My first shaving soap is a success!

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

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  1. Mar 7, 2019 #1,261

    Phlier

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    OK, I know this is an older post, but @Misschief is sill active here, so... Let's talk briefly about clay. Before we do, I know how polarizing this subject is, and hope I don't start a "clay wars." Some guys love it, others hate it, and yes, it is certainly possible to make fantastic shave soap without it. But you can also make fantastic shave soap with it, as well.

    I've only made around 15 micro batches of shaving soap, so I'm not the most experienced. Each batch less than 200 grams, and each recipe slightly different. I'm trying to make MY soap... soap that is custom made for exactly what I want. Last week, I started playing with clay. ;) I decided to start with kaolin, but today's batches will be made with bentonite.... but I digress...

    Here's a little something to try: Put a half a teaspoon of clay in the palm of your hand. Add just enough water to it to make a thick mud. Now take your index finger, and smash that mud around your palm. Feel how amazingly slippery that is? Continue to slowly dilute the mud with water, checking the slipperyness after each water addition. Eventually, not only will it stop being slippery, it actually starts to get less slippery than just plain water. Now apply what you've learned toward shaving soap. If you're thinking along the same lines as I am, it's something like wow, there needs to be quite a lot of clay in the soap, and the lather would have to be on the drier side for clay to really work. And that's what my clay soap is like in actual performance. It does make drier lathers more slippery, yes, but when the lather is watered down to the level that most straight shavers use, it becomes less slippery.

    So, IMO, if you're going to use clay, then use at least 3% PPO. The resultant soap will be good for shavers that use their lathers at "lather porn" levels of hydration, but not necessarily good for shavers that use lathers so wet they'd never want to photograph them. I love my clay soap for DE shaving, but it stays on the shelf if I'm going to be shaving with a straight that day.

    ETA: Clay also does have deleterious effects on lather. My clay soaps don't lather quite as well as my non clay soaps. I mean, they still make lather that is completely acceptable, just not quite as good.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  2. Nov 5, 2019 #1,262

    Opeyemi

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    hi..can you teach me shaving soap ....
     
  3. Nov 6, 2019 #1,263

    Misschief

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    Read the thread... seriously, once you read the ENTIRE thread, you'll have an excellent base of knowledge. Personally, I've read the entire thread at least 3 or 4 times.
     
  4. Nov 6, 2019 #1,264

    runnerchicki

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    I've read it through fully just once - had to take a lunch break LOL - but I revisit it often and I agree that there is a wealth of information in this thread and anyone interested in making shaving soap needs to read it top to bottom.
     
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  5. Dec 10, 2019 #1,265

    Jackie Tobey

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    I just purchased stearic acid CAS 57-11-4 from SoapGoods based in StoneMtn GA, outside of Atlanta. I have not used it yet but plan to this weekend.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2019
  6. Dec 10, 2019 #1,266

    Mark the Box Guy

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    It might be time to make a batch... it's been too long :)
     
  7. Dec 10, 2019 #1,267

    JJBlaine

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    After finally making it thru this entire thread, I decided to give it a go and whip up some shaving soaps a few weeks ago. Overall, I have to say they turned out pretty good!

    My son, who shaves with a straight blade and uses a shaving brush, and his gf, who uses disposables and gathered the soap with her hands, just tried them out, and I thought I'd share their feedback.

    Soap A) 52% SA, 48% CO, 15% glycerine - they thought it was "meh", they didn't hate it, but they didn't love it either.

    Soap B) Swapped out 5% of the CO for 2.5% each cocoa and shea butters - They liked this better. He did comment that it was a very thirsty soap, and that he did have to work it a bit to get the lather going, but that it could also be due to his brush. Of the three soaps, he said this one gave him the cleanest shave. She said it was nice, but did not elaborate.
    • since the one "complaint" was about the lather, tonight I made a batch replacing 5% of the CO with castor oil, and added 5% sugar.

    Soap C) 52% SA, 28% CO, 20% lard, 15% glycerine - This was by far the favorite of the three. He said he noticed a few stray hairs remaining on his face after the first pass with the razor. Despite this, he said this soap gathered the best of the three (although it did need to be worked a little bit more than his usual store-bought shave soap), the lather held up on his face the longest, and the razor glided across his face smoothly. As for the gf, she said she loved it. Both of them commented that their skin felt very nice afterward. In fact, they liked it enough to have some of their friends try, and now they want some too.
    • Even though they really liked this one as-is, I thought I'd see if it would be improved with a few tweaks. I made some tonight using 52% SA, 20% CO, 23% lard, 5% castor oil and 5% sugar. After cooking, I added 15% glycerin, and 2.5% each cocoa and shea butters as SF.
    Thanks to all who have contributed to this exceptionally interesting and educational thread!
     
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  8. Dec 10, 2019 #1,268

    LBussy

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    Past time ... I'm out.

    Well, technically not "out." I've been shaving with a bad batch I made several years ago. I guess not bad but it was a failed fragrance. Without that nice almond scent, it doesn't seem right.
     
  9. Dec 10, 2019 #1,269

    sirtim100

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    Well, it's very nice to see this thread coming back to life.

    I'm very much a late comer to the forum, and I really enjoyed this thread and all the excitement and advice that was generated. And I've still only got to page 35.

    I followed Songwind's recipe twice, as is, and found it worked very well, although it has a tendency to swallow EOs whole, to the extent that the second batch, made with patchouli, had to be rebatched with a little more EO and patchouli doesn't disappear just like that, it's a stubborn little begger. So batch 2 smells better but it went a bit soft (too much water I reckon). Then I did batch 3 with a small tweak, brought on by a shortage of stearic acid. To make 8 oz with the 3.5 oz SA I had, I added some tallow. The end result was (in oz):

    3.5 stearic acid
    3.5 CO
    1 tallow
    3 water
    1.7 KOH

    The justification for the change, apart from the shortage, was to try a shaving soap with tallow. I added 1.5 tablespoon of glycerine and a 0.25 oz blend of lavender, rosemary, bergamot and peppermint as per the recipe. Followed DeeAnna's process from start to finish, and the end result is pretty good. But once again, the EO blend has gone down a black hole and you're left with the smell of SA, which is not high on my list of sexy fragrances.

    My question to the experts here is could I up the EO percentage? Or that does that entail any risk?
     
  10. Dec 10, 2019 #1,270

    shunt2011

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    What percentage are you using? I have to lower my usage from what I use in CP. I add the EO/FO just before pouring my shaving soap. 6% for CP and generally 3-5% for my shaving soap.
     
  11. Dec 10, 2019 #1,271

    sirtim100

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    The amount used in the Songwind recipe is 0.25oz for 8 oz of soap.

    Going by your percentages, the upper margin gives 0.4oz, which might be adequate, depending on the EOs used, of course.
     
  12. Dec 11, 2019 #1,272

    Misschief

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    Do check the usage rate for each EO. Each is different.
     
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  13. Dec 13, 2019 #1,273

    Jackie Tobey

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    5E2C1936-D440-42EF-9D98-E306727A220D.png
    For those interested here is the PDS information from SoapGoods on their Stearic Acid.

    4CA68A97-95CB-47C7-BB44-396F6753B4E5.png
    . Sorry the first one was hard to read. And again it looks like a mix of Palmitic, Stearic, Myrstic.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2019
  14. Dec 13, 2019 #1,274

    Carla Burke

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    Awesome!!! Congratulations!!
     
  15. Jan 4, 2020 #1,275

    Sally Scheibner

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    Have you tried beeswax to harden instead?

    Seems that MMSage has a coffee soap recipe for cleaning fish stinky hands etc. I made it long ago and liked it. Added the strong coffee water (apart from lye H2O. Also some finely ground ( itty bit ?) to trace. Recipe is still on MMS.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2020
  16. Jan 5, 2020 #1,276

    KiwiMoose

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    Well, I've finally made it to the end of this loooooong thread, but I've already made my shaving soap. It seems that my recipe might be OK judging by the posts on the last few pages. I've not used stearic at all, but used soy wax in high amount instead, and I have cold processed it. It was thick, but still pourable. Fingers crossed it will work. I'll keep y'all posted.
     
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  17. Jan 5, 2020 #1,277

    marlowe57

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    Thank you to everyone for this terrific thread! I'm thrilled with the last batch I made and so I'm sharing it :)

    Coconut Oil 27.5%
    Beef Tallow 27.5%
    Stearic Acid 27.5%
    Castor Oil 7.5%
    Shea Butter 10.0%

    60% KOH
    40% NAOH

    25% Lye Solution.

    [EDIT: 4% Superfat]

    CPHP

    5% Glycerine & 5% Lanolin added. (percent of oils). I added the lanolin after cook, you really have to stir. I might add it early next time.

    I used 3% ppo FO after cook for scent. I used a fragrance oil (Midnight Waters, an aquatic type, from BB), but use whatever strikes your fancy.

    The stearic acid makes the soap react SUPER FAST REALLY FAST.

    Way back in this thread on page 3, post #50, DeeAnna suggested a two stage saponification and it's a GREAT idea. She suggested it for a recipe without tallow, Songbird's recipe, but it's still an excellent idea! Thank you!! But even without a 2 stage process, it works. Cook it, let the other oils saponify. It won't take long. :)

    Terrific lather, good slickness, nice shave. I got good lather easily, with a synthetic brush, bowl lathering.

    Thank you again to everyone who contributed!
     
    Kcryss, KiwiMoose and Misschief like this.
  18. Jan 18, 2020 #1,278

    Vgurer

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    Hi, I am new to this, but tried the formula anyway; 4.69 oz distilled water + 2.59 oz KOH, I dissolved 5.58 oz stearic acid, and 5.15 oz coconut oil, I added 1.07 oz of castor oil to the melted solution, add the KOH solution stir vigorously and after 10 or 15 minutes it settled. I cooked for another 5 or 8 mins, no zap at the tongue. added 0.54 oz of cocoa butter, 1.5 table spoon of glycerin, a tea spoon of coconut fragrance and few drops of peppermint essential oil. gave it a strong whisk again, then, distribute it in aluminum cup cake molds, while hot (5 mold) so far, I had the impression that it smells good, (impatient, I took the brush and tried it before it gets cold; it lathers good, it has lots of thick foam.) I believe it will harden and the the molds will get rid of the crumbling sensation, thanks for the basic formula!
     
  19. Jan 19, 2020 #1,279

    JackofallShaves

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    Can't believe this thread is still alive, just finished reading the whole thread!! I just tried a version of songwind's recipe with lesser % of CO and added SB instead. The soap turned out great and produces a nice, creamy and stable lather. Couple of questions:

    1) My soap(originally made in a crockpot, HP) is about a week and a half old and it does seem like the soap needs a lot of water to work up a good lather. I mean the lather is great and I just shaved with it, but is there any way to make it "less thirsty"? I want the soap to make as good a lather as the current version but with lesser water and effort.

    2) I slobbed the cooked soap directly into 6 oz tin cans, but the "look" or "Texture" of the dried soap is not very smooth. Any recommendations to make it look smooth and professional, so that I can actually sell this in my local farmer's market?

    Thanks for all the amazing information thus far, this thread has been extremely helpful!
     
  20. Jan 19, 2020 #1,280

    Fiut

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    Well, if it is alive, I'll share my experience too :)
    I did 40% Stearic acid, 20% Lard, 20% castor, 12% shea, 8% CO with 40/60 NaoH/KOH ratio. HP soap countertop method, molded in a pipe, frozen and then cut into pieces. Very good - semi-hard and great lathering. My husband loves it :)
     

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