Questions re Zany's No Slime Castille soap

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akseattle

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I would like to try Zany's No Slime Castille soap recipe. She suggested variations might include adding 5% castor oil and 10% coconut oil for bubbles and an even milder soap.
So, I thought I would do that. I ran it through SoapCalc.net and, assuming I understood the recipe correctly. This soap is below the range on hardness, and above the range on iodine.
I've been reading a soapmaking book that says that too high of iodine causes rancidity / dreaded orange spots. So the high value on iodine concerned me, so I ran the recipe with ONLY olive oil.
The iodine value was even higher!! So, I will go back to adding castor oil and coconut oil in the proportion Zany recommended.

Below is what I got from SoapCalc when adding castor oil and coconut oil.

1712982063261.png



So, a couple questions 1) Is this correct?
I tried to read her original post with some of the follow up. I did see that at least one person misread the water to lye.
2) A number of people said their water/ lye mixture was cloudy and expressed some concern. Some people said they strained it. I am wondering what caused the cloudiness and should I strain it if it gets cloudy?

If anyone has made it, can you let me know if the above looks correct?
If anyone has made this, does this smell okay without fragrance? I forgot to add the fragrance in a couple of my batches (well, in part of the batch) and I didn't really care for the smell. Or, would you recommend adding some, maybe half?, so that it is still suitable for baby's but that it would still have a nice smell.

I should probably try the recipe without any additives, but, if I added some fragrance, I'd probably add a teaspoon (pp of oil) of dry ingredient (finely ground oatmeal) to help "stick' the essential oil as she recommends.

What essential oil would you recommend as being okay for babies?

Oh, and what is ROE? There was a discussion about adding that to this castille soap but I don't know what that is!

Thank you very much in advance for your help!!
 
This is a perfect example of why I pay zero attention to the iodine number. IME, it has nothing to do with increased risk of DOS.
The recipe is also a good example of how the calculator numbers don't tell the whole story. After all, 100% OO castile soap has been a classic, beloved soap for centuries.

In real life, this is a very nice recipe. Although I personally am not a big OO soap fan, but many others are. I make something very close to that with GM added, for a friend who is gaga over it. Give it a try and see what you think!
 
Hi akseattle! First, as a childcare professional for over 25 years I can tell you there are NO essential oils that are safe for babies. Not only is their skin mantle undeveloped, but so are their lungs and nervous system; each of these systems would be affected by essentials oils...even in tiny amounts. Second, many pediatricians highly recommend using detergent bars that are pH balanced because of the baby's skin mantle, and I've also know other who just advise parents to use plain water until the age of 2 years. Lye soap has a high pH and using that on an immature skin system is harmful because the baby's skin cannot readily adjust itself back to a normal pH....and that can lead to infection as well as other issues.

ROE is rosemary oleresin helps slow the oxidation of the oils. I used to use it, but really found no need for it. It can also taint the fragrance of the soap (it has a strong scent). I believe that for soft oils that will be opened and stored for a long time can benefit from ROE. That's about all I can tell you about it. There are other ways to prevent dos in soap such as lowering the superfat (not something I would suggest to a newbie soaper), or adding sodium citrate, or citric acid, or edta.

The amounts you've entered for your recipe don't show a superfat...was that on purpose? I highly suggest newbies use at least a 5% superfat. I've never made Zany's recipe, so I don't know if she suggests the 0% superfat for some reason....? (I don't like high olive oil soaps so don't make them any more)

As for the hardness and iodine levels; they are not absolutes, but guides. A high olive oil soap, especially with salt added, is going to be a very hard bar....just wait and see!! If you have decently fresh oils...then dos is very unlikely for your recipe (unless it's caused by metal contamination i.e. curing soap on a metal rack). Castile and other high olive oils soaps are some of the oldest soaps in history....so don't worry about the iodine level.

I'd like to include this link to a highly knowledgeable forum member (Deanna) who understands a great deal about soap chemistry: https://classicbells.com/soap/iodineINS.asp. I think you'll find a lot of good information there.

I honestly don't know what to say about the cloudy salt water except that it sounds like either it's not fully dissolved, or it's a saturated solution (too much salt for the water to hold.... which would probably cause the soap to fail), or the salt isn't pure and the cloudiness is caused by the dextrose or whatever other additive it has.
 
I make this exact recipe ( with the 10% CO and 5% castor) and it's a lovely creamy soap. Yes, the lye solution goes cloudy, that's because of the additives that make the faux seawater. I make mine now with real seawater and it still goes cloudy, and gets a bit of 'soda ash' or 'lye lint' on top of the lye solution, but it's fine - I don't bother straining it.
I wouldn't add anything to help stick the fragrance. Just make the soap and see how you like it. Extra additives make extra problems - especially if you are trying a new recipe.
Lavender is one of the gentlest essential oils I know of - so maybe try one or two percent of that in your soap. About 15g in that 500g recipe. If people choose to use it on babies I'm sure that it's gentler than other baby bar soaps that are out there on the market today. As a soap maker that sells - if people ask me whether it's gentle or good for eczema, or good for xxxxx other ailments, I am non-committal in my response but I do say that i have two close friends with eczema who both enjoy my soap and say they love it.
 
I make this exact recipe ( with the 10% CO and 5% castor) and it's a lovely creamy soap. Yes, the lye solution goes cloudy, that's because of the additives that make the faux seawater. I make mine now with real seawater and it still goes cloudy, and gets a bit of 'soda ash' or 'lye lint' on top of the lye solution, but it's fine - I don't bother straining it.
I wouldn't add anything to help stick the fragrance. Just make the soap and see how you like it. Extra additives make extra problems - especially if you are trying a new recipe.
Lavender is one of the gentlest essential oils I know of - so maybe try one or two percent of that in your soap. About 15g in that 500g recipe. If people choose to use it on babies I'm sure that it's gentler than other baby bar soaps that are out there on the market today. As a soap maker that sells - if people ask me whether it's gentle or good for eczema, or good for xxxxx other ailments, I am non-committal in my response but I do say that i have two close friends with eczema who both enjoy my soap and say they love it.
I love lavender - but one of my customers (buyer who buys for a museum gift store) is so sensitive to lavender that she breaks out in lesions with any contact. I’ve seen it - it’s very dramatic. As I understand it, it’s linalool that is the culprit, or more specifically the hydroperoxides that form when linalool oxidizes. ROE can help prevent oxidation and formation of the sensitizing hydroperoxides.
Others here know more than I do but I agree with @lenarenee, for babies maybe just leave soap unscented.
 
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This is a perfect example of why I pay zero attention to the iodine number. IME, it has nothing to do with increased risk of DOS.
The recipe is also a good example of how the calculator numbers don't tell the whole story.
@AliOop , really, you don't pay attention to iodine numbers? I wasn't paying attention to them because I didn't know what they meant until I read this soapmaking book. But, since zany's recipe seems to be tried and true, I thought maybe I misunderstood and ran SoapCalc wrong. I don't know if I do or don't like castile soap. The only castile soap I've ever used is Dr. Bronner's. And, that's just for camping. But, since castile soap is a classic, I'd like to make some. I was hoping to make a soap that even a baby could use. Since you seem pretty knowledgeable and experienced, I'm going to ignore the iodine number for THIS recipe. The next time I consider a soap recipe with a high iodine number, I'll check with this forum to see if anyone has tried it!
as a childcare professional for over 25 years I can tell you there are NO essential oils that are safe for babies.
Ok, well, that's alarming. I'm glad I asked!! My kids are adults now and I can't really remember what I used when I bathed them! But, my kids's friends are all starting to have babies and I'd like to make them some soap- but I want it to be safe for them.
Second, many pediatricians highly recommend using detergent bars that are pH balanced because of the baby's skin mantle,
I'm not sure that a detergent bar is (it sounds like something I would use to wash my clothes...
Is that something that can be homemade? I haven't checked to see if this forum has information about detergent soap. I would like to try making some if its safe for babies.
ROE is rosemary oleresin helps slow the oxidation of the oils. I used to use it, but really found no need for it. It can also taint the fragrance of the soap (it has a strong scent).
I actually really like the smell of rosemary. If it's the same as the rosemary that grows in my garden.
The amounts you've entered for your recipe don't show a superfat...was that on purpose? I highly suggest newbies use at least a 5% superfat. I've never made Zany's recipe, so I don't know if she suggests the 0% superfat for some reason....? (I don't like high olive oil soaps so don't make them any more)
I double checked and YES. It looks like her recipe says 0% superfat. I didn't think it looked right when I read it. I had read somewhere that we should keep the superfat no lower than 2% to avoid a soap that is lye heavy. But, that seems to be what the recipe says-- unless I am reading it wrong.
As for the hardness and iodine levels; they are not absolutes, but guides.
I am starting to understand that I should, at times, ignore the iodine levels. But how to know WHEN :(
high olive oils soaps are some of the oldest soaps in history....so don't worry about the iodine level.
Okay, I won't!!
I'd like to include this link to a highly knowledgeable forum member (Deanna) who understands a great deal about soap chemistry: https://classicbells.com/soap/iodineINS.asp. I think you'll find a lot of good information there.
 
I make this exact recipe ( with the 10% CO and 5% castor) and it's a lovely creamy soap.
@KiwiMoose, did I read the recipe correctly that it has 0% superfat
Yes, the lye solution goes cloudy, that's because of the additives that make the faux seawater. I make mine now with real seawater and it still goes cloudy, and gets a bit of 'soda ash' or 'lye lint' on top of the lye solution, but it's fine - I don't bother straining it.
I live 5 minutes from the Puget Sound here in the Northwest. I thought maybe I could use real seawater, too. But, do you have to boil the water to get it sterilized? I traveled to the Yucatan Peninsula in January and I brought back some super super fine sand from Celestun. My hope is to, at some point, use this sand as an exfoliant in soap. i've been boiling it and straining the water to get all floating particles out of it because it smelled like rotting kelp. What do you do to your seawater before using it
I wouldn't add anything to help stick the fragrance. Just make the soap and see how you like it. Extra additives make extra problems - especially if you are trying a new recipe.
Do you make this fragrance free or with fragrance?
Lavender is one of the gentlest essential oils I know of - so maybe try one or two percent of that in your soap.
Well, @lenarenee made a pretty compelling case against fragrance in baby soap. So, I'm considering fragrance free.
I love lavender - but one of my customers (buyer who buys for a museum gift store) is so sensitive to lavender that she breaks out in lesions with any contact. I’ve seen it - it’s very dramatic. As I understand it, t’s linalool that is the culprit, or more specifically the hydroperoxides that form when linalool oxidizes. ROE can help prevent oxidation and formation of the sensitizing hydroperoxides.
Others here know more than I do but I agree with @lenarenee, for babies maybe just leave soap unscented.
@Vicki C , I agree, @lenarenee made a pretty compelling case against fragrance in baby soap. As much as it is killing me, that's the way I am leaning :(
 
@akseattle Lena is referring to a syndet bar. The word “syndet” comes from synthetic detergent. It sounds like it would be harsh like laundry soap, but there are all kinds of syndets, including the ones used to make gentle shampoos and “beauty bars” like Dove (which isn’t a true soap).

Personally, I don’t have any issue with using a very gentle soap like 100% OO or 100% lard on babies who are six months or older. But I was always taught to use plain water if they were under six months. I did make exceptions for poopy or barfy messes.

FWIW, I always make this recipe at 0% SF and haven’t had any problems. That’s probably because my lye isn’t 99% pure, as the calculator assumes it is.

Back to iodine numbers, IIRC, that metric was created for large-scale commercial soap makers. You really, really don’t have to look at it. If something is way off in your soap recipe, typically you will know that based on the fatty acid profile. But even that is not foolproof, as again, 100% OO and 100% lard soaps have been around and loved forever, despite their completely unbalanced FA profiles.

Still, knowing about FA profiles, and knowing how different oils behave in soap, will be your ticket to making soap you like, and that others like - which may not be the same thing, btw. As noted previously, I like my version of goat-milk ZNSB, but don’t love it. My friend and neighbor, OTOH, will use no other soap. To say she "loves" it is an understatement.

Regarding the seawater, I make mine differently, as explained in a separate thread, here. Basically, I figured out the ratios of water to salt, and water to baking soda, used to make the faux sea water. This allows me to add those amounts to my batch water, so I can avoid making extra sea water that I don’t need and won’t use. Even though I used master-batched lye solution, the same percentages apply for making it with a new batch of lye solution. HTH.
 
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Hi @akseattle! Just one more voice to chime in on ZNSC — it's a really nice recipe. Of course, as in cooking, we all tend to make our own little adjustments; I'm somewhat paranoid about measuring so usually set something like 0.25% superfat in the calculator, which comes out to hardly anything at all in a small batch. The 100% olive oil bars I've made without fragrance have a lovely, clean scent on their own. The unscented ZNSB bars that I've made with goat milk also have a nice scent, but recently I sniffed an older one and the smell has become a tad stronger and is veering toward "goaty" to my nose — not bad yet by any means, but different. Maybe after almost 3 years the milk and oils are beginning to turn rancid (I didn't use ROE back then, but tend to add it to my soft oils these days, plus the climate here is warm and very humid). So why not try just a small batch as the recipe is written — you may be surprised by the pleasant, natural fragrance of the plain soap! Other additives will change the smell, of course. Good luck! 🍀
 
Thank you @AliOop op for explaining syndet so well!

I also love the smell of rosemary, and that's is indeed where ROE comes from, so it definitely smells like it, but in a very concentrated, more medicinal way.

When to ignore the iodine level in a recipe? I never pay attention to it, but certainly don't expect you to make the same choice. Just like with arts, we all develop our own "style" over the years. In my beginner days I just stuck to the 60/40 recommendation (percentage of hard to soft oils) and experimented within those parameters, learned what oils I like or don't like and go from there. Learning the general properties of soft oils was important to me so avoid high linoleic and linolenic fatty acids (to avoid dos), and I also limit coconut/babassu oil to 20% to avoid stripping our skin too much.

I've really let go of the idea that there's a perfect combo of oils to make the perfect soap. Cmhza made a lard soap using the same brand of lard, bought from the same line of stores and almost the same recipe....but hers developed dos within a few weeks, while mine lasts for years. (Cmhza had a successful business with lots of dedicated customers so really knows her stuff!) There are many "rules" in soapmaking, but the soap gods love to play around with them!

I firmly believe it's always good to have at least a small superfat level for the reason you stated. Again, I don't know why Zany used a 0%. Typically, zero superfat is used for laundry bars, or when hot processing and adding the superfat oil at the last stage.

Sorry if I sounded so dogmatic about soap and essential oils for babies. However, my training included input from medical people, and also my own experiences caring for young kids affected by lye soap or essential oils. One baby suffered damage to his nasal membranes from just breathing lavender from a diffuser.
 
@lenarenee my recollection is that Zany believed that the 0% SF helped eliminate the oleic slime that is one of the main complaints about high OO soap. I do agree that her recipe has less slime than I would normally see in a castile soap. Whether that is from the low superfat, or the added salts, or both, I can't say. Anyway, I tend to use a very low SF in all my recipes except salt bars, so I'm very comfortable with that. For a newbie like @akseattle, your advice to consider using at least 1-2% to give a margin for error is very appropriate.

And I 100% agree with you that there is no "perfect" soap recipe - it really depends on the user. Same with soaping "rules." I like Ann Watson's soapmaking book for that reason; she debunks a lot of soaping myths.
 
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@akseattle yes it's 0% superfat. That's what helps with the no-slime effect, as does the seawater.
For the seawater - I boil it and filter it through a coffee filter, then freeze it in suitable sized bags in the freezer.
I use the full amount of fragrance in my recipe (3 or 4 percent) but i don't use it on babies. If my customers choose to use it on their babies that's up to them. We don't have a suing culture in New Zealand so if people do silly things that cause injury - it's down to them.
 
@akseattle Lena is referring to a syndet bar. The word “syndet” comes from synthetic detergent. It sounds like it would be harsh like laundry soap, but there are all kinds of syndets, including the ones used to make gentle shampoos and “beauty bars” like Dove (which isn’t a true soap).

Personally, I don’t have any issue with using a very gentle soap like 100% OO or 100% lard on babies who are six months or older. But I was always taught to use plain water if they were under six months. I did make exceptions for poopy or barfy messes.

FWIW, I always make this recipe at 0% SF and haven’t had any problems. That’s probably because my lye isn’t 99% pure, as the calculator assumes it is.

Back to iodine numbers, IIRC, that metric was created for large-scale commercial soap makers. You really, really don’t have to look at it. If something is way off in your soap recipe, typically you will know that based on the fatty acid profile. But even that is not foolproof, as again, 100% OO and 100% lard soaps have been around and loved forever, despite their completely unbalanced FA profiles.

Still, knowing about FA profiles, and knowing how different oils behave in soap, will be your ticket to making soap you like, and that others like - which may not be the same thing, btw. As noted previously, I like my version of goat-milk ZNSB, but don’t love it. My friend and neighbor, OTOH, will use no other soap. To say she "loves" it is an understatement.

Regarding the seawater, I make mine differently, as explained in a separate thread, here. Basically, I figured out the ratios of water to salt, and water to baking soda, used to make the faux sea water. This allows me to add those amounts to my batch water, so I can avoid making extra sea water that I don’t need and won’t use. Even though I used master-batched lye solution, the same percentages apply for making it with a new batch of lye solution. HTH.
@AliOop, thank you for all that GREAT information!
So, I googled a little for syndet recipes, It seems like this is mainly for shampoo bars? I looked at your post and your recipe for your goatmilk version of Zany's NSCastille Bar.
I already made my seawater and it's sitting in my fridge. So, I'll go ahead and use that. Generally, I like the idea of measuring the ingredients out each time I make a batch - instead of having a giant jar of faux seawater taking up space in my fridge. Looking at your recipe saved me from having to post the next question that was on the tip of my tongue. Can I add sugar to this seawater to help with lather? It looks like you added sorbital. So, I assume I can add my sugar?
And since we're on additives, I'd like to try adding powdered buttermilk to a batch. (Because it's sitting in my cupboard.) Do you think I could swap it for the powdered goatmilk in your recipe?
It's a good thing I'm going to ignore the recipe properties for this castille soap. Because except for the conditioning which is high, most of the other properties don't even land on the scale!!
Anyway, thank you for your recipe!! I'll try Zany's first since it has fewer moving parts -- And, I'm committed to testing additives slowly... and not getting ahead of myself. But, if I can swap your goatmilk powder for my buttermilk powder, I'd like to use that when I'm ready to add my buttermilk.

Hi @akseattle! Just one more voice to chime in on ZNSC — it's a really nice recipe. Of course, as in cooking, we all tend to make our own little adjustments; I'm somewhat paranoid about measuring so usually set something like 0.25% superfat in the calculator, which comes out to hardly anything at all in a small batch. The 100% olive oil bars I've made without fragrance have a lovely, clean scent on their own.
@A-Polly , thank you for chiming in! I'm not going to do 100% olive oil, but the variation that has 15% coconut oil and 5% castor oil. I'm encouraged by your post to try it fragrance free. Besides hoping it will be mild enough for a child, maybe at least toddler age, I have a sister that only uses fragrance free soap. So, I'd like to surprise her with some!
 
Per some calculations that ResolveableOwl did when they were still around, there's a built in safety margin of about 0.5% superfat due, as I recall, to the use of baking soda in the Faux Seawater. Most folks are not correcting for lye purity, i.e. they leave the 99% purity alone in the lye calculator and most lye is 96-98% when freshly opened. You're unlikely to achieve 0% SF in Zany's recipe without a measurement error. (Eta: or correcting for lye impurity and the 0.5%). I've never had any zapping from the 100% OO or 85/10/5 made at 0% SF setting, using the 99% lye purity setting with lye that is sold as 96- 98% when fresh.

Also want to suggest that you make a small batch of the recipe 100% or 85/10/5 without any additives the first time around. That will be a useful baseline for learning and future customization.
 
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@Mobjack Bay: Also want to suggest that you make a small batch of the recipe 100% or 85/10/5 without any additives the first time around. That will be a useful baseline for learning and future customization.
⬆️ Absolutely agree with this suggestion! Maybe even a small batch of each! I think (hope) you will be surprised at how nice this most basic (no additives) soap is, both in smell and appearance. I recall being amazed at the lovely creamy white color of my first ZNSC bars after cure, even though made with only olive oil. Not as starkly, brilliantly white as 100% coconut oil salt bars (the whitest I've ever seen) of course, but still very pretty.
 
And since we're on additives, I'd like to try adding powdered buttermilk to a batch. (Because it's sitting in my cupboard.) Do you think I could swap it for the powdered goatmilk in your recipe?
Absolutely! I do agree with your own decision (and the suggestion of others) to make the first batch without any additives, including scents.

My only exception to the no-additives-in-the-first-batch recommendation is to add either white sugar or sorbitol to boost the bubbles. Without that, it just didn't have enough lather for me. You already have experience with sugar so that's good. The other option is to use 75% OO, 20% CO or PKO, and 5% castor.

Let us know how it turns out!
 

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