sugar and salt

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by Nite Hawk, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Sep 26, 2017 #1

    Nite Hawk

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    I have used sugar in the past to increase lather, however I was told that adding 1/2 a tsp of salt to 1 # soap recipe would make a harder bar.
    Has anyone out there ever done that?
    Also, what would the "reaction" possibly be to add both sugar and salt to your recipe? or would one counter act the other?
    Any thoughts?
    thanks
     
  2. Sep 26, 2017 #2

    soapmaker

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    I use both. I dissolve a tablespoon of sugar ppo in my water BEFORE adding the lye. It will not dissolve in lye water. I also use salt, dissolving it in a little water first. But remember to subtract that amount of water out of your lye water. It does make a harder bar. If you are using a f.o. or e.o. that accelerates trace though, I would not use salt but sodium lactate for a harder bar. Salt has the potential of accelerating trace which is no problem if no other ingredient is also accelerating trace.
     
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  3. Sep 26, 2017 #3

    BrewerGeorge

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    Definitely. I used to use both without problem.
     
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  4. Sep 27, 2017 #4

    jcandleattic

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    Many people use both with no problems at all.
    I use SL in combination with sugar, with no problems.
     
  5. Sep 28, 2017 #5

    Chispa

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    I started out using 2% sugar and 2% salt dissolved in the water before lye in every recipe. Then I read (somewhere) that sugar had a hardening effect on soap. So I made three batches with 4% sugar and no salt. The soaps were all 80-95% RBO.

    Those bars are MUCH softer than my other ones. Even though I gel my soaps in the oven, the soap is very squishy the next day when I cut it. About the hardness of a ripe peach. After a six week cure, the hardness increased to about that of a tennis ball.

    When I switched back to using 2% salt, the hardness came back. Now the soap is about the hardness of cheddar cheese the next day out of the oven, and is satisfyingly rock hard after six weeks.

    The downside of salt is that it supposedly reduces lather a bit, though I haven't noticed any lack of lather on my bars. And I would trade the small difference in lathering for the huge difference in hardness any day.
     
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  6. Sep 28, 2017 #6

    Steve85569

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    I use both and I use more than one type of salt.
    Sugar or aloe juice or coconut milk - anything with sugar in it will boost lather and soften the soap.

    MOST salts will harden soap. The exception that comes to mind is Sodium citrate which will soften soap at higher use levels.
    SL and SA harden as well as sodium chloride ( table salt).
     
  7. Sep 28, 2017 #7

    Kittish

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    SA= sodium acetate? Sodium salt of vinegar?
     
  8. Sep 28, 2017 #8

    soapmaker

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    Or sodium ascorbate?
     
  9. Sep 28, 2017 #9

    Kittish

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    And this is why I'm asking. :)
     
  10. Sep 28, 2017 #10

    BrewerGeorge

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    Yes, sodium acetate.
     
  11. Sep 28, 2017 #11

    0115d8cf

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    I use SL and sugar in the same recipe, but I've also replaced water with aloe vera juice so any lather-dampening from the salt is pretty negated.
     
  12. Sep 28, 2017 #12

    gloopygloop

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    Have you found that SL dampens the lather somewhat? it is something I have not noticed and i mostly always use SL and is a long time since i haven't so cannot remember if the lather was more excessive then? I don't think it was in my mind.
     
  13. Sep 28, 2017 #13

    soapmaker

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    When I first started to use SL, I was contemplating whether it increased lather.
     
  14. Sep 28, 2017 #14

    gloopygloop

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    Well me too which was why I posed the question.
     
  15. Sep 28, 2017 #15

    soapmaker

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    It's nice to hear a little confirmation. I really don't think it was all in my head. But I do use less than the recommended amount. I use only 4 t. in a 5 lb. of oils batch.
     
  16. Sep 28, 2017 #16

    Skatergirl46

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    I haven't noticed that SL dampens lather. I usually add sugar to my batches too though.
     
  17. Sep 29, 2017 #17

    0115d8cf

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    Honestly, not really! I've forgotten to add SL to batches before (I mostly use 3 recipes, so they were exactly the same barring pigment/scent), and while they were noticeably softer in the beginning, they didn't seem to lather any better after they were cured.
     
  18. Sep 30, 2017 #18

    Nite Hawk

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    what does aloe vera juice do to the soap?
     
  19. Sep 30, 2017 #19

    0115d8cf

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    It adds to the bubbles! Some people say it also just feels better and soothing, but I can't vouch for that (I have indestructible alligator skin).
     
  20. Sep 30, 2017 #20

    penelopejane

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    Which additive are you referring to here?
     

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