Question on CP recipe tweak

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
158
Reaction score
480
Location
UK
Hi everyone,

I was hoping to get some feedback on a few tweaks to my beginner CP recipe - the disclaimer is that I've taken this from one of the first soap recipes I've tried and it worked well for me, it has a good hardness and a creamy lather which my whole family likes, but I've noticed after reading entries on the forum that this soap might be too soluble and possibly a bit too drying (You'll see there's quite a bit of coconut oil!).

This is the recipe I'm using:
1621082676452.png
1621082682233.png


I'd like to lower the coconut oil, improve longevity, and then I've also been reading in the forum about how anything lower than 10% (except for castor oil) can be a waste, so I was thinking to also fix percentages...

So this brings me to this new recipe draft:
1621083090900.png

1621083143910.png


That longevity number is an improvement, 40% to 50% oleic acid was another point I was trying to be mindful for - but I think I'm too much in my head now and still only looking at numbers due to lack of experience!

Wondering if anyone with more experience can see anything which is worth tweaking further?

The other fats I have available are sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, shea butter and castor oil. (For now I'd like to finish the oils I have rather than buying new ones)

Many thanks for any feedback :)
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,901
Reaction score
9,711
Location
Texas
Your recipe is fine. Ignore those "numbers" of the qualities. Make the soap. Print the recipe and make notes on the back about what you think of it from week to week up to a year. Then figure out what you like or don't and we'll help you tweak it. But you need to start with a bar that you can compare other recipes to, and start figuring out what each new oil brings to the party. I ended up not using anything but oils I can buy at Walmart. The more expensive oils never impressed me or my family and friends. But, YMMV, so plan on making lots of soap to figure out what YOU like.
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
9,781
Reaction score
11,963
Location
Western Illinois, USA
So if your family likes it, maybe first try only altering the percentages and not altering the oils in the recipe.

You can increase the shea butter quite a lot, actually. I believe @cmzaha makes a quite high shea soap that is very nice. It would be more expensive, but you don't necessarily need to go really high.

Later on, you can sub oils and see it the difference is noticeable. Just a thought.

But if you already have the cocoa butter, then perhaps try both options.

Often people will combine cocoa butter & shea in the same soap. I've never really read the rationale, but have seen it many times.

As far as tweaking, the almond oil can replace some or all of the olive oil. Same is true for the sunflower oil. RBO tends to make a harder soap, so I'd probably keep it in the mix and perhaps at a higher percentage.

Since you have Castor, I'd suggest using 5% to boost bubbles and lather, espeicially if you up the butters. Although I don't care as much about bubbly lather, for some folks it's very important.
 

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
8,340
Reaction score
9,238
Location
SE Denver CO
You can increase the shea butter quite a lot, actually. I believe @cmzaha makes a quite high shea soap that is very nice. It would be more expensive, but you don't necessarily need to go really high.
Ditto this suggestion. Just for fun, I made a bar with 67% shea butter. It's still one of my favorites.

I've taken this from one of the first soap recipes I've tried and it worked well for me, it has a good hardness and a creamy lather which my whole family likes, but I've noticed after reading entries on the forum that this soap might be too soluble and possibly a bit too drying
Congratulations! Your whole family likes it! That says a lot. And good for you for wanting to tweak it to make it even better. You have the heart of a true soaper! :thumbs:

I don't pay much attention to "longevity" and don't tweak my recipes to incorporate it. If I had that problem with any one of my recipes, that would be the time to address it, to my mind at least. ;)
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
9,241
Reaction score
9,814
Location
Austria
If the longevity goal is based on the numbers and the ideas here, but not from actual use (bar is gone within a week or something) then maybe not worry too much. Same with drying - if no one finds it to be drying, it doesn't matter that your co amount is higher than other people might use.

But you do find that bars are not lasting long in the shower, you might look at how it is used/stored - are people using loofahs or cloths, or just rubbing it on the body? Any very hairy men using it, where the hair can cause it to be used up faster? Is it able to really dry out fully between uses? Standing in water and/or being used while still wet will cause a soap to disappear faster than it should. Looking at those sorts of things can make a huge difference
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
158
Reaction score
480
Location
UK
Thank you everyone for your tips!

But you need to start with a bar that you can compare other recipes to, and start figuring out what each new oil brings to the party.
So if your family likes it, maybe first try only altering the percentages and not altering the oils in the recipe.
Thank you both, this made me realise that I based my tweaked recipe a bit too much on numbers. This was a good point, I want to go back to the drawing board now and maybe just test more, have a few minor tweaks using the same ingredients, see how it goes.
And thank you @earlene for all your different suggestions!

Ditto this suggestion. Just for fun, I made a bar with 67% shea butter. It's still one of my favorites.
Actually I have your 67% shea butter safely bookmarked and on my to-soap list! ☺ it sounds lovely.

If the longevity goal is based on the numbers and the ideas here, but not from actual use (bar is gone within a week or something) then maybe not worry too much. Same with drying - if no one finds it to be drying, it doesn't matter that your co amount is higher than other people might use.

But you do find that bars are not lasting long in the shower, you might look at how it is used/stored - are people using loofahs or cloths, or just rubbing it on the body? Any very hairy men using it, where the hair can cause it to be used up faster? Is it able to really dry out fully between uses? Standing in water and/or being used while still wet will cause a soap to disappear faster than it should. Looking at those sorts of things can make a huge difference
I see what you mean about usage, I have to confess I'm now thinking back to my family's bathroom with new eyes! My partner is using it under running water so I know I can't expect much longevity for our bars, but I'm not 100% sure about my family (I know who's using it as their "fancy hand soap" and who uses it in the shower), it's definitely worth me try and find out!
I do find it a tad drying on my skin (while my partner doesn't) so this is maybe the first point I can try and keep in mind while changing the recipe.
 
Last edited:

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
8,340
Reaction score
9,238
Location
SE Denver CO
I'm not 100% sure about my family (I know who's using it as their "fancy hand soap" and who uses it in the shower), it's definitely worth me try and find out!
I do find it a tad drying on my skin (while my partner doesn't) so this is maybe the first point I can try and keep in mind while changing the recipe.
This is SO typical of most families. The bad news is, you may not find a "one-type fits all" bar. :(
The good news is, you will learn to make a lot of different soaps for different folks -- all good! 😁
 

ImpKit

Certified Ocelot
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
140
Reaction score
315
Location
Seattle
Ditto this suggestion. Just for fun, I made a bar with 67% shea butter. It's still one of my favorites.


Congratulations! Your whole family likes it! That says a lot. And good for you for wanting to tweak it to make it even better. You have the heart of a true soaper! :thumbs:

I don't pay much attention to "longevity" and don't tweak my recipes to incorporate it. If I had that problem with any one of my recipes, that would be the time to address it, to my mind at least. ;)
67% Shea... I has an intrigue. I use Shea at what I THOUGHT was a high general percentage (15ish) and I love it. 67% though... I can't decide if I want to play with this for fun or if I'm scared I'll like it too much and then my hobby gets suddenly that much more expensive...
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
158
Reaction score
480
Location
UK
The good news is, you will learn to make a lot of different soaps for different folks -- all good! 😁
This is definitely good news! 😁

67% Shea... I has an intrigue. I use Shea at what I THOUGHT was a high general percentage (15ish) and I love it.
I'll be trying a 15% Shea butter version of my recipe for sure at some point, you got me curious!
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
4,842
Reaction score
11,981
Location
Hamilton, New Zealand
Hiya,
It looks like you're palm free and vegan? If so don't forget about soy 'wax' ( which is not really a wax but they call it that) I use it at 20% and then also add 10% Shea - plus other soft oils not dissimilar to what you have there.
IMO men seem to prefer more CO as they like it to feel 'clean' whereas women prefer less CO as the 'clean' = drying to them. My partner and son consistently whine about the 'oily' after-feel of my soap which is the superfat that i don't find oily, but moisturising. In fact, it's not oily it all, it's just not super-squeaky-dry :)
 

ImpKit

Certified Ocelot
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
140
Reaction score
315
Location
Seattle
Hiya,
It looks like you're palm free and vegan? If so don't forget about soy 'wax' ( which is not really a wax but they call it that) I use it at 20% and then also add 10% Shea - plus other soft oils not dissimilar to what you have there.
IMO men seem to prefer more CO as they like it to feel 'clean' whereas women prefer less CO as the 'clean' = drying to them. My partner and son consistently whine about the 'oily' after-feel of my soap which is the superfat that i don't find oily, but moisturising. In fact, it's not oily it all, it's just not super-squeaky-dry :)
I be weird then. Lol. I love my lotiony lather with a moderate superfat. And I don't want a heavy cleansing bar. I have a 25% babassu bar with 5% super fat and it's at the upper limit of what I want. My next recipe revision will be back to coconut and at 20% max.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
4,842
Reaction score
11,981
Location
Hamilton, New Zealand
I be weird then. Lol. I love my lotiony lather with a moderate superfat. And I don't want a heavy cleansing bar. I have a 25% babassu bar with 5% super fat and it's at the upper limit of what I want. My next recipe revision will be back to coconut and at 20% max.
Not weird - just not fitting the massive generalization I just made :)
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
158
Reaction score
480
Location
UK
Hiya,
It looks like you're palm free and vegan? If so don't forget about soy 'wax' ( which is not really a wax but they call it that) I use it at 20% and then also add 10% Shea - plus other soft oils not dissimilar to what you have there.
IMO men seem to prefer more CO as they like it to feel 'clean' whereas women prefer less CO as the 'clean' = drying to them. My partner and son consistently whine about the 'oily' after-feel of my soap which is the superfat that i don't find oily, but moisturising. In fact, it's not oily it all, it's just not super-squeaky-dry :)
Thank you, I'll keep in mind soy wax for future tweaks! :)
I think my father definitely agrees with the generalisation! On the other hand my partner made me smile when he asked for a softer bar soap as the edges were "a bit too rough" 😁
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
3,647
Reaction score
2,912
I've used a recipe similar to this but with avocado oil so in my opinion, this recipe is fine as is. If you haven't yet, try your initial draft first, let the soap curebetween 6-12 weeks and then form an opinion of what you want to change. I would have commented way sooner if life had allotted the time.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,901
Reaction score
9,711
Location
Texas
*plots and schemes*

It's not that you can't be as weird as you like when you are making soap for family and friends that you are giving away. You can do whatever you like then.

But if you are selling, you need to keep costs and production time low. Then you need to turn out recipes that you know are 100% reliable and use fragrance oils you can trust, and keep the same colors for each fragrance so your customers know what to look for to buy them again. That is when "being weird" will cost you money in the long run.
 
Top