Query:How to get a hard of soap

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Jeevana

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Can some one share tips to get a soap bar hard.Soap making with hardly no chemicals and preservatives yields a soft bar that gets over in less than a week's time of usage.
Is there a way to make a bar last longer OR cure quickly as a hard bar?
 

Obsidian

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How hard your soap is really depends on your recipe, can you share the recipe you have been using? Using harder oils like palm or lard is the easiest way to get a good long lasting bar. You can also add a tsp of salt PPO or use 3% sodium lactate, these only physically harden the soap though, if the recipe isn't balance the soap can still melt away too quickly.

Allowing the soap to completely dry between uses and making sure it has a proper cure (I like at least 8 weeks) will also help. A bar of my soap lasts about 2 weeks when used by my hairy DH, but will last me closer to a month. My base recipe is 50% lard.
 

Susie

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Please post your entire recipe in weights, rather than percentages. This allows us to quickly check it on a lye calculator, or spot issues with additives.
 

DeeAnna

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I agree with the others -- we cannot give you advice how you can improve your soap if we do not know what kind of soap you are making now.

Another thing -- a well cured soap is not the same as a dry or hard soap.
 

dixiedragon

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There are ways to speed cure a little bit, but there is no secret recipe for soap (from scratch) that is truly ready (meaning fully cured and at its best) in a week. I assume M&P (melt and pour) is? I don't know about that, I don't make M&P. (not enough opportunity to hurt myself, lol)

You can try HP (hot process). This involved cooking the soap (usually in a crockpot). You can google for pics and tutorials. It is not ready the next day, but in my opinion, HP is good at 4 weeks and CP is good at 6 weeks. Now, even HP would benefit from more time for the water to evaporate out of the bar at 4 weeks.

Another way is to gel your CP soap. In my opinion, gelled soap is better at 1 week of age than ungelled soap is. But, again, we're still talking a 6 week cure time. Or longer.

Honestly, though, a 6-8 week cure time is best. Are you perhaps in a hurry for Christmas presents? If so, in your place, I would do HP. Put the soaps in a room with a dehumidifier if you have one. If not, put a fan on them.
 

Jeevana

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Here's the recipe i have tried.

Castor Oil 2.00oz 13.33%
Coconut Oil (76 Degrees) 4.00oz 26.67%
Olive Oil 8.00oz 53.33%
Shea Butter (Refined) 1.00oz 6.67%
0% Lye 2.187oz
Ounces of liquid recommended 4.95oz
 

Obsidian

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That is a really soft recipe, its no wonder it doesn't last very long. A soap like that would do best with a long cure, 8+ weeks but even then its not a very good recipe.

Try this, see how it works for you.

lard or palm oil 50%
coconut oil 20%
olive oil 25%
castor 5%
 

cmzaha

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If you post what you have to use for oils it would be easier to help. I would cut the castor to not over 8%, I think someone here uses it at 10% without problems. I have used castor up to 8% with no problems. Castor oil helps support the bubbles and may help buffer the cleansing factor of the coconut oil... hmmm, I see another test coming. Some say it makes a soft bar at high percentages. If you are not opposed to animal fats you can use tallow or lard, tallow is what I prefer. Unlike general opinion I run into dos issues with lard. Your other option if you do not want animal fats or palm is to use approx 10% coco butter, tucuma, illipe, kokum, etc. In other words, any very hard butter, but it brings up the cost of a batch of soap considerably. Palm is the replacement for animal fats, especially when making vegetarian soaps. Olive Oil does make a very hard bar of soap that will last a long time, but will require min of 3-4 months cure time. I cure mine for min of 10 months. It helps a little with the slime issue. Even at 50% Olive oil I cure mine out for 4 months.
 

dixiedragon

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Someone here explained that there is a difference between hardness, meaning the bar is firm when you squeeze it, and hardness meaning long-lasting. Apparently, a bar that is 100% coconut oil will be very hard when you squeeze it, but will not be long-lasting because it dissolves quickly in water.

Lard, tallow and palm help with both - they well help build a bar that is hard when you squeeze it and also long-lasting. Olive oil (given enough time), will make a bar that is hard when squeezed, but not a long-lasting bar.

Honestly, I have hundreds of bars of soap at my house so I don't particularly want a long-lasting bar. But I do want a bar that isn't mushy.
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
Here's the recipe i have tried.

Castor Oil 2.00oz 13.33%
Coconut Oil (76 Degrees) 4.00oz 26.67%
Olive Oil 8.00oz 53.33%
Shea Butter (Refined) 1.00oz 6.67%
0% Lye 2.187oz
Ounces of liquid recommended 4.95oz

That's a lot of castor oil to be using in conjunction with the amount of olive oil in your formula. Speaking only for myself, I would use no more than 8% in that type of formula.

Our DeeAnna has a great post on figuring out how to formulate for a hard long-lasting bar: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showpost.php?p=383997&postcount=17

As for cure- there is no way to rush it. Cure progresses in it's own time, and will normally take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks on the short end, and up to 3 months to a year on the longer end..... depending on the formula.


IrishLass :)
 

Omega-Man

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Try one or all of these as a percentage of all oils. All will increase hardness.

Stearic Acid .5-1%
Beeswax 1-5%
Sodium Lactate 1-3%
 

Jeevana

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Actually i was trying to formulate a recipe that goes soft on babies skin and has lots of moisturizing effect.This formulation didn't cure for long time.Yes,using palm oil/cocoa butter/beeswax,a bar can get harder.Is there any alternative addition ,to get a super moisturizing bar that glides smoothly on babies skin.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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How old are we talking? For anything really "baby" rather than "toddler", I would not use a soap at all. I put a little almond oil in the bath with our wee bairn (he's 4 months old) and that is all he needs (comes out super-soft, too!)
 

houseofwool

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Thank you IL, I have been looking for that exact post for a while now.
 

shunt2011

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Actually i was trying to formulate a recipe that goes soft on babies skin and has lots of moisturizing effect.This formulation didn't cure for long time.Yes,using palm oil/cocoa butter/beeswax,a bar can get harder.Is there any alternative addition ,to get a super moisturizing bar that glides smoothly on babies skin.
I wouldn't recommend using soap on a baby. Though there are those that have done it. I wouldn't do it. Also, soap is not going to be moisturizing. It can be less stripping and a bit more gentle but won't moisturize.
 

HuyNguyen

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That is way too much castor oil. In my Shampoo Bar, it's still 10%.
You may want to lower it down to 5-7% and adding some soy wax to help it harder!
 

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