Help re: soap recipe for hard water & conditioning

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Gaisy59

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Hi all, well i made my 1st batch with sodium citrate. Looking for critiques please:
Recipe =
27% coconut oil
45% olive oil
25% palm oil
3% shea butter

And I added 1 tsp of sodium citrate mixed in with some of the water for the lye. Once dissolved I added SC to the lye water.

I use HP for my soaping and I did make a mistake here. Instead of a slow cook I forgot to turn it down to low and oops did a fast cook. But it does not seem to have hurt my soap.

I added 30 ml of vanilla EO once soap was done cooking and had cooled off somewhat, as well I tossed in about a nugget of shea butter in the hopes that it would add some conditioning.

This was all done about Sept 22nd and it has been drying on my rack since then. It seems to be hardening nicely.

I did make up another recipe which I might like better as it looks more conditioning but the hardness factor is decreased. Should I be concerned about that?
25% almond oil, 15% coconut oil, 20% mango butter, 40% olive oil

Any comments/suggestions please?
 

newbie

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I'm not certain what you have available to you. I don't use butters in soap much; they are expensive and I love my recipe that uses basic inexpensive oils. I have seen many people comment that using too much of a butter, I believe I've consistently read >10%, seems to cut lather a lot and doesn't add as much as one might hope to a bar of soap. Personally, I save them for leave on products like body butter. However, you have to try the bar and see if you like it and if it's worth it to you, then that's all that counts.

Your first recipe is high in coconut oil, which many people find overly drying. A general recommendation is to keep it under 20%. Not everyone does that, but it's a general comment that is made often. If you worry about hardness, you could add a higher percent of Palm, Lard or Tallow. You could use some of those in your second recipe as well and cut down the mango butter.

The recipes I use have a soap calculator hardness in the low-mid 40's which is plenty hard. Again, you have to find what you prefer.

If you are looking for a little lather perk, you could add a few percent of castor oil to stabilize the lather, around 3-5%.

The beauty of soap is that you can mess around forever, trying different recipes to see what suits you and the world is your oyster. I would just recommend that you keep your batches small (around 500gm or 1 pound) while you experiment, give each bar adequate curing time, and keep good notes about what you like and dislike.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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It depends on the amount of water used and how you cooked the batch. If you also calculated a superfat and then added more oil at the end, you have increased your superfat by some % - how much depends on how much you just threw in.

On another note, where did you get the vanilla eo from? I think some people here would like to find a source of that.

As for the second recipe, there aren't many hard oils in there. Swap the almond oil out for lard/tallow/Palm and it'll be harder. As newbie said, the co is quite high in the first one which can make it seem less "conditioning" but the second one with a hard oil would be much better for my skin anyway
 

Gaisy59

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Help with hard water soap and conditioning soap

Thanks Newbie and Gentleman for your responses. After doing more research on soap forum i did read about lowering CO to under 20% and would like to try inexpensive oils as well as convenient ones so im wondering what you think of a CO, OO, canola oil, almond oil, palm oil soap? I will skip the mango butter for soap per your suggestion. I used soapee to calculate the water lye and it was 380 gms water with 142.2 gms lye...sorry dont have % just now. And it was a 5% SF. Should i have a higher SF%?

Neither of you mentioned if i used the sodium citrate correctly and i would appreciate your comments on that please.

As to the vanilla eo im sorry but i just went to a liitle shop here in Winnipeg and purchased some. I was planning on ordering more from New Directions in the future because the shop here is expensive.
 

newbie

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For future, if you post a recipe, it helps to know how big it was. The percentages are fine of course, but without knowing how big the batch was, the 1 tsp amount of sodium citrate doesn't tell much. The 3% the TEG mentioned is the standard amount. It's also lovely in that it increases lather.

I would either keep your percentage of canola low, or forego it altogether and just use OO and almond for soft oils.

Is castor oil available to you? It is good at improving and stabilizing lather when used around 5%. Palm oil is a great hard oil to use. If you don't object to animal oils, lard and tallow are excellent as well and many people like them in soap better than palm.
 

Gaisy59

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Hard water soap and conditioning help

Thanks for that Newbie. My goal was to keep it simple with basic oils and then i lost my head after my daughter said my soap was too drying. I thought i was doing well after making only three batches of soap lol. So my solution was to buy exotic butters. Now i know better.

Also the amount of my batch of soap was 1 kg per soapee. From now on though i will use the 3% to calculate. I will also take your advice about the soft oils. I am very glad i found the soap forum as i am enjoying my soaps. In fact my son just commented today that he loves my soap so i am doing something right :D
 

newbie

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It will only get better, too! Glad you found the forum as well. Tons and tons of good info and very experienced people. One of the best there is.
 

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