Possible Standard Recipe

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SoapDaddy70

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I have used the following recipe for my last 3 batches. I won't be able to actually test them for a few weeks but just wanted some opinions from anyone out there willing to give some constructive advice. My problem is that since I am addicted to making soap I am not sure if I should just keep using this recipe or keep making tweaks here and there. It was nice and easy to use the same recipe the last three batches. What do you think?
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TheGecko

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When choosing a 'regular' recipe, two thoughts:

1) Are you happy with the cost of your base ingredients? When you factor in colorants, scent, packaging, overhead and time...are you able to sell the soap at a price to sell...and possibly make a living at it (if that is your goal)?

My Regular Recipe contains Olive, Palm, Coconut and Castor Oils, and Cocoa and Shea Butters, along with appropriate amounts of Sodium Lactate and Kaolin Clay. Adding in scent, colorants, packaging, overhead and time...I'm currently selling my soap at $5.00 a bar. Mind you, I'm working out of my home so my overhead is fairly low, but I'm also not buying in major Bulk...still doing 5lbs of Butters.

2) Does it preform well?

I can make a 20lb batch of soap and then separate out for a half-dozen different soaps (different scents, colors and techniques) before it gets to a medium trace (about an hour).
 

SoapDaddy70

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When choosing a 'regular' recipe, two thoughts:

1) Are you happy with the cost of your base ingredients? When you factor in colorants, scent, packaging, overhead and time...are you able to sell the soap at a price to sell...and possibly make a living at it (if that is your goal)?

My Regular Recipe contains Olive, Palm, Coconut and Castor Oils, and Cocoa and Shea Butters, along with appropriate amounts of Sodium Lactate and Kaolin Clay. Adding in scent, colorants, packaging, overhead and time...I'm currently selling my soap at $5.00 a bar. Mind you, I'm working out of my home so my overhead is fairly low, but I'm also not buying in major Bulk...still doing 5lbs of Butters.

2) Does it preform well?

I can make a 20lb batch of soap and then separate out for a half-dozen different soaps (different scents, colors and techniques) before it gets to a medium trace (about an hour).
So far away from selling, so have not really factored the money aspect into the recipe yet. I guess that would be something I should start thinking about. Only started making soap at the end of September. I am just trying to plan a course of action for the foreseeable future and don't want to have 20 different recipes that I have to keep track of.
 

TheGecko

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I have two base recipes...one for Regular Soap, one for Goat Milk Soap. I wasn't planning on selling when I started so cost wasn't an issue, but when things changed, my recipes had to change too.

It should be noted that I'm not publicly selling soap...Covid changed things of course, I went from part-time to full-time and my schedule can change as I'm the only Staff Accountant that the boss will send out to clients, so I'm behind on a bunch of things. Still working on my website, still working on labeling, haven't cleaned out my garage yet. And it's okay...I'm not in a huge hurry.
 

shunt2011

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I personally think you have too much cleansing oils in the soap. CO and PKO at 30% is too high. But if you like it go for it. Also, I don't use anything at 5% except castor oil. And I don't like a lot of butters in my soap, I find it affects the lather, but again personal choice. I use 10% in one recipe and 20% in another. Plus it's a cost factor when selling. You need to find what you like. What I like someone else may not.
 

Ktkauf

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I'm a newbie, but I think it makes sense to have a fairly standard recipe. Especially helps me to know if any fragrance, clay, colorants are causing an issue.
 

KimW

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I usually tweak based on oil properties in soap, but lately I've started tweaking with additives and it's been fantastic. Do I want a harder bar? I've learned here on SMF, that some salt or starch can do the trick. Do I want more bubbly lather? I've learned on SMF that sugar can do the trick. For details of these and other additives, a quick forum search works a treat.

I wouldn't be without having a standard recipe for soap for the family and specific jobs, but I also wouldn't be without continuing to experiment and discover and learn. It only took one or two batches to find a soap recipe that made acceptable (to us) soap. Subjective soap qualities and cure times being what they are, it took considerably longer to settle on three recipes that I like the best for hand and body washing, based on my personal soapy requirements and those of my family. I have other recipes for specific cleaning jobs, and another I've started to use for the SMF challenges.

My vote: Make educated tweaks and keep notes of your tweaks. Tweaks based on research here and other places, questions asked here, and based on oil properties found in most soap calcs (though, as I'm sure you know, some of these properties can be misleading). A toothpick can be used to mark the side of a bar with a number, or batch code, that you can then reference in your notes or on your recipe sheet. If I had never tweaked my first recipe that made acceptable soap, I would have never ended up with the soap recipes I now can't live without! :)
 
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