My Version of Pear's Soap

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soap_rat

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lsg, how did you get your lye amount? Does the pine rosin or glycerin have saponifiables? When I run the oils and stearic acid through soapcalc, even at 0 superfat it says 67.8 grams lye. I was thinking I'd do 6% SF, is that bad? I will check out the tutorial you mentioned, maybe it has the answer.
 

lsg

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You might check out the following sources:

http://www.kremer-pigmente.com/media/files_public/60300-60310e.pdf

file:///C:/Users/Linda/Downloads/ManzoneYulex.pdf

https://archive.org/.../gumsresinstheiro00parrrich/gumsresinsth... - Similar to Full text of "Gums & resins, their occurrence, properties and ...
3 THE SCOTS PINE 13 AN INDIAN PINE PLANTATION 31 MYROXYLON PEREIRAE, .... Acid value = 140-151 Saponification value = 159-165 Soluble in alcohol ... The fresh oleoresin con- tains from 20 to 30 per cent, of an essential oil , which ..... As a rule, the commercial product is in small pieces, almost in powder, or in a .
 

DeeAnna

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When I was in high school and college, many of us girls used Pears soap for washing our faces followed by the classic Oil of Olay moisturizer. As I recall, Pears wasn't marketed as a bath bar although there's no reason why it couldn't be used for general washing. It just had that certain cachet of being a soap one used to feel and look pretty.
 

SaltedFig

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Here in Aus it was a bit of the same.

Pears was THE soap.

It had the smell (distinctive rosin amber ... I didn't smell that smell again until I took up violin ... and THEN it hit me what it was). Failed on violin (don't have the ear, as much as I wish I did - I hear ever so slightly flat, apparently ... which is probably what led to a love of melancholy music, but that's another tale ... I can play a mean Moon River, if that counts?) ... but fell in love with the rosin.

It's a beautiful, tactile thing. Adds to soap a bit like beeswax, but a lot different (rosin does brittle, makes beeswax look soft).
 

DeeAnna

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I made a version of lsg's recipe yesterday. The main differences were substituting lard for the palm and using a bit less coconut oil. I expect my recipe will not lather a lot due to the high % of glycerin and lower % of coconut oil, but I am okay with that.

I made one mistake that created an unintended change in the process -- I had measured out the extra water and the glycerin in separate containers before I measured my 50% NaOH solution. I meant to put this lye solution into the extra water, but I managed to pour it into the glycerin instead. Rather than discard the glycerin-lye mixture, I decided to make the soap batter with everything in the pot up front -- fats, rosin, glycerin, water, lye -- and see what happened.

I expected there might be some problems, but by gosh the soap did just fine! It didn't seize nor threaten to volcano (rosin saponifies hot and hard, so it can trigger a volcano). It stayed a fluid, gooey paste the whole time. I cooked it, oh, maybe about 20 minutes, and it was zap free at that time. The finished soap is a dark amber color ... I'll post pics when I get it cut and cleaned up.
 

DeeAnna

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Just a tidbit -- if you make this type of soap, make sure your recipe has a generous amount of the "bubbly fats" such as coconut oil. I expected less lather by using a little less coconut oil than lsg's recipe, but I didn't expect NO lather. That's a first for me. I'll keep testing as the weeks go by, but I kind of doubt my recipe is ever going to be a winner in the suds department.

I like the deep amber color -- it does remind me of Pears. As I recall, Pears soap didn't lather a huge amount, which made it easier to rinse off my face, but it did make some suds. It's back to the drawing board for my version of this soap.
 

Saranac

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I made one mistake that created an unintended change in the process -- I had measured out the extra water and the glycerin in separate containers before I measured my 50% NaOH solution. I meant to put this lye solution into the extra water, but I managed to pour it into the glycerin instead. Rather than discard the glycerin-lye mixture, I decided to make the soap batter with everything in the pot up front -- fats, rosin, glycerin, water, lye -- and see what happened.
When I make my MP soap I use the glycerin in my recipe to make a 25% lye solution (1 part NaOH, 1 part water, 2 parts glycerin). I figured if it worked for LS, it would work for bars, too. It's never given me a problem and I like the fact that it minimizes the amount of water that cooks out while HPing--and it really helps the soap dissolve into the other solvents.

I expected less lather by using a little less coconut oil than lsg's recipe, but I didn't expect NO lather.
My MP recipe is 50% solvents, and it lathers nicely with 30% coconut. I'm not sure how much coconut you used, but I would consider raising it. I've tried 25% in an MP soap, and that worked well, but I've never worked with rosin in bars and my experience with LS points at the fact that rosin kills lather.

My LS paste contains 2% rosin. It's not much, but it worked out to be the sweet spot for me. I tried just about every rosin recipe in CF's book and they never lathered enough. I ended up dropping the rosin % and finally decided on 2%. Much higher and it seems to inhibit lather in my recipe. I've yet to try rosin in a bar soap (I really should, I think I've got a couple tons of it!), but it may be contributing to the lack-luster lather in your bars.

Okay--I'm not sure what my point was. . . . Hope you were looking for 2-cents.
 

DeeAnna

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I used 15% coconut oil -- not remotely enough. I know higher percentages of glycerin in soap definitely reduce lather, so I attributed most if not all of my "no lather" result to the high amount of glycerin in this recipe.

Older soap making manuals, such as American Soaps written by Henry Gathmann in 1893, talk about using rosin in soap at rates from 5% to 50% of the total "fats" in the recipe. Gathmann mentioned that saponified rosin added softness and solubility to soap and was used to offset the hardness and insolubility of tallow soap and to lower the cost of the soap (at the time, rosin was very cheap). He also mentioned that rosin soap lathers well even in salt or hard water -- almost as good as 100% coconut oil soap.

I'm not an expert with rosin soaps -- I've only used it in one batch of bar soap and this Pears-type soap. The Pears type soap isn't a good test of rosin vs. no rosin. I seem to recall the bar soap didn't lather especially well, but I don't remember much more than that. I don't have a strong opinion about what it does to the lathering ability of a soap.
 

Saranac

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Fair enough, DeeAnna. I, too, am far from an expert on Rosin and I'm sure my observations are, at best, anecdotal. I had read so much (CF's books and a few old-timey manuals), and was so sure that Rosin was going to do such great things for my liquid soap, that I bought 5 pounds of it in December of 2012; I still have 3 pounds of it. I can say it never lived up to my expectations.

My notes from that far back were lost, but looking back at my handwritten notes in Failor's books, I'm sure I've used upwards of 15% of my oils. It just never seemed to add anything to the soap. I found that 2% kept the lather where I wanted it and it allows me to (slowly) use up what I have. As a plus, I live in an area that practical eats up anything with balsam, fir, or pine in it--and if you can make a case for all three, even better!

Truthfully, I never thought it was worth monkeying around with in bars. Maybe the attributes the old-timers give it are best show-cased in bar form?

I've got some down time this week. Maybe it's time I try out the bars. Out of curiosity, how's the clarity of those you made?
 

DeeAnna

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With the exception of transparent soap, I agree with you -- I question whether rosin is worth the trouble of using it in soap. Like you, I still have a big part of my 5 pound bag.

The Diamond G people who made my rosin say you can melt rosin and bake potatoes in it. Not sure what that does for the potatoes -- maybe makes them cook faster or be fluffier?

I just got done making a batch of liquid soap today (without rosin). I'll make a note to try 2% rosin in the next batch I make and see what it brings to the party.

My pears dupe soap is translucent, not transparent. It's also rather dark -- amber or brown sugar color -- and the dark color further cuts the light transmission. There's no way you could do the "read the paper through a piece of the soap" test. ;)
 

Saranac

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The Diamond G people who made my rosin say you can melt rosin and bake potatoes in it. Not sure what that does for the potatoes -- maybe makes them cook faster or be fluffier?
Hmmm. . . . That's a new one fore me, and I have a culinary background. I could go on for quite some time about why I think baking a potato in rosin is a waste of both the rosin and the potato, but this is a soap forum, so I'll spare you all the dissertation and resign myself to, "that sounds interesting!"

Deanna said:
My pears dupe soap is translucent, not transparent. It's also rather dark -- amber or brown sugar color -- and the dark color further cuts the light transmission. There's no way you could do the "read the paper through a piece of the soap" test. ;)
I gave up on transparent soap. The only way it worked for me was with ethanol and it's too expensive. I'm happy just to make a MP soap that melts (I actually formulate it to use up my scraps, so it's more of a silk-purse-from-a-sows-ear situation). With that said, when I melt my rosin for LS I melt it in the castor oil. I think I read that on this forum--that the castor acts as a solvent and makes it melt easier. It seems like it takes less heat to melt it down. I wonder if your accidental "everything in the pot" technique required more heat to melt the rosin.

I don't think I'll get to it tomorrow or Wednesday, but Tuesday looks like it's shaping up to be a soaping day!
 

DeeAnna

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The glycerin ended up in the pot at the beginning of saponification due to my absent mindedness, but that doesn't mean I melted the rosin with all the ingredients. I melted the rosin with just the castor and coconut, added the lard, heated the fats and rosin a bit more to ensure everything was fully melted and hot enough, and then added the lye, extra water, and glycerin to make the soap. It wasn't a big deal -- I don't recall having any particular trouble with the rosin melting.
 

cobbsie

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How was the fragrance? This is one soap id love to be able to get a close smell to....
 
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