My recipe needs help?

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LisaAnne

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New to these forums and I love the information available here! I am hoping someone can help me, I am struggling for a recipe. I just made the following recipe and like it so far. I realize in a few months it will be better (I hope). Does anyone see anything I can improve or see anything that looks wrong.

Rice Bran oil 12 oz
Lard 12 oz
Olive 10 oz
Cocoa 7 oz
Coconut 6 oz
Castor 6.6 oz
Shea 6 oz
Palm kernel flakes 5 oz

I superfat at 5% and use all goatsmilk

Thank you for any assistance I just want one nice recipe and I am all over the map with ingredients. I better get to work :)
 

traderbren

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Welcome!

My personal thought is that you have a lot going on in that recipe. If something goes wrong, or your skin doesn't like it, it will be hard for you to pinpoint the cause. I suggest keeping your recipes to 4 or 5 oils/butters.

A good starting recipe is
50-55% lard (since I see you are not opposed to it)
20-25% olive oil
15% coconut oil
5% castor
And 5-10% butter if you want, although I have left it out before and it's still lovely soap.
 

LisaAnne

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Brenda thank you so much! I agree, I want a simple recipe and I think less is more. It's seems when I am using soap calc I just keep adding more and more. I've become hooked on the numbers of hardness... Etc. I've read that they can't always be trusted, that a soap that doesn't hit all the numbers can be lovely. Tonight I will definitely try your recipe.
 

Susie

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^ What Bren said! You need to identify if you really need those ingredients in soap or not. Make a batch of the 4 oils she mentioned, then make a batch with either RBO OR shea, and then with the other one to figure out if you like/need those. Also, you can tweak your basic 4 ingredients up and down to suit your taste. I would only leave the Castor Oil at 5%, and CO to no more than 15%, and keep those there. PKO is very similar to CO, so choose one or the other. (Yes, I just gave you permission to make about 8 batches of soap...go forth and saponify!)
 

LisaAnne

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Susie! Thanks, now that I have your okay :) I will make soap. Thanks so much!
 

dixiedragon

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I'm curious about why you used shea, cocoa butter and lard? Usually folks only use those in all veggie soap when they are trying to avoid palm.

However, if you like it and don't mind the extra expense of shea and cocoa butter, then there's no reason for you not to stick with it.
 

LisaAnne

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Dixiedragon, good question. I don't know, I've spent so much time reading, learning and am in every Facebook soaping room I think. I think I'm reading recipes that are mostly label appeal. I just got Kevin Dunns book and he states that a saponofied fatty acid doesn't have a clue where it came from. So, I am beginning to realize the expensive oils I have collected are not necessary. So, what I am going to do is a basic recipe (above) and go from there. I am overthinking and complicating the heck out of this. i can't even count how many bars of soap I have made in the last year and I am just realizing simplicity is best. I really appreciate your question and I understand your point.
 

Seawolfe

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Dont get too hung up on the numbers from Soap Calc - as long as they are within normal ranges you are good. Not all the numbers mean exactly what you think they do, and some are really not all that important IMHO (like cleansing - you can get near zero and it will just be a very nice gentle soap).
 

Susie

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While soapcalc is a great tool to understand the basics of putting a recipe together, it is not able to be a perfect predictor of what a soap feels like. You are the best judge of what is best for you once you get the basics understood. Use the calculator to get the correct amount of lye, yes, but don't get hung up on the numbers.
 

dixiedragon

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Dixiedragon, good question. I don't know, I've spent so much time reading, learning and am in every Facebook soaping room I think. I think I'm reading recipes that are mostly label appeal. I just got Kevin Dunns book and he states that a saponofied fatty acid doesn't have a clue where it came from. So, I am beginning to realize the expensive oils I have collected are not necessary. So, what I am going to do is a basic recipe (above) and go from there. I am overthinking and complicating the heck out of this. i can't even count how many bars of soap I have made in the last year and I am just realizing simplicity is best. I really appreciate your question and I understand your point.
While IMO, expensive oils aren't particularly helpful in soap making, they are wonderful in things like lotion, lipbalm, etc. So they are totally necessary!

Recipes - lot of label appeal there. I like the tutorials and recipes on Brambleberry's site, but I keep in mind that they are there to sell products. So rather than giving you a good general education in, say, lotion making, they are going to post different recipes with very different ingredients b/c they want you to buy those things. OTOH, swiftcraftymonkey gives a lot of good information but she's also pretty technical.
 

LisaAnne

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Thank you all so much, I'm embarrassed to admit the crazy oils I have. Looks like I will use them in butter. Soap calc will now be for lye amounts. I believe I have a new direction and I feel great about it.!
 

shunt2011

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Thank you all so much, I'm embarrassed to admit the crazy oils I have. Looks like I will use them in butter. Soap calc will now be for lye amounts. I believe I have a new direction and I feel great about it.!
You won't be the first or the last. Many of us started out the same way. I think the excitement gets the best of us. And as we learn, we realize you don't need a bunch of expensive oils/butters to make some awesome soap.
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
Ditto what Shari said- we all go a bit gung ho at the beginning (I know I did!). I came to learn that the best (and easiest on the wallet) thing to do is to start off making a basic recipe using about 4 basic oils/fats, and then tweaking it according to your skin-type from there on out.

Who knows- it may turn out in the end that you wind up using more than those initial 4 oils/fats, but by then you'll have a better knowledge of what each of them bring to your soap and why you are using them.

IrishLass :)
 

LisaAnne

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Shunt2011, ha! Thanks for saying that, I don't feel so ridiculous. I am definitely hooked.
 

Seawolfe

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Don't apologize, there's not a one of us who haven't done it. And I do indeed use Shea and sweet almond oil in some of my soaps, but now I know why I do :)
 

Susie

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Same here! We all understand how and why you got those oils. We all did the same thing!
 

Arimara

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^ What Bren said! You need to identify if you really need those ingredients in soap or not. Make a batch of the 4 oils she mentioned, then make a batch with either RBO OR shea, and then with the other one to figure out if you like/need those. Also, you can tweak your basic 4 ingredients up and down to suit your taste. I would only leave the Castor Oil at 5%, and CO to no more than 15%, and keep those there. PKO is very similar to CO, so choose one or the other. (Yes, I just gave you permission to make about 8 batches of soap...go forth and saponify!)
While similar, a mix of the two isn't too bad for bubbles. I find the combo on the nice side. I just like for them not go over 12% if I use both.
 

shunt2011

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I use both CO and PKO. I like the two together a lot. I use slightly more PKO than CO and don't exceed 23% total usually.
 

LisaAnne

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Thanks so much for all the input, I've spent my time since posting this pouring over this site. I love it, so much information! I used up what was left of a very small master batch I had made (wanted to try for fun) and tonight I am making my new pared down recipe as suggested. i finally get the concept of lye discount (I was HP and am now CP). Also I am going to lower my castor from ten to five to help harden up my bars. Lower the salt to 1/2 tsp ppo so as not to inhibit my bubbles and add simple syrup at thin trace. I soap at room temperature and I am also am practicing various swirling techniques. Joining this forum is a definite game changer for my soaping. Thanks so much!
 
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