i found and have been using. And yes i really really suck at math but your basic numbers helped a lot!! So i will convert to metric for future use and my scale sucks so metric would be much better. As i finally found sodium citrate and bought lots i will use that plus all your suggestions. Thanks very much and hope i can do this. What i would really like is a class on how to soap but alas nothing here ��
That was my problem, too. I finally found a place to go in South Carolina for soap making classes and discovered by looking at the syllabus that I know as much or more than they're offering to teach. I decided not to pay the ridiculous tuition and boarding costs to "learn" how to make soap with milks, botanicals and alternative liquids. Do what I did.

1. Read the forum. You will find a lot of useful information.

2. Buy Kevin Dunn's book "Scientific Soapmaking." (Amazon carries it and I'm sure others do as well. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1935652095/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20) It is very techie (it's designed to be a student's text book), but it is extremely helpful.

3. Watch YouTube videos. Lots of YouTube videos. Some of my favorite YouTube soapers are Soaping101, Royal Apple Berry (she's a hoot), Eve's Garden Soaps, Vibrant Soap, Kevin Devine, Ariane Arsenault, and of course, the SMF Soap Challenges. Soaping101 is great for beginners; that's about as close to taking a class in soap making as I've been able to get. I learned about master batching both oils and lye solution from those videos and the benefits of doing it. She has a wonderful tutorial on red colorants and how to get a really good red in CP without it bleeding into your other colors.

4. Read the forum (yes, I said that already.) Most important, ask questions. The answer may be "read this thread" with a link, but everyone on this forum is more than willing to help with problems and issues you're having (oh, and not just with soaping!). Just give as much info about the recipe and what you've done so we can trouble shoot what may be happening. (Or give us a good rant. We like those, too.:twisted:) And don't take anything said personally. Things in writing don't come off as well as when spoken. If you ever have a problem with what someone says in a remark or response, PM that person to discuss it. Everyone is passionate about soap on this forum and some hot topics tend to garner passionate responses.

5. You can save threads to your subscriptions files/folders. You can add different folder names under the subscriptions. Some of the folder names I have are: "sciency stuff" for all of the really good techie stuff that I refer to frequently so I don't have to keep searching for them. "Fun stuff" for the word association game, thread titles and my strange mind and a few other things that I keep an eye on. "Recipes to try" for...uh...recipes I want to try. (Call me Captain Obvious!!)

All of these little things add up to becoming a knowledgeable soaper. However, the best "knowledge" is gained from experience. Take what you've learned and apply it, 500 grams at a time, then wait six weeks to see what you've got. Soaping isn't for wimps. This hobby isn't a dash, it's a marathon. You've got to have the patience to see it through. I have definitely learned patience by making soap. And it's totally worth the wait.
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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I would also suggest smaller batches to start with. Measuring in grams makes a 500g batch fine to work with without worrying about measuring issues. 500g is also enough soap to get the feel of a recipe but not so much that you have a lot of soap to use even though you want to change the recipe.
 
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