My first shaving soap is a success!

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by songwind, Apr 22, 2013.

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  1. Aug 4, 2018 #1,181

    LBussy

    LBussy

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    This will work fine for face lather - it’s how I use it when traveling and I don’t have my scuttle or bowl. If you mean just spreading it in your face and working a lather with your hands however you may be disappointed. A brush would be required to get a proper lather.
     
  2. Aug 4, 2018 #1,182

    DeeAnna

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    I don't think a KOH soap with this much stearic and palmitic will ever be pourable or pumpable product. Shave soap is basically a "cream" soap. Even with a fair bit of water, the soap will want to be a stringy or goopy gel. Oh, it might stay a pourable liquid for a few days or so, but it will eventually return to a goopy texture.

    I was suggesting glycerin to help the soap stay softer, because glycerin doesn't evaporate like water does. But you'd want to experiment with the amount of glycerin to make sure you don't reduce the lather quality or other desirable qualities of the soap.
     
  3. Aug 5, 2018 #1,183

    E Birbal

    E Birbal

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    Thanks everyone for your help!

    Sorry for a follow up noob question, but I'm assuming you mean achieve 25% lye concentration by increasing the amount of water and not by reducing the amount of KOH which would otherwise leave un-saponified fat in the mixture?

    While don't have tubes, I can store them in air tight containers to prevent water evaporation.

    Yes, I'd be using a brush.

    I just want something that I can scoop a bit with my finger so I can smear it on my face and build up a lather with a brush.

    I've seen plenty of shaving cream ingredients that list Aqua as the fist item in the ingredients followed by Stearic acid, which I believe are usually listed in the decreasing order of their concentration in the final product, so I guess creams are just soaps with copious amounts of water (30-35% of the final product being water but I could be wrong on that front.
     
  4. Aug 5, 2018 #1,184

    LBussy

    LBussy

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    The ingredients are listed in descending order - or they should be. I think the creams in a tube you reference are often whipped a bit to keep that texture. There's a thread here about making a cream soap which shows a cream soap and a shaving soap have some similarities. I've often thought the process could be used here to make a cream.

    Really though if you already have a brush, why the desire/need to have a cream? Seems like it would be an easy change to your routine to load the brush on the soap. What am I missing?
     
  5. Aug 5, 2018 #1,185

    DeeAnna

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    Yes. Varying lye concentration only changes the water weight. It changes nothing else.

    If you left the lye concentration at, say, 25% and then increased the superfat, it is true your alkali weight would be reduced but you would also see the water weight would also be reduced to keep the lye concentration at 25% based on the new, reduced alkali weight.

    For those who might be wondering what we're talking about, here is more info --

    When designing a soap recipe, you first decide what fats you want, the percentages (or weights) of each fat, and the total weight of fat. You also decide what lye discount (often called superfat) that you want in the recipe.

    Next, you calculate the amount of alkali (KOH, NaOH, etc.) For a given blend and weight of fats, the alkali weight can be altered by changing the superfat. With all other things staying the same, this is what changing the lye discount (superfat) does --

    More superfat --> less alkali.
    Less superfat --> more alkali.

    Once the fat blend, fat weight, and superfat are set and your alkali weight is calculated, the last thing to calculate is the water weight. You alter the water weight by changing the lye concentration (or water:lye ratio).

    Higher lye concentration --> less water in proportion to the alkali.
    Lower lye concentration --> more water in proportion to the alkali.

    Water is the last thing calculated once the other factors are set regarding fats and alkali. Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  6. Aug 5, 2018 #1,186

    psfred

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    Just as easy to use a shaving soap as a stick rather than a cream -- I keep several of mine in twist-up tubes. Wet your face, rub the soap stick on it for a few seconds, lather with a wet brush. Less messy that creams, too.

    I suspect creams are both whipped and contain more glycerine (on in the case of some commercial ones, triethanolamine).

    Give it a try, soapmaking is pretty cheap.
     
  7. Aug 5, 2018 #1,187

    E Birbal

    E Birbal

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    Nothing really. I ever only used commercial shaving creams from tubes and canned foams in my life. Hence the (possibly unwarranted) inclination to stick to the familiar. I have nothing against the hard soap per se. Thanks for the links, looks like exactly the thing I was looking for - especially where the OP added boiling water at the end to get the desired consistency.

    Thanks, that additional info helps a lot in my understanding.

    Yeah, I've already placed an order for the ingredients and the wait is killing me already, although as a hobby, I get to do fun stuff only on weekends :(
     
  8. Aug 30, 2018 #1,188

    E Birbal

    E Birbal

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    So after several misses, I managed to create my first shaving soap based on Songwind's formula. I did modify the original formula a bit by adding unrefined Shae butter to the mix. I also added a bit of Potassium citrate to deal with the extreme hard water in my area.

    The end result was awesome to say the least. Its was better than any of the commercial products I have used thus far. I've also dropped the idea of making it into a cream because the soap is soft and easy enough to load on the brush which I can then use to face lather just as easily as a cream.

    I wanted to use Tetrasodium EDTA as a chelating agent, but couldn't as I am unable to source it easily where I live and used Potassium citrate in the meantime by making it as described here: https://classicbells.com/soap/citricAcid.html (Thanks @DeeAnna your website is very informative!)

    I've read that its possible to make Tetrasodium EDTA using Disodium EDTA and NaOH, both of which are readily available to me. Does anyone know how I can make Tetrasodium EDTA using these (assuming it is easy enough to do it in my kitchen)? Google search didn't give me anything useful.

    Thanks again for the awesome recipe and the tips in making this this a huge success for me!
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  9. Aug 31, 2018 #1,189

    LBussy

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    Who is teasing me? I saw that there was activity on this thread yesterday, I logged in and nothing. People are playing with my emotions! ;)
     
  10. Aug 31, 2018 #1,190

    E Birbal

    E Birbal

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    Possibly me. I had made a post but its held up in moderation probably because I am new here and it had a link to DeeAnna's website. Hoping the mods get a chance to approve it soon. Just to release some suspense, I made the soap and it lives up to its reputation every bit - I did a fun experiment and it seems, it takes only 5 swirls of the brush on the soap to load it up with enough soap to produce copious amounts of lather!
     
  11. Aug 31, 2018 #1,191

    LBussy

    LBussy

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    Great to hear that it went well for you! And welcome!
     
  12. Sep 1, 2018 #1,192

    psfred

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    Just dissolve the disodium EDTA in your lye (it's not very soluble in plain water). EDTA in the acid form can be used exactly the same way, just remember it will consume a little bit of lye.
     
  13. Sep 1, 2018 #1,193

    E Birbal

    E Birbal

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    @psfred But in this case, my lye is KOH based.

    The closest I've got to making Tetrasodium myself is this:

    372.24 g Disodium EDTA + 80.0 g NaOH gives 380.17g Tetrasodium EDTA (plus some extra water)

    Saw this on chemistcorner website but I'm avoiding putting a direct link as I'm a newbie here and it may put this post under moderation.

    Although I'm not sure if this is formula accurate.
     
  14. Sep 1, 2018 #1,194

    psfred

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    Doesn't matter if it's KOH or NaOH, the disodium salt will dissolve and that's what you need. In any case, the potassium ions will displace the sodium when it's dissolved. Far easier than attempting to make tetrasodium EDTA just to dissolve it in a strong lye solution. The amount of lye consumed is insignificant at the level EDTA is normally used.
     
  15. Sep 6, 2018 #1,195

    TimMcG

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    After reading all 60 pages, I'm about to embark on my first shaving soap. (Long time wet shaver) I'm going with tallow, lanolin and shea as those are all elements of the various soaps I like. However, I'm now slightly confused by @LBussy's post on his Silver Fox Crafts site regarding stearic acid. If I read it right, I shouldn't be using plan stearic in the calculations, but the combination of components instead. In his example, instead of 45% stearic, I'd use
    • 26.55% Palmitic Acid
    • 18% Stearic Acid
    • 0.45% Myristic Acid
    Did I get this right?
     
  16. Sep 6, 2018 #1,196

    psfred

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    I believe that's correct, but I'm sure Lee will chime in. I don't worry about it excessively, since I plan 5% superfat anyway.

    You can also use fully hydrogenated soybean oil (soy wax 415 I think) which is easier to calculate. Soap will be somewhat harder with the soy wax but shaves just as nicely.
     
  17. Sep 6, 2018 #1,197

    LBussy

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    Good morning.

    I guess the takeaway is to check the CAS numbers for the product you are purchasing and figure things accordingly. Before I figured that out I certainly made good soap. With the wiggle-room that the super fat percentages give, you’re likely safe to use the easier method as @psfred says. I’m just one of those folks that can’t pass up a good opportunity to make it complicated. :)

    Different suppliers have been knows to have different products under the same name. It was just a very long-winded way of saying “caveat emptor.”
     
  18. Sep 8, 2018 #1,198

    E Birbal

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    Just 5 swirls of the brush on the soap and this is the amount of lather it produced in under a minute. Photo taken about 15 minutes after making the lather. The bowl is approximately 5.5 inches (140 mm) at the top. It probably would have made more lather if I kept going, but I just gave up after a bit...

    Home Made MdC.jpg
     
    cjisler and LBussy like this.
  19. Sep 8, 2018 #1,199

    psfred

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    Yup. It will shave as well as it lathers, too. I've not made the high coconut oil version, mine is tallow, SA, 10% CO and a few other things, but it lathers the same way. A few swirls on the soap with a wet brush and you get more than enough slick lather for a three pass shave.

    Only drawback is that the soap lasts just about forever....
     
  20. Sep 8, 2018 #1,200

    LBussy

    LBussy

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    That SA and tallow is what makes it dense, only a little bit (comparatively) of CO lifts it up into a nice later. Any more in my opinion just gets too airy.

    Looks great! That's called "lather porn." :)
     

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