SoapCalc soap bar quality range question.

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Soapprentice

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Hey guys,
I have a question regarding SoapCalc. I was lurking the forum to learn as much as possible and came to know about SoapCalc. So, I put in the values of couple of the recipes I found online and liked but some attributes are not in the range at all. Isn't it necessary that our recipe should be in the range the SoapCalc indicates? (I have a very very dry skin and searched for super moisturing recipes)
 

BlackDog

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The ranges are helpful but don't always tell the whole story. Perhaps you could post the recipe you are considering and we could help that way?
 

lsg

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What someone else considers a nourishing bar may not necessarily agree with your ideas of a nourishing bar. Soap does not nourish or protect the skin as it is a rinse off product. You can however create recipes that are less harsh. Many people don't like any more than 20% coconut oil in a recipe, whereas I like to use up to 30%. Look under the "Soap Qualities" section in SoapCalc to get a better understanding of the qualities of a recipe. As stated on their website, these are general guidelines and not absolutes. You may notice that the higher the cleansing number, the lower the conditioning number in many recipes.
http://soapcalc.net/info/SoapQualities.asp
 

DeeAnna

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"...Isn't it necessary that our recipe should be in the range the SoapCalc indicates?..."

In a word, no. Soapcalc provides "the numbers" as a guide. Unlike some people who completely dismiss the idea, I do think they have their place in handcrafted soap making as a ROUGH guide, just as the single INS value is widely used by commercial soap makers as a rough guide for evaluating their soap recipes.

That said, I agree that "the numbers" are not the last word on what makes a good soap recipe, and I definitely don't agree with the ranges the soapcalc folks give for acceptable values. I also think the names (creamy, hardness, bubbles) are really misleading.

If you have super dry skin, then your goal should be to formulate a MILD soap that cleanses gently. Soap doesn't moisturize -- lotions do that.
 
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Susie

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I used the "qualities" as a way to avoid obvious errors for a little while. Then I figured out that I was a better judge of what qualities my soap had than whoever made those ranges up. After all, soap is cleansing even with a 0 on that scale.
 

earlene

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Yes, cleansing in this context seems to me to be a stronger word than clean. I think of cleansing in soap as 'stripping' or to give it a stronger analogy I think of it as similar to 'ethnic cleansing' Not to put a political bent to the conversation, just to point out that in this respect cleansing in the case of soap is meant in the stronger sense than simply 'to clean'.

For me I find that I prefer a lower cleansing number, although I actually do like one soap I make with a high cleansing number, but it also has other ingredients that seem to counteract the drying properties that go along with that high cleansing number. But so far, it seems to be the only one (with a high cleansing number) that doesn't dry out my skin when I use it regularly.

I used to try to fit cleansing into that SoapCalc range but with many recipes it just dries my skin out and I get surface cracks that catch on my knit sweaters and whatnot. So it was big trial and error for me.

An example of a very mild soap that has long been considered the best soap around is Castile soap. But it's cleansing value is 0 and it certainly gets the skin clean.

Those numbers come from an unattributed source apparently from the 1930's which Dr. Robert McDaniels outlines in his book, Essentially Soap (2000). I would love to see the original article about INS, mentioned in this blogpost. The blogger apparently found the original, but I have no idea where or how.

I've only been soaping for a year and a half, so I had no idea that the use of INS in lye calculators was so 'new'. But I'd sure like to hear more about the historical side of those calculations and when and how they became such an 'industry standard' or 'industry guideline' to be more exact.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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That is generally a good point - the numbers don't take additives and superfat in to account. The numbers for a salt bar look terrible, but it really isn't - it's just that the calcs only tell us some of what is going on
 

DeeAnna

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If memory serves me correctly, INS has been in use since around the 1920s or so. That was about the time when chemists were able to test for the various fatty acids in the fats used for making soap. Until that time, soap makers didn't really have the science to explain why certain combos of fats (actually fatty acids) made nicer soap than others, but they knew empirically (by trial and error) what blends of fats created soap that appealed to their customers.
 

Soapprentice

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Thank u guys... I definitely have a better understanding now and when I meant moisturising recipe, I meant the recipes which had oils with unsaponifiables( I hope I am saying this right) like jojoba so they leave a lil oil behind and my skin doesn't look like I have been to a cement crusher.
 

lsg

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Shea butter and avocado oil are high in unsapoifiables compared to other butters, fats and oils.
 

BlackDog

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@Blackdog: this is the recipe
15% coconut
30% olive
25% rice bran
15% shea
10% avocado
5% jojoba
I've never personally used jojoba in soap so I'll defer to the others when they say it's wasted in soap. If you dropped that and made up the difference with avocado, you'd have a pretty nice bar IMO. That much shea might not do much for the bubbles, but it would make your lather nice and creamy.

I'd say try a small 1lb batch and see if your skin likes it! Ranges be damned!
 

Steve85569

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"The numbers" are calculated from the fatty acid profiles of the combined oilsin your recipe. The calculations give estimated values for a given recipe. Actual mileage may vary.:)
I for one use recipes that are even softer than this one in the "numbers" but also use sodium acetate ( vinegar reacted with lye) to help harden up the finished soap.

Here's my suggestion for making a less expensive soap and "the numbers" that I get running my own calculations.
Olive 30%
Rice Bran 30%
Coconut oil 15%
Shea Butter 15%
Avocado oil 10%

ESTIMATED soap properties
Hardness: 33.7 29-54
Cleansing: 10.4 12-22
"Conditioning”: 61.9 44-69
Bubbly: 10.4 14-46
Creamy: 23.4 16-48
Lasting: 23.4






 
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Millie

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I love jojoba in soap! Or I should say, I think I do :) I tried it in one batch at 3% simply because I have a 16 oz bottle of it for other skin care and I don't need that much. I used it in a new recipe so I'll have to do some experimenting before I can back up my words, but I think jojoba added to the lather. And it makes my skin feel amazing.
 

Gerry

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I love jojoba in soap! Or I should say, I think I do :) I tried it in one batch at 3% simply because I have a 16 oz bottle of it for other skin care and I don't need that much. I used it in a new recipe so I'll have to do some experimenting before I can back up my words, but I think jojoba added to the lather. And it makes my skin feel amazing.
Hmmm interesting. Jojoba oil isn't really even an oil as it contains only a trace amount of triglycerides. It's a liquid "wax" that likely survives the lye monster and is present in the finished soap in almost unadulterated form. So maybe it's not exactly wasted after all :)
 
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