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Max steric in CP?

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Obsidian

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What is the max amount of steric you can use in CP before it becomes troublesome?
 

snappyllama

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I have no idea, but I'm interested to see what other folks say. I know as soon as I add any bitty-bit to my HP shaving recipe is insta-solidifies.
 

Obsidian

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I did a bit of research and it seems like .50oz PPO is the recommended amount but some people have used 3% without too much trouble. I was hoping to use 5% but I suspect it would be too much. I guess all I could do it try, the worse that could happen is I end up having to HP it.
 

jblaney

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I have added 1.5% many times, but never more. I have started using it again in one recipe that I really like, but I don't use it most of the time.
 

Obsidian

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After messing around with soapcalc, I've decided on 3%. I'll hand mix the lye solution in and hope for the best. I'm wanting to do 2 colors at least but that might be pushing it.
 

doriettefarm

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After messing around with soapcalc, I've decided on 3%. I'll hand mix the lye solution in and hope for the best. I'm wanting to do 2 colors at least but that might be pushing it.
I think 3% is a good choice. I checked with a friend that's used stearic in CP before. She used 10% and only soaped at 110 so don't know how she didn't end up with soap on a stick! She did also say she wouldn't do it again and would recommend 2-3% so go for it and report back.

ETA: I'd also soap as hot as comfortably possible without risking separation or volcano. This is exactly why I'm chicken to soap hot and use too much beeswax in CP.
 

aprice522

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What is the max amount of steric you can use in CP before it becomes troublesome?
So, educate me--why do you want to add this to CP?

(I have some with plans on doing shave soap HP, but haven't gotten there...but if I can use it elsewhere a little bit to help make a soap better....)
 

kumudini

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Obsidian, may I ask you what you are looking for in adding stearic acid in CP soap? I know it would add to the hardness a bit but is there anything else you want to achieve by going that extra trouble? 0.5 oz ppo is actually about 3% of oils.
 

Obsidian

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I'm wanting to add a bit of hardness in a special recipe I'm working on. I'm also hoping it will add some stability to the lather.
I don't mind soaping hot, I do it with my beeswax soap and all it does is gel fast.
 

doriettefarm

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I'm curious about your 'special recipe' and wonder what other base oils you have in mind. My friend combined the stearic with a boatload of babassu so go figure! Wish I was more math-y and could figure the difference between a high % tallow recipe vs a recipe with the 2-3% stearic added. Maybe I shouldn't be so chicken with the beeswax or stearic but so far I've only used stearic in cream soap & HP shaving soap.
 

Obsidian

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I use beeswax at 5% and really have no issues with it. I do soap pretty hot and it traces quickly but since I don't add color, thats ok. Beeswax will heat your soap though and if you use yellow wax, it will color your soap to a honey color.

As for my special soap, it doesn't have anything unusual or exotic in it.
 

Obsidian

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I just finished my soap with 3% steric. Everything went just fine. I slowly hand whisked in the lye solution and it hit medium trace almost immediately but it stayed in that state while I separated and colored two portions. I tried to do a drop swirl but it was a little too thick so I ended up doing a spoon swirl instead.
 

aprice522

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I tried to do a drop swirl but it was a little too thick so I ended up doing a spoon swirl instead.
Where do I learn this? I see videos of all kinds, but really never quite know what state of viscosity is needed for different things. I want to learn--need to-- cause the micas are SHIPPING!!!

I tried a spoon swirl, and was sad when I un-molded because it wasn't great (partly because colors were too close). But I had the base too thin (I think?) and a thicker top color??

I need info, where do I find it?
 

Obsidian

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I can't think of any video that talks much about thickness for different swirling techniques but I really like soaping101's youtube channel. She does a lot of different techniques and takes her time so you can really see how the soap is behaving.

I generally try to shoot for a medium trace except when doing drop swirls or in the pot swirls, for those I want it thin enough that it mixes together when poured into each other.
 

Sapwn

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I have used it at 50%, 55%, and 60% percentage in various shaving soaps.
 

MorpheusPA

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For CP, most folks do say 3% due to the speed at which the stuff saponifies (and then happily emulsifies the rest of the soap).

One solution I found is to use soy wax instead. It's not stearic acid, it's a standard triglyceride. It still saponifies fast, but you do have some time to work with it. It works out to 87% stearic acid, 11% palmitic (on average per SoapCalc) and hardens a bar beautifully.

Overuse kills lather and gives you a bar you could use as a hammer, plus the resulting bar looks waxy. But amounts up to 15% or so do stiffen things nicely.

If you use it, make sure to use a pure soy wax with no fillers or other waxes in it.
 

nframe

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For CP, most folks do say 3% due to the speed at which the stuff saponifies (and then happily emulsifies the rest of the soap).

One solution I found is to use soy wax instead. It's not stearic acid, it's a standard triglyceride. It still saponifies fast, but you do have some time to work with it. It works out to 87% stearic acid, 11% palmitic (on average per SoapCalc) and hardens a bar beautifully.

Overuse kills lather and gives you a bar you could use as a hammer, plus the resulting bar looks waxy. But amounts up to 15% or so do stiffen things nicely.

If you use it, make sure to use a pure soy wax with no fillers or other waxes in it.
Is that the same soy wax that is used for candles?
 

MorpheusPA

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Is that the same soy wax that is used for candles?
Yes, but make sure that it really is pure soy wax. EcoSoya makes one that is, but I'll be durned if I can remember which one off the top of my head right now.
 

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