Meadowfoam oil soap

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topofmurrayhill

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Of all the single-oil soaps people have made, here's one you probably haven't seen -- meadowfoam oil soap! I had some left over and had nothing better to do with it.

Other single-oil soaps are composed of fatty acids we are familiar with, and their properties are often predictable. Meadowfoam oil is composed mostly of fatty acids that don't exist in our normal soaping oils.

For instance, the "soft" part of ordinary oils is composed of 18-carbon monounsaturated oleic acid (abbreviated C18:1 and typical of olive oil) and 18-carbon polyunsaturated linoleic acid (C18:2, typical of soybean oil). In contrast, meadowfoam oil contains C20:1 monounsaturated fatty acid along with some C22:1 monounsaturated and C22:2 polyunsaturated fatty acids. These longer-chain fatty acids create mystery soap that we aren't familiar with.

I used cold-pressed meadowfoam oil from MMS, which has a yellow color to it. This produced a vivid yellow soap batter. The soap is yellowish too, but much lighter. It has a unique and very nice herbal fragrance to it.



Trace took forever. I literally only had enough oil to make this one bar of soap, so there was no way to stick blend without spraying the batter everywhere. After being driven to whisking despair, I finally resorted to putting a few drops of clove oil in the batter to help it along. This accelerated things from impossibly slow to only painfully slow. But eventually the batter reached trace.

Tracing behavior might remind one of olive oil, but the soap actually became rock hard by the next day. It's a little over a week old now. I planed a few slices off last night to try out at the sink and the soap even sounded hard being shaved by the planer.

Hard and somewhat brittle as the soap might be, the slices got creamy soft fairly quickly in contact with water. Lather was extremely thin -- hardly any bubbles or foam. It's a gentle soap and skin feel was fine after using it, but it did nothing miraculous.
 

MsHarryWinston

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This is beautiful! I'm going to be using Meadowfoam for shampoo and conditioner when it gets here.
 

JBot

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Tracing behavior might remind one of olive oil, but the soap actually became rock hard by the next day. It's a little over a week old now. I planed a few slices off last night to try out at the sink and the soap even sounded hard being shaved by the planer.
Really! Somewhere on my List O' Things To Try is having meadowfoam in the mix of saponified oils instead of using as a post-cook superfat. I'm a fan of anything that makes the bar harder, so I think I'll move this up my list a bit, although the 5% or so I'm considering might not have much of an impact. . .
 

IrishLass

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Thanks for sharing your experiment with us! I love meadowfoam seed oil in my leave-on creations, and also as a post dilution superfat in my liquid soap, but I've never tried it in a CP soap. I hope you'll update us on how it feels and lathers after 4 - 6 weeks have gone by!

IrishLass :)
 

topofmurrayhill

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Really! Somewhere on my List O' Things To Try is having meadowfoam in the mix of saponified oils instead of using as a post-cook superfat. I'm a fan of anything that makes the bar harder, so I think I'll move this up my list a bit, although the 5% or so I'm considering might not have much of an impact. . .
Actually you tried a bar I sent you with 5% meadowfoam in place of some olive oil. It did nothing special for the soap. I think we both preferred the bar without it.
 

JBot

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Actually you tried a bar I sent you with 5% meadowfoam in place of some olive oil. It did nothing special for the soap. I think we both preferred the bar without it.
That's true. . . I was thinking more about adding hardness to the soap and less about how it performs. But stearic acid's probably more efficient for that, and definitely less expensive!
 

topofmurrayhill

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This is a follow up to the single-oil meadowfoam soap at 7 weeks.

The bar looks the same and still has the unique and pleasant fragrance from the cold-pressed meadowfoam oil that it exuded when I made the soap. It was a very hard soap shortly after it was made and it's certainly rock hard now.

After a fair amount of effort trying to get it to lather, I was rewarded with nary a bubble. Just some nondescript lotion-like stuff, not slimy or anything. The skin feel afterwards was nothing special. I might call it a touch powdery. There also seemed to be a hint of tightness right after using the soap, but I'm not certain.

I don't suppose I've discovered any particular reason to saponify meadowfoam oil. I had previously tried it at 5% and the soap without it seemed better. At 100% its only uniquely appealing quality is the nice natural fragrance.

It's interesting that a soap with little or no saturated fat should quickly form a very hard bar of soap, but as I mentioned originally, the fatty acid composition of meadowfoam oil is very unusual. It's pretty much entirely composed of longer-chain fatty acids that we don't see in our ordinary oils, or in small quantities as in peanut oil.

C20:1 Eicosenoic Acid 61%
C22:1 Docosenoic (Eruric) Acid 16%
C22:2 Docosadienoic Acid 18%

The number after the "C" refers to how many carbon atoms are chained together to form the backbone of the fatty acid. The longest we usually consider is 18 for stearic acid (C18:0) and oleic acid (C18:1). The long chain fatty acids make the triglyceride (oil) molecules of MFO bigger and heavier. For a given weight of oil, there are fewer of them to saponify, so this oil has a low SAP value.

 
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