Help with soap formula

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divyadinesh07

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Hi everyone,

I needed help in making my soap formula better. I can use only the below oils/butter or add additives to it ( preferably natural) and make change in the percentages so that the soap can produce more lather be equally hard yet be conditioning, also avoid DOS?

At the most I can substitute Kokum butter instead of Shea Butter.

This is the formula that I make with:

Liquid:Lye ratio - 2:1
Super Fat -5%

Castor oil 6%
Coconut oil 30%
Shea Butter 10%
Olive oil 54%

4% essential oil at trace.

I add 1tsp granular sugar to the lye solution to increase the lather factor.

Below is the attached recipe for 500gm of oil.

1453909388341.jpg
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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With those oils and only those oils, you might struggle to get a very hard, very bubbly bar - if by hard, you mean longer lasting. More CO will give be you bubbles, but will result in a shorter life of the bar. More Shea will make it harder, but drop your lather and can also make the soap feel weird.

Putting lard or tallow or Palm in there at about 50% would really get you on the way, if you are willing to use those oils.

Can I ask why you can't use other oils?
 

shunt2011

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I have to agree with TEG. There are always a tradeoff when formulating or reformulating a recipe. Too high CO can be drying but not enough will affect your lather. Same with Shea butter, too much will affect lather as well. I'm a second adding lard/palm/tallow to give a great longlasting, non stripping and awesome bar of soap.
 

Seawolfe

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What do you not like about your existing recipe? What would make it better to you?

Ive made bastilles with 30% coconut oil like yours and I found them too drying unless I upped the the superfat to 6-7% And a nice long cure of at least 3 months.

Or drop the coconut to 20% or below and up the olive oil and cure for at least 3-4 months. Anything with that much olive oil wants a nice long cure, and the lather will never be spectacular.
 

divyadinesh07

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With those oils and only those oils, you might struggle to get a very hard, very bubbly bar - if by hard, you mean longer lasting. More CO will give be you bubbles, but will result in a shorter life of the bar. More Shea will make it harder, but drop your lather and can also make the soap feel weird.

Putting lard or tallow or Palm in there at about 50% would really get you on the way, if you are willing to use those oils.

Can I ask why you can't use other oils?
I can't use lard or tallow as i want to make a vegan soap. Don't want to use palm as it may not be sourced ethically. Is there any other oils I can try or additives maybe?

I want my soap to be more conditioning and produce more lather. I'm happy with the hardness I'm getting with the current formula.
 

dixiedragon

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Conditioning and lather are sort of opposites in soap making. The oils that we go to for that - coconut and palm kernel (which is out b/c it's palm) - are also high cleansing oils. The things that make soap conditioning - superfat, unsaponifiables - tend to dampen lather a bit.

You may want to tinker a bit with avocado (conditioning and hardness) and maybe sunflower (high oleic preferable) b/c it is supposed to work with olive oil to increase lather.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I can't use lard or tallow as i want to make a vegan soap. Don't want to use palm as it may not be sourced ethically. Is there any other oils I can try or additives maybe?

I want my soap to be more conditioning and produce more lather. I'm happy with the hardness I'm getting with the current formula.

You can try adding in about 3% sugar, dissolved in the water before you add the lye. That can improve bubbles. It only improves what is there, as castor does. It will also heat up more, so if you insulate or so on, it will behave differently than before you used sugar.

Are you vegan? If not, I would seriously consider making a soap with lard. It is a very good soap. Even if some friends are, you can't make every choice in your hobby just because you want to give them some soap. If YOU need a soap to have certain properties, make it to please you. If YOU don't want to use a soap with lard and so on, then you have to compromise a little on what your soaps will be able to do. Additives can only do so much.
 

divyadinesh07

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You can try adding in about 3% sugar, dissolved in the water before you add the lye. That can improve bubbles. It only improves what is there, as castor does. It will also heat up more, so if you insulate or so on, it will behave differently than before you used sugar.

Are you vegan? If not, I would seriously consider making a soap with lard. It is a very good soap. Even if some friends are, you can't make every choice in your hobby just because you want to give them some soap. If YOU need a soap to have certain properties, make it to please you. If YOU don't want to use a soap with lard and so on, then you have to compromise a little on what your soaps will be able to do. Additives can only do so much.
3% sugar of what?

Yes I am vegan and an animal activist hence choose not to use animal products or by-products.

If I want to improve the conditioning factor, Will superfatting the soap more than 5% cause DOS? How can I at least try to prevent that from happening? Also isn't a higher superfat mean that the shelf life of soap will be limited to just 1 year?
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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3% of your oil weight.

Fair enough, but then as has been said, you can't always have your cake and eat it and that applies often in soaping :(

If DOS is a problem, you can always just make less soap and use it before it goes bad.
 

divyadinesh07

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You may want to tinker a bit with avocado (conditioning and hardness) and maybe sunflower (high oleic preferable) b/c it is supposed to work with olive oil to increase lather.
Are there any other oils apart from Avocado & Sunflower , which may improve the conditioning effect without compromising on the hardness?
 

dixiedragon

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Are there any other oils apart from Avocado & Sunflower , which may improve the conditioning effect without compromising on the hardness?
There are actually few oils that improve hardness, which is why you see the same ones over and over again.

Tallow, lard and palm - which you've eliminated.

Coconut - but it can be drying if you use too much.

Babassu - that's another form of palm. Also pretty expensive.

Cocoa butter and shea butter - lots of nice unsaponifiables that are great for the skin, but also can inhibit lather. I've never soaped with kokum butter - I don't know if it is much different than shea or cocoa butter. I have soaped with mango butter - at 5% it thickens FAST and lots of small stearic spots. You can use stearic acid - but that comes from palm oil.

You said vegan, but is beeswax out of the question? I LOVE beeswax at 5%. I soap it hotter b/c beeswax has a pretty high melt point. Some folks say it inhibits lather, but I haven't noticed it. Possibly I just love it so much I overlook that?

Another option is a salt bar. Lots of threads here about it. Genereally, a saltbar is 100% coconut oil with a 20% superfat and contains anywhere from 20% to 100% salt. (Meaning anywhere from 20% of the weight of oils to 100%. So if you make a 1 lb recipe, it will be 16 oz of coconut oil and anywhere from 3 to 16 ounces of salt.)

Honestly, though, you're just going to have to experiment.
 

topofmurrayhill

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Will superfatting the soap more than 5% cause DOS? How can I at least try to prevent that from happening? Also isn't a higher superfat mean that the shelf life of soap will be limited to just 1 year?
The superfat doesn't necessarily contribute to the likelihood of DOS. You could increase it, but I think 5% is plenty.

In any case, Rosemary Oleoresin Extract is a natural additive that will increase the shelf life of your soaps significantly. It would be good practice to use distilled water and add ROE to your oils.

Conditioning is a myth. You should not be happy with the hardness of your soap. 30% coconut oil can be drying in a soft soap, and that is a soft recipe. It would feel more "conditioning" if you hardened it. Also, castor oil increases lather by making soap more soluble, which makes it more useful in harder soaps.

If you don't use animal fats or palm, then you have to use more of the tropical butters. You need more hard oil and there are no others. Your only other choice is to give in and use sustainably sourced palm, or continue making mediocre soap.

To get something approaching a balanced recipe you could try 30% CO, 5% castor, 25-30% shea butter, and the rest olive oil.
 

ngian

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Conditioning is a myth. You should not be happy with the hardness of your soap. 30% coconut oil can be drying in a soft soap, and that is a soft recipe. It would feel more "conditioning" if you hardened it.
Would a soft soap be more drying with 30% CO because more soap will be dissolved and thus more Lauric & Myristic will rip off our skin compared to a harder and less soluble soap with more Palmitic & Stearic?

Lately I used a 75% OO and 25% CO soap and I think it is a decent soap that one can make with only two oils and a good cure. Castor might not be necessary as sugar can do similar job.
 
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Seawolfe

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I have experimented with no palm / no lard soaps - this one worked well for me, but its not vegan because of the beeswax. It was a nice hard bar, very gentle facial bar, with a creamy (but not spectacular) lather.

35 % Olive Oil
28% Sweet Almond Oil
20% Coconut Oil
10% Cocoa Butter
2% Beeswax
5% Castor Oil
7% superfat

I made this with bentonite clay and lavender EO, and if I made it again I would add sugar to the water before the lye to boost bubbles a bit, and bring the superfat down to 6% maybe.

Also there is nothing wrong with a 70 % OO / 25% CO / 5% Castor bar that gets a nice long cure. I like the superfat at 6% for this level of coconut.
 
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topofmurrayhill

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Would a soft soap be more drying with 30% CO because more soap will be dissolved and thus more Lauric & Myristic will rip off our skin compared to a harder and less soluble soap with more Palmitic & Stearic?
I don't know the reason for sure, but that's what I think.
 

IrishLass

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I make an all-veggie soap with similar qualities. If you like your present hardness level but just want to increase the bubblage without increasing the cleansing too much, here's what I might try:

OO 34%
Coconut Oil 30%
Rice Bran Oil 20%
Castor oil 6%
Kokum Butter 5%
Shea Butter 5%

I'd superfat it at 7%
I'd add 5% sugar ppo (roughly 2 tablespoons US ppo)
And I'd add sodium lactate (usually beet derived) at 2% ppo

As TOMH said, increased superfats are not a contributory factor of DOS.


IrishLass :)
 

divyadinesh07

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I make an all-veggie soap with similar qualities. If you like your present hardness level but just want to increase the bubblage without increasing the cleansing too much, here's what I might try:

OO 34%
Coconut Oil 30%
Rice Bran Oil 20%
Castor oil 6%
Kokum Butter 5%
Shea Butter 5%

I'd superfat it at 7%
I'd add 5% sugar ppo (roughly 2 tablespoons US ppo)
And I'd add sodium lactate (usually beet derived) at 2% ppo

As TOMH said, increased superfats are not a contributory factor of DOS.


IrishLass :)
Thanks Irishlass . What is the concentration of lye solution that you made this soap with?
 

ngian

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As TOMH said, increased superfats are not a contributory factor of DOS.
But isn't superfat contributing to making DOS more visible/intense? I guess that an old oil (and/or bad curing conditions) will make less amount of DOS in a soap with 1% superfat compared to a soap with >5% superfat.

:think:
 
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