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Residue Free - Company Claim Fact or Fiction?

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nativedan

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Hi folks - this company states their soap is "residue free." If true, what about the soap ingredients as listed, can back this up?

According to the book Scientific Soapmaking and anecdotal common knowledge/experience, soap residue or scum is inherent in the use of soap. I understand that the hardness of water is a factor. I'm curious how the company can confidently make this claim. I ordered a couple to try it out myself, in the meantime please share your thoughts.

*(the similarity in my handle and the company name is coincidental, there is no affiliation. I actually discovered the product while researching potential brand conflicts.)

Here's the link to the soap: Native - Unscented Bar Soap

Cheers!
 

IrishLass

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Welcome Nativedan! :)

I just had a look at their ingredients and saw they use sodium gluconate, which is a chelator. For what it's worth, I use a chelator in my own soap (tetrasodium EDTA) because of our very hard water, and while it does indeed help at reducing soap scum/residue, it has not totally eliminated it to the point that I can claim 'no residue'. "Less residue", yes, but definitely not "no residue". lol

It makes me wonder how much of it they use. When you get your soap, I hope you try it out in hard water and let us know how it fared!


IrishLass :)
 

nativedan

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Thanks for the response. I found it a bold claim too. They may use however much is possible or safe to accommodate the hardest water since it's not a local product to a specific region.

The site lists palm acid and palm kernel acid as cleansers. I'm wondering if these are natural byproducts that must labeled or if they're added ingredients. If added, do you think that these reduce the amount of actual soap in a recipe to achieve optimal cleansing properties? My thought is that the inclusion of added cleansers reduces the amount of oil needed in the bar thereby reducing residue while maintaining cleansing properties. Assuming that these acids don't create calcium compounds themselves.

I had a few moments to briefly research the acids in this manner and didn't come up with much. Maybe this takes it a step further in addition to the sodium gluconate.

Yes, Sarasota has hard water so it'll be a good test!
 

TheGecko

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Palm Acid and Palm Kernel Acid are by-products of refining Palm Oil with an alkaline and are most often used in laundry soap.

Glycerin. Hmmmmmmm. Soap naturally contains glycerin so their is no need to ADD it...unless you took it all out to begin with.

I would pass.
 

cmzaha

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I use Sodium Gluconate and EDTA in my soaps at 0.5% each. While it does substantially help soap scum/residue I agree with IL it is not residue-free. I also make no claims.
 

DeeAnna

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Palm kernel acid and palm acid are just the various fatty acids from each of these fats. These fatty acids act as the superfats in this soap to ensure mildness.

You can make palm kernel acid by making soap using only palm kernel oil, KOH or NaOH, and a true zero superfat. Decompose the soap with an excess of an acid, wash the whole mess with water to remove the water-soluble materials, and dried the resulting non-water-soluble material. The dried stuff is the fatty acids of palm kernel oil -- in other words, palm kernel acid. Use the same process to make palm acid, except use palm oil.

I suppose a person could argue fatty acids can function as cleansers, but that's a bit of a stretch, IMO. I can't see any reason why these ingredients are the reason for the "no residue" claim. The chelator is the most likely reason for the claim, but a chelator in the soap can't possibly ensure NO soap scum will form in hard water.

But stepping back a bit from the ingredients -- I have to say I don't really know what "no residue" means. No soap scum when used in hard water? No nasty chemicals that might attach themselves to the skin? It's not clear.

It's not defined on this website and I can't find a consistent meaning when the phase is used elsewhere, per a quick Google search. I got the feeling it most often means "no nasty chemicals" but even that meaning is awfully vague.

It's something like the buzzword "natural" -- everbody supposedly knows what "natural" means, but it seems like everyone has a different interpretation. There's no widely accepted definition that everyone accepts and uses.
 
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nativedan

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Great point about the actual meaning of "no residue." I was only looking at it as a soap scum reference only, but indeed that may not be their only intention in stating it. Thank you for the in-depth on the acids. I couldn't find much else searching the term as well.

I was intrigued by the concept, but the claim didn't sit right with me so I brought it here to fact check. Based on the responses my suspicion is validated. I appreciate all the input!
 

nativedan

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I've used the Native brand soap for about a week now. It leaves the skin feeling too clean?! When when I rub my hand on my arm it's like an old windshield wiper that skips. The bar is standard commercial-hard, and the suds were plenty and long lasting, but were less silky and more slimy, which I did not enjoy. I washed a glass too to check for streaks, none were left. Washing a glass once likely wouldn't create build-up, but I can't figure another way to test it. My shower is multi-color gray stone/tile and doesn't show build-up easy. So in the end I cannot say if the claim is legit, but given the nature of soap and the wisdom filled posts above, it likely isn't true.

The chelator is the most likely reason for the claim, but a chelator in the soap can't possibly ensure NO soap scum will form in hard water.
On the topic of residue and chelators, does anyone have experience with combining salts and the effect on a bar? I'm considering sodium lactate, gluconate, citrate, and/or phytate? I mention these because according to EWG.org they have a low toxicity to both humans and environment.

I have added table salt and sugar previously, but want to increase my soap's sophistication. I am aware that SL is not used primarily for hard water. I'm curious though of the potential reaction between them and if there is any benefit in using SG and SC or S. phytate in any combination. I've scoured the forum here and read DeeAnna's chelator webpage and other sources but wasn't able to find the topic of combined effects and permissible percentages therein. I am also interested in using ROE as an antioxidant in my HP soap.
 

TheGecko

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I use Sodium Lactate for the sole purpose of making it easier to unmold my soap.
 

shunt2011

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I use SL in all my soaps to get them out of the mold easier and sooner. I also add ROE to my oils when I open them. I see no need to add it to the soap itself personally.
 

IrishLass

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For what it's worth, I use sodium lactate in my soaps, and I had been using for a few years before ever using tetrasodium EDTA (for easier unmolding, more fluid HP batter, and also quicker paste dilution in liquid-soapmaking), and it did nothing to combat my hard water issues in relation to the scum left behind by my soaps. The definite difference came only when I started using the EDTA.


IrishLass :)
 

nativedan

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Sounds good to me. Adding ROE to the oils is a good idea considering it is a step ahead in battling rancidity. Thanks!
 
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