Soy wax (GW 415), cocoa butter & shea soap

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I made these soaps back in May for a family that has 16 alums of the same ”green & gold“ university. The striped green and gold one is scented with BB Tobacco & Bay Leaf in the green stripes only to avoid any possible discoloration in the gold. The one with the heart embed is scented with a blend of BB White Ginger & Amber and OT Peche de Vigne (I was near the end of the bottle). The swirled soap is scented with BeScented’s Love Spell. The family has strong ties to the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, which is why I added the blue to the swirled soap. It’s not my best swirl ever, but I wanted to include it to show that soy wax soap can be swirled.

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First, I have to give a tip of the hat to @KiwiMoose and @earlene for getting me interested in soy wax in the first place. I like working with it and have decided to stick with it for an animal fat free soap moving ahead, in lieu of palm which will continue to get the best of me for reasons I will never understand. This particular soy wax recipe is not an inexpensive recipe to make, and I don’t use it for testing colors, fragrances or designs, but I really like the soap. I make it for myself and special people 😉. It has good doses of cocoa butter and shea to create the longevity and fatty acid profiles I like. The oil percentages are: 30% OO, 20% CO, 20% GW 415*, 15% cocoa butter, 10% shea, 5% castor, which yields lauric (10), myristic (4), palmitic (13), stearic (17), ricinoleic (5), oleic (44), linoleic (5), linolenic (0). SF is nominally 2-3%, but I sometimes use extra oil to mix colorants. I add ROE to my liquid oils, and in the recipe use sugar at 2% TOW, sodium citrate at 1.5% TOW, 40% lye concentration and work in the 110-120 F temp range. It works well for multi-color swirls as long as I exercise reasonable stick blender restraint and use friendly FOs. I’ve been using 40% lye concentration for some time now and rarely have any issues with acceleration, but maybe that’s because I stay away from troublesome FOs. For a more cost-effective, but lower longevity (S+P) soy wax soap, I up the GW415 to 23-25%, drop the cocoa butter down and use oils like rice bran and avocado that contribute some stearic and/or palmitic. *For reasons that are too complicated to explain in this thread, I created a custom profile for GW 415 in the SMF [email protected] @earlene posted it, here.
 
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Thank you for the custom profile for SW - I remember the reasons :)
The soap looks beautiful - but yes that gosh-darned cocoa butter is expensive innit? That's why I started using SW in the first place - to replace the CB which was the only thing giving me any longevity in my palm-free and vegan recipe. I also use RBO and avocado to help improve the profile.
 
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@KiwiMoose You can think of me as an apprentice because I most certainly also learned about RBO from you, @Dawni and @earlene. We can blame @dibbles for introducing me to cocoa butter magic. Even at 5% it adds something to the middle layer of my lather that I can’t seem to get from shea or soy wax.
So glad to hear this because I thought I was nuts. For many years I just didn't see the need to to use cocoa butter, but someone gave me a bucket of the stuff and I just started throwing bits of it in my recipes and really thought I noticed something special in the feel of the lather. (although I don't notice it in high lard soap). I especially like a bit of it with palm or tallow soaps.
 

earlene

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I also really like CB in soap, & have used it from the beginning of my soaping journey. I used to buy it as a push-up lip balm that I bought at Dollar General, labelled as "Queen Helene's" (1 ounce pure Cocoa Butter per tube). But it is also sold at Walgreens and other places by various brand names. I've been using this stuff for other purposes than for soap, so already knew where to find it locally. Granted at a $1 an ounce (then) it may seem pricey, but at 5% of the total oil weight, that wasn't a big deal IMO. Later I found better pricing from soap supply vendors, of course.
 
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I also really like CB in soap, & have used it from the beginning of my soaping journey. I used to buy it as a push-up lip balm that I bought at Dollar General, labelled as "Queen Helene's" (1 ounce pure Cocoa Butter per tube). But it is also sold at Walgreens and other places by various brand names. I've been using this stuff for other purposes than for soap, so already knew where to find it locally. Granted at a $1 an ounce (then) it may seem pricey, but at 5% of the total oil weight, that wasn't a big deal IMO. Later I found better pricing from soap supply vendors, of course.
I also started out using Queen Helene. There’s no over commitment involved. These days I like to use the wafers from WSP, but I only buy them when they’re on sale.
 
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dibbles

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I also started out using Queen Helene. There’s no over commitment involved. These days I like to use the wafers from WSP, but I only buy them when they’re on sale.
I use these wafers too. I broke up 10 lbs of cocoa butter once and it killed my hands. I buy it on sale also, and it's worth it to me to use them.
 
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I use these wafers too. I broke up 10 lbs of cocoa butter once and it killed my hands. I buy it on sale also, and it's worth it to me to use them.

I recently bought a tub of butter instead of the wafers and it is... Tough. The ice cream scoop I use for Shea butter didn't work.

I ended up using a serated knife and cutting it into chunks, which works surprisingly well.

When I next need to order I think I'll do another cost comparison between that and wafers and see if the extra effort is worth it at all.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I broke up 10 lbs of cocoa butter once and it killed my hands.
So true!
I recently bought a tub of butter
TIP: I melt my butters down in the microwave on #3 Defrost. I then pour them into 1/2 oz. or 1 oz. circle molds I repurpose from Nancy's Petite Quiche Snacks. YUM! (I have a lot of these molds!) I freeze them for an hour then pop them out and put them in a ZipLoc, mark the date and contents and store them in the freezer until I need them. :thumbs: ;)
 

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