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Lanolin Saponification or Not?

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cgsample

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I've read that lanolin does not saponify? Yet, SoapCalc has the option to add lanolin oil to the formula. My question is, if lanolin in taking up a "%" of the calculation, but does not saponify, will that leave a lye heavy result?
 

DeeAnna

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"...My question is, if lanolin in taking up a "%" of the calculation, but does not saponify, will that leave a lye heavy result? ..."

If you add lanolin to a recipe without accounting for the lye it will consume, this will make your soap more fat heavy, NOT lye heavy. Lanolin does consume some lye. It really doesn't matter why lanolin consumes some lye -- whether by saponification or some other chemical process -- just that it does. Simplest solution is to include it as a fat in your recipe when calculating the amount of lye needed.
 

earlene

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Lanolin does have a very small amount of saponifiables. I do use it in soap for a couple of my recipes and like it very much, but I am a huge fan of plain lanolin to begin with. Some people don't like it at all. Quoting SummerBee Meadow's properties of soapmaking oils: Lanolin [FONT=comic sans ms,sans-serif]Contributes to: soap hardness, conditioning, silky feel, quicker trace. Does not contribute to lather. Lanolin is almost totally unsaponifiable and therefore remains unchanged through the soapmaking process. Lanolin is temperature sensitive, so keep temperatures around 110°F when adding to soap. Lanolin is also used as an emulsifier for lotions and creams. Lanolin is obtained from the wax found on sheep's wool, refined and purified to cosmetic specifications. Excellent emollient, skin lubricant and protectant, capable of absorbing water in an amount equal to 50% of its weight.[/FONT]
If you use too much of it in your soap, the soap does end up feeling a bit sticky and drags a bit too much for some people's taste, so I would suggest if you want to try it, start with small amounts, say 1% of your oils and see how that feels to you.

I also have a few lotions and liquid facial cleanser recipes that call for lanolin (I have not tested these recipes yet, so am not sure how well they turn out.)

My niece uses plain lanolin to condition baby diaper covers (an alternative to buying plastic diaper covers.)
 
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Soapman Ryan

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Since lanolin consumes some of the lye, and if lanolin is not calculated into the recipe on soapcalc. For example, lets say I set soapcalc to 5% Super Fat and add up to 10% lanolin to the soap. I would have 100% oils and 10% lanolin. Would this still be a usable bar, or should the Super Fat be changed to a lower percent?
 

DeeAnna

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"...Lanolin does have a very small amount of unsaponifiables...."

Earlene -- I think you meant to say "a very large amount of unsaponifiables"? That's my understanding and that's also what your quote from SBM is saying. Just wondering...

Ryan -- Lanolin contains a large % of waxes and other chemicals that don't saponify, and this tends to give the effect of a higher % of superfat than you'd expect. Honestly -- don't overdo the lanolin. You will be able to feel it at 5% of the total oils. I include the lanolin in the recipe calculations AND I use a low to modest % of superfat/lye discount.

If you don't include lanolin in the calculations but you manually reduce your superfat/lye discount setting ... aren't you guessing at something the calc can just calculate for you? Why take this approach?
 
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DeeAnna

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Most calcs assume NaOH is 100% pure, but the actual purity is never 100%. If the actual purity is, say, 95%, then the assumption of 100% purity builds in a hidden superfat of the difference:

100 - 95 = 5% hidden superfat.

That means if you set your superfat/lye discount to 5% in soapcalc and use 95% pure NaOH, your soap actually has more like 10% real superfat. If I remember correctly, soapee.com allows you to set the purity to something other than 100% (at least you can do that for KOH), and that's a step in the right direction.

You can use a higher superfat to make a milder soap, but that's not the only way to handle this issue. I formulate my recipe to make a mild soap without needing a higher superfat to be mild on my skin. I use a 3% superfat/lye discount for pretty much all of my soaps. This 3% is going to be closer to a true 3%, since my personal calc also includes a correction for alkali purity. Everyone's preference and skin are different, so I'm not saying my way is the only way. But it is entirely practical and reasonable to formulate a soap with 2% or 3% superfat/lye discount and have a lovely, mild soap with lots of bubbles.

edit -- By using less superfat, the soap will make more bubbles for the same blend of fats, so you can actually reduce the cleansing/stripping fats -- the ones that make bubbles -- and end up with a mild bar that's still bubbly.
 
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earlene

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"...Lanolin does have a very small amount of unsaponifiables...."

Earlene -- I think you meant to say "a very large amount of unsaponifiables"? That's my understanding and that's also what your quote from SBM is saying.
Actually I meant to say a very small amount of saponifiables, which is the same as a large amount of unsaponifiables

Sometimes even when I proofread I still miss stuff!
 

MzMolly65

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Haven't posted in ages because I haven't been making soap but today someone knitty gave me a jar of lanolin water. They were washing fleeces and after filtering out the dirt, this is the water left over and it's lovely full of lanolin.

I was thinking to make a batch of soap with it but have no idea how much lanolin is in the actual water. It's really cloudy with it.

Thoughts?
 

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