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New CP soaper, and my FO experiences so far...

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DonS

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Well, I have been having fun. Since starting my CP adventure I have made about 9 batches. Three traced or seized so fast that they had to be tossed (if someone knows how to do this rebatch thing...I am all ears...)
Anyway, here are my experiences so far with FOs. Each FO was used right at the manufacturer's recommended usage rated based upon OIL WEIGHT...not batch rate. My base formula, which has now changed, used to be:

  • 8 oz Coconut oil
  • 15 oz Olive oil
  • 11 oz Palm oil
  • 4.8 oz lye / 11.2 oz distilled water
  • 2 tsp Sodium Lactate
My base formula is NOW:

  • 8.5 oz Coconut oil
  • 8.5 oz Palm oil
  • 10.2 oz Olive oil
  • 5.1 oz Sweet Almond Oil
  • 1.7 oz Shea Butter - organic unrefined
  • 4.8 oz lye / 11.3 oz distilled water
  • NO SODIUM LACTATE -- DROPPED FROM THE RECIPE
For the FOs, I have tried the following and here is my personal take:

  • Lavender Fields from Oregon Trail -- no trace acceleration. SMELLS NOTHING LIKE LAVENDER. Smells more like...a light Dove soap scent...hard to describe. Not unpleasant, just not what I want. DROPPED.
  • Sophisticated Sandalwood from Oregon Trail -- rapid trace acceleration. This is one you cannot put in prior to trace. You have to whisk it in after trace or you will get SEIZE. SMELLS NOTHING LIKE SANDALWOOD. In fact, it smells even more like Dove soap. DROPPED.
  • Jasmine Fragnapani from Bulk Apothecary -- rapid trace acceleration. SEIZE city if you try and add it before trace. Whisk in only. Odor is objectionable...like rotting flowers or something. Perhaps this is what it should smell like? This scent would be great if you want to induce convulsive projectile vomiting in drug overdose ER cases....DROPPED.
  • Gardenia from Bulk Apothecary -- no trace acceleration. This one seems OK. I might keep it around...maybe. I will see how the bars smell at end of cure. Smell is not vomit inducing like their Jasmine F, so there's that...
Based upon my bad customer service experiences with BA combined with the results, I will resolutely not use them for anything going forward. No redeeming qualities. Somebody has to be happy with them somewhere, but I have yet to meet them.

These are the curing bars/batches above. Now, I have decided to switch over to WSP after finding a ton of well behaved FOs and I like their pricing and selection. No, I don't work for these guys. Here is what is "baking" right now, and has yet to be cut and I will advise more as I get more info:

  • Coconut #94 -- no trace acceleration. Awesome scent. Very very well behaved. Smells like coconuts!
  • Sandalwood EO/FO #104 -- no trace acceleration. Awesome scent. Smells like Sandalwood to me, and well behaved.
  • Lavender #14 -- no trace acceleration. Smells like Lavender, which I am finding out I might actually not like because I guess I did not realize how it should really smell. Others I let smell the oil love it, if they like Lavender.
Scents I will be using for coming up batches and will advise:

  • Gardenia Lily #197
  • Jasmine # 270
  • True Lilac #96
 

shunt2011

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Well, I have been having fun. Since starting my CP adventure I have made about 9 batches. Three traced or seized so fast that they had to be tossed (if someone knows how to do this rebatch thing...I am all ears...)

Anyway, here are my experiences so far with FOs. Each FO was used right at the manufacturer's recommended usage rated based upon OIL WEIGHT...not batch rate. My base formula, which has now changed, used to be:

  • 8 oz Coconut oil
  • 15 oz Olive oil
  • 11 oz Palm oil
  • 4.8 oz lye / 11.2 oz distilled water
  • 2 tsp Sodium Lactate
My base formula is NOW:

  • 8.5 oz Coconut oil
  • 8.5 oz Palm oil
  • 10.2 oz Olive oil
  • 5.1 oz Sweet Almond Oil
  • 1.7 oz Shea Butter - organic unrefined
  • 4.8 oz lye / 11.3 oz distilled water
  • NO SODIUM LACTATE -- DROPPED FROM THE RECIPE
For the FOs, I have tried the following and here is my personal take:

  • Lavender Fields from Oregon Trail -- no trace acceleration. SMELLS NOTHING LIKE LAVENDER. Smells more like...a light Dove soap scent...hard to describe. Not unpleasant, just not what I want. DROPPED.
  • Sophisticated Sandalwood from Oregon Trail -- rapid trace acceleration. This is one you cannot put in prior to trace. You have to whisk it in after trace or you will get SEIZE. SMELLS NOTHING LIKE SANDALWOOD. In fact, it smells even more like Dove soap. DROPPED.
  • Jasmine Fragnapani from Bulk Apothecary -- rapid trace acceleration. SEIZE city if you try and add it before trace. Whisk in only. Odor is objectionable...like rotting flowers or something. Perhaps this is what it should smell like? This scent would be great if you want to induce convulsive projectile vomiting in drug overdose ER cases....DROPPED.
  • Gardenia from Bulk Apothecary -- no trace acceleration. This one seems OK. I might keep it around...maybe. I will see how the bars smell at end of cure. Smell is not vomit inducing like their Jasmine F, so there's that...
Based upon my bad customer service experiences with BA combined with the results, I will resolutely not use them for anything going forward. No redeeming qualities. Somebody has to be happy with them somewhere, but I have yet to meet them.

These are the curing bars/batches above. Now, I have decided to switch over to WSP after finding a ton of well behaved FOs and I like their pricing and selection. No, I don't work for these guys. Here is what is "baking" right now, and has yet to be cut and I will advise more as I get more info:

  • Coconut #94 -- no trace acceleration. Awesome scent. Very very well behaved. Smells like coconuts!
  • Sandalwood EO/FO #104 -- no trace acceleration. Awesome scent. Smells like Sandalwood to me, and well behaved.
  • Lavender #14 -- no trace acceleration. Smells like Lavender, which I am finding out I might actually not like because I guess I did not realize how it should really smell. Others I let smell the oil love it, if they like Lavender.
Scents I will be using for coming up batches and will advise:

  • Gardenia Lily #197
  • Jasmine # 270
  • True Lilac #96
Congratulations! Just keep in mind that almost all florals move fast. I’ve used the Trie Lilac and it moves pretty quickly. I really dislike florals so don’t make many.
 

cmzaha

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Because a batch seizes does not mean it has to be tossed. You can cover the container your batter is in an walk away for 30 min or so checking on it periodically. Once it heats up (starts saponifying) it will thin out so you can quickly stir and pour it in a mold. There is really no playtime for molding as it will harden up quickly. This will produce a rustic hp looking soap that is perfectly fine. There is usually no reason to toss a batch of soap/batter. I am not saying it can't happen but most can be fixed. In fact if you happened to seal your discarded batch in a plastic bag it would have gelled and thinned out in the bag. If it was a Ziploc you could have dumped it in your mold. :D

I use one fragrance oil that will seize if I am off on my temp by a couple of degrees and the procedure above is how I handle it. I just know with this particular fo to use colors that will mix well together in case my batter does seize and I cannot get my swirling done, I can toss in the separated colored batter when the main batter thins out, and not end up with mud. I do not add fo to the separated batter so it does not seize.

Your first recipe is most likely not the culprit to your seizing problems but your fragrance oils. As Shunt mentioned, floral fragrance oils are notorious for causing fast acceleration.
 
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DonS

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Congratulations! Just keep in mind that almost all florals move fast. I’ve used the Trie Lilac and it moves pretty quickly. I really dislike florals so don’t make many.
Indeed. I am discovering that! I will be careful with the True Lilac. I try and soap at 110 deg F.

Because a batch seizes does not mean it has to be tossed. You can cover the container your batter is in an walk away for 30 min or so checking on it periodically. Once it heats up (starts saponifying) it will thin out so you can quickly stir and pour it in a mold. There is really no playtime for molding as it will harden up quickly. This will produce a rustic hp looking soap that is perfectly fine. There is usually no reason to toss a batch of soap/batter. I am not saying it can't happen but most can be fixed. In fact if you happened to seal your discarded batch in a plastic bag it would have gelled and thinned out in the bag. If it was a Ziploc you could have dumped it in your mold. :D

I use one fragrance oil that will seize if I am off on my temp by a couple of degrees and the procedure above is how I handle it. I just know with this particular fo to use colors that will mix well together in case my batter does seize and I cannot get my swirling done, I can toss in the separated colored batter when the main batter thins out, and not end up with mud. I do not add fo to the separated batter so it does not seize.

Your first recipe is most likely not the culprit to your seizing problems but your fragrance oils. As Shunt mentioned, floral fragrance oils are notorious for causing fast acceleration.
THANK YOU FOR THAT! I had no idea I could re-use in this way. Yeah, it was a Ziploc. Ahhh!

Florals definitely can seize fast, but I had the Oregon Trail Sophisticated Sandalwood rapid trace on me too. It seems like I will need to a feel for each and every FO I use and make notes.

I dropped the Sodium Lactate for two reasons. First, although it was allowing unmolding and cutting quicker, it makes the bars TOO hard. I might try 1 tsp per 2lb instead of 1 tsp per lb going forward. Secondarily, I always have to explain what Sodium Lactate is to people who are concerned about anything synthetic in the soap beyond the FO or EO/FO blend.
 
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cmzaha

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THANK YOU FOR THAT! I had no idea I could re-use in this way. Yeah, it was a Ziploc. Ahhh!
I dropped the Sodium Lactate for two reasons. First, although it was allowing unmolding and cutting quicker, it makes the bars TOO hard. I might try 1 tsp per 2lb instead of 1 tsp per lb going forward. Secondarily, I always have to explain what Sodium Lactate is to people who are concerned about anything synthetic in the soap beyond the FO or EO/FO blend.
I assume they must be family or friends. I mention that because I sell and no one has ever asked about the EDTA, Sodium Gluconate, BHT, or Sorbitol in my soap and I always expect it, but have been asked about the micas, or colorants in my soap.
 

DonS

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I assume they must be family or friends. I mention that because I sell and no one has ever asked about the EDTA, Sodium Gluconate, BHT, or Sorbitol in my soap and I always expect it, but have been asked about the micas, or colorants in my soap.
Yup. Because I make a point of talking up natural ingredients (mostly) as opposed to the nasty body washes out there. So, they start reading the ingredients. Right away I get quizzical looks on the Sodium Lactate. Sounds artificial, but it is not, not really. That said, even natural ingredients can be quite bad for you.

For example, I could make pure all natural poison ivy essential oil soap. I don't think it would go over well.

In researching the FO and EO stuff out there, I came to the conclusion that the FOs are actually safer due to regulation. The EOs can be easily adulterated or cut, and often are if you look at all the comments on Amazon for example. So, that is how explain FO use.
 

shunt2011

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Indeed. I am discovering that! I will be careful with the True Lilac. I try and soap at 110 deg F.
I soap cooler than that. I've only ever had a handful of people question any of the ingredients in my soap or products. I've been selling for years.
 

DonS

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I soap cooler than that. I've only ever had a handful of people question any of the ingredients in my soap or products. I've been selling for years.
I am ready to learn. What temps do you think ideal? If you are doing it, it must be for a reason. Probably the same reason as pointed out in here...trace acceleration or just flat out seizing.

I soap cooler than that. I've only ever had a handful of people question any of the ingredients in my soap or products. I've been selling for years.
Oh, and about people questioning ingredients. I ENCOURAGE IT. People are getting smarter, and they are starting to question the 9000 ingredients found in typical body products. Why, what for, and just what will it do to me? Good questions, and quite valid. I encourage this train of thought by challenging them to pick up any product they typically use and trying to read the label. Normally, they cannot even pronounce what is on there. Neither can I.
 
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Mistrael

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I've been soaping since last September and have only handed out soap to family so far, but they've had all kinds of questions. My mother is a chemical engineer so I have to be able to answer questions no "normal" customer would consider. Then my aunt is an artist with experience in almost every media, and I only say "almost" because surely there's still something she hasn't tried somewhere! She's currently mad about ceramics. As in, went through a college program, bought a wheel & kiln, and crafts her own glazes. I just hope she doesn't start asking about the exact mineral content of micas and clays because I'm never going to remember all that!

The FO acceleration factor is one big reason why I've been using Nurture Soap products more than any other. Their descriptions and soap notes have been incredibly helpful, as are the reviews. Same with the clays & micas. I especially love their pics of finished products, so I don't have to wonder as much about what will happen. For example, last night I tried their Rose Geranium FO for the first time. Soap notes & reviews all warned that it's a serious accelerator, so I soaped pretty cold & made sure everything was ready to go before I mixed. It was the fastest trace I've ever seen (only my 11th batch lol) but it all made it into the molds while still smooth & creamy.
 

DonS

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Just ordered Ferocious Beast Fragrance Oil, Dragon's Blood Fragrance Oil, and NG Aqua di Gio Type Fragrance Oil. We will see how they go in a couple of weeks. First up I have to make the batches of Jasmine, True Lilac, and Gardenia Lily. I am pretty much done with floral selection, assuming the scents are all what they should be. All of this is from NG. The scents I just ordered are for the younger/hipster/with-it crowd who want something more perfume/cologne. Next up will be citrus and fruits, in the coming couple of months.
 

Mistrael

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Nurture has a gorgeous Dragon's Blood that could be called a sandalwood, but it has pthalates. I don't care for that, so I bought some DB from NG. It's a bit lacking, so next I'm going to try Dragon Moon from NS.

NG has a gorgeous coffee FO that I absolutely adore. I used a raw cocoa butter with it and am calling it a mocha bar for now. It smells good enough to eat!
 

DonS

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Nurture has a gorgeous Dragon's Blood that could be called a sandalwood, but it has pthalates. I don't care for that, so I bought some DB from NG. It's a bit lacking, so next I'm going to try Dragon Moon from NS.

NG has a gorgeous coffee FO that I absolutely adore. I used a raw cocoa butter with it and am calling it a mocha bar for now. It smells good enough to eat!
Thanks for the advice on the DB. I had no idea who to buy it from. Everybody has a different sense of smell, so it is tough. If there is the PERFECT DB out there, I am all ears.

Coffee soap is probably the only kind I would intentionally avoid. Just like Frankincense--which I find repulsive. That said, there are plenty of folks who LOVE Frankincense. So goes humanity!

I have not experimented with colors or clays. I might not, as my goal is simplicity and effectiveness at the same time--with a nice scent.
 

shunt2011

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NG Perfect Man and Cracklin Birch are huge sellers. cmzaha has an awesome Dragon’s Blood. NG is the one I used before.
 
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