Olive Oil and Beeswax

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Nov 10, 2015
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I'm kind of new to soapmaking (1 1/2 years) and for the most of the time I have used the same basic 30% OO, 30% CO, 30% tallow, and 10% castor and/or avocado oils with a little change here and there. I was wondering if anyone has tried something like 70% OO, 20% CO, and 10% beeswax? What are some other good recipes that don't have too many different oils?
Why 10% beeswax? Honestly, that's a LOT to add to soap. Most soapers who use beeswax stick to just a few percent.

Why not 75-80% lard, 10-15% coconut oil, and 5% castor?
I consider myself pretty new to soapmaking too, at just over 2 years. I've tried beeswax at 2% with a high olive oil percentage and it came out fine. Lovely hard bars, but not particularly special. I've also tried it at 8% for a soap queen recipe I saw.

That was a big mistake. The higher heat needed to keep the beeswax from solidifying caused a usually well behaved FO to accelerate and discolour. The oils separated out and I had the devils own job to bring it all back together again. It looked so ugly I had to rebatch and I hate re batching! I guess my point is that adding that much beeswax caused a chain reaction of events you may have to be ready for. I'm really not sure what it will bring to the soap at that percentage as it hasn't cured yet. Other soapers have said it makes the bar waxy at higher percentages. I'm just curious about everything and love trying different combinations to see what it brings to the soap. This is not something I would try again!!

Good luck with whatever you decide and let us know how it works out!
I agree with DeeAnna and Rowan that 10% beeswax is a lot to use in soap. Granted, I've only ever made 2 beeswax batches so far (both at 3% beeswax), but I had an inkling both times that if I had used much more than 3% that the texture of my soap would start to suffer too aversely.

I used the beeswax in one of my regular formulas so that I'd be able to feel the difference that it brought to the table, and one of the differences I noticed was a slight diminishing of my soap's normal lathering behavior. It took more friction to lather it up, and when it did, the bubbles were not as copious as they usually are. Also- the texture of the soap upon unmolding felt a teensy bit crumbly/fragile- very different than what I'm used to with that formula.

I'm going to lower it to 2% next time to compare.

IrishLass :)
I've used 5% beeswax in my soap before, it did reduce the bigger bubbles but it was still a creamy nice lather, I wouldn't use more then that though.
Although I'm new at soapmaking (11 months) and I have never used beeswax in my recipes, my notes and readings have the reasons below (some have already been mentioned above) so as not to use it at all.

1) Beeswax has a melting point of 63°C (145°F) so everything in your recipe (oils-lye-additives) must be at this temperature in order for the beeswax not to solidify while mixing.

2) It should not be used over 3% in a recipe as it cuts down the bubbles.

3) Beeswax is a wax and when it meets lye it won't turn into soap. It may add hardness overall but it is something that is not water soluble and it does not act like the rest of the soap does.

If I would like to add hardness property to a soap I would use more palmitic & stearic fatty acids that can be found in high % at Palm, Lard, Tallow and a few % at Shea & Mango butters along with sodium lactate or salt and less water. Note also that with high palmitic and stearic acids in your recipe you also add long lasting property to your soap bar as these acids are less water soluble than any other, so it will make the soap somehow last longer in the shower.

I think that one problem that we, new soapmakers, do is just copying recipes found around the net and we don't understand why some or most of them do not work as we expected.

Thankfully DeeAnna (and others) have made a soaping school here in this forum and teaches us in a manner that this proverb is true: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

This is one of the most basic lesson that a soap class should have: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showpost.php?p=383997&postcount=17

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Thanks for the informative answers. I was just kind of curious if it would work.
I use 5% beeswax. Check out www.millersoap.com, there are a lot of recipes there to try. What are you looking to change about your current recipe? What ingredients do you want to try?

My recipe:

45% lard
25% olive oil
20% coconut
5% castor
5% sunflower

If I'm using beeswax, I take 5% from the lard.