Sacrifice longevity/hardness for design

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GemstonePony

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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.
Regarding recipe #1, OO tracing speed can be all over the board. RBO might be a more consistent slow tracer, and maybe up the avocado by 10% if you're worried about hardness.
TD does accelerate trace, so when you're splitting off colors, mix everything else, and add TD last. Sorta like an accelerating FO.
 

JoyfulSudz

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Regarding recipe #1, OO tracing speed can be all over the board. RBO might be a more consistent slow tracer, and maybe up the avocado by 10% if you're worried about hardness.
TD does accelerate trace, so when you're splitting off colors, mix everything else, and add TD last. Sorta like an accelerating FO.
Thank you! Would you replace all the OO with RBO or just part of it? I like the feel and look of RBO in my soaps, but was concerned it is not as long-lasting as OO?

That's a good idea on adding the TD last. I'd been treating it just like the micas (but it wasn't behaving like them).
 

GemstonePony

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Thank you! Would you replace all the OO with RBO or just part of it? I like the feel and look of RBO in my soaps, but was concerned it is not as long-lasting as OO?

That's a good idea on adding the TD last. I'd been treating it just like the micas (but it wasn't behaving like them).
I believe avocado is longer lasting than OO. On its own, it's too hard with too many unsaponifiables to lather. Like.. at all. But in a balanced recipe, it brings hardness, creaminess, and with other oils doing the heavy lifting on cleaning, it's own Oleic FAs can help loosen up the bar for bubbles.
 

violets2217

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So on another post, Mr. @Todd Ziegler made a statement about his soap recipe and commented it last 45 days. Made me wonder, How long should a soap last for you guys consider it a long lasting soap?
 

Zing

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I don't know how I missed this fascinating thread!
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.
When I started, I used other people's recipes. Only recently did I start playing with SoapCalc numbers. I am all over the place, sometimes into a design, sometimes into simplicity -- but no matter what it looks like, I want it to feel good, smell good, lather and bubble, and last awhile. Sometimes I like the challenge of a new technique and appreciate these monthly challenges, sometimes I feel I just wasted hours and ingredients. Sometimes I like a mono-colored or non-colored, uni-scented soap. I do like this hobby that engages my math/science side and my creative side. I keep reminding myself to have fun with it -- easier said that done. But I know for a fact that no matter what I make, it's way better than commercial brands. Soap on, soapy friends!
 

cmzaha

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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.
Do not always plan on not having problems with high lye concentrations. It is recipe dependent. My vegan recipe cannot be made with high lye concentration unless you want to play with soap on a stick.
 

SoapDaddy70

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I don't know how I missed this fascinating thread!

When I started, I used other people's recipes. Only recently did I start playing with SoapCalc numbers. I am all over the place, sometimes into a design, sometimes into simplicity -- but no matter what it looks like, I want it to feel good, smell good, lather and bubble, and last awhile. Sometimes I like the challenge of a new technique and appreciate these monthly challenges, sometimes I feel I just wasted hours and ingredients. Sometimes I like a mono-colored or non-colored, uni-scented soap. I do like this hobby that engages my math/science side and my creative side. I keep reminding myself to have fun with it -- easier said that done. But I know for a fact that no matter what I make, it's way better than commercial brands. Soap on, soapy friends!
Took the words right out of my mouth. This is exactly how I feel sometimes. Always have fun but sometimes it can be a little stressful as well.
 

GemstonePony

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But how 'bout the RBO? Is it any more prone to DOS than OO or can I exchange it for the OO with no problem?
RBO is a little more prone to DOS than OO, but I know someone around here has 100% RBO soap they have had for a while and love, and others use it as a majority oil. You shouldn't run into problems swapping OO for RBO in a balanced recipe.
 

KimW

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Late to the party, as usual. I recently gave hubby an old bar of store-bought soap (real soap from TJ's) to try in the shower because I wanted to put to rest the notion that my bars don't last very long. My typical bars last anywhere from 2-3 weeks, 15 - 20 days, depending on how long they've "cured". Bars rest in a soap saver and dry completely between uses. The store-bought soap is the same weight as my bars and made with Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil. Of course I don't know the percentages, but a soap with these two oils would have a decent rank in the "longevity" column of a soap calc, and they've been in our house for at least 10 months now, so they're well cured. The outcome of the test, I'm sure you've guessed: The store-bought bar lasted the same amount of time as my bar, "maybe even less" according to hubby. I haven't had him test with a syndet bar, but my childhood recollection is that syndet bars don't last much longer either.

Hope that helps a little. I know that ages ago I had some angst about how long my bars lasted, and up until this test I was still on a quest to figure out a longer lasting bar - wondering with every "longevity" test batch if I'd succeeded. I can't believe it took me so long to do such a simple test, but now I'm glad that bar longevity can be on my mind and not bother my mind! I do still have to remind myself that, as we used to say in rugby, "It's just soap!" (only we'd say, "It's just rugby"...I'm sure you get the idea...😁)
 
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jwarnerca

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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.
Do you find your soaps are hard? I'm finding my recipes like this have the soap disappearing in 10 days with 2 people using almost daily.
What impact do various lye concentrations have? I just go with soap calc recommendation. I am reducing water more from 22-28
 

jwarnerca

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RBO is a little more prone to DOS than OO, but I know someone around here has 100% RBO soap they have had for a while and love, and others use it as a majority oil. You shouldn't run into problems swapping OO for RBO in a balanced recipe.
RBO?
 

Obsidian

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@JoyfulSudz How much TD are you using? A high lard recipe is quite light to begin with so you don't need a lot of TD. I use a slightly heaped baby spoon full for 1 lb of oils, more if I want it chalky white.

I separate at emulsion and do a quick burst to mix in any colors. Everything stays nice and fluid unless I'm using a naughty FO. My recipe is 50% lard.
 

cmzaha

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Do you find your soaps are hard? I'm finding my recipes like this have the soap disappearing in 10 days with 2 people using almost daily.
What impact do various lye concentrations have? I just go with soap calc recommendation. I am reducing water more from 22-28
You need to understand soap hardness really has very little to do with the longevity of a bar of soap, it is the solubility of the soap, such as a high CO soap is highly soluble although it is a very hard bar it will not last long. If you subtract your cleansing value from your hardness value you end up with your longevity value. The recommended range for Longevity is 25-50 I like mine no less than a value of 30. As an example, 100% CO soap has a Longevity value of 12.

AliOop is using 40% Lye Concentration which is approx. 26% water as percent of oil. It is better to use the Lye Concentration which is the second tick box in Box 3 (water) of Soap Calc. Just fill in what lye concentration you choose to use. 33% is a pretty workable Lye Concentration unless using high OO or High Lard which are both extremely slow tracing. Using high Lye Concentrations resulting in slow tracing is very recipe dependent. It absolutely does not work for my vegan recipe.
 

JoyfulSudz

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@JoyfulSudz How much TD are you using? A high lard recipe is quite light to begin with so you don't need a lot of TD. I use a slightly heaped baby spoon full for 1 lb of oils, more if I want it chalky white.

I separate at emulsion and do a quick burst to mix in any colors. Everything stays nice and fluid unless I'm using a naughty FO. My recipe is 50% lard.
In this instance I wasn't using a lard recipe (it was the Recipe #1 in my post -- 43%OO) . I used 1.5 tsp TD in 32 oz of batter. I didn't want the yellow that can come with OO.
 

AliOop

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Do you find your soaps are hard? I'm finding my recipes like this have the soap disappearing in 10 days with 2 people using almost daily.
What impact do various lye concentrations have? I just go with soap calc recommendation. I am reducing water more from 22-28
Edited: @cmzaha answered your questions very well, so I've deleted my duplicate reply.
 

jwarnerca

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You need to understand soap hardness really has very little to do with the longevity of a bar of soap, it is the solubility of the soap, such as a high CO soap is highly soluble although it is a very hard bar it will not last long. If you subtract your cleansing value from your hardness value you end up with your longevity value. The recommended range for Longevity is 25-50 I like mine no less than a value of 30. As an example, 100% CO soap has a Longevity value of 12.

AliOop is using 40% Lye Concentration which is approx. 26% water as percent of oil. It is better to use the Lye Concentration which is the second tick box in Box 3 (water) of Soap Calc. Just fill in what lye concentration you choose to use. 33% is a pretty workable Lye Concentration unless using high OO or High Lard which are both extremely slow tracing. Using high Lye Concentrations resulting in slow tracing is very recipe dependent. It absolutely does not work for my vegan recipe.
Thank you!
 

penelopejane

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Bentonite is an accelerator and does nothing to anchor scents for me anyway. But I do use it to colour some soap and I like the feel of it in soap. I mix it with twice the amount of water and let it sit for an hour then mix it into the oils. It absorbs water like crazy and I think this method slows the acceleration a tiny bit.
You could be over mixing and going passed emulsion which will accelerate a mix.
Or it could be the FO or a combo of the three.
My main concern is 1/4tsp ROE in each oil. How much oil do you add 1/4 tsp to?
I bought a jewellery scale so I could measure my ROE. DeeAnna suggests 0.05% ROE. That is 0.5 g in 1000g of oils. I weigh it out to put in 3,000g tin of oils and 1.5g of ROE is way less than 1/4tsp. You may be dosing huge amounts of oils, I just thought I’d check.

 
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