Soapers Not Using Chelators.

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I've stumbled onto HSCG (Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild) website searching for soap info' which led me to viewing other Soaper's Websites, I enjoy seeing what other soap crafters use in their soap & their artistic uniqueness each soaper has, it's all so interesting. Yes i'm a self proclaimed soap nerd 🤣🧼.

What struck me a bit odd the websites I looked at total of 4 "none" of them used any form of a chelator in their soaps, either they didn't list it as a ingredient or just don't use it, I can't imagine all of them not using any at all? so strange, almost like it's the norm not to use a chelator of any kind, However I saw some nicely designed websites & soap's. The average cost of a bar of soap is $9.00 ea. As much work that is involved creating soap & cost of materials, sounds pretty reasonable to me.!

I'm so afraid of the dreaded orange spots ( DOS ) I use a chelator religiously 'sodium gluconate' the thought of my soap getting DOS on a soap i've given away makes me want to cringe, Truly! lol 🤣.

I think I close on that note' Night nite soaping family. 💫 💤💤💤💫
 
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Well, if they have that much confidence into the quality of their supplies, and as long as they are keeping the more rancidity-prone oils at a reasonable minimum, they might get away with this. I also am not sure how widespread knowledge about how to identify DOS and (more importantly) who is responsible for it, is with end customers.

Speaking of my pre-DIY soap me, I have definitely had contact with DOS-like decay in industrial soap, multiple times. But I thought that it was my fault/the warm and moist bathroom/expired/beyond best-by date etc.

I don't expect that the majority of consumers are aware that it's their right, their duty to insist on rancidity-free soap!
 

dibbles

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I think a great many soap makers don't even know about or use chelators. I rarely see it even mentioned outside of this forum. As for the end user, they know even less. I give everyone an inexpensive soap lift the first time I give them soap. And later have seen the soap sitting in a dish without the lift and in one case - on some kind of decorative metal. That soap was all over discolored and I can't believe nobody noticed the smell.
 
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I had a lady ask me at an event if my soap leaves scum in the sink. I had several soaps on the table so I mentioned that most soaps will leave some residue with use, but that most of my soaps have citric acid or sodium gluconate in them to lessen that. I didn't want to completely tell her they won't leave any scum at all...because I never know if someone actually cleans their sinks regularly or whatever.

As for your question, I would say it's actually more uncommon to use chelators...most locals I know don't use them. None of the big soapers that I follow use them either.
 

Ladka

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I have only a very vague idea about chelators, not much beyond "having read about it". I usually don't have a problem with DOS, I might have encountered it once or twice. I think I'll stay with my philosophy "less (additives) is better".
 

DeeAnna

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I only knew that chelators were used to help prevent soap scum. I never heard of it being used to stave off DOS...

I get the feeling this is a pretty common misunderstanding -- that chelators only help to reduce soap scum. I think people don't quite realize that less soap scum = more lather, so that's a related side benefit.

While less soap scum and more lather are certainly useful benefits, another important reason to use a chelator is to ensure the soap has a reasonably long shelf life in the package and on the soap dish. A chelator works by binding up the trace metals that accelerate rancidity (DOS).

Metals naturally occur in soap due to the production equipment used to harvest and process fats, the trace metals in water, lye, and additives, any metallic contamination on our hands and in the air, etc. If you only use soap at home, use the soap promptly, and have good control of your storage and handling methods, your soap might be fine without a chelator. But oxidation of soap and fat is a natural, normal environmental process. Given the right conditions, anyone's soap can become rancid.

If you give or sell your soap, a chelator (and antioxidant) can be really valuable additions. I have found from experience that people don't always know how to store handmade soap properly, so the soap that remains fine in my home has turned rancid at another person's home. I also know the soap I sell in a local gift shop is exposed to sunlight, bright shop lighting, customer's hands, etc. for weeks, and that can also increase the chance of rancidity in soap. For my soap, I think it's wise to use a chelator (and antioxidant) as insurance against rancidity and the chelator also helps my soap lather well, so users are happy (and often come back for more.)

Like so many soapy issues, whether you use a chelator or not depends on the situation.
 
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Well, if they have that much confidence into the quality of their supplies, and as long as they are keeping the more rancidity-prone oils at a reasonable minimum, they might get away with this. I also am not sure how widespread knowledge about how to identify DOS and (more importantly) who is responsible for it, is with end customers.

Speaking of my pre-DIY soap me, I have definitely had contact with DOS-like decay in industrial soap, multiple times. But I thought that it was my fault/the warm and moist bathroom/expired/beyond best-by date etc.

I don't expect that the majority of consumers are aware that it's their right, their duty to insist on rancidity-free soap!
I too thought of this Soapers Are Keeping Oils That Are Prone To Rancidity to a minimum. 💫👍🏼
 

TheGecko

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The only thing I add to my soaps outside of oils and butters is Sodium Lactate and Kaolin Clay and not once in the last 2 1/2 years has anyone reported any issues other than I need to make more. I think if I were to tell someone that I added EDTA or Citric Acid to prevent my soap from going rancid, they wouldn't want to buy my soap.
 
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I get the feeling this is a pretty common misunderstanding -- that chelators only help to reduce soap scum (and less soap scum = more lather). While less soap scum and more lather are certainly useful benefits, another important reason to use a chelator is to ensure the soap has a reasonably long shelf life in the package and on the soap dish. A chelator works by binding up the trace metals that trigger these problems.

Metals naturally occur in soap due to the production equipment used to harvest and process fats, the trace metals in water, lye, and additives, any metallic contamination on our hands and in the air, etc. If you only use soap at home, use the soap promptly, and have good control of your storage and handling methods, your soap might be fine without a chelator. But oxidation of soap and fat is a natural, normal environmental process. Given the right conditions, anyone's soap can become rancid.

If you give or sell your soap, a chelator (and antioxidant) can be really valuable additions. I have found from experience that people don't always know how to store handmade soap properly, so the soap that remains fine in my home has turned rancid at another person's home. I also know the soap I sell in a local gift shop is exposed to sunlight, bright shop lighting, customer's hands, etc. for weeks, and that can also increase the chance of rancidity in soap. For my soap, I think it's wise to use a chelator (and antioxidant) as insurance against rancidity and the chelator also helps my soap lather well, so users are happy (and often come back for more.)

Like so many soapy issues, whether you use a chelator or not depends on the situation.
Let me ask you if you don't mind what "antioxidant" do you use? i'd like to implement an antioxidant too. We cant be careful enough, especially for the reasons you mentioned above.

Little Story:
I gave soap away to a friend' she loved how it looked in her bathroom & never used, months later 1/2 year or longer I told her "Oh No You Gotta Use It" It's not designed to set out on your Bathroom Counter... I instantly started to worry about the creepy crawly's that could be lurking in the soap. 🦠 😂

Thank you for explaining the reason for "chelators" & "antioxidant" its valuable information & you've explained it in simple terms, that we all understand 🤗💫✨ .
 
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The only thing I add to my soaps outside of oils and butters is Sodium Lactate and Kaolin Clay and not once in the last 2 1/2 years has anyone reported any issues other than I need to make more. I think if I were to tell someone that I added EDTA or Citric Acid to prevent my soap from going rancid, they wouldn't want to buy my soap.
You have a great balanced soap, when soap oils are near perfect "no DOS". Definitely agree "i'm gonna venture to say, only a guess" most consumers / customers that purchase our handmade artisan soap's are buying it to avoid the Chems & unhealthy ingredients.
 
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I honestly never learned about chelated soap before I read this forum. I went over to my sister in laws the other day. She loves to use my soap as bathroom decoration. She pulls out some 8 year old boxes of my soap. Out of curiosity I pulled them out too look at them. They had lost all their scent but there wasn't any dos on either of them.
 

glendam

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I use a chelator (lately all of the time, but until a few months ago, only half of the time) but I do not think I have listed it as an ingredient in my website (Sometimes I am more specific on the actual product labeling), I try to keep the wording of the ingredients as casual and generic, rather than an all inclusive list, I start off with "Ingredients include", It is good point though, I should probably update it.
 

Johnez

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The only thing I add to my soaps outside of oils and butters is Sodium Lactate and Kaolin Clay and not once in the last 2 1/2 years has anyone reported any issues other than I need to make more. I think if I were to tell someone that I added EDTA or Citric Acid to prevent my soap from going rancid, they wouldn't want to buy my soap.
I suspect this is the reason right here. Home/hobby soapers want the absolute best and understand the reasons behind DOS and the tradeoffs made with using certain ingredients. However, consumers these days are hyper aware of chemicals and anything foreign sounding. "Chemicals" signal that your product is not pure or *needs* the chemicals. Interesting times.
 

TheGecko

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You have a great balanced soap, when soap oils are near perfect "no DOS". Definitely agree "i'm gonna venture to say, only a guess" most consumers / customers that purchase our handmade artisan soap's are buying it to avoid the Chems & unhealthy ingredients.

Thank you. Winning over my husband was tough...lifetime Dial user...but now he is one of my testers and gives me really good feedback. And I should perhaps mention, only because I was thinking about it while I was just in the shower, that I have a metal shower caddy. It's chrome I think, bought it quite a few years ago and I haven't had any issues with my soap and there are at least three bars on it.

Exactly. One of the questions I always get it is "What is Sodium Lactate? I thought your soap was homemade." I then explain that it is a liquid salt that helps to harden the soap to make it easier to unmold.

I try to keep the wording of the ingredients as casual and generic, rather than an all inclusive list, I start off with "Ingredients include", It is good point though, I should probably update it.

Mine is: Ingredients: Olive Oil, Distilled Water, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil (RSPO), Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Sodium Hydroxide, Castor Oil, Sodium Lactate and Kaolin Clay. May contain fragrance and colorants.

I went with the above because 1) I don't always add scent or color to my soaps, but I do add everything else. 2) It's a lot cheaper and less time consuming to print a pack of 750 labels than it is to have to constantly have to constantly edit them and then print out a couple of sheets.

Now I will have to make new labels for my Cranberry Salsa because I put Cranberry Seeds on it.
 
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The only thing I add to my soaps outside of oils and butters is Sodium Lactate and Kaolin Clay and not once in the last 2 1/2 years has anyone reported any issues other than I need to make more. I think if I were to tell someone that I added EDTA or Citric Acid to prevent my soap from going rancid, they wouldn't want to buy my soap.
I never had a person question the additives and not buy a bar of soap because of my additives in all my years of selling. Maybe I was just lucky.
 
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We have some stupidly hard water here. Plumbers are expensive. We're also always in some level of drought. I consider it irresponsible of myself to NOT use a chelator. My hope is that it improves rinse-ability and saves water, plus prevents scrum building up in the pipes.
 
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TheGecko

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I never had a person question the additives and not buy a bar of soap because of my additives in all my years of selling. Maybe I was just lucky.

I've gotten: Do you use fresh goat milk? (I bought it fresh from the store) Does your soap contain lye? (Not anymore) When I mentioned to a friend that I use TD in my soap, I got a lecture on using metals and chemicals in my soap. (I just shook my head and walked away)
 

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