Shea butter + ? Soap

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Malianshea

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Hello
I just registered and english is not my mother tongue so sorry if I make some mistakes.

I've been saying for the last 3 weeks that tomorrow I make my first batch.

3 days ago I entered my ingredients in soap calc and another calculator and then an horrible answer came out:
Bubbly 0. :think:
I want to use shea butter mostly like 60% more or less and the rest of olive oil but my researches lead me to consider palm oil it's supposed to help with bubble troubles and it is also super affordable here in west africa. Once I had this information I went back to the calculator and the same answer came again. :confused:

I want to make a 200 or 300 gr batch of soap.
The kind of soap we found in the super market not too hard. And I really want it creamy like Dove soap with a thin foam you see? could you help me with the proportions of oils lye and water so I can make my first soap?
I use cold process.

Thanks!
 
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BattleGnome

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Could you post the recipe you tried in soap clac? It will help us figure out where your bubbles went.
Could you also post the ingredients you have? There might be something you never thought of that works well in soap.


I also wouldn't put too much trust in the soap calc numbers. If you check 100% olive oil the numbers show a horrible bar of soap but centuries of soap makers prove differently. You won't get a perfect bar your first attempt, but you'll learn a lot by jumping in and making some soap.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Welcome.

A bar with that much of any sort of butter won't lather well at all, especially if you have no "bubbly" oils in there.

Palm is not really an oil that helps the bubbles. Palm kernel oil is, as is coconut oil.

Palm oil helps with the hardness of the bar, as lard and tallow also do. Butters can also do this, but at more than 30% in a recipe they really start to reduce the lather that you are aiming for.

I would look at
20% coconut
30% shea
50% palm
As a first draft of something along the lines that you were thinking. Personally, I don't like butters in soaps out of principle - for us here they are not a cheap ingredient and many people can't tell the difference between lard and Shea in a soap!

As for the lye amounts, you need to use a lye calculator- not only because it is good for you to do so, but also because someone here or in a soaping book can make typing mistakes and that can be dangerous. It's better for you to calculate it yourself. Google "soapcalc" or "soapee" for two examples. Soapee is a bit more user friendly (it's not as old as soapcalc)
 

cmzaha

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I am also not crazy about butters in soap, but with your location, I would assume, very easy access to shea I would want to use it too. I have made soap with 20% coconut oil, 65% shea, 15% soft oil, 5% castor. It was an interesting soap that actually sold well. hmmmm might have to make that one again sometime. I have a bar that is at least 5 yrs old which is 75% shea, 25% coconut Oil, it is actually a nice soap never acquired dos although not my favorite soap
 
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navigator9

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Soapmaking is all about balance, and every oil or butter you use contributes something to the final outcome... the soap's hardness, bubbles and conditioning. It's a good idea to learn about these ingredients and what they do in soap, it will help you to formulate a balanced recipe. If you Google "properties of oils and butters in soapmaking", you'll get some results that will help to start you off in the right direction. Here's one of them, there are many. http://www.naturesgardencandles.com/mas_assets/theme/ngc/pdf/soapoils.pdf
You've received some good advice here, between that, and learning about the ingredients you have available to you, you'll be able to come up with a recipe that will make you happy. Most of us don't succeed with our first recipe, but it gives you a place to start. Take what you've got and tweak it until you love it! :-D
 

dixiedragon

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Malian, what oils do you have access to, besides shea? Coconut and palm kernel are great for lather. Castor is good too.

Somebody here has a recipe that uses 50% shea and their tip is to do a 2% superfat, instead of the "standard" 5%.

I would try:
60% shea
20% coconut
5% castor
15% olive
 

Malianshea

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Hello thanks for you answers. I didn't know you reply. For the recipe SB 90g olive oil 50 g and palm oil 60g. All the other oils you talk about are too expensive and I want to learn to create soaps I could sell so I'll better found something that is affordable and with appreciable quality for the skin. Olive oil and coconut oik are the same price here incredible when you know that it is ten times cheaper in the country it cames from (next to mine). Palm kernel oil is oil from the nut?
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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If you want bubbles, you need some oil that creates a lot of bubbles. Coconut does that.

At this stage I strongly suggest you don't even think about selling. Make up a batch with your recipe and the see how little it bubbles. There is a lot to learn before you should even be thinking about other people using your soaps, let alone paying for them
 

shunt2011

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I agree with TEG. You are a long way off to even begin to think about selling. I suggest you make the recipe you posted and then test it. I don't think it will be a very nice soap at all. I like some bubbles. Palm Oil is from the fruit and Palm Kernel Oil is from the nut. Palm Oil does not help with bubbles but Palm Kernel will as it can be used with CO or alone. Also, some Castor Oil would help with stabilizing the lather.

I recommend you read more on the forum and also research the qualities that different oils/butters etc will bring to the soap party. Once you understand the qualities/properties of them in soap it will better help you to come up with a workable recipe. But it takes time and lots of testing

Soapmaking is not something you can just decide to make one day and sell soon after. It's also not cheap to do.
 

Malianshea

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Thank to each of you for your answers. But Wowwwww. I never ever talked about doing that right now! I talked about a goal not about the next step. I just want to focus on the oils I know I can easily get where I live with an affordable price for customers in the end. I think it is not that bad for a beginning (still don't talk about the next step).
I tried the recipe with kernel oil.
And I decided to let soapcalc because even with
40% shea butter
40% palm kernel oil
20% olive oils still no bubbles. Sniff

Tried with
45% shea butter
35% EvOo
10% coconut oil
10% castor oil
Still no bubbles.
So I tried on soapee as you said The Efficacious Gentleman and wonderful: I had 16 with bubbles. (You didn't stole your pseudo). I'm gonna try and let you all know about this. But what about the creamy part. What advise could you give me based to your experiences? Thx again.
Also I would like a high lever of superfat 10% for dry skin. Rares are black skin people that can stay without body milk after a shower it's parts of daily habits like brushing your teeth. I read several experienced that talked aboit this amount but it can be risky with the final result right? I think I still don't habe enought information on that one.
 
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dixiedragon

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Shea butter is high in unsaponifiables - things that don't turn into soap. These things are wonderful on the skin, but can also reduce lather. So if I were you, I'd try a 2% superfat, a 5% superfat and a 10% superfat to see which ones you like.

If your long-term goal is selling, it would be worthwhile for you to contact restaurant supply stores and see what types of oils they sell and the prices. For example, rice bran oil is a good soaping oil, but it is not available in supermarkets here in the US. However, it is available at Asian markets and at some restaurant supply stores. It is cheaper than olive oil.

I also recommend looking into pig fat (lard) and beef fat (tallow).
 

allane

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Malian, I am not sure if lard will be a good option for you due to religious issues in our part of the world. However 40% Shea 50% palm kernel oil and 10% andiroba oil( carapa oil) makes a wonderful high lather soap.

Grace
 

earlene

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Adding sugar to your soap can help with bubbles. If castor is too expensive try using a little sugar. Many people suggest making simple recipes first before ever trying something like adding sugar or honey, but I used it early in my learning process and feel that as long as you are careful to follow safe practices it is okay.

For fun, you could make a small batch of each recipe you like and keep one small bar out of each batch for testing purposes. While the other bars cure, you can test the samples once a week to see how they change over time. I find this very useful in determining which recipe I like best and how long it needs to cure to reach that point.

I have also made 100% single oil soaps, and found that experiment to be very educational. Although I did not do this with Shea butter, I did do it with Cocoa Butter, which I liked even though on its own doesn't do everything I want my soap to do (lather, bubble, feel luxurious and make my skin feel soft and smooth.)

All soap cleans, so even if it doesn't bubble much, you can still use any of your experiments, provided they pass the zap test.
 

Malianshea

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Hello people. I just wanted to share with you my happiness. My first attempt was a big success. The shes butter olive oil and palm oil soap was exactly like I wanted. Super creamy I just don't want to stop touching it and also it is Bubbly!!!! The superfat also worked well. No need to put anything on my skin to avoid scritchiness (?) Nut everything was not easy at first cause tge trave came super fast had it was suddenly hard to mix but I think it is because it was super hot in my place and I used a blender. But finally i love the result and the soap became hard quickly the molding was difficult. But I'm glad thx for your advises.
 

cmzaha

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I just tried one of my high Shea Soaps that I kept to remember how it worked. It feels wonderful, but I have to admit it is an old soap, made on 8/13/2012, but darn it is nice and lathers with big fat bubbles.
56% shea
13% Sunflower
13% Olive Oil
10% PKO
8% Castor
5% superfat 30% lye concentration
baby carrots carrot juice and coconut milk
It was made with a 50/50 lye concentration and the additional Liquids, coconut milk, puree and juice were SB'ed into the oils before the lye was added
 
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Malianshea

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Hello everybody! Sorry I did'nt realise it passed from page 1 to page 2. Thanks for all the tips and reply.
Dixiedragon,
I live in west africa. My religion don't admit using pork and my potential clients neither as Allane said. Earlenethank you for the advise. I'll try that I already did a new batch sunday I'll demold it today and cut it then I will wrap each pieces in cellophane so there will not be ashes and it can get harder and cure easily. Is it at the end of the cure that the soap start to be bubbly? Cause I wanted to wash my tools today (I was told not to do it right after making the soap) and there was no bubble. Exactly like with the previous batch. But I wanna make sure I'll get some bubbles. My second batch cannot be "worst" than the 1st one. Here for people a soap must show lots of bubble. Minds will change but it is step by step. cmzaha what it PKO?
It was
45% sheabutter
25% Olive Oil
25% palm oil
5% Coconut Oil (found some and it still expensive but waay less than castor oil!!)
for a 500g batch.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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With so much Shea and so little coconut, you won't ever have a very bubbly soap.

Castor doesn't make bubbles but boosts the bubbles that would be there, so if you have to choose between 5% castor or 5% coconut I would always go with the coconut.

But you need more coconut, Palm KERNAL oil (not to be confused with Palm oil) or babassu oil if you want bubbles.

If those are too expensive and you keep your Shea so high you are going to have precious few bubbles. Even adding sugar won't help enough against those problems.
 

Susie

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I'll try that I already did a new batch sunday I'll demold it today and cut it then I will wrap each pieces in cellophane so there will not be ashes and it can get harder and cure easily.
You need to leave that soap open to air. It already has whatever soda ash it is going to get, and if you wrap it, it can't lose the moisture it needs to in order to get hard.
 

cmzaha

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Hello everybody! cmzaha what it PKO?
It was
45% sheabutter
25% Olive Oil
25% palm oil
5% Coconut Oil (found some and it still expensive but waay less than castor oil!!)
for a 500g batch.
PKO is Palm Kernel Oil, that is considered one of the bubbly oils like coconut oil. You can use Coconut oil, Babassu, or PKO for bubbles. You can also use up to 2 TBS per pound of oils to help with bubbles.

With so much Shea and so little coconut, you won't ever have a very bubbly soap.

Castor doesn't make bubbles but boosts the bubbles that would be there, so if you have to choose between 5% castor or 5% coconut I would always go with the coconut.

But you need more coconut, Palm KERNAL oil (not to be confused with Palm oil) or babassu oil if you want bubbles.

If those are too expensive and you keep your Shea so high you are going to have precious few bubbles. Even adding sugar won't help enough against those problems.
The Shea soap I listed happens to lather extremely well, even using only 10% Coconut oil, but it is a long aged soap. It is actually a very nice soap and has big bubbles.
 
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