Shaving soap/ lye calculator

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Mschwartz

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I have been trying to develop a shave soap recipe. I tried bentonite but have decided against that. I’ve come to the conclusion of a 60/40 dual lye soap after lots of research. I was thinking of 60% stearic acid, 15% coconut, 15% lard, 5% cocoa butter, and 5% castor oil. I tried running it through soapee but I think it’s confusing compared to soap calc. My understanding is you want 10% glycerin of total oils? Do scent oils need factored into the calculator as well? Brambleberrys scent calculator is different than soap calc. I’ve always used soap calc but it won’t do dual lye that I see. Thanks
 

Mschwartz

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Thanks. So is the 10% glycerin for total oil weights an accurate place to start?
 
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I think (don't have my notes to hand) that I go with 15%.

But it really depends on the amount of stearic acid used, as that is what the extra glycerine is for - oils and fats are (mostly) triglycerides which means 3 fatty acid molecules attached to one glycerine molecule if I recall correctly. When it saponifies, the bond is broken, the lye attaches with the fatty acids to form soap, and the glycerine floats around being free and loving it.

Stearic acid is not a triglyceride, so there is no glycerine left in the soap from the saponification for that amount of the recipe.
 

Mschwartz

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I think (don't have my notes to hand) that I go with 15%.

But it really depends on the amount of stearic acid used, as that is what the extra glycerine is for - oils and fats are (mostly) triglycerides which means 3 fatty acid molecules attached to one glycerine molecule if I recall correctly. When it saponifies, the bond is broken, the lye attaches with the fatty acids to form soap, and the glycerine floats around being free and loving it.

Stearic acid is not a triglyceride, so there is no glycerine left in the soap from the saponification for that amount of the recipe.
Making shave soap is definitely different than other soap. I’ve been watching YouTube videos on it. When you make yours are you combining at high temps so it’s kind of like hot process?
 
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Making shave soap definitely a "horse of another color". I have been making shave soap for about a year now.
Started off making shave soap pucks aka cake or hard soap. I recently shifted to making a paste-type of shave soap. It lathers much quicker and creates a denser, creamier lather too. My paste-style shave soaps do quite well on that auction site everyone knows about.

I would suggest you keep your glycerin at 10% of the total oils percentage. It has worked fine for me with no issues. Also remember that the water to lye ratio is a higher proportion versus regular cold process soap.

As DeeAnna stated; shave soap is a hot process technique. Since stearic acid melts at 153°F, the melted oils should be kept around 180°F when adding the dual lye solution. You will notice that the stearic acid immediately reacts and creates a clumpy, white mass similar to mashed potatoes watered down.

On YouTube there is an excellent video of a dual lye modified hot process technique based on Carrie Seibert's. She is one of the mainstays of the shave soap movement. Her book: HOW TO MAKE SHAVING SOAP is an excellent guide and reference for those wishing to go down the branch of soapmaking which is shave soaps.
Here is that YouTube link: Making Dual Lye Shaving Soap | Modified Cold Process Method The recipe listed is the first recipe I used to make a shave soap, however over time I started increasing the water ratio to make it easier to spoon or pour into my 3" PVC cylinder mold.
(She titled it a "modified cold process" when in my IMHO it's more of a modified hot process method.)

Your using lard is a good idea as animal fats work really great in shave soap, you might want to consider using beef tallow as it works wonders in shave soap. Also consider using shea butter instead of cocoa butter as its skin benefits are better
Reduce the coconut oil to around 10% or so. The goal is to create a dense creamy lather, not a bubbly lather. In addition, consider adding about 3-4% sorbitol by oil weight to help boost the lather.

Keep on keeping on... soon you may find yourself falling down the proverbial rabbit hole into shave soap madness! :swinging: :secret:o_O:rolleyes::eek:

@lsg - would this thread be better placed in the sub-group SHAVE SOAP in the LIQUID SOAP & CREAM SOAP forum section?
 

Mschwartz

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Making shave soap definitely a "horse of another color". I have been making shave soap for about a year now.
Started off making shave soap pucks aka cake or hard soap. I recently shifted to making a paste-type of shave soap. It lathers much quicker and creates a denser, creamier lather too. My paste-style shave soaps do quite well on that auction site everyone knows about.

I would suggest you keep your glycerin at 10% of the total oils percentage. It has worked fine for me with no issues. Also remember that the water to lye ratio is a higher proportion versus regular cold process soap.

As DeeAnna stated; shave soap is a hot process technique. Since stearic acid melts at 153°F, the melted oils should be kept around 180°F when adding the dual lye solution. You will notice that the stearic acid immediately reacts and creates a clumpy, white mass similar to mashed potatoes watered down.

On YouTube there is an excellent video of a dual lye modified hot process technique based on Carrie Seibert's. She is one of the mainstays of the shave soap movement. Her book: HOW TO MAKE SHAVING SOAP is an excellent guide and reference for those wishing to go down the branch of soapmaking which is shave soaps.
Here is that YouTube link: Making Dual Lye Shaving Soap | Modified Cold Process Method The recipe listed is the first recipe I used to make a shave soap, however over time I started increasing the water ratio to make it easier to spoon or pour into my 3" PVC cylinder mold.
(She titled it a "modified cold process" when in my IMHO it's more of a modified hot process method.)

Your using lard is a good idea as animal fats work really great in shave soap, you might want to consider using beef tallow as it works wonders in shave soap. Also consider using shea butter instead of cocoa butter as its skin benefits are better
Reduce the coconut oil to around 10% or so. The goal is to create a dense creamy lather, not a bubbly lather. In addition, consider adding about 3-4% sorbitol by oil weight to help boost the lather.

Keep on keeping on... soon you may find yourself falling down the proverbial rabbit hole into shave soap madness! :swinging: :secret:o_O:rolleyes::eek:

@lsg - would this thread be better placed in the sub-group SHAVE SOAP in the LIQUID SOAP & CREAM SOAP forum section?
Thanks for the detailed reply. So I’m still learning the ropes as far as lye concentrations. It seems like people recommend lye percentages in the 30%ish range. Simply increasing water percentages don’t change this correct? I watched “uncle Jon” doing something really similar to the other video other than his lye is room temp and oils hot. No crock pot hot process either. Volcanos seem to be common if you add the lye quickly. He adds it all at once. I’m guessing because of the cooler lye temp?
 
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I watched “uncle Jon” doing something really similar to the other video other than his lye is room temp and oils hot. No crock pot hot process either. Volcanos seem to be common if you add the lye quickly. He adds it all at once. I’m guessing because of the cooler lye temp?
All he is doing is making a cold process shave soap. It is nothing fancy at all, believe me, it is not really a "shave soap" at all. He's merely taking cold process bar soap recipe with a couple of adjustments and then either making a round cylinder to cut or pouring into a round silicone disc mold.

It seems like people recommend lye percentages in the 30%ish range. Simply increasing water percentages don’t change this correct?
When you say lye percentages, you're talking about lye to water... correct? If so, then the extra water does change the lye to water ratios. Carrie Seibert uses around a 1.7 to 1 water to lye ratio. For my paste type shave soaps I use a 5.666 to 1 water to lye ratio, yes it works and makes great soap. It's a softer soap which is easier to load the shave brush with and create a denser lather much quicker. Plus my KOH to NaOH is 85/15 ratio. Higher on the KOH for sure.
 

Mschwartz

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All he is doing is making a cold process shave soap. It is nothing fancy at all, believe me, it is not really a "shave soap" at all. He's merely taking cold process bar soap recipe with a couple of adjustments and then either making a round cylinder to cut or pouring into a round silicone disc mold.


When you say lye percentages, you're talking about lye to water... correct? If so, then the extra water does change the lye to water ratios. Carrie Seibert uses around a 1.7 to 1 water to lye ratio. For my paste type shave soaps I use a 5.666 to 1 water to lye ratio, yes it works and makes great soap. It's a softer soap which is easier to load the shave brush with and create a denser lather much quicker. Plus my KOH to NaOH is 85/15 ratio. Higher on the KOH for sure.
Do you get volcanoes at all?
 

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All he is doing is making a cold process shave soap. It is nothing fancy at all, believe me, it is not really a "shave soap" at all. He's merely taking cold process bar soap recipe with a couple of adjustments and then either making a round cylinder to cut or pouring into a round silicone disc mold.


When you say lye percentages, you're talking about lye to water... correct? If so, then the extra water does change the lye to water ratios. Carrie Seibert uses around a 1.7 to 1 water to lye ratio. For my paste type shave soaps I use a 5.666 to 1 water to lye ratio, yes it works and makes great soap. It's a softer soap which is easier to load the shave brush with and create a denser lather much quicker. Plus my KOH to NaOH is 85/15 ratio. Higher on the KOH for sure.

Will your high KOH soap harden if you set it to cure?

What's the best way to use high KOH but get a harder soap (Aside from months of curing)?

Also, I read table salt can be added to the lye water to harden a KOH soap, but my understanding is this is he same thing as using dual lye since the NaOH will also provide the sodium which hardens the soap. Your thoughts on this please?
 
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