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Sep 14, 2022
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Northern CA
Hi soapy friends, hope today was/is a good day wherever you are 🌸
I am probably doing waaay too much with this recipe, but I was playing around with the recipe and lye calculator and trying to use a bit of all the oils I have on hand. I finally got all the properties in the green, and am continuing to read up on oil properties to better understand each one. Eventually, I’d like to get to having a base recipe I love, and then understand a few tweaks I might make for particular batches. But this one is just because I bought a bunch of fun oils from BB to try.
Anyway, I have my new slab mold all lined and ready, and don’t want to scale a recipe to try it for the first time if my recipe doesn’t seem built for (in the words of Borat…) great success lol.
Appreciate your feedback and advice.… 🌸


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Nov 15, 2018
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Just remember that you don't need the cleansing number to be in the green. In fact, many of us here keep it way down in the red zone - because even a soap with a 0 cleansing value will still get you clean!

The better word for "cleansing" would be "stripping," as in stripping all the natural oils from your skin. If you suffer from dry or easily irritated skin, your skin will thank you for lowering the cleansing number. I personally keep the my cleansing number around 12, which typically means that my total of CO and PKO need to be at 20% or less in my recipes. However, some folks can tolerate significantly more. You will figure out what works for your skin as you experiment.

So, are you trying to use up oils that you have on hand, or just use some of each oil that you happen to have? Unless you are trying to use up dribs and drabs (a very noble cause, in my opinion), 2% of any oil is a lot of work for something that probably won't make a discernible difference in the soap. Most folks will look at somewhere between 5-10% of each oil. There are exceptions, but not too many. :)
Nov 19, 2013
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I agree. You're using a little bit of very similar oils (or even avocado oil AND avocado butter!) so while the soap itself might well be fine you aren't really "trying out" the oils in that sense.

Maybe look at recipes along the lines of:

50% palm
25% coconut
25% X oil
5% castor

Where X is the oil that you want to try out. Look at how the numbers change in the calc for a first sanity check and then make a small batch (half of your original amount would be good if possible) to see how you like it.

The recipe as it stands won't really help you understand if you want most of those oils in a base recipe or not
Nov 16, 2018
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Hamilton, New Zealand
I think the general consensus is, with the exception of castor oil, anything under 3% is generally not worth using as there will be no discernible difference to the soap.
I agree with the others above who have said it's better to have fewer oils as you are starting out and then make one change to each batch so that you can compare how that oil performs compared to other oils. For example - try your first five oils + castor.
Then make amendments in your next batch - e.g replace half the OO with RBO to see if it feels different, or switch 5% of the shea butter with 5 % avocado oil, or switch the almond oil with canola etc. Gradually try each one and take notes to find which is your best or favourite combo.