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Guinevere

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hello crafters. I’ve become obsessed with trying to formulate the best recipe, via calculating fatty acid profiles and going over this oil and that. I’m driving myself crazy. Anyone else here get stuck like this?

Guinevere
 

midnightsoaper

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Sort of. I obsessively made recipe after recipe, but I didn't get stuck. I made them all :D Definitely had some winners and losers. I have mostly been using a couple of my favorites, but still tweak or try new recipes.

I've found the numbers don't tell the whole story. You just have to start making and testing them out ;)
 

Clarice

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@Guinevere

THANK YOU! I am currently in the same mode. Analysis Paralysis!

Then I throw up my hands and grab a book and make a random soap - because I figure it must be decent.

I hope this stage of my journey is short-lived.
 

Hawksquill

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I'm in the same place! I used a very, very basic recipe for my first couple of batches, and am now looking to branch out. I've reformulated the recipe I'm planning to try next for over a week and have revised it at least 5-6 times based on all my research.

Downside is that I have out of town guests this weekend, so I won't be able to soap until next weekend. A whole entire week to keep tweaking my recipe!
 

redhead1226

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it is the only way to learn. But dont make online recipes. Learn the fatty acid profiles and make your own recipes to try. You will be able to understand better what each oil brings to the soap. It takes many years of formulating and testing to figure ou what works. After over a decade of soapmaking, I have 6 go to recipes after making 100's. It took a long time to get there. So don't rush and enjoy the art. You will soon know what works.
 

Clarice

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Thank you @redhead1226

I am trying to absorb the fatty acid profiles and their implications in soap, and I am struggling with all the information!

Hopefully breakthrough is coming soon! Any tips on how to pack your brain with all this fabulous information??
 

redhead1226

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Thank you @redhead1226

I am trying to absorb the fatty acid profiles and their implications in soap, and I am struggling with all the information!

Hopefully breakthrough is coming soon! Any tips on how to pack your brain with all this fabulous information??
It comes with time. Many of us have years in this craft. Your not going to learn all you need to know just from knowing the FA profiles. Making lots of soap and continuing to learn through others will eventually reap the rewards. Im sure that anyone here will tell you we are always learning and improving. Frankly for me, if that stopped I would be bored.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Indeed - it's good to know what an oil will basically bring to the party, based on the fatty acids, but what that oil actually does for you can only be experienced.

Tip - if you want to make lots of different batches, go small. 500g batches can easily be weighed out on a 1g scale. You also won't have lots of bars of a batch which you don't like laying around. Reduces costs which is also a huge bonus.

Another tip - if you make a batch a week, make a very different type of recipe each week. That way after 4 weeks the first batch is cured and you can try it, make a variation on the recipe and then in 4 weeks see how it changed. With 4 or 5 different recipes on the go, you have a new soap to play with and a new soap to make each week!
 

lsg

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After you have soaped for a couple of years, you will probably stick with one or two recipes that work well for you and your family, That is what I have done, but occasionally branch out to try a new technique or new ingredients.
 
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Susie

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I never hit the paralysis, but I did make batch after batch with only 5% oil changes. LOTS of batches to get to something I liked. I kept a plethora of notes on each batch and generally acted as scientific as possible. I can absolutely tell you that I KNOW what a soap will feel like just by reading the recipe now.
 

IrishLass

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Sort of. I obsessively made recipe after recipe, but I didn't get stuck. I made them all :D Definitely had some winners and losers.
That sounds a lot like me when I first started out. I made them all (and took meticulous notes)! I was quite the mad soap scientist, for sure. :D

It took me a couple of years, but I finally narrowed things down to about....oh... about 8 different formulas or so that worked really well for us. :p Of those, there are 5 that I make more often than the others (my shave soap, my facial soap, my salt bars, my tallow/lard formula, and my all-veggie formula with 50% OO). That's not including my liquid soap. I narrowed those down to 2 different formulas.

Repeat after me:

Experiment, take notes, tweak, repeat!
Experiment, take notes, tweak, repeat!
Experiment, take notes, tweak, repeat!
Experiment, take notes, tweak, repeat!
etc...
etc....
etc...


IrishLass :)
 

Amy78130

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Just out of curiosity, what properties are you looking for in your perfect soap recipe? I’ve driven myself mad at times too. Especially trying to get a hard, super bubbly but also moisturizing/non drying bar! Maybe some of the awesome soap makers on here can help with suggestions!
 

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