Soap Percentage Inquiry

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Momosoaps

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Hello Everyone!

Momo here :) Thank you for taking the time to look at my new post. I'm in desperate need :(

Kinda new to soap making, this is my 5th batch and I would love to hear your valued opinion on this recipe

Its cold process,

- 250g Coconut Oil 50%
- 150g Olive Oil 30%
- 50g Castor Oil 10%
- 50g Sunflower Oil 10%
- Lye 75.5g
- Water 150g

Attached is an image of the soap after 24 hours. It feels like I'm touching playdough. I only barely managed to pry it out of the mould and cutting it in the middle was not easy and it felt sticky. Some bits of the soap were sticking to the knife.

Given the percentages, is this normal behavior at 24 hours?

What are your thoughts on this?

Warm Regards, Momo

IMG_5774.jpg
 

BattleGnome

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What kind of mold did you use? And a second question, what's your weather like?

I use a silicone mold and my soaps are easily in for 3-5 days. There's no air flow with silicone which can slow the soaponification. There are methods/additives to help counteract it but it's a thing to keep in mind. If it is super humid by you it may take longer for a soap to harden due to moisture in the air while an arid linage will give the opposite effect.

Personally I'd give it a day out of the mo,d and see if it solidifies a bit more before cutting. Sometimes that extra air is magic. I'm guessing mold/weather is more your issue rather than a recipe issue (you certainly have enough coconut to harden a bar). Someone else will probably be able to tell you if your recipe has issues.
 

Momosoaps

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What kind of mold did you use? And a second question, what's your weather like?

I use a silicone mold and my soaps are easily in for 3-5 days. There's no air flow with silicone which can slow the soaponification. There are methods/additives to help counteract it but it's a thing to keep in mind. If it is super humid by you it may take longer for a soap to harden due to moisture in the air while an arid linage will give the opposite effect.

Personally I'd give it a day out of the mo,d and see if it solidifies a bit more before cutting. Sometimes that extra air is magic. I'm guessing mold/weather is more your issue rather than a recipe issue (you certainly have enough coconut to harden a bar). Someone else will probably be able to tell you if your recipe has issues.
Hi Battlegnome!

I live in Sydney Australia, currently spring. Temp in my room is a constant balmy 24 degrees centigrade. I used a Plastic mould (which is why you can see seperate beveled indents within the 2 loaves in the image)

The previous batch which was 100% coconut oil hardened quite well quite quickly. So perhaps I am used to those curing super speeds.

Coconut is well known to be a non soft soap, aswell as Castor (I'v seen posts were they have used 100% castor oil on its own. Super hard bar, no lather)

Could it be the Olive Oil that has softened it? I used extra virgin olive oil I found in mums kitchen. I will certainly check up on it at 24 hour intervals and report my findings here.

Peace out.
 

shunt2011

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It's soft likely due to the high percentage of liquid oils/castor. Too much castor can make soap soft and sticky. I would just give it some time to harden up.

Also, 50% CO with only a 5% sf is going to be a very cleansing bar of soap. It's way too much for most folks. I don't generally exceed 25% Coconut and many don't go above 15.

I would highly recommend adjusting your recipe. Using Lard/Palm along with CO, Sunflower, Olive & Castor. I use 5-8% Castor and don't go much higher too often. Castor helps stabilize your bubbles.

If using a silicone mold, as stated it can stay softer longer, especially if you don't gel your soap. You could try adding 1-2 tsp salt ppo and that will help make your soap harder sooner for unmolding.
 

Susie

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If that soap did not gel, I am not surprised that it is still soft. If you need to cut it or something right away, I would put it into the freezer for a couple of hours to harden it. Then once it is hard, cut it and put it into something with good airflow for a long cure.

That would not be my preferred recipe, just too much coconut oil. It would dry me right out.
 

Momosoaps

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It's soft likely due to the high percentage of liquid oils/castor. Too much castor can make soap soft and sticky. I would just give it some time to harden up.

Also, 50% CO with only a 5% sf is going to be a very cleansing bar of soap. It's way too much for most folks. I don't generally exceed 25% Coconut and many don't go above 15.

I would highly recommend adjusting your recipe. Using Lard/Palm along with CO, Sunflower, Olive & Castor. I use 5-8% Castor and don't go much higher too often. Castor helps stabilize your bubbles.

If using a silicone mold, as stated it can stay softer longer, especially if you don't gel your soap. You could try adding 1-2 tsp salt ppo and that will help make your soap harder sooner for unmolding.
Thank you so much for that, I really do appreciate that advice. If you had to only use the aforementioned 4 oils. Castor, Sunflower, Olive and Coconut, at what percentages would you use them with?

Regards, Momo
 

shunt2011

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Unfortunately, with just those oils, the soap is going to require a really long cure. 4-6 months or so. If you can get lard/palm it would make a much better balanced soap.

65% Olive
10% Sunflower
20% CO
5% Castor

I would calculate it with a 5% SF

You can also do 100% CO with a 20% SF, not my favorite either but will make a usable soap.
 

TeresaT

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Thank you so much for that, I really do appreciate that advice. If you had to only use the aforementioned 4 oils. Castor, Sunflower, Olive and Coconut, at what percentages would you use them with?

Regards, Momo
If it were me, I would do 55% Olive, 25% Sunflower, 15% Coconut and 5% Castor. I would also add 2% to 3% of the weight of the oils in salt to increase the hardness to make unmolding easier (you can dissolve that in your water before you add the NaOH). I would also add 1% - 2% weight of oils in sugar to increase the bubbles (if you like bubbles; this recipe would make for a creamier lather than a bubblier lather). You can dissolve the sugar in the water before you add the NaOH.

The issue with that much olive oil (soft oils in general, I guess) is the cure time. It takes much longer for soft oils to cure than it does for hard oils. You can use this bar of soap in the normal 4-6 week cure time that everyone recommends; however, it will not be a great bar of soap. I wouldn't think to use it for at least six months. I would consider it a "Bastille" and let it sit for a year before calling it cured. (I don't know the longevity of Sunflower oil and how prone to DOS [dreaded orange spots or rancidity] it is. I don't think that is one that I have used yet. I'd have to check my list of soaps.)

One other thing, using EVOO in soap, in my opinion, is a waste of a good olive oil. It does not bring any benefit to the soap that you can't get from second or subsequent pressings of the olives or pomace olive oil. (Although, in modern commercial production, I doubt they do multiple pressings any more.)
 

Dahila

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My Bastille after 3 months is awesome. I make a huge batches and pack only few when needed so the final cure is more like 6 months. Like Shunt said you need to play around with the recipe
Adding a bit of lard or tallow will make huge different. Add 1 tsp of Sodium Lactate to cooled lye water, and unmolding will be much easier. Go down with Coconut oil. My skin would crack with that number. 20% CO for me is the most I use
 

dixiedragon

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Your soap looks great! I think it will harden up in a few days. Did you gel? Also, how did you stir? What method and how long?

I would do something like:
20% coconut
6% castor
37% olive
37% sunflower
 

chela1261

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I only use 20% coconut oil as it can strip the oils from your skin and I always use some kind of butter like Shea or cocoa. Castor I use between 3-5%. I also use sodium lactate to help harden the bars. Hope this helps! And your soap looks awesome!
 

penelopejane

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Hi,
Since you are from Sydney Australia you will know that our EVOO price is the same as the OO and we can't buy pomice (chemically extracted OO from remaining olive mash and leaves after the other processes have extracted as much oil as they can). So buy EVOO at Aldi, Coles and woolies at $20 everyday or less on special or OO (not cold pressed but uses heat so some properties of the oil may be lost).

You can but Ricebran oil from Coles right now at $9 for 4 Litres. This is better in soap than sunflower oil (Possible DOS). You can go to New Directions in Marrackville and buy Avocado or almond oil in 5 litre jugs reasonably. As well as lots of other nice stuff. Don't buy their FOs (too $$$)

I am one of those people that believe that the heat of a shower opens pores and allows chemicals and things into your skin and into your body so I watch what I put into my soap. Having said that 1 tsp of salt ppo will harden your soap.

Olive oil makes a lovely soap. 100% Pure Olive oil (Castile) makes a rock hard bar that lathers well - after 3 months it is useable, after 6 months it is better, after a year it is great after 2 years it is fabulous. You will find that our climate and I think our water or maybe it's our OO is different to
the US and Castile here seems to work well. Or maybe it's just me and my friends who love it.

Unfortunately with soap making you have to try a few recipes and see what you really like. People on this forum can give you their best ever recipe and you can make it and go: what were they thinking??

I think you will find CO very drying. The maximum I use in a normal soap (ie: not a salt bar) is 10%. And I don't use it at all in my main recipe. Castor oil is also problematic for me and I use it at 5%.

Having said all that I think your soap just needed more time to cure before you got it out of the mold and cut it. The plastic molds are even worse than silicone for letting a soap breath and cure.

Next time you make a batch cover the soap with cardboard, wrap it in an old small piece of blanket or a towel, preheat your oven to 40*C, turn the oven off, put your soap in and leave it undisturbed (don't open the oven) until the morning and you should be able to cut the soap. Still test it and if it sticks to the knife wait a bit longer. Note: most ovens don't go as low as 40*C. Preheat the oven, turn it off and wait till it gets to the temp of a very hot day using your hand (unless you have a candy thermometer) and then put your soap in.

Sorry if this is too much info for you now. Ask any questions you need to when they arise.
 
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IrishLass

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Welcome Momosoaps! :wave:

If you ask me, your recipe looks like it will make a good and hard soap with all that coconut oil in there. The reason why it is so soft is because it most likely did not go through the gel stage. Just give it a few days and it will harden up quite nicely. :) Typically, soaps that don't go through gel can be as soft as cream cheese at first, even soaps with a lot of hard butters/fats in them. There's nothing wrong with it, though- it's just the nature of things when it comes to not gelling.


IrishLass :)
 

Momosoaps

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Hi,
Since you are from Sydney Australia you will know that our EVOO price is the same as the OO and we can't buy pomice (chemically extracted OO from remaining olive mash and leaves after the other processes have extracted as much oil as they can). So buy EVOO at Aldi, Coles and woolies at $20 everyday or less on special or OO (not cold pressed but uses heat so some properties of the oil may be lost).

You can but Ricebran oil from Coles right now at $9 for 4 Litres. This is better in soap than sunflower oil (Possible DOS). You can go to New Directions in Marrackville and buy Avocado or almond oil in 5 litre jugs reasonably. As well as lots of other nice stuff. Don't buy their FOs (too $$$)

I am one of those people that believe that the heat of a shower opens pores and allows chemicals and things into your skin and into your body so I watch what I put into my soap. Having said that 1 tsp of salt ppo will harden your soap.

Olive oil makes a lovely soap. 100% Pure Olive oil (Castile) makes a rock hard bar that lathers well - after 3 months it is useable, after 6 months it is better, after a year it is great after 2 years it is fabulous. You will find that our climate and I think our water or maybe it's our OO is different to
the US and Castile here seems to work well. Or maybe it's just me and my friends who love it.

Unfortunately with soap making you have to try a few recipes and see what you really like. People on this forum can give you their best ever recipe and you can make it and go: what were they thinking??

I think you will find CO very drying. The maximum I use in a normal soap (ie: not a salt bar) is 10%. And I don't use it at all in my main recipe. Castor oil is also problematic for me and I use it at 5%.

Having said all that I think your soap just needed more time to cure before you got it out of the mold and cut it. The plastic molds are even worse than silicone for letting a soap breath and cure.

Next time you make a batch cover the soap with cardboard, wrap it in an old small piece of blanket or a towel, preheat your oven to 40*C, turn the oven off, put your soap in and leave it undisturbed (don't open the oven) until the morning and you should be able to cut the soap. Still test it and if it sticks to the knife wait a bit longer. Note: most ovens don't go as low as 40*C. Preheat the oven, turn it off and wait till it gets to the temp of a very hot day using your hand (unless you have a candy thermometer) and then put your soap in.

Sorry if this is too much info for you now. Ask any questions you need to when they arise.


Thank you for your reply penelopejane.

I have cured the Soap for 24 hours now and can feel a reasonable difference. The soaps are harder and are beginning to feel less "play-doughy"

Im not too sure as to what all these Acronyms stand for.
What is
PPO?
EVOO?
OO?
FO?

I figured that CO is Coconut

So far, my understanding is that the reason why its quite soft is because I have used too much Olive Oil which is a soft soap.

My innovation for this batch was 2M2M (two major two minor) - I use two major percentages of hard oils vs 2 low percentages of soft oils. Turns out the olive oil was a softy. Making my soap a pretty soft soap at 24 hours despite containing half Coconut oil.

Should I replace the olive oil with Shea Butter, a hard oil?
Palm oil is to be avoided due to the environmental impact it has.
Animal fat it to be avoided too.

What is a hard oil that can be used at high percentages without drying the skin (such as coconut oil)

Once again I really do appreciate the help you guys have been putting forward, it really means alot to me

Regards, momo
 

penelopejane

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Thank you for your reply penelopejane.

So far, my understanding is that the reason why its quite soft is because I have used too much Olive Oil.

Once again I really do appreciate the help you guys have been putting forward, it really means alot to me

Regards, momo
So sorry!!
PPO - per pound of oil (not the whole batter weight)
EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
OO - Olive oil
FO - Fragrance Oil

there are lots more too, on this thread:
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=51841

Olive Oil produces a very hard bar after a longer cure. Soap calc says it is soft because straight after cure it is not hard. But it is hard over time. Just ignore Soapcalc.
I use it at 50% minimum.
If you gel your soap you will find it is harder quicker.
To gel your soap follow the instruction above about putting it in the oven. That is called CPOP. But it is not cooking the soap. it is just coddling it a little to keep the warmth that it produces all by itself contained for a long period of time. This also brings out the colours.

Your soap wasn't soft because of the OO. It was soft because you hadn't been patient enough. : )
Looks like you used Lye concentration of 33% which is fine for a hard bar quickly. You just have to wait a bit sometimes and watch it until you get a feel for when your soap is going to be ready to demold. (They use american spelling for mold in soaping!)

50% CO is too high for a regular bar.
Try replacing some of it with more OO or Avocado oil or Almond oil or shea or cocoa butter.

PJ
 
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Momosoaps

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So sorry!!
PPO - per pound of oil (not the whole batter weight)
EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
OO - Olive oil
FO - Fragrance Oil

there are lots more too, on this thread:
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=51841

Olive Oil produces a very hard bar after a longer cure. Soap calc says it is soft because straight after cure it is not hard. But it is hard over time. Just ignore Soapcalc.
I use it at 50% minimum.
If you gel your soap you will find it is harder quicker.
To gel your soap follow the instruction above about putting it in the oven. That is called CPOP. But it is not cooking the soap. it is just coddling it a little to keep the warmth that it produces all by itself contained for a long period of time. This also brings out the colours.

Your soap wasn't soft because of the OO. It was soft because you hadn't been patient enough. : )
Looks like you used Lye concentration of 33% which is fine for a hard bar quickly. You just have to wait a bit sometimes and watch it until you get a feel for when your soap is going to be ready to demold. (They use american spelling for mold in soaping!)

50% CO is too high for a regular bar.
Try replacing some of it with more OO or Avocado oil or Almond oil or shea or cocoa butter.

PJ
Thank you so much Penelope

I appear to be stuck :/

I keep getting advice "I wouldnt use more than 5% or 10% or 20% of this or that"

With so many restrictions to keep so many oils below the 10% mark, I'm left feeling that I need to use more and more and more oils just to meet the 100%

I dont want to use more than 4 oils ideally.

I'm seeking to make a bar with abundant fluffy lather, that hardens quickly (if that means switching to hot process then I am happy to do that) that is conditioning and leaves the skin feeling supple. I dont particularly want to use more than 4 oils

I have found this recipe in a book

shea butter 30%
palm oil 30% (sustainable only)
olive oil 20%
coconut oil 10%
castor 10%

Optionally I would like the technique if possible to allow for swirling of other colours

What is your opinion on the above recipe?

Any help is muchly appreciated.

Regards, momo
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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You could change that to being:

coconut 15%
Caster 5%
Shea Butter 20%
Palm 60%

And you are at 4. If 4 was very much the magic number, I would keep the castor and not the olive as in the recipe above. However, if you could go to 5 oils then I would make it

coconut 15%
Caster 5%
Shea Butter 20%
olive 20%
Palm 40%

Soaping (well, GOOD soaping!) is all about balance. We want some of this in there, but this means that we need to consider x and y. If we put in some of oil x, it then affects something else.............. it can get tricky if there is a particular combination that someone is heart-set on using, but other than that a balanced recipe isn't too tricky once you get a feel for some of the major oils and what you need to be mindful of.
 

penelopejane

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Thank you so much Penelope

I appear to be stuck :/

I keep getting advice "I wouldnt use more than 5% or 10% or 20% of this or that"

I'm seeking to make a bar with abundant fluffy lather, that hardens quickly (if that means switching to hot process then I am happy to do that) that is conditioning and leaves the skin feeling supple. I dont particularly want to use more than 4 oils

I have found this recipe in a book

shea butter 30%
palm oil 30% (sustainable only)
olive oil 20%
coconut oil 10%
castor 10%

Optionally I would like the technique if possible to allow for swirling of other colours

Regards, momo
30% shea is expensive and will cut the bubbles. It might make a lovely bar though.

This recipe:
30% Palm oil
30% Olive Oil
30% Coconut Oil
10% Castor

Makes a really hard bar that fills your criteria (bubbly long lasting etc).
The problem is that soap is very dependent on what YOUR skin likes.
My skin might like one recipe while someone else's skin will like something else. That is why someone will say no more than 10% CO and others will say only use lard. Some people love Goats milk, others hate it.

You really have to try a recipe and tweek it to see what you like, as frustrating as that is.

To tweek the above 30/30/30/10 recipe I would personally increase the OO, drop the Coconut oil (which I am allergic too and dries my skin) to 10% max and drop the Castor to 5% and replace the palm oil (which I am allergic to and I am fundamentally opposed to) with Avocado, Almond, Macadamia, Shea butter or mango butter.

But these suggestions might not suit you. I have friends who only want the 30/30/30/10 recipe because it cleans well and they have not problem with palm or coconut.

All of the above suggestions will fulfil the requirement to add colour. HP is limited in that regard and the hardness gained in the first day with HP is soon matched by any CP bar. Both have to cure for 6 weeks but will be nicer given a longer cure. CP is an easy process and CP soaps look and feel beautiful as well, although there are people out there who like the look of HP bars. Just about everything in soap making is subjective. :mrgreen:
 
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Susie

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You could change that to being:

coconut 15%
Caster 5%
Shea Butter 20%
Palm 60%

And you are at 4. If 4 was very much the magic number, I would keep the castor and not the olive as in the recipe above. However, if you could go to 5 oils then I would make it

coconut 15%
Caster 5%
Shea Butter 20%
olive 20%
Palm 40%

Soaping (well, GOOD soaping!) is all about balance. We want some of this in there, but this means that we need to consider x and y. If we put in some of oil x, it then affects something else.............. it can get tricky if there is a particular combination that someone is heart-set on using, but other than that a balanced recipe isn't too tricky once you get a feel for some of the major oils and what you need to be mindful of.
^^This!

The reasons are:

Shea Butter will cut your lather if you use more than 20%. 20% will still harden your bar, and give you a lovely soap. However, if you use more palm, you won't need this for hardness. I would try a batch with shea butter, and one without, then see what YOU prefer.

Increasing the palm will give you a harder bar. Palm/lard/tallow provide fatty acids that help the structure of the soap, as well as the skin cleansing without stripping benefits. To me, this is the most important part of a soap. If I get this right, everything else sort of falls into place much easier.

I can add coconut oil/palm kernel oil in the 10-15% (my personal preference, yours may be completely different) range for extra bubbles without drying my skin.

Then I can add olive oil/rice bran oil/sweet almond oil in for...I really don't know how to explain what those oils do for soap, so bear with me, please. They make the lather almost seem more luxurious. Soap without something in this oil slot is not really harsher, but it is just soap. Nothing to get excited about. With at least 10-15% (again, my personal preference, yours may be completely different), you get a richer lather. It is definitely noticeable when you leave it out. I do NOT like high olive oil soaps. They just are not my favorite soaps.

Then there is castor oil. Castor oil makes your bubbles hang around longer. This makes the difference of how long that lather lingers on your skin. I prefer 5% added to every bar soap. I have tried more, but I see no change until I get to 10%, which I don't like.

Then there is the superfat amount (not added in after trace like in HP, just changed on the lye calculator). My personal preference is 5-8%. Again, you may prefer higher or lower depending on the recipe you make.

Then I would add a sugar. I, personally, use white table sugar or honey. But people use milks, cooked down beer, cooked down wine, and other things that contain sugars. Sugars help boost the bubbles in soap. I prefer to use between 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon PPO.

To sort of boil this down, here is what I would do without specifying exacts:

Palm/tallow/lard: 40% or higher
Olive oil: 10-15%
Coconut oil: 20% or lower
Castor Oil: 5% always
Superfat: 5-8%
Sugar: 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon PPO, OR milks, beer, wine, etc

Then you can add any butter or "luxury" oil that you like. If it is a butter, then decrease the palm a little to accommodate, if it is a liquid oil, decrease the olive oil a little.

To tweak this to your personal preference, I would change 5% at the time. Up or down, and try each batch against one another after the 6 week cure. You will then figure out your best recipe. Be sure to label your batches and keep your recipes with the name of the soap and the date (add your color blend and scent blend information). Then write on the recipe what you thought of it. This information becomes invaluable when you've made many batches of soap. You can then look back through them and see what you've done, and know what you thought about it at that time.

ETA: Sorry about the wall of text, but I can't shorten it and still convey all the info.
 
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