Soap is to greasy

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EdmontD

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Hi Guys,

So yesterday I decided to start making my own soap. For the first time I decided to make simple castile soap. The only problem is, that after letting it sit for approximately 36 hours, it is way to greasy and feels more like butter than soap.

I followed this recipe 33 ounces of olive oil (I took 100% virgin ollive oil), 4.3 ounces of Lye and 10.9 ounces distilled water. I followed this video on youtube [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tldq_8NNac[/ame] .

The first problem I had was that I did not have distilled water at hand and thought that it does not make much of a difference, so I went to the convenience store and just bought regular drinking water (which I think has a high content of minerals). I began mixing the lye into the water and unlike in the video, after approx 10 minutes the water lye mixture did not become clear. It became a little darkish with some impurities floating around (I thought that it wouldn't matter that much, I just took the impurities out and went on). I heated the oil till both the mixture and the oils were at around 100°-110°. I mixed everything for about 10-15 minutes, poured it into a mold and waited. After around 36 hours it doesn't even resemble remotely to soap. Its consistency is similar to butter, if you squeeze it a little bit, you can destroy it completely.

What didi I do wrong? Was it because of the water? It can't be because of the oil, as I took one of the best. Thanks in advance.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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A soap made with only soft oils will take a long time to harden in the mould - the amount of water can affect it, but it will take time. It will also need a very long cure - some people say 3 months is enough, most say 6 months, some say 12 months. Others still say that a Castile is never cured enough!

Of course, distilled water is better and water with extra minerals is not great, but doesn't often cause too many critical issues.
 

EdmontD

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Thanks for your answer. Do you recommend mixing coconut oil and olive oil? I understand that it needs a very long time to cure, but in all of the tutorials that I saw, the soap was at least hard after 24-48 hours. In my case, after 36 hours in a cold dry place the soap is way to greasy and like already said resembles more to butter than soap.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I'm not a great fan of "normal" soaps which are or almost at 100% one oil, so I can't recommend making a 90/10 oo and co soap really. I would suggest making a more balanced recipe - for me Castile is a soap with a particular purpose rather than a general everyday use
 

EdmontD

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I'm not a great fan of "normal" soaps which are or almost at 100% one oil, so I can't recommend making a 90/10 oo and co soap really. I would suggest making a more balanced recipe - for me Castile is a soap with a particular purpose rather than a general everyday use
Do you eventually know a good recipe or a video tutorial for a balanced soap with everyday use? Eventually a mix of olive and coconut oil. Thank you very much in advance.
 

Gerry

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Sounds typical to me, especially for a near full water recipe and soap that may not have gelled. I'd consider it a minor miracle if you could unmold within two days. That's why I'd never use a mold for 100% castile that I'd need for something else within at least two weeks. :eek:

I'd put it away and not mess with it for at least a week, then check it. If it's still too soft for unmolding, give it another week and then check again.
 

EdmontD

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Haha that came a little bit to late. I already took it out of the mold and cut it in little pieces.
 

penelopejane

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put your Castile soap away for a year and it should be fine.
Next time don't bother heating the oil.
Make sure you get to trace.
Heat the oven to 110*c if it doesn't go that low turn it off and let it cool until it is hand warm or use a thermometer. Wrap the mold in a blanket and put it into the turned off oven and leave it undisturbed for 12 hrs.
You should be able to cut it then.
It still needs a long cure. Try it at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months.
 

ibct1969

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Question about this recipe

A good recipe for a beginner is this:

Lard/Tallow/Palm 60%
Olive Oil 20%
Coconut Oil 15%
Castor Oil 5%
Superfat 5%

You should be able to unmold and cut within 18-24 hours, and use in about 4-6 weeks.
Susie- thanks for posting this recipe! Have you (or anyone else on the forum) experienced breakouts when using high lard soaps on the face? I realize that everyone's skin is different but wondering if it's well known in the community that lard soaps are not great for facial skin.
 

Susie

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I use high lard soap head (face, not hair) to toe, as does my entire family. No one reacts to it, despite that comedogenic rating. It is my high suspicion that those comedogenic ratings are for unsaponified products.
 

earlene

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Haha that came a little bit to late. I already took it out of the mold and cut it in little pieces.
EdmontD, are you keeping the little pieces? It will be fine as soap. I put your recipe through SoapCalc and it comes out at almost 29% Lye Concentration & 5% SuperFat. My first Castile soap was more like 23.5% Lye Concentration at 5% SuperFat, so it stayed soft for a longer time than expected, too.

I did stick blend it and insulate it (wrapped with wool blanket) to encourage gel, but even so it stayed soft for a while.

Usually if left undisturbed, the appearance of excess oil gets re-absorbed by the soap as it sets up and hardens.

My first Castile soap is about 15 months old now and it's pretty nice now. I looked back at my notes, but I didn't write down how long I left it in the mold before removing it. I think it was several days, maybe even 5 days, but I'm not really sure.

Since then I have learned that making soft oil soaps with a higher lye concentration (less water) helps them to come to trace sooner and also helps them to set up faster. But the caveat is that obtaining gel with a high lye concentration may require more work on my part than just insulating with a blanket. High water content soap tends to heat up easier and thus goes through the gel phase more consistently. So I CPOP* most of my soaps now to ensure gel.

As to your question about lard soap's effect on facial break-outs. I think that would probably have a bit to do with how much SuperFat is in the soap. I am guessing that if one used a pretty high SF, then it might have some impact. But as mentioned before, it depends on the person and their particular facial skin. I never use soap on my face in the first place, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

*CPOP = Cold Process Oven Process
 
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