How to add Bentonite clay in shaving soap?

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by PatrickH, Jan 17, 2018.

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  1. Jan 17, 2018 #1

    PatrickH

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    How do you add Bentonite clay into a shaving soap recipe?

    I tried once on my first batch and I think I added it to my lye water. I tested a week later and it gave me mild lye burns on my wrist.. I'm assuming the lye absorbed into the clay and the lye soaked clay when lathered on my hands got caught in the creases on the top part of my wrist and well, burned me a bit.. I noticed even after i rinsed the foam off and my hands dry, there was a white powdery looking residue on my wrist where the foam was. The residue stopped where my lather stopped, so it was from the shaving soap. The rest of my hands where fine, just where I have creases in the top of my wrist where I'm assuming clay got caught. I had roughly a 5% SF in that recipe.

    Anyway.. I'm trying to avoid that.

    Should I pre soak the clay for a few hours first so it's fully saturated?
    Should I add it pre soaked into my oils after stick blending?
    What's the amount that should be added to 1lb of oils to where it's enough to feels a difference, but not so much where it ruins the shave Soap? Im thinking 2 tsp per pound of oils?
    And does it make a shaving soap slicker and better or is this a additive thing that is fading out over the years because it doesn't really give a better shave and is a waste of time?
    I know a good shave soap doesn't "need it" but I would like to make one successful batch and see, unless it really is not worth messing with.
     
  2. Jan 17, 2018 #2

    soapmaker

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    I can't answer all your questions and some of them I imagine would be a matter of preference. Some of my customers say they love my regular soap to shave with. It always has colloidal oatmeal in. My shaving bar has kaolin clay in so as not to be too drying. Bentonite is more for oily skin as I understand it. I use use 1.5 teaspoons ppo. I add mine at light trace and it mixes in well. Hopefully someone on here will know more about bentonite.
     
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  3. Jan 17, 2018 #3

    shunt2011

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    I don't add clay to my shave soaps. So, can't help you there. However, when I add clay to my regular soaps, I generally add 1- 1 1/2 tsp ppo. I just blend it into my oils with my stickblender before the lye.
     
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  4. Jan 18, 2018 #4

    The Efficacious Gentleman

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    If you post your recipe I can see how you might be able to add extra glycerine instead of the clay
     
  5. Jan 18, 2018 #5

    PatrickH

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    This last batch so far seems to be very slick, but I just wanted to make another small batch with the Bentonite clay just to see what kind of difference it makes.
    I probably won't ever need it again for shave soap, but i just wanna see for myself if it's a worthy additive.
    Last batch has 15% Glycerin.
    I also use feather blades and would like to see if it dulls the blades sooner like some people say.

    And I have a 1lb bag of the clay.
     
  6. Jan 18, 2018 #6

    PatrickH

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    Do you notice much change in your soap if the same recipe was made without Bentonite?
     
  7. Jan 18, 2018 #7

    shunt2011

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    I've not used Bentonite. I've used Kaolin and noticed a silky feel. I also use charcoal and too much can make it gritty.
     
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  8. Jan 18, 2018 #8

    PatrickH

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    Charcoal in shaving soap? That sounds interesting.
    You able to get it pretty dark or just a light grey?
     
  9. Jan 18, 2018 #9

    shunt2011

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    No, I use no clay in my shaving soaps at all nor have I used charcoal. As stated in my previous post I don't add anything additional to the recipe but fragrance.
     
  10. Jan 18, 2018 #10

    PatrickH

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    Oh, just seen the post, didn't pair the previous post with the name sorry.
    I thought AC would be a little odd lol
     
  11. Jan 18, 2018 #11

    SudsanSoaps

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    I think I added the clay after I cooked my soap and mixed it with either the fragrance or with water or something. Can’t remember how well it worked. I think colloidal oatmeal would work better than clay and not dull the blades personally. I’m curious to hear what your thoughts end up being on clay.
     
  12. Jan 18, 2018 #12

    soapmaker

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    You say, "I know a good shave soap doesn't "need it" but I would like to make one successful batch and see, unless it really is not worth messing with."

    It's always worth messing with...that way you know what you think. It doesn't matter what subject is discussed not everyone is going to feel the same.
     
  13. Jan 18, 2018 #13

    Kittish

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    One recommendation I've seen for using clay is to mix it with water (JUST water, no lye) and let it hydrate before mixing it into your oils. Haven't tried it myself yet, so no personal experience.
     
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  14. Jan 18, 2018 #14

    mair

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    I add bentonite clay to my shaving soap at trace. Sift the clay first to minimize the lumping.
     
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  15. Jan 18, 2018 #15

    IrishLass

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    I know this question was directed at Shari, but for what its worth here's what I experienced with my own shave soap formula with clay vs no clay:

    From 2008 to 2014 my shave soap formula included clay (kaolin clay). It was a hard, puck-type formula (think Williams brand) made via CP with tallow and lots of hard butters as the only source of stearic acid (i.e., no straight stearic acid was included as part of my formula).

    My hubby absolutely loved the formula, and until that fateful day in 2014 (i.e., before I started doing some experimental tweaks with it on a dare from some of our resident, self-described 'crazy wet-shaving dudes' here on the forum), it provided him with a close, protective, 'baby's butt' smooth shave, a wonderfully non-drying after-feel........ and not once did he ever get a cut or a nick when shaving with it.

    Also worth mentioning at this point is that an experienced wet-shaver over on Badger & Blade tried out my shave soap and not only praised it for the same qualities that my hubby praised it for, but saved the most high praise for its protective cushion. He told me that when he was breaking in a new blade he would grab for my soap over any of the handful of others he had in his arsenal, because he found the cushion of mine to be so extraordinary that it even prevented him from getting 'new-blade' cuts or nicks. He said my soap totally eliminated his 'new blade jitters', as he called them.

    Moving on to the dare made to me in 2014 by our resident 'crazy wet-shaving dudes', which was to eliminate the clay from my formula (or 'dirt' as many of them like to call it):

    I removed the clay without changing anything else in the formula, and results? Disaster! My hubby got his first ever cuts/nicks with my soap. I believe his exact words to me were: 'That was the crappiest shave I have ever experienced with your soap!' I told him to be honest and not hold back, and he ringingly obliged in no uncertain terms :lol: . Never had he ever felt so vulnerable using my shave soap.

    Fast forward from 2014 though today. As unbelievable as it sounds, my formula- which but for only a few slight tweaks remains pretty much the same as the original- does not contain any clay at all....... and my hubby sings its praises as being even better than the original......all thanks to those crazy wet shaving dudes here on the forum who challenged me. :) But for them I would never have discovered that although clay can be very useful, if not essential to some shave soap formulas, it can be completely unnecessary in others...... which brings me to my game-changing tweak:

    The tweak that made the difference for my formula to be able to eliminate the clay was keeping the same ingredients (except for the clay of course), but reducing the percentages of the tallow and butters and subbing in straight stearic acid to the point of bringing the total palmitic/stearic content of the fatty acid profile up from the original 35% to 50%.

    The other tweaks I made to my formula, which have more to do with things other than the 'cushioning/protection' factor are: 1. HPing the formula because of the amount of straight stearic, which is a beast to CP, and 2. using dual lye - 80% KOH, 20% NaOH to make it more soluble so that it's easier/quicker to lather, especially with the straight stearic I subbed in.

    For what it's worth, when using clay, I always stick-blend it into my oils.


    IrishLass :)
     
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  16. Jan 18, 2018 #16

    PatrickH

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    Excellent write up, thank you for all that info.

    Adding clay to oils sound good, I will do that from now on when I do bar soap, thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  17. Jan 20, 2018 #17

    PatrickH

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    When transfering my clays into a zip lock bag, i decided to put a little clay in the palm of my hand to see how it felt with water.
    Kaolin clay in my hand with a little water was not slick at all, felt like clay.
    Bentonite clay in my hand, added a little water and instantly super slippery, felt like Aloe vera in my hand or a slimey fish. I was surprised on how slippery it was and how there was no slip at all to the kaolin clay.
    With the Bentonite, if not enough water was added, it was very sticky to the point where my fingers where sticking together.
    Just wanted to mention that.
     
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  18. Jan 20, 2018 #18

    soapmaker

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    Well thanks! So it was worth "messing with." I always used kaolin because I didn't want it to be drying. This is good to know.
     
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  19. Jan 21, 2018 #19

    Lin19687

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    Which Bentonite clay are you all using, there are 3 kinda
    Sodium ( also used to seal landfills, ponds), Calcium (I am going to assume you all use this) and Potassium .

    I ask because I know about the Sodium more because I keep Koi Fish.
     
  20. Sep 14, 2018 #20

    Dean

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    What do use for slip instead of the clay?
     

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