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How to superfat an 8 lb batch

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Kathylen

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I have a question about superfatting an 8 lb batch. I’m still learning. I made a nice batch using olive, coconut oil and crisco. The soap came out lovely and got very hard at the end of the 6 weeks however, I started to use it and it made my skin itch. Not sure if it was because I bath too much or what. I also superfatted the 8 lb batch at 5% so why did it itch and irritate my skin? I see many soaper recipes superfat 4 lb batches at 5% so because I doubled the 4lb recipe, does this mean I need to do a 10% superfat? Also I did use a lye calculator that calculated it for me so I know my recipe wasn’t off. I really felt I needed to superfat higher. Any suggestions or answers on how to superfat an 8 lb batch? Please help.


Thanks
 

CaraCara

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Hi
What percentage was your coconut oil? You don't have to double the SF but it might be that you may need to increase it a bit or lower your cleansing number.
 

MirandaH

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I really have no business answering this, so you really want to wait for someone with a LOT more experience than me to come along or double check this online somewhere, but it is my understanding that if you have a good recipe for 4 pounds and you want to double it, you just double the ingredients. Of course, you should always run it through some sort of soap calculator, but doubling the size of the batch, from my understanding, doubles the amount of everything you put into it, which would keep your SF percentage the same, you would just be using twice as much of everything that you were using in a 4 lb batch.

If you wanted to do a higher superfat for 8 pounds than you did for 4 pounds, you would change the percentage in the calculator and put in the amounts that it gives you, but unless you change the percentage the SF percentage does not change.

Does this make sense?? I would just delete this, since I really shouldn't be answering, but I would like to see if I understand as well, and no one else has answered in the last half hour either. :oops: Just don't do anything without someone else giving you an answer for safety's sake.
 

Kathylen

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I do know that using a lot of coconut oil can cause skin irritation and dryness. Like never over 30% so I used only 16 oz of coconut oil, 34 oz olive oil with other oils and superfatted at 5%. I still felt something went wrong here. This was an 8 lb batch at 5% superfat and still caused skin irritation after 5 weeks of curing. My skin is even peeling on my wrist and in between my fingers from bathing and my skin feels tight and itchy, like stings a little when rubbing on my clothes. Just to give you all an idea, I made an 8lb batch of goats milk soap with oats. I could be allergic to an oil or something. I am not sure.
 

Obsidian

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It sounds like your soap is very, very drying. I personally never use over 10% coconut (except for salt bars) because I have very dry skin, most other people keep it at under 20%. What percentage of coconut was in your recipe? If you used soapcal, what was the cleansing number?

You can make soap with a high % of coconut but you would need to increase the superfat, by how much really depends on how much coconut oil you used. My salt bars are 80% coconut and I superfat at 20%.
 

DeeAnna

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Theoretically, yes, Miranda, you can just double the ingredients. But most recipes as written have some rounding error, so from a practical point of view, you still want to put the recipe through a soap recipe calculator to make sure the numbers for the larger batch are as accurate as possible.

No, Kathylen, you do NOT double the superfat (say, increase it from 5% to 10%) when you double the size of the recipe. A 5% superfat is a 5% superfat is a 5% superfat whether you're making a 1 pound batch of soap or 100 pounds.

Think about it ... if I continue to double a soap recipe and also double the superfat as the recipe doubles in size, pretty soon I'm going to end up with a soap "recipe" that is 100% fat and no lye. Not good! :)

I would recommend you post your recipe if you want more constructive feedback -- without that, we're just shootin' in the dark pretty much.

There are many reasons why your soap could be irritating to your skin. You're assuming it is because of the superfat % you used. Although others use higher superfat levels, I am of the opinion that a 5% superfat in a well-designed recipe should be plenty fine.

I would recommend you do a "zap" test to check if your soap is actually lye heavy or not. See: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=30690

Another likely possibility is the % of coconut oil in your soap. A large % of CO can be very drying to the skin. Again, if you would post your recipe, that would be helpful.

Fragrance can be an issue as well, if you used any. Some people are sensitive to certain fragrances.
 

MirandaH

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No, Kathylen, you do NOT double the superfat (say, increase it from 5% to 10%) when you double the size of the recipe. A 5% superfat is a 5% superfat is a 5% superfat whether you're making a 1 pound batch of soap or 100 pounds.
Thank you! I always put everything in a soap calculator, even when just doubling, if for no other reason than I don't want to trust my math (which isn't that bad, lol) on something that could hurt someone, but the part I quoted was what I was trying to get across, but not wording very well. I'm happy to see that just 5 batches in, I understand that much. Tonight was the first time I doubled a recipe and hoped I did it right. Thanks again!
 

OliveOil2

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Some people are sensitive to coconut oil, or even allergic, this may not be the case, but something to consider. I would try to formulate a recipe with a lower cleansing value. My skin is very dry and I am fine with a cleansing value of 14 and I usually superfat at 6%, many people with dry skin like a even higher superfat.
 

soapsydaisy

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Eight pounds is a lot of soap if you aren't sure you love the recipe. Maybe try 2 pound batches until you find the perfect soap recipe for you so you won't waste precious soaping resources :)
 

judymoody

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It looks like coconut oil was only 1/8 of your oil (12.5%) so an excess of coconut oil is probably not the issue.

CP soap should not cause peeling skin so yes, something is very wrong. A superfat that is too low for your skin might cause a feeling of tightness, dryness or itchiness but not more than that. For example, I neeed to use a SF of 8-10% in order to make a soap that is cleansing enough for my husband but also conditioning enough for my skin.

I have two hypotheses: one is that you might have mismeasured and I agree that doing a zap test for lye heaviness is probably a good idea.

The second is that you may be allergic to one of the ingredients in your soap. Shea is a fairly common allergy (it is linked to latex allergy). Ditto for coconut oil. I have a friend who can't tolerate avocado. So if your soap is not lye-heavy I would suspect one of your soaping oils or an additive, if you used any. Some fragrance oils and essential oils can also cause irritation.

Please post your complete recipe and perhaps we can get to the bottom of this.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Aye, the recipe will help, as I read it as being 32% CO (16 oz CO and 34 Oz OO and others = 50oz with 32% CO) so would really like to get clarification.
 

shunt2011

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I agree that it's probably too much Coconut. Post your whole recipe and you'll get some help. I always superfat at least 8-10 percent in all my formulas. Salt Bars and my 80% CO I superfat at 20-25%.
 

dixiedragon

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I do know that using a lot of coconut oil can cause skin irritation and dryness. Like never over 30% so I used only 16 oz of coconut oil, 34 oz olive oil with other oils and superfatted at 5%. I still felt something went wrong here. This was an 8 lb batch at 5% superfat and still caused skin irritation after 5 weeks of curing. My skin is even peeling on my wrist and in between my fingers from bathing and my skin feels tight and itchy, like stings a little when rubbing on my clothes. Just to give you all an idea, I made an 8lb batch of goats milk soap with oats. I could be allergic to an oil or something. I am not sure.
To me, that sounds way to severe to merely be too much coconut oil! I would expect dry skin, not such a severe reaction! I do not have particularly sensitive skin, though. I know some of our members have very sensitive skin, and I wonder if they have gotten such a strong reaction from a soap that is too high in coconut, or that has too high a cleansing number?

I think that you soap is either lye heavy, or this is some kind of allergic reaction.

Are you ABSOLUTELY sure you added all of the oils? I have made soap and have totally forgotten to add an oil that I had measured and set aside. Now when I make soap, I check off oil on my recipe as I add it.

One think you might try is to dab a bit of your soap making oils on healthy skin. For example, dab a bit of coconut and wait 24 hours to see if you have a reaction.

My fellow soapers - is it possible for a person to not react to an oil in its regular form, but react to that oil in soap form?

Another thought I have is that some people simply react badly to soap. Have you ever used handmade soap before?
 

cmzaha

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I certainly would not make such large batches without knowing a recipe is suitable for your skin. My I do know people that cannot use handmade soap at all, including my daughter. Believe me over 6 yrs of making soap I have tried everything and she still can only use mp soap and only one base at that. Another consideration is what is your crisco made from. Many people are allergic to soy and I think some crisco has soy. (could be incorrect here). The shortening I use is 100% palm. If you have an accurate scale you can make 1 bar sample batches using a single oil Be aware there is not much room for error, so measure accurately. Also after a good cure of 2-3 months have someone else try your soap, it might just be bothering you. I have a formula that is 23% coconut with a 3% superfat at it is not in the least drying, in fact it feels like you have applied lotion. This is one of my main recipes. I know many disagree with the 3% superfat but my plumbing is so much better now, not perfect but better. My favorite recipe is oo, co, palm, Lard, canola castor. Shortening can sub for the lard if you want vegan. Keep trying you should find a formula that works.
 

Obsidian

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To me, that sounds way to severe to merely be too much coconut oil! I would expect dry skin, not such a severe reaction! I do not have particularly sensitive skin, though. I know some of our members have very sensitive skin, and I wonder if they have gotten such a strong reaction from a soap that is too high in coconut, or that has too high a cleansing number?
I do get a similar reaction to a overly drying soap. The skin on the back of my hands will crack and I've had it get so bad that it bleeds. I have to use a high superfat, even a cleansing number of 10 is too high unless I SF at least 8%

I agree that the OP needs to double check the soap isn't lye heavy. Personally, I would rebatch and add enough oil to bring the SF up to 8-10%
 

dixiedragon

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I do get a similar reaction to a overly drying soap. The skin on the back of my hands will crack and I've had it get so bad that it bleeds. I have to use a high superfat, even a cleansing number of 10 is too high unless I SF at least 8%

I agree that the OP needs to double check the soap isn't lye heavy. Personally, I would rebatch and add enough oil to bring the SF up to 8-10%
Is that one use, or repeated use? Also, I am curious if the OP has used her soap once, or repeatedly?

OP, perhaps you could ask a friend to try your soap and see if they have a bad reaction to it? Don't use them as a blind tester, of course - tell them what happened and then ask them to wash their hands with it (not their whole body).

Rather than rebatch all 8 lbs, perhaps rebatch SOME of it, and see if increasing the superfat to 8 or 10% does the trick. It would suck to rebatch all 8 lbs only to find out that it still doesnt work for you!
 

Obsidian

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Is that one use, or repeated use? Also, I am curious if the OP has used her soap once, or repeatedly?
It will start generally cracking after one use. It only bleeds if I continue to use the soap.
I'm having issues with a bar I just tested this morning. I got it from another member, used it twice with disastrous results so I let it cure longer. Tried it again today, skin is already cracking. Its going in the garbage which is a shame as its a good bar but for me its either too cleansing, too low of a SF or a combo of both.
 

DeeAnna

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I have been creating a table of the fatty acid makeup of common B&B oils, and I learned something interesting recently about the coconut and palm kernel oils. Some folks say CO is irritating to their skin, but PKO is not. I wondered why, since the fatty acid makeup as shown in Soapcalc et al. is fairly similar for the two oils.

Turns out it's the very short chain fatty acids not shown in Soapcalc that makes the difference. Here are the approximate percentages of capric, caprylic, lauric, and myristic acids in CO, PKO, and babassu, a fat that makes soap similar to CO or PKO soap:

Oil Capric Caprylic Lauric Myristic Total (C+C+L+M)
Babassu 4 7 50 20 = 81%
Coconut 8 8 46 19 = 81%
Palm kernel 4 4 48 16 =72%

Soap made from these four fatty acids is very water soluble, even in hard/salty/cold water. The net effect of this solubility means a soap made with CO, PKO, or babassu will be very good at dissolving fats. (Great for laundry, not so much for skin.) A soap with a high % of these fats needs a high superfat to reduce the amount of fat stripped from the skin. Essentially you're adding extra fat to the soap to protect the fats in/on your skin.

This tendency to be a harsh cleanser will be even stronger for soaps higher in capric and caprylic acids vs. soaps higher in the lauric and myristic acids. You can see that Capric+Caprylic = 11% for babassu, 16% for CO, and 8% for PKO. Guess which fat will make the milder soap of the three?

Not only is PKO lowest in the capric and caprylic acids, but it also has a lower total percentage (72%) of all of these four short-chain fatty acids. This may be at least part of the reason why some people perceive soap made with PKO to be milder than soap made with CO.

Keep in mind that my numbers are approximate, but they do tell an interesting story that might relate to the OP's troubles.
 

eyeroll

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My fellow soapers - is it possible for a person to not react to an oil in its regular form, but react to that oil in soap form?

Dixiedragon, I have wondered this before, many times. I like shea butter in its oil form but whenever I soap with it the product leaves me dry, flaky and itchy. I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this.
 
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