Soap comparison. Can cheap oils work just as well?

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James Handley

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Hello everyone. I am very new into soap making and am having a blast. Many have been following my last thread "second soap attempt" and I thank all of you. I purchased some cheap Walmart brand vegetable oil which was strait soy bean oil for some baking, but I knew I was not going to use all of that any time soon. So I thought I would try an overly simple non-balanced soap recipe and see how it compaires to my last soap that I put a decent amount of time and effort into making right.

My last recipe consists of 2% Bees Wax, 48% crisco shortening, 25% Lard, 25% coconut oil. And then replaced 10% by weight of the water to pure honey from my own beehives. (38g). The oils and wax came out to 500 grams.

Now I tried 95% cheap soybean oil and 5% bees wax. also replacing 10% of the water content, with honey.

In my prior batch, it came out very brown. It seems to happen when I add the honey to the lye which reacts making dark color and that darkens the oils. So I mixed the lye water while waiting on the wax to melt into the oils in my crock pot on low. Lye water cooled to room temp and then I added that to the oils. After two min of using the hand blender I then added the honey.

The oil was a light creamy color with the lye but once the honey was added. It steadily got darker until it was refried bean colored. About 5 more minutes of whisking and only 15 min of leaving it on low.

This stuff set much quicker than my last batch and so getting it into molds was less smooth and was just caking globs of goo into the pan.

I'll let the soap cure for a while and then I will do some hand soap comparisons after working on a car and some full body shower tests to see how this cheap soap stacks up.
 

soapmaker

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Honey does that. Shunt dissolves her honey in some of the water from the recipe and SBs it into her oils before adding the lye water. I don't know if hers turns brown or not. I do CP and mine turned brown in the soap pot but when it was time to cut, it had lightened up a lot.
 

James Handley

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Honey does that. Shunt dissolves her honey in some of the water from the recipe and SBs it into her oils before adding the lye water. I don't know if hers turns brown or not. I do CP and mine turned brown in the soap pot but when it was time to cut, it had lightened up a lot.

Yea it does seem to do that regardless of the technique. I think I am going to reduce from 10% of water content to 2% and see how that does.
 

BrewerGeorge

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Sidebar to your main point, but that is a HUGE amount of honey and I don't think you'll ever be successful making light colored soap as CP with it. Maybe hot process would work better?

As for cheap oils, you can definitely make good soap limiting yourself to inexpensive oils - as long as they're the right inexpensive oils. Sad to say, I suspect you'll find that soy is not one of the right oils. (I have not tried that myself but used a friend's soap that did try using large amounts of soy. It was not great.) But things like lard, Walmart tallow shortening and HO safflower can be very cheap and make great soap. LouAna brand coconut from Walmart is pretty cheap, and you can better that price for coconut from Amazon if you want.
 

dixiedragon

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Definitely. There are a lot of expensive oils that are utterly wasted in soap, but are wonderful in lotions and lip balms. There are other oils that are nice in soap at 5% or 10% but if you used them at 100% the soap would not be good.

You can make a good soap with just lard, or with just lard + coconut.
 

soapmaker

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Definitely. There are a lot of expensive oils that are utterly wasted in soap, but are wonderful in lotions and lip balms. There are other oils that are nice in soap at 5% or 10% but if you used them at 100% the soap would not be good.

You can make a good soap with just lard, or with just lard + coconut.
Is argan oil one of the expensive oils that is wasted in soap?
 

shunt2011

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Is argan oil one of the expensive oils that is wasted in soap?
Yes, Argan is best in leave on products personally. I like it in whipped butters as I don’t make much in lotion. But it would be great in lotion.
 

James Handley

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Yes thank you all for the comments.

BrewerGeorge: what was it about that soap that you did not like? Too oily, not enough lather? Smelled bad? Lol...

I am using hot process for all my soap making at the moment for clarification. Using the low setting on my $5.00 thrift store crock pot.

I cleaned out the crock pot today that had plenty of dried out residue of soap. It seemed to bubble up nicely and left my hands dealing soft a moisturized but not oily. So far I think it is looking good. But what does this green horn know?!?!?
 

msunnerstood

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Hello everyone. I am very new into soap making and am having a blast. Many have been following my last thread "second soap attempt" and I thank all of you. I purchased some cheap Walmart brand vegetable oil which was strait soy bean oil for some baking, but I knew I was not going to use all of that any time soon. So I thought I would try an overly simple non-balanced soap recipe and see how it compaires to my last soap that I put a decent amount of time and effort into making right.

My last recipe consists of 2% Bees Wax, 48% crisco shortening, 25% Lard, 25% coconut oil. And then replaced 10% by weight of the water to pure honey from my own beehives. (38g). The oils and wax came out to 500 grams.

Now I tried 95% cheap soybean oil and 5% bees wax. also replacing 10% of the water content, with honey.

In my prior batch, it came out very brown. It seems to happen when I add the honey to the lye which reacts making dark color and that darkens the oils. So I mixed the lye water while waiting on the wax to melt into the oils in my crock pot on low. Lye water cooled to room temp and then I added that to the oils. After two min of using the hand blender I then added the honey.

The oil was a light creamy color with the lye but once the honey was added. It steadily got darker until it was refried bean colored. About 5 more minutes of whisking and only 15 min of leaving it on low.

This stuff set much quicker than my last batch and so getting it into molds was less smooth and was just caking globs of goo into the pan.

I'll let the soap cure for a while and then I will do some hand soap comparisons after working on a car and some full body shower tests to see how this cheap soap stacks up.
I'll let you in on a little secret of mine. I ordered 12 bottles of refined coconut oil from Dollar Tree online for $12 had it shipped to the store so I didn't have to pay for shipping. Each bottle 7.25 oz. It is 100% coconut oil and it has been working fantastically.. That's the cheapest I have been able to get coconut oil for.
 

James Handley

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I'll let you in on a little secret of mine. I ordered 12 bottles of refined coconut oil from Dollar Tree online for $12 had it shipped to the store so I didn't have to pay for shipping. Each bottle 7.25 oz. It is 100% coconut oil and it has been working fantastically.. That's the cheapest I have been able to get coconut oil for.
That's really cool. That's some of the cheapest coconut oil I have seen. Comes out to about 13.8c per fl oz. but coconut oil usually needs to be mixed with other oils cause it is too harsh. Just as a cheap one oil experiment, my soybean oil comes out to about 5.1c per fl oz. I will for sure look at getting coconut oil from dollar tree going forward though.
 

msunnerstood

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That's really cool. That's some of the cheapest coconut oil I have seen. Comes out to about 13.8c per fl oz. but coconut oil usually needs to be mixed with other oils cause it is too harsh. Just as a cheap one oil experiment, my soybean oil comes out to about 5.1c per fl oz. I will for sure look at getting coconut oil from dollar tree going forward though.
I dont use it by itself unless im making cleaner but it sure cuts costs on at least one ingredient. :)
 

Kansas Farm Girl

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I have been told, and it seems to be true for me, that honey ends up almost burning during the saponification process in CP, but was wondering if you add it at the very last point you can in HP if it still would? I don't know, I've only done HP once.

Can I ask why the beeswax? I used it in on batch and didn't really like how it turned out so never used it in soap again. I do use it in lotions and body butters.

I have used the CO from Walmart many times. I have also occasionally found it in Big Lots for a very good price. I used the cheap soy, corn and canola when I first started out and they were good to learn on. I noticed that they tended to get DOS fairly easily when used in high quantities in a batch. I still use them as a small % of my total oils, but my main ingredient is beef tallow or lard. They are the cheapest in cheap oils. Friends save the fats for me when they butcher and I render it down. I don't count my time as I am multi tasking when doing this and making my time free.
 

dixiedragon

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I have been told, and it seems to be true for me, that honey ends up almost burning during the saponification process in CP, but was wondering if you add it at the very last point you can in HP if it still would? I don't know, I've only done HP once.

Can I ask why the beeswax? I used it in on batch and didn't really like how it turned out so never used it in soap again. I do use it in lotions and body butters.
I personally love beeswax in soap at 5%. 10% is too much. I like the look, the scent and the texture. I HPed a batch of soap with 10% beeswax and honey and I think that HP for beeswax soap is much better than CP. If you are using honey and no beeswax, you could soap much cooler and it would be okay. I've actually never had the disasters of overheating that some people describe with my honey beeswax soap - and I am generous with the honey! I think that honey FOs and OMH FOs - both of which are very commonly used in honey soap - contribute significantly to honey soap's issues.
 

Rune

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I have been told, and it seems to be true for me, that honey ends up almost burning during the saponification process in CP, but was wondering if you add it at the very last point you can in HP if it still would?
I have added honey in the last minute of HP, and it did not burn or get brown, it worked great! I maybe added it a little too late, because the soap had started to solidify. So what I did might not be too representative, since my soap was a little too cold. But the idea is that honey should not get dark/burned if added to HP when the soap has cooled down enough to add the fragrance or essential oils.
 

James Handley

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I am just trying to make a product that includes all the fruits of my bee hives. So far am am pretty happy with the bees wax in my soaps.

I need to read up on DOS as to what it is and the problems for it. So I know what to look for.
 

James Handley

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I need to read up on DOS as to what it is and the problems for it. So I know what to look for.
So DOS is an oxidation within the soap of various metals. Seems like oils with high Linoleic acid are prone to oxidizing metal contaminants easily. Soybean oil is unfortunately 51% linoleic acid per a quick wiki search lol.

Bees wax has some miner antioxidant properties and honey is high in polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants. So hopefully with that and making sure to use distilled water, stainless steel and a ceramic pot I have minimize contaminants and the honey and bees wax can combat the oxidizing elements of the high linoleic acid content. We will see in several weeks.
 

dixiedragon

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DOS is an acronym for "dread orange spots" - rancidity. Some things that contribute to it are using oils with a short shelf life - grapeseed, for example. But it also seems to have a high element of randomness to it - some people swear that canola causes DOS, others blame lard. Some make soap with lard and canola and have no problems. Some people add ROE - rosemary olerison extract - to their oils to help prevent it. I think that rancidity / DOS is caused by a combination of factors. So if you have A, B and C, you get rancidity. You might have A and B and be fine, or B and C. Or maybe A and B is fine and you don't have C, but you do have Q, which is normally fine except when combined with A. By process of elimination, soapers work out what works for them. I think it's a combination of ingredients, water, and the condition the bars are stored in. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that the composition of the soaping pot is a major factor as well. But since pots don't have ingredients, we can't really test that. We know to avoid aluminum and pots with non-stick coatings. Cast iron will make your soap reddish.
 

Kansas Farm Girl

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I have been lucky in that I haven't had DOS in quite some time (meaning that I have probably just jinxed myself and the next batch will be covered in it).

I am just trying to make a product that includes all the fruits of my bee hives. So far am am pretty happy with the bees wax in my soaps.
I do believe in using the fruits of your labors, a good way to live. I may not raise the cattle or hogs that I get my fat from, but I do the labor to make it into the product I want to use. I have also found that I like deer tallow in soap, so when I have access to that fat, it too gets rendered. As does chicken fat, it makes a really nice soap.
 

cmzaha

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I have used chicken fat that I have saved from rendering the skin on chickens. I find it really slows trace
 
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