Recipe feedback if you dont mind?

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LilyJo

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Hi everyone

I have been playing with numbers on soap calculators until I am completely number blind and I can no longer decide what its actually telling me!

My usual CP recipe is
150g Olive
100g Coconut
100g Shea
100g Castor
168 Water
62 Lye
+ fragrance

To be fair the soap is ok-ish - get a good reaction from some people and not so good from others (I kind of guess its generally like that as everyone reacts to different things in different ways but no one has said they hated it).

But I would like to try dropping my Coconut amount (largely as a result of different things Ive read on here) to see what that gives me and was looking at a formulation along the lines of

150g Olive
100g Shea
100g Castor
50g Cocoa
50g Coconut

I am hoping that that would give me a hard bar and reduce some of the drying effect of the coconut but I know that that is far from a perfect recipe. I have tried playing with the cocoa numbers but they just seem to reduce the cleansing value even more. But maybe I am just number blind now!

Lard, Tallow, Palm are all a no-no at the moment.

In an ideal world I would like to try and use the ingredients listed as they are the ones I have the most of - I would like to create a bar that feels 'moisturising' (even though I know it doesnt actually) so I guess that means one that doesnt dry as much?

I may be floundering around a bit as its been a long day but this is one of those things that just wont leave my brain so I can go to sleep!

Thank you all!
:bunny:
 

mx6inpenn

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I would reduce the castor first and foremost. Are your bars hard or a bit sticky? I've been working on vegan no palm recipes lately. They are only a couple weeks old at this point, so not cured long enough for a true evaluation, but I can say there are a some promising ones. The one I like best at this point is the following with 8% sf:

10% cocoa butter
10% shea butter
25% coconut oil
15% avocado oil
35% olive oil
5% castor oil

I add 1 tsp sugar ppo and that really helps with the bubbles.
 

Kamahido

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If you want a harder bar you must add more hard oils to the mix. You are on the right track with cocoa butter. My own recipe suggestion is...

25% Olive Oil
30% Shea Butter
10% Castor Oil
15% Cocoa Butter
20% Coconut Oil

Add sugar for more bubbles. You could also use a 1.5:1 water:lye ratio to get a harder bar.

Many people use lard, tallow, or palm to make harder bars.
 
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CTAnton

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Lily Jo I'm curious as to how you came up with this recipe. You have 33% in butters which will kill lather. Castor at 22% in a cp soap seems way too high...resulting in a sticky,tacky soap..5% is the percentage most work with.IMHO I'd up the olive to 65% drop the shea and cocoa to 10% total, castor at 5 with coconut at around 15%. Might I suggest familiarizing yourself with a soap calculator such as soapp.com or soap calc.net as well as the beginners threads on the forum! Welcome to the addiction!
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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The numbers are not really that useful for formulating a recipe. I know you sell your soap, but I also suggest what I suggest for newbies- read back at least 10 pages of the beginner, lye-based, and recipe sections to get a foundation on how the oils themselves work together (or not!) in a soap.
 

earlene

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LilyJo, I can certainly empathize with the brain-pain this can create when trying to tweak a recipe to get the numbers you want using only a specific set of oils.

Some people find Castor too drying when used in higher percentages. That happened to me when I made a 100% Castor Oil soap, which surprised me because it has such a high Conditioning number. Castor, when used in higher amounts is also known for making soap a bit softer and bendy according to some reports. In my experience, it also speeds trace, so I like it in smaller percentages for that reason as well.

So the first thing I would do if this were my recipe, is to reduce the Castor and make up the difference in the OO or and combination of OO and Cocoa Butter. You don't lose much in the Conditioning number and you gain in hardness and Longevity of the soap either way.

Are you using a 3% SF? That's what I estimate with your original recipe. I believe that helps prevent some of the inhibitions of lather, so that's where I'd keep it. In fact, I'd probably even try a 0% SF myself, but that's me.

To show you what I mean, I'll start with your proposed recipe (changing it to percentages so it's easier for in-the-fly changes in sooapee). Then I'll show the changes I would probably try. I list the some of the 'numbers' too, because you mentioned Conditioning & Hardness, but I don't know exactly which other ones you find important. For me, I like a long-lasting number (Longevity in soapee, or in SoapCalc, just add Stearic # to Palmitic #). Some pay attention to the INS number, me not so much. And I include Bubbly because my suggested changes would reduce that a lot, but that can be altered by adding sugar or other sugar-containing additive.

Your proposed recipe: (Conditioning 66, Hardness 31, Longevity 24, Bubbly 27, Stable 43, INS 127)
33% OO
22% Shea
22% Castor
11% Cocoa Butter
11% CO


Possible Change (Conditioning 64, Hardness 34, Longevity 27, Bubbly 12, Stable 31, INS 129)
51% OO
22% Shea
5% Castor
11% Cocoa Butter
11% CO

Possible change: (Conditioning 61, Hardness 37, Longevity 30, Bubbly 12, Stable 34, INS 133)
44% OO
22% Shea
5% Castor
18% Cocoa Butter
11% Coconut Oil


To either one of these above, I would add 1 or 2 Tablespoons of Sugar (or honey or other sugar-containing additive), dissolving in some water taken from the recipe (boil the water to speed up dissolution), then add that to the lye solution.


One other idea, and this depends on if you want your soap to remain vegan-friendly or not. If you do, then disregard the following. In a high CO soap, I have found that Egg Yolk has something about it that counteracts the drying effect of the CO. I started liking Egg Yolk Soap after trying a recipe (with a couple of changes to accommodate oils I had on hand) from Anne Watson. Here is a link to the Anne Watson recipe.



ETA: I didn't address the high shea, but I don't use that much shea myself. I'd probably drop it, too. It's not as hard as Cocoa Butter. And I like higher OO soaps, but some people don't and it tends to need a longer cure. So I left the shea alone because I was making so many other changes to the soap.
 
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LilyJo

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Thanks for the feedback

No the soap is really hard and not in slightest bit tacky. Lathers well, no issues with that whatsoever.

TEG, yes I will go over it again but to TBH I read loads of it yesterday and then tried to change formulas again and again and got to the stage where I ended up not really knowing or believing the numbers of soap calulators, hence the post.

I know that the soap I have is hard, bubbly, and works really well - I guess reading everything on here I kind of feel that I 'ought' to change it especially as everyone who looks at my recipe says there is too much Castor or too much Coconut.

Thank you earlene for all your notes - I think I would rather not add sugar (not sure why!) and eggs are a no as we would lose our vegan status.

I think I need to go back to the drawing board and think it all through!
 

MySoapyHeart

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I just thought of something: Have you tested your recipe with a wide range of different superfats?

I mean - same exact recipe, but testing how it performs and feel, with many different superfats, from lower end of the scale to higher.

The ammount of superfat can really change a recipe in its feel and how it performs!

Lower the SF and some people may not get the ew, I can`t wash this off , that some really don`t like. Or upping it, to see if that appeals more to those who are on the drier side of the scale.

Have you tried that? That way you could perhaps see if this is something that will make your recipe work for more people, without starting on scratch with the numbers and a different recipe.

If you do this you may very well find that you can keep the recipe in the end, but just divide it into higher SF for one group, and lower SF for another group.

My experience is that men generally like a lower superfat, as they like the feeling of not having residue oil on their hands, the feeling you can sometimes get for a higher SF.

Thank you earlene for all your notes - I think I would rather not add sugar (not sure why!)
Why not add sugar? Sugar is vegan, and it makes the soap bubblier, and it is a cheap and effortless way of bringing something extra to the soap. Why not try it at least once, especially since you say you aren`t even sure why not? ; )

Good luck with everything : )
 

LilyJo

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MSH, thats a really good idea and no I havent. It would be a great way to keep a recipe that works but also let me feel that I have at least tried to tweak it! And for some reason that seems important right now!!

And yes you are right about men and women and the way they view soap - men seem to want to feel squeaky clean whereas women tend to want to feel moisturised, no matter what you say!

I have no idea whatsoever why I am resistant to the idea of sugar, I agree it makes complete sense to try and I cant even tell you what puts me off - I will have to make myself have a go. Sometimes you need to be given a little kick in the right direction to make yourself try something!

I think I will play with some SF ideas this week - will make three smallish batches (1) the same as I usually do (2) with a much higher SF and (3) with a realy low SF so I can compare each one against the other and see what works.

Thank you so much, thats a really good starting point for me and gives me just what I really needed - a plan of attack!
 

MySoapyHeart

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You are so welcome! : )

Sometimes small tweaks can give different results, so I hope you get results that you like in the end. And if not - you have at least tried and perhaps learned something new and usefull in the process.

Experience by trial and error - one way or the other that will always be a type of knowledge you wouldn`t otherwise have. Keep trying, you will always benefit from it down the line, one way or another : D

All the best : )
 

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