Superfatting level? What's your favorite number?

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by Rahmi, Jun 23, 2019.

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  1. Jun 23, 2019 #1

    Rahmi

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    I'm wondering what other soapers put as their SF level? I've tried 20% pure CO soap(which I thought dissolved in the shower rather quickly), and 8% and 5%. I'm not really finding a a huge difference in terms of dryness or its ability to moisturize, though I do think there is some.

    My goal is to have a long lasting bar in the shower. Which is why I doubt I'd make 20% SF again.

    How do you decide your superfatting level? Thanks!
     
  2. Jun 23, 2019 #2

    Dawni

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    I've not made a pure coconut oil soap, and I've never tried a 20% SF before..

    That being said, I range from 1-4 in the last batches, coz they had very little amounts of coconut oil, between 12-18% but I'm still testing so I haven't decided really...

    When I made Castile I did a 1% SF as a failsafe.. I have soleseifes that range between 7-13 where the coconut oil was between 25-40%. It all depends really..

    For a long lasting bar I believe there are 4 important points. First is a good recipe, second is a decent cure, third is minimal contact with water while using, last is drying it out between uses. The less hard oils in the recipe, the longer I cure (my minimum is 2mos).. And I alternate several bars to allow each to dry in between uses. While showering I either use a loofah or my hands, I don't rub the soap on me while the water is on.

    That's me though, would be different for others..
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
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  3. Jun 23, 2019 #3

    Obsidian

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    For a salt bar or 100% coconut, I use 20% superfat. High coconut soap does dissolve quickly. For a long lasting bar, you want a higher amount of stearic in your recipe.

    I use 5% SF in all my other soap.
     
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  4. Jun 23, 2019 #4

    TheDragonGirl

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    I use 20% for coconut salt bars, and 5% for everything else, my bars last pretty long in the shower.
     
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  5. Jun 23, 2019 #5

    cmzaha

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    1-2% superfat for me. I use lower CO and higher superfat cuts down on the lather. My plumbing also hates 5% and above superfat. The proof is in my plumbing bills. With lower superfat and EDTA I usually get away with a once a year plumbing bill. Also keep in mind you do not really know the actual superfat since SAP values are based on averages. Unless one is equipped to figure the actual SAP of oils being used at the time you do not know exact values, especially when, even with the age of the oil makes a difference with SAP value.
     
  6. Jun 23, 2019 #6

    earlene

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    For most of my soaps, I use 1-3% SF. The jury is still out on salt bars. My skin is not yet convinced if it likes them or not. But I used 20% SF for them when I made them a little over a year ago. I will try them again in July in Hawaii and see what the jury has to say about it then.
     
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  7. Jun 23, 2019 #7

    cmzaha

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    I use 17% superfat in salt bars
     
  8. Jun 23, 2019 #8

    Mobjack Bay

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    I was using 5% when I first started making soap, but have cut back to 3% for most recipes. That’s in part to protect my plumbing and septic system (I live in a rural setting). The exception would be the salt bars I just made with 18% SF to counteract the drying effects of the high CO soap. I won’t be using those for 6 months to a year based on everything I’ve read here.
     
  9. Jun 24, 2019 #9

    Rahmi

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    Interesting, thanks all!

    Now my new question is, what does the extra oil do to the plumbing system? It clogs them?
     
  10. Jun 24, 2019 #10

    Mobjack Bay

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    I think the main problem with soap is that the scum builds up along the pipes, but the SF can clog like meat fat going down the drain and solidifying.
     
  11. Jun 24, 2019 #11

    earlene

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    It's a lot like what happens in the arteries of a human when plaque forms. Everything that goes down the drain that has an ability to adhere to like materials, will do so and cause a narrowing of the lumen within the pipe. As long as these 'plaques' continue to form, the opening inside gets thinner and thinner, particularly at the bends in pipes. As that happens most anything introduced into the drain can get caught and clogs are often the result.

    This is why I don't like garbage disposals. They contribute to clogs in the system. Hair, paper, fats flushed down the kitchen drain, all kinds of things can end up contributing to clogs. But as fats cool off and solidify inside the drains, it can be really tough to clear that kind of clog.
     
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  12. Jun 24, 2019 #12

    Aleja

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    I usually soap around 5% and that's worked for me so far, I've been adding some full fat coconut milk to my latest bars but I haven't had the chance to try those. I rarely do salt bars but I do 18% on those. I'm thinking for the winter months I might try some higher levels because it gets really dry up here in New England and I might want the extra skin loving fats.
     
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  13. Jun 24, 2019 #13

    shunt2011

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    I generally SF at 3-4% with the exception of my CO salt soap and I use 18% on those.
     
  14. Jun 24, 2019 #14

    PattyB

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    Aleja, I do 7% for winter soaps. I agree, it's very dry up here in New England during the cold months. Summer soaps are 3%.
     
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  15. Jun 24, 2019 #15

    Susie

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    When I lived where there was soft water, I used 5-8% SF. Now that I don't, I am locked into 2%.

    I wipe everything down with spatulas and paper towels before putting into my bucket that holds my dirty soaping dishes. Once that has set 2-3 days, I go back through everything with a butter knife and more paper towels before finally washing. I do not want more plumbing issues than I already have and don't yet know about, as our house was built in 1984, and we just bought it last year.

    It will have something come up. I do plan to have the plumber replace the P traps under all the sinks to avoid future issues when they do come, though, and I have already purchased all the parts needed for that job. I find it saves a great deal of money when I have all the parts they will need without them making a trip to the plumbing supply store on my time.
     
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  16. Jun 24, 2019 #16

    JustAboutDull

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    As for the pipes (maybe we should have a plumbing thread? Edit: if I had searched I may have seen that there where already some.), as soapers we have a supply of lye, would dumping a spoon full of lye in the drain every month or so help keep the Plummer away? (I know a plumber named Plummer). After all that's what a lot of lye is marketed for. I wouldn't think that would be enough to harm the septic, especially if it reacts with excess fats in the pipes.

    (A plunger seems to cure any of my rare plumbing problems, but I've only been making and using my own soap for two years, probably averaging around the 4% range.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
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  17. Jun 25, 2019 #17

    Rahmi

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    I'm worried about my plumbing now. I didn't know my new hobby could have other side effects :)
    Then I got to thinking about handmade soaps that are sold, none of them comes with warning to the plumbing system.

    Where I live it's usually warm most of the year, and we live in an apartment. So I'm hoping the pipes will stay relatively clear because of the temp. I wouldn't want to cause plumbing problems for 50 units. How much should I worry about this?
     
  18. Jun 25, 2019 #18

    JustAboutDull

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    Here is a thread on the subject: https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/homemade-cold-process-soap-and-plumbing.71086/

    It's kind of long, but it glancing through it it appears most of the useful ideas and info is on the first page or so, then it starts to get in to the sewer (literally, lol).

    Personally, I'm not really concerned, but then I've never had any plumbing problems I couldn't handle, and I'm only responsible for my own house and not an apartment (I don't even sell my soap). And I do think a using a little lye or, as @dixiedragon suggested in the fourth post on that other thread, some washing soda periodically would help keep the drain clear if you start to see any signs of buildup, or just want to be safe.

    Let's not give the lawyers any ideas. :D
     
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  19. Jun 25, 2019 #19

    KiwiMoose

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    HI Rahmi,

    Can I just check that you are using other fats other than Coconut oil? Sorry if that seems a silly question, but it wasn't clear in your first post. If you are making 100% coconut oil it will always disappear quickly because you need other hard oils to promote longevity. Some use Palm Oil, Lard or Tallow - others use Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter or Soy Wax - n then of course add the liquid oils.

    My superfat is usually the default of 5%, but after reading all this I'm thinking I might lower it to 3%.
     
  20. Jun 25, 2019 #20

    earlene

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    That is a legitimate concern, of course. And no, I have never seen any warnings about plumbing issues on any product. Not even fats you buy in the store say anything like, "Warning: Do not pour down the Sink drains." But people do it and it is bad for the pipes. But maybe good for the plumbers.

    Anyway, sure, it should concern you if you don't want to have to be unclogging your drains more than necessary. But all kinds of things can clog drains. I had a tenant who had a son who tossed a credit-card sized ID card into the toilet and flushed it. The plumber wanted to just replace the toilet, but when the tenant insisted on him using a snake, he got the card out, saving me a bit of money, but the plumbing bill ended up all on her since it was her son who tossed it in the toilet.

    But back to the oils of SF and how it is likely to effect your apartment complex. It would partially depend on how old and how well designed and maintained your complex AND the city plumbing are. Example: Decades ago, living in my very first house, I had to have the plumber out unbelievably often. I eventually called the city when the plumber finally told me the problem was not really in my line, but in the line out by the city sidewalk. The city came out and dug up the side walk and had to replace broken clay pipes. I never had to call a plumber again. I lived there for 18 years, and was super happy that the plumbing problems were solved at last.

    So I suggest you keep that in mind as you make soap. If your complex already has plumbing issues, don't contribute to them by using high SF in your soap. If they don't, you have less to be worried about, but still, it doesn't hurt to be aware.
     

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