Help! I have 3lbs of raw Shea butter!

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

ForTheDogs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
70
Reaction score
46
My wife bought 3lbs of raw Shea butter and gave it to me today as a surprise.

Thing is, I have no clue what to do with it. I've been choo-chooing the M&P train for a short while, but not made my own base.

I've not the first clue what to do with raw materials like this.

Little help?

Shea butter.jpg
 

Seawolfe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
2,998
Location
So Cal
Shea butter is very tricky and can be dangerous - you should send it to me :D

Ok so apparently you can add it to M&P at the rate of 1 tsp per pound of soap? Which would take forever.

So obviously you need to plan a trip on the cold or hot process soap making train! Whoooo whoooooo!

A recipe that use a lot with shea is:
45% Olive oil
20% Palm Oil
20% Coconut Oil
10% Shea Butter
5% Castor Oil
and superfat at 6%
 

ForTheDogs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
70
Reaction score
46
Shea butter is very tricky and can be dangerous - you should send it to me :D

Ok so apparently you can add it to M&P at the rate of 1 tsp per pound of soap? Which would take forever.

So obviously you need to plan a trip on the cold or hot process soap making train! Whoooo whoooooo!

A recipe that use a lot with shea is:
45% Olive oil
20% Palm Oil
20% Coconut Oil
10% Shea Butter
5% Castor Oil
and superfat at 6%
OK, this is going to be messy. :mrgreen:

No idea where to begin, what equipment I need, how to put it all together or anything.

Yes, my wife is a compulsive shopper. She's at pains to point out she bought a "cute wind chime", some face cream and a pocket planner, too.

::facedesk::
 

CaraBou

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
3,078
Reaction score
3,177
Location
Montana
Nice try Seawolfe ;p

Three pounds is a lot, so take good care of it to maximize its shelf life. I have some butter that is over 2 years old. It was frozen for about a year of that time, but since I moved I have just stored it in a cool, dark, dry place. It still smells as good as the day I got it. I just made some body butters for Christmas gifts (turned out great, not grainy at all), and gave away a hunk to a friend who wants to start soaping. Here's a site for recipes and care: http://sheabutterguide.com/shea-butter/
 

ForTheDogs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
70
Reaction score
46
Thanks for the link.

Going to see what I can do with it. I get the impression it's somewhat wasted on my as a stone cold newbie, but I guess to try is better than to not.

Holding my nose as I jump feet first into this.

Wish me luck.
 

ForTheDogs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
70
Reaction score
46
So I watched this video:

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MtzyxQiqKo[/ame]

Some questions.

1) Is my Shea butter to be used when she used olive oil?

2) If so, do I need to melt it first?

3) When I'm getting it to trace, do I add fragrance and color then? I ask, as I assume I don't re-melt the finish product as I would if I was doing my regular melt and pour.

Sorry for all the questions. I hate wasting product, so feel I need to use this batch of Shea Butter.
 

commoncenz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2015
Messages
595
Reaction score
760
Location
Ohio
So I watched this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MtzyxQiqKo

Some questions.

1) Is my Shea butter to be used when she used olive oil?

2) If so, do I need to melt it first?

3) When I'm getting it to trace, do I add fragrance and color then? I ask, as I assume I don't re-melt the finish product as I would if I was doing my regular melt and pour.

Sorry for all the questions. I hate wasting product, so feel I need to use this batch of Shea Butter.
I'm going to take a stab at this and hopefully help you out.

1. No. Olive Oil and Shea have too many differences (SAP values, fatty acid chains, etc.) to just substitute Shea butter for Olive Oil. You would end up with soap that is either lye heavy (dangerous) or has way too big of a superfat.

2. Yes, you will need to melt the Shea before making cold process or hot process soap with it.

3. There are many different ways/times to add color and fragrance in CP. I usually add my scent to my oils before adding my lye water and then add colors when the batter has reached emulsion (very light trace when the oils and lye water have just combined to form a "conjoined whole" rather than being two separate substances).

If I were you, I'd freeze the Shea Butter, then read/study/research a little more on the processes and procedures for making CP soap. After I felt comfortable with the idea and with my knowledge, I'd thaw the Shea and use the recipe that Seawolfe has provided to make a trial batch without color. Coloring/Swirling CP soap can be kind of tricky at first and you should get comfortable with the process of making CP soap before trying swirling.

Also, you will need to run the recipe through a lye calculator to determine the amount of lye you will need to fully saponify the oils you are using into soap. Soapcalc.net has a good one here:

http://soapcalc.net/calc/SoapCalcWP.asp

Hope this helps.
 

dixiedragon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
6,472
Reaction score
4,904
Location
Birmingham, Alabama, USA
I'm a CPer, I've never made MP, but I just had to be-bop over when I saw your thread title! Very excited for you.

What other oils do you have on hand? You could make whipped butter.
http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2013/04/newbie-tuesday-creating-whipped-butters.html
It's easy and if you don't like it, just melt it and try again! You could do straight up shea butter. Since it's (finally) getting cold, you could also add a liquid oil so it will melt more easily. 90% shea and 10% olive would be lovely. You don't need a special container - use some little tupperwares.

CP is not hard. If you want to make it, post the oils you have on hand and we CPers would be glad to help out!
Okay, so I saw she put her lye in a glass cup. No dice. She is very uninformed.

Trying Soaping 101. Good stuff there!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

CaraBou

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
3,078
Reaction score
3,177
Location
Montana
Too bad. She had a nice style otherwise. Well at least she acknowledged soapmaking was new to her and encouraged her viewers to become more educated.
 

ForTheDogs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
70
Reaction score
46
I'm going to take a stab at this and hopefully help you out.

1. No. Olive Oil and Shea have too many differences (SAP values, fatty acid chains, etc.) to just substitute Shea butter for Olive Oil. You would end up with soap that is either lye heavy (dangerous) or has way too big of a superfat.

2. Yes, you will need to melt the Shea before making cold process or hot process soap with it.

3. There are many different ways/times to add color and fragrance in CP. I usually add my scent to my oils before adding my lye water and then add colors when the batter has reached emulsion (very light trace when the oils and lye water have just combined to form a "conjoined whole" rather than being two separate substances).

If I were you, I'd freeze the Shea Butter, then read/study/research a little more on the processes and procedures for making CP soap. After I felt comfortable with the idea and with my knowledge, I'd thaw the Shea and use the recipe that Seawolfe has provided to make a trial batch without color. Coloring/Swirling CP soap can be kind of tricky at first and you should get comfortable with the process of making CP soap before trying swirling.

Also, you will need to run the recipe through a lye calculator to determine the amount of lye you will need to fully saponify the oils you are using into soap. Soapcalc.net has a good one here:

http://soapcalc.net/calc/SoapCalcWP.asp

Hope this helps.
Freezer it is.

I've been doing M&P for two months and don't feel at all ready for CP.

A whole lot of researching and reading coming up, I think.

Thanks guys!
 

Seawolfe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
2,998
Location
So Cal
The nice thing is that shea lasts quite a while if stored in a cool dark place, so you don't have to rush anything :)
 

ForTheDogs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
70
Reaction score
46
I'm a CPer, I've never made MP, but I just had to be-bop over when I saw your thread title! Very excited for you.

What other oils do you have on hand? You could make whipped butter.
http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2013/04/newbie-tuesday-creating-whipped-butters.html
It's easy and if you don't like it, just melt it and try again! You could do straight up shea butter. Since it's (finally) getting cold, you could also add a liquid oil so it will melt more easily. 90% shea and 10% olive would be lovely. You don't need a special container - use some little tupperwares.

CP is not hard. If you want to make it, post the oils you have on hand and we CPers would be glad to help out!
Let me have a sniff around and I'll see what I have in the kitchen.

Thanks - I'll definitely get back to you on this!
So, cool and dark or freeze?

I've been recommended both.

Which is better?

If it helps, it's still in it's sealed bag that it came in.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Steve85569

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2015
Messages
1,914
Reaction score
2,113
Location
North East Oregon, USA
So, cool and dark or freeze?

I've been recommended both.

Which is better?

If it helps, it's still in it's sealed bag that it came in.
Either works. Frozen it will last long long time ( years).

Stick blender, good scales accurate to 0.1 gram, heat resistant plastic containers - or stainless you'll want some of them to be plastic so you can microwave solid oils ( like shea butter).
Commoncenz already posted a good link to soapcalc - bookmark it. You'll be needing it a lot.

Welcome to the chemistry side of soap making!
If you thought M&P was addicting hang on for the ride of your life!

Good wife too!!!!
 

ForTheDogs

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
70
Reaction score
46
Either works. Frozen it will last long long time ( years).

Stick blender, good scales accurate to 0.1 gram, heat resistant plastic containers - or stainless you'll want some of them to be plastic so you can microwave solid oils ( like shea butter).
Commoncenz already posted a good link to soapcalc - bookmark it. You'll be needing it a lot.

Welcome to the chemistry side of soap making!
If you thought M&P was addicting hang on for the ride of your life!

Good wife too!!!!
OK, I'll make a point of getting some equipment and supplies, too.

I'll see what I can do.

Yeah - she's a keeper ;)
 

newbie

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2010
Messages
6,117
Reaction score
5,377
A good basic recipe for body butter is 50% butters (shea, mango, etc..), 25% coconut oil, 25% liquid oils (rice bran, jojoba, avocado etc..). Weigh them out, melt them together and stir in tapioca starch at 1 tsp per 8 ounces of oils. Then you put it in the fridge to firm up and whip it up! You can take portions out to fragrance individually too. Makes for lovely skin product and you don't need anything special. For me, butters like shea make the most sense in leave-on products and people just love getting a good body butter.

I was going to try a similar ply to what Seawolfe did. Such a nice present from your wife!

Not so keen on her recipe or the use of the glass and I would not make a tutorial after making CP for only two weeks. I did, however, become extremely jealous of her hair. Dang.
 
Last edited:

LoveOscar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2014
Messages
127
Reaction score
65
Location
Tennessee
I had to come over when I saw the title too. I love some raw shea butter. I just got my hands on some (true raw, not refined, big difference in texture), but not that much! It's a great reason to try your hand at CP. I'm trying mine in milk soaps. Good luck, and congrats!
 

Seawolfe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
2,998
Location
So Cal
Go check out the soaping 101 videos - she goes over everything including equipment you can find at the dollar store and very basic recipes. I just wish that I could find a way to view them in actual order - am I missing something? Just keep loading more at the bottom till you've drilled down.

https://www.youtube.com/user/soaping101/videos
 

dixiedragon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
6,472
Reaction score
4,904
Location
Birmingham, Alabama, USA
CP can seem a bit intimidating, but it's really not. I made my first batch from a book using volume measurements. I split it in half and scented one with mint EO and colored it green with stuff from Hobby Lobby, and scented the other half with lavender EO (no color).

As for storage, I would divide the bag roughly in half and put half in the freezer and half in a cool, dark place so it's available for use.

You could also make lip balm. Here's my favorite recipe:
60 grams of beeswax
75 grams shea
45 grams cocoa butter
120 grams avocado oil (can be any liquid oil)

Here's a list of more recipes:
https://www.thesage.com/recipes/recipe-exec/.State/ListRecipes/cat/Lip_Balms/

If you happen to have some empty lip balm tubes, you can reuse those. For my personal use, I clean my lip balm tubes between batched with a q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol. You could also use tiny Tupperware-type things for this. Dollar Tree has some nifty tiny containers that come in a pack of 8 for $1.
 
Last edited:
Top