Starting My Soaping Journey

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by KiwiSoap, Feb 27, 2019.

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  1. Mar 19, 2019 #41

    KiwiSoap

    KiwiSoap

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    Hallo @amd, many thanks for your feedback, I've got some practice making white soaps now! Post #39 is a soy wax soap, the exact recipe I used is:
    • 20% soy wax
    • 20% coconut oil
    • 20% olive oil
    • 15% rice bran oil
    • 10% Shea butter
    • 10% apricot kernal oil
    • 5% castor oil
    • with 4% superfat and
    • 33% lye concentration
    (You see how @KiwiMoose got the nickname Princess Poly-Oil?)

    I brought the SW, CO, OO & Shea butter to 70°C (158°F), stirring, and then added the remainder of the oils (perhaps I should have heated one of the other oils as well because it cooled a little too low, I understand SW will work well around 52°C/125°F; this dropped a bit below that). My lye was still warm enough to lift the temperature a little.

    With no colour or fragrance, the batter seemed to behave really well. Unfortunately I was distracted/curious about levels of trace and it turned into lumpy pudding but, as you can see, it moulded and set well, and a wee soap scrap I tested at three days old has made a nice lather and bubbles, can't wait to try the bar!
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  2. Mar 19, 2019 #42

    Meena

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    [QUOTE="KiwiSoap, post: 758143
    (You see how @KiwiMoose got the nickname Princess Poly-Oil?)
    [/QUOTE]

    My soaps routinely have 6 to 7 oils, or 5 when I feel lazy. Many of us soap "poly oil". All the separate weighing can indeed be a pain, though. ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
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  3. Mar 19, 2019 #43

    Pat McGlothlin

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    Pardon me for being the dunce in the schoolroom, but why salt?

    Whenever I think of putting salt in soap, I get all itchy and dry feeling.

    Since I only make goats milk soap now, I never gel and my soaps are always ready to pop out of the molds in 12 hours. Please enlighten me.
     
  4. Mar 19, 2019 #44

    amd

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    @Pat McGlothlin are you referring to this? They're called salt bars or spa bars. Some with dry skin will get exactly the reaction you're referring to (I'm in that group, with slight exceptions), or some with skin that can tolerate a more drying soap - dare I say oily skinned? - love them. My husband is an oily skinned guy, and he loves his salt bars. They should have a proper 9 month or more cure, but if I can get him to wait 2 months, he'll use them that early. There's several threads on the forum regarding them, including various recipes that we have tried, so if you're really interested, a forum search is well worth your time as there are many tricks and donots within those threads.
     
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  5. Mar 20, 2019 #45

    Zing

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    These white bars are incredibly elegant. And don't worry about the few air bubbles. I think it was the wise @Misschief who says that air bubbles makes it look homemade and authentic. I also love swirls and lately enjoying the simplicity of a single color. Keep up the good work!
     
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  6. Mar 20, 2019 #46

    Misschief

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    I'm wise?? I'm humbled.
     
  7. Mar 20, 2019 #47

    KiwiSoap

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    Thank you Zing, appreciate your continued support! This weekend's project will add some colour to my collection ..

    Unrelated, this afternoon I harvested a small number of calendula flowers, now that those I collected a fortnight ago have been replenished. Wish I'd thought of it earlier when they were more abundant!
    IMG_20190320_164424_800.jpg IMG_20190320_164527_800.jpg IMG_20190320_163118_800.jpg
     
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  8. Mar 20, 2019 #48

    Dawni

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    And I'm striving for less lol I have done 6-7 (more since I use butters for hardness) several times, but I keep trying to formulate ones that use less but still feel great. So far the winner is anything with lard in it. Just lard, coconut and one or two conditioning soft oil/s. I've stopped using castor oil too, unless I'm making a soleseife. With sugar I get good bubbles and castor just seems like added expense.
    I wish I had calendula to harvest. Need to see about planting some as buying them already dried isn't very cheap.

    I'm looking forward to your colored soaps @KiwiSoap!
     
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  9. Mar 20, 2019 #49

    KiwiMoose

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    You might remember the Great Castor Oil Depression of early January 2019 when I had to (horror!!) make soap without castor oil. I did as you all suggested and used sugar instead. I'm just now using the soap and it seems nice and bubbly to me - creamy and smooth.
    However, I will still use castor oil as it is only $NZ12 ($US8.20, or PHP434) per litre so it's one of my cheaper oils anyway.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
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  10. Mar 20, 2019 #50

    Clarice

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    May I ask (as I have yet to make a goat milk bar) is there something about GM that causes the soap to harden faster?

    Thank you!
     
  11. Mar 20, 2019 #51

    KiwiSoap

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    Hallo All,
    I am thankful to all the visitors to this thread and am pleased we're all discovering and sharing different ways of soaping and generating discussion, however could we keep it to the topic of vegan and palm-free soaps please.
    Thank you! :thumbs:
     
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  12. Mar 23, 2019 #52

    KiwiSoap

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    Fourth Batch in the Mould: KiwiMoose's Poly-Oil Bar ... with *Colour!*
    As promised, this today's batch included Colour! (Fortunately made without colourful words). I did, however, discover that the colourant I bought, Lake Allura Red (FD&C Red 40), doesn't perform so well in CP soaping and that gelling is recommended (the online store I bought it from listed it as a Soap Colour and gave only brief detail on the page). I was also surprised by the small quantity of colourant used -- ¼ teaspoon per 500g soap.

    So, an experiment with both colour and gelling (I have not gelled up til now). I used the same recipe as last week (KiwiMoose's Soy Wax Soap), changing the lye concentration to 30% and using CPOP, both to encourage gel. I wanted to try four different shades of the colour, going for 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% colouration.

    The soap batter process went much the same as last time, but I kept it warmer (around 50°C), only took it to light trace, and I reserved 1 Tablespoon OO for use with the colourant, and another Tablespoon OO to compensate/further dilute for the colour not added in the lighter blends.
    i.e. 100% colour blend received 4 parts colour,
    75% colour blend received 3 parts colour, 1 part oil,
    50% colour blend received 2 parts colour, 2 parts oil, and
    25% colour blend received 1 part colour, 3 parts oil. (Apologies for over-explaining!)

    I moulded my soaps and put the oven on at the lowest temperature (50°C), put the moulds in, then turned the oven off. Now the waiting happens.

    More details and photos later, all going well!

    ETA soap batter pics:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  13. Mar 23, 2019 #53

    KiwiMoose

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    Waiting with bated breath...
     
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  14. Mar 23, 2019 #54

    KiwiSoap

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    Update:
    I watched the soap sitting in the oven, unknowing whether anything was happening or not. All was revealed this morning... When I put the soap into the oven for CPOP, I didn't cover it with plastic wrap. This meant it developed a healthy coating of soda ash which hid all the activity from me.

    I unmoulded the soap and -- gel! Colourful gel! The shades were not so distinct as I'd hoped and I suspect there was quite a bit of bleeding (more evident later). I added the colourant at light trace, but by the time I'd measured in the colourant and mixed it through, it was more pudding-like.

    My rectangular bars, top and bottom:
    IMG_20190324_083952_frontback.png
    Note: I didn't smooth over the top of the bars because I didn't want to mix the shades. Perhaps it wouldn't matter.

    To compare how the colourant (Lake Allura Red/FD&C Red 40) compared with gel and no gel ... I did one mould with gel and one with no gel:
    IMG_20190324_085317_frontback.png
    Note: I poured my 100% red into the mould first, then added a dollop of 25% red in the middle of that. Gelled left, ungelled right.
    The gelled soap unmoulded much more cleanly than the ungelled soap, whose decorative sides crumbled, perhaps both could have benefited from further time in the mould. The ungelled soap was a lot softer in colour but sported small intense speckles.

    What to do about that soda ash? I'd read reports of steaming soda ash off, so decided to give that a go. I used a steam iron, on steam mode at the highest temperature (cotton setting). I waved the iron over the soap, spurting steam over it, and the soda ash magically melted away (the soap seemed on the verge of melting away as well, but I suspect that was the gleam of the water on the soap surface):
    IMG_20190324_091034_removing_soda_ash.png

    My final mould, to use up the last of the soap batter:
    IMG_20190324_090716_800.jpg
    The heart was pure 100% red; the woman and butterfly were painted in the lightest shade, then increasing shades on top of that (and the bottom left is repeated from before). Air bubbles were quite evident in this batch, they were the last poured so the batter would have been thickest, and it was an awkward mould to 'tap' the bubbles out of, so I'll need to be firmer next time.

    Today I learnt: how to use colourant, how to gel, and how to remove soda ash using steaming. A jam-packed lesson! Any further hints and tips appreciated, thank you for reading!
     
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  15. Mar 23, 2019 #55

    KiwiMoose

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    These look great! A very interesting experiment to see with the variants of the colours, different percentages and gel versus no gel. Thanks for sharing those.

    And iron..what's an iron?? LOL. Rarely use one these days.
     
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  16. Mar 24, 2019 #56

    Dawni

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    Me neither, I hate them lol

    Love reading about your experiments KiwiSoap! It's like learning to CP through you hehehe.. What's next on the list?

    Oh, I love your mold choices too, very pretty.
     
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  17. Mar 24, 2019 #57

    KiwiSoap

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    LOL, it's not often I make use of the iron either, especially not in the weather at the moment!

    Thank you Dawn, I've learnt a lot from all the information you've shared as well! What's next? Funny you should ask, I smell another project coming up .. what does it smell like? #FindOutNextInstallment#
     
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  18. Mar 27, 2019 #58

    penelopejane

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    Lovely soap!
    I was reading today (soapmakingresources-which has closed down but the site still has heaps of info) that SF will change some colours as well. So a 5% SF compared to a 12% SF.
    It doesn't apply to all colour additives. it didn't work with Annatto but it made a big difference to Madder root soap. Madder root was darker at a lower SF.
    http://www.soap-making-resource.com/madder-root-soap-making.html
     
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  19. Apr 5, 2019 #59

    KiwiSoap

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    Batch 5, Genny's Not-Shampoo Facial/Body Bar, with Fragrance!
    It was time for me to try a different recipe, especially as I haven't really got to try using any of these soaps yet (I've done some two-week tests, more on that when I have time). This was a recipe that caused quite a stir, and also gave me another reason to order avocado oil (once it came back in stock). And I promised to add some fragrance: I used Very Vanilla FO in one bar and Antique Sandalwood in another. I also ordered some oxides, and today tried out the Ultramarine.

    The recipe I used:
    • 40% Olive Oil
    • 30% Avocado Oil
    • 10% Castor Oil
    • 10% Shea Butter
    • 10% Soy Wax 415 (replacing the Soybean oil in the original recipe).
    Following a suggestion I read from IrishLass, I used superfat 7% and, by the recipe, used 35% water as percentage of oil weight (a lye concentration of 26%, my lowest so far).

    I poured four ½-cups of batter and added:
    • 2.5ml Very Vanilla FO to one,
    • 2.5ml Antique Sandalwood to another
    • a fraction of a teaspoon Ultramarine blue in reserved olive oil
    • and kept one plain.
    (The measuring vessel I have has marks for 2.5ml and 5ml, so used the first mark. I reserved 1 T of OO during measuring and used ¼T for the Ultramarine, and added the same amount to the other pottles).

    I poured into matching moulds, clockwise from top left: plain, antique sandalwood, ultramarine, vanilla. Note how much darker the vanilla soap batter is already!
    IMG_20190405_105857_800.jpg
    And as I have two matching sets: one is being gelled in the oven right now, the other is sitting in the garage, which is very cool on the miserable day it is here.

    More details and photos later!
     
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  20. Apr 6, 2019 #60

    KiwiSoap

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    Report Back on My Earlier Soaps
    So, it is five weeks since my first soap, not long enough for any to be ready for full usage (patience seems a key virtue for the soaping game!) but each batch I cut some mini-bars for hand testing. Here is my report, all mistakes are my own, please help me understand and correct them :)

    My first soap was Zany's Faux Seawater Castille (100%OO, 0%SF, salt and baking soda in lye water). I took a piece at two weeks and put it at the bathroom sink. My notes at the time were that it was a hard bar but as soon as it got wet it became 'slimy' (not to the extent IrishLass has just shared, just slippery -- it is soap I guess). I also noted there was very little lather and that it seemed very gentle.
    Later that day I went to use it again and was a bit alarmed, I think the base was turning mushy, and rather than leaving it in the soap dish I moved it to a flatter position on the vanity so it wasn't sitting in so much water, but to no avail, it's continued producing soap 'mush' since. I feel it is a bit better now, at five weeks old, but I can't say how and it has 'smooshed' out a great deal.

    The next soap to come to testing age was KiwiMoose's Soy Wax soap (recipe & method), again at two weeks old. This was also hard and easily made a nice lather with lots of small bubbles and felt creamy, however I noticed that after rinsing there was a strange 'grippy' feeling. It seems to be holding up well, even sitting in water in the soap dish, although this is only one week old.

    I thought I might be missing something, so to help me understand, I tested a small bar of a 100% Coconut Oil soap today (with 20% super-fat and 25% fine sea salt). If I thought the previous bars were hard, this one was rock solid! It took a little more work but made a creamy white lather and, crucially, when I rinsed it away there was that same strange 'grippy' feeling, but stronger. Aha!

    In my reading about using soy wax in soaps, someone had recommended a lower superfat as apparently it takes longer to saponify. What I hadn't taken into account was that coconut oil is very stripping, so it benefits from a higher superfat.
    Question: is the feeling I am getting after rinsing from the coconut oil? How much this will the 'stripping' nature of the soap change with cure?

    [I took some photos but removed them for decency's sake, no one wants to see used soap!]
     
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