My first shaving soap is a success!

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

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  1. Feb 24, 2019 #1,241

    Phlier

    Phlier

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    @psfred Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I just learned more about shaving soap in your one post than I have in the last month of reading. I'm going to do exactly as you suggest and go with very high stearic acid and tallow. I better get the tallow on order. I'm so excited about this I'm actually going to pry open my check book and pay for shipping from Amazon to get it next day.

    I did find a chemical manufacturer that makes 92% pure stearic acid, but no one carries it for end user purchase. The only places that carry it are the big supply places that want to know how many pallets of the stuff you want. :( So soy wax it is! I've read a few of DeeAnna's posts that state that stearic acid doesn't produce glycerin when it's saponified. I noticed that you said that soy wax has a glycerol backbone, so I'm wondering if soy wax *does* give off glycerin when it's saponified? I'm also not seeing soy wax in soapcalc. I hate to bother you with this, but would you mind posting a link to where you bought yours, and also where you got the SAP values? Actually... you know what, never mind... I've been researching the heck out of stuff, and I'm not going to take any short cuts now. I'm gonna chase it down myself! :)

    I have Tetrasodium EDTA, and BHT on order. I have a ton of citric acid here, so I'll make my own citrate. But yes, I'll definitely take your advice on avoiding rancidity. I DO NOT want rancid soap! :)

    I just looked over the ingredients list of Tabac, and if you break it down to the soap ingredients and "other" ingredients, it's actually a fairly simple soap. They list the ingredients in their saponified form, but it's easily decoded. It's also very similar to your suggested recipe. It basically has tallow, stearic acid, cocoa butter and glycerin. One thing that throws me off a bit is that it lists Tetrasodium EDTA, and then Tetrasodium Etidronate. I thought they were the same thing? The rest of the ingredients are either smelling (no "fragrance" here) related or other non-essential additives (I've looked every one of them up now).

    Not only does Tabac start out slippery, it *stays* slippery the more you dilute it down with water. When most soaps have long since lost their slipperyness due to too much water, Tabac *stays* slippery.

    One last question.... do you hold out the shea and/or cocoa butters and add them after the mixture passes zap to make sure that the super fats are, indeed, either/both the shea and cocoa butters? I'm kinda leaning toward only holding out the 5% shea butter (so yes, 5% SF), and adding it only after the zap test passes so that I can make darn good and sure that the SF is the shea. I did this with the soap I made two nights ago, and I love the post shave feel of the soap that has the shea butter as the SF. It's a very soft, non-dry feeling. OK, so I'm a big guy: 6'2' and 220 lbs. Tough as nails. Never in my life did I think that I'd just type out the fact that I like that my face feels "soft and not dry" after shaving. I feel like I need to go do something exceedingly manly now. This whole shaving thing really seems to get a guy in touch with his feminine side. ;)

    @psfred Thank you so much for your help. I think you now have me pointed in the right direction on my quest to make my very own, non-smelly, Tabac. It may not be smelly like Tabac, but you can be darn sure it's going to be something masculine smelling by the time I'm done with it!!! Now where did I put that rose essential oil... ;)

    Seriously, though... You have been a great help both on this forum and on Badger & Blade. I always look forward to reading your posts on either forum, because I *know* I'm going to learn something. Guys like you are few and far between, and hugely under appreciated.

    I'm gonna go make a small (4 oz total oils weight) batch of a slightly different variation of the recipe I cooked up two nights ago, so I can use it as a benchmark for the new tallow recipe I'll cook up once I get the tallow and soy wax delivered. I reload my own firearm ammunition, so I have multiple scales that are accurate at very small weights. In fact, it's going to be the larger batches I'm going to have a problem with; none of my current larger capacity scales have the accuracy I'd need to feel comfortable using them for soap.

    Edit: Darn it, left out one last question.... are you using 5% SF?

    Yet another edit: Soy wax *is* in soapcalc.

    And here we are with another Edit: It looks like I might have found a pretty high purity stearic acid. The saponification values for it are very close to the values in soapcalc. It seems that stearic acids that have a high percentage of palmitic acid have a higher SAP value than those that have a greater percentage of actual stearic acid. The linked stearic has an SAP value closer to that listed in soapcalc than I have been able to find up to this point.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  2. Feb 25, 2019 #1,242

    psfred

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    yes, soy wax is listed as fully hydrogenated soy bean oil. It is a triglyceride, but you may want to add a little more glycerol anyway, it helps with lathering.

    I hold back half the cocoa butter and shea butter for 5% superfat, add it along with my fragrance oils at the end of the cook.

    Add a little extra boiling water at the end of the cook if the soap is dry, small volumes can lose enough water during the cook that they become hard to manage. Note that it should be boiling water (or at least very hot) or you will solidify the soap instead of softening it up to mold, etc.

    There is nothing manly about your skin feeling like it's going to split from desication right after a shave!
     
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  3. Feb 25, 2019 #1,243

    MickeyRat

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    I used this product from Amazon for my stearic acid. I don't see anything on either the Amazon listing or the product itself to indicate that it's not plain stearic acid. It worked fine.
     
  4. Feb 25, 2019 #1,244

    Tinmanwoodworks

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    I get my stearic acid from Acme-Hardesty here. It's 90% pure which is the closest I've found. The only catch is they don't sell less than 50 lbs at a time.
     
  5. Feb 25, 2019 #1,245

    Phlier

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    Unfortunately, all "stearic acids" are not created equal. The majority of the stearic acids available for purchase on Amazon and most of the cosmetic retail sites are a mixture of palmitic acid and stearic acid. The functional difference is small, but it is there. The one you posted is one of the myriad that I tracked down. It is a mixture of palmitic and stearic acids.

    @Tinmanwoodworks Thanks for the link, it's too bad you have to buy such a large amount at a time. Without being able to actually look at the manufacturer's data sheet (the links to the sheets on that site are broken), it's impossible to know if that 90% pure rating actually means 90% pure stearic. I've seen quite a few listings for 90% pure stearic acid that ended up being 45% palmitic and 45% stearic, giving you a total "purity" of 90%.

    But it looks like soy wax is going to be a good substitute, so I think I've chased this rabbit as far as I'm willing. Thanks for the help, btw. :)

    Industrene® 9018 is one of the few products I've found that is actually 90% pure stearic acid, but I can't find a supplier that will sell it to the end user.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  6. Feb 25, 2019 #1,246

    Tinmanwoodworks

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    Just FYI, I tracked down my copy of the MSDS and it does say 90% stearic acid minimum. No mention of palmitic acid
     
  7. Feb 25, 2019 #1,247

    Phlier

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    Searching for the CAS number (67701-03-05) shown on the package linked from Amazon comes up with this information. It's a blend of C16 (palmitic) and C18 (stearic). This is exactly the problem with purchasing stearic acid. Many people are selling a mixture of palmitic and stearic acid, and they are claiming it to be 100% stearic acid. Welcome to the rabbit hole! :) Here is a really nice read done by @LBussy when he fell down the same hole. It's important to realize that there is a slightly different SAP number when using a palmitic/stearic blend. Luckily, the SAP value for a mixture of palmitic/stearic is higher (at least, in all of the ones that I've found so far) than pure stearic, so we are erring on the side of safety; you are going to end up with a higher super fat percentage than what you intended when you use a palmitic/stearic blend. I'm very glad that the "stearic acid" palmitic/stearic blends that are being sold have this buffer. It would be a very bad thing if the SAP value for the blends were *lower* than pure stearic. Regardless, please run whatever you have through a soapcalc, and make sure that you are entering into the soap calc *exactly what you have*. The SAP value for 67701-03-05 is NOT the same as the SAP value for "stearic acid" in soapcalc. Another huge problem is that often times the MSDS sheet information directly conflicts with the manufacturer's Product Data Sheet! I fell into the same trap as @Tinmanwoodworks did many times; I found a product's MSDS sheet, saw that it showed 100% stearic acid, but then found the actual PDS sheet, where it lists a blend. So caveat emptor: don't settle for the MSDS, look at the actual PDS or even a product chemical analysis sheet if it's available.

    To make matters even worse... the CAS number for stearic acid is 57-11-4. You would think that you'd be able to buy a product labeled CAS 57-11-4, and get just plain ole stearic acid. But then you look at this and see that chemical manufacturers are being very loose with their application of that CAS number. There are a ton of listings on that page for 57-11-4, and the majority of them are for blends.

    Ladies/Gents, what it boils down to is this: You need to determine exactly what your "stearic acid" is, and use the SAP values for your exact product. At this point in time, I've spent two days tracking down the various listings of stearic acid on amazon and other cosmetic supply places. I have yet to find EVEN ONE LISTING that could be *verified* as being pure stearic acid. So the chances of whatever you bought being pure stearic acid, and being able to be inputted into a soapcalc as such, is VERY slim. No matter what you buy, be it a palmitic/stearic blend, straight palmitic, whatever it is, make sure that you can get the absolute no-questions-asked correct SAP value for that product.

    ETA: I just got off of a web chat with a sales rep for a chemical supplier that carries Industrene 9018. They sell it in a minimum purchase quantity of 100 pounds, and can only ship to a business address.

    Yup, soybean wax is where it's going to be for a while.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  8. Feb 25, 2019 #1,248

    Tinmanwoodworks

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    The cas number on my order was 57-11-4. I went down this particular rabbit hole about a year ago, and this was the best solution I found. The SDS is available here. I have read the article by @LBussy before although I never noticed he was also from KC. What up 913 :)
     
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  9. Feb 25, 2019 #1,249

    Phlier

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    I appreciate the info, for sure. It looks like that is 90% stearic acid and only 10% palmitic. Darn good stuff.
     
  10. Feb 25, 2019 #1,250

    MickeyRat

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    Well that sucks. Since I'm the only one using my shaving soap and it seems to be doing the job, I'll probably continue using what I have next year when I need more. That said, is the soybean wax for candle making the right stuff? Somehow I think not. Would you treat it like stearic acid?
     
  11. Feb 26, 2019 #1,251

    psfred

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    Soy wax is fully hydrogenated soy bean oil, and consists of three molecules of stearic acid attached to one molecule of glycerol (a triglyceride, just like any other "oil"). It is solid at room temperature and has a fairly high melting point. You do NOT have to add extra glycerol if you use it instead of stearic acid (whatever mix of stearic and palmitic you have) and it makes nice shaving soap. A little harder to balance, but not impossible.

    In my use, it also produces a harder soap with 60% KOH, you might want to up the KOH to 75% if you use it. The soap works fine.

    It also saponifies like an oil, rather than instantly making soap upon addition of lye, so it will take a little longer to complete. I have not tried using it in cold process shaving soap, although I suppose you could -- I prefer to believe that I have more control over the super fat by using hot process and adding the fats I want as superfat after the cook.
     
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  12. Feb 26, 2019 #1,252

    MickeyRat

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    Thanks for the info psfred. I mised the parenthetical soy wax in Soupee. I think most people that have tried making shaving soap go hot process. At least, I did and I doubt I'll change.
     
  13. Mar 1, 2019 #1,253

    Phlier

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    Well, just for grins, I'm going to make a batch today out of 100% soy wax, saponified with 60/40 KOH/NaOH. I'm very curious as to how a soap made with 87% stearic and 11% palmitic works regarding lube and lather. I suspect that it'll lather like crazy, but be less slippery than a "normal" shave soap. We'll see. :)

    I'm now up to page 31 of this thread. Just about half way there! *need more coffee*

    ETA: Well, I did it. I made a 100 gram batch (I have extremely accurate low capacity scales) of straight soybean wax, saponified 60/40 KOH/NaOH. The lather was horrible, but it is extremely slippery. *Extremely* slippery. So I had that exactly backwards. I was expecting tons of lather, but not much slip. Looks like it's CO for the lather, and stearic for the slick.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
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  14. Mar 3, 2019 #1,254

    Phlier

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    Soooooo.... Lanolin. What the heck is up with this stuff?

    Looking at Lanolin in soapcalc, I see that there are saponification numbers for it, but it doesn't break down into any saponifiables. I read Wikipedia's entry for it, and yup, sure enough, it doesn't contain any saponifiable triglycerides. Yet it has SAP values? This is something I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around.

    I also see guys using it as part of their base fats, and also a certain amount held out til the end of the cook for use as a super fat. Since it has no saponifiables in it, why is the lye amount increased when it's used as a base fat? What does the lye do to the lanolin if it's not really saponifying it?

    After multiple trial batches, I'm just about zero'd in on a recipe that I really like. I'm just trying to work out the post shave face feel a bit, as it's a bit on the dry side. I've been doing a zero lye discount, but adding an additional 3% shea butter after zap ( I have extremely accurate scales, so I'm not a bit bothered by low SF amounts). I *really* like the lather I'm getting, so I don't really want to up the shea super fat up to 5%, so I'm thinking I might change the SF to lanolin, or possibly split it to 1.5% shea and 1.5% lanolin. But as I started looking into it, I found the rather strange saponification specs on it.
     
  15. Mar 3, 2019 #1,255

    psfred

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    Lanolin contains a small amount of oil and hence consumes a little hydroxide, that's why it has a saponification number but no real "fatty acid profile". There are other things in it that also neutralize some hydroxide as well. I assume, without looking it up, that like beeswax it contains fatty acid esters (not triglyerides) that are longer than lipid fatty acids, and the alcohol is much longer than glycerol (and likely not a polyol, too). SoapCalc doesn't track those things, so they don't show up even though lanolin "saponifys" -- that is, consumes some lye.

    I use 5%, which is the usual suggestion, 3% might be a bit low. I use 3% in bath soap though. What you save out for superfat really doesn't matter all that much in terms of "lye discount" or "superfat" -- any residual lye at the end of the cook will be consumed by whatever you put in for superfat. You can easily just add a little lanolin after the cook, or include it in the recipe so that the lye weight is adusted. It's not really critical so long as you have superfat.

    I have a grease bomb for facial skin and don't want lanolin in my soap, but a buddy of mine has fairy dry skin and really likes it in his.
     
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  16. Mar 3, 2019 #1,256

    Jetpilot

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  17. Mar 3, 2019 #1,257

    Tinmanwoodworks

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    This is the problem with stearic acid. At first glance I was super stoked to be able to buy in smaller quantities, and the sds list the ingredients as stearic acid, but if you Google the product name HYSTRENE[emoji2400] 5016 NF FG POWDER it turns out that this is 50% palmitic acid.
     
  18. Mar 3, 2019 #1,258

    Phlier

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    Yup, just as @Tinmanwoodworks said, if you click on the Safety Data Sheet link, it shows that it's Hystrene 5016. I'm adding the link, as the picture in Tinmanwoodwork's post is broken for me.

    Edit: Actually, that link is to the SDS, not the manufacturer's data sheet. I have found the data sheet from the manufacturer (it's actually listed in one of the links in an earlier post of mine), and yeah... Hystrene 5016 is 46% Palmitic and 54% Stearic acid. Pretty typical of all the "stearic acid" you'll find on the market right now.

    Thanks again, @psfred , that's exactly the information I was looking for. I really can't thank you enough for all of your help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  19. Mar 3, 2019 #1,259

    Jetpilot

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    Looks like Hystrene 9718 is what we are looking for. 92% purity.
     
  20. Mar 3, 2019 #1,260

    Phlier

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    I spent over a week chasing the various pure stearic acids. I finally gave up. Soy wax is 87% stearic acid, and makes for fine shaving soap. Great replacement for stearic acid, and it doesn't saponify instantly. It also kicks off glycerin, so you don't have to add as much (or any, really) as you do with stearic/palmitic.

    Look for soy wax 415. I bought this. I've made around five or so batches with it, and it works *great*. Check out the stats for soy wax in soapcalc. You'll see what a great replacement it is for stearic.

    ETA: I really like the fact that soy wax doesn't saponify as fast as stearic/palmitic blends. It does still end up saponifying faster than the other oils you'll use, but not too much faster. I end up with a much more consistent texture. Closer to pudding than mash potatoes. Actually, closer to apple sauce.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
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