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The "One Recipe" Theory - Question

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moodymama

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Not every Walmart, I'm afraid.
Most all do. You can check the zipcode for pick up on the site. Like I said it's in the bathroom repair aisle where you would buy a toilet seat, but it won't be in the cleaning aisle with the other drain openers.
 

artemis

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Most all do. You can check the zipcode for pick up on the site. Like I said it's in the bathroom repair aisle where you would buy a toilet seat, but it won't be in the cleaning aisle with the other drain openers.
Yes. I have looked in that aisle in my closest Walmart stores.

I can find it at Lowe's though.

It's a shame-- looks like a better deal at Walmart.
 

Mobjack Bay

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Another way to approach recipe development is to make wildly to mildly different recipes for comparison. I did that by focusing on hard fats first, comparing lard, butters and palm, with mostly olive as the liquid oil. Then I began adjusting the percentages of hard fats, then switching out the liquid oils (e.g. other high oleics), then testing other hard fats like soy wax and tallow, then experimenting here and there with oils higher in linoleic, and so it continues. I'm always learning something new about what I like or don't like in soap.

ETA: I need to add salt bars, brine bars, 100% OO and high OO soaps to the list.
 
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KiwiMoose

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I have about three recipes - all vegan and palm free.
My main one I use for about 90% of my batches. I have another 'high' (45%) OO one that I use to do more detailed swirls with (my main recipe swirls fine too, but this one lasts even longer in a more fluid state), and then I have Zany's No-Slime castile that I make occasionally.
 

Nona'sFarm

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Wow, you opened up a floodgate of replies - all good.
I stick with basic oils for all of my recipes - olive, palm, coconut, shea butter, almond. I have a basic recipe that I tweak if I want different properties, for example more cleansing properties for my gardner's soap, converting to a HP, or more gentleness as in my goat milk Bastille soap.
I always use a soap calculator.
I use the BB site for design inspiration, but use my own recipes and run them through a soap calculator if I am changing lye concentration, etc. I also buy almost all my essential oils from BB, because I found hers to always be of good quality. I save my more exotic oils for leave-on balms and salves where their special properties will bring the most good.
Do searches on this forum for any questions you may have or general soap topics you are interested in - I learned so much that way.
Best wishes for a happy and satisfying soapy future.
 

Wendy90292

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yes, I have one main recipe that I make the most. I do tweak it on occasion, depending on who its for. Hubbys version has a tad bit more coconut while mine has less coconut.

not sure what using a lye calculator has to do with buying expensive oils. Two of the most popular calculators are free and its always a good idea to run recipes through a calc in case of typos or just plain bad recipes.
Well, what I meant was that I thought the lye calculator was used if you are adding some unusual oil to it, like "Tamanu" or whatever. Since I posted that, I've realized they are valuable regardless of which oils one plans to use.
 

rdc1978

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Well, what I meant was that I thought the lye calculator was used if you are adding some unusual oil to it, like "Tamanu" or whatever. Since I posted that, I've realized they are valuable regardless of which oils one plans to use.
I kinda like that soapcalc.net is such a great equalizer. They have fancy pants Evening Primrose Oil, Tamaru Oil, Emu Oil (!) and just some really nice basic oils like crisco, or great value shortening and I think bacon fat (?) Its of equal use for fancy, exotic oils and basic, "hey, this is on the clearance rack at Walmart!" oils.

I just re-read this to the beginning, did you ever get around that that fancy emu soap? LOL.
 

maryloucb

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I'm new to this, but I started with a basic recipe from Soap Queen, and I don't imagine I'll vary it too much. There are a couple of recipes I feel like I'll use regularly, and maybe add different clays and essential oils and additives (I've been saving and drying my orange peels to make orange peel powder, and I ground up some cardomom and cloves for an orange spice soap.)

I'm not into the swirly artistic soapmaking. I think it's really cool to see what you all come up with, but for me I just want to concentrate on some scents I really like.

I did have a friend ask me if I could make a bear fat soap, so I googled a bear fat soap recipe and tweaked it a little bit and ran it through the calculator and am going to try a batch, so the calculator is a really valuable tool for things like that. It's also good to read up on ingredients, too, because when I first came up with a recipe it was 25% cocoa butter, and then I read that that was a bad idea, so I played around with it to get that percentage down to 10%.

I think it's all about personal preference. If you want to play around and develop your own recipes, then go for it. If you are happy sticking with a tried and true recipe, then go for that!
 

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I think it's all about personal preference. If you want to play around and develop your own recipes, then go for it. If you are happy sticking with a tried and true recipe, then go for that!
I totally agree with making the soap you want to make... as long as you run each and every recipe through a lye calculator before making it for the first time. Even the best authors and soapmakers make typos.
 

linne1gi

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I'm new to this, but I started with a basic recipe from Soap Queen, and I don't imagine I'll vary it too much. There are a couple of recipes I feel like I'll use regularly, and maybe add different clays and essential oils and additives (I've been saving and drying my orange peels to make orange peel powder, and I ground up some cardomom and cloves for an orange spice soap.)

I'm not into the swirly artistic soapmaking. I think it's really cool to see what you all come up with, but for me I just want to concentrate on some scents I really like.

I did have a friend ask me if I could make a bear fat soap, so I googled a bear fat soap recipe and tweaked it a little bit and ran it through the calculator and am going to try a batch, so the calculator is a really valuable tool for things like that. It's also good to read up on ingredients, too, because when I first came up with a recipe it was 25% cocoa butter, and then I read that that was a bad idea, so I played around with it to get that percentage down to 10%.

I think it's all about personal preference. If you want to play around and develop your own recipes, then go for it. If you are happy sticking with a tried and true recipe, then go for that!
The only problem I see with this theory - you haven't tested many recipes, so you don't actually know what you like or don't like. Early on in my soaping I made dozens of different soaps - small batches - to see exactly what I like and don't like. By now (9 years later) I have tried like a hundred different recipes. I just think it's a good idea to experiment and not get in a rut.
 

SoapDaddy70

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I have about 20 batches under my belt at the moment and have posted about this before but my issue has been figuring out how to properly analyze the performance of a bar of soap from a certain recipe. To me so far they all feel the same to me. I have yet to have that "aha" moment where I am like "wow, adding 10% to my Olive Oil really made a difference" I think I am guilty of making too many small adjustments that are not really making much of a difference in the overall performance so it has been hard for me to say that a certain recipe will be my go to recipe. Also I have no real plan in place and am not averse to using certain ingredients like palm or tallow so all options are open at the moment. When I read about people taking multiple years to come up with their main recipes it makes me feel less impatient about the fact that I have been all over the place and still kind of wishy washy in my recipe formulations.
 

SPowers

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I came up with my go to recipe within a few months of starting. I like to keep things simple so I chose some straight forward oils that behaved and nice to work with overall. I went for a combination that gives me good numbers and a good number for palmitic and stearic acids. For me personally, I can say they feel nice when I used them and don't leave my skin feeling tight. Although I haven't had any aha moments, getting a soap that lathers nicely and makes my skin feel good - what more do I really want? And anyone who has bought or been gifted all really seem to like them. I'm a 'don't fix it if it aint broken kind of gal so I leave my experimentation to totally different formulations with specific ingredients meant for specific outcomes - some work out, others not so much.
 

Aromasuzie

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This may be a silly question, but have you thought of using those exotic oils to make your own moisturiser?

I’m an aromatherapist and been making my own moisturiser for years. It seems to me that you would be better off using them in a product that is being absorbed into the skin rather than a soap which is a wash off product.

I probably have guns pointed towards me from die hard soapies on the blasphemy I’m spouting, lol. I am new to this soap making and am now a self confessed addict, love the “science” of the recipe along with the artistic side of colours but when I think of those expensive oils being incorporated in the soap, I do wonder if they’re there more as an exotic name on the label rather than any therapeutic benefit they provide.
 

SoapDaddy70

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This may be a silly question, but have you thought of using those exotic oils to make your own moisturiser?

I’m an aromatherapist and been making my own moisturiser for years. It seems to me that you would be better off using them in a product that is being absorbed into the skin rather than a soap which is a wash off product.

I probably have guns pointed towards me from die hard soapies on the blasphemy I’m spouting, lol. I am new to this soap making and am now a self confessed addict, love the “science” of the recipe along with the artistic side of colours but when I think of those expensive oils being incorporated in the soap, I do wonder if they’re there more as an exotic name on the label rather than any therapeutic benefit they provide.
No guns pointed. Most of the veteran soapmakers on here would totally agree with you about using the exotic oils on leave on products only.
 

linne1gi

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I have about 20 batches under my belt at the moment and have posted about this before but my issue has been figuring out how to properly analyze the performance of a bar of soap from a certain recipe. To me so far they all feel the same to me. I have yet to have that "aha" moment where I am like "wow, adding 10% to my Olive Oil really made a difference" I think I am guilty of making too many small adjustments that are not really making much of a difference in the overall performance so it has been hard for me to say that a certain recipe will be my go to recipe. Also I have no real plan in place and am not averse to using certain ingredients like palm or tallow so all options are open at the moment. When I read about people taking multiple years to come up with their main recipes it makes me feel less impatient about the fact that I have been all over the place and still kind of wishy washy in my recipe formulations.
Have you tried adding things like sugar, salt or sodium lactate, and citric acid to your soaps? For me, sugar and citric acid were like finding a perfect bar of soap. They just add so much - even my plain 100% Castile soaps are so much better with sugar and citric.
 

SoapDaddy70

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Have you tried adding things like sugar, salt or sodium lactate, and citric acid to your soaps? For me, sugar and citric acid were like finding a perfect bar of soap. They just add so much - even my plain 100% Castile soaps are so much better with sugar and citric.
Yes. I have been adding sugar and sodium lactate pretty much since my 3rd or 4th batch. I have never messed around with citric acid because I live in Long Island and hard water is not a concern at the moment. Is citric acid still beneficial even without hard water concerns?
 

AliOop

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@Aromasuzie SoapDaddy is right - most veteran soapers recommend against using expensive/exotic oils in soap. Not only is it a wash-off product, it's also unclear whether any of the beneficial oil properties survive saponification. Plus, most of us can already make amazing soap with much more affordable oils, anyway.

@SoapDaddy70 I don't know of any other reason to add citric acid, other than as a chelator. I didn't use chelators for a long time, because I don't have hard water, either. Plus I often use vinegar for the lye water; that doesn't play well with CA, and also has mild chelating abilities of its own.

But I found myself gifting my soaps to others who did, and they did complain about soap scum. Since then, I've switched to sodium citrate, since it's about the same price and crunchiness level as citric acid, but doesn't require any lye adjustment. Works well enough as a chelator for my purposes. However, others on this forum, like @cmzaha, need heavier-duty chelators to battle super hard water. All depends on the situation.
 

linne1gi

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Yes. I have been adding sugar and sodium lactate pretty much since my 3rd or 4th batch. I have never messed around with citric acid because I live in Long Island and hard water is not a concern at the moment. Is citric acid still beneficial even without hard water concerns?
I don't know if it would help you - but I highly suggest you try it. Of course you know that citric acid converts to sodium citrate which binds to the metals in your water. It also seems to make the soap more soluble - AKA more bubbly. I know, even after soapmaking for 7 years, adding citric acid to my soap has been a game changer for the past 2 years.
 

SoapDaddy70

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I don't know if it would help you - but I highly suggest you try it. Of course you know that citric acid converts to sodium citrate which binds to the metals in your water. It also seems to make the soap more soluble - AKA more bubbly. I know, even after soapmaking for 7 years, adding citric acid to my soap has been a game changer for the past 2 years.
I will give it a try. Read so much of Deanna's stuff on Classic Bells about the chelators so would have to decide whether to go with citric acid and deal with adjusting the lye or go the easier route and just use sodium citrate. Seems cheap enough to just buy sodium citrate and have one less calculation to deal with.
 
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