My first Soap - and its a success!

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Shaemus

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Hi soap makers!

Last Saturday, i made my first Soap and i have a few questions about it :)

It is a hot process, high stearic shaving soap containing

110g Stearic Acid
100g Shea Butter (refined)
70g Babassu Oil
30g Castor Oil
70/30% Potassium/Sodium hydroxide + 10g Citric Acid
10g Avocadooil as a Post-Cook Superfat
50g condensed milk
1 tsp honey

The last 3 were all added after the cook.

I made measured the lye so that the first 4 ingredients would generate a 0% superfat and i guess that the lye was a little bit too much as i could not cook the "zapping" (from unused lye) out of it, that only stopped after i added the superfat etc.
Is this ok or does it cause problems? The PH of the soap slime is about 9 but i shaved with it without a problem.

The pucks came out bright white with a few brown spots (the milk got scorched on the bottom of the pot as i made it on the stove - i dont own a crockpot) so any tips to eliminate the brown spots?

And the last question: Although the lather is stable, slick and protective, it has some bigger bubbles in it. How can i eliminate those? Less Oleic? More Stearic? Less Lauric?

Are there any suggestions for improving the soap?
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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First, welcome to SMF.

Second, why did you choose those oils and ingredients? What is it about the honey after the cook and so on that drew you? There is not much point me suggesting to leave out castor and Shea in favour of other ingredients if you are 100% set on using them
 

Arimara

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Are you from the States? Condensed milk is usually the sweet stuff used to make cajeta or used in fudge. Unless it's regular evaporated milk, I'm failing to see the logic of using that condensed milk and NOT expecting some brown spots due to the high sugar amounts.
 

dixiedragon

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Post a pic! I love seeing first soaps!

One option is a double boiler. Get a pot that is wider than your soaping pot. Put your soaping pot inside the wider pot, then pour in water. If both pots are fairly thin on the bottom, you can put a canning ring or a dinner plate in the bottom of the wider pot. This will help you have a gentle, more evenly-dispersed heat.
 

Shaemus

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I chose the oils that way because it is a shaving soap so high stearic was a requirement. Shea is also high in stearic but also oleic to make the soap conditioning (but not so much because it destroys lather) and in my experience with shaving, oleic increases slip.
Babassu Oil was added for volume of lather and Castor Oil because i read it helps lather too.

I added honey, milk and citric acid as natural lather boosters and for conditioning purposes, post cook because i dont want the lye to interact with the sugars and proteins. And yes, it was evaporated standard milk, i wrote condensed milk as thats what it is called in Germany, where i live :)

Heres a picture of the pucs and the lather it produces :)

13906595_1196776970352659_2447356353521131059_n.jpg


14054949_1196781307018892_5234674861859837720_n.jpg
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Thanks for the info.

Certain things do boost lather, but maybe not in the way that we want. For bar soap, castor is fab as it really gives the lather an "oompf" - boosts the volume of it. That is not what we want in a shaving soap - you noticed you are getting big fluffy bubbles in there and I would bet that the castor is to blame. Try it again without the castor and see how it gets on.

I use coconut oil instead of Babassu and tallow (rindtalg) instead of shea. In anything over 30% of a bar soap recipe shea can start to hinder the lather. You can get tallow from pet stores in Germany, I don't know about supermarkets. The pet stores sell it sometimes as a base for mixing with seeds to feed birds!

For trying different recipes, I use small tupperware-type things in the microwave. It means that I can make batches of at most 100g so I don't waste a lot of ingredients while I make changes/try new things.

Viel spaß!
 
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