Quantcast

Palm Oil vs Red Palm Oil vs PKO

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

EllieMae

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Messages
69
Reaction score
125
Location
Toronto, ON
I have never used palm oil for soaping before - I love the way lard makes my bars feel and function and my base recipe is quite high in lard. However, I have some vegan friends who have asked me if I could make some vegan bars for them. I haven't committed but said I would look into it.

By running the numbers in SoapCalc I've figured out that I could do a straight swap, lard for palm oil, and my recipe wouldn't be *too* different (based on numbers alone). My problem is that it's proving difficult and SUPER expensive to source palm oil (I'm in Ontario, Canada).

Via online stores I can find palm oil at sorta decent prices...but I'm looking at $20-30 for shipping. Not my ideal situation just to try a recipe for a few friends. Does anyone know of an economical source (or even just reasonable shipping fees) that I could try out?

I've also been able to find red palm oil more easily, but have read that it will significantly discolour the batter and final soap. But is there a way around this?

Lastly - what the heck is PKO and could that be used as a substitute? I can quite easily get PKO from my local supplier (decent price and no shipping) but I have a feeling this is an entirely different thing than palm oil (and not as easily substituted in my standard recipe).

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated! My gut reaction is to just tell my friends that I can't do a vegan bar...but they are so excited and interested so I'd really like to give it the old college try if I can!
 

shunt2011

Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
15,434
Reaction score
9,686
Location
Michigan
Red Palm oil can only be used in small amounts. It will make a bright orange/yellow soap and will possibly stain if too much is used. PKO is similar to Coconut Oil. It is a cleansing oil. I use it in conjunction with CO sometimes.

If you do a search, there are several vegan recipes that have been shared here. They are a mix of butters and some have soy wax in them.

Here's one of them:
 

jcandleattic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
3,884
Reaction score
3,382
Location
Stuck in my head
I've also been able to find red palm oil more easily, but have read that it will significantly discolour the batter and final soap. But is there a way around this?

Lastly - what the heck is PKO and could that be used as a substitute? I can quite easily get PKO from my local supplier (decent price and no shipping) but I have a feeling this is an entirely different thing than palm oil (and not as easily substituted in my standard recipe).
Not an easy way around the discoloration of red palm. You could try TD, but it will still not be as white as regular palm. And it shouldn't be used in high % amounts.

Palm oil and Palm Kernel Oil are completely different oils. Palm as you know, closer to lard, PKO is closer to coconut in it's properties...

I see Shunt was answering at the same time, so - what she said. :)
 

moodymama

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
101
Reaction score
123
Location
Pennsylvania
Is the benefit to PKO vs CO that it will create a harder bar that lasts longer than CO? Does it also heat up like CO?

Sorry don't mean to hijack the thread.
 

jcandleattic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
3,884
Reaction score
3,382
Location
Stuck in my head
Is the benefit to PKO vs CO that it will create a harder bar that lasts longer than CO? Does it also heat up like CO?
I don't find that PKO makes a harder bar. I use it in conjunction with CO not separately. IME when used separately, the PKO soap did last longer but had more of a plastic type of feel to the bar with less lather, where as the coconut oil only bars are more cleansing, don't last as long but just as hard of a bar. I find that when used together, for what I like in a bar, they compliment each other with enough of what is lacking in each individually that my bar is more balanced.

Sorry, hope that makes sense. I'm trying to WFH, home-school, and make dinner preparations all while trying to read the board and answer questions. :)

ETA: I have not noticed that PKO heats up like CO either, and doesn't need to be cut as soon as a 100% or all coconut oil soap does, but a 100% PKO bar, IMO is not very nice.
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
7,638
Reaction score
7,357
Location
Western Illinois, USA
When figuring my costs of ordering oils online, my bottom line is price per ounce with the shipping factored into the cost per ounce. I just got my order of hydrogenated palm oil (like shortening so easier to work with when purchased in a 50 pound block) from Soaper's Choice. The total cost for me was under 9 cents ($0.088 US which is about $0.13 Canadian in today's exchange), which is far cheaper than I was able to manage from any source I searched online. AND it arrived the very next day!

I don't know if they deliver to Toronto or what the shipping would be, but what I really wanted to point out is how I base my choice of who I order from based on the cost per ounce with shipping costs factored in. If the bottom line cost seems worth it to me, then I order the product. If the bottom line cost seems to dear, then I don't order. Of course I do take their track record/reputation into account as well. I wouldn't order from a vendor who has a reputation of consistent delivery problems (either personal experience of my own, or from people I trust.)

But if you have never used Palm in soap before, perhaps you could just buy a small amount at a grocery store, which will be fairly expensive, but for testing purposes, it makes more sense to me to use a smaller amount. After trying out the soap, if you find you don't really like soap with palm oil, you haven't invested in 50 pounds of it or whatever.

Do you have a local grocery store that carries Spectrum brand shortening? I first tried out palm oil by using that in soap (it is all palm with no other oils mixed in). Here is the product I am Spectrum Naturals Organic Vegetable Shortening, 680g
It looks quite costly in on that link, but it was even higher than from Amazon to Canada. However with the US/Canada exchange rate, it's still only a bit more costly than it was when I tried it out about 3 years ago in my first soap with palm oil. But as I said, I justified that cost as it was only for testing purposes and I really wanted to know what it was like to make soap with palm oil and to try it out as well.

I have used PKO as well (gifted to me by another soaper) and I have not yet purchased any myself. I used it sparingly but have now almost run out. I am as yet undecided if I will replace the PKO stock. Coconut and even babassu oils are more readily available to me with lower shipping costs.
 

Arimara

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
3,275
Reaction score
2,307
PKO is a cleansing oil but I suggest sticking to CO if it saves time. Red palm oil is unrefined palm oil (All palm oil sold by suppliers is refined and for good reason). It does make a lovely yellow soap but you would only want that stuff to be used as a colorant. I have used it at 30% for a recipe before and that was my first batch of soap I threw out. It discolored wash rags and tub alike. Even the lather is yellow. I don't much like palm unless I use the Walmart palm/tallow shortening. I find it to be too waxy for my liking.
 

Zing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2018
Messages
1,042
Reaction score
2,421
Location
Minnesota
Good luck. Like @earlene , I have long used Spectrum and just go to my local grocery. I have recently begun using red palm oil and I will NEVER go higher than 5%. I really like the yellow color (adding blue mica makes a nice green). It does not stain rag, tub, or anything but it does stain my mold which needs extra scrubbing. My little jar of red palm oil is going to last me awhile....
 

EllieMae

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Messages
69
Reaction score
125
Location
Toronto, ON
When figuring my costs of ordering oils online, my bottom line is price per ounce with the shipping factored into the cost per ounce. I just got my order of hydrogenated palm oil (like shortening so easier to work with when purchased in a 50 pound block) from Soaper's Choice. The total cost for me was under 9 cents ($0.088 US which is about $0.13 Canadian in today's exchange), which is far cheaper than I was able to manage from any source I searched online. AND it arrived the very next day!

I don't know if they deliver to Toronto or what the shipping would be, but what I really wanted to point out is how I base my choice of who I order from based on the cost per ounce with shipping costs factored in. If the bottom line cost seems worth it to me, then I order the product. If the bottom line cost seems to dear, then I don't order. Of course I do take their track record/reputation into account as well. I wouldn't order from a vendor who has a reputation of consistent delivery problems (either personal experience of my own, or from people I trust.)

But if you have never used Palm in soap before, perhaps you could just buy a small amount at a grocery store, which will be fairly expensive, but for testing purposes, it makes more sense to me to use a smaller amount. After trying out the soap, if you find you don't really like soap with palm oil, you haven't invested in 50 pounds of it or whatever.

Do you have a local grocery store that carries Spectrum brand shortening? I first tried out palm oil by using that in soap (it is all palm with no other oils mixed in). Here is the product I am Spectrum Naturals Organic Vegetable Shortening, 680g
It looks quite costly in on that link, but it was even higher than from Amazon to Canada. However with the US/Canada exchange rate, it's still only a bit more costly than it was when I tried it out about 3 years ago in my first soap with palm oil. But as I said, I justified that cost as it was only for testing purposes and I really wanted to know what it was like to make soap with palm oil and to try it out as well.

I have used PKO as well (gifted to me by another soaper) and I have not yet purchased any myself. I used it sparingly but have now almost run out. I am as yet undecided if I will replace the PKO stock. Coconut and even babassu oils are more readily available to me with lower shipping costs.
I stumbled across the Spectrum shortening while trying to search for palm oil and got all excited. Unfortunately none of the grocery stores near me carry it so I’ll have to make a trip out to Whole Foods and see if they have it. Via Amazon it was about $30. Don’t get me started on some of the Canadian amazon prices! Haha
But it is a great idea (if I can find it) to try out palm oil in a smaller quantity!

ETA: it might be time for an order from Natura Market! At $12 it’s more expensive than lard for sure, but way less than palm oil (including shipping) I’ve seen or getting Spectrum from Amazon
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
7,638
Reaction score
7,357
Location
Western Illinois, USA
Ellie May, I hope that works out for you. The 24 ounce size is listed on their website when I used Toronto, ON in the search, but I don't see the price. Maybe you could phone and find out if it's in stock so you don't have to make an unnecessary trip,
 
Top