Questioning everything...Soap Calc and INS

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Logansama

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I was putting some of my favorite recipes in SoapCalc the other night, and noticed that virtually all my recipes (and they aren't all my creation) fall low on the INS range. SoapCalc says the optimal INS is 136-165 and all mine run about 127 to 135. I'm really trying to up my game with the quality of my soap, I've been making it for years, and this really struck me.

So I tried toggling my oil quantities and just wound up confusing myself. So my question is, how do I raise that INS level? I tend to use pretty traditional oils, and a balance of soft and hard, depending on the design and purpose of the soap.

Any suggestions, explanations or input? Thanks!
 

DeeAnna

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First ask yourself this -- Is there a good reason why you need to raise the INS number? Some reasons why you might ask that question include scaling up for higher production, making your soap firmer so it can be unmolded faster, or looking at ways to reduce the chance of rancidity. If the answer is yes, then ask how you would go about doing that.

I sincerely question the idea that a soap recipe must fall within a give range of INS in order to be an acceptable recipe. And I also know that designing a recipe with INS as a top priority doesn't necessarily result in an overall good soap. Here's more about my take on this topic: https://classicbells.com/soap/iodineINS.html
 
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Alfa_Lazcares

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When i began researching soap and all that numbers that come in soap calc, one of the first things that i noticed was that I found several articles saying that aiming for the perfect INS number was not necessary and that a recipe might have an amazing INS and not be an amazing soap and a soap can fall below the INS and still be an amazing soap.
Since i noticed a certain consensus on that i dont even bother looking at that number. Besides, if you like your recipe, does it really matter what that number is? To me is not. I might keep changing a recipe to se what happens, but i wouldnt do it just to get a better INS, but that is just my opinion.
 

Logansama

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Thank you both! What I noticed when looking at my recent soaps, was that when I did the same recipe using tallow, it was gentler and fluffier, and that's when I noticed the INS was slightly higher. Since I'm doing soap for a wholesale order, I'm sticking to palm-free vegetarian recipes and in my case, the INS is lower and they aren't always quite as gentle. Since its going to be selling from a store (not a huge order, but still...) I'm trying to hit all the right notes. :) I"m going to try cocoa butter and babassu over the next few days. Luckily, I have time to test.
 

DeeAnna

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INS really can't tell you anything about whether a soap will be gentle on the skin or not. INS is a screening tool to find recipes that are likely to have good manufacturing qualities -- the soap will saponify fast, be hard at unmolding, things like that. When evaluating the mildness of any particular soap, INS wouldn't be anywhere on my radar. I would instead look at the fatty acid profile to find clues about why one is harsher than the other.
 

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