"Soap makes the shower hard to clean"

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by KiwiMoose, Jan 8, 2019.

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  1. Jan 8, 2019 #21

    DeeAnna

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    It's not random. And it's not recent. And it's not just the US. The generally accepted consumer definition of castile as being an all-veg soap has been widespread for over a century. I agree that most soapers mean a 100% olive oil soap when they talk about castile, but even that is not consistent amongst soapers. I've given up on the word and just say 100% olive oil soap when that's what I mean. Here's what I found --

    It might be surprising to us, but the use of castile to NOT mean a 100% olive oil soap has a long history in the US and as well as in other countries. This confusion appeared to have started in the early 1800s as a way for disreputable soap makers to deceive consumers into thinking they were buying a mild olive-oil soap, but by the early 1900s, the common meaning of the word castile had irrevocably changed. In 1930s, James S. Kirk (of Kirks Castile fame) had been barred by the US Federal Trade Commission from using "castile" to describe his soap made from a blend of vegetable oils. In 1932 he won a case against the FTC regarding this issue --

    The FTC claimed:

    "..The basis of the commission's complaint is to the effect that castile soap is one in which olive oil constitutes the sole oily or fatty ingredient. The commission has found this to be true, as a matter of fact, and it is supported by some evidence. The respondent, therefore, insists that such finding is conclusive and that unfair competition is established...." Dictionary definitions and usage of the word by the US Pharmacopoeia, etc. were introduced to support the use of the word castile to mean a soap made only with olive oil.

    The court responded that the common meaning of the word castile was quite different:

    "...by far the greater number of witnesses, from all parts of the United States, testified that castile soap meant to them a pure high-grade toilet soap; or that it implied no special vegetable oil as an ingredient... the substance of all their testimony proves beyond question, so far as individual opinions are concerned, that the word "castile" when used with soap means different things to different persons....

    The court further noted that even the US government recognized how the use of the word had changed. In a pamphlet from the US Bureau of Commerce:

    "...Castile Soap was originally made from low-grade olive oils. The name now represents a type of soap, the term 'castile' being applied to a soap intended for toilet or household use... The type is not one easily defined, so now when made from olive oil it is invariably sold as olive-oil castile. There are soaps made entirely from coconut oil which are sold as coconut castiles or hard-water castiles. Many other castiles are made from a mixture of coconut oil and tallow...."

    Reference: James S. Kirk & Co. v. Federal Trade Commission, 59 F.2d 179 (7th Cir. 1932), https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F2/59/179/1471747/

    And now back to the OPs main topic of discussion........
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  2. Jan 8, 2019 #22

    karon L adams

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    It's a water issue. if you have hard water, you will have soap scum. especially in places that have a lot of calcium. that is why Navy Vessels use detergent bath products, because the salt water is hard water and creates a lot of scum. but, if you still want to use soap, you can use vinegare as a rinse. that will cut the scum. it will also help prevent the scum from forming in your shower and drain, but you will need to use it as a spray of some sort at every sshower while you are in the shower. It is different in different parts of the country. when I lived in Atlanta, I never had a problem with soap scum. as soon as I moved back to Chattanooga, it was obvious I was going to have problems. that is also why I went to distilled water only for soap making. the water in Atlanta was fine from the tap but the water in Chattanooga made my soap go rancid withing days.
     
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  3. Jan 8, 2019 #23

    gacowgirl

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    Some commercial bar soaps have talc. Could the talc be involved in the scum?
     
  4. Jan 8, 2019 #24

    karon L adams

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    I would not think a soap company would intentionally add something that would make more scum. I have never tested talc, myself so I cannot say with certainty. but it seems illogical for them to do so. Zest was marketed on the fact that it left no scum and rinsed clean. of course, that WAS because it was a detergent. that is also why the Navy used it exclusively. but, everything is everything as I heard, somewhere, and when you are playing with chemical interactions, all participants play a part. it could be the ingredients or additives in the soap, whether it is soap, what kind of soap, what is in the water, what rinses you use with the soap, lotions used in conjunction. it all comes together at some point. so you have to know what you have.

    in the most basic form, soap is a sodium salt of a fatty acid. it's purpose is to break the surface tension of water and dirt so that they can latch together and wash away the dirt. Many people don't think about it this way, but there is little in the world MORE drying than water. and anything dissolved in the water can make it more or less drying.

    We use soap to help the water hold the dirt and oils on our skin in order that the water may remove them. in ancient times, people didn't use soap in the Western World. Romans used olive oil. smeared on the skin and allowed to stay while they rested or exercised, they would then scrape the oil layer off the skin, carrying the dirt with it.

    as I have grown older, I realized that soap took not only the dirt but the good oils off my skin. that is one reason I began making my own soap so the glycerin would remain. but, I have found I can clean myself just as well with oil and sometimes salt. I don't always use both and i rarely, if ever actually get into a tub or shower. that is personal preference because I have thyroid issues. my body doesn't regulate temps well internally anymore. a hot shower will make me feel extremely chilled after. so, I use oil in a steamy bath and then an abrasive towel to clean. I have found that it not only keeps me from being chilled but also is better to my skin as it ages.

    all that is to say that everything in equation plays a role. 'soap scum' is usually a coagulation of dissolved minerals that interact with the soap (the fatty acid salt) and clump up./ when we use soap, we aren't really changing that much of it, chemically, we are simply dissolving it, too into the water. and all of the things that become dissolved into the water can then interact and the result is often the scum. when they come together and precipitate out of the water, especially when they attach to something else, that is where the scum happens. this is bad on your fixtures, the tub and sink, much much worse if it happens IN the pipes.

    if you have scum on the tub, besure you rinse something down the pipes regularly because they will gather there and cause clogs.
     
  5. Jan 8, 2019 #25

    penelopejane

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    Sorry, I do not agree.
    Just because the US courts decide that Castile doesn’t mean 100% OO for US soap production doesn’t mean Castile soap isn’t traditionally (since laurel oil became too expensive back in Roman times) and currently referring to 100% OO in the rest of the world. Castile soap using 100% OO has been made for millennia.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  6. Jan 8, 2019 #26

    DeeAnna

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    Yes, I agree 100% olive oil soap has been made for a very, very long time. I'd guess 100% olive oil soap has been around longer than Castile has been an actual city of that name. And, yes, I also agree the historic meaning of castile soap is a 100% olive oil soap traditionally made in the city of Castille.

    Just because a word is old doesn't mean its definition can't drift over time. A brief search shows there are "castile" soaps being sold in Australia that don't contain a drop of olive. The good Dr Bronner and Mr Kirk are also selling their non-olive castiles in the UK and Canada.

    Australia: https://vitamingrocer.com.au/products/kirks-natural-products-original-coco-castile-bar-soap-89603
    https://www.drbronner.com.au/
    UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B001D4YDKU/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
    Canada: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/706-5...0001&campid=5338413729&icep_item=273387325299

    We're going to have to agree to disagree on this matter.
     
  7. Jan 8, 2019 #27

    amd

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    ... and then there are customers who only know Kirk's Castile, so when they see my castile (100% OO) they tell me I'm wrong... sigh. Castile has become as much a trigger word in soapmaking as "natural" and "organic".
     
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  8. Jan 8, 2019 #28

    SaltedFig

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    @DeeAnna, you might want to update your database - the link you have provided is not valid (404's).

    I have always wondered why the City of Castles (Castilla) in Spain haven't applied for regional protection for their high quality olive oil soaps, in the same way France have protected their traditional soap region names (and their Champagne!).

    Castile, going back to 1500's, has an interesting history. It's still widely thought of as a high quality olive soap here in Australia, and people have expressed surprise when they discover that "castile" soaps can be any mix of any grade of vegetable oils.

    I also keep the traditional meaning of castile for my soaps, and don't call my soaps that are only 55% olive "castile", as much as the law, as it stands, would allow me to. The confusion, here, seems to work the other way around - people are surprised to discover that castile soaps can contain other oils (including palm) or chemically extract olive oil.

    Fortunately, I'm located in a region with very similar weather to Castilla, so there's olive groves all around me (and a thriving olive oil industry), and apparently my soaps are very similar to those made in Spain, according to someone with Spanish heritage that travelled there last year (I took that as a high compliment) :)

    I wonder if Spain will ever bother to apply for registration ... that will make naming interesting (for all of us!). I still remember the amazing adjustment the wine industry had to go through when Champagne was regionally protected. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
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  9. Jan 8, 2019 #29

    DeeAnna

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    All 4 links in my post #26 are working properly for me, if that't the "database" that you're referring to. I don't know why they're not opening properly for you, @SaltedFig

    I'm not setting out to bait anyone or make anyone unhappy. Non-olive "castile" is a thing in the consumer soap market. It's not going away, no matter how annoyed we might be about this overly loose, non-historical definition.

    I've modified how I talk about 100% olive oil soaps in the past year or so. Besides the fact that "castile" has no firm, constant meaning, I've been trying to not use the word castile in an effort to be more considerate of regional cultures and traditions. A 100% olive oil soap that's from anywhere besides the Castile region isn't honestly a castile soap. It's a castile-type, perhaps, but it isn't a castile, the same as a sparkling wine from anywhere besides the Champagne region isn't truly a champagne.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  10. Jan 8, 2019 #30

    jcandleattic

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    A lot of great posts here.

    However for me, I just use my "Scrubbing Bubbles" cleaner and all that soap scum wipes off with little to no effort and gets sparkling clean. That's probably blasphemy for a homemade forum, but it's what I do, and I don't see me changing my formula to accommodate changing something I would already be doing. Besides, the cleaner you keep the tub/shower, the easier it is to clean, no matter what type of soap is used.
    That's why I never understand these types of complaints. But that may just be me.
     
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  11. Jan 8, 2019 #31

    Hendejm

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    I think that there is a perception that Castile Soap name has drifted over time as the name is used somewhat generically now. There are lots of examples where products have mislead the consumer when it comes to naming their products. Examples include:

    Peanuts - they aren’t nuts but rather legumes.

    Maple Syrup - lots of products call themselves Maple Syrup but they are not. It’s only maple syrup if it says “pure” in front of it. So you think Mrs Buttersworth is actually Maple Syrup?

    Crab Sticks - they aren’t made from crab yet they are processed and made in a way to look and perform like real crab.

    Almond, Hemp, Soy Milk - it’s not milk but we call it that. We use it like milk but it’s actually water and pulp of the named ingredient.

    Wasabi - what you get in a Japanese restaurant is probably not wasabi. It is more likely to be a mixture of horseradish, mustard, and food coloring than actual wasabi.

    Bacon Bits (jar) - they're actually made of soy flour and canola oil, paired with artificial colors and flavors to mimic bacon.

    So I think retailers use the name “Castile” to manipulate the consumer. Making pure Castile soap takes much longer to produce that a typical bar of soap. It would be cost prohibitive and priced out of the market for a mass retailer. So I don’t believe that the definition has drifted so much as we, as consumers, haven’t challenged manufacurers and our government to provide proper labeling.
     
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  12. Jan 8, 2019 #32

    KiwiMoose

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    And James T Kirk made the Star Trek Castile :p
    Soap - the final frontier.
     
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  13. Jan 8, 2019 #33

    SaltedFig

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    Exactly the point that I made in my post @DeeAnna (re. French and Spanish regional names for products like wine, champagne, soap ...)

    Your opening post contains a link. It has been cut and paste (sorry for thinking that you fetched it from your database) ... from somewhere ... and contains the dots in the link location, rather than the actual link location.

    2019 Jan 9 DA link.png
     
  14. Jan 9, 2019 #34

    Ivanstein

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    I have found that my shave soap, which is usually 50-55% stearic acid, makes more scum than my bar soap which is normally coconut oil, lard, and castor oil. What that means, I can't say.

    I suspect some soap salts are better at sticking the insoluble minerals to surfaces. I also suspect that Ph has something to do with it because it's not difficult to etch glass on a microscopic level.

    Here in Hell on Earth... excuse me, sorry ... Wichita KS, the water is hard enough it makes deposits on everything. The calcium will plug shower heads and faucet aerators in less than a year under normal use. No body wash with synthetic detergents will stop it. Even toilets get caked up with it bad enough they must be replaced every three or four years or they stop flushing. The answer to cleaning shower heads and aerators is CLR, which is just oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is the stuff that makes rhubarb leaves toxic and is also called wood bleach. Most of the time you can find the powdered version at a hardware store much more economically than the small bottles of liquid CLR. It works well enough, but I wouldn't put it in your soap.
     
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  15. Jan 9, 2019 #35

    SoaperForLife

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    The best thing I've found to clean soap scum off shower walls is equal parts white vinegar and Dawn dishwashing liquid. Warm the vinegar in the microwave before adding the Dawn. Spray on walls and let it do its thing for a bit. Don't know if you can somehow incorporate this into your argument or not. The problem I had with liquid soap was the cost of the containers and with my rural customer base, I couldn't charge enough to make any real money.
     
  16. Jan 9, 2019 #36

    DeeAnna

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    Soap scum is actually a type of soap ... just a calcium or magnesium soap rather than a sodium or potassium soap. Calcium, magnesium, and similar soaps are not soluble in water to any great degree, unlike sodium and potassium soaps, but their insolubility will vary somewhat.

    I know a sodium or potassium soap made with stearic acid is much less soluble than the equivalent soap made with, say oleic acid or lauric acid. It stands to reason the same difference in solubility would be true for calcium stearate and magnesium stearate -- these soaps are likely to be even less soluble than the lauric or oleic versions, so maybe that's why they seem to cause more trouble.

    Oh, and I got asked a question awhile back about using oxalic acid in laundry soap. After looking into it a little, I concluded it's a Very Bad Idea. You don't want oxalic acid or sodium oxalate (the salt formed when oxalic acid and NaOH react with each other) on your clothing and skin. They are also toxic internally, so you definitely don't want to ingest (eat) these chemicals. I'm offering this PSA (public service announcement) in case someone has any idle thoughts about trying this.....
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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  17. Jan 9, 2019 #37

    Ivanstein

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    Yeah. It's not good for eating.

    Lethal dose is 10-15 grams per kilogram of body weight, so you won't die from skin exposure and you'd have to eat a couple pounds of home made soap with it to get in the lethal range.

    However, even non-toxic levels are a really bad time.

    Plus it smells bad. Very familiar smell, especially if you have used CLR.

    Anyway, bad news in soap. Totally agree.
     
  18. Jan 10, 2019 at 12:57 PM #38

    Lin19687

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    Wrong. Legally Real Maple Syrup says just that, Maple Syrup. Anything else that has anything else added is JUST SYRUP. It is prohibited to put "Maple Syrup" on a 'synthetic' product that has anything added to it.
    The word 'PURE' does not have to be on the label.


    @SoaperForLife You don't have to heat up the Vinegar at all. I just have a spray bottle with Mostly Vinegar and some Dawn mixed in. Just give it a good shake and spray, let sit 10 min (I spray again just before I wipe it off) and everything just wipes off. Longer you leave it the easier it is to get it off ................... I have a gross Man/Boy that has his own bathroom, need I say more LOL


    I have 'soft' water and get soap scum. But I don't clean every day so I just expect it no matter what
     
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  19. Jan 11, 2019 at 8:09 PM #39

    Jill B Blasius

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    I know nothing about soap chemistry but, what about the chemical detergents and phthalate fragrances in their commercially produced liquid soap? Isn't that enough to make them switch?!

    And honestly, I haven't noticed a difference in the scum level in my tub, it seems the same. Although, a few years ago, I had a glass shower door, used liquid soap and had to wash that shower door once per week, it was like looking thru a thick fog.
     
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  20. Jan 11, 2019 at 8:43 PM #40

    jcandleattic

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    The average everyday person typically either doesn't know, or care.
    All they want is a nice smelling product that works, for their purpose, not necessarily for what is the best for them or the environment.
     
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