Option paralysis!

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by La Bamba, Nov 10, 2019.

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  1. Nov 10, 2019 #1

    La Bamba

    La Bamba

    La Bamba

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    Is it just me?
    I have so many ideas about which soaps to make that I just keep looking at my recipes and don’t know where to start!
    I don’t want to use palm oil, or tallow, and so many of the recipes I like the idea of have these in them. I’m not experienced enough to go off piste just yet!
    Will soapcalc help me to sub these for vegan type oils/butters?
    Thanks, as always, for any help given.
     
  2. Nov 10, 2019 #2

    MarnieSoapien

    MarnieSoapien

    MarnieSoapien

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    There are several soapers here (myself included) who don't use palm oil or tallow. Some of us substitute with butters and others use soy wax. I briefly tried rapeseed wax but found it not to my liking. I think I was using it a too high of a percentage and might give it another go at a lower rate. You can search 'palm free vegan' and get several hits from this site. If you wanted, and have the patience, you could start with a simple Castile or Marseille soap, but keep in mind the cure time is extra long (up to a year). The best advice I can give is for you to make small batches of the recipes that sound the most feasible.

    I don't use SoapCal, so I don't know how much help it is. You can also check soapmakingfriend.com and they give a lot of qualities for each oil/butter/wax. I experimented for months before I found a recipe that I liked. Good luck!
     
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  3. Nov 10, 2019 #3

    La Bamba

    La Bamba

    La Bamba

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    Thank you for your help!
     
  4. Nov 10, 2019 #4

    KiwiMoose

    KiwiMoose

    KiwiMoose

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    I'm a vegan, palm-free soap maker and yes, I use soy wax in my soap There are a number of threads on it as Marnie mentioned. My typical recipe includes: 20% each of OO, CO, SW, RBO, and then 10% Shea Butter with even smaller amounts of avocado oil and castor. The avocado oil was a later addition to the mix, as was the RBO (to keep costs down).
    My earlier recipes were a bit simpler - along the lines of 20% each OO, CO, SW, 15% Shea then Apricot kernel oil and Castor in smaller quantities.
     
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  5. Nov 11, 2019 #5

    TheGecko

    TheGecko

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    I had a ton of recipes and so much yet that I didn't know yet and wasn't even sure I would be any good at soapmaking or even like it, so I started with Brambleberry's Beginner's Cold Process Soap Kit. It come with enough ingredients to make four pounds of soap and a 10" Loaf Mold. If I didn't like it or I sucked at at...I was only out $60.00. If I did like...I had a proven recipe and a mold to get me started.

    Yes the kit contains Palm Oil...RSPO. Using Palm Oil is a personal choice and I choose to support the fact that it can be responsibly and sustainably produced in hopes that more and more folks follow suit. But if you don't want to use it...that's cool.

    Starting with BB's recipe, I played around with all sorts of oils and butters 'cuz you know...that's what soap makers do. After several batches of soap, I finally settled on Olive, Coconut, Palm and Castor Oil, and Cocoa and Shea Butter' I also add a little Sodium Lactate and Kaolin Clay. For my GMS, I add whole goat milk that I source locally and everything but Cocoa Butter.

    While playing around, I ordered small amounts of oil and butters and sample packs of Mica, Oxides, Clay, etc and 1 oz bottles of various scents. It's more expensive to buy in smaller quantities, but cheaper in the long run as you don't end up with a bunch of stuff you don't like.

    It should be noted that it's quite easy to go totally nutso...buying tons of scents, colors, exotic oils, molds, etc. Watched a video from a lady that had six huge totes filled with molds; I can't even go there.
     
  6. Nov 11, 2019 #6

    Steve85569

    Steve85569

    Steve85569

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    1.) Plug in the recipe using the "old" oils.
    2.) Look the fatty acid profile over carefully.
    3.) Do your best to duplicate the fatty acid profile with the oils of your choice.

    Just try and get as close as you can. Every recipe will be a bit different. You'll find your "happy place" soon!
     
  7. Nov 11, 2019 #7

    Mobjack Bay

    Mobjack Bay

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    When I started, I developed a couple of base recipes and then branched out from there. Excluding the special cases of olive oils soaps and salt bars, a base recipe can be built around a simple combination of 1) a “hard” fat like palm, tallow, lard or butters; 2) a soft oil, like olive, avocado, rice bran or other oils that have a lot of oleic fatty acids and 3) coconut oil and possibly castor for bubbles. Many on this forum stick to 20% or less coconut oil. The hard fats contribute stearic and palmitic fatty acids which add hardness, make the lather dense and creamy and also a bit insoluble, which makes the soap longer lasting. An oil like olive oil, which contains a high percentage of oleic fatty acid, contributes mildness, dissolves more easily and acts as a bit of a filler. There are other oils, like hemp and grapeseed, which have linoleic and linolenic fatty acids. Those fatty acids make the soap more gentle and sometimes more bubbly, but they are also prone to going rancid, which limits their use if you want a long lasting soap. I still use about 15 fats, including the full range of hard fats and like them for different reasons. 100% olive oil soap is easy and fun to make, but the downside is that it needs a longer cure to reach its prime. With a recipe based on a combination of fats, you can expect to have nice soap that won’t dissolve in the shower within a couple of months. I agree with what others have said above about trying small batches of a recipe. Even the least expensive fats from the grocery store make great soap. Hydrogenated soybean oil (called soy wax, but not a true wax) makes good soap, but you may have to order it. I find it easy to work with at 20% of the recipe. Once you settle on a base recipe, you can scent and color it any way you like. You can also add things like aloe, coconut milk, oat milk, goat milk, colloidal oatmeal, silk, vegetable and fruit purées, sugar and salt to change the soap qualities a bit until you find what you like. Learning how to use a soap calculator opens up a world of possibilities because it lets you see how swapping fats in or out of a recipe changes the major soap properties. There’s also a lot of information on the forum about how various additives change soap qualities.
     
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