Soap additives & specialty ingredients - what do you use?

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RogueRose

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I'm looking to hear what ingredients/additives you use, have used or plan to use in your soaps. I'm not really looking for oils unless you have a passion for one and it isn't a well known oil (like cherry seed oil I just found - expensive stuff!!) - but more like clays, infusions (herbs or spices) in oil, foods, preservatives, scents and anything else that you may add.

If you would be so kind as to tell what the ingredient is supposed to do and how it effects the soap and the production process (amounts and when to add).

Here are the additives I have tried so far:

Sugar & powdered sugar (table sugar or 10X sugar) - supposedly increases lather. I found that keeping about 5% of the water aside to dissolve the sugar will work and then it can be added to the lye mix after the lye is dissolved. DO NOT add it to the lye water as it will cause a mess nor add it to the oil as it won't dissolve. I've found that 28g per KG (or about 1oz per KG) of oil is a recommended amount. Honey can also be used but it can darken the color of the soap.

Salt - increases the hardness of the soap. Can be added to the water before adding lye or added the same was as adding sugar. Amounts have been suggested at 28g per KG, same as sugar.

Chocolate Liquor (bakers chocolate) - this is totally unsweetened chocolate and it is not sweet. All bakers chocolates are different and info is hard to find but I found that about 51% of the content is fatty acids below is the listing of the FA contents of some Brazilian Chocolates (only content list I could find). It should be added to the hard oils and melted with them. Be sure to stir often and heat slowly. Care must be taken to mix all lumps as even when heated it does not melt like oils or milk chocolate. It may be ideal to heat 1 part oil to 1 part chocolate in a seperate container and use a silicon spatula to mix/spread against the bottom to smooth out lumps. I have used 10% of total oil as chocolate and added the 3 FA's to the lye calculator (referencing the chart below). After melted it was mixed into the rest of the oils.
bakingchocolate.png


Cocoa Powder - (used Hershey's Dark) - put through a fine sieve/sifter (tea strainer works well) before adding. a few OZ's of oil were added to the powder, mixed thoroughly and added to mixture before trace. Does not seem to speed trace nor give a grainy texture. Amounts were 30g per KG oil.

Coffee (powdered) - Coffee is finely ground (dusted) in grinder & sifted in fine mesh sieve (tea strainer). 30g per KG. This was treated the same as the cocoa powder. A Couple of OZ's of oil were mixed with the powdered coffee & thoroughly mixed. Add it after mixing in the lye water. Does not seem to speed trace. It does seem to give a little bit of grit to the soap but the finer you grind and sift, the less it is noticed.

Coffee - liquid - Ultra-concentrated coffee was made with distilled water. 1cup of coffee grounds were added to 600ml of Dist H2O and brought to a boil then filtered. About 400ml of coffee was recovered and it was STRONG. Lye was added to room temp coffee, 25% of the lye at a time. It seems to corrupt the odor of the coffee to a distasteful odor. I would recommend chilling the coffee and adding the lye in 5-6 different intervals (this way it doesn't get a hot at one time) and allowed to chill before adding next amount of lye. It may be beneficial to freeze the coffee as I have ad success with milk and cream this way.

De-ionised water - used in place of distilled water. Collected from a dehumidifier or air conditioning unit. Neutral PH.

Lemon Zest - used cheese grater to scrape the "rind" of lemons. This is best done with cold lemons. (This can be done with other citrus fruits). Make sure to wash the fruit first. Zest was added near trace and turned a very white soap (TitDiox was also used) a very dark yellow, almost a mustard color. I added 85g of zest to 650g of oil (which in hind sight was too much). It seemed to speed trace dramatically when added.

Titanium Dioxide (TD) - finely powdered TD is put through a fine mesh sieve (tea strainer) to make sure there is no clumping. Powder was added to a few OZ's of EO's or melted oils and blended thouroughly. When added to batch use blender to agitate TD/oil mix before adding then use spatula to remove remaining powder.

Cream - Heavy whipping cream - frozen in ice cube trays into small 15g (15ml) sizes. Mixed with frozen milk cubes when making lye water. I use a 3:1 Milk:Cream in place of the water. Lye is added in 4 steps, mixing constantly to ensure not to burn/scald milk/cream.

Milk - whole milk - frozen in 15g or 30g (15ml or 30ml) sizes in ice cube trays. Milk is substituted for water in making the lye solution. Lye is added in 4 steps, mixing constantly to ensure not to burn/scald milk

That is about the extent of my additives so far. I'd really like to know about some anti-bacterial, natural preservative, anti-viral, additives as well as special moisturizers & smoothing agents like clays if anyone has some special insight on those.
bakingchocolate.png
 

firedancer

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have used:

  • Almond milk - unsweetened. added to the lye water after it lye dissolved.

  • Pepper mint leaves from the garden (and others in my herb garden, sage, thyme, ect) - made into a tea, refrigerated the tea with leaves and about 2 weeks later used in place of water

  • Kaolin Clay - cant live without, gives my soap a nice slip &gives firmness to my bath bombs

  • Moroccan Clay - nice slip use at trace for color and for slip

  • Aloe Vera from the plants outside. tried this once, was too messy for me and didnt use it again. Used in the lye water.

  • Aloe Vera Juice - found a gallon at the grocery store, froze it in smaller quantities. I use it instead of water. tried using it frozen,...not worth the hassle, works just as well room temp!
  • coconut water from the grocery store...same thing used instead of water.
  • When making a new soap with lower numbers for lather (olive oil soaps usually) I use honey and sugar interchangeably, depending on mood. Both produce lather, same with salt, if know its gonna be a soft soap will add salt.
  • Like using ground loofah in my garden soaps. Occasionally will also add pumice for extra grit.
Ok I am sure there is more. Is this what you were looking for??
 

goji_fries

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  • Roots, leaves, resins from desert and forest plants and trees.
  • Dried flowers
  • Frozen resin, smashed to powder
  • Herbal infusions in oil and water, both long term (months) and rapid/slow cooker method
  • Salt, sugar, honey
  • Aloe vera juice - AVJ
  • Coconut milk
  • Beer, coffee, hibiscus tea, various milks
  • Spices. Not just the common ones. Check out galangal if you get a chance
 

shaan

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Wow! U can add anything to soaps..i tried honey,milk,wine,fenny,papaya,apples,coconut milk,dried herbs,infused herbs,fullers earth,kaolin clay,activated carbon,red sandalwood,wallnut shell,fruit peel powders,aloe vera,leaves poultices.
 

LunaSkye

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Here is a list of what I tried:

baby food: mango, carrot, pear, banana.
infusions: black tea, green tea, white tea/herbal mix, chamomile, peppermint, coffee.
beer: Guinness Stout, Blue Moon Rounded, Six Point Resin, Modela Negra (I hope I spelled it right).
dairy: 2%yogurt, half & half, butter.
purees: carrot.
other stuff: ginger, tumeric, cinnamon, salt, honey, vegetable glycerine, vanilla extract.
butters: kokum (anti-climatic), mango (worth it imo :-D), cocoa, shea.
 

Lbrown123

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Lemongrass tea - healing anti fungal
Thyme tea - antibacterial
Oatmeal - soothing
Calendula petals -skin soothing and healing
Chamomile oil infusions - soothing
Carrot juice- nourishing
Silk - slick feel
All of the homemade soaps seem to be more nourishing than store bought. I can't say that there was a major difference from one soap to the next but my family likes the lemongrass and the acne bars I made with thyme tea, a. Charcoal and oatmeal
 

RogueRose

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Lemongrass tea - healing anti fungal
Thyme tea - antibacterial
Oatmeal - soothing
Calendula petals -skin soothing and healing
Chamomile oil infusions - soothing
Carrot juice- nourishing
Silk - slick feel
All of the homemade soaps seem to be more nourishing than store bought. I can't say that there was a major difference from one soap to the next but my family likes the lemongrass and the acne bars I made with thyme tea, a. Charcoal and oatmeal

Can you expand on the silk? What kind of silk, how is it used, where do you find it?
 

bodhi

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Wow, youve packed a lot of questions into one post. Have you searched the site and done some research other places for the info you want? There is a lot of info here if you are willing to look for it.
 

shunt2011

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Can you expand on the silk? What kind of silk, how is it used, where do you find it?

If you do a search you will find the answer to many of your questions. There are many posts related to many of your questions. I highly recommend you give it a try. Sometime you need to do the footwork on your own and if you can't find the answer then ask away. We don't mind helping if you've tried to find the answer. Don't mean to sound harsh but a lot of the questions you have asked have been asked many times and answered.
 

aprilprichard

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Thanks for posting! I enjoyed reading the answers. Read a lot of it before, but liked having it all together...and heard something new here. Never read anyone freezing aloe juice. I think I only knew about using it as part if water, added at trace...and that's what I did when I tried it

So, lemme see if I can recall what I've tried..

Coffee (liquid): tried it frozen and also used as my remaining water when using a 50/50 lye water. Don't like using it frozen. Smelled terrible and didn't like the color

Coffee (grounds) : I've added used grounds at trace and finely ground fresh ones. I like the fine ground fresh better!

Goats milk: used frozen and hated the fussiness of it! Also added GM powder to oils. That's not too bad, but I dint think I noticed anything special about either GM version! Next I'm gonna try concentrated at trace and see if that soap has a noticeable difference.

Heavy Whipping Cream: added to oils as the remaining water to my 50/50 solution. I really like this so far

Coconut Milk: I've used both frozen and added to oil. I've used the canned kind with the layer of cream on top, and the kind in the dairy case that is ready to drink. No matter which kind or method, I ADORE CM IN SOAP!!! Always behaves beautifully and the lather to the soaps seems somehow creamier and thicker. Could be just in my head, but sure seems that way!

Wild Alaskan Blueberries & wild Alaskan High Bush Cranberries: puréed and put thru sieve, added at trace. I like the rustic speckles they add

TD: I love the white, but I like it so much I think I sometimes go overboard! Worried I use too much! But haven't had the speckles or glycerin rivers yet. I would like to have the glycerin rivers because I think they beautiful...but haven't gotten any

Pumpkin Purée: added at trace as remaining water to the 50/50. I LOVE the color it turns soap!

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt: love salt bars! Added at trace

Various Oxides & Micas: used for color

Kelp: added at trace. No noticeable addition to soap!

I have tussah silk, some clays, coconut powder (and some yarrow & fireweed that I picked and dried this summer) that I'm going to get around
to trying someday!

I think that's all! Thanks again for the post and for all the great replies






Sent from my iPhone using Soap Making App....love this app!
 

RogueRose

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If you do a search you will find the answer to many of your questions. There are many posts related to many of your questions. I highly recommend you give it a try. Sometime you need to do the footwork on your own and if you can't find the answer then ask away. We don't mind helping if you've tried to find the answer. Don't mean to sound harsh but a lot of the questions you have asked have been asked many times and answered.


I think some people understood the point of the post as it is a lot of legwork to find what additivies are available or possible. Legwork isnt' the problem, it's jut that a lot can be missed and it wouldn't even be known that it was missed. With a thread like this, people can see what has been added and used and why it may help them instead of possibly stumbling on a possible additive by chance.

As to me asking about the silk, I've found about 9 different types of silk, liquid water based, liquid oil, powdered, shredded, fiberous (long fibers), organic, natural, animal and plant and silk milk. I asked her to expand b/c it was only a guessing game as to what she may be using.
 

shunt2011

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I think some people understood the point of the post as it is a lot of legwork to find what additivies are available or possible. Legwork isnt' the problem, it's jut that a lot can be missed and it wouldn't even be known that it was missed. With a thread like this, people can see what has been added and used and why it may help them instead of possibly stumbling on a possible additive by chance.

As to me asking about the silk, I've found about 9 different types of silk, liquid water based, liquid oil, powdered, shredded, fiberous (long fibers), organic, natural, animal and plant and silk milk. I asked her to expand b/c it was only a guessing game as to what she may be using.

And as I said before this information is on the site if you took the time to search. There are many threads that have the same information and much more.
 

sagehill

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In 15 years, I've tried just about everything, and have dumped just about everything. Reason is, most of my customers don't really want all that exotic stuff. Good, because it's a lot easier not putting it all in. lol

Consistent things I now use that sell well are milk soaps (goat milk, buttermilk, and coconut milk), chamomile tea, oatmeal and honey of course, pureed cucumbers for my cuke bars, pureed carrots for my facial bars, and comfrey-infused coconut oil.
 

goji_fries

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In 15 years, I've tried just about everything, and have dumped just about everything. Reason is, most of my customers don't really want all that exotic stuff. Good, because it's a lot easier not putting it all in. lol

Consistent things I now use that sell well are milk soaps (goat milk, buttermilk, and coconut milk), chamomile tea, oatmeal and honey of course, pureed cucumbers for my cuke bars, pureed carrots for my facial bars, and comfrey-infused coconut oil.

I thought of using ground up dry beans, bean paste, corn, and so many other odd things.
 

sagehill

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Ah, you just reminded me a number of years ago I made a soap with half & half for the liquid, ground almond meal as a scrubby, chocolate and almond FOs, swirled with cocoa powder. I called it Almond Truffle... bars were snapped off the shelves.

Maybe I should make that again. lol
 

goji_fries

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Ah, you just reminded me a number of years ago I made a soap with half & half for the liquid, ground almond meal as a scrubby, chocolate and almond FOs, swirled with cocoa powder. I called it Almond Truffle... bars were snapped off the shelves.

Maybe I should make that again. lol

I think I met my doppleganger...
 

LunaSkye

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Ah, you just reminded me a number of years ago I made a soap with half & half for the liquid, ground almond meal as a scrubby, chocolate and almond FOs, swirled with cocoa powder. I called it Almond Truffle... bars were snapped off the shelves.

Maybe I should make that again. lol

I love how you think! :) That actually reminds me of the truffles I got my self for my b-day.

If I were you, I would go for it and follow up with Peppermint Patty soaps for the holidays. ;)
 

Lbrown123

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Rouge rose
the silk I found on Etsy. I was ordering a few molds and threw that in. I had just started soaping so I do not remember any specifics. You are supposed to add a tiny pinch to your lye water and stir to dissolve.
 

neeners

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I add mostly herbs and clays, and goats milk soap. great responses from everyone!
 

Sinful7

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Truthfully once you are caught in the trap that is soap making, is there anything you haven't looked at and thought.. How could I use that in soap making? As a full blown addict I find that everything I look at can be used in or used as a tool in making soap.
 

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