Help with using additives in hot process shaving soap

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bristles

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Hi all, I am new to soap making and will be making my first test batch of shaving soap imminently. I have researched around here and you guys seem very knowledgeable there's some great stuff.

In general I'd like to ask when do you add additives and how much?:
Living in London I have very hard water and want to add citric acid to combat the effects of soap scum. Do you have to recalculate the lye when adding citric acid, and how much should u add and when
I also want to add oat flour dissolved in water, when should you add this and to what? e.g. the lye water or straight in with the oils.

Also what would be the difference in adding 5% castor oil to react with the lye compared to using it as a superfat for e.g.

Thanks in advance!
 

psfred

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Yes, you must compensate for using citric acid, although the easy way is to use sodium citrate (a salt) rather than the free acid (citric acid). End result is the same, but you avoid the calculation. Can't recall the exact ratio at the moment, but it's in several postings here on SMF, do a search.

I add it to the lye.

I'd add the oat flour in part of the water, but I don't add things like that to shaving soap. Someone else will chime in with more information.

I would not use castor oil for superfat. Still undecided if I would use castor oil at all in shaving soap, will be shaving with a variety of soaps with and without castor oil to see. At the moment I think 10% coconut oil is best, no castor, but not everyone agrees with me.

My favorite superfats are cocoa butter and shea butter, 2.5% each. This prevents that "dry tight" feeling after shaving. Also quite nice in bath soap if you have dry skin. Very conditioning.

What is your recipe? And have you read the "songwind" shaving soap thread (it's quite long, but very informative). No need to re-invent the wheel.

Good luck!
 

bristles

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Thank you very much psfred that is very helpful!
Why don't you add oat flour to shaving soap out of interest? I have researched it and people say it gives good slip and moisturising properties, as long as it's dissolved and doesn't leave grainyness to dull razors it should be fine? There might be a reason why I haven't seen it in many shaving soap recipes, but I love oats.

I have read the songwind thread yes that's what I was mentioning regarding the great info on here.
My recipe doesn't deviate much from the average one stated in that thread, but I do want to get a bit weird with it and add things like egg yolk, oats, silk, various nut oils.
But not until I have mastered the basics of course.
Thanks again.

edit: Also I bought aluminium tins to store this soap in, would that be ok considering I let the soap cure for a week first?
 
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psfred

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The purpose of shaving soap is to lubricate the razor's edge so that it slips over the skin without abrading it while cutting off the hairs. Dense, fine bubbled lather helps keep the soap wet while shaving. The only other thing that counts is some superfat to keep the soap from drying the skin out after shaving, it's going to be sitting there for a while. Low coconut, low castor if you use it, adequate superfat that conditions -- that's why I use cocoa butter, it sticks around after the shave.

You may add whatever you wish, of course, but I only put in some superfat to prevent drying. No clay, nothing gummy or sticky. Oats in bath soap is fine, but I don't think it will add much to shaving soap.

Give it a try, making small batches (or you will end up with far more soap than you can ever use!) and see how you like it. I prefer simple with very light scent, but I'm shaving just my face.

I've found that my shaving soaps work with very little soap per shave, around 300 mg per shave. They lather up very quickly and make dense, wet lather with ease, the equal of the best commercial shaving soaps at far less cost.

Oh, and I'd avoid aluminum tins, even the plastic coated ones. Soap will corrode aluminum eventually, and it's ugly when it does. Any defect in the plastic coating on aluminum will allow corrosion to start.

I hate to say it, but plastic is probably best as it won't shatter when dropped like glass.
 

SudsanSoaps

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I’ve tried colloidal oatmeal for a shave soap can’t remember any details besides it was slicker than clay and less drying. Clay seems extremely drying to me.
 
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If you're adding in the extra glycerine as per the Songwind thread, you won't actually need anything else for slick. Try it vanilla first of all and then change one thing at a time

As has been said, small batches are best. I have a 0.1g scale and I make 100g batches directly in a Tupperware (or other brand!) Microwave safe tub with a lid. I make 4 slight recipe variations at once to see what I prefer, cooking them in the microwave for about 20 seconds at a time.
 
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