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lenarenee

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For the past year I've been experimenting with using palm and butters together, and also using 5% koh.

The basic recipe was:
20% coconut
30% lard
30% palm
10% butters, either all shea, all cocoa, or mix of both at 50/50
20% soft oils, ho sunflower, ho safflower, olive - whatever I had on hand
3% superfat
Always used sodium citrate

Except for coconut, any of those ingredients were changed by 5%; i.e. took 5% from palm and added to butters, 5% from soft oils and added to palm. Most of them I used the 95/5 dual lye.

Some of these soaps are over a year old, the youngest are 4 months.

Here's my own observation of all the variant recipes:

I hate them. Cure time takes forever- in fact they never seem "ready" to me. None of them lather nearly as well as my high lard, 15% coconut recipe. They struggle to get "warmed up" after the cure and take a couple showers before there's any decent show of bubbles. They absorb so much water I'd swear they were 60% olive oil (is the 5% koh responsible?)

Is this a recipe (or close relative) you've tried and enjoyed? Am I doing something wrong?
 
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GemstonePony

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I'm curious- why are you using 5% KOH? Liquid soaps are formulated very differently than bar soaps because most of the oils/fats/butters have different properties with KOH than NaOH.
KOH makes soap more soluble and helps it retain moisture longer. I'll let someone from the liquid soap forum weigh in on any other impacts it might be having.
Lard and palm both contribute to stable lather, while butters and high Oleic oils do not, so your butters/Oleic soaps have to keep making bubbles to look bubbly, while your lard/coconut just keeps the ones it already made while it makes more.
There are a lot of ways to boost lather if that's what you want, but if you want to keep it simple then I would turn the butters into body butter and stick to the lard and Coconut oil.
I personally love my soaps with 15+% butters and avocado oil, but I also use palm and castor oil to stabilize the lather, and I use Aloe Vera Juice and Chelators like CA to boost the lather. Everyone's skin is different though, and there's nothing wrong with liking what you like.
 

TheGecko

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My recipe (feel free to use) is 35% Olive, 20% each Coconut and Palm, and 5% Castor, and 10% each Cocoa and Shea Butters. I use a 33% Lye Concentration Spring/Summer and 35% Fall/Winter (I live in the Pacific NW). My additives are Sodium Lactate and Kaolin Clay.

I love my recipe. It makes for a hard, long-lasting bar and lathers nicely. Blending only to emulsion, I get plenty of play time with behaved FOs and colorants. If I want to do layers, I just blend each layer to a medium trace.

And I Master Batch my recipe in a 5-gallon bucket (I also MB my lye) and it has made soaping so much more enjoyable. If I have an easy day at work, I’ll come home and whip up a couple of batches of soap.

Edited to fix that it is Cocoa Butter, NOT Coconut Butter.
 
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lenarenee

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I'm curious- why are you using 5% KOH? Liquid soaps are formulated very differently than bar soaps because most of the oils/fats/butters have different properties with KOH than NaOH.
KOH makes soap more soluble and helps it retain moisture longer. I'll let someone from the liquid soap forum weigh in on any other impacts it might be having.
Lard and palm both contribute to stable lather, while butters and high Oleic oils do not, so your butters/Oleic soaps have to keep making bubbles to look bubbly, while your lard/coconut just keeps the ones it already made while it makes more.
There are a lot of ways to boost lather if that's what you want, but if you want to keep it simple then I would turn the butters into body butter and stick to the lard and Coconut oil.
I personally love my soaps with 15+% butters and avocado oil, but I also use palm and castor oil to stabilize the lather, and I use Aloe Vera Juice and Chelators like CA to boost the lather. Everyone's skin is different though, and there's nothing wrong with liking what you like.
Yup, the solubility of the koh is exactly why I used it (if you search smf, you'll see quite a few threads about people liking how it increases the lather. I'm a little late to the game in experimenting with it; for years my go to recipe was about 60% lard and 15% coconut - which I was very happy with. But....I got tired of the same out recipe and wanted to start "inventing" new recipes to try. But wow....bring back the old days!
 

KimW

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My recipe (feel free to use) is 35% Olive, 20% each Coconut and Palm, and 5% Castor, and 10% each Coconut and Shea Butters. I use a 33% Lye Concentration Spring/Summer and 35% Fall/Winter (I live in the Pacific NW). My additives are Sodium Lactate and Kaolin Clay.

I love my recipe. It makes for a hard, long-lasting bar and lathers nicely. Blending only to emulsion, I get plenty of play time with behaved FOs and colorants. If I want to do layers, I just blend each layer to a medium trace.

And I Master Batch my recipe in a 5-gallon bucket (I also MB my lye) and it has made soaping so much more enjoyable. If I have an easy day at work, I’ll come home and whip up a couple of batches of soap.
Thank you for sharing, Gecko! I've been trying to figure out a recipe for a longer lasting bar for hubby with no lard. Question: Do you mean 10% of Cocoa and Shea Butters, instead of Coconut butter?
 

lenarenee

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My recipe (feel free to use) is 35% Olive, 20% each Coconut and Palm, and 5% Castor, and 10% each Coconut and Shea Butters. I use a 33% Lye Concentration Spring/Summer and 35% Fall/Winter (I live in the Pacific NW). My additives are Sodium Lactate and Kaolin Clay.

I love my recipe. It makes for a hard, long-lasting bar and lathers nicely. Blending only to emulsion, I get plenty of play time with behaved FOs and colorants. If I want to do layers, I just blend each layer to a medium trace.

And I Master Batch my recipe in a 5-gallon bucket (I also MB my lye) and it has made soaping so much more enjoyable. If I have an easy day at work, I’ll come home and whip up a couple of batches of soap.
Ok, that's just different enough from what I'm doing that it's worth a try. There's slightly more solubility without the 5% koh. What is your minimum cure time?

Thanks for the recipe; I'll give it a try!

I bet having your ingredients masterbatched is very convenient! When inspiration hits - you're half way done! I've never tried it and I know it keeps me from soaping when I have a quick hour to do so. Sometimes I'll measure out a pot of oils and keep them on the stove for a couple days until I have time; but sometimes that full pot just sits. And sits.
 

TheGecko

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Ok, that's just different enough from what I'm doing that it's worth a try. There's slightly more solubility without the 5% koh. What is your minimum cure time?
Honestly, it depends on the time of the year. During the Summer...five weeks, during the Winter...ten.

I bet having your ingredients masterbatched is very convenient! When inspiration hits - you're half way done! I've never tried it and I know it keeps me from soaping when I have a quick hour to do so. Sometimes I'll measure out a pot of oils and keep them on the stove for a couple days until I have time; but sometimes that full pot just sits. And sits.
Very much so and the reason why I started doing it. I have on the average, a 90-minute commute...buy the time I get home and do-wah-ditty...it's 8pm. The thought of what is involved in getting stuff together...melting, mixing, pouring...then cleaning up...is not only exhausting after an already long day, but doesn't leave me a lot of time for family or relaxing before I need to go to bed and start over. But with MBing, I can whip up a couple of batches of soap while supper is cooking. It's simply a matter of grabbing the paint stirrer, weighing out two 'ingredients' and Bob's your Uncle.

I make a 640 oz batch in 4-160 oz lots; the it max amount of hard oils I can melt easily on the stove without going to my huge soup pot and I wouldn't want to try and dump that much hot oil into a bucket. And while I can certainly fit more into my 5-gallon bucket, "light" oils really aren't that light. LOL And even if you use different recipes, MBing your Lye Concentration is the bomb...no more waiting for it to cool down or making it the night before and then not using it for whatever reason. I keep my Solution in 1-gal jugs inside my soaping cart (aka rolling kitchen island).

Thank you for sharing, Gecko! I've been trying to figure out a recipe for a longer lasting bar for hubby with no lard. Question: Do you mean 10% of Cocoa and Shea Butters, instead of Coconut butter?
Thanks for pointing that out...yes COCOA Butter (iPad and auto-correct). I also just use regular Cocoa and Shea Butters...the percentage isn't enough to interfere with any scents, but does make for a nice "Bare Naked" bar of soap.

To be honest, how long a bar 'lasts' is dependent on a number of factors...like how often the person showers/bathes, the temperature of the water, do they use a fou-fou or a washcloth or just rub the soap over their body like in the commercials, how much soap do they use, is the soap allowed to dry thoroughly between uses? And of course, how long was the soap allowed to cure prior to first use.

My preference is for an 8-week cure. I put a bar of my 6-month old Lilac Soap in the upstairs bathroom at work a couple of weeks ago...partly because the cleaning crew was watering down the liquid soap, partly because we ladies (5) were complaining how dry our hands are after using that cheap crap. Even with five of us using it a couple of times a day, it's only just knocked down the edges of the bar and it lathers beautifully even with cool water.

I won't say that my Recipe is the end-all, be-all...but I like it. Your mileage may vary.
 

linne1gi

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Thank you for sharing, Gecko! I've been trying to figure out a recipe for a longer lasting bar for hubby with no lard. Question: Do you mean 10% of Cocoa and Shea Butters, instead of Coconut butter?
Have you tried adding a little sugar to boost your bubbliness? I really think it's a game changer. Even better is powdered sugar and even better than that is sorbitol.
 

KimW

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Have you tried adding a little sugar to boost your bubbliness? I really think it's a game changer. Even better is powdered sugar and even better than that is sorbitol.
Thanks, linne. I have tried a little sugar, but not powdered sugar...intriguing! I shall give it a try. :)
 

JoyfulSudz

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I use a 33% Lye Concentration Spring/Summer and 35% Fall/Winter (I live in the Pacific NW).
Gecko, I'm curious why your lye concentration changes with the seasons. I also live in the PNW (currently under a cloud of smoke!).
 

JillGat

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How much sugar do people add to the lye water? I worry that it will make the batter overheat if I gel it.
(never mind... I just did a search and found plenty of threads on this!)
 
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CherylMoore

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Have you tried adding a little sugar to boost your bubbliness? I really think it's a game changer. Even better is powdered sugar and even better than that is sorbitol.
I use powdered sugar in my water before mixing my lye. Never have I tried sorbitol. How much do you add and to the water? Thank you.
 

TheGecko

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Gecko, I'm curious why your lye concentration changes with the seasons. I also live in the PNW (currently under a cloud of smoke!).
I cure in my garage. With the colder, damper weather it takes much longer for my soaps to cure, about four weeks longer.
 

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