Neem recipe feedback

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Marshall

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Looking to explore neem oil, from what I have found it seems to be either a love it or hate it kind of thing. I have to admit that some of the descriptive language found within this forum to describe neem is colorful to say the least, none the less it has peaked my interest. :mrgreen:

The recipe I have tentatively settled on is,
23% Olive
25% Palm
20% Neem
17% Coconut
10% hemp
5% Castor
5% SF

I have been creating my recipes on SoapCalc using the default settings. In my research here I have seen it mentioned elsewhere that neem accelerates trace. I have been soaping at around 107 degrees and to be honest have felt that lately I have been witnessing slow movement to trace. Should I make adjustments to my water volume or soaping temp for the neem?

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I always think of neem and/or pine tar as being utility soaps - they are really for their set purpose of helping with skin issues.

So for me, your co is too high. While 17% at a 5% SF is not by any means unusual in a standard soap, if people have already got skin problems, I would lower the co right down or even leave it out all together.

When I make another batch of pine tar, I will look at something like 75% lard, 20% pine tar, 5% co and 5% castor
 

cmzaha

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Keep in mind Neem will accelerate quickly. I agree that I would lower the coconut for a neem soap
 

Marshall

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I would lower the co right down or even leave it out all together.

When I make another batch of pine tar, I will look at something like 75% lard, 20% pine tar, 5% co and 5% castor
Keep in mind Neem will accelerate quickly. I agree that I would lower the coconut for a neem soap
Thank you both for the input, I will drop the Co down as you have suggested and make up the difference between the Palm and Olive unless you feel it should go elsewhere?

I will not get to soap this weekend as my schedule won't allow it but hope to have this done next weekend. I will post back here to let you know how it goes.

Have a great day!
 

Marshall

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Ok, so with a little help from the wisdom of the forum I believe I have a new recipe settled upon, unless less of course I get more guidance to the contrary :)

35% Palm
25% Olive
20% Neem
10% Hemp
5% Coconut
5% Castor
Full water with 5% SF

I make my soap in 2lb batches, poured into a wooden log mold that I typically wrap in a towel to help coax the gel process. Since it has been noted that Neem will accelerate trace, should I leave this one unwrapped?

Researching neem oil has been quite interesting it has a deep rich history. I pulled the below points from here, one of quite a few sites with historical information on Neem oil.

The Vedas called Neem, “SARVA ROGA NIVARINI”, which means ‘one that cures all ailments and ills’.

This tree is considered to be of divine origin. According to Indian mythology, amrita (ambrosia or the elixir of immortality) was being carried to heaven and a few drops of it fell on the Neem tree.

Another story tells of the time the Sun took refuge in the Neem Tree to escape from the awesome powers of the demons.

Planting three or more Neem trees during one’s lifetime was considered a surefire ticket to heaven

Having a great time with this one!
Have a great day!
 

Marshall

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Neem oil arrived today!

I don’t have a talented sniffer like some folks, I will never be able to tell you about the subtle mid notes of sparkling wonderment that are complementing the floral top notes and such. As for the Neem oil, I don’t know that it’s a scent I would choose but it’s not the rotting death shroud some have described it as. Passing it around the table tonight at dinner yielded a couple of eeewww that stinks, one said it smelled like chocolate, I think her sniffer is further off than mine. All followed up with “you’re going to make soap with that! Why?

Personally I think it has a bit of an earthy nutty smell. As such I have decided to scent the soap with Patchouli. In one of the posting I read about Neem it was stated to try and work with the “natural fragrance of the oil”. To me it says Patchouli. Looking forward to the weekend and the Neem experience.
 

kumudini

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I made one batch of neem oil soap. Single color, so really wasn't concerned about fast trace or anything. Used my usual 40% lye concentration. Came to trace in no time and was molded up quickly. I know my palm rich vegetable oil recipe is quick but Dont really know if my EOs also had something to do with quick tracing, they were eucalyptus, litsea and rosemary, strange combo I know.
About the scent it self, I was one of the people who described it as nutty and what not. It's not very stinky by itself but in soap it's an entirely different beast, a gag inducing one. Even after 5 months the stink comes alive once water hits the soap, it's just not as bad. Other than the scent it's a fine soap.
I'm planning another batch which I'm going to scent with basil and lime anchored with some litsea again. I might add neem and lime peel powders in the oils.
Hope your experiment goes well and you get to enjoy the neem soap.
 

Marshall

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Cooked up the neem soap today, it is now snuggled in its mold gently warming up to gelled soapy goodness. I stuck to the revised recipe posted after the input from Carolyn and Craig. Soaped at 110° and it came to what I perceived as emulsion in just a minute or two with only gentle hand mixing. Patchouli was added at a heavy 5% to which the neem only laughed and went right back to the dominant aroma wafting from the batter. Separated out about a third of the batch and mixed in a little TD in an attempt to lighten up a portion of the batch for some contrast, never used TD so we will see how that flies. Using a SB brought the batter to what I believe would be considered a med trace in just a few minutes. I wanted to obtain a thick trace on the lighter portion of the batter so I could try to create the textured top I see folks doing but the batter seemed to stall at a med trace. The SB didn’t seem able to coax the batter any thicker so I poured it as it was and tried a simple swirl with a spoon.

I don’t seem to be able to find that thick trace, been looking for it for about the last 4 batches of soap, any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Looking forward to cutting it tomorrow! :)
 

Marshall

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about the scent it self, I was one of the people who described it as nutty and what not. It's not very stinky by itself but in soap it's an entirely different beast
Kumudini, your warning has come to pass. Cut the soap tonight and saponification was not kind to the neem. It still retains a little of the nutty smell but something oily and a tad bit nasty has come join in the odors wafting from the bars. There is absolutely nothing left of the Patchouli that was added, maybe it will come back with the cure. :Kitten Love:

This has been a fun adventure and I look forward to giving the neem bars a test in a couple of months. Carolyn and Craig took me out of my comfort zone by suggesting I drop the coconut percentage so low, I am still admittedly hung up on SoapCalc numbers and their suggestion took me down to a 4 on cleansing :shock:

Thanks all that provided input!

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mzimm

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Kumudini, your warning has come to pass. Cut the soap tonight and saponification was not kind to the neem. It still retains a little of the nutty smell but something oily and a tad bit nasty has come join in the odors wafting from the bars. There is absolutely nothing left of the Patchouli that was added, maybe it will come back with the cure. :Kitten Love:

This has been a fun adventure and I look forward to giving the neem bars a test in a couple of months. Carolyn and Craig took me out of my comfort zone by suggesting I drop the coconut percentage so low, I am still admittedly hung up on SoapCalc numbers and their suggestion took me down to a 4 on cleansing :shock:

Thanks all that provided input!
I have kind of a love/hate relationship with my Neem soaps. Never went over the 20% line with it, but its aroma is still faintly present in the bars after 4 months. The smell does fade and it does allow the other EO's to emerge eventually, but it still announces itself enough that you never forget that there's something "different" about this bar. But oh my, how lovely to wash with this soap!
Your finished soap is lovely, by the way. Good job!
 

Marshall

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Started using the Neem soap about 3 days ago, right at the 5 week mark for curing. I am happy to announce, IMHO the soap is awesome! The smell has definitely mellowed though I don’t know if I can smell much of the Patchouli the nasty scent that was present when I cut the bars is gone. As Marie pointed out in her post, the Neem decidedly makes its presents known in the shower, but to be honest that is not such a bad thing. The new mellow Neem is strangely enjoyable and in my short time with it I have come to like it.

The lather is amazing! Thick and rich, it’s like a lotion but rinses away clean leaving my skin simply loving this soap.
This adventure has in my eyes been a success and I can see more Neem soap in my future. Thanks again to all that provided input and advice I do appreciate it!

Have a great day!

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cmzaha

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Congratulations for the success of your neem soap. The bars look very pretty. Neem does mellow over time but will always be there
 

mzimm

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Started using the Neem soap about 3 days ago, right at the 5 week mark for curing. I am happy to announce, IMHO the soap is awesome! The smell has definitely mellowed though I don’t know if I can smell much of the Patchouli the nasty scent that was present when I cut the bars is gone. As Marie pointed out in her post, the Neem decidedly makes its presents known in the shower, but to be honest that is not such a bad thing. The new mellow Neem is strangely enjoyable and in my short time with it I have come to like it.

The lather is amazing! Thick and rich, it’s like a lotion but rinses away clean leaving my skin simply loving this soap.
This adventure has in my eyes been a success and I can see more Neem soap in my future. Thanks again to all that provided input and advice I do appreciate it!

Have a great day!
If everyone were as willing to try something new as we soapers are, I'd make a lot more soap with Neem in it, and I wouldn't have as much trouble getting friends and family to try it. But if and when they do try it, I always hear feedback just like yours, Marshall. Good on you for giving it a chance!
 

Marshall

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Neem version 2.0!
So, after leaving the first round Neem bar in the shower my wife walks out one morning and announces, that one is my favorite! This from the woman that has for the most part been indifferent with my soaping adventures and after smelling the raw Neem when it got here said your gonna make soap out of THAT!?!

This round I replaced the Palm oil with some Lard goodness and was out of Patchouli so I cleaned out remnant bottles of FOs adding equal parts of BB Zanzibar Spice, Black amber and Lavender with Vanilla Select to top it off. As with the original bars the FO’S were no match for the Neem when cut this evening but I have high hopes that as before the smell will mellow with the cure.

Another fun twist to this adventure is that one of my bars is on its way to India for a lady I work with to try. When I first began looking at Neem oil I spoke with her about it because Neem native to India. She told me then she didn’t like Neem soap as it was drying to the skin. I don’t believe she will find this bar to be drying but have to admit I am anxious to hear back from her.

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