Recipe tweak to avoid soggy shower soap

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Jay Gee

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Hey there,

I'm really new to soap making- just a few months now. This was from one of my very first batches, that I made on May 17.
I've been making the following recipe, but I'd like to tweak it, and thought I'd ask for some help. I prefer to avoid palm oil and lard, but am open to using other oils. I'm looking for something that cures hard- I've been curing these for about 2 months and they are super soggy in the shower. They are ok as hand soap, but I'd like a recipe that can do ok in the shower if possible.

This is what I've been doing:
70 % OO
15% CO
10% Shea
5% Castor Oil

8% Superfat
sugar and sodium lactate in the lye water before adding lye

I used satsuma fragrance oil, and turmeric for colour. I also added ground up oats (maybe these are the culprit?)

So- from the reading I have done, I think I could reduce the superfat to 5% and that would help. Would changing the ratios help?

Thanks so much for any ideas!

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jcandleattic

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The best thing to avoid shower sogginess is to make sure your soap is able to dry out in between uses. Also, that is a pretty high OO recipe and will make a hard bar, however, can become "slimy" when used in the shower after cured.
You have low CO, so you could drop your SF down to 5% or even lower - to a 2%-3% SF and should be fine.
 

Jay Gee

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The best thing to avoid shower sogginess is to make sure your soap is able to dry out in between uses. Also, that is a pretty high OO recipe and will make a hard bar, however, can become "slimy" when used in the shower after cured.
You have low CO, so you could drop your SF down to 5% or even lower - to a 2%-3% SF and should be fine.
Great- thanks! I'll definitely drop the SF. Thanks for the info about the slimy shower Olive Oil- that's super helpful. If I reduce the Olive Oil, can I increase the coconut oil? Or would you suggest adding different oil? I have avocado and am going to place an order today for some other items, so I can add something if it's reasonably priced.
 

jcandleattic

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Other's may chime in, but I personally dont' like OO in my recipe at a high %. I keep it at 20-25% because any more than that and with the combination of CO, it's a very drying bar (IME, YMMV)
 

AliOop

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Tallow and cocoa butter will cure out hard. Other possibilities are soy wax and (a very low percentage) beeswax. But keeping the bar dry between uses is the biggie.
 

DeeAnna

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You have to let soap dry between uses --- every handcrafted soap needs that to perform at its best.

But you can reduce the problem of sogginess (and increase the longevity of the soap) by adjusting the kinds of fatty acids (FAs) in your soap. Three of the four fats you're using -- castor, olive and coconut -- are rich in lauric, myristic, ricinoleic, and oleic acids. These fatty acids make soap that is highly soluble in water.

You need to include fats that have more stearic and palmitic acids. Shea is the only fat in your recipe that's rich in these FAs. Lard, tallow, palm, and butters are the main soaping fats that have these FAs. Soy wax (hydrogenated soy oil) is a manufactured fat that also fits the bill. Soap made from these fatty acids are much less soluble in water.
 
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Jay Gee

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You have to let soap dry between uses --- every handcrafted soap needs that to perform at its best.

But you can reduce the problem of sogginess (and increase the longevity of the soap) by adjusting the kinds of fatty acids (FAs) in your soap. Three of the four fats you're using -- castor, olive and coconut -- are rich in lauric, myristic, ricinoleic, and oleic acids. These fatty acids make soap that is highly soluble in water.

You need to include fats that have more stearic and palmitic acids. Shea is the only fat that's rich in these FAs. Lard, tallow, palm, and butters are the main soaping fats that have these FAs. Soy wax (hydrogenated soy oil) is a manufactured fat that also fits the bill. Soap made from these fatty acids are much less soluble in water.
Thanks so much DeeAnna- I didn't know that. I will see if I can add some soy wax and some butters to help, and reduce the OO.
 

Arimara

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You can safely alter your recipe like so:

5% Castor oil
20% Coconut oil (I would not go any higher if your skin is sensitive)
50% Olive oil
25% shea butter
SF- 3-5% if you'd like.

Since you mentioned getting avocado oil, you can shave more from the olive oil, like up to 30% or so. Here's a suggestion with that oil that doesn't change your coconut oil amount:

5% Castor oil
15% Coconut oil (I would not go any higher if your skin is sensitive)
30% Olive oil
25% shea butter
25% Avocado oil.
 

Jay Gee

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You can safely alter your recipe like so:

5% Castor oil
20% Coconut oil (I would not go any higher if your skin is sensitive)
50% Olive oil
25% shea butter
SF- 3-5% if you'd like.

Since you mentioned getting avocado oil, you can shave more from the olive oil, like up to 30% or so. Here's a suggestion with that oil that doesn't change your coconut oil amount:

5% Castor oil
15% Coconut oil (I would not go any higher if your skin is sensitive)
30% Olive oil
25% shea butter
25% Avocado oil.
Thanks Arimara! This is great. Wondering about the bottom recipe though- doesn't add up to 100- wondering what you had intended?
 

Arimara

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Thanks Arimara! This is great. Wondering about the bottom recipe though- doesn't add up to 100- wondering what you had intended?
Check it again. I used soapcalc for that one and that calculator is not forgiving if oils go over or under 100%.
 

atiz

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Agree with the others. But maybe you would also like a salt bar. That's one of my favorites in the shower, and it is rock hard. (If you search for salt bar on the forum, you will find a lot; but the recipes are very easy, you can make it from 100% coconut or 85% coconut, 5% castor, 15% avocado or something similar.)
 

elxirsofdawn

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My super simple most basic soap recipe makes an excellent hard bar. I just use equal parts coconut, olive, and sunflower oils. I have found that substituting safflower oil for sunflower works well too, but be warned that safflower is typically a heavily GMO product so maybe go organic. I add my essential oils at trace in the amount of 3% weight of the oils. I do not use sodium lactate or sugar. I find that if you need more time to work with your soap at trace it is best to add the lye water to the oils when they have reached a lower temperature. I normally add mine around 100 degrees farenheit, but have added them together at room temperature with great success. Here's the specifics on my simple recipe:


9.5 oz olive oil
9.5 oz coconut oil
9.5 oz sunflower oil
4.6 oz lye
11.5 oz water (10.35 oz @ 10% discount-good for summer humidity!)
1.2 oz EO (=3% of oils and water)

3-4% EO seems to be a good range. Use closer to 3 for super strong oils like peppermint or lemongrass. Use closer to 4 for other scents.

This fills a 42 oz mold almost to the top, making a nearly square bar and leaving a bit of space for a decorative top. This makes a creamy white colored bar that cures very hard and is ready to un-mold and cut the next day.
 

Jay Gee

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You have to let soap dry between uses --- every handcrafted soap needs that to perform at its best.

But you can reduce the problem of sogginess (and increase the longevity of the soap) by adjusting the kinds of fatty acids (FAs) in your soap. Three of the four fats you're using -- castor, olive and coconut -- are rich in lauric, myristic, ricinoleic, and oleic acids. These fatty acids make soap that is highly soluble in water.

You need to include fats that have more stearic and palmitic acids. Shea is the only fat that's rich in these FAs. Lard, tallow, palm, and butters are the main soaping fats that have these FAs. Soy wax (hydrogenated soy oil) is a manufactured fat that also fits the bill. Soap made from these fatty acids are much less soluble in water.
Is this soy wax? EcoSoya Wax - Q220

It seems like it's a candle product- does it work for soap too?

Wow thanks! elxirsofdawn I love that I can get the oils at the grocery- great for me where shipping is expensive. I will give it a shot.

Agree with the others. But maybe you would also like a salt bar. That's one of my favorites in the shower, and it is rock hard. (If you search for salt bar on the forum, you will find a lot; but the recipes are very easy, you can make it from 100% coconut or 85% coconut, 5% castor, 15% avocado or something similar.)
Great idea- I will give a salt bar a try- I never used one before, but it sounds like it might be a good fit for me. Thanks!
 

DeeAnna

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I'm seeing a tendency to confuse a physically hard bar with a bar that is insoluble in water. Many people understandably think they're the same property, but they're not. An extreme example to make my point -- a chunk of granite and a solid block of Himalayan salt are both extremely hard, but the salt will dissolve quickly in water and the granite won't.

Getting back to soap making, another example is a 100% coconut oil soap and a 100% lard soap. Both are quite hard, but the coconut oil soap will be used up in the shower long before the lard soap, because coconut oil soap is highly soluble in water and lard soap is not.

The OPs recipe (post #1) has a combined stearic and palmitic of 19%. We know the OP doesn't like that this soap gets soggy. The solutions to this problem are to ensure the soap doesn't sit in a puddle of water between uses and also to raise the palmitic + stearic percentage to reduce the water solubility and increase its longevity.

The recipe in post #13 might be physically hard, but it only contains 12% combined stearic + palmitic acids -- quite a bit less than the OP's recipe. Having made recipes similar to this in the past, I know this is not enough to make a soap that is long lasting enough to suit my preference. This recipe will "melt" away fairly fast in the bath compared to recipes with more stearic and palmitic.

There's a happy medium between longevity/insolubility and the other soap properties.

Most people want a soap that lasts a reasonably long time, so if you're really interested in a long lasting soap, you might think a 100% lard soap is the soap of your dreams. But what you're likely to find is a 100% lard soap is so insoluble that it doesn't lather all that well. Lard soap has a stearic + palmitic content of 42%, and that, for many people, is too much of a good thing.

If you add about 20% coconut oil to the lard make an 80:20 lard:coconut soap, the added coconut drops the stearic + palmitic content to about 35%. Speaking from experience, this recipe will be long lasting, yet will lather beautifully, especially if cured several months longer than the typical 4-8 week cure that most soapers shoot for.

When the stearic + palmitic content is around 30%, the soap will lather nicely after a cure of 4-8 weeks, yet still has a decent lifetime in the bath and doesn't stay soggy if given a well drained soap dish.
 

Jay Gee

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I'm seeing a tendency to confuse a physically hard bar with a bar that is insoluble in water. Many people understandably think they're the same property, but they're not. An extreme example to make my point -- a chunk of granite and a solid block of Himalayan salt are both extremely hard, but the salt will dissolve quickly in water and the granite won't.

Getting back to soap making, another example is a 100% coconut oil soap and a 100% lard soap. Both are quite hard, but the coconut oil soap will be used up in the shower long before the lard soap, because coconut oil soap is highly soluble in water and lard soap is not.

The OPs recipe (post #1) has a combined stearic and palmitic of 19%. We know the OP doesn't like that this soap gets soggy. The solutions to this problem are to ensure the soap doesn't sit in a puddle of water between uses and also to raise the palmitic + stearic percentage to reduce the water solubility and increase its longevity.

The recipe in post #13 might be physically hard, but it only contains 12% combined stearic + palmitic acids -- quite a bit less than the OP's recipe. Having made recipes similar to this in the past, I know this is not enough to make a soap that is long lasting enough to suit my preference. This recipe will "melt" away fairly fast in the bath compared to recipes with more stearic and palmitic.

There's a happy medium between longevity/insolubility and the other soap properties.

Most people want a soap that lasts a reasonably long time, so if you're really interested in a long lasting soap, you might think a 100% lard soap is the soap of your dreams. But what you're likely to find is a 100% lard soap is so insoluble that it doesn't lather all that well. Lard soap has a stearic + palmitic content of 42%, and that, for many people, is too much of a good thing.

If you add about 20% coconut oil to the lard make an 80:20 lard:coconut soap, the added coconut drops the stearic + palmitic content to about 35%. Speaking from experience, this recipe will be long lasting, yet will lather beautifully, especially if cured several months longer than the typical 4-8 week cure that most soapers shoot for.

When the stearic + palmitic content is around 30%, the soap will lather nicely after a cure of 4-8 weeks, yet still has a decent lifetime in the bath and doesn't stay soggy if given a well drained soap dish.
Thanks! Really helpful
 

JillGat

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You can safely alter your recipe like so:

5% Castor oil
20% Coconut oil (I would not go any higher if your skin is sensitive)
50% Olive oil
25% shea butter
SF- 3-5% if you'd like.

Since you mentioned getting avocado oil, you can shave more from the olive oil, like up to 30% or so. Here's a suggestion with that oil that doesn't change your coconut oil amount:

5% Castor oil
15% Coconut oil (I would not go any higher if your skin is sensitive)
30% Olive oil
25% shea butter
25% Avocado oil.
I think 25% is too high for shea butter. I would up the coconut to about 20 and maybe use cocoa butter in place of shea butter, around 15%. Castor oil: 6-8%. Play with the other ingredients to make up 100%. I like sodium lactate too, added to the cooled lye water. Another way to dry your soap bar in the shower is to hang it in a mesh bag. The bag does double duty as a sudsy scrubber.
 

KiwiMoose

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Is this soy wax? EcoSoya Wax - Q220

It seems like it's a candle product- does it work for soap too?

Wow thanks! elxirsofdawn I love that I can get the oils at the grocery- great for me where shipping is expensive. I will give it a shot.


Great idea- I will give a salt bar a try- I never used one before, but it sounds like it might be a good fit for me. Thanks!
search for GW415. It has a lower melting point than most and is 100% soy with no additives. I use it in all my soap.
 
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