oleic acid


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Feb 6, 2011
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Tried to make a goat's milk soap and decided to try oleic acid rather than the usual high-oleic safflower oil. Very strange. On mixing, I immediately got taffy. Far too thick to use a blender. I broke my electric whisk with it. Got a big stainless spoon and began stirring. In another minute it got hot enough to be more liquid and it was in gel. I had to use a fan to keep it cool enough not to boil over.


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Apr 11, 2015
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New York City
Free fatty acids saponify pretty much instantly, so they aren't really practical for CP. Hot process or liquid soap might be another matter. Note that you won't get any glycerine when you saponify FFAs.

I thought I should add a little more explanation for anyone who might find it interesting or helpful.

You probably know that oils are composed of triglycerides, which are three fatty acids and a glycerol. You saponify these and get three molecules of soap and a glycerin molecule.

In addition to saponifying oil, it's possible to saponify fatty acids that aren't bound in a triglyceride -- called free fatty acids or FFAs. In that case, each fatty acid becomes a molecule of soap and there is no glycerin by-product.

The most available FFA for us is stearic acid, which comes in small flakes or beads and has a number of uses in making toiletries and candles. Some people use small amounts in CP recipes at the risk of seizure. Other FFAs are obtainable as well.

The problem with all of them in CP is how quickly they make your soap solidify, even as small percentages of an oil recipe. You get the same effect soaping a rancid oil because it has partly broken down into FFAs. The FFA content is also why pomace traces faster than other types of olive oil.

Soaping the oleic acid was kind of like soaping mega uber pomace.