Mechanic's/Gardener's Soap

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KristaY

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I'm going to formulate a mechanic's/gardener's CP soap. I want it to be very cleansing but not drying. After reading the MANY threads on mechanic's soaps and all the various opinions on oils, SF%, additives, etc, I decided to go simple with the recipe. Something like 35% CO, 30% PO, 30% OO (undecided yet on the other 5%) with a 2-3% SF.

Pumice is the main additive I want to use. I've read to start at 1 Tbsp PPO for light scrubbiness but I want more than "light". Obsidian posted in another thread she uses 1/4 cup in 2 lbs of soap which comes out to be about 2 Tbsp PPO. Has anyone tried 2 1/2 - 3 Tbsp PPO? Obsidian, did you increase the amount?

I'm also thinking about bentonite clay at 1 tsp PPO. I know others have used activated charcoal. Are there pros/cons for either?

In one thread someone taked about adding kerosene which lead me to think about pine tar. Is 5% PT a good idea in this type of soap?

I've also been considering cocoa butter at 5%. Will this be lost in the soap with all the other additives, or add to the conditioning (since the CO is high and the SF is low).

I'm going to use an EO blend of orange, litsea, peppermint, spearmint (any or all of them).

Lots of questions, huh?! I just want to get everyone's opinions on these ideas so I can make my final decision on the recipe.

TIA everyone!!!
 

FlybyStardancer

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For my scrubby soap, I did 50/25/25 Lard/CO/OO, and I used 1 Tbsp pumice for 600g oils. It's not quite as much scrubbiness as the Lava brand, but it's close! Though I had crumbly edges when I went to cut, even though it seemed almost too soft.

As far as the rest goes... I wouldn't bother with the cocoa butter for it. And the PT will be a pain in the butt to mix in. That stuff creates insta-pudding! I'd be worried about other additives not getting mixed in properly.
 

KristaY

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Good point about the PT, StarDancer. I've made many batches of PT soap just for the point of PT soap, lol. I always add it at the last moment because of the acceleration. Since I'm thinking about doing individual round silicone molds, PT won't work unless I do a 1 lb batch which I won't. OK, so PT's out. Thanks for your input!

Edit to add: BTW, Stardancer, I just jumped over to your blog about the alternative liquid swap. Very nice! I was thinking of trying a liquid like you used so I'm anxious to see how it turns out. Plus, your name is SO similar to mine ~ I bet you get a bit of a jolt (like "is that me? Nevermind...) everytime you see my user name, lol.
 
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MorpheusPA

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Mine's about 40% CO, 30% soy wax (lard, tallow, or palm can be used instead), and 30% palm. At 0.5% superfat.

I don't use any additives but see no reason why one couldn't. I tend to scent with rosemary (which I find a very sharp, cleansing scent) and orange (which isn't that durable, but the terpenes help with the cleansing ability).

Strangely, I don't find it at all drying on my hands, but wouldn't dream of using it as a bath soap. I'm way too attached to my olive, palm, and lard for that!
 

shunt2011

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Mine is 40%CO, 30% PO, 20% OO and 5% Castor with about 1/2-3/4 cup Pumice for 56 oz oils batch and 7% SF. I scent mine with 15x orange and a bit of tea tree. I color a portion of it with activated charcoal and leave the rest the pale grey that the pumice makes it. So, as you can see you can do it just about any way.
 

KristaY

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I've been on the fence about the SF, Morpheus. I remember reading you posting in another thread about the 0.5% SF then others that go up to 20% (but they were using CO at 80-100%). If I stick with my original basic recipe (35% CO) and use 0.5% SF instead of 2-3% maybe it will work out. How do you feel about the use of cocoa butter in the remaining 5%? Or should I just stick with castor.....

Mine is 40%CO, 30% PO, 20% OO and 5% Castor with about 1/2-3/4 cup Pumice for 56 oz oils batch and 7% SF. I scent mine with 15x orange and a bit of tea tree. I color a portion of it with activated charcoal and leave the rest the pale grey that the pumice makes it. So, as you can see you can do it just about any way.

My batch size would be 36oz oils so probably 1/2 cup pumice at the most? I guess I'm going to have to play and decide what I like for SF. Morpheus likes 0.5% and you like 7%. Lots of variables in there!

Also, Shunt, you use activated charcoal. Do you think there's a difference in that over bentonite clay?
 

shunt2011

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My batch size would be 36oz oils so probably 1/2 cup pumice at the most? I guess I'm going to have to play and decide what I like for SF. Morpheus likes 0.5% and you like 7%. Lots of variables in there!

Also, Shunt, you use activated charcoal. Do you think there's a difference in that over bentonite clay?

yes, 1/4-1/2 would probably be plenty. My husband is a machinist and he and the guys that work with him like my soap. I wanted it scrubby but not stripping. My husbands fingers usually split during the winter but since he's used this they've been much much better. Give the bentonite a try. Certainly can't hurt. I used the charcoal as I wanted a bit of color and I use it for black frequently.
 

MorpheusPA

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I've been on the fence about the SF, Morpheus. I remember reading you posting in another thread about the 0.5% SF then others that go up to 20% (but they were using CO at 80-100%). If I stick with my original basic recipe (35% CO) and use 0.5% SF instead of 2-3% maybe it will work out. How do you feel about the use of cocoa butter in the remaining 5%? Or should I just stick with castor.....

I sometimes use 5% castor to replace 5% of the palm. It does increase the bubbles a bit.

You could use cocoa butter, no problem. My aim in my soap for my purposes is pure cleansing with no residue--this soap does multiple duties as a pot scrubber soap, window cleaning, floor wiping, and so on. I don't want any oils left behind.

It's weird, but I don't find this soap particularly harsh, nor drying on my hands. Yet I'm remarkably CO intolerant in my bath soap. Maybe I'm just too used to olive oil.

Or, perhaps after grubbing around in dirt all day, even CO is comparatively moisturizing. It's a mystery. And one my callused, abused hands will never solve.
 

KristaY

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I sometimes use 5% castor to replace 5% of the palm. It does increase the bubbles a bit.

You could use cocoa butter, no problem. My aim in my soap for my purposes is pure cleansing with no residue--this soap does multiple duties as a pot scrubber soap, window cleaning, floor wiping, and so on. I don't want any oils left behind.

It's weird, but I don't find this soap particularly harsh, nor drying on my hands. Yet I'm remarkably CO intolerant in my bath soap. Maybe I'm just too used to olive oil.

Or, perhaps after grubbing around in dirt all day, even CO is comparatively moisturizing. It's a mystery. And one my callused, abused hands will never solve.

Ahhh, okay, now I get why the 0.5% SF ~ surfaces other than hands! I don't plan to use this for anything other than grimy, greasy, dirt caked hands. When I work in my garden and forget my gloves, the soil sucks the moisture out of my hands. So I think I'll go with my original 2-3% SF. I'm also thinking of going with both cocoa butter and castor at 5%. I'll decrease the palm or OO for the swap.

Thanks Morpheus!

yes, 1/4-1/2 would probably be plenty. My husband is a machinist and he and the guys that work with him like my soap. I wanted it scrubby but not stripping. My husbands fingers usually split during the winter but since he's used this they've been much much better. Give the bentonite a try. Certainly can't hurt. I used the charcoal as I wanted a bit of color and I use it for black frequently.

I get that with the AC, I do the same when I want black. I guess I'm just curious if there's a difference in the property of the soap using either AC or BC. I don't really care what this one looks like since it'll be for my grungy garden hands and hubby's grimy work hands. Maybe I'll split the batch and add AC to half, BC to the other half. Then I can do a side by side comparison. Thanks for the input, Shunt!
 

FlybyStardancer

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Edit to add: BTW, Stardancer, I just jumped over to your blog about the alternative liquid swap. Very nice! I was thinking of trying a liquid like you used so I'm anxious to see how it turns out. Plus, your name is SO similar to mine ~ I bet you get a bit of a jolt (like "is that me? Nevermind...) everytime you see my user name, lol.

Thanks! So far it looks like it's going to be quite interesting! I need to see how things cure out before I post the cut pictures. :D But I will say I'm happy with my swirls!

Isn't it close? And yours just has the 'y' in the wrong place. ;) I did do a few doubletakes at first. lol
 

KristaY

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Pumice

Another quick question. This will be my first time working with pumice. Do I need to hydrate it before adding to the batter? If so, in water or oil?
 

Relle

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Mine is 40%CO, 30% PO, 20% OO and 5% Castor with about 1/2-3/4 cup Pumice for 56 oz oils batch and 7% SF. I scent mine with 15x orange and a bit of tea tree. I color a portion of it with activated charcoal and leave the rest the pale grey that the pumice makes it. So, as you can see you can do it just about any way.

What is the other 5 % of your recipe please ? It only adds up to 95%. I must make some mechanics soap.
 

Obsidian

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I hydrate my pumice with water, just to make sure there are no lumps. It can be added to the oils or at trace. I recently rebatched 1 lb of coconut soap and added in 1/4 cup pumice, its very scrubby, I like it a lot for hands.
 

KristaY

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I hydrate my pumice with water, just to make sure there are no lumps. It can be added to the oils or at trace. I recently rebatched 1 lb of coconut soap and added in 1/4 cup pumice, its very scrubby, I like it a lot for hands.

Thank you Obsidian! Now I'm off to SoapCalc then on to soaping.....:clap:
 

MorpheusPA

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I was thinking of this today as I put in the first two of the front gardens (only about 350 square feet) and the dahlia (another 200 square feet).

Then I tested my soap on six hours of ground-in dirt. One forgets over the winter. Gloves? What are these "glove" things you speak of? ... I've never used them as I need to adjust the root systems of the little plants as I go.

It worked well, removing all the dirt from my skin, but didn't get the soiled mess out from under my cuticles or nails. Nothing short of a soaking is going to do that, which I'm about to go do since my hair is stiff as a board from the dirt in it.
 

KristaY

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I was thinking of this today as I put in the first two of the front gardens (only about 350 square feet) and the dahlia (another 200 square feet).

Then I tested my soap on six hours of ground-in dirt. One forgets over the winter. Gloves? What are these "glove" things you speak of? ... I've never used them as I need to adjust the root systems of the little plants as I go.

It worked well, removing all the dirt from my skin, but didn't get the soiled mess out from under my cuticles or nails. Nothing short of a soaking is going to do that, which I'm about to go do since my hair is stiff as a board from the dirt in it.

Too funny you mention putting in your garden. I've been putting it off for a week due to soap making and all the other normal life flotsam and jetsam. I was at a local Home & Garden show last weekend, bought $20 in plant raffle tickets and ended up winning 11 potted plants in 1 & 5 gallon sizes. So those guys are sitting in my courtyard begging to be put in. That's on my agenda for tomorrow. I made a bargain with myself today - I can't make soap until all the pots are empty!

I actually prefer my nitrile gloves when gardening since they're a much lighter weight than the heavy duty gardening gloves. Yep, gotta feel those little roots as you go. I made this mechanic/gardener's soap today so won't be able to use it after gardening tomorrow. I'll have to resort to that stuff in the big orange bottle.

Good luck with your spring garden, Morpheus!
 

kmarvel

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Oops, must have been tired. It's 25% OO...thanks for catching that.


Funny, I was talking the other day about trying some Mechanic soap. I ordered the "fine" pumice powder. Do I need to use the betonite clay or charcoal in this soap?? I have neither atm.

Kathie

I'm going to formulate a mechanic's/gardener's CP soap. I want it to be very cleansing but not drying. After reading the MANY threads on mechanic's soaps and all the various opinions on oils, SF%, additives, etc, I decided to go simple with the recipe. Something like 35% CO, 30% PO, 30% OO (undecided yet on the other 5%) with a 2-3% SF.

Pumice is the main additive I want to use. I've read to start at 1 Tbsp PPO for light scrubbiness but I want more than "light". Obsidian posted in another thread she uses 1/4 cup in 2 lbs of soap which comes out to be about 2 Tbsp PPO. Has anyone tried 2 1/2 - 3 Tbsp PPO? Obsidian, did you increase the amount?

I'm also thinking about bentonite clay at 1 tsp PPO. I know others have used activated charcoal. Are there pros/cons for either?

In one thread someone taked about adding kerosene which lead me to think about pine tar. Is 5% PT a good idea in this type of soap?

I've also been considering cocoa butter at 5%. Will this be lost in the soap with all the other additives, or add to the conditioning (since the CO is high and the SF is low).

I'm going to use an EO blend of orange, litsea, peppermint, spearmint (any or all of them).

Lots of questions, huh?! I just want to get everyone's opinions on these ideas so I can make my final decision on the recipe.

TIA everyone!!!

Krista, I am from AZ also and everything sucks the moisture out of our skin. haha I was wondering if you created your final recipe yet for mechanic's soap?? How did it turn out??
I am trying to create a recipe also and asking if the charcoal or bentonite clay is needed at all??

Kathie
s
 

MorpheusPA

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Too funny you mention putting in your garden. I've been putting it off for a week due to soap making and all the other normal life flotsam and jetsam. I was at a local Home & Garden show last weekend, bought $20 in plant raffle tickets and ended up winning 11 potted plants in 1 & 5 gallon sizes. So those guys are sitting in my courtyard begging to be put in. That's on my agenda for tomorrow. I made a bargain with myself today - I can't make soap until all the pots are empty!

--Off Topic Alert Begin

I have 850 plants that I just hardened off in the north garden staring at me, asking for root space (I grow my own plants from seed since I need 12 full flats).

Unfortunately, except for work, sleep, and eat, everything else goes on hold when it's The Time To Plant, usually for almost a week. It's gotten to the point that they're fully root-bound.

I actually prefer my nitrile gloves when gardening since they're a much lighter weight than the heavy duty gardening gloves. Yep, gotta feel those little roots as you go.

Unfortunately, my nitrile gloves are too thick! I've tried thinner ones, but with the sheer number of plants and soil prep I have to do (I always add some Terra Sorb into the holes, so they get dug five times wider and deeper than the little plant requires), I tend to shred them fast.

I made this mechanic/gardener's soap today so won't be able to use it after gardening tomorrow. I'll have to resort to that stuff in the big orange bottle.

Good luck with your spring garden, Morpheus!

Thanks! I'm waiting for the Ibuprofin to kick in so I can go back out and continue. At least I have 2 of 8 gardens done, and one of those is a major one. Unfortunately, there are four major gardens and four minor, so I'd hardly call myself ahead of the game.

On the up side, the weather turned to late spring early this year, so I'm ahead of the game no matter how you calculate it.

/Off Topic Alert

Funny, I was talking the other day about trying some Mechanic soap. I ordered the "fine" pumice powder. Do I need to use the betonite clay or charcoal in this soap?? I have neither atm.

Kathie

Technically, you don't need any of the above for a mechanic's/gardener's soap. The goal is to remove the grease, dirt, filth, or other bits and pieces.

Pumice helps by abrasion, but can be a little too good at that. I prefer soaps without abrasives as my gardening involves plenty of abrasions to my hands already. I find I don't have much of my top skin layer left if the soap is too scrubby.
 
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