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Talc

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Joined
Dec 5, 2023
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Location
In the woods
Hello fellow soapmakers!

My first post after making my first three small batches. I make tallow balm and have lots of beef tallow so I figured I'd give soap making a try!

My recipes are 100% tallow first batch was unscented to keep it simple and it turned out great. Second batch was made with peppermint eo and it also turned out great! Third I used rosemary and bergamot eo with a teaspoon of honey to help with bubbles (still waiting to unmold this batch)

I have very sensitive skin and after years of over the counter lotions and soap I've decided to embark on a mission of creating my own natural skin products using beef tallow. My balms are amazing and so nourishing. Took me months to perfect. So now I've decided to do the same with soap. Soap making is a whole new world wow!

I'm trying to keep my recipes simple and as natural as possible. Would like to use FO but am afraid of having reactions. EOs are so expensive and if I decide to sell my soap I'm concerned of the cost.

Sorry for the long post. I'm excited for this new journey and learning much from you all and this forum!
 
Welcome! I also got into making my own soaps and lotions due to sensitive skin, allergic reactions, etc.

For me, many EOs can be just as troublesome as FOs, if not more so, as they are very potent. I have to test each item, whether EO or FO, to check for reactions. When I do react, it's pretty violent, including migraines, vomiting, or (in the case of EOs) severe high blood pressure after application of even a small, very diluted amount.

Fortunately I have found a nice albeit rather small list of EOs and FOs that I can tolerate and enjoy in my products - and I am sure you will, as well! I wish you the best in this journey, and look forward to seeing some pictures of your creations.
 
Welcome! I also got into making my own soaps and lotions due to sensitive skin, allergic reactions, etc.

For me, many EOs can be just as troublesome as FOs, if not more so, as they are very potent. I have to test each item, whether EO or FO, to check for reactions. When I do react, it's pretty violent, including migraines, vomiting, or (in the case of EOs) severe high blood pressure after application of even a small, very diluted amount.

Fortunately I have found a nice albeit rather small list of EOs and FOs that I can tolerate and enjoy in my products - and I am sure you will, as well! I wish you the best in this journey, and look forward to seeing some pictures of your creations.
Thank you so much for the welcome! Yes the FO EO seems to be a balancing act. Just checked on my latest small batch and think I may have some dos ☹️. I'll know when I unmold later. Have you worked with tallow?
 
Yes, I love using tallow - it makes wonderful soap, esp when combined with lard and a bit of coconut oil, if your skin can handle that.

Do you have pictures of the potential DOS? Sometimes EOs can look a bit like DOS if they don't get well-mixed into the soap - but that is normally evident almost immediately, whereas DOS
 
Yes, I love using tallow - it makes wonderful soap, esp when combined with lard and a bit of coconut oil, if your skin can handle that.

Do you have pictures of the potential DOS? Sometimes EOs can look a bit like DOS if they don't get well-mixed into the soap - but that is normally evident almost immediately, whereas DOS
I will take some photos when I unmold. I had a smal orange wet spot on top. Could it have been the alcohol I sprayed to prevent ashing?

May I ask what ratio you use for tallow and coconut oil? Still debating whether to give FO a try.
 
If you are seeing it before unmolding, it is almost certainly not DOS, which develops over time during the cure. It's possible that the alcohol reacted with something else in the soap, like the EO, or that your EO wasn't mixed in well and seeped out a bit. It usually reabsorbs, but if it doesn't, you can blot it off.

I don't use more than 20% coconut oil since although it creates very nice bubbles, it is also extremely drying. And tallow in high amounts makes the bar a bit too hard for me. So I like:

40% lard
35% tallow
20% CO
5% castor oil (or you can put that 5% into tallow if you don't have castor oil).

2% superfat, since I find that high-tallow or high-lard soaps can create a lot of soap scum with a higher superfat. Adding a chelator will help with that, as well.
 
If you are seeing it before unmolding, it is almost certainly not DOS, which develops over time during the cure. It's possible that the alcohol reacted with something else in the soap, like the EO, or that your EO wasn't mixed in well and seeped out a bit. It usually reabsorbs, but if it doesn't, you can blot it off.

I don't use more than 20% coconut oil since although it creates very nice bubbles, it is also extremely drying. And tallow in high amounts makes the bar a bit too hard for me. So I like:

40% lard
35% tallow
20% CO
5% castor oil (or you can put that 5% into tallow if you don't have castor oil).

2% superfat, since I find that high-tallow or high-lard soaps can create a lot of soap scum with a higher superfat. Adding a chelator will help with that, as well.
I super fatted* at 6%. Too high? Also water percentage at 35 not 38%
I have lots of tallow so I'll try a CO tallow combo. I added honey to the batch I think may have dos. Only a teaspoon. Mixed it with a tablespoon of the distilled water and added it to the oil before emulsifying.
 
Aha! The honey almost certainly caused your orange spot; it is known for doing that. Fortunately, it is only cosmetic. For future, you can warm/dilute the honey in a bit of warm water so it blends in more smoothly. And again, it's not DOS if you haven't even unmolded yet. DOS usually doesn't appear for a few weeks at the very least, and usually longer.

I personally wouldn't use a 6% SF for 100% tallow soap for the reasons stated, but it will still be nice to use. If you have just tallow and CO, I'd try 80% tallow, 20% CO, and a tsp of honey or sugar per pound of oils. It will make a nice soap!

About the water.... I recommend using lye concentration instead of water-as-percent of oils. That will give you more consistent results, and doesn't require faffing about with "water discounts" if you want to increase or decrease your water.
 
Aha! The honey almost certainly caused your orange spot; it is known for doing that. Fortunately, it is only cosmetic. For future, you can warm/dilute the honey in a bit of warm water so it blends in more smoothly. And again, it's not DOS if you haven't even unmolded yet. DOS usually doesn't appear for a few weeks at the very least, and usually longer.

I personally wouldn't use a 6% SF for 100% tallow soap for the reasons stated, but it will still be nice to use. If you have just tallow and CO, I'd try 80% tallow, 20% CO, and a tsp of honey or sugar per pound of oils. It will make a nice soap!

About the water.... I recommend using lye concentration instead of water-as-percent of oils. That will give you more consistent results, and doesn't require faffing about with "water discounts" if you want to increase or decrease your water.
Thank you so much! I will most definitely try the tallow/CO and honey recipe. Now the decision is to try a FO instead of EO. I'll post a picture of the loaf once I unmold and slice.

FYI I did dilute the honey in warm water.
 
Welcome to the forum.:)
Thank you!

Aha! The honey almost certainly caused your orange spot; it is known for doing that. Fortunately, it is only cosmetic. For future, you can warm/dilute the honey in a bit of warm water so it blends in more smoothly. And again, it's not DOS if you haven't even unmolded yet. DOS usually doesn't appear for a few weeks at the very least, and usually longer.

I personally wouldn't use a 6% SF for 100% tallow soap for the reasons stated, but it will still be nice to use. If you have just tallow and CO, I'd try 80% tallow, 20% CO, and a tsp of honey or sugar per pound of oils. It will make a nice soap!

About the water.... I recommend using lye concentration instead of water-as-percent of oils. That will give you more consistent results, and doesn't require faffing about with "water discounts" if you want to increase or decrease your water.
Unmolded and cut. Turned out great! No orange spots! Only problem is a bit of brittleness on the very bottom of a few bars. Any idea what would cause that? The hardness of the tallow?
 
Hooray, I bet it smells great with that EO blend, too. Yes, 100% tallow bars can be hard to the point of brittle. However, I'd zap-test those spots just to be sure it isn't lye-heavy. If it is, then let it cure out for a bit and retest. Time often takes care of a lye excess as long as it isn't too high.
 
Hooray, I bet it smells great with that EO blend, too. Yes, 100% tallow bars can be hard to the point of brittle. However, I'd zap-test those spots just to be sure it isn't lye-heavy. If it is, then let it cure out for a bit and retest. Time often takes care of a lye excess as long as it isn't too high.
 

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Hooray, I bet it smells great with that EO blend, too. Yes, 100% tallow bars can be hard to the point of brittle. However, I'd zap-test those spots just to be sure it isn't lye-heavy. If it is, then let it cure out for a bit and retest. Time often takes care of a lye excess as long as it isn't too high.
No spots! Did a zap test and tastes like soap haha. Not crazy about the EO combo and scent. Trial and error. I'm going to do a batch of lemongrass tomorrow. Thank you for your help and advice!

Looks good! Does it zap?
No spots! Did a zap test and tastes like soap haha. Not crazy about the EO combo and scent. Trial and error. I'm going to do a batch of lemongrass tomorrow. Thank you for your help and advice!
 
Just saying hi and welcome to the community! I guarantee your skin will love your soap! I got into soaping because of the creativity. But soon after using my soap, my sensitive skin was screaming "hallelujah, where has this been all my life?!"
Also, I'm super interested in your balms if you care to share more information.
 
Just saying hi and welcome to the community! I guarantee your skin will love your soap! I got into soaping because of the creativity. But soon after using my soap, my sensitive skin was screaming "hallelujah, where has this been all my life?!"
Also, I'm super interested in your balms if you care to share more information.
Thank you kindly for the message. Tallow balms are very simple to make. All you need is 100% grass-fed tallow and a carrier oil of choice. I'd be happy to share my recipe if you'd like if not there are like soap making a million video tutorials. Your skin will feel like a million dollars!
 
Welcome.gif

Tallow soaps were some of the first soaps I made in 2003. In addition to @AliOop 's advice, you may find the thread about neutralizing odors of animal fats helpful... altho you don't seem to have a problem in that area like I did at the time.

You may enjoy reading the blogs, have a look at the soaps and balms on this site as well as some inspiration for moving forward. It sounds like its right up your alley.

ADVICE FOR NEWBIES
 
View attachment 75565
Tallow soaps were some of the first soaps I made in 2003. In addition to @AliOop 's advice, you may find the thread about neutralizing odors of animal fats helpful... altho you don't seem to have a problem in that area like I did at the time.

You may enjoy reading the blogs, have a look at the soaps and balms on this site as well as some inspiration for moving forward. It sounds like its right up your alley.

ADVICE FOR NEWBIES
Thank you! I've only made three batches so far. 100% tallow and EOs. I'm debating whether to add some coconut oil for bubbles and possibly trying a FO but would really like to stay as "natural" as possible. I'd eventually like to sell my soaps and balms.
 

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