How to get Palm-free & Vegan Conditioning Bubbles? - Please Critique

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When you are soaping at 40, do you find that your oils look turbid because of the soy wax then? I've always tried to soap with a pot of clear oils to avoid stearic spots but my highest melt point ingredient is palm, so around the same temp as you I will still have clear oils. I know it's probably the same as people soaping at room temp but including palm or butters and that never worked for me personally.
My hard oils get melted together on the stove, I the add the liquid oils and let it all cool to around 40 degrees or even as low as 36 and they are always still clear.
 
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Sorry to derail this very interesting conversation about SAP numbers (I saved that chart for my reference binder!) to go back to my recipe formulation.

I was reviewing my Soap Makers Guild Insurance and discovered that they don't cover products made with Hemp Oil. I will be calling them tomorrow to see if they offer an additional rider for hempseed oil that I can purchase. If not... Back to tweaking!

Avocado Oil is more expensive for me than Hemp Oil, so I'm leaning towards subbing in Sweet Almond Oil. I know someone here said that they disliked it - any particular reason why?

Are there other oils that might have strong label appeal and are affordable to use?
 

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Avocado Oil is more expensive for me than Hemp Oil, so I'm leaning towards subbing in Sweet Almond Oil. I know someone here said that they disliked it - any particular reason why?

Are there other oils that might have strong label appeal and are affordable to use?
Maybe it was be because I don't use nut oils due to sons allergy?

I started out using apricot kernel oil - that's the same price as avocado here.
 
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Ugh. I THOUGHT I had figured out my fast trace issues with the new formulation sans Hemp Oil.

Blended less and soaped a bit cooler (lye at 92-95F and oils at 101-105F) and was able to get some designs in, though my batter was still pretty thick and I ended up with air pockets in a couple of loaves.

I live in a very dry climate so can usually unmold and cut after a day. Let these loaves sit for 48 hours and they're STILL tacky.

How did I manage to make a batter that is simultaneously fast moving and slow to set up??? Ugggggghhhh.

At least my designs came out pretty.
 

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Ugh. I THOUGHT I had figured out my fast trace issues with the new formulation sans Hemp Oil.

Blended less and soaped a bit cooler (lye at 92-95F and oils at 101-105F) and was able to get some designs in, though my batter was still pretty thick and I ended up with air pockets in a couple of loaves.

I live in a very dry climate so can usually unmold and cut after a day. Let these loaves sit for 48 hours and they're STILL tacky.

How did I manage to make a batter that is simultaneously fast moving and slow to set up??? Ugggggghhhh.

At least my designs came out pretty.
Some of my favorite colors
 
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Ugh. I THOUGHT I had figured out my fast trace issues with the new formulation sans Hemp Oil.

Blended less and soaped a bit cooler (lye at 92-95F and oils at 101-105F) and was able to get some designs in, though my batter was still pretty thick and I ended up with air pockets in a couple of loaves.

I live in a very dry climate so can usually unmold and cut after a day. Let these loaves sit for 48 hours and they're STILL tacky.

How did I manage to make a batter that is simultaneously fast moving and slow to set up??? Ugggggghhhh.

At least my designs came out pretty.
Consider the following: how much water you use, what the FO is, whether you gel your soap, how much oleic is in the recipe. All these might contribute to sticky soap. 48 hours seems an awfully long time for still-tacky soap. I can usually unmold within 12 hours (24 if i don't gel). Oh - castor will make your batter accelerate a bit if you use it at 10% and it stays softer longer - could that be the culprit?
 
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Consider the following: how much water you use, what the FO is, whether you gel your soap, how much oleic is in the recipe. All these might contribute to sticky soap. 48 hours seems an awfully long time for still-tacky soap. I can usually unmold within 12 hours (24 if i don't gel).

This is usually my experience as well! Although I normally soap at a hotter temperature so my soaps gel naturally. I cooled down this one since it was moving so quickly.

Oh - castor will make your batter accelerate a bit if you use it at 10% and it stays softer longer - could that be the culprit?

This could be it, although I had castor oil at 10% in my previous (hemp seed oil) iteration as well and didn't have this issue. I will try decreasing the castor oil and see if I have the same issue again.

It could be a combination of the high amount of castor oil, lower temp, and increased oleic. I did replace the hempseed oil with increased olive oil, so that may have been enough to allow the castor oil to become a problem.

Fatty Acid % Changes from the Hemp formulation to the new formulation:
Palmitic: 9 --> 11
Oleic: 29 --> 31
Linoleic: 11 --> 8
Linolenic: 2 --> 1

I know that I'll be happy later that I did all this tweaking and testing, but man is it annoying when I just want to be able to crank out big batches NOW so they have time to cure.

At least I know that my test soap batches will still be nice, even if they're not EXACTLY what I wanted.
 
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Yes - a lot of my earlier testing was more 'tweaking' rather than testing. The base recipe was set from about 2 months into my soap-making journey to about what I wanted. Then some tweaking from there involved subbing different oils (eventually moved away from apricot kernel and more to Avocado for example) or simply changing the percentages of the oils I was already using.
 
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Yes - a lot of my earlier testing was more 'tweaking' rather than testing. [...] Then some tweaking from there involved subbing different oils [...] or simply changing the percentages of the oils I was already using.

Yep, this is pretty much exactly where I'm at.

I think I'm mainly annoyed about having to change my recipe AGAIN because I was super happy with where my hempseed formulation had ended up. But I'm risk-averse enough to not want to do anything that could lose me my insurance coverage.

At least now I know what my main oils are, I'm just tweaking percentages. I was able to place a big bulk order of oils right before the Palm Embargo announcement, so I should be set for a few months even with tweaking.

I'm sure my annoyance is also compounded by the fact that I'm going through the same process with multiple product lines simultaneously (foaming bath soaks, milk baths, beard oils, beard balms, and body butters) in addition to my soap. I'll be so happy when my base recipes are finally set and I can just play with one line at a time.
 
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What's their beef with hemp oil for insurance? I bet it's something real silly.

Oh I guarantee it's ridiculous. I was going to call the insurance company and ask more about it. However, after re-reading the insurance documents it's pretty clear that they're explicitly excluding any and all hemp-derived products. Little ol' me isn't going to change that, so I might as well just accept it. Also I realized that they're based in Utah, which is a notoriously conservative state, so that may have something to do with it as well.

The 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act finally removed federal restrictions on hemp cultivation in the US, but it's still weirdly semi-regulated by the FDA. Hempseed oil has nothing to do with the flower and doesn't contain any CBD or THC - even my 74 year old mother pointed that out when I was venting to her. However, my insurance company put a specific clause excluding ANY hemp derived products, hempseed oil included.

I'm in Colorado, which is another murky area since we have legalized weed products at a state level that are still technically illegal at a federal level. My guess is that the insurance company didn't want to open themselves up to FDA scrutiny if I was using CBD oil, or other federal scrutiny if my products contained THC. Why someone would waste perfectly good THC in soap is beyond me, but I digress...

Basically our regulations are way behind the times and the insurance company is probably just trying to CYA. It's pretty affordable insurance, so I guess I'm getting what I'm paying for.
 
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Pretty sure I figured out the issue with my slow-to-set soaps. I made those with the lye that I had masterbatched and (doh!) put in the refrigerator.

The lye solution formed crystals, which I thought I had re-incorporated, but I'm thinking I didn't do as well as I thought and ended up with less lye in the batch than I had intended.

The soaps hardened up enough to cut and are curing now. I just tested an end scrap and it lathered ok, definitely just feels like a super high Superfat soap.

I'm trying to decide if they're worth re-batching, or just keeping them as is for friends and personal use. The fragrances and designs came out gorgeous.
 

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I'm trying to decide if they're worth re-batching, or just keeping them as is for friends and personal use. The fragrances and designs came out gorgeous.
It's best to wait a couple of weeks to see how it cures before making that decision. ;) :thumbs: Soap has a way of doing its own thing. You never know what you've got until it's had a chance to reach its full potential.
 

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But I'm risk-averse enough to not want to do anything that could lose me my insurance coverage.
Um, the high number of sales from hemp-based products in the "Mile High City" the "Republic of Boulder" and all around the state of Colorado would more than pay for the cost of insurance, I should think. 🤔

I know of at least one Colorado soaper working on a line of body products that use hemp oil and its legal derivatives. I suggested she call it her "Mary Jane" line.

The biggest challenge is fragrance that smells like marijuana. Another soaping buddy was looking for a source for burning in candles. A quick google blew me away to see how many "canabis candles" are out there!!! VERY popular. The discussion centered around, it smells like "skunk". One vendor actually makes an FO that smells "skunky". 🤣
 
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Um, the high number of sales from hemp-based products in the "Mile High City" the "Republic of Boulder" and all around the state of Colorado would more than pay for the cost of insurance, I should think. 🤔

Oh I totally agree!

Unfortunately my markets have already started so I wanted to have products available that are covered by my current provider.

I'll be researching insurance companies and reintroducing a hemp line once I have coverage.
 
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The biggest challenge is fragrance that smells like marijuana. Another soaping buddy was looking for a source for burning in candles. A quick google blew me away to see how many "canabis candles" are out there!!! VERY popular. The discussion centered around, it smells like "skunk". One vendor actually makes an FO that smells "skunky". 🤣
I actually really hate that smell. And I've never even smelt a real skunk coz we don't have them here in NZ.🚬
 
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