My first shaving soap is a success!

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

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  1. Dec 9, 2018 #1,221

    steffamarie

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    @Loralei I got a brush off of Amazon for around $9 and it works fantastically. They have lots of options both cheap and expensive on there
     
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  2. Dec 11, 2018 #1,222

    TimMcG

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    I thought that was a novel way of adding the SF. :)
     
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  3. Jan 12, 2019 #1,223

    lolaM

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    I will confess i have yet to make it through the entirety of this Humongous thread but before i attempt to get myself and ingredients together to embark on this little experiment im wondering about quantities. Obviously for a trial batch im not wanting much. Well, even its totally amazeballs i don't want much as im just making for ma wee daddy back home in Scotland who has been a big beardy wet shaver for 30 years.
    Having only made feminine products so far i would LOVE to surprise him with this! So what is a good individual "portion" size? I have aluminum tins in various sizes just not sure what to use. And should i fill them full or use a larger size and half fill to make room for the brush get in there and lather up the foam?
    or....do you guys prefer a glass container? Am i being a typical chick and overthinking things that men could care less about?;)
     
  4. Jan 12, 2019 #1,224

    LBussy

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    Hi @lolaM !

    Glass = bad. Think about wet, slippery fingers, dropping it .. and poor delicate feet probably just out of the shower!

    I use these for packaging:

    https://www.specialtybottle.com/metal-tin-containers/deep-flat-slipcover/8oz-tnf8

    And I end up filling them with ~5.3 oz of soap. They will hold more, but I like to leave a "lip" there so loading is not so messy. A tin lasts me for a couple-three months easily.

    Most folks will not lather on top of a croap, they are too soft for that. So there's another gift idea, a nice bowl or scuttle! :) I have the "rawhide" on on this page:

    https://www.captainschoicestore.com/lather-bowls/

    Hope that helps!
     
  5. Jan 12, 2019 #1,225

    psfred

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    No aluminum, even coated -- it will eventually react with the soap and make grey nasty yuck (and eat holes in the container). Plastic is fine, so is coated steel.

    4 oz is a good size, and 6 oz is fine.

    My shaving soap is hard enough to cut into pucks and wrap, so you can do that too if you want. I'm sure someone who has been wet shaving for decades will be able to find a container to suit.

    Home made shaving soap using one of the variations in this thread is great stuff!

    Peter
     
  6. Jan 12, 2019 #1,226

    lolaM

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    Yes! Very helpful guys thanks. I actually have the same type of tins you have shown above. I just assumed they were aluminium but they are in fact coated steel so should be fine to use.
    But I’m loving those lather bowls! Soooo much nicer for gifting. And I also like the idea of making those ‘pucks’ for refills. Cheers for sharing
     
  7. Jan 12, 2019 #1,227

    LBussy

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    If you are thinking pucks, a Pringles can makes a nice disposable mold.
     
  8. Jan 14, 2019 #1,228

    karon L adams

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    yeah, glass in the bathroom, soapy, sudsy fingers, hard tiles floors, BARE FEET, never ever use glass. always go metal or plastic
     
  9. Jan 15, 2019 #1,229

    CraftySue

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    I make the pucks, in a PVC pipe with a cap on the bottom.
     
  10. Jan 16, 2019 #1,230

    Jeannie Hinyard

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    The lather bowls are beautiful, but they can break, too, just like glass. My son has already broken 3 glass ones and apparently, he didn't like the plastic one I gave him because I found it in his refrigerator with BBQ sauce in it. :p I just ordered a stainless steel lather bowl from Wholesale Supplies Plus. Haven't received it, so I don't know the quality yet, but I dare him to break that one! Wholesale Supplies Plus also has shaving brushes that are very reasonable. I haven't tried those either.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2019
  11. Jan 16, 2019 #1,231

    shunt2011

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  12. Jan 16, 2019 #1,232

    LBussy

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    Lather bowls can break, absolutely. Ceramic tends to not break into tiny microscopic shards like regular glass does however. It’s a risk I am willing to take. My issue with stainless steel is that it is too smooth, I like for the bowl to have a little tooth to it.
     
  13. Jan 30, 2019 #1,233

    Ivanstein

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    I am a crusty, cantankerous, old and grumpy (yeah, I am truly multi talented) man and shaving soap isn't something I demand to be a luxury item. A great soap should speak for itself and not require a hand carved parrot horn dish with a lid excavated from the tomb of Tutnkamen.

    When I make shave soaps, I usually divvy it up in 4 oz portions because that is just about right for 6 months of lathering every morning.

    However, it goes in anything I can find. From an old candle jar which has been cleaned out to deli soup containers. My personal favorite is one pound cottage cheese dishes. 4 oz soap in one of those is about perfect for loading a brush without the proto-lather getting all over.

    Plus, re-purposed containers don't make you sad if they break and keeps some of that plastic out of the landfill. (And they are CHEAP! I guess add tighta...er...frugal to the list)
     
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  14. Feb 22, 2019 #1,234

    Phlier

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    Greetings, everyone. I've spent the last couple of months reading up on all things soap making. I've spent a ton of time lurking here as well as the other well known soap information sites. Many thanks to all of you who have shared your knowledge!

    So I've settled on a recipe for my first attempt at making a shaving soap. But after doing a lot of reading, I'm a bit confused on putting in the correct information for stearic acid into a soap calculator. I just bought this stearic acid (that is NOT an affiliate link, and I am in no way affiliated with the manufacturer, seller, or Amazon). It will be arriving today, along with all the other things necessary to make my first batch. Can I just use the default "Stearic Acid" information in soapcalc for that particular stearic acid, or do I need to figure out my own values? When I purchased it, I just assumed (yeah... never assume, I know : ) ) that it was 100% pure stearic acid and could be used as such in a soap calc. Unfortunately, there is no CAS number associated with that particular listing.

    @LBussy I hate to bother you, but what is your opinion on using the stearic acid I linked?

    Anyone else have any input?
     
  15. Feb 22, 2019 #1,235

    lsg

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    My answer is yes, you can use the default Stearic Acid in SoapCalc as the descrition given for the product is 99% pure.
     
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  16. Feb 22, 2019 #1,236

    Firestarter

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    The linked product is a mix of stearic and palmitic acid, with a higher SAP value than the stearic acid listed in most lye calculators. I've used similar products and it works fine in shaving soap, just make sure to use the correct SAP value (which for this product seems to be 207-211)
    See: http://hbchemical.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/HYSTENE-5016-TDS.pdf
     
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  17. Feb 22, 2019 #1,237

    Phlier

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    Thank you! That's exactly the information I tried to find, but couldn't. Darn it, I wanted it to be 100% (or as close as possible to it) of actual stearic acid. It looks like the stuff I bought is a 50/50 mix of stearic and palmitic.

    I'm not sure it it's permitted or not, but if so.... could you guys provide some links of known good (as close to 100% stearic acid as possible) stearic acid suppliers? It appears that you *really* have to dive down deep to determine exactly what the "stearic acid" you are buying really is! Next step: search for the CAS number given by @LBussy for the stearic acid we want...

    I'm going to go ahead and use the stuff (it just showed up on the doorstep five minutes ago), even though it isn't 100% stearic acid. As you stated, I'll make sure to use the appropriate SAP value. Hmm... the link shows a range of 207 to 211. I'll be using 60/40 KOH/NaOH. I wonder if the lower value is supposed to be for NaOH, and the higher for KOH.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  18. Feb 22, 2019 #1,238

    Phlier

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    Well, it looks like I've fallen down the same rabbit hole that @LBussy was trying to keep us (or more specifically, me ; ) ) from falling down on his web site. And I'm going to chase that carrot all the way down to the bottom.

    I've found information that directly conflicts with the link given by @Firestarter . It looks like pmcbiogenix is the manufacturer of "Hystrene 5016 NF-EXT", which is the product I received. For those interested, take a look here. There are multiple products on that page which have the CAS number of 57-11-4. Now the interesting thing here is that they list products which contain palmitic acid separately from those that contain stearic acid, but list those products under the same CAS number as stearic acid! Although the information given on this page is incomplete, it leaves the impression that Hystrene 5016 NF-EXT is pure stearic acid, which conflicts with the link that Firestarter found. But I have yet to find a way to verify this. The acid values given for Hystrene do look very similar to the numbers for their palmitic acid products, though, so at this point, who knows.

    *sigh* I can't believe it's so difficult to find a product that is just simply "stearic acid." I'm probably being way too OCD about this; there's probably not enough of a difference between using pure stearic acid and the palmitic/stearic blend to really bother trying to sort all of this out. Regardless, it would be nice to find pure stearic acid.

    Edit: Firestarter, you were right! Check this out!
     
  19. Feb 24, 2019 #1,239

    Phlier

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    My brain feels like mush. I have yet to find a source of 100% STEARIC Acid. It seems like every time I come across one that looks like it's 100% stearic, some deeper diving reveals palmitic. So that battle continues, with any help from you guys very much appreciated. Anyone out there getting 100% stearic acid anywhere?

    OK, so shaving soap...

    IMO, one of the reasons that there is room in this market for such a wide variety of artisan soap makers to be successful, is that there's a wide variety of preferences among wet shavers; if you were to ask a bunch of wet shavers to list the top five things you want in a shaving soap, you'd get a ton of variation. Unfortunately, I've only been able to find one shaving soap that hits the top three (of my top five) on my list. That soap is Tabac. It's made in Germany. And I love the performance. But I despise the smell. It isn't a "fragrance", or "scent", it's a "smell". I've put up with the smell for many years because it performs so well. So I'm on a quest to develop a home made alternative.

    My top five list for shaving soap:
    1. Lubrication
    2. Lubrication
    3. Lubrication
    4. Lather
    5. Scent

    Why do guys even use shaving soap or shaving cream? Why don't we all just grab a razor and get to work? Lubrication. Glide. Slip. Slide. That's the primary reason we use it. Now some guys are able to just wet their faces and razor away. While at the other end of the spectrum are guys like me, and we're allllll about the lubrication. I have little tree stump steel wires for whiskers that pop out of the softest, most sensitive skin you've ever seen on a male. My wife says my skin ".... is sooo soft, you should've been a girl." Gee... thanks. As you can imagine, it's not easy to chop down little steel trees like that without getting that soft sensitive skin in a complete tizzy fit. So to me, lubrication is top dog. In fact, it's the top three dogs.

    I've been wet shaving for years. I've been straight shaving for 11 years. Now it might seem odd that a guy with huge trees made out of steel and baby bum soft skin would prefer a straight razor, but given time to perfect the technique, you can get a far more gentle shave with a straight than you can with a DE or cartridge. It just takes practice. A lot of it. But I digress...

    The recipe for shaving soap that I'm trying to develop is all about the slip/slide/glide/lubrication. If it manages to develop decent lather, that would just be a bonus.

    So I thought I'd ask all of the experienced soapers out there for their opinions. What oils make for the best lubricants when they're turned into soap? I'm aware of the various clays, but what other ingredients/additives make good soap lubes?

    I just made the soap from the OP just last night, and it's very good as far as lather goes. It's also pretty good (better than a lot of the shaving soaps on the market) at lubrication. But unfortunately, it's just not as slippery as smelly old Tabac.

    If you wanted to make a soap so slippery it just wants to jump out of your hands, where would you start? I've been reading up on the properties of oils when they're turned into soap, but unfortunately it doesn't seem like how effective they are at lubrication is ever stated. We need a lubrication stat added to soapcalc! ;)

    Thanks for any pointers. :)
     
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  20. Feb 24, 2019 #1,240

    psfred

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    High stearic acid gives that slippery sensation I've found, along with some superfat like shea butter or cocoa butter (and if you get non-deodorized cocoa butter, it briefly smells of chocolate, too).

    If you want pure stearic acid it's easier to get fully hydrogenated soy bean oil, aka soy wax. The stuff labeled 415 I think is 85% stearic acid with the balance being the glycerol "backbone" of lipids, so essentially it's pure stearic acid. High melting point, so you need to melt it into your other fats.

    The recipe I use for that sort of soap is 40% soy wax, 40% tallow (you can also use lard if you want, but it tends to go rancid more easily), 10% coconut oil, and 5% each shea and cocoa butter. It will turn brown from the cocoa butter, but not go rancid if you use citric acid and BHT, which I recommend. Takes a long time to use up shaving soap.

    You can make fairly small batches (200 gr of oils or so) if you want to experiment -- I find 100 gr of home made shaving soap lasts me a good six months, it's easy to get sorta over-supplied with shaving soap pretty quick.

    When making recipes for shaving soap, aim for 50% and higher stearic plus palmitic acids in the fatty acid profile. The rest isn't too critical so long as you don't have too much oleic. Castor oil is optional, I don't find it does anything particular for me that coconut oil doesn't, but it won't hurt any either unless you get up to 20% or so, when I find the lather to suffer a bit and slickness to drop of some.

    As far as the "stearic aicd" with palmitic, you won't see much difference I don't think. Pure stearic (from soy wax) seems to give me a slightly harder soap at 60% KOH, but it works fine. Hard to say, as the stearic in that particular soap is very high (65% I think).

    You should be able to duplicate the characteristics of Tabac pretty well, it's only soap after all. Use beef tallow, it's about the best thing for shaving soap.
     
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