Help with recipe and temperature

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SumaqSipas

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I'd like to try a new recipe, and I'd like it to work. :) Please, share your wisdom! How does this look to you?

My goal with this soap is to make it moisturizing and mild, and sudsy/bubbly. I definitely would like to stick to aprox. 7% superfat. Perhaps add 1 more ounce of castor oil for better suds?

For the water (to mix with lye), I am planning on boiling chamomile flowers and putting them in an ice tray (for faster lye mix cooling). I am also planning on adding Chamomille Roman EO (in jojoba oil) and lavender EO.

On the temperature question...using hard butters in the 35.5%, at what temperature would you recommend mixing the oils and lye? 120F? 110F? I'm afraid to end up with a soap on a stick.

Also, I live in extremely arid climate...is there anything I should do (wrap with towel, keep in the oven, or?) to help the soap solidify nicely in the silicone mold?

Thanks in advance! This is my first soap ever, and I want it to work so I don't get discouraged.

1SoapRecipe2.jpg
 

BattleGnome

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I had a long post written out the but internet cut out on me when I went to post it... I'm going to write up a quick one now and hopefully cover everything.

Castor - it's easier to look at percentages when talking about soap 10% castor is a good place to be. As you gain experience you'll figure out if you like it or not.

Chamomile- not sure if a water infusion is worth it. Soap Queen has a recipe for a "stamped baby Bastille," check that for instructions on an oil infusion. Someone will more experience will hopefully be able to let you know which works better (I honestly don't know the science)

Temps - SQ stresses that 120F but it's not a rule. As long as your butters are melted and your oils aren't scorched you're good to soap. Soaping colder helps keep your batter from accelerating, so the 110F is probably a good start.

Climate - I can't help you much here. I live close to Lake Superior which gives us a lot of snow. I usually leave my soap in the counter untill it looks ok, usually 3-5 days


Take my advice with a grain of salt. I'm still a relatively young soaper (not quite a year and a half experience) and I definitely don't know the science of things (but am slowly grasping it). Someone wil more experience will b around soon, I just wanted to give you a response to have a place to start from
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I think that it is too much going on for a first soap. That recipe is not my cup of tea, but it has nothing in there which stands out as terrible!

One thing - you are very likely to have a failure at some time. This is a fact. A failed soap batch is nothing to get down about - it's a learning process. Keep batches small so that a failed batch isn't too much of a waste. Besides, a totally failed batch where the soap is unusable is very rare - there is usually a way to save a soap so that it can at least be used.

Which brings me on to say - forget the infusion for now. Start off simple to learn the process and then add more things in. Not only does it make the first batches less complicated, it also means that you could have some comparison between the soap with infusion and without - which means you'll know whether or not it is worth it for you
 

Susie

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I think that it is too much going on for a first soap. That recipe is not my cup of tea, but it has nothing in there which stands out as terrible!

One thing - you are very likely to have a failure at some time. This is a fact. A failed soap batch is nothing to get down about - it's a learning process. Keep batches small so that a failed batch isn't too much of a waste. Besides, a totally failed batch where the soap is unusable is very rare - there is usually a way to save a soap so that it can at least be used.

Which brings me on to say - forget the infusion for now. Start off simple to learn the process and then add more things in. Not only does it make the first batches less complicated, it also means that you could have some comparison between the soap with infusion and without - which means you'll know whether or not it is worth it for you
^^^This!

And welcome to SMF and the wonderful world of soapmaking!
 

earlene

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I've used tea as my lye water replacement. Does it really bring anything to the soap? I can't really say yes or no on that. But it does bring a bit of color to the soap, a kind of light beige or tan color, depending on the intensity of the tea itself. As far as leaving the chamomile flowers in the tea, if you were planning on doing that, I'd advise against it. I also advise against freezing the tea. Just let it cool to room temperature and mix the NaOH into the liquid carefully. For safety, I mix my lye solutions in a container than sits in the sink, where I leave it to cool down until ready to mix into the oils. Chamomile flowers turn brown inside the soap during the cure and for some people they are too scratchy to their skin, that's why I advise against keeping the flowers themselves in the tea.

With that much shea, CO & castor, be prepared for this recipe to trace pretty fast. Not a bad thing, but you'll want your mold ready to pour into as soon as the batter starts to get thick. If you soap too hot, trace will be even faster, so soaping a bit cooler (but not so cool that your hard oils are too close to becoming solid again) can help slow down trace.

As for insulation, I'd just cover it with a towel or cardboard topper and peak at it now and then to see if it overheats. If your house is warm, on a countertop or tabletop covered should be fine. If your house is cold, like mine is this time of year, I tend to add extra warmth to help my soaps gel.

Good luck on your soap!
 

lsg

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It is best to start with a simple recipe as the others stated. Palm, Coconut, olive and Castor are a good combo.
 

SumaqSipas

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Lost my reply twice…third attempt.

Thank you all for your replies and advice! I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit to make it a little less cleansing, and a little more bubbly/conditioning/hard. This is assuming SoapCalc is accurate. :)

BattleGnome, I will definitely want to make the bastille soap from soap queen! I saw the video and it looks like a very nice soap. But for my first soap, I think it would be very difficult for me to wait a week or longer to unmold (because of all the olive oil). I definitely would like to try it, though. I also wonder if the carrot purée would bleed a little when the soap is placed on plastic or fabrics…? Another question, is it ok to go above 10% with castor oil?

The Efficacious Gentleman, can you tell me why this isn’t your type of recipe? Even though it doesn’t seem terrible to you, what about it makes you not want to make it? I’d love to learn from you. Thanks for reminding about the certainty of failures…I’m a bit of a perfectionist; work-in-progress with that.

Susie, thanks for the welcome!! I haven’t made any soaps yet, but it’s already so addictive to get all different ingredients for the ideas in my head! lol

Earlene, I will follow your advice and exclude the flowers from the soap and the freezing step. I thought that was a bit much too, but my stepmom was adamant about it. She’s been making soaps for a long time and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I think it’s important to her to pass on her soap making “secrets” to someone who can continue making them. But we live thousands of miles away and the tumor is already affecting her ability to communicate. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to check with a forum for feedback.

Lsg, I’ve decided against using pal oil for environmental reasons…although I know there are some brands out there that say they are responsibly produced. I can’t use lard either because I’m a vegetarian. Makes things difficult sometimes.

1SoapRecipeHarderandBubblier4.jpg


1SoapRecipe4too.jpg
 

kchaystack

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I would not have upped the castor oil % above 10%, and really I keep it at 5% in all my recipes. Too much castor can make your bars soft and sticky. I would reduce the castor back to 10% and add the difference to your almond.

Remember that the butters (shea, cocoa, mango, etc.) will inhibit lather the more you use. The amount you use is the max I would go personally.

But remember - we all like different things. So this might work fine for you.
 

Dahila

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Castor in 16.7% will make the soap extremely soft and sticky, People usually (I do) use 5% the top is 7% 10% For liquid soaps. Hi almond oil will add to softness, and it is a waste of perfectly good oil for skin (lotions) in soap
Shea butter will inhibit your lather, 5 percent is good and does make a difference in soap.
Almond 10%
Shea 5%
Castor 5%
CO 20%
what about lard? it could make wonders to this soap 20% and 40% OO , btw welcome to Forum
 

shunt2011

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I too would recommend dropping the Castor to no more than 10% and adding the difference to your Almond or Olive. Otherwise it looks good. Give it a try and a good cure then see how you like it.
 

DeeAnna

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If you are still planning on using the chamomile EO, I advise against it.

For one thing, you say it is mixed in jojoba, which means this "EO" is probably only 10% actual essential oil (although you should check the supplier's info to make sure of the dilution.) The dosage for pure EO would typically be 1-3% ppo, which would be 0.3 to 0.9 ounces of pure EO for your 30 oz of oil. Multiply that by 10 to get the equivalent amount you'd need to use of the diluted EO. That's a lot. And that much added jojoba is going to throw off your recipe, because it saponifies too, so you need to account for that in your recipe for an accurate lye weight.

In addition, chamomile is a very expensive EO to put in soap, a wash off product. Better to use it in a leave-on product.
 

penelopejane

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You are going to get lots of opinions because everyone's skin is different and we live all over the world so the price of our ingredients differ. Also there are lard lovers and olive oil lovers here.

I use a recipe similar to your. You will probably find, as I did, after much trial and error that 5% castor is great. 10% is too much and over that makes a soft spongy soap.

I love almond oil (and avocado oil). In blind tests the almond was a definite winner.

I am surprised that you experienced MIL hasn't told you to forget the "conditioning" etc numbers on soapcalc or other cal s. They are pretty much meaningless. Go by the feel on your own skin and what you require in a soap that is good for you.
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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Aye - for me, I have seen nothing which leads me to believe that castor should be used (generally, excluding specific cases) and 5% or not at all. At 5% it does what it needs to do but doesn't take too much "space" in the recipe.

I also don't like the idea of butters in soaps, again, in general. I have known people to do side-by-side comparisons to lard and not felt a difference.

As I said, the original would not be a bad soap as such, but not one I would personally make - I don't have much soaping time and wouldn't risk something that doesn't sing to me. The redraft, I would certainly not make - as others have said, far too much castor.

Castor itself doesn't make bubbles - it enhances bubbles already there. Too much is a bad thing in the majority of cases.
 

SumaqSipas

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Thanks for the advice!!
I lowered the castor oil % by half and tweaked the rest.

How/where should I store the mold? I have a silicone in wood box mold. House is 60F during the day, and 69F afternoon and nights. Should I wrap it in a towel and put it in the oven? I've been reading and watching soap queen videos that say to put them in the freezer to prevent gelling...is this something I should consider? How long do you anticipate I should leave it in the mold before attempting to cut it?

So many questions! I'm doing this tomorrow!:angel:

Edited to add: Penelopejane...my stepmom doesn't know I've been consulting that calculator. Thanks for telling me it isn't as reliable as I imagined!
 
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BattleGnome

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Gel is a personal choice. I'm sure you've already read this, gel is achieved by keeping in the soap at 170F (or there about) until the loaf has completely saponified (or som I hung like that, I don't often attempt gel). It does help the soap harden faster and can bring out more vibrant colors.

For a first attempt I would suggest just leaving the loaf on the counter to do its thing. Keep it simple and figure out if you even need to insulate/cool before you try to do so. If you are worried about dust or someone getting curious, put a tea towel on top (but not touching the soap batter).

As for how long to wait... 24-48 hours should be sufficient. My test for when to cut - pull the mold/liner away from the loaf. If the batter sticks or is still fluid for some reason push it back to the side of the soap. If it comes away clean then the soap is ready to unmold. It's much colder by me than by you, so I usually give it another day to let the loaf sit on my counter before cutting. You will probably be able to cut immediately once it's unmolded. My bars also aren't the prettiest because of this testing but they work. I also don't sell and don't need to have pretty bars, it's a nice treat when I do. (If the batter is still fluid you either have other issues on hand or are testing less than 12 hours after pouring.)
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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^^^^ this. Cut when it is ready to be cut. At the start you'll have to find the right time, but the guidelines can help for sure.

As for the calcs being unreliable, it's more that they can only tell part of the picture. They're not wrong as such, just not the whole truth.
 

penelopejane

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I wouldn't put a new silicone mold in an oven at 170*F. Some silicone molds pit at high temps and never recover. Try 100*f and turn oven off before putting wrapped soap mold in and leave over night.

TEG is right about those numbers not telling the whole picture rather than being "wrong".

Pure OO soap does not take a week to cure even if not CPOPd.
I like gelling soap cos I hate the ungelled ring in the middle of soap that I invariably get if I don't gel.

I have never put soap in the freezer even when I use goats milk. Can't imagine what I'd sacrifice to do that - not the ice cream! :)
 
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cmzaha

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I personally would cut down the shea, because butters deter lather. Castor will hasten trace and I like to keep it around 3% and not over 5%. Sweet Almond oil is very nice in soap
 

SumaqSipas

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I did it!!:clap::clap::roll:

I had to do a quick re-do at the very beginning when I mixed the chamomile tea with the lye. The liquid turned a dark brownish color (a few of the tiny camomile flower petals passed through the the cheese cloth), and I didn't expect that. I thought maybe the petals should be added after trace, and not mixed with the lye. So I chucked it, and made a new batch of lye with plain distilled water. I did it outside, and used the snow to cool off the lye.

I feel like it took quite a while to trace! And the camomile and lavender oils smell divine! I'm waiting for it to get a little harder in the mold to make some cutesy thing on top.

Nobody died!! lol That's one way to measure success! :mrgreen:

Thank you all for all you input and advice!! We'll see what happens in the next 48hours.....
 

BattleGnome

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Pics!

Congratulations on the first batch. I can't wait to hear how it turns out. Which recipe did you end up with?
 

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