Sugar and Aloe and Sorbitol?

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In my experience softened water causes the feeling that soap is hard to rinse off.
Yes @earlene, I think you are right. I was using 1% Na Gluconate TBW because our Southern Arizona water is horrendous-with a capital H! I have only one friend who doesn't use a water softener, so maybe I don't need it. Back to basics. And yes indeed, men and women are different!
 
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In theory, in my world at least, anything that helps soap dissolve a little faster, helps to soften the water/prevent soap scum, or supports bubble structure, should lead to bigger bubbles.

Based on my personal experiences and a lot of experimenting with various recipes and oils, dissolution is helped along by coconut, a recipe with less stearic + palmitic, oleic acid at 40% or more, KOH in a dual lye recipe, or a large amount of sugar added, like >2% of TOW. The chelators probably help with point of use softening and we know they help to prevent soap scum. Sugars, like table sugar, honey and beer definitley increase bubbles in my recipes. They are known to contribute to bubble support and I also think they contribute to dissolution based on a few high sugar soaps I made earlier this year. I haven’t tried sorbitol, so can’t weigh in on how/why it works. Many makers have found that milks, cooking water or purees of oatmeal, rice, potatoes, fruits, aloe and similar help with bubbles. It seem likely that the colloidal starches or sugars in the purees or cooking or rinsing water contribute to bubble support, and possibly also some dissolution. Rice bran oil also increases bubbles in my recipes, which may be because the kinky structure of the polyunsaturated linoleic fatty acid in soap makes it easier to dissolve. On the downside, the linoleic and linolenic fatty acids in RBO have been linked to a higher risk or DOS because the unsaturated bonds are more prone to oxidation. Oils high in oleic acid have a somewhat similar effect in my recipes and are more stable due to oleic acid being monounsaturated. As much as I like a lot of rice bran oil in a soap, I have adjusted my recipes over time to rely more on oleic-rich oils. I now aim to have 40-50% oleic acid in the fatty acid profile of a “balanced” recipe. Due to the very hard water at my house, I keep superfat in the 2-4% range knowing that higher superfatting tends to reduce lather and enhance soap scum.

In the end, any assessment of lather quality is going to be as much influenced by things we mostly can’t control as by variables we control. The unknowns or uncontrollable variables could be undocumented qualities in the fats we use (we use average profiles for fats, but there are variations due to growing conditions, what pigs and cows are fed, processing, etc; unsaponifiables may or may not be present), user perception of what makes great soap, the type of water used for testing and how the soap is manipulated when a person is using it. The role of preference and other uncontrollable variables were apparent in a lather experiment I did last year. After that experiment, I settled on a few base recipes that I can adjust to have more or less cleansing (coconut oil or sometimes PKO) for gentleness or more bubbles.
 
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In theory, in my world at least, anything that helps soap dissolve a little faster, helps to soften the water/prevent soap scum, or supports bubble structure, should lead to bigger bubbles.

Based on my personal experiences and a lot of experimenting with various recipes and oils, dissolution is helped along by coconut, a recipe with less stearic + palmitic, oleic acid at 40% or more, KOH in a dual lye recipe, or a large amount of sugar added, like >2% of TOW. The chelators probably help with point of use softening and we know they help to prevent soap scum. Sugars, like table sugar, honey and beer definitley increase bubbles in my recipes. They are known to contribute to bubble support and I also think they contribute to dissolution based on a few high sugar soaps I made earlier this year. I haven’t tried sorbitol, so can’t weigh in on how/why it works. Many makers have found that milks, cooking water or purees of oatmeal, rice, potatoes, fruits, aloe and similar help with bubbles. It seem likely that the colloidal starches or sugars in the purees or cooking or rinsing water contribute to bubble support, and possibly also some dissolution. Rice bran oil also increases bubbles in my recipes, which may be because the kinky structure of the polyunsaturated linoleic fatty acid in soap makes it easier to dissolve. On the downside, the linoleic and linolenic fatty acids in RBO have been linked to a higher risk or DOS because the unsaturated bonds are more prone to oxidation. Oils high in oleic acid have a somewhat similar effect in my recipes and are more stable due to oleic acid being monounsaturated. As much as I like a lot of rice bran oil in a soap, I have adjusted my recipes over time to rely more on oleic-rich oils. I now aim to have 40-50% oleic acid in the fatty acid profile of a “balanced” recipe. Due to the very hard water at my house, I keep superfat in the 2-4% range knowing that higher superfatting tends to reduce lather and enhance soap scum.

In the end, any assessment of lather quality is going to be as much influenced by things we mostly can’t control as by variables we control. The unknowns or uncontrollable variables could be undocumented qualities in the fats we use (we use average profiles for fats, but there are variations due to growing conditions, what pigs and cows are fed, processing, etc; unsaponifiables may or may not be present), user perception of what makes great soap, the type of water used for testing and how the soap is manipulated when a person is using it. The role of preference and other uncontrollable variables were apparent in a lather experiment I did last year. After that experiment, I settled on a few base recipes that I can adjust to have more or less cleansing (coconut oil or sometimes PKO) for gentleness or more bubbles.
Love your work Mobjack! :D
 
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In the end, any assessment of lather quality is going to be as much influenced by things we mostly can’t control as by variables we control.
Hi @Mobjack Bay, thank you for your thoughtful reply. I have officially, well and truly, fallen down the soapmaking rabbit hole. I read the post you referred to above and saw that there are many variables, some we can't account for.
I gave my husband a slim end piece to try. I had tested it once at the kitchen sink and thought this recipe might be "The One." He loved it! Said it bubbled up quickly, it was very soapy, it was his new favorite. A week later I gave him a whole new bar to use and he didn't realize it was the exact same soap. He said he didn't like it as much because it wasn't as bubbly. Say what!!!
I knew then it was the shape that made the difference. He was able to vigorously rub the slim, flat end piece between his palms and immediately get bubbly lather. However, the whole new bar was a rectangular chunk with square, untrimmed edges. He had tried to roll it round and round with both hands. It was much more work to get the lather going and therefore was perceived as being "not as bubbly." So, shape matters!
In addition, I have noticed that the second time I lather with a new bar, it lathers better than the first time. I am guessing that is because there is now already some moisture settled into the surface layer, causing it to be a little more soluble--maybe?
It seems to me that soap gets better after the first use. It is softer and the squareness is gone. Yet, people make up their mind about a soap's qualities in about 12 seconds.

:smallshrug:

And while I'm on my soap box (LOL) what about those soy wax fatty acid profiles you worked out! I and others had been using the 100% hydrogenated soy oil setting in the soap calculator for GW415. Sure, the sap values were similar so we made safe soap, but some of us were trying to get a harder bar without using palm or animal fats. You discovered the hydrogenation was quite a bit less than we realized, but still our soap was very nice and quite hard enough. As many have already stated, the soap calculators don't tell the whole story. For certain I will run my numbers through the lye calculator, but from now on I will also add my own empirical observations--that is, my touchy-feely spidey senses.
Anyway, I appreciate the framework you laid out above for getting a bubblier soap. I am going back to the soap pot now and will try not to drive myself crazy.

:computerbath:
 
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@Shirley-D At the worst, using the SAP values in the soap calculators vs. the one I calculated results in a little more superfatting. I went through the process of calculating a custom SAP for GW415 because I formulate my soap recipes based on fatty acid profiles, as well as fat types. GW 415 likely contains a fair amount of the trans 18:1 fatty acid (elaidic acid). The good news is that unlike oleic acid, elaidic acid is a straight chain fatty acid, which means it should behave a bit like stearic acid in soap. Experimenting is a great way to figure out what you like. Just be sure to keep good notes.
 
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This is good news @Mobjack Bay ! I can make a soap that has more longevity than the soap calc indicates with GW415. I did copy your custom sap values and profile. I use it all the time now for my recipes and it appears to be true. I am very grateful for your research and your sharing that information with your fellow soapers. Thank you.
 

TheGecko

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Few newbies understand the importance of fragrance. Fragrance sells! For the amount of time you spend learning various swirt techniques and other methods, you'd be much better off spending the same amount of time, & money!, on finding irresistable fragrances that customers will love and can't live without.
It's a bit of both. First you look with your eyes...either you "see" a pretty soap or you "read" the label. Then you pick it up and smell it. Then it's back to "looking" at the soap. Some folks might buy an ugly bar of soap if it smells great, but you have better odds with a good looking bar that smells good. But with that said, you also want a bar of soap that a customer will use as opposed to it being 'too pretty to sell' and putting it on a shelf.
Then I was going to trawl the fragrance area to get to the bottom of my fragrance issues. I get it that the fragrances draw people in. After spending a small fortune on fragrances, I am repeatedly disappointed. I have narrowed it to down to three that I love and trust. Otherwise, it is hit and miss, mostly miss. Can I be the only one who thinks WSP's Love Spell smells like a cheap orange lollipop? And the ever-popular Black Raspberry Vanilla is pleasant till I get a chemical-like whiff up close? I have never thought I had a discerning nose, but now I wonder. I
Never smelled Love Spell and not all BRV is equal. There are a LOT of companies that sell FOs and a lot of them sell the same 'named' FOs, but they don't always smell the same. Also, there is often a difference between how a FO smells IN the bottle, versus how it smells after the cut to how it smells six weeks down the road. Autumn Harvest from Elements Bath & Body comes to mind. In the bottle it smells heavenly, to me it has a rich buttery smell and warms the cockles of my heart. Let it sit in the mold for a couple of days and when I went to cut it...OMG, it practically burned by nose! It just had this really nasty chemical smell. I stuck the bars on the top shelf, sure that I was totally screwed since I bought a 16oz bottle without testing it first. Checked it a couple of months later...it smelled lovely. Not as buttery, but still had that 'warm' appeal. I've also had some scents that I didn't think smelled all that great in the bottle, but turned out to be wonderful scents once the soap was allowed to cure properly.

From lessons learned, I only buy a trial or 1 oz bottle of a scent first time out and then make a small test batch (uncolored) and then I stick it on the shelf and let it cure for six to eight weeks and then I check it out for discoloration and scent.

Hi @KiwiMoose, Yes, recently. I lowered the SF to 3% then 2%. I did that because my number 1 guinea pig (the husband) complained the soap was sort of hard to rinse off, said he felt slick from the soap and had to rinse more.
This is normal. People are so used to commercial soaps and have been brainwashed into believing that you should be 'squeaky' clean. Squeaky clean is good for dishes and pots and pans, but NOT for skin and hair...it means that you have stripped all the natural oils. So using a soap that doesn't strip the natural oils feels weird at first, like you haven't got all the soap rinsed off. But once you get used to it you don't even notice until you go use commercial soap, and notice right away just how dry your skin feels. In our old office we had a private bathroom and so I was able to keep my soap stocked but we have a 'public' bathroom down with that foaming soap stuff and we go through a lot of hand lotion in our office.

In my experience softened water causes the feeling that soap is hard to rinse off. I notice it quite markedly when the water softener runs a fresh cycle, but not so much a few days later.
My grandmother had a water softener. We had to cut back on how much shampoo we used because it would take forever to get it all rinsed out. She also used less dish soap and less laundry soap.
 
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