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Sacrifice longevity/hardness for design

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violets2217

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You Tube named Uncle John
Love him and his "less is more" attitude!

I also use Katie Carson's recipe... sorta... I tweaked it a bit because I love lard in my soaps and I'm not a fan of olive oil so I partially replace it with some canola (also less expensive). I have labeled it my "slow soap". It takes a bit of stick blending to get it to emulsion. It does make a semi soft bar of soap, but I also use aloe (or coconut milk) for my water and kaolin clay for the feel. I've had a bar of it in my shower for about a month or more and it's lasted a while under my abuse! I'm an extreme lather-er! I also don't pay as much attention to the hardness scale and more cleansing and conditioning. Because that's what I want & well I have enough soap to last my family until probably the end of the next century!!!!

Have fun and Good luck!
 

violets2217

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So just out of curiosity, I entered my recipe in the calculator (It's in the Soapmakingfriend.com database if you wanna look at it) and played around with it and added harder oils and butters. The weird thing is the hardness of my bars increased but the longevity stayed the same. So now I'm on a mission to find out what qualities define a long life for soap bars!

Edited to add: if you search the database on Soapmakingfriend and just search for recipes with the longevity you want some interesting recipes come up. A lot of 100% lard recipes... or high CO and lard. Sorry now you have me obsessing!! :oops:😁
 
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Virgogoddess

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I actually just ran that recipe through Soap Making Friend and this is exactly the point of my post and what I do not fully understand about recipe formulation. Obviously people that sell soap need to make them visually appealing in order to stand out from the crowd. I get that, but are they also purposely not concerned with longevity so their bars don't last that long so people buy more often? I think I am starting to realize that the artistic swirly design part of soapmaking may not be for me. I think my recipe is going to make a **** good bar of soap. My mistake as a newbie was not properly formulating it for what I was hoping to do. I am also probably obsessing too much about the recipe property numbers. I do not mind the fact that I failed miserably in the design aspect. I am just trying to decide what kind of soapmaker I want to be. I watch a guy on You Tube named Uncle John and he is a no nonsense guy that is only concerned with formulating a good bar of soap. Since this is a hobby for me I do not know if I should be having fun and not obsess about the recipe properties. Sorry for thinking out loud.
.

By longevity, do you mean hardness? Because I think some people want to make a conditioning/creamy soap. I personally make soaps that are way more soft than Katie’s recipe but I’m creating those for a particular group of people. I like harder bars for men. Also, if you’re selling it’s not a terrible thing if your bar doesn’t last forever!! 🤣🤣🤣
 

KiwiMoose

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Bear in mind that OO has good longevity if cured well. SO don't let the numbers in the fatty acid profile put you off. Same with RBO. They are both high in palmitic which adds to longevity.
Many people find that pomace accelerates trace though - so stick to regular OO (not need to use extra-virgin, just 'light' is ok, as long as it is 100% OO).
 

JoyfulSudz

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By the numbers, the longevity of my soaps are in the lower end of the range, yet I've received comments from several friends saying they want to get more soap (because they like a new fragrance of design I just made) but can't justify getting more because the ones they already have last so long they don't need any yet. I guess longevity maybe is relative to expectation...
 

Arimara

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@SoapDaddy70 You should be having fun. for me part of the fun is coming up with different combinations. I have to be careful when making soap now since I'm more prone to misreading my recipes though than I was two years ago.
 

GemstonePony

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I actually just ran that recipe through Soap Making Friend and this is exactly the point of my post and what I do not fully understand about recipe formulation. Obviously people that sell soap need to make them visually appealing in order to stand out from the crowd. I get that, but are they also purposely not concerned with longevity so their bars don't last that long so people buy more often? I think I am starting to realize that the artistic swirly design part of soapmaking may not be for me. I think my recipe is going to make a **** good bar of soap. My mistake as a newbie was not properly formulating it for what I was hoping to do. I am also probably obsessing too much about the recipe property numbers. I do not mind the fact that I failed miserably in the design aspect. I am just trying to decide what kind of soapmaker I want to be. I watch a guy on You Tube named Uncle John and he is a no nonsense guy that is only concerned with formulating a good bar of soap. Since this is a hobby for me I do not know if I should be having fun and not obsess about the recipe properties. Sorry for thinking out loud.
No need to apologise, as a fellow newbie the struggle is very real. Also a hobby, so I'm just interested in making the best soap I can,
but I also want it to be art because that's half the fun for me. When I started on the forum, somebody advised I focus on recipes first and play with colors and fragrances later. I haven't followed their advice because I don't want to, but I remember it every time I mismatch a new recipe and new design skill.
 

KiwiMoose

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No need to apologise, as a fellow newbie the struggle is very real. Also a hobby, so I'm just interested in making the best soap I can,
but I also want it to be art because that's half the fun for me. When I started on the forum, somebody advised I focus on recipes first and play with colors and fragrances later. I haven't followed their advice because I don't want to, but I remember it every time I mismatch a new recipe and new design skill.
I'm in it for the art too. If i have to make my plain oatmeal soap for a customer i yawn all the way through it - boring!
 

SoapDaddy70

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No need to apologise, as a fellow newbie the struggle is very real. Also a hobby, so I'm just interested in making the best soap I can,
but I also want it to be art because that's half the fun for me. When I started on the forum, somebody advised I focus on recipes first and play with colors and fragrances later. I haven't followed their advice because I don't want to, but I remember it every time I mismatch a new recipe and new design skill.
Thanks a lot. Makes me feel better knowing other people struggle with similar issues. It certainly is an interesting hobby with so many ups and downs and so much information to retain.
 

msunnerstood

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I tried to have the best of both worlds today and it was an epic fail. Wanted to try some divider swirl that used 6 different colors. Not sure if it was the FO or my recipe but it reached thick trace before I could do anything. Wondering if this recipe had no chance for an intricate design or if it was purely the FO. I tend to think I did too many things that contributed to the fast trace. Do people knowingly sacrifice longevity and hardness of their bar to be able to make designs and use a recipe high in liquid/soft oil? Here is as much info as possible.

800g of oil
30% Palm
20% Avocado
20% Coconut Oil
15% Cocoa Butter
10% Shea Butter
5% Castor Oil
33% Lye Concentration
Anchored 56g of FO in 1 TBS of Bentonite Clay
Tussah Silk to Lye solution
1 tsp sugar dissolved in my liquid which was Aloe Vera Juice. Replaced all distilled water with the Aloe Vera Juice.
1.5 tsp Sodium Lactate to cooled lye solution
1/4 tsp ROE to oils
Added the FO bentonite mixture to oils before adding lye solution.
Both the oils and lye solution were around 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Thanks in advance for any input. I managed to get it into the mold. I think it will be a great bar of soap albeit an ugly one.
Bentonite clay absorbs 3 times its weight in fluid. Try Kaolin Clay
 

Obsidian

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I think you are concentration on the numbers too much. They are a guide only, no hard and fast rules.
When you are determining longevity, how are you going about it?

Lard really can provide a recipe with good longevity and is slow to trace for intricate swirls.

I don't know if any mentioned but adding clay to a recipe already prone to tracing quickly can make it move faster.
Marine or sea scents are also know to accelerate, as are florals and spice
 

SoapDaddy70

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I think you are concentration on the numbers too much. They are a guide only, no hard and fast rules.
When you are determining longevity, how are you going about it?

Lard really can provide a recipe with good longevity and is slow to trace for intricate swirls.

I don't know if any mentioned but adding clay to a recipe already prone to tracing quickly can make it move faster.
Marine or sea scents are also know to accelerate, as are florals and spice
At least I crammed all these mistakes into one batch!! Since I am relatively new to making soap I am going purely off the numbers because I do not have enough actual bar testing under my belt to know what fats/oils actual help longevity and which do not. I have not used Lard yet but enough people in this one thread have made me realize I should at least try it out a couple of times. As for the clay I got sucked into the whole "clay helps anchor scents" but obviously I used too much (1 tablespoon). I had heard about floral scents accelerating trace but did not know marine or sea scents do as well. It was only a 2.5lb batch (8 bars) so no big deal and it actually came out ok. I cut the bars last night and they were not terrible. Will post a pic later tonight when I get home. Thanks for the feedback.
 

cmzaha

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If you would like a workable recipe using palm and not opposed to lard that will have longevity pm me. Sorry, I will not post my recipes publicly nor do I give up my recipes easily that I have spent years coming up with. but I will mention I would cut the cocoa butter out and not up the Avo oil.
 

CatahoulaBubble

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I actually just ran that recipe through Soap Making Friend and this is exactly the point of my post and what I do not fully understand about recipe formulation. Obviously people that sell soap need to make them visually appealing in order to stand out from the crowd. I get that, but are they also purposely not concerned with longevity so their bars don't last that long so people buy more often? I think I am starting to realize that the artistic swirly design part of soapmaking may not be for me. I think my recipe is going to make a **** good bar of soap. My mistake as a newbie was not properly formulating it for what I was hoping to do. I am also probably obsessing too much about the recipe property numbers. I do not mind the fact that I failed miserably in the design aspect. I am just trying to decide what kind of soapmaker I want to be. I watch a guy on You Tube named Uncle John and he is a no nonsense guy that is only concerned with formulating a good bar of soap. Since this is a hobby for me I do not know if I should be having fun and not obsess about the recipe properties. Sorry for thinking out loud.
You can still make pretty bars but you have to work out what will work with your particular recipe. I'm starting to do more In the Pot designs because my recipe just doesn't do well with more intricate designs and I don't want to take the time to make up separate batches for each layer because it's a lot of work. I like my recipe because I like the way it performs and holds up but it's definitely never going to be used for a taiwan swirl. I just kind of roll with it because even if my design fails it's still soap and generally isn't that ugly looking.
 

cmzaha

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@SoapDaddy70 I'd take Carolyn (cmzaha) up on that offer if I were you. Whatever she shares, you can take it to the bank. Maybe quite literally if you ever start selling. ;)
Wow, thank you for the compliment, Alison. I am going to get a big head. :eek:
@CatahoulaBubble actually it is possible to get your cake and eat it too when it comes to soapmaking. I make a long-lasting bar that is a slow tracing soap batter, in fact, it can be too slow tracing when I am in a hurry. But I did not come up with it overnight.
 

JoyfulSudz

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While we're on the subject, a couple questions, please:

I experimented with a couple batches this week using recipes that I thought would be very slow moving (I was planning to do Secret Feather Swirls). On one, the four portions of batter I colored with micas stayed fluid, but the larger portion with the TD got thick very fast. Would white mica be a better plan if I'm wanting a slow-moving batter?

Also, I'd love to hear your opinions and suggestions on the two recipes I used for these batches (one vegan, one lardy). Both were done with 35% lye concentration. I know the lowered water speeds things up, but it's been so very rainy and humid here I was compensating for our Oregon winter weather.

#1: OO 43%
Palm oil 22%
CO 20%
Avocado oil 10%
Castor oil 5%

#2 Lard 48%
OO 31%
CO 16%
Castor 5%

Thanks in advance!
 

AliOop

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TD definitely speeds up trace. White mica generally does not, but it's also not as white as TD.

I actually soap with 40% lye concentration and find that it is actually slower than using 33-38% concentration. But not every soaper experiences that, so it's probably recipe dependent. I always have at least 50% lard (usually more), which is slow tracing any way.

I don't make vegan soaps so won't comment on recipe #1. :)

I'm not a fan of high OO, but if you are, then your recipe #2 should be very nice for you. To suit my own preferences, I'd up the lard to 60%, and swap out the OO with a mix of any two of these soft oils: HO sunflower oil, RBO, avocado, or sweet almond.
 

JoyfulSudz

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TD definitely speeds up trace. White mica generally does not, but it's also not as white as TD.

I actually soap with 40% lye concentration and find that it is actually slower than using 33-38% concentration. But not every soaper experiences that, so it's probably recipe dependent. I always have at least 50% lard (usually more), which is slow tracing any way.

I don't make vegan soaps so won't comment on recipe #1. :)

I'm not a fan of high OO, but if you are, then your recipe #2 should be very nice for you. To suit my own preferences, I'd up the lard to 60%, and swap out the OO with a mix of any two of these soft oils: HO sunflower oil, RBO, avocado, or sweet almond.
Good to know about not having problems with the higher lye concentration. PNW winter weather provides enough "extra" water!

I do love the snowy white I can get with TD, but it definitely comes with problems. Perhaps white mica is white enough in a high lard recipe. I generally prefer my high lard soaps, but I know several people who won't use lard so I try to make both kinds. I often test a bar without knowing which recipe it is, and then check the recipe after I have an opinion. It's almost always a lard bar I like best (though that will never convince my vegan friends)!

Thank you for your suggestions on the lard bar. I used to use RBO until I ran out, and I have been debating whether to get more. I will, and I will try your recipe soon.
 
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