In the still of the night....2 shave soaps

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Johnez:
How should I add it to my soap?
Dissolve the citrate in about 2 times its weight of water. Stick blend that mixture into your oils.

Whomever wrote that instruction was way off base in my opinion. So you're implying that you dissolved 2 grams of sodium citrate in 4 grams of water? There's no way one would visibly be able to tell if it was all dissolved... at least I wouldn't. That's less than a teaspoon of water by volume!

Just dissolve all powder ingredients in the same water that you dissolve the lye in. It doesn't hurt anything and this way one may ensure everything is dissolved completely. A 2:1 ratio to dissolve any powder is risky IMHO. Try dissolving 1 oz. of table salt in 2 oz. of water and see how long it takes or the same for white table sugar.
 
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And yep, I think I may have hit the limit of KOH, perhaps Prof's past suggestions of dual lye might just have to be taken sooner than I thought heh.
My husband was not impressed with any 100% KOH or 100% NaOH shave soap - he was impressed with my last batch of shaving soap with the dual lye - is was 90% NaOH and 10% KOH with a higher water content than my usual soaping of 40% lye concentration. I also added the dissolved citric acid to the oils after I added the lye solution but before stick blending.

It’s been awhile since I’ve made any shave soap and we’re due for a batch. This last batch also shrunk quite a bit from curing which I suppose because of all the water I ended up using.

I usually soap in the middle of the night also but have learned that shave soap there’s my alert attention because it moves so fast.
 
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I’m going to try this!
I believe that you will be pleasantly surprised by the lathering ability of the soap. I do however use a 10% Castor Oil to help increase the "creaminess" of the soap and I use a 5% per weight of oils Sorbitol additive to increase the lather. Sorbitol is a natural addition and it's easy to find on Amazon, Ebay, WallyWorld and other places.

:thumbup: Let us know how it works out for you!
 

Johnez

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A quick report-I've shaved with the soap from the opening post (the one without citric acid) today, as well as yesterday. Today's shave definitely demonstrates the importance of not relying on first impressions, as everything about today's shave feels like a different soap altogether from yesterday's shave. I didn't even post yesterday's as it was quite unimpressive. Anyway, today's lather:

IMG_20211018_130934646.jpg


The results:
Lather-voluminous, thick, smooth. Slightly less bubbly and more creamy than my first RBO soap iteration. Pulling this lather together was easy, however it does seem to be sensitive to excess water, the reason for yesterday's poor lather. Lather had good staying power, did not fade off the face.

The shave-no major improvement in glide, nor closeness. One weeper noticed toward the end, however not a bad shave.

The post shave- slight but noticeable improvement in post shave feel. Not exactly "moisturized" however it is less drying. Zero irritation. I've decided to break out the alum block to fully test future shave soaps as I rarely get irritation regardless so inducing a bit with the alum block might let me better differentiate between soaps.

I'll shave with this soap for a week, but first impressions so far is lowering coconut oil and increasing RBO has yielded a slight improvement. I was expecting more of an improvement considering these changes were a bit ambitious. The fact that post shave feel didn't wow me was surprising.

For giggles, yesterday's lackluster lather:
IMG_20211017_131936923.jpg


While it looks pretty decent, the small bubbles marred this lather and lather on face faded rather quickly. Perhaps RBO in shave soap is sensitive to excess water?

I'll give this soap a whole week of shaves before I move on to the same version WITH citric acid. The soap is almost to the perfect consistency right now so a weeks extra cure will do it well.
 
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The suds looks really, really good. I have no experience with RBO, but I have seen in mentioned numerous times that I know it must have a special feeling in soaps in general.

Looking forward to see how it goes, and with the other one with . I use Sodium gluconate myself so I know a chelator will make a difference in hard water.

I am still waiting for the KOH to come back in stock over here (argh..)

Ps. I read though everything, but could not see if you add sugar? I add Sorbitol in mine.

Not that I am trying to enabling you to try yet another thing...
 

Johnez

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The suds looks really, really good. I have no experience with RBO, but I have seen in mentioned numerous times that I know it must have a special feeling in soaps in general.

Looking forward to see how it goes, and with the other one with . I use Sodium gluconate myself so I know a chelator will make a difference in hard water.

I am still waiting for the KOH to come back in stock over here (argh..)

Ps. I read though everything, but could not see if you add sugar? I add Sorbitol in mine.

Not that I am trying to enabling you to try yet another thing...
Heheheh, I have not tried adding sugar yet, but do have quite a list of additives to try once I get my own "tried and true" combo down. Sugar is on that list!

RBO is a pretty interesting oil in that it contributes to the stearic/palmitic number in a meaningful way compared to its oleic/linoleic content. The only thing that compares is avocado oil, however the high linoleic *oleic content of AVO is such that you can't keep piling it on like RBO without consequence.

And thanks my goal above all was to keep lather decent. I've heard that too much oleic kills it, however I might be dancing on the edge of it's limit considering yesterday's and today's performance taken as a whole.

*edit: wrong fatty acid, thanks RO!
 
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ResolvableOwl

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The only thing that compares is avocado oil, however the high linoleic content of AVO is such that you can't keep piling it on like RBO without consequence.
You mean cottonseed oil? Avocado has less than half the PUFAs of RBO.

(On a slightly unrelated note, in my bath sink rotation is currently a high-cottonseed soap and it is fabulous!)
 

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You mean cottonseed oil? Avocado has less than half the PUFAs of RBO.

(On a slightly unrelated note, in my bath sink rotation is currently a high-cottonseed soap and it is fabulous!)
Yes, RBO's PUFA numbers are high, however with regards to affecting the shaving soap, I believe (possibly incorrectly) that it's inclusion and/or outsized inclusion would less negatively affect the performance. Oleic is said to be a lather killer, and its oleic/linoleic numbers *seem* to be nicely balanced. Perhaps in time I can test this out, I very well might be completely wrong here. One thing that I've noticed is that many commercial shave soaps tend to eschew large amounts of oleic, the only one I can find in my stash has almond oil and that's not very high on the list.
 

ResolvableOwl

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The point with oleic acid, AFAICS, is not that it “kills” lather, but it doesn't add much to the experience at all. Only in very high oleic situations (castile), the actual properties of oleic acid surface – and they are not very flattering (and totally off the table for shave soaps anyway).
Please get me wrong, I'm the last one to push you away from beloved RBO! But as unique as RBO is, cottonseed oil is just a tad more unique (similar palmitic, lower oleic, higher PUFA).
 

Johnez

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The point with oleic acid, AFAICS, is not that it “kills” lather, but it doesn't add much to the experience at all. Only in very high oleic situations (castile), the actual properties of oleic acid surface – and they are not very flattering (and totally off the table for shave soaps anyway).
Please get me wrong, I'm the last one to push you away from beloved RBO! But as unique as RBO is, cottonseed oil is just a tad more unique (similar palmitic, lower oleic, higher PUFA).

Makes sense, thanks for providing some context. RBO isn't leaving the soaping table for some time, I've got a few more things to explore, but thanks for giving me another rabbit hole to explore.

And totally off the table, eh? A challenge I will eventually get to one of these days. 🤫
 

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A quick pic, nearly a week in and I've somewhat mastered the lather. I'm simply impressed how this lather forms on this soap considering how much RBO I stuffed in this soap. Adding water slowly seems to make it better and better, a bit more water than the lather can hold in a picturesque way seems to improve the shave experience. Soap itself is not "outstanding" however it is quite serviceable and holds potential IMO. I'm tempted to drop the coconut oil for castor oil completely to see if that enhanced the shave experience, however I think coconut oil may be pulling it's weight with lather formation.
 

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Johnez

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A report on the Citric acid variation first days use:

Lather formation-virtually no difference. Maybe my water isn't that hard.

Lather longevity-15 minute test and 30 minute test show less degradation and "pitting" in lather (bubbles popping). I am not aware of citric acid benefits other than metals chelation, however perhaps this is a side benefit of chelation.

Regarding the lather...this has been the most fun soap I've had to lather. Each whip up seemed more unique and photogenic than the last. Trying to find the lather's limit with regards to holding water is a bit difficult-it gets more voluminous, thicker, creamier, and the sheen improves. A sample of the fun lather whip ups:

IMG_20211024_143219212.jpg

IMG_20211024_143027514.jpg

IMG_20211024_142440858_HDR.jpg


Very "peaky" which is a sign it needs more water. This is however after adding copious amount.

Some time pics showing lather longevity:

Starting:
IMG_20211024_135029529~2.jpg



After 15 minutes:
IMG_20211024_140530172~2.jpg



After 30 minutes:
IMG_20211024_142033609~2.jpg



ETA, I just can't resist the most epic blob of lather I've whipped up yet:

IMG_20211024_145043054.jpg


Edit-had to fix the the me pics, got so dang many I got confused!
 
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ResolvableOwl

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No excuses this time: the “15 minutes” and “30 minutes” pics are identical down to the pixel level.

citric acid benefits other than metals chelation, however perhaps this is a side benefit of chelation.
Well, that's the whole point of chelation: The citrate occupies calcium ions (from hard water), so that they can't distract soap molecules from their bubbly business. It's more of a (very welcome) side effect is that it also keeps the few iron/copper/whatever ions from raiding PUFA molecules during cure.
 

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No excuses this time: the “15 minutes” and “30 minutes” pics are identical down to the pixel level.


Well, that's the whole point of chelation: The citrate occupies calcium ions (from hard water), so that they can't distract soap molecules from their bubbly business. It's more of a (very welcome) side effect is that it also keeps the few iron/copper/whatever ions from raiding PUFA molecules during cure.


I've updated the pics (before you posted), just a heads up there. Had a hard time with the bonanza of pics this soap has provided so far. 🤣

I came as a wet shaver, and have read in the past CA used to get hard to lather pucks like Mitchell's Wool Fat ("the fat") to lather up. Didn't realize the stability factor was a benefit. Good thing I've come here!
 

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Final thoughts and observations on the CA version of the Super RBO shave soap:

The lathering (even though it was bottom on my priority list!) has been something amazing to work with. For one it's clear that CA made a difference, thankfully I made the non-CA batch to compare it and see it's impact. The shave itself is "ok," nothing stand out, however I think this soap deserves another iteration to build on slickness and protection. Nothing in this soap is a disappointment, heck I could shave with this every day and marvel at the lather sculptures had I not known any other soap haha.

An interesting observation to report-humidity just decimates the lather. I got to the point where I knew I could not add any more drops of water in my lather and was preparing for my shower and left my bowl in the sink water to keep warm, and this is what happened:

IMG_20211026_134726457.jpg


It took only about 5 minutes to get to this state. Prior to this I was making the biggest thickest lather blobs, nice tight and stable. Interestingly I was able to save it! I simply whipped it back into proper consistency similar to how one beats a hot processing soap fluffing up in the crockpot. Results:

IMG_20211026_134856911.jpg


Didn't add any soap or anything, just lathered it back into this. Kinda interesting. Not sure how or why this happened. Suspected glycerine, but I didn't really go nuts with that. Perhaps it's the RBO.
 

Johnez

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Weird, I'll look into this when I have a moment. I recall psfred hated castor oil, suspect this may be where your link leads. Hmm...

ETA- @ResolvableOwl thanks for reacquainting me with those experiments. Well shoot I'm not sure how to proceed now. In most of the artisan soaps I've collected castor oil is THE bubble maker, it seems few artisans even bother with coconut. Of course these all have tallow as either in the top spot or second in the ingredients list. Castor apparently likes to pick and choose who it plays nicely with. Maybe glycerin is the key (more?), maybe dialing down RBO a bit and bringing another fat into the fray will "smooth things over," or perhaps I need to up the S/P fatty acids. Certainly glad I went down this road, I have another challenge on my hands now.
 
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