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Soybean oil: brittle, flaky, stinky soap?

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MetalSubstance

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Hi all,

After making three successful batches of soap using lard and coconut oil, I have attempted to experiment with a pure-vegetable-oil soap blend using 75% soybean and 25% coconut (refined) oils. While the soap cleans and lathers well, I noticed that as it continues to dry and cure, it becomes brittle and flaky. In addition, the soap smells like it came straight out of a frying pan as if it were used to cook french fries, even though I added a ton of orange essential oil to it at trace.

Is this common for soybean-based soaps? Should I be switching to a different vegetable oil, like canola, corn, or sunflower? I'm not using olive oil at the moment due it its high cost.

Thanks,
--Metal Substance
 

Soapmaker Man

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I don't use hydrognated soybean (Crisco main oil) but have heard that from others. I use Rice Bran Oil from Riceland Rice for 50% of the Olive Oil I used to use. RBO has similar properties as OO, not as good, but close! I bought 40 pounds a few months ago from them. :wink:

ETA; I remember reading that orange EO's tend to fade a lot, if not anchored. I have not used orange EO's only FO's.

Paul
 

Krickett

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Sorry that I cant help you with the question and not meaning to but in on conversation, but you guys are talking about canola and olive oils and even crisco. Are you talking about the cooking kind that you can buy at the grocery stores? I bet you guys get tired of all the dumb--newbie questions!
 

MetalSubstance

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Krickett said:
Sorry that I cant help you with the question and not meaning to but in on conversation, but you guys are talking about canola and olive oils and even crisco. Are you talking about the cooking kind that you can buy at the grocery stores? I bet you guys get tired of all the dumb--newbie questions!
I'm really a newbie myself, having only gotten into soapmaking as a hobby this past month, and having only made a total of five 1-lb batches.

The oil in question that I've been having problems with is Wesson Vegetable Oil, which is a soybean cooking oil that is available at your everyday grocery store in the United States.

I've been using Morrell Snow Cap Lard as my lard base for the animal soaps that I've been making. It's cheap and easy to find in many stores as well.

As for coconut oil, since it's expensive to get the virgin kind (and I prefer to jealously guard my virgin coconut oil supply for food use), I just use the LouAna coconut oil available at Wal-Mart. I wouldn't bring any of it close to my mouth or use it in any type of food even if my life depended on it, but it will do just fine for soap making.

I'm going to try using Crisco instead of plain soybean oil to see how well it will work in my case.
 

IanT

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Krickett said:
Sorry that I cant help you with the question and not meaning to but in on conversation, but you guys are talking about canola and olive oils and even crisco. Are you talking about the cooking kind that you can buy at the grocery stores? I bet you guys get tired of all the dumb--newbie questions!
Yes they were speaking of the very same type that is available in stores, however it is more expensive if you dont buy from a bulk supplier because your paying retail markup. There are several different grades of oils. I like extra virgin olive oil, but some do not...its all personal preference...the thing that turns me off about grade B or pumice olive oil is that 1 is extracted with solvent called hexane, (if my memory serves me correctly) and pumice is extracted through further processing of the leftovers from the grade B extraction process.

Grade A olive oil is good to use in my opinion but i havent tried it yet (but I am one of those natural sans-chemical types ...)

Edit: metal- I have heard of people complaining of smelling like croissants when they get out of the shower if they use crisco in soaps!...I am a little wary of using this in my soap because I dont want to put anything on my body that I wouldnt eat!

like i said im a naturalist in that respect!


sorry for the hijack!
 

Soapmaker Man

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Yes, but really no is the answer. If I were to use hydrogenated soybean oil, I would buy it in 50 pound cubes from Columbus Foods. It is nothing but hydrogenated soybean oil, Crisco is mainly soybean, but has other oils (cottonseed) and preservatives. The other oils in Crisco even vary form one part of the US to another part. :? I've been on this discussion about a year and a half ago at another forum.

Paul :wink:
 

MetalSubstance

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I think I may have figured out what was wrong with my original soy-based soap batch. I poured the soap into the mold before I allowed it to fully trace, and the ingredients didn't end up mixing properly. Plus, I may have given the bar too much fat discount.

It was worth a shot, wasn't it? At least it's still good soap that won't be wasted.

--Metal Substance
 

IanT

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its always a good shot! no matter the outcome, favorable/unfavorable theres always something to learn from it!

:)
 

Krickett

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And Hey come one admit it learning is good even if it is learning somehting from mistakes. I feel the day isnt as good if I havent learned at least one thing.
 

IanT

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yup !! quite true!! theres ALWAYS something to learn out of every situation in life! :)
 

soapaddict

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I heard you can get DOS using a high amount of soybean. I do use soybean, but it's usually under 20%.
 

WilsonFamilyPicnic

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if you poured before trace there may have been separation in which case you'll have some parts that are lye heavy. hence your brittleness. don't use it as is, rebatch it. there are a couple of threads around here with instructions. here's one of those threads.
 
G

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I don't think recipe mishaps happen because of Soy or Crisco or canola or any other oils. I do think that some oils are only great in smaller amounts though.

There are only a few oils that can pull off being used as a single oil or used as the majority of soap. Olive and Avocado do well.

You might find the data collected here useful when creating your recipes:

http://www.zensoaps.com/singleoil.htm

You can Google more single oil soap results as well.
 

WilsonFamilyPicnic

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thanks for that link Marr. my first batch ever was 100% soy oil. it was not a great bar, but not as horrible as it sounded on this site. and what the heck is "hairy" lather? :?

other than what you see on my legs of course....
 

MetalSubstance

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For what it's worth, my soybean oil soap is working better the longer I let it cure, and the smell isn't as pronounced. It doesn't feel extraordinarily lye-heavy to my skin, so I'll continue using it.

Maybe this batch wasn't a failure after all; I probably should have given it more cure time.

--Metal Substance
 
G

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WilsonFamilyPicnic said:
thanks for that link Marr. my first batch ever was 100% soy oil. it was not a great bar, but not as horrible as it sounded on this site. and what the heck is "hairy" lather? :?

other than what you see on my legs of course....
LOL - great question about the hairy lather. :)

I think that the all soy soap in this instance would of course be seen in a worse light stacked up against the other oils used in the experiment. Doesn't make it awful.
 

MetalSubstance

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I'm not sure what "hairy" lather is, but on my very first batch of soap, I used 75% lard and 25% soybean oil (before I learned about all the bubbles that came from using coconut oil). The soap lathered just fine; the bubbles were just lighter and finer than they would have been had I used coconut instead of soy.

I tried one batch using 100% coconut soap. It sucked, badly. The batch hardened before all the lye got the chance to dissolve into the soap, even after trace. The bars were extraordinarily hard and the soap surprisingly didn't retain its lather as well as I would have hoped. Maybe that's what is meant by lather "stability"...

By comparison, my soy batch is working out better the longer I let it cure. I can confirm that the orange essential oil doesn't retain its scent on its own.

Before I end up wasting my pure coconut soap, will it be effective as a laundry bar?

--Metal Substance
 
G

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Yes - it will be perfect for a laundry soap but you'll need to add some lye to counter any superfatting you have done. I usually just add a few TB of lye to the mix as your clothes won't be harmed if a little lye heavy. Superfat could cause oil spots on your clothes.
 

MetalSubstance

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soapaddict said:
I heard you can get DOS using a high amount of soybean. I do use soybean, but it's usually under 20%.
soapaddict,

This just started happening with my soy batch starting yesterday, and the soaps now smell like drying paint. I wonder if it's the DOS that causes the smell, or the orange oil reacting with the lye.

--Metal Substance
 

MetalSubstance

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Gah!

The DOS on this batch got so bad that I had no choice but to throw it out. I wouldn't use foul paint-smelling soap on myself; much less give someone the misfortune of using it.

Oh well....so far that's 4 successful batches, 1 failure, 1 draw, and 1 still in progress...

--Metal Substance
 
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