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Less soap scum with homemade/natural soaps?

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RogueRose

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I just realized that I have not needed to clean my shower anywhere near as often as I used to before I started using home-made soaps. I have significantly less soap scum and that flaky white "lime" (not from hard water though...) like build-up since switching. I used to have to clean every 2-3 months and II could probably have gotten away with not cleaning the floor/bottom of the shower, glass door or shower walls in 12-14 months!

It is really amazing. The shower floor is barely showing dirt at all after a LONG time.

Has anyone else noticed this from the soaps?
 

Obsidian

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Usually its the exact opposite. I get a lot more soap scum with handmade soaps and its harder to clean out of the tub.
 

galaxyMLP

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I have the same experience as obsidian. I NEVER had any soap scum before making handmade soap and now its all over. I'm adding a chelator now so its a little better.
 

shunt2011

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I agree with the other two....I've had more soap scum since I've used handmade soap. I'm going to start adding a chelator to help with it.
 

galaxyMLP

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Chelators are chemicals that bind up or inactivate other chemicals. In this case we use chelators to chelate (bind and inactivate) other metals in hard water that form soap scum.

Soap scum is actually made up of insoluble salts of fatty acids. Sodium and potassium salts of fatty acids (bar and liquid soap respectively) are soluble in water and don't contribute to soap scum. However, dissolved calcium and magnesium (or other metals) found in hard water will also make salts with fatty acids. Those salts are not soluble in water and thus form a slimy scum.

Chelators bind to those free metals and stop them from binding to the fatty acids and so the soap scum doesnt form.

Its not 100% effective but it sure does help!

One more thing: Examples of chelators are Sodium Citrate and Tetrasodium EDTA. You can search them on the forum and find boatloads of great info (and more in depth explanations from Dee)
 
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shunt2011

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So why not use de-ionised water?
Because it happens when you are showering. I use distilled water to make my soap but when you use it in the shower is where the problem lies. So a chelator helps avoid the soap scum in the tub. My water isn't really hard but apparently it's got enough stuff in it to cause a bit of an issue with soap scum.
 

galaxyMLP

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Ferris, its not about what you make the soap with in this case although that does help alot. Its about when you use the soap in the shower/bath. No amount of super pure water when you make the soap can combat that (and this girl right here has ultra pure water from the lab she works at, to make soap!).

The sodium ions in our bar soap are not permanently attached to the fatty acid portion and in water, when the bar soap dissolves, they can be "bumped" free by another metal like calcium or magnesium. Thats why soap scum will form even after you make the soap and while you are showering with it.
 

cmzaha

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I am with everyone, using a chelator helps considerably but I still get more soap scum than I do when I used commercial bars
 

not_ally

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Commercial soaps must use tons of chelators (often there seems to be a combo). I never had any scum using syndets, started noticing it w/MP, and then, with CP, came the deluge. I had a huge amt of scum (I do use a lot of lard, which is supposed too be a bad oil for that), but using a chelator/EDTA has reduced it a *lot*.
 

galaxyMLP

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Now the question becomes:

Why is OP experiencing less scum?
 

Saponista

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Our water is rated at a hardness of zero on the scale and I still get lots of scum even with sodium citrate. My shower is looking decidedly grimy and we have visitors at the weekend so it needs an overhaul. Not my favourite job!
 

not_ally

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The weird thing is that regardless of the water, the OP is getting *less* scum with home-made soap than store-bought bars, that really is a strange result that suggests that it has more to do w/the soap than the water. The only thing I can think is that the bought ones had something in them that increased scum (no chelators? high amounts of scum producing oils?) and her home made recipe/s have less of those factors. That makes it sound like the bought ones are CP, though, which I think she indicated was not the case. V. strange.
 

galaxyMLP

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The weird thing is that regardless of the water, the OP is getting *less* scum with home-made soap than store-bought bars, that really is a strange result that suggests that it has more to do w/the soap than the water. The only thing I can think is that the bought ones had something in them that increased scum (no chelators? high amounts of scum producing oils?) and her home made recipe/s have less of those factors. That makes it sound like the bought ones are CP, though, which I think she indicated was not the case. V. strange.
That was why it was weird to me. Unless water quality/type changed or he/she got a water softener, then it just doesnt make much sense.
 

kumudini

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What if the OP is already using a chelator in their recipes or zero super fat.Even then, one year is a really long time to not see scum in my opinion. I hope it's not a joke of some kind.
 

galaxyMLP

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Superfat wont effect the amount of soap scum. Its the soap itself that makes soap scum and not the excess fat from a superfat. Maybe you are right and OP is already using a chelator?
 

kumudini

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yes I know that SF doesn't effect the amount of scum but it definitely adds layers on the scum that's already there. That's why I promptly came down to 5-7 SF from the outrageous 12 in my first two batches.
 

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