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BrewerGeorge

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Regarding additives. As in "Everything but the..."

I have been reading about - and have several of - the various additives used to improve soap quality. Sodium citrate, sodium lactate, sugar, salt, ROE, EDTA etc.

So my question is: Are these effects cumulative? Are people using ALL of these in most of their soaps? Sodium lactate and salt (low dose), for instance, have a similar of initial hardening of CP soap. If using the sodium lactate, is there any point in adding salt?
 

Susie

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If you search those additives on this forum one at the time, I am sure you will find the answers. All of them have been well discussed.

The short answers, however, are not usually, and sometimes.
 

shunt2011

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I can only speak for myself. I use SL but no salt in my batches. However, I do add sugar to my water before my lye even though I use CO and Castor too. It's personal preference for sure. I've started using Sodium Citrate but have never used EDTA.
 

BrewerGeorge

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If you search those additives on this forum one at the time, I am sure you will find the answers. All of them have been well discussed.

The short answers, however, are not usually, and sometimes.
Oh yes! That's how I found out how much to use, their effects...everything. But most discussions are about a particular additive by itself. Focused, so to speak. I haven't really seen a thread specifically about the efficacy of ALL of them together.
 

Susie

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Oh yes! That's how I found out how much to use, their effects...everything. But most discussions are about a particular additive by itself. Focused, so to speak. I haven't really seen a thread specifically about the efficacy of ALL of them together.
There is a reason for that.

However, break down what each does:

Sugar adds bubbles. Is there another "additive" that does that? Not really. You need some sort of sugar whether it comes from sugar, milks, honey, beer, wine, watermelon puree, etc. Just be careful not to get too much or you get overheating.

ROE is added to containers of oils that are prone to rancidity. No other additive you mentioned does that.

Salt/sodium lactate- salt at its most basic formula is NaCl- sodium chloride. Sodium lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid. Either way, the extra sodium (remember that the lye you use is sodium hydroxide) hardens the bars. No real need to use both in CP. However, SL is used in liquid soapmaking to make the paste softer and easier to work with and dilute, and in HP to keep the batter pourable.

EDTA is added to decrease soap scum in hard water situations. If you have hard water, you need it. If you don't, you don't.

So, yes, sometimes people use multiple additives depending on what they are making and what kind of water they have. No, usually salt and SL are not both used together as they sort of do the same job in CP.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Agreed - if I had sl I would not use salt. I wouldn't use sugar if I had some beer going on and so on. There might be overlap, for example some people notice that sl increases bubbles, but I would use both sl AND sugar as sl doesn't seem to be the bubble-a-tron that sugar is.

On topics like this, I am not the best one to ask as I go at it in a rather geeky way. If I was testing two things, I would make 4 batches - one with both, one with one of each (so two batches) and then the last batch with neither - that way I know what each one does and what the cumulative effect is, if any. I did this recently with shaving soaps, testing milk and lanolin.
 

IrishLass

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The one additive I use in all my batches is EDTA (to combat our hard water).

I use sodium lactate in all my batches except for my milk & honey soaps and salt soaps. Although it's pretty plain why I omit it in my salt soaps, the reason why I leave it out of my milk soaps is because I find the milk to mimic some of the effects of sodium lactate (i.e., 'oomphier' lather, slightly harder bar). Just to clarify- when I say 'oomphier' lather, I don't mean to say that the sodium lactate increases bubbles. Instead, I find that it adds a certain creamy 'oomph' or depth to the bubbly lather that's already present. In other words, it gives it a certain 'body'.

I use sugar in all my batches except for my 100% CO batches, my milk & honey soaps, and my liquid soaps.

I only use salt in my salt bars.

I've never used ROE.


IrishLass :)
 

Dharlee

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I looked in the acronym thread but did not see it. What is EDTA? Thanks!
 

DeeAnna

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tetrasodium ethylenediamine tetraacetate or EDTA for short

say it like this: tetra sodium ethylene die-yah-meen tetra acetate
 

Dharlee

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tetrasodium ethylenediamine tetraacetate or EDTA for short

say it like this: tetra sodium ethylene die-yah-meen tetra acetate
Wow that's a mouthful! What does it do? I have hard (city) water and I read something the other day about soap scum and pipes. Is this a problem? Should I be putting something like this into my soap? :???:

ETA Thank you BTW!
 

notapantsday

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Soap has different properties depending on what kind of cation is used. Sodium makes a hard, solid soap, potassium is softer or even liquid. When you make soap with calcium or magnesium instead of sodium or potassium, it's useless because it's almost insoluble in water and doesn't clean or produce foam. You don't want that.

The problem with hard water is that it contains lots of calcium and magnesium that can replace the sodium or potassium in your soap. The resulting insoluble lime soaps are what is referred to as scum around here (I think, not a long-time member) and they can settle down in your bathtub, sink or pipes.

In comes EDTA. It's a special molecule that can create something like a cage around calcium and magnesium ions, preventing them from interacting with the soap molecules. This way you get less or even no scum at all and the Ca²⁺ and Mg²⁺ ions are just flushed away in their cages.
 

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