Hardening Soap

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by pacmarrin, Dec 26, 2013.

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  1. Dec 26, 2013 #1

    pacmarrin

    pacmarrin

    pacmarrin

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    I am new to this great hobby and am wondering if there is a preference between stearic acid and sodium lactate to make soap a bit harder? Thanks!
     
  2. Dec 26, 2013 #2

    Obsidian

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    Sodium lactate or 1 tsp salt PPO is the most common hardening agents.
     
  3. Dec 26, 2013 #3

    seven

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    i prefer sodium lactate. 1 tsp ppo. i've read that some used it up to 2% from the total oils, but i personally think it's too much.
    stearic can be a bit tricky to work with, i rarely used it except for making mp base or facial soap. it is known to accelerate trace.
     
  4. Dec 26, 2013 #4

    DeeAnna

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    Stearic acid, since it is a fatty acid, not a fat, will react instantly with lye and thicken the soap batter within seconds.

    Like beeswax, stearic melts at a much higher temperature than regular soaping fats, so there is also the issue of getting it melted and mixed into the batter properly.

    If you want a higher stearic content in a specialty soap, such as a shave soap, then added stearic may be necessary. But I'm with Seven -- I would avoid it for regular soaps.

    That said, I prefer to formulate my soap recipes so they are hard enough to unmold easily without the use of additives.
     
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  5. Dec 26, 2013 #5

    pacmarrin

    pacmarrin

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    Thank you!

    Thanks, all, for the helpful replies. Much appreciated and an early Happy New Year to each of you!
     
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  6. Dec 26, 2013 #6

    Candybee

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    I'm with DeeAnna on this. I prefer to tweak on my recipe to make my soap harder. Soapcalc can help you with this a lot.

    Some of the oils I use to harden soap; cocoa butter, tallow, coconut oil, palm kernal oil. A little can go a long way.
     
  7. Dec 27, 2013 #7

    Relle

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    I use SL at 2%, recommended from someone here and it works fine for me, been using it for a year now.
     

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