Lots of questions about oatmeal

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alexanderte

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First off – sorry for asking all these questions. What makes me less guilty about asking is that I hope the anwers can be of use to others. But I do try to do some research before asking. :)

1. I’m still new to the soaping terminology. Is oatmeal considered an additive?

2. When I want oatmeal in my soap – should I grind it? If so – how? Using a coffee grinder? I suppose how coarse or fine is up to me. I prefer when it looks subtle.

3. Perhaps what I wonder most about – when using additives such as oatmeal – does it in any way change the recipe in terms of how amount of NaOH, water, or oils? Do I need to change the amount of anything to compensate?

4. I’ve seen some pictures of soaps with non-grinded oatmeal on top of it. Are they usually added right after the batter has been poured into the mold? Does the saponifiacation process make them stick to the soap?

I did a quick Google Images search to find an oatmeal soap that I liked. Here is one:

http://www.seasonstormsoaps.com/shop/oatmeal-soap/
 

Cindy2428

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1). Yes oatmeal is considered an additive
2). It is up to you - the picture you showed looks like colloidal oats in the soap and regular oats on top. Colloidal oats are very finely ground oatmeal.
3). Good question - though I only use about 1 tsp PPO, so I've never thought about it.
4). Some put it in the soap - I usually add directly to my oils. The oats on top are sprinkled loosely. Some stick, others flake off. To be honest, though they look pretty on the soap they really are impractical. They get caught up in the finer drains.
 

IrishLass

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First off – sorry for asking all these questions. What makes me less guilty about asking is that I hope the anwers can be of use to others. But I do try to do some research before asking. :)
No need to apologize or to feel guilty! :)


1. I’m still new to the soaping terminology. Is oatmeal considered an additive?
Yes


2. When I want oatmeal in my soap – should I grind it? If so – how? Using a coffee grinder? I suppose how coarse or fine is up to me. I prefer when it looks subtle.
The decision is up to you whether to grind it or not, and also how finely or coarsely. A coffee grinder works great for grinding dry additives like oatmeal.


3. Perhaps what I wonder most about – when using additives such as oatmeal – does it in any way change the recipe in terms of how amount of NaOH, water, or oils? Do I need to change the amount of anything to compensate?
The only additives than have any bearing on the lye amount or oil amount in your formula are those that contain fat/triglycerides, such as milks or creams, avocado puree, etc... Additives such as oatmeal aren't a factor where lye/oils are concerned, but water might be, depending on how much oatmeal you add, because of oatmeal's tendency to absorb water. For what it's worth, I normally add 1 tablespoon oatmeal per pound of oil in my formula (which is the general amount that a lot of soapers like to use), and the amount is not great enough to mess up my normal amount of water I like to use (1 part lye to 2 parts water).


4. I’ve seen some pictures of soaps with non-grinded oatmeal on top of it. Are they usually added right after the batter has been poured into the mold? Does the saponifiacation process make them stick to the soap?
Oatmeal that's used as a decoration on top of soap is added right after the batter has been poured into the mold. The hardening soap acts as a 'glue', cementing the oatmeal in place.

If adding oatmeal to the body of the soap, you can just add it to the oils before or after adding in the lye solution. I usually add mine to my oils before adding the lye solution.


IrishLass :)
 

green soap

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2- I like mine very finely ground.
3- Using 1 tbsp per 450 g, I find that I need to increase the amount of water a bit for better results. One time I used low water and the soap was crumbly.
 

dixiedragon

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First off – sorry for asking all these questions. What makes me less guilty about asking is that I hope the anwers can be of use to others. But I do try to do some research before asking.

1. I’m still new to the soaping terminology. Is oatmeal considered an additive?

Yes. I don't think we have an official definition for "additive" but generally I would consider an additive anything that isn't water, lye, oil, scent or color.

2. When I want oatmeal in my soap – should I grind it? If so – how? Using a coffee grinder? I suppose how coarse or fine is up to me. I prefer when it looks subtle.

It is up to you. I use my food processor, b/c my coffee grinder holds such a teensy amount.

3. Perhaps what I wonder most about – when using additives such as oatmeal – does it in any way change the recipe in terms of how amount of NaOH, water, or oils? Do I need to change the amount of anything to compensate?

Generally speaking, it depends on the additive. With oatmeal, no. With honey, it may cause overheating. With something like goats milk or coconut milk, you would replace some of the water with the milk.

4. I’ve seen some pictures of soaps with non-grinded oatmeal on top of it. Are they usually added right after the batter has been poured into the mold? Does the saponifiacation process make them stick to the soap?
You can lightly sprinkle some on the top right after you pour the soap. For me, I dislike having a thick coat that crumbles off when you handle or use the bar. I like to sprinkle a few oats - enough that each bar will have 3-4 once I slice it, and gently pat the oats so they are well stuck to the soap and won't fall off.
 

TeresaT

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I've done it one time and used the oats at 1% of total weight of my oils. I took regular oats and ground them into a flour in my coffee grinder. Once I blended my soap to a medium trace, I added my oats and hand mixed them into the batter then poured it into the mold. I sprinkled some oats on the top for decoration, too, but most of them fell off. The soap has a nice texture. I thought I had ground the oats too finely to notice any kind of exfoliating action; however, they're just the perfect consistency for me.
 

Kamahido

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1. Yes.

2. Yes, but it will make for a bit of a scratchy bar. Like what Lava soap that mechanics use. My coffee grinder can't seem to grind it fine enough. If you want soap without the scratchy feeling try Colloidal Oatmeal.

3. No. Oatmeal contains no saponifyables.
 

alexanderte

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Thanks again for all the helpful answers. I’m so thankful for all the knowledge you possess and are willing to share. :)
 

cmzaha

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I have a bar that people love and it sells like crazy. I use whole quick cooking oatmeal and lots of it. It does not come out sharp, just lumpy and bumpy. Quick cooking oatmeal is softer that regular or steel cut oatmeal. I find like salt, if I grind up regular or steel cut oats it makes the oatmeal sharper, so if I want fine oatmeal I buy oat flour which is very similar to colloidal oatmeal and much cheaper. Here oat flour is easy to find in health food stores and some restaurant supply stores and online
 

Cindy2428

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Alexanderte -as you experiment, Carolyn mentioned flours. There is almond, coconut, oat among many. They all bring something unique to the party and you can find many of them in regular grocery stores now. I haven't tried it yet but there is also peanut butter powder.

So many experiments, so little time.....
 

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