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Soap Qualities Question

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perfectsoap

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Ok, I am still learning about how different oils work with each other, but with this list from the soap calculator (wonderful tool!!!)
I have a question. I'm a guy, so maybe that is why, but... Is more better or have you found out that staying in the recommended range better?
Example - I look at "Cleansing" and see 14-22 so my brain goes well then if I have 40 for cleaning it will be a great cleaning soap! Well does that ring true or is that just the wrong way to look at it?
Anyone have experiences or knowledge about more is or isn't better with soap values?
Sorry to ramble on!
Thanks,
Jeff

Summary of values:
Hardness 36 to 50
Cleansing 14 to 22
Condition 45 to 80
Bubbly lather 14 to 33
Creamy lather 16 to 35
 

cdwinsby

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To my understanding the ranges indicated on SoapCalc are guidelines for a well balanced soap.

If you were to make a soap with a very high cleansing ability you would also be making a soap that was less conditioning and the lather wouldn't be as creamy.

Many people make soaps that are high in coconut oil which has the cleansing qualities and they like it. Often when a high percentage of coconut oil is used, the recipe is superfatted quite a bit more than normal so that there is more free oil to make up for the low conditioning.

Ultimately it comes down to what your skin likes. Some people find high cleansing to be harsh and drying while others swear by it. It's really a matter of preference.
 

Barb

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nothing bets trial and error. while the soap calculator is a good tool ( i use it too) it is just a guide. it doesn't take into account the superfatting, or what additives add ( like gm for example ). it just gives you a small idea of what the finished soap will be like.

take into account the fatty acid profile also when making a soap.

the lauric gives you a idea about the lather,
linoleic: moisituring. ( i shoot for 15% ) teens and men lower
combo of lauric, myristic, palmitic and stearic give hardness
oleic is conditioning ( olive is very high in this )
palmitic: hardness but also shows non conditioning
ricinoleic: ( castor oil ) rinsibility, and conditioning
stearic: hardness and clues you in on sustaining lather

for my type of skin ( teenage sun worshipper, element exposed and 50 ) i like a soap with a higher lineolic at least a 15, but someone with 30ish type skin more then likely would do fine and prefer one with less lineolic and more oleic. more conditioning, might mean less cleansing depending on the oils used. more conditioning again depending on the oils used may also make a slightly softer bar. i make most of my soap based on my skin type, i have a different formula for my men's line, & a bastille formula. most of the soap swaps i have been in, i find that soapers make a soap that they can use, which is why there is such a wide variety of handmade soap formulas out there.

if you have oily skin a higher cleansing number may be what you want, you just don't want it to completely strip your skin of the natural oils, like a detergent bar would.

i have been using more coconut oil in my batches lately instead of half coconut and half palm kernel. mainly because the shipping is killing me having to order both and i am trying to cut back on the number of different oils i have on hand. if the big soapers can make due with 4 oils and sell millions of soap bars i should be able to come up with something just as good if not better. after all it is only soap, doesn't stay on my skin like lotion, this is where i would prefer my more conditioning, better, expensive, however you define them oils to be used for ).

so having said that i am able to use this higher percentage coconut soaps . i went from 10% to 25 % with no problems, hubbs like them better ( he a bubble kinda guy) and my customers haven't questioned the difference. after doing some reading i found that our aussie soapers are using a different sap value for coconut, their soap calculator is set for .136 ish instead of the normal .185 to .191 we are using. and this lower number is what i have been using of late.

yes it is basically giving me a higher superfat percentage, but it may be a bit more accurate basing it on one oil rather then the whole, even though we really don't have total control over what oils are left over unless we hot process and add them after the cook.

just my thoughts.
 

perfectsoap

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WOW, Thanks for the info Barb!
Honestly I have a lot of learning to do still. I have found that the soap calculator is great, but as mentioned it is not the tell all! I have had soap turn out with much more lather or much less lather than expected because of different oil properties and additives, so I have seen that! I just need to now learn more about what causes what to happen as I create new recipes!
I have tried to get all of the numbers as high as I can, I have been able to reach the higher end with all numbers except conditioning, to get high conditioning I drop in other areas, guess that is just the way it works!
I do RTCP with premix using Aloe Juice (50/50), not totally sold that the Aloe in the juice makes it through the heat, but maybe! I also use goats milk to make up the rest of the liquid.
I love getting a large lathering with lot's of bubbles, but it sure amazes me how sometimes I get great bubbles from a recipe and washing my hands and other times it takes a scrub to bring out the suds.
Anyway, thanks again for the feedback!
Jeff
 

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