Kind of new to soap, have a couple questions

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by Iseleigh, Jun 17, 2019.

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  1. Jun 17, 2019 #1

    Iseleigh

    Iseleigh

    Iseleigh

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    I'm fairly familiar with soap making and using soapcalc.net, but also know that soapcalc is only kind of a guideline and the true values may not always be as the calculations say, especially if you're using liquids other than water and other additives. I've done some research into the oils and fats I want to use for a project and the opinions seem to differ a bit, so I thought I'd get some opinions from ya'll super soapers.
    The project I'm doing is CP soaps for Halloween. I have plans for 4 different ones, and only want to use the following fats and oils:
    Tallow
    Lard
    Corn oil
    Crisco
    Beeswax
    The reason for this is that I'm using an Appalachian theme for the soaps and only want to use ingredients (except FO's and EO's) that would've have been commonly available in the area in the 1800-1900's. Is it possible to make a hard, conditioning, bubbly bar with only those oils? I have limited experience with adding sugar to soap for bubbles and it seem to work for me, and is a possible additive that would have been available, along with blackstrap and sorghum molasses, and honey.
    I've got a while to play with ratios, and know that more liquid oils takes a longer cure time and could possibly yield a softer bar. I also know that the fats, oils and additives used can cause slight variations in color and scent in the finished product.
    I'm open to suggestions for percentages, colors, molds, and scents. The names of the soaps will be Backwoods Witchery, Appalachian Voodoo, Tommy Knocker, and Moonshiners Majick (though that one is still debatable).
    BW- definitely some lilac and rose in this, and thistle and blackberry? Mold ideas anyone?
    AV- I'm thinking fallish scents for this one? Apples, sassafras, and mulberry maybe? Still working on it. I have skull molds for this one.
    TK- earthy, like coffee, leather, tobacco, and pine. Still working on this one too. Thought about doing those gem-looking soaps that have gradient colors... then I remembered this doesn't start as a clear glycerin soap. ~_~
    MM- no real idea for this one. I was thinking about the area where stills would be located (close to water), maybe mint, birch, and wintergreen? Thought about doing just a regular bar and stamping XXX into it.

    Thanks for any help!
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  2. Jun 17, 2019 #2

    TheDragonGirl

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    To be completely honest I would do either a 100% lard or 100% tallow soap, with maybe some beeswax as an additive- although beeswax can be tricky and you have to blend it in at high heat. 100% lard bards are very popular honestly but the 100% tallow will be harder and whiter.
     
  3. Jun 17, 2019 #3

    Iseleigh

    Iseleigh

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    I was considering that, but didn't know what the lather would be like. Some reviews of 100% lard or tallow say the lather is wonderful, others say it's barely there- may be a personal preference. The bars I looked up had no additives that would cause extra lathering abilities. I wonder if grass-fed animal fats makes a difference? I've got some lamb tallow in the fridge I could play with, buuuuuut... I have it so rarely I don't want to base a recipe off it.
     
  4. Jun 17, 2019 #4

    TheDragonGirl

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    any sugars would give you a good boost to the bubbles- you might try an all lard/tallow oatmeal milk and honey bar, those are things they would have had aren't they?
     
  5. Jun 17, 2019 #5

    Iseleigh

    Iseleigh

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    I'm not sure about the oats; my granddad says they fed the horses oats but oats were mainly used for animal feed up until a certain point. It's kinda hard to find info on what was readily accessible in my area during those times. Search results are weird and often unrelated to what I type in. I would like to experiment with molasses in the AV bar and I know honey does quite well- I'm planning on putting it in the BW bar.
    Edit: Now I'm thinking about it, whether the oats went to the people or the horses they were still there. Duh. :beatinghead:
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  6. Jun 17, 2019 #6

    IrishLass

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    Right here, silly!
    I haven't made this particular formula before, but based on the fatty acid profile alone, I would probably try making a combo lard/tallow/corn oil soap at these percentages:

    Lard 45%
    Tallow 40%
    Corn oil 15%

    Whatever you do, don't go too much higher on the corn oil.....it is very high in linoleic acid which is prone to causing DOS (dreaded orange spots, aka rancidity) in your soap. In any case, it should add some nice conditioning, as well as some mild foaming action according to some.

    For additives, you could go with beeswax and honey. The honey will help boost your bubbly lather. For what it's worth, when I make my beeswax/honey soap, I use 5% honey ppo (about 1 tablespoon ppo) and 3% beeswax calculated as part of my oils on SoapCalc (since beeswax has a SAP#) . If you decide to add beeswax, I would take the tallow down to 37% to make room for the 3% beeswax. As TheDragonGirlsaid, though, beeswax can be tricky to soap, but just as long as you follow some basic rules, you shouldn't run into any drama. These are the steps I follow when making my beeswax/honey soap for a drama-free soaping experience: https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/my-experimental-honey-beeswax-soap.55689/#post-536352


    IrishLass :)
     
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  7. Jun 17, 2019 #7

    Iseleigh

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    Thank you! I will take a look at the thread. I've got a block of raw beeswax from a friend who keeps bees- is that okay to use or should I try the refined stuff?
    I didn't mean I wanted to use ALL the oils I listed in one bar... it may have sounded like that thinking back.
     
  8. Jun 19, 2019 #8

    IrishLass

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    Right here, silly!
    I've never used raw beeswax before, but I don't see why that wouldn't be okay. Hopefully more folks who are 'in the know' will chime in on that to confirm.


    LOL...well, at least I didn't include the Crisco. ;)

    Actually, a combo of lard and tallow makes for a great soap. Although both have similar properties to each other, there are a few significant enough differences between them that cause them to be better when used together as a combo rather than on their own, e.g.- lard produces a softer soap with less bubbly lather but is more conditioning, while tallow produces a harder soap with more bubbly lather that is more cleansing. One of my regular 'keeper' formulas contains both lard and tallow.


    IrishLass :)
     
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  9. Jun 21, 2019 #9

    Iseleigh

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    I need to order a digital scale before I go formulating recipes... just realized the one I had is WAY off and there's no way to re-calibrate it.
    On another note, I found out that there's a soap and candle supply shop just a few minutes from me that carries all kinds of scents! That means I don't have to visit Hobby Lobby several days in a row to use the "40% off one item" coupon to be able to afford scents! The place I found sells theirs for even less than HL with the coupon. As soon as I get the soap made I will update with pics- I'd like to keep the fats and oils the same but use a different liquid for each bar to change it up a little.
     
  10. Jun 21, 2019 #10

    Lilcat9984

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    I used http://soapcalc.net/, when formulating my recipe. It took nearly a year of research and development, but it was worth it. Then again, you are ahead of the game as you know what you want to use, something I did not. I order my fragrances from Brambleberry and Amazon, as I find they have some of the best deals.
     
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  11. Jun 21, 2019 #11

    Iseleigh

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    Yes I also use soapcalc. There are soooooo many oils to use sometimes it's fun to just play around with formulations. I recently read about algae oil but it hasn't been added to the list yet. It would probably smell weird.
    Upon further research I found that castor oil was likely available in the Appalachias in the mid-1800's and I know it was there during the mid-1900's because my granddad (in his late 70's) remembers taking it, so I can add that to my recipe for a more stable lather.
    This https://vacandlesupply.com/ is the company I found out about and I can't wait to go check them out. I would prefer to use EO's but due to cost I'm being limited in what scents I can get. Plus, there just aren't reasonable options for some scents I want to use, like Mimosa and Molasses. And I can't seem to find a Mimosa fragrance that is the same Mimosa as what grows around here, which is the tree with fern-like leaves and puffy pink flowers that smell divine. At least, the pictures they use aren't that tree so it's hard to tell.
     
  12. Jun 21, 2019 #12

    Lilcat9984

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  13. Jun 21, 2019 #13

    Iseleigh

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    I saw that one, but the picture and the mention of cucumber in the scent threw me. The Mimosa trees here are very sweet smelling, almost like candy, with no hint of cucumbers. I'm terribly picky about what I want (lol) and will visit the local supply store before ordering online since I want to know what I'm getting before I buy. I don't think they had Mimosa on the site I posted but the owner may be able to get it or get a sample I can smell before buying.
    Speaking of hard to find scents, has anyone tried to replicate the scent of fermenting hay bales? It's like apple cider and hay and absolutely intoxicating. I can't even explain it really. I might try experimenting with that...
     
  14. Jun 21, 2019 #14

    TheDragonGirl

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    Real quick mention since you said something about Hobby Lobby: Make sure the scents you get are for cold process/hot process soaps, the ones at hobby lobby are for melt and pour and will seize your batter usually, and candle scents aren't always skin safe. Good luck!
     
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  15. Jun 21, 2019 #15

    GmaK

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    Awesome names!
     
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  16. Jun 21, 2019 #16

    Iseleigh

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    I didn't know that! I used some of the coconut fragrance (we're talking about the Soap Expressions brand, right?) and it didn't really give me much of a coconut scent (the neroli EO I used just a tiny bit of is much more pronounced in the final bar) but did speed up trace quite a bit. I'll keep that in mind in the future.

    Thank you! :D
     
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  17. Jun 22, 2019 #17

    RobinRogers

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    It has been my experience that Crisco is unpredictable. The ingredients are proprietary and we don’t know the real recipe for Crisco. I would use all the others you listed. Lard makes a fairly hard bar.

    As for colors, you can use some spices and herbs and do lines with coffee grounds. I love natural colorants but the colors are not really as vibrant as some of the micas. I just find that they are more predictable in CP. I like Brambleberry scents a lot!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2019 at 12:15 AM
  18. Jun 22, 2019 #18

    cmzaha

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    When I first started soaping I used Crisco a lot without any problems.
     
  19. Jun 23, 2019 #19

    Iseleigh

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    My grandma said she remembered her sisters making cakes with shortening so that's why I included crisco. I hadn't seen "shortening" in years til the other day when I was at Walmart. The ingredients look very similar to the recipe IrishLass suggested as far as tallow and lard goes.
    Since I found out castor oil was available, I've decided to try a recipe with 45% lard, 3% beeswax, 37% tallow, 3% castor, and 12% corn oil. Does that sound like it would be a good recipe? Of the 4 scents I had planned (now there's a potential 5th, "Granny Woman"... somebody take the internet away from me) I was going to use cow and goat milk, beer, ACV, and legit spring water with sugar to mix up the recipes a bit. Not all those in each recipe, but one different liquid for each scent. The sugars will still boost lather to some degree so I think it should be a well rounded bar (like I would really know). I've ordered a new scale, tallow, and castor oil and am waiting for them to come in.
    I was going to use mica and some natural colorants. I've never used colorants before so it will be interesting. I'm planning the following:
    AV- black swirled with various shades of green
    BW- deep purple, light pink, and deep blue swirl
    TK- grays, blacks, and browns, made to look like stone and earth with veins of silver and gold running throughout and glycerin embeds tinted to look like gemstones. This is a pretty big experiment since I've never done colors before, much less something so involved. Lol
    MM- simple, light brown top and dark brown bottom like the old timey jugs, with XXX stamped on it
    GW- plain bar tinted a light blue (Haint Blue). Southerners used to paint the ceilings of their porches Haint Blue to keep evil spirits from entering the house.
    Now I'm sourcing scents; having trouble finding some. The supply I visited nearby had several very nice scents, but not everything I wanted or even something comparable.
     
  20. Jun 23, 2019 #20

    TheDragonGirl

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    Make sure and account for the ACV in the lye or you'll increase your superfat, other than that it looks great.
     

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