Linoleics Anonymous

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ResolvableOwl

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ETA tl;dr: From several points of view, it appears that staying well below 15% of linoleic acid is a reasonable rule of thumb. Exceeding it should better be the exception for those who know what they're doing, first of all how to guard against rancidity/DOS. That said, linoleic acid is a worthy component of soaps, and fun to explore!



I didn't want to strain the grocery store challenge thread more with this topic. FWIW, the complicated relationship of soapmaking with poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA, mainly linoleic acid) deserves its own thread!

The situation (largely stolen from my reply over there)
Regarding to PUFAs implying an application maximum, non-lauric oils fall into roughly three categories:
  1. Classic base oils: olive, HO seed oils, hard oils, lard… (without quantity limit)
  2. “Luxury” oils with high iodine value: HL sunflower, safflower, sesame, hemp, poppy, flaxseed, fish oil… (very prone to rancidity, usually added in small quantities, if at all)
  3. In between (15…30% PUFA): canola, rice bran, peanut, almond and a few others. Provided a robust recipe, proper curing/storage, and chemical precautions (ROE, chelators), these can still make up for a major fraction of the oils.
Several reasons make it tempting to use the third class in major quantities. But opinions differ if this is a good idea or not.

Contra High-linoleic
  • Respect towards time-proven rules of recipe design (classic trinity, max iodine value, min INS, min hardness, max PUFA) is a (comparatively) easy and reasonably reliable way to stay happy with one's soap in the long run (over years). Undoubted authorities with a lot of experience in the field have wrapped up their experiences in recommendations. Those are no natural laws (in the strict sense), but still it'd be silly to violate against them for short-term effect. Inconvincible, just to find out, after a long journey of long-term frustrations, that reinventing the wheel wouldn't have been necessary if one stuck to old-fashioned wisdom in the first place. Being adventurous is okay, but it is self-deception to conceal laziness or stinginess under a healty degree of skeptic insubordination.
  • Lye discount/superfat allegedly amplifies the rancidity issues with high-PUFA soaps, Low-PUFA recipes allow for a larger margin of error. The interval between lye-heavy, harsh soaps and detrimental superfat shrinks with increasing PUFA contents. And this is not necessarily in the hands of soapmakers themselves (inevitable natural variations).
  • My own experience with linoleic oils and hardness (or the lack thereof) is that oleic and linoleic acid initially behave similarly in the soap batter (fluidity, trace speed, temperatures), but linoleic lacks the “castile kick” for hardening, i. e. it complicates unmoulding, and (more importantly) it won't contribute to (or even impede) a hard bar even after a very long curing time (months and longer).
  • “Castile slime” apparently is a property of unsaturated fatty acids in general, not just oleic acid. Linoleic acid probably contributes to it, but definitely won't prevent it. Just now, I have tested a two months old 100% cottonseed oil soap (ca. 80% unsaturated with L:O 3:1) that has hardened up lovely, but once wet, it becomes just as ropy and slimy as a high-oleic castile soap.
  • When you observe well-founded rules like <15% PUFA, longevity number >25, coconut <20%, it is impressive how this magically ensures INS>130 and IV<70 (as if someone clever had thought through this?). As soon as you drop the <15% PUFA rule, it becomes a lot easier to come up with a very questionable soap recipe. Not that I'm accidentally becoming an INS disciple, but its strict and easy limits keeps unwelcome surprises away. I wonder if there are soap calculators out there that emphasise a “PUFA number” with the respective limits?

Pro High-linoleic
A list of thoughts that came upon me on maxing out linoleic – while still roughly staying within the limits of proven bar soap recipes (hardness/longevity number). Crazy things like pure HL sunflower soap are not meant, if at all, they deserve another thread.
  • Availability: It is more comfortable for beginners and small-size/opportunity soapers to branch off some kitchen ingredients, than to hoard oils dedicated to soapmaking. Canola and/or peanut/rice bran oil are dead cheap in many parts of the world and easy to restock in case you run out of supply. Including mid-linoleic oils broadens the palette to express your opinions about global flow of goods vs. regionality, GMO, animal products, organic agriculture, “food or fuel” (inedible rapeseed, jatropha!) etc.
  • The unique texture of linoleic soaps. Some observations: They are silky, slightly translucent, and have a glossy surface. They stay a bit gummy and are still a bit pliable after a long time, and by no means brittle. Comparable high-oleic recipes have been a bit chalky in my experience, and much more prone to soda ash.
  • (My) skin loves PUFA lather. It feels super soft and gentle, yet cleans well, and washes away easily. The skin feels soft, dry and clean afterwards, without feeling stripped off or tight. And it appears to be less sensitive to hard water to build up soap scum.
  • Rancidity can be delayed/slowed down by addition of antioxidants (ROE) and chelators. A clever idea in any case. With proper precautions, it is probably possible to reach linoleic content significantly above 15% without DOS attacks. Someone just would have jump in and find out how far one can push this limit – an unthankful, time- and patience-consuming business…


Currently, my personal approach is to max out the 15% “linoleic budget”, as long as the rest of the recipe allows for it (looking at you, longevity number!). Replacing olive/HO sunflower by rice bran oil is a nice and easy way to do so.

“Luxury” oils like hemp, oat, poppy at low single-digit percentages appears like a waste of effort (or a mere PR gag/green labelling) to me. If these oils are really so great, why not add 10% or 15% of them?

High-linoleic and mid-linoleic oils appear somewhat mutually exclusive: they compete for the same limited “resource”: the reserves of permanent self-protection of a soap bar against rancidity.

Also, my mention of the 60% canola oil in the grocery store challenge didn't come out of the blue (without being too suggestive at this point). The hard part is to explain to my “former self” why, back then, it was a Bad Idea™ to flood a soap recipe with 60% canola, but now it is okay?!
 
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Tara_H

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Very educational!

A question on your "luxury" Vs other oils, are you basing that on price/availability, purely iodine value, or something else? The reason I ask is that in my neck of the woods, sunflower is the dirt cheap oils that's sold in multi-litre bottles, whereas peanut oil (for example) is expensive and sold in 500ml max iirc.

To put it another way, are those grouped for high iodine value and the "luxury" label is incidental?
 

earlene

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I wonder if there are soap calculators out there that emphasise a “PUFA number” with the respective limits?
Not a range, per se, but don't most of them show a 60:40 ratio recommendation and have this sort of analysis after a formula has been entered:
(pardon my pour coordination in highlighting the image - dominant hand in a cast)

1618594093397.png




And many (most? - I don't know, having only tried less than 10 different ones) do include analysis of at least some of the FA's in question, by number at the very least and even by graph as this one does:

1618594379594.png




My thoughts:
Testing out your theory is test worthy.
Well-controlled formula to restrict SF (Zero would be my choice) + DOS inhibiting additives are, IMO & IME, a wise option in said tests.


Very educational!

A question on your "luxury" Vs other oils, are you basing that on price/availability, purely iodine value, or something else? The reason I ask is that in my neck of the woods, sunflower is the dirt cheap oils that's sold in multi-litre bottles, whereas peanut oil (for example) is expensive and sold in 500ml max iirc.

To put it another way, are those grouped for high iodine value and the "luxury" label is incidental?
I tend to agree that "Luxury" oils is a descriptor dependent on not only FA make-up but on cost & availability, which always depends on locale.
 
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ResolvableOwl

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A question on your "luxury" Vs other oils, are you basing that on price/availability, purely iodine value, or something else? The reason I ask is that in my neck of the woods, sunflower is the dirt cheap oils that's sold in multi-litre bottles, whereas peanut oil (for example) is expensive and sold in 500ml max iirc.

To put it another way, are those grouped for high iodine value and the "luxury" label is incidental?
Nothing is incidental! You're right that I should clarify my use of the term “luxury”, and why I put it into quotation marks. There is a lot of marketing going on for everything in general, and “precious” oils in particular. PR strategists are thinking up many more or less sensible denominations, labels etc. to “add value” (in the most fundamental sense of neoliberal materialism: customers pay more for it than they would if they only paid for the product). “Luxury”, “superfood”, and that whole vitamin/antioxidant/phytochemical apparatus. Most of the oils that were hyped as fashionable lately (grapeseed, hemp, germ oils from maize/oat/wheat, pumpkin, flaxseed, algae, buckthorn, sacha inchi, nigella, chufa, camelina…) happen to be on the high-PUFA side.
I don't know if there is a reason behind this observation. Maybe there is, since modern technology (vacuum/protective atmosphere, novel extraction, filtration, storage, global logistics, but also progress in breeding) allow these oils to be sold more easily to customers. Small companies/start-ups put effort into trading high-margin niche products with targeted marketing, that does no longer primarily work via price labels in supermarket, but Instagram, health and beauty blogs, etc.
The “big player” oils meanwhile, with markets in the million-tonne regime, are “boring” in appearance to new customers. They usually can't compete with the high-linoleic oils, which happen to have the “PUFA = healthy” mind bomb on their side.

Ironically (and that's another reason for my quotation marks), soy and HL sunflower/safflower oil are very high in PUFA as well, yet large-scale industrial base oils. But who would advertise the cheapest discounter oil as “luxurious”? Such labels are mere PR.
From the perspective of soapmaking, however, both the expensive and the cheap HL oils are “luxurious” in the caution with which one should use them in a recipe. Anything above 20% means most probably flirting with DOS already.
That's why I called them “luxury” oils anyway.
My classification is roughly along the line of >50% PUFA content, This of course correlates highly with high iodine values. I'm not really sure which of the two values is more meaningful. If linolenic acid C18:3 is about as “troublesome” than linoleic acid C18:2, then PUFA content is most sensible; if it is much more sensitive to rancidity, then iodine value is better. Without further data, I can't decide.

If you just want to up PUFA, the cheapest HL sunflower oil will do the trick. It's up to you to pay luxury prices for luxury presentation of everyday oils (peanut oil at an Asian store is sold at much more reasonable prices than in the gourmet section of a supermarket. MUCH more reasonable).

Not a range, per se, but don't most of them show a 60:40 ratio recommendation and have this sort of analysis after a formula has been entered:
Yes I know. But it would be more sensible if they made a distinction between mono- and poly-unsaturated FAs. And yes, many soap calculators do display linoleic and linolenic acid values; yet (at least from those I know) they are presented like “good to know” supplemental information, and you have to add them by yourself. Instead of having a nice bar that is green when putting 60% HO sunflower, but turns dangerously red when replacing it by 60% HL sunflower.

My thoughts:
Testing out your theory is test worthy.
Well-controlled formula to restrict SF (Zero would be my choice) + DOS inhibiting additives are, IMO & IME, a wise option in said tests.
Not that I didn't already come up with such ideas too ;). Currently in curing stage (it'll be about time to sum up soon):
  • 80% sunflower + 20% hard oils, with either HO sunflower (INS 127/IV 68) or HL sunflower (INS 92/IV 108)
  • In said HL sunflower soap, I have added ROE in various concentrations (between none and 480 ppm ppo carnosic acid)
  • 100% cottonseed oil soap
  • I've made soap with 10% camelina (9% PUFA) in December; it has become really lovely, and no signs of rancidity yet.
Neither of these soaps has particularly low superfat (rather about 5%). This ideally worsens DOS. (to be fair, my reasoning was to rather have some safety net for scale inaccuracy, since all of these are rather small batches).

Feeling like a rebel now with my 18% Linoleic recipes.
Pro-linoleics of all countries, unite!
 

FragranceGuy

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This is my kind of thread! Science mixed with opinions mixed with experiences/experiments... let the games begin! I appreciate that you @ResolvableOwl recognize that guidelines like “keep your linoleic below 15%” are passed around for a reason and aren’t necessarily arbitrary rules to control the masses 😆 AND I appreciate that you point out that reinventing the wheel, so to speak, for the sake of being oppositional is probably a waste of time. Lots of bright people have come before us. Most of all, I appreciate your curiosity and love for high linoleic soap. After my first accidental high linoleic/iodine soap, I considered it a happy accident. I’m really glad I didn’t know the rules ☺ After a close call with DOS at 29% linoleic I decided I wanted to max my linoleic as much as possible. My reasoning “If 29% barely gave me a DOS scare, then 2/3rds value is probably workable.” So for the next while I’m going to aim for 15-20% linoleic. Depending on the results I’ll adjust and share my experiences. I’ve decided that the next 2 years of my soap making journey are going to be experimental. It took me 3 years to perfect my barbecue recipe, so why rush soap?
 

beckster51

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One of my favorite soaps is 80% RBO. Made over a year ago, no rancidity, no DOS, a lovely soap for my sensitive skin. It is slightly translucent, is not a really hard soap, but lasts a reasonable length of time provided it is kept dry between uses. I know traditional thinking is that this is a soap recipe looking for trouble, but I haven't had any.
 

earlene

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One of my favorite soaps is 80% RBO. Made over a year ago, no rancidity, no DOS, a lovely soap for my sensitive skin. It is slightly translucent, is not a really hard soap, but lasts a reasonable length of time provided it is kept dry between uses. I know traditional thinking is that this is a soap recipe looking for trouble, but I haven't had any.
My 100% RBO soaps don't have DOS at almost 4 years. (Made July 2017; 0% SF; 2% sodium acetate via vinegar; ROE + EDTA). So, my conclusions about how to prevent DOS in a mid-high linoleic soap (this one has 39 linoleic*) is as I did with Zero SF, or as close as I could get without actually testing my NaOH for purity (but that can be done) and the use of DOS inhibiting additives (at least the ones I used, anyway.) Of course this is based on limited experimentation, and the experiment was related to the use of vinegar, not really about DOS prevention.

As far as being a lovely soap, I don't really see it as such, but as I said, it was an experiment, not planned to use as a stand-alone soap. Few bubbles, oleic ropes, but doesn't feel slimy to ME, a tad drying to my skin & also a bit hard to rinse off (as per today's testing with single-handed handwashing - which is a bit abnormal, given one hand is in a cast, so it may be better using 2 hands to wash.)

I am curious what your other ingredients are, @beckster51; I'm sure they are important in creating your good results.

* Per manufacturer (Riceland brand), linoleic is 39.15. Rice Bran Oil > Info (Thanks, to @lsg, who found this information and shared it here.) I have entered it in as a custom oil in Soapmaking Recipe Builder & Calculator, in order to get the most accurate profile when using RBO, since it is the brand I use.
 

beckster51

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OK, I had to go back and look up the recipe in my book. I was wrong. This soap is 2 years old this month! The first RBO soap I made was 85% RBO, and it was too sticky, slimy, and soft. This soap is 80% refined RBO (probably Riceland, I use that most of the time), 15% PKO, 5% Castor, EDTA, Sorbitol. When I first made it, it was sticky, but after a good cure, it was not. It does not produce a huge lather, but it is adequate for me. (I find high lather soaps are generally drying for me, which is a shame as I love a big lather. I cannot tolerate CO at all. I use PKO or babassu in place of CO.) I don't find this soap slimy, drying, or hard to rinse off. I started using it at the kitchen sink when the pandemic started because my hands were so dry and cracked. It fixed that. I should qualify my love for this soap by telling you that I have dry, 70 year old skin, and most soap leaves me feeling dry. This soap and my lard soap does not. My skin really likes RBO in soap. I may add sub canola for castor next time to see if I can increase the bubbles a bit. I know that is pushing the DOS meter up a bit, but I have not had DOS with canola either, and it makes great bubbles.
 

ResolvableOwl

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OK. I'm a bit overwhelmed right now ☺, for several reasons. Firstly, it seems to really have hit a nerve! I'm very happy that quite a few of you, for various reasons, think similarly, and are eager to share their linoleic “vice”. But still with all the precautions and respect towards time-proven insights. And I'm super thankful for long-term reports, like the high RBO soaps!

Originally, I had no plans to extend my activities towards breaching the rules (One time DOS broadside was an instructive lesson 🙃). But the voices here made me rethink my settling with this 15% PUFA “curse”. I suspect there is more to rancidity than the mere PUFA/iodine value. But the only way to find out is to tickle the dragon's tail…
 

beckster51

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OK. I'm a bit overwhelmed right now ☺, for several reasons. Firstly, it seems to really have hit a nerve! I'm very happy that quite a few of you, for various reasons, think similarly, and are eager to share their linoleic “vice”. But still with all the precautions and respect towards time-proven insights. And I'm super thankful for long-term reports, like the high RBO soaps!

Originally, I had no plans to extend my activities towards breaching the rules (One time DOS broadside was an instructive lesson 🙃). But the voices here made me rethink my settling with this 15% PUFA “curse”. I suspect there is more to rancidity than the mere PUFA/iodine value. But the only way to find out is to tickle the dragon's tail…
Experiment, I say! Make small batches so you won't feel like you have wasted your time and supplies. I have had to experiment a lot due to sensitive, dry skin issues. I had to make 4 batches of salt bars before I found a salt level that I liked and that didn't make me itch like a demon. I am not after a perfect bar for the masses. I don't sell. I am after a perfect bar for ME. I have never followed the guidelines strictly as I found out early on that following them made a great bar that was hard, long lasting, with great lather, but did not make a soap that I could use with good results.
 

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I was quite surprised when I started using Google translate to read the blogs of some of the German and Austrian soap makers and found that many of them are making soap recipes that have fairly large percentages of “luxury oils” and at 8% SF or more. A common example is macadamia, and I’ve also seen argan in some recipes. One very well known South African soap maker posted on IG about a year ago that she makes high L+L soaps for herself (it may have been hemp) because they’re so nice, but also noted that she does not sell them because of the shelf life issues. Somewhere in my travels I read that linolenic is the real culprit. RBO, macadamia, hazelnut, argan, regular sunflower and peanut oil all have low percentages of linolenic, while it’s about a third or more of the L+L fraction in regular canola, rose hip and hemp. Maybe you can add another variable to your next round of testing 😎

eta: after double checking:
oleic acid - monounsaturated with one double bond
linoleic - polyunsaturated with two double bonds
linolenic - polyunsaturated with three double bonds

diagram removed, see below
 
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ResolvableOwl

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I was quite surprised when I started using Google translate to read the blogs of some of the German and Austrian soap makers and found that many of them are making soap recipes that have fairly large percentages of “luxury oils” and at 8% SF or more. A common example is macadamia, and I’ve also seen argan in some recipes. One very well known South African soap maker posted on IG about a year ago that she makes high L+L soaps for herself (it may have been hemp) because they’re so nice, but also noted that she does not sell them because of the shelf life issues. Somewhere in my travels I read that linolenic is the real culprit. RBO, macadamia, hazelnut, argan, regular sunflower and peanut oil all have low percentages of linolenic, while it’s about a third or more of the L+L fraction in regular canola, rose hip and hemp. Maybe you can add another variable to your next round of testing 😎
Good point! I never thought through the FA sociology within the PUFA group. In fact, I'm still puzzled about how two isolated double bonds behave differently depending on if they are within one molecule chain or two. But it must have a reason why some oils/blends are more DOS-prone than others, at similar IVs.

High IV/PUFA numbers/“luxury oils” plus high superfat plus short shelf life sounds odd to me. I mean, on the one hand, soap is a consumable good, and when you know you can/should use it up within a few months, then it's okay to do so – missing all the advantages of well cured soap. But IMHO it shouldn't be the goal of soapmaking to produce something that is good either young or well-aged, but both. Sacrifying self-confident trust into a soap's life cycle for the sake of flashy PR – sorry for the morbid comparison – reminds me of recommending people to die early to suffer less from cancer, heart attack or Altzheimer's disease.

Back to topic. I think you really meant “our next rond of testing”, not “mine”. Don't forget this is a self-help group – Everyone free to test whatever they think is testworthy!
But in any case, it is a good thing that I “by pure chance” have a bottle of flaxseed oil (17% linoleic + 54% linolenic, sub-zero INS) waiting in the fridge to take part in such an experiment!

[ETA: link kept intact for personal amusement only, see reply below]
Eww, sorry. That structure formulas might appear fine at a first glance, but are nonsense. I hope this depiction got revised/corrected for publication in the book.

Firstly, all three depicted molecules have 19 carbon atoms, not 18 (all fatty acids except margaric acid have an even number of C atoms). Thus, all of the positions of the double bonds are wrong.
rom the carboxylic (left) end, the oleic acid family should have its first double bond between carbons 9=10 (not 10=11 as depicted). In the PUFAs as produced by plants, there is always one carbon atom in between that is not part of a double bond (9=10, 12=13, 15=16 for the α-linolenic acid; that's why it is called ω-3 fatty acid, because when looked on the molecule from the end (“ω”), the third atom is the first that takes part in a double bond).

Finally, the double bonds are drawn as trans bonds (fit nicely into the straight molecule chain zig-zag), and everyone (except the stubborn proponents of partially hydrogenated soy wax) agrees that trans fats are evil 👿. Natural unsaturated fatty acids (cis isomers) are bulky and bend molecule chains (that's why oils are liquid and fats are solid!). Structural formulas better should reflect this.
Your classification is correct, but you had bad luck in coming up with a good depiction. This structure formula is a lot better (less wrong).

Oof, enough chemistry coaching for today.
 
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Tara_H

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IMHO it shouldn't be the goal of soapmaking to produce something that is good either young or well-aged
I get your point, but so far I've been thinking about soap along the same lines as wine or cheese - there's a minimum time to get a good product, but after that the optimum window may vary widely depending on what goes in, and from my point of view that's not only ok, but part of the wonderful variety of all of these crafts.
 

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Yes, a well laid-out “use after”–“best before” interval is fine, I'm fully with you – if it is the case with the recipes @Mobjack Bay referred to. I doubt that all of them have good reasons to ramp up superfat to a level at which it really only contributes to murky sewage and sticky stains. A shortsighted “my superfat is higher than yours” helps nobody (well – except ironically the short-lived soapers themselves, since they can sell you more of their half-cured, fast dissolving soap then).

Please get me right. I don't have anything against them. Many of them make fabulous soap, that most often is also exceptionally pretty. They deserve attention, they do good to “convert” as many industry-soap-bored John Does to artisanal soap as possible. But IMHO this doesn't justify the gradual build-up of some kind of “mysticism” around unprovable (or, worse, already disproved) factoids, nor laziness to tweak recipes for good durability.

My early successes in soapmaking had appreciable to fabulous cleaning and lathering properties, that made me abandon industrial soap instantly – BUT they were short-lived due to beginner's design flaws (and, eventually, DOS). If I had stayed at a “So what! I can live with it, when a piece of soap doesn't last long, I love using it” standpoint, I wouldn't have developed forward to recipes that are just as great soaps, but much more durable. Both in the bathroom itself (Gosh! When am I finally through this tiny block of soap, so that I can go on to use one of the dozen other soaps that are waiting in my stash?), and – hopefully – with respect to rancidity as well.
 

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@ResolvableOwl The recipes I was referring to above are also typically 30% CO. I guess the high SF helps to counteract the drying/cleansing effects of the CO. I prefer the strategy of lower SF and lower CO.

I started using RBO in most of my recipes in Fall 2019. To be on the safe side for these recipes that are not “RBO soap,” I keep linoleic + linolenic in the 11-15% range and the linolenic is 2% or less. I rarely see DOS. I had one run of soaps that I made pre-chelator and pre-RBO that I attribute to funky OO. I had another weird incident with a layered soap that developed DOS in one layer. I was playing with plant colorants for that one and I must have added rancid oil from an infusion. Other than that, I have had the random spot here and there that doesn’t spread through the soap, so more likely from a spot contaminant rather than a problematic oil. I keep my SF at 2% and use ROE and a chelator.

As far as I can tell based on my relatively short soap making career (just had my two year anniversary last month), almost all soap gets better with age. I was going to say “all” but I’m still not sold on 100% OO and 100% lard, even with a good long cure.
 

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Philosophically speaking I definitely fall into a classical idealist realm. I believe that the only true understanding of the world around us is inevitably subjective and anyone who believes they’re viewing the world through an objective lense has more in common with a cult leader than they’d likely admit 😆 Seriously though, It’s SO FREAKING tempting to believe that we live in an objective world where everything makes sense, if only we could understand. I don’t believe this world exists. If I told my family and girlfriend that I was criticizing science they would be very surprised, because I HEAVILY lean into science and reason for daily guidance. I think it’s a great idea. However, I have one big beef with science. I’ve been told my entire life that everything can be explained via science. I’ve been told that if there’s ever a thing that can’t be explained through science then it’s simply a shortcoming on us. While I believe this to be plausible, where is the evidence? I mean, if everything can be explained through science and every answer is scientifically existent, then shouldn’t we be able to apply the scientific method to that statement? When I hear someone say that “Everything can be explained by science” my mind runs to “How can you say that without scientific evidence?” Let’s be honest with ourselves, this statement is nothing more than blind faith and CERTAINLY not science by any definition. “My gut tells me that science explains everything.” REALLY?? 😆🤣 Forgive me, I needed a good vent. This thread reminds me of this subject which always haunts me. It reminds me of the reasons why I’m inherently a skeptic. Like I said before, I’m not a fan of being oppositional for the sake of being oppositional, but I’m a fan of this thread, because I think there’s a lot of room for thinking outside of the box on this. Is it possible that a higher linoleic acid profile can help offset the high stearic, palmitic, lauric and myristic qualities of high coconut oil soaps? I think it’s possible. I think it’s possible that 40% CO soap might be tolerable if balanced with a high linoleic profile, even with a low SF. I don’t know this, but I’m going to try and I PROMISE I’ll be the first to admit if I’m wrong. There’s a certain pleasure involved when admitting when you’re wrong.
 
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Virginia
I’m a scientist and firmly believe that I could solve the mysteries of soap making if I had an unlimited research budget, an advanced degree in chemistry, considerable experience, an army of research technicians, access to a good high performance computing cluster and data analysts and modelers on my team. After all of that, there’s still the issue of consumer preference, so I guess I’m also going to need economists, psychologists, interior designers and maybe even a few plumbers.
 
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