ph of olive oil based soap

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by GeorgeG, Jan 18, 2018.

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  1. Jan 18, 2018 #1

    GeorgeG

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    New to soap making. First 20% SF coconut soap turned out perfect, including ph (9.4) which I understand is supposed to end up between 8 - 10 for lye based home make soap with glycerine intact. My next two attempts involved olive oil, one is a 3 oil (evoo, palm kernel, coconut), and the second one is a "castile" (78% pure oo, 22% co). Both have a ph of 10.8. Many sites suggest that this ph is too high. A couple of sources suggest that castile soaps have a ph of 10 - 11.5. Can somebody give me some insight. I used soapcalc.net at 5% SF with a digital scale and stick blender and a crock pot starting at 150F. I belive that I got the weights very close.

    BTW, I am using a calibrated electronic ph meter.

    Thanks,

    George
     
  2. Jan 18, 2018 #2

    shunt2011

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    Hello and welcome. Your soaps should be fine. As long as they don’t zap you’ve good very usable soap. Most soap runs 8-11 ph. No worries. Congratulations! Just an FYI Castile soap is 100% Olive oil historically. Any other high OO is bastille. Give them a good cure and enjoy
     
  3. Jan 18, 2018 #3

    DeeAnna

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    Oleic soap has a higher pH than lauric soap, and your results sound right.
     
  4. Jan 18, 2018 #4

    GeorgeG

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    Thanks on the castille/bastille labels and confirming that high olive oil soap can have a 10 - 11 ph. How long do you guys cure HP soap. I have read 0 days to 2 weeks. Do most people here use CP or HP?

    Thanks,

    George
     
  5. Jan 18, 2018 #5

    toxikon

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    Either HP or CP should be cured for at least 4 weeks for it to be a nice bar of soap. Either can technically be used as soon as they're fully saponified, but they won't be awesome quality. The curing process removes water and changes the microscopic structure of the soap, making it more mild, improving the lather and longevity of the bar. I like my soaps best after at least a 6 week cure. 3-6 month soap is even better!
     
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  6. Jan 18, 2018 #6

    The Efficacious Gentleman

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    If it's high oo, 3 months. If it's all oo, 6 to 12 months
     
  7. Jan 18, 2018 #7

    Soapprentice

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    I make CP soap n cure them all for 8 weeks minimun.
     
  8. Jan 18, 2018 #8

    shunt2011

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    HP at least 4 weeks (I don't do much that way though). CP, I prefer 6 weeks. Salt Bars 6 months or much longer. Castille 12 months but like it better at 2 years. Not a favorite of mine or anyone in my family/friends circle.
     
  9. Jan 18, 2018 #9

    GeorgeG

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    I understand why weeks/months are needed to cure CP soap because heat was not used to accelerate the saponification process and I understand that some time is required for either process to finish driving out water and get the bars to harden. Beyond that, in what way does even HP soap improve with addition cure time?

    Thanks,

    George
     
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  10. Jan 18, 2018 #10

    The Efficacious Gentleman

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    Because of the changes to the structure of the soap. Castile is the best example. A 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months old bar will have clear differences in performance. That cannot be down to saponification time or water loss.
     
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  11. Jan 18, 2018 #11

    MorpheusPA

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    DeeAnna wrote in great length about crystallization within the soap (a process I'm guessing is very close to neutral in terms of energy as it happens very, very slowly).

    It's the same for CP and HP...except that HP may actually require a slightly longer cure! More water goes into HP soap.

    Two weeks is the absolute floor. The soap is safe, and has been for some time, but this is the bare minimum for drying out the bar. Lather and general bar quality won't be great, and the soap will dissolve fast due to higher water content, but if you absolutely have to, you can use the soap now.

    A month cure time is sufficient for most mixed-oil soaps. Even so, their performance is superior at month 2 than month 1, I've found.

    High olive or high soft-oil soaps benefit from a 3 month cure. As noted, 6 months is not unreasonable in terms of developing best bar quality.

    Castile (100% olive oil) soap varies. Six months is my personal absolute floor curing time. I strongly prefer it at 18 months, and 2 years on the curing rack is how long it sits before I give it out as gifts.
     
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  12. Jan 18, 2018 #12

    toxikon

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  13. Jan 19, 2018 #13

    GeorgeG

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    This is quite an education and is contrary to what HP proponents advertise. Given significant cure times required for all soaps the benefits of HP become less obvious. It looks like CP is in my future.

    There are some comments here about a difference in water between CP and HP. How is that accounted for in a soap/lye calculator?

    Boy is the term Castile used loosely. I looked at a commercial soap that's 100% co and it's called Castile.

    Thanks,

    George
     
  14. Jan 19, 2018 #14

    toxikon

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    Misinformation about soapmaking is very prevalent, unfortunately! The "HP cures fast" myth is touted by a lot of people who assume saponification is the same as curing.

    As for setting your water amount in a lye calculator, it boils down to personal preference. I like to use the "Lye Concentration" setting on Lye Calculators instead of the default "Water as % of Oils". Lye Concentration just makes more sense in my brain (a 25% Lye Concentration would mean a solution of 25% Lye and 75% Water)

    For HP, you'd probably want to stick around a 25-30% Lye Concentration.

    For CP, it's quite recipe dependent. For a normal, balanced recipe, a Lye Concentration of 30-35% is a good sweet spot. For high-oleic recipes (like Castiles), you can go higher, a 40% Lye Concentration would work nicely.

    The absolute highest Lye Concentration you can have is 50%, because lye needs an equal amount of liquid to dissolve in. Any higher and you'd have undissolved lye in your soap.

    Hope that helps.
     
  15. Jan 19, 2018 #15

    earlene

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    When you use a lye calculator, you can choose your settings for water. Using a lye concentration of 28% (full water) gives you more water than one of say, 33% or 40%. I notice more people who choose to use less water often choose something like 33%. Some choose a different lye concentration based on the recipe they are using, so it may vary a bit for each soaper. I have soaped at [40% Lye] Concentration. So there is a lot less water and it is accounted for in the lye calculator via the settings one chooses.
     
  16. Jan 19, 2018 #16

    DeeAnna

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    The word castile has been used worldwide for well over 100 years to mean a soap made with vegetable oils. There's even case law in the US that specifically defends this broad usage of the word.

    On the other hand, most soap makers usually think of a castile soap as a soap made with 100% olive oil, since the original Castile soap was 100% olive oil soap from the Castile region of Spain.

    IMO, there's too much disagreement about the meaning of the word "castile" for it to be a useful term. If I mean 100% olive oil soap, my goal anymore is to write or say that, rather than call it a castile.
     
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  17. Jan 19, 2018 #17

    GeorgeG

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    What is being accomplished by choosing different lye concentrations for different recipies?

    Thanks,

    George
     
  18. Jan 19, 2018 #18

    shunt2011

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    Different oil and butter combinations sometimes require some concentration tweaking. Also some EO mad FO need more liquid as well. If they are fast movers I use a bit more liquid.
     
  19. Jan 19, 2018 #19

    Kittish

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    Sometimes it's a matter of personal preference of the person making the soap. Sometimes you need more or less water in a recipe based on the recipe. toxikon's explantion covers it pretty well.

    In general, the higher the lye concentration (less water used), the faster the soap will reach trace and set up in the mold. This is not always a good thing, if you want to do fancy swirls or other designs.
     
  20. Jan 20, 2018 #20

    earlene

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