Stearic Acid

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by dynasthai, Nov 7, 2014.

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  1. Nov 7, 2014 #1

    dynasthai

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    I was looking for something to harden up a bar other than bees wax. Soap calc lists Stearic Acid as one of the hardest. If I buy it from here. it looks like it's cheaper than the bees wax I was using. Has anyone used straight Stearic Acid before in their recipes and have any feed back on it?
     
  2. Nov 7, 2014 #2

    The Efficacious Gentleman

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    What sort of % are you thinking of using?
     
  3. Nov 7, 2014 #3

    dynasthai

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    my current recipe has 7% bees wax, So probably that or less. Since its harder than bees wax.
     
  4. Nov 7, 2014 #4

    Meganmischke

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    Cp or hp?
     
  5. Nov 7, 2014 #5

    dynasthai

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    Currently doing HP. Haven't tried CP yet.
     
  6. Nov 7, 2014 #6

    Meganmischke

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    Stearic is fine in hp. You could likely do up to the 7% with little issues. The stearic will quickly react with the lye solution.
     
  7. Nov 7, 2014 #7

    dynasthai

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    So it would speed up the trace?
     
  8. Nov 7, 2014 #8

    Meganmischke

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    For sure and it might look a bit different than without. Clumpyish
     
  9. Nov 7, 2014 #9

    new12soap

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    I would not recommend such a high amount of stearic in bar soap. Then again, I would never use that much beeswax either! How do your bars lather? I have found both stearic and beeswax really inhibit my bubbles. Unless you are using your soap as bricks to build your house, I would rather have better suds than a harder bar, but that's JMO.

    If you want to use stearic, be aware that it has a higher melt temp than other oils and it will seize pretty fast. I am sure you can handle it, just be aware. Most people (myself included) melt the stearic separately and add it after trace.

    I would start with 1/8 to 1/4 oz of stearic acid per pound of oil, I find that is plenty to firm up a soft recipe without inhibiting lather too much.

    JM2C
     
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  10. Nov 8, 2014 #10

    dynasthai

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    I wish i had my recipe on hand. But i'm at work and I don't.
    First batch i did was something like this. Super fated 5%

    Almond Oil, sweet - 13%
    Beeswax - 7%
    Coconut Oil, 76 deg - 30%
    Olive Oil - 20%
    Shea Butter - 30%

    Think I used it after two weeks. Dissolved really fast. Have a few bars left from the batch and they still feel soft even after over a month.

    Just made a new batch decided to try super fat 1% been curing about 3 days. Already feel harder than the previous batch. Going to let them cure longer this time too.
    Soap calc default had me at 38% water by oil weight. I like the lather on the bars. Rich and creamy. Not a lot of bubbles but it does bubble some.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
  11. Nov 8, 2014 #11

    new12soap

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    You might want to consider adding some palm, lard, or tallow to your soaps, they make very nice firm soap and rich creamy lather.

    Any soap will dissolve pretty fast at only 2 weeks, even HP benefits from a nice long cure. Try another bar from the same batch at 4 weeks, again at 6 weeks, and then at 8 weeks. I think you will be surprised at the difference.
     
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  12. Nov 8, 2014 #12

    The Efficacious Gentleman

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    I agree - in point of fact, I find that my hp needs a longer cure than my cp.
     
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  13. Nov 8, 2014 #13

    shunt2011

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    Your recipe should be plenty hard with the recipe you posted. I too would add some palm, lard, or tallow. I would give it a good long cure 6-8 weeks and then test it. Also, your coconut is a bit hight. I wouldn't recommend more than 25% though I generally stay between 20-22%
     
  14. Nov 8, 2014 #14

    seven

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    totally agree with shunt, personally i think your recipe doesn't need beeswax or stearic acid. 60% hard oils from coconut and shea is plenty. with 30% coconut i would recommend superfatting at around 7-8%.
     
  15. Nov 9, 2014 #15

    dynasthai

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    Okay home now. Actual Recipe was

    Almond 28%
    Coconut 30%
    Shea 15%
    Olive 20%
    Beewax 7%

    I probably just need to let it cure longer. If I remove the bees wax what would you recommend replacing it with? A mix of Shea and Olive oil?

    Unfortunately I dont have any left from that first batch but I just made a new batch only thing i changed was the new batch is 1% super fat, where the old one was 5%. So I can test it every few weeks to see how it does.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
  16. Nov 10, 2014 #16

    seven

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    with 30% coconut and 1% SF is it not too drying for you?

    if you replace the beeswax, i would up the olive to 27% and let the shea as it is. 15% shea is plenty me thinks.
     
  17. Nov 10, 2014 #17

    dynasthai

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    I have not tried the new batch yet. Letting it cure. I didn't find the 5% to be too drying. Now that I know more I may adjust the coconut down a few %.
     
  18. Nov 10, 2014 #18

    seven

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    5% SF to 1% is quite a difference, esp. with that much coconut. but you never know, as each skin is different. what works for me, may or may not work for you. so yeah, let your own skin be the judge :)
     
  19. Nov 10, 2014 #19

    dynasthai

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    I want to be able to give soaps as gifts. So I need to take other peoples skin types into account as well. So I'll have to have a few different people test it and give me some feed back.
     
  20. Nov 11, 2014 #20

    Saponista

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    I have very sensitive skin and found CO over 10% was too drying for me.

    I have used soya wax as a cheap hardening agent in soap, but wouldn't use a high percentage of it as it also reduces lather. I wouldn't go over 5%.
     

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