learning update, Lard recipe feedback?

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leilaninoel

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Hi All,

I'm trying again to experiment with lard. I hadn't soaped in a while due to adopting a cat and my fear of tripping over him while carrying lye water. Now that he has started to mellow out, I have in the past couple of months started soaping again.

Previously, I've had fun just messing around with different oils, adding fancy stuff to try out, but it wasn't a methodical approach. My fiance eventually (not any time soon, of course) wants me to start selling as a means to support the hobby, so I'm going to be a bit more dedicated in my testing and not getting so caught up in trying out all the different specialty oils. I even recently made 3 nearly identical test batches of soap except for one had lard, one shea, and one cocoa butter - those are curing now.

Now I'd like to try a "high" lard batch. I know many folks go much higher, but I wanted to start somewhere in the middle.
(Yes, I know that Olive Oil and Rice Bran oil are redundant - I love olive oil, I know the rice bran oil is more cost effective, but so far I prefer a mix over using only Rice Bran in place of Olive Oil).

Anyhoo. Here is what I have in the soap calc, and I wanted to get some opinions from folks if this looks balanced enough, and if you think it should be a slow-ish or fast-ish trace, etc. Also, I picked up some sodium lactate to play with - what usage rate would you use for a recipe like this? I've found the recommended usage rates for EDTA on SMF, but have been having trouble finding a specific percentage of total oil weight for sodium lactate.

Forgive all the questions - any and all information is totally appreciated. :)

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dibbles

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I haven't used rice bran oil or flax oil, but otherwise this is pretty close to one of my go to recipes. It behaves very well - lots of time to play.
 

lenarenee

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Curious as to why the 40% lye concentration?

And the 5% flax? Is that an experiment? Maybe leave that out this time and add to the lard then. You won't be sorry!

I use 1.5 - 2% sc of oil weight. Wish I could tell you how it works. I have soft water, friends have hard so I use it, and only gotten positive feedback. However its hard to know if they're being honest, polite, or just don't have that soaper's enjoyment of soap performance details!

You've made a fine recipe.
 

earlene

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I think the flax is used as a luxury oil in this recipe. I happen to like the feel of flax seed oil soap, but flax seed oil goes rancid pretty quickly, even in the refrigerator. So you can expect DOS if the soap is kept too long. You could try reducing your SF to delay DOS, but I made a 0% SF bar of only flax oil and still had to toss it eventually when the DOS turned it rancid and the smell became overpowering.

I'd suggest another luxury oil instead. If you have lots of Flax Seed Oil and still want to give it a try, then maybe do a small batch with Flax and a small one with another luxury oil and see how they compare over time?
 

Steve85569

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Lots of oils in there for me but it looks like it'll make a good bar of soap.

I like to keep things as simple as possible just because I know me and my ability to mess up.
 

leilaninoel

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Thanks all for the feedback. . I'll try without the flax and then with as an experiment and see what I like better/how they last.

I recall reading an article from swiftcraftymonkey that discussed the benefits of linolenic acid for the skin, and flax seed oil has a high linolenic acid number so I was going to give it a try. Thanks for the heads up on its propensity for DOS - I'll give it a try for kicks, but if it doesn't work out I may have to figure out something else to use the flaxseed oil for.
 

cmzaha

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Susan from Crafty Monkey refers to lotions and scrubs. She is not a soapmaker. Soap is a washoff item so you really do not get any theraputic properties from it. Some oils such as Avocado, SAO etc do add some nice feel properties to soap. I do not use flax due to severe allergies to it. 50% linolenic is very high for soap. Try making a small batch of 100% flax oil and see how it works. I like to make a single bar test batch or small flowers in a muli cavity silicone mold for sharing
 

IrishLass

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Hi All,

(Yes, I know that Olive Oil and Rice Bran oil are redundant - I love olive oil, I know the rice bran oil is more cost effective, but so far I prefer a mix over using only Rice Bran in place of Olive Oil).
I often hear folks say that they consider using both to be redundant, but I'm with you- I actually like a mix of olive and rice bran, and I don't find them to be redundant at all, especially considering that rice bran has almost 1/2 less the amount of oleic as olive oil, while at the same time contains roughly 3 times more linoleic than olive. I think they make a great combo and I use them both in my bastille formula.

Also, I picked up some sodium lactate to play with - what usage rate would you use for a recipe like this?
I myself normally use between 2% to 3% ppo of SL (not of the dry form, but of the pre-made/liquid 60% solution form) Basically, the more hard fats that I have in my formula, the lesser amount of SL, and the more soft oils in my formula, the more SL I'll use. For what its worth, though, I never go over 3% ppo.

eilaninoel said:
but if it doesn't work out I may have to figure out something else to use the flaxseed oil for.
Smoothies! At least that's what I do with mine, anyway. :) I keep my flax oil stored in the freezer. It lasts much longer in there, and since it's so unsaturated, it'll only thicken up slightly when frozen instead of harden, making it very easy squirt into my smoothies.


IrishLass :)
 

Millie

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Curious as to why the 40% lye concentration?
Is there something unusual about that lye concentration? I've seen that recommended a couple of times, but when I tried it I got a film on the lye solution (lye reacting with carbon dioxide in the air). I usually use a 35% lye concentration.
 

lenarenee

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40% lye concentration is usually for very high amounts of olive oil (or other high oleic oils) because they trace so slowly. There's nothing wrong with using 40% for this recipe - it's a slow tracer at 33%, I haven't done 40% with that type of recipe. If you want to do lots of colors and swirls, I'd lower
the concentration, although for a couple of colors and nice swirl I think you'll be fine. I would like to hear what others say....?
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I would also say that if you are going to be thinking about looking at possibly selling in the future, please do it because you actually want to sell soap rather than for covering costs of a hobby.
 

leilaninoel

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I would also say that if you are going to be thinking about looking at possibly selling in the future, please do it because you actually want to sell soap rather than for covering costs of a hobby.

Currently I give all my soaps away for free to family, friends, and coworkers. I have had many recipients try to pay, but I convince them they are just test bars/market research. My only issues with selling are 1) I don't want to profit off of anyone, and 2) I will never feel like they are good enough to charge someone.

That being said, if I do start to sell I will likely donate all profits various charities I support. Thinking about it in terms of being able to give more to causes I really care about, I actually really like the idea and it would solve the first problem, but then there is still that 2nd issue. We'll see.
 

Susie

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Currently I give all my soaps away for free to family, friends, and coworkers. I have had many recipients try to pay, but I convince them they are just test bars/market research. My only issues with selling are 1) I don't want to profit off of anyone, and 2) I will never feel like they are good enough to charge someone.

That being said, if I do start to sell I will likely donate all profits various charities I support. Thinking about it in terms of being able to give more to causes I really care about, I actually really like the idea and it would solve the first problem, but then there is still that 2nd issue. We'll see.
If that is your motivation, then go for it! Remember that you can even donate soap to homeless shelters and food banks, just call them to see if they have any preferences before delivering.

Just realize that making soap for money changes your hobby to a business whether you want it to or not. It switches channels in your mind. Don't be surprised when your fun becomes not so much fun any more. I am on the verge of selling, and I assure you that it has changed how I look at my soap and recipes tremendously.
 

leilaninoel

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If that is your motivation, then go for it! Remember that you can even donate soap to homeless shelters and food banks, just call them to see if they have any preferences before delivering.



Just realize that making soap for money changes your hobby to a business whether you want it to or not. It switches channels in your mind. Don't be surprised when your fun becomes not so much fun any more. I am on the verge of selling, and I assure you that it has changed how I look at my soap and recipes tremendously.

Thank you for the insight! I really appreciate it. :)
 

leilaninoel

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OK, so I finally finished my tests with the 40% Lard recipe. The upside to my fiance encouraging me to sell is that he approved me setting up a "soap room", as well as buying some equipment to go along with the supplies I purchased. Reading posts on the forum also inspired me to masterbatch my lye at a 50% solution - oh my goodness, I don't think I'm every going back!

I masterbatched the lard recipe it so I could have the right proportions to add 70g of a "luxury" oil to get everything into increments of 5 for percentages - easier for me to remember and calculate that way.

In the master batch I had what equated to
42.11% lard,
21.05% CO
15.79% OO
15.79% RBO
5.26% Castor
So if I added another oil at the same amount as the castor, it would make everything at 40%, 20% 15%, etc.

Each soap was done at 5% SF, addition of 1% SL and 0.5% EDTA, plus a pinch of meadowfoam as carrier oil when mixing colorants and scents (I know, it's considered a waste, but I like it and the fact that it theoretically can help extend the shelf life of the other oils in the bar). Everything was done at room temperature unless otherwise noted.

Attached is the picture of the rack full of different variations on the Lard bar.
From left to right -


1. Lavender 40/42 scented, CP, with ultramarine violet and purple Brazilian clay. I accidentally made the recipe using 40% water to oil ratio, instead of lye to water ratio, so I think that's what caused the ridiculous amount of ash on top. I didn't add an additional 5% of any other oil, so I just used the masterbatch straight up with a 5% superfat.

2. Egyptian Jasmine FO scented, CPOP, colored with liquid cherry colorant to make the overall pink, and some ultramarine pink oxide for the darker portions. (I made this one for a friend-of-a-friend whose favorite color is pink, her name is Jasmine, and she has been battling breast cancer).
This one was actually quite an experiment in regards to the "luxury" oil - I used 5% flaxseed oil, but instead of putting it in with everything else, I actually mixed it with the lye the day before. Because of the DOS warnings about the Flax, my goal was to try and sopanify as much of the flaxseed oil as possible before adding the other oils. It was definitely interesting to see the flaxseed oil morph into soap floating around in the lye water solution, and I had to stickblend it before I mixed it with the other oils because it was rather gloppy looking floating on top of the lye solution after it had done its thing over night.

3. Orange 5x EO (plus some litsea cubeba and lemongrass in hopes of helping some of the scent "stick"), colored with some yellow Brazilian clay and lemon peel powder. This one I actually did as a planned rebatch - I made the masterbatch soap as is but at a 0% superfat. The next day I shredded it up, and rebatched it. Once it was gloppy, I mixed in the 5% meadowfoam as the luxury oil (I know, crazy right?!), as well as the scents and colorants.

4. Grapefruit EO (plus some Orange 5X EO, Litsea Cubeba, and Lemongrass). This I did as a hot process, but added all the oils in at the same time, including 5% avocado oil. Colored with a tiny bit of liquid cherry colorant in hopes of adding a rosy color, as well as yellow oxide and powdered lemon peel.
I think I stirred too much while it was cooking, because even though I made it full water, it got a tad dry. I smushed everything in, but the top was crumbly, so I quickly mixed up some plain unscented soap batter with avocado (so much easier to do with the oils and lye masterbatched!) and poured that over the top in an effort to smooth things out a bit. Found out after unmolding that I should have also done so on the bottom, because it's very craggy on the bottom.

5. Received my first ever FO purchase from Nurture Soaps (which I was inspired to do from another forum post :)), so this one was scented with Presidents Hat FO. CP. Colorants were nettle powder and basil powder, but they looked rather brown so I added some green oxide to both - they still looked different when in batter form, but after unmolding both greens look exactly the same. Oh well. :) This one was the first made in my newly setup "soap room", so I let it cure in there to test if it fully would gel or not without having to pop into the oven.

6. Cinnamon Bun FO scented. The whole batch has some Natural Brazilian clay, the top and bottom layers have the FO and some crushed grapeseeds, and the middle was unscented. I was trying to get even layers, but I'm very uncoordinated. CP.

7. Unscented (what I prefer). I was attempting a half and half, but I was having a *very* klutzy day so I just kind of went with it (I managed to spill half the batter on the table, but used a spatula to scrape most of it back into the container). It has titanium dioxide and some bamboo powder for the white, and activated charcoal for the dark gray (I was going for darker - I think next time I'll try adding some black oxide if I want it darker). I attempted to use silver glitter (also from NS) as you would a mica line, but it didn't really go as planned either.

OK. I know that was a bit long, but for any of you who managed to skim through it - feedback? Constructive criticism? Has anyone else tried what I tried with the flaxseed oil? Do you think my soaps are pretty? Want to tell me how stupid it is to use meadowfoam oil? I'll take anything. :)

full soap rack lard bars.jpg
 
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