Salt, bar properties, color, embed questions

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wikkedsuzanna

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Hi!
Although my searches are providing fascinating knowledge, I can't seem to find answers to my questions.
I was under the impression that adding salt would create a harder bar, but the beta soampaking friend doesn't change the bar hardness value when I include salt in the recipe.
Hardness and longevity seem like they would be related, when you change one, the other will change also, correct? so increasing hardness will increase longevity? Or vice versa?
Is there a chart somewhere that shows which oils give what properties to the recipe? Or is it just trial and error making a new recipe or altering an existing one. I have just discovered soapmakingfriend (I'm late to the party, I know) I've been making the same recipe for several years, and was surprised by the results of soapmakingfriend's assessment of my recipe- too dry, too soft, doesn't last long, so I'd like to improve it but I don't know which oils to use. I probably will keep the "too dry" for the mens' soaps, as they have complained in the past that they didn't like the "oily" feel of my other soaps. Anyway, that's a different topic. But an oil reference would be great. I'm sure this great forum has a link somewhere and I am just not looking in the right place.
Is it possible to get brighter colors without the gel phase? I ask because....
...how do you use MP embeds in a CP soap without them melting? Another soaper I follow uses MP embeds in CP soap a lot, with beautiful bright colors, and I can't figure it out.
Thanks!

OH! I clicked on the i on the right of the oil in soapmaking friend. Okay, that part of my post is answered.
 
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The oily feel of your soap is probably a result of your superfat. Soap calculators are based on Sap averages and also have a margin for error so your superfat will be higher than you put in the calc for your superfat, to begin with then if you add in milk, yogurt, etc without compensating for the extra fat you have upped your superfat even more. Most of us long-time folks in this forum now use low superfat percentages because it helps lather and is much better for old plumbing. The drying factor and longevity come from your fatty acid profile. CO makes a highly soluble soap so it will kick up lather quickly but also the soap will not last long in a shower. It is also why a CO soap will lather in saltwater. Using tallow, palm, hard butter such as cocoa butter, or semi-hard such as shea or lard will add longevity because they are high in stearic and/or palmitic acids.

Yes, salt will help harden a bar, but it will not change soap calc numbers because they are based on fatty acid profiles, and salt or other hardeners really only make a difference for un-molding. The trouble with salt is if you use too much it deters lather. Hardeners do not add longevity.

We really cannot help you if you do not post your entire recipe and procedure. While I do not go too much by the numbers in the soap calc I do notice my longevity number averages around 34 and my soaps will last around 30 days in the shower for 1 person 1 shower per day.

ETA: As for m&p embeds, I never used many of them because I used a multi-bar wire cutter and too many m&p embeds would pop the wires in my cutter. M&P soaps cannot be cut with wire cutters. I saved the m&p decorative soaps for my daughter.
 
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Hermit

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This page goes into how the different fatty acids affect both the soap and the properties that soap calculators give. Those stats are based solely on the fatty acids in the soap and do not include the affect that additives like sugar or salt will have on the soap.

That whole sight is an AWESOME wealth of information!


Part of the issue with brighter colors is if you add too much pigment you can have coloured lather.😱
But there are also some suppliers who sell neon colours for soaping.
The other methods of enhancing colours are to use hot process (HP) or oven hot process (OVHP) but with both you are basically cooking your soap. It speeds saponification and is like forcing an even gel all through the soap. You can unmold and cut sooner, but still need a 4-6 week cure for all the excess water to evaporate from the centre of the bars and for them to lather well and have decent longevity.
 

DeeAnna

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The idea that hard bar = long lasting bar isn't entirely true. Hardness helps some with longevity, that's true, because a hard material resists abrasion. But you also have to consider the water solubility of the soap to know the complete story.

An extreme example to make this point -- An ice cube is very hard but melts quickly, so it doesn't last long. A cube of parmesan cheese is also hard but doesn't melt at all. If longevity is only about physical hardness, these two things should behave the same, but they don't.

A 100% coconut oil (CO) soap is rock hard, but it's really soluble, so it doesn't last long. But an all-CO soap lathers like crazy. A 100% tallow soap is rock hard AND not very soluble, so it lasts a long time. Problem is an all-tallow bar doesn't lather real well. Add some CO to that tallow and you get the best of both worlds.

And as Carolyn (cmzaha) pointed out, the "longevity" and other properties in soap recipe [email protected] are based only on the properties of the fatty acids in the soap. They don't include the influence of additives.
 
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The idea that hard bar = long lasting bar isn't entirely true. Hardness helps some with longevity, that's true, because a hard material resists abrasion. But you also have to consider the water solubility of the soap to know the complete story.

An extreme example to make this point -- An ice cube is very hard but melts quickly, so it doesn't last long. A cube of parmesan cheese is also hard but doesn't melt at all. If longevity is only about physical hardness, these two things should behave the same, but they don't.

A 100% coconut oil (CO) soap is rock hard, but it's really soluble, so it doesn't last long. But an all-CO soap lathers like crazy. A 100% tallow soap is rock hard AND not very soluble, so it lasts a long time. Problem is an all-tallow bar doesn't lather real well. Add some CO to that tallow and you get the best of both worlds.

And as Carolyn (cmzaha) pointed out, the "longevity" and other properties in soap recipe [email protected] are based only on the properties of the fatty acids in the soap. They don't include the influence of additives.
You explain everything so much better than me. 🤣 Is this why you also make a good teacher along with working in chemical manufacturing. :dance:
 

wikkedsuzanna

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Thanks for all the helpful feedback! DeAnna, that was a really great explanation.
To follow up, I didn't post my recipe because I was more interested in understanding hardness, longevity, etc than in my actual recipe. I made a new one based on feedback, and I'm trying that out today. The old recipe was indeed mostly CO.
I keep my superfatting % very low, I learned that long ago. I've been making soap for 10 years or so, and people love the soap as it is, but I'm learning more and know it can be even better.
@cmzaha I've posted the new recipe I'm trying today. The old recipe was 21oz CO, 15 oz OO, 2 oz castor, 5.8 oz lye, 12 oz water. It lathers really nicely, but is soft. And customers who are used to commercial soap prefer the drier soap (read: higher CO amount) Not that I minded them buying soap more often. :)
 

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wikkedsuzanna

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Okay! Progress!
I made an embed using the new recipe, and salt, and it unmolded beautifully.
MMS's "Ocean Blue" is more Forest Green.
I made a beautiful swirled soap loaf, then had to dump it all back in the pot when I realized I forgot to add the FO. It's still a pretty color, so I made some little MP embeds to pretty up the top.
I can't wait to test it in the shower.
 

wikkedsuzanna

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@cmzaha I don't understand why you'd erase your answer. (I still see the one I thought you had erased) I also don't understand why you told me my recipes aren't soaps that your nor your customers would use, that seemed a bit unnecessary. I wasn't asking for feedback on my recipes, and I would not have posted them, except that you asked me to. Did I do something to irritate you?
 
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