LS without coconut oil?

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Gabrielle

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I need to exclude coconut oil from my LS recipe. I looked for the oils which could substitute for it and I think I found a few that seem to give similar soap properties as coconut oil, as they're also high in lauric acid. Among others, these are palm kernel oil, babassu oil, murumuru oil.
Did anyone make liquid soap from any of these oils? I wonder if such soap would be as bubbly and cleansing as the one made from coconut oil?
 

DeeAnna

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I find myself wondering why you need to exclude coconut oil from the recipe -- ethical, health, cost, availability, preference, or ???

Knowing the reason is likely to make a difference in my response to your question.
 

IrishLass

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Welcome, Gabrielle! :wave:

I've never used murumuru oil, but yes- babassu oil and palm kernel oil will both contribute a high level of bubbliness and cleansing to your liquid soap, just as coconut oil does.

I'm not sure whether or not you have a true coconut oil allergy, but for what its worth, since coconut oil is such an efficient cleanser when turned into soap, many folks mistake its drying effect on their skin as an allergy, when in fact they are more than likely just using too much coconut oil in their formula for their particular skin-type.


IrishLass :)
 

topofmurrayhill

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I need to exclude coconut oil from my LS recipe. I looked for the oils which could substitute for it and I think I found a few that seem to give similar soap properties as coconut oil, as they're also high in lauric acid. Among others, these are palm kernel oil, babassu oil, murumuru oil.
Did anyone make liquid soap from any of these oils? I wonder if such soap would be as bubbly and cleansing as the one made from coconut oil?
For at least the last few hundred years, coconut oil and palm kernel oil have been considered interchangeable. Those are by far the two most common and affordable lauric oils. So I would think that is the simple answer to the question.

A few other oils could substitute directly, but it doesn't make that much sense to pay so much extra for them.
 

Gabrielle

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Thank you all for your help! So now I'm sure these oils are good substitutes for coconut oil, apart from the price of each.

IrishLass, it was the allergy test that confirmed allergy to coconut.

However, DeeAnna's comments raised new questions. I searched about the allergy to coconut and found out that it's quite common that people who are allergic to coconut are allergic to palm kernel oil, babassu or murumuru oils. The only options left are laurel fruit oil and nutmeg butter which are very pricey and it wouldn't make sense to make such expensive soap. Thus I'd probably need to omit any of these oils, due to potential allergy reaction.

What about making soap from grapeseed oil (since olive oil has to be omitted too) with some amount of castor oil (castor oil to provide lather)? Will that make sense? Obviously, the soap calculator shows zero cleansing properties of such soap, is it really the case? I'm not sure how to interpret it, since it would mean that any soap (no matter if liquid or hard) with no amount of lauric acid, (also popular olive oil or tallow soaps) doesn't wash at all?
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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All soap will clean, to a greater (high coconut et al) or lesser degree. You can make a soap just from one oil in many cases, but with some oils it just won't work.

Castor, for example, doesn't lather as such - it boosts what lather is there. Too much, however, can hinder lather.

Some other oils are prone to going rancid when used at higher amounts, so making a 100% bar from certain oils is possible, but not always advisable.

Rice bran oil and high oleic sunflower oil are often used as olive replacements- I know that the ho sunflower should be okay regarding rancidity, not sure about rbo. In general, I think it would be worth getting a test done to see if these oils could also cause a reaction
 

topofmurrayhill

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People think of RBO as an olive oil substitute, but it's a pretty different oil even if it produces a similar results under some circumstances. You generally want to substitute the same kind of oil, so I look at RBO as its own thing. It can be useful, but you can't use it in the same quantities as olive oil because it has too much linoleic acid and can be prone to oxidation.

Grapeseed oil is a no-no. It's a flat out linoleic oil and is prone to rancidity. You can add it only as a small percentage of the recipe.

If you happen to be using Soapcalc, start focusing on the fatty acid amounts instead of the properties numbers. The latter are derived directly from the fatty acid percentages anyway.

Problem is, Soapcalc properties make no distinction between oleic, linoleic and linolenic acid, but you need to. The more "unsaturated" an oil is, the more it's vulnerable to oxidation. Oleic acid is monounsaturated and the amount in your recipe can be pretty much whatever. Linoleic is polyunsaturated and you should keep it below 15 and better yet below 10%. Linolenic is more unsaturated than the other two. It's best to avoid the oils that are composed of an appreciable amount of it.

Laurel berry oil can be a source of lauric acid and will definitely add bubbliness, but as you noted it is way expensive. It's interesting but best reserved for a special project. It also makes your soap smell pretty strongly of laurel oil.
 

BattleGnome

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Friction is what actually gets you clean, soap just makes the dirt slippery/helps emulsify things to make them slip off (I don't know the actual science). If you're worried about cleansing numbers you should use a scrubbier wash cloth or bath poof to help "scrape" off the dirt. In the long run, soap's only job is to get you clean. A low cleansing number will not effect soap's purpose.
 

Gabrielle

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Thank you topofmurrayhill for your valuable advice! I'll definitely make use of it.

Now, knowing what to pay attention to, I think I'll go for high oleic sunflower oil.

I understand I shall expect such soap will be slimy like 100% OO soap. I wonder if adding 5-8% shea butter (next to 15% castor oil) can make any difference to it - for better or worse?
 

DawninWA

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I was going to suggest High Oleic Safflower oil, since I know it's properties are similar to olive, but sunflower will be about the same I would think.

Liquid soap isn't "slimy" like bar soap, it will just be less bubbly.
 

sephera

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I would also like to make a liquid soap without coconut oil, it sometimes leaves a strange smell on you cannot smell, only. Someone else.
 

ParkerCunningham

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Hey, In most of the LS soap you will coconut and olive oil playing significant role. I will definitely let you know about LS recipes without coconut and olive oil.
 

Gabrielle

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Sephera, I've already made that higholeic sunflower soap w/o coconut oil. And it works quite well. :)

I would also like to make a liquid soap without coconut oil, it sometimes leaves a strange smell on you cannot smell, only. Someone else.
 

sephera

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Does anyone have a liquid soap recipe that uses just olive and castor oil?
 

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