Stearic Acid vs. Sodium Lactate

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froggybean37

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Looking at ordering one or the other - do you have a preference? What is the main difference between the two in terms of hardness, pros & cons?

I have never used anything for a harder bar so would love a bit of insight between the two! Thanks guys!
 

Obsidian

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I use sodium lactate. It will also help create larger bubbles so thats a plus for me and its great if you ever do HP. To me, steric makes a weird, waxy feeling bar and I only use it for shaving soap. Too much will cause instant seize and will need to be HP.
 

Meganmischke

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Sodium lactate for sure is my preference. Stearic acid has it's uses in shaving soaps and homemade melt and pour, but for every day recipes sodium lactate all the way.
 

seven

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i would prefer sodium lactate. as well as helping to make harder bars, SL also helps with cleaner unmolding, and particularly useful if you have a soft recipe. it also helps with fluidity in hp soaps.

i don't use stearic acid much in cp/hp soaps. i only use it to make mp base. stearic acid can be tricky to work with, for the reasons stated by Obsidian above.

there is also another option to use plain table salt for harder bars. 1 tsp ppo if i remember correctly. too much salt can interfere with lather.
 

Seawolfe

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I've never tried SL, but I can tell you that stearic is a pain in the butt to melt and work with. It needs quite high temps to melt it, and it leaves a nasty film on whatever container you melt it in.
 

froggybean37

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That's great! Thanks so much for your help, guys! I know which way to go now!
 

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