Sugar in soap question

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LunaLe

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I want to start adding some sugar to my soaps, how much are you supposed to add? And how do you add it? Thanks!
 

AliOop

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I typically add 1-2 teaspoons per pound of oils. I thoroughly dissolve the sugar in the lye liquid before adding the lye. This gives my high-lard, low CO soaps a nice lather boost. I also use 5% castor oil.
 

LunaLe

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I typically add 1-2 teaspoons per pound of oils. I thoroughly dissolve the sugar in the lye liquid before adding the lye. This gives my high-lard, low CO soaps a nice lather boost. I also use 5% castor oil.
Thanks! I plan on making a batch today and I want to try something new for a better lather. I can't come up with a decent recipe for a nice, bubbly lather.
 

AliOop

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There are some good threads here about which oils and additives help with lather.:)

With my favorite recipes, I’ve found that the length of cure greatly affects how nicely my soaps lather. They are so much better at 6-8 weeks than they are at 4 weeks.
 

LunaLe

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There are some good threads here about which oils and additives help with lather.:)

With my favorite recipes, I’ve found that the length of cure greatly affects how nicely my soaps lather. They are so much better at 6-8 weeks than they are at 4 weeks.
I have one recipe that lathers nicely, and all of my friends and family love it. It's really not the greatest recipe (at least I don't think so), but everybody loves it. The only complaint is that it doesn't last very long. It's a pretty soft bar of soap. I have found that after a longer cure it's just a better bar of soap, but still soft. So I'm trying to come up with a decent recipe for a harder bar with nice lather. I'll definitely search the threads on here about the oils.
 

DeeAnna

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IMO, it's probably best to develop a blend of fats that produces soap with well-balanced properties -- good lather, long lasting, mild, etc. -- and then look into tweak its performance with additives, like sugar, if a person wants to do that. If you share your current recipe here, I'm sure people will help you develop a better performing blend of fats.

I'm not comfortable with the idea of using additives to improve a soap that's really not performing all that well to begin with. That strikes me as trying to turn a stock VW Beetle into a Ferrari by changing the air filter and putting premium gas in it. You might eke out a little more acceleration, but that Beetle is never going to be a sports car.
 

LunaLe

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Well I ended up doing 2 tsp ppo, next batch I will do 2 tbsp ppo to see if I notice a difference. Added sodium citrate correctly this time. I think this may be my best batch! I feel so accomplished right now! It's supposed to be a pumpkin pie soap.
 

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LunaLe

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IMO, it's probably best to develop a blend of fats that produces soap with well-balanced properties -- good lather, long lasting, mild, etc. -- and then look into tweak its performance with additives, like sugar, if a person wants to do that. If you share your current recipe here, I'm sure people will help you develop a better performing blend of fats.

I'm not comfortable with the idea of using additives to improve a soap that's really not performing all that well to begin with. That strikes me as trying to turn a stock VW Beetle into a Ferrari by changing the air filter and putting premium gas in it. You might eke out a little more acceleration, but that Beetle is never going to be a sports car.
Thank you! You're definitely right about improving a good recipe instead of trying to improve a bad one. I'm only making my soaps for friends and family and this is the recipe they all like. I'd like to make it harder so that it lasts longer. I know it has more castor than people here like, but we all really like the soap. We just want it to last longer and my husband likes more bubbles.
 

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DeeAnna

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If you husband likes more bubbly soap, you could go a little higher on the coconut, although that may make the soap more drying to the skin. More coconut will definitely not raise the longevity of the soap. I agree that sugar may be helpful for more lather, but don't overdo. Sugars can soften the soap, and you said you already have problems with that.

Your soap really needs more stearic and palmitic acid to have decent longevity. These fatty acids do this by increasing the physical hardness and reducing the water solubility of thie soap.

I don't know of any additive that is touted for increasing the longevity of soap -- having enough of these fatty acids are the key. The oleic, ricinoleic, myristic, and lauric fatty acids supplied by the castor, coconut, and olive oils all make a highly water-soluble soap -- the soap doesn't last long because it "melts" too fast.

If you are a newer soaper, it's possible you may be too attached to that 14% castor without much proof that this much castor is really accomplishing anything of virtue. Personally, I'd use some of that 14% to increase the palmitic and stearic content.

How do you know if there's an even better recipe out there if you don't seek it?
 

LunaLe

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Weirdly, I am a bit attached. I will look up different oils that have more palmitic and stearic properties, and replace some of the castor. Thank you for your advice!
 

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Try using aloe juice as your full water content - it's good for bubbles. But yes, I agree with @DeeAnna that you need more stearic/palmitic for longevity.
Apparently men can tolerate more coconut oil so you might want to try a 'manly' recipe with more coconut oil in it just for him. But it will use up a lot quicker - more bubbles = more soap washing down the drain. Can you get some more stearic in there somehow? Maybe some shea butter or soy wax? The easiest way would be to add 10% in place of some of your castor oil.
 

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Sorry, jumping on the bandwagon here. I follow Irish Lass's advice on the sugar (5% of oils) and I take some of the lye water and heat it in the microwave - first a 20 sec blast, stir, and back for 10 sec sessions (depending on quantity of sugar). I think it's important to be 100% sure that it's diluted. You need to give it enough water (a 5/3 ratio in my opinion).
Kiwimoose, I really want to ask you this. Have you ever master-batched your lye with aloe juice? I really want to. I saw a post dating back to Methusalem from someone who master-batched his lye with aloe vera juice. I don't know if the benefits (lather) would be lost. And I don't know if it involves some special technique ...
 

gloopygloop

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I use 5% sugar to oils and I like that amount. I dispel that men can take more coconut oils than ladies, I am a man but have very dry skin which can be itchy so it would be a killer for me. I agree with DeeAnna regarding increasing your stearic and palmate content, large amount of castor will definitely be adding to the faster dissolve time in your soap, I would cut that in half and make up the weight with either palm oil or some cocobutter, you could try 1% stearic acid which is nice one lather and adds a lot of hardness but difficult to control in CP not as difficult in HP.
 

LunaLe

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Try using aloe juice as your full water content - it's good for bubbles. But yes, I agree with @DeeAnna that you need more stearic/palmitic for longevity.
Apparently men can tolerate more coconut oil so you might want to try a 'manly' recipe with more coconut oil in it just for him. But it will use up a lot quicker - more bubbles = more soap washing down the drain. Can you get some more stearic in there somehow? Maybe some shea butter or soy wax? The easiest way would be to add 10% in place of some of your castor oil.
I do have shea butter! I will be tinkering around on soap calc today and will try adding shea. I also have an order I just placed with wsp, so I'll add aloe juice to that. Thank you so much!
 

KiwiMoose

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I do have shea butter! I will be tinkering around on soap calc today and will try adding shea. I also have an order I just placed with wsp, so I'll add aloe juice to that. Thank you so much!
I just go out into the garden to pick mine : )
@Orla - no I don't master batch. But yes it's a good question. Part of me feels like it wouldn't be as good, but I'm no chemist.
 

KDP

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1 heaping TB ppo...I use powdered sugar...dissolved in the lye liquid before the lye is added
 

Anstarx

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I found dissolving solid sugar in my liquid time consuming as I use mostly ice cubes for the liquid.
Since commercial syrups are hard to find around here I made my own syrup using cane sugar, water, and a little lemon juice. I put it in a pump bottle which I know produce 8ml for every pump. I generally use 2 pumps, 16ml, about 1 tbsp, for an one pound oil batch but I've used up to 4 pumps without problem.
 

cmzaha

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Kiwimoose, I really want to ask you this. Have you ever master-batched your lye with aloe juice? I really want to. I saw a post dating back to Methusalem from someone who master-batched his lye with aloe vera juice. I don't know if the benefits (lather) would be lost. And I don't know if it involves some special technique ...
Yes, you can masterbatch your lye with aloe juice that you purchase from the store, I do not recommend masterbatching with fresh aloe juice, I find fresh aloe juice to thick for dissolving lye.
 
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