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Superfatting with Olive Oil

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gabrielet

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Hello,

Since most forums don't like redundant threads, I search for a long time here before asking this question.

I'm making HP coconut oil soap, fully saponified (no superfatting in-process), and I want to know how much olive oil I should add. I've heard that superfatting with olive oil requires somewhere from 15% to 30% — but that seems like a lot.

I want a hard bar but superfatted enough to take the harshness out of the coconut oil.

Thank you for any suggestions you may have.

Gabriel
 

shunt2011

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Hello and welcome. I super fat my coconut soap at 17%-20%. But I do CP not HP.
 

Obsidian

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I've never heard of a high coconut being super fatted with olive. I would be concerned with a lot of olive going rancid over time.
I would really go with coconut for the sf as it has a long shelf like. Maybe use some olive like 8%, the rest as coconut. I sf my coconut soaps at 20% but that is with coconut.
 

gabrielet

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I see, and thank you for getting back to me. I will take your advice on this and just SF with coconut. So you discount your lye to create that 20% superfat? How hard is the resultant bar, and it is good for both bath and as a shampoo bar? Sorry for all the questions; I'm just getting started in this after dabbling in it over 30-years ago, but I'd like to hit the ground running when my supplies arrive.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Hello from Colorado USA, gabrielet!
Welcome.gif
So you discount your lye to create that 20% superfat?
Correct.
How hard is the resultant bar, and it is good for both bath and as a shampoo bar?
Everyone's skin/hair is different, so try it and see what you think. Some love 100% coconut oil bar with 20% lye discount; some find it drying. Shampoo bars are a separate topic that has been discussed many times on this forum.
Sorry for all the questions; I'm just getting started in this after dabbling in it over 30-years ago, but I'd like to hit the ground running when my supplies arrive.
Soap making has changed a lot since 30 years ago. I'm wondering if you calculate your SAP (saponification) values by hand? If so, almost all of us use an online calculator like SoapCalc.net or http://soapee.com/calculator

We no longer add an oil at trace (CP) or at the end of the cook (HP) like we used to do. The terms "lye discount" and "superfat" are interchangeable, with "superfat" being more common. So the "superfat" is created by calculating a "lye discount" (usually 5%) while at the same time, calculating the amount of NaOH (sodium hydroxide) and the amount of water needed to make the lye solution.

I'd advise you to read the Stickies on the Beginners Forum. The thread "Learn to Soap online" is where you can find links to several sites with tried and true recipes to get you reacquainted with the process. Hopefully, you'll be up and running again as soon as you make a few batches. Good luck!
 
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cmzaha

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Welcome to the forum. If you are trying to make a hard bar that will last a long time a high CO soap is not the one to make. High coconut soap is very soluble which is why it is considered a Sailors Soap. Tallow, Lard, and Palm make hard bars that last a long time
 

gabrielet

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Thank you for letting me know this. Most of what I've read about using CO is that it makes a hard soap, but you seem to have a good historical grasp of it, so my question now would be: Will the addition of sodium lactate help harden the end product?
 

Zany_in_CO

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Will the addition of sodium lactate help harden the end product?
Yes. But whether you need it or not, it all depends on the combo of oils/fats/butters you choose to make your soap. 100% coconut oil soap is not a likely candidate for hardening. It has one of the highest "hardness" values, as cmzaha said, as does tallow, lard, and PKO (palm kernel oil).

Here's where a calculator comes in handy for designing a soap recipe. Here's a link to SoapCalc:

http://soapcalc.net/calc/SoapCalcWP.asp
Follow the numbers (1) Choose NaOH; (2) Choose pounds, oz. or grams; (3) and (4) those two are the default settings. Leave them as is. (5) skip for now; (6) Enter coconut oil from the menu on the left by ticking it and then ticking the "+" sign. Type in 100% in the appropriate spot. Go down to the bottom of the grid and tick "calculate".

(5) Fatty Acids - Now look at the two columns on the upper left. You can see the "hardness" value for coconut oil in the right column. To compare it to other oils on the list, click each one, one at a time, and it will show up in the first column, right next to the value for coconut oil.

Designing soaps using a soap calculator can become addictive at first, but if you take time to see and understand how all the functions work, you'll be making great soaps in no time at all.

HAPPY SOAPING! Wave.gif
 

DeeAnna

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...Most of what I've read about using CO is that it makes a hard soap... Will the addition of sodium lactate help harden the end product?
Coconut, palm kernel, or babassu oil does make a physically hard-like-a-rock soap. That doesn't mean it is long lasting, however. Think of a hard lump of solid sugar or salt -- it is very hard, right? But put the lump of sugar in water, and it will dissolve fairly quickly. To get a long lasting soap, you want to also make the soap less soluble in water as well as hard. As Carolyn (cmzaha) explained, lard, palm, or tallow reduce the solubility of the soap while still being nicely firm. They do this by adding palmitic and stearic acids to the recipe -- fatty acids that make relatively insoluble soaps.

Sodium lactate can be used to harden some types of soap, but it doesn't necessarily add hardness to ALL soap. It is best used with soaps that are borderline too soft to begin with -- these are often soaps with a lot of liquid oils high in linoleic and linolenic acids. And remember -- SL only adds physical hardness-like-a-rock; it's not a solution for reducing the water solubility.

More info: https://classicbells.com/soap/soapCalcNumbers.html
 

gabrielet

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Sheeeesh! When I worked as a nuclear scientist the Hanford Nuclear Reservation (where they made all the plutonium for the US arsenal), I thought subatomic particle physics was complex!!!

Thank you, DeeAnna, for the wake-up call to a science that at least doesn't vaporize cities. :)
 
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