Toilet soap hardness range

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KristaY

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My Yankee is showing again so I'm not exactly sure what toilet soap is. Is it hand soap you use sink-side in the bathroom? If so, I don't really think it needs to be much different than shower soap except maybe higher cleansing, which will automatically raise the hardness. Sorry for my ignorance!
 

PerthMobility

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"Toilet Soap" in Aus normally describes soap that is used as part of "personal toiletries" as distinct from washing dishes, clothes, floors etc. Generally "toilet soap" in found in super markets in an area where a range of bathroom products are on display. Sorry about the confusion.
 

SuzieOz

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We don't call it toilet soap either actually, but our government does when it comes to manufacturing legislation. Eek, sounds like we clean our toilets with it! Go figure :razz:
 

PerthMobility

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:) :) I think a little left over lye would be an excellent toilet cleaner. I am quite happy for "toilet" soap to become "shower" or "personal" or "body" .... stop, stop, this could go on forever.

Anyway whatever we call it, how hard should it be allowing for a 5% SF.
 

KristaY

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"Toilet Soap" in Aus normally describes soap that is used as part of "personal toiletries" as distinct from washing dishes, clothes, floors etc. Generally "toilet soap" in found in super markets in an area where a range of bathroom products are on display. Sorry about the confusion.
Aaahhh, ok. Thanks for the definition! So if it's soap that's used as a personal tioletry, then hardness is what YOU want it to be. People with sensitive skin keep the CO lower which lowers hardness. People that like lots of lather may increase the CO which will increase hardness. My usual recipes have a hardness between 38-42 but Soap Calc hardness doesn't tell the whole story. I add SL and others add salt which increases hardness. Just look at the specs for Castile. Based only on Soap Calc it shouldn't be anything but a blob of mush. Give it 6-12 months and it's another story. :)
 

PerthMobility

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Excellent, thank you. I have already ordered SL from Ausie Soaps so I most certainly will use with my first batch. Also thank you for a target range of hardness.

I reckon a few more days of study and I will be ready to make my first CP batch.
 

KristaY

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Good luck Mac! Fingers crossed it all goes well. Also, just as another indicator of "hardness": my 5 oz bars last one person approx one month in the shower. This varies depending on shower habits (duration in the shower, how many showers per day/week, etc) but it's a bit of a way to know how your hardness is working and the soap's longevity.
 

PerthMobility

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Thank you. The problem we have down here is the huge range of domestic water qualities that we have to deal with from "hard" (high pH) to "soft" (low pH). So called "soft water" obviously reduces the time it takes to dissolve a cake/bar of soap. Soap sellers just love "soft water" supplies.
 

KristaY

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Thank you. The problem we have down here is the huge range of domestic water qualities that we have to deal with from "hard" (high pH) to "soft" (low pH). So called "soft water" obviously reduces the time it takes to dissolve a cake/bar of soap. Soap sellers just love "soft water" supplies.
I understand that. It's the same in the states too. It even varies within each city depending on where they get their water. In the city I live there are 2 main water sources that supply different parts of town, each with different qualities. But there are also a lot of people that have their own well. Then you have those that have water softeners. Since we can't really do anything about the water supplied to us (except getting a softener or RO system) it's best to start with the most pure when making the soap. Hopefully you have distilled water available to you? This will at least ensure you aren't introducing any minerals from ground water that may lead to issues like DOS.
 

PerthMobility

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Very good points. Krista. About 75% of our water supply here is RO caused by a rapidly increasing population and a dramatic drop in rainfall over the last 50 years. Having said that the RO is rated potable, of course, but that does not mean it is anywhere near good enough for CP.

I harvest my water from an air conditioner with dehumidifying. This gives a near zero reading on a sensitive hydroponic type Electrical Conductivity meter. This means that the mineral content of the water is for the purpose of soap making at zero and can be treated as distilled.

It is always possible to purchase bottled "demineralised" water from a super market of course.
 

PerthMobility

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It could be that your water supply has a quite high pH which is high in Calcium and perhaps Magnesium. I would think that that is almost ideal for Castile OO soap. I must try and find out the type of water that the original makers of Castile had to deal with.
 

haidsta

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Very good points. Krista. About 75% of our water supply here is RO caused by a rapidly increasing population and a dramatic drop in rainfall over the last 50 years. Having said that the RO is rated potable, of course, but that does not mean it is anywhere near good enough for CP.

I harvest my water from an air conditioner with dehumidifying. This gives a near zero reading on a sensitive hydroponic type Electrical Conductivity meter. This means that the mineral content of the water is for the purpose of soap making at zero and can be treated as distilled.

It is always possible to purchase bottled "demineralised" water from a super market of course.
If I'm reading this correctly does this mean I can use either demineralised OR distilled water in my soap recipes? Our local supermarket only stocks demineralised.
 

DeeAnna

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Demineralized water would be fine. Reverse osmosis also works.

Calcium and magnesium, the ions in "hard" water, make insoluble soaps. These soaps are sometimes intentionally made as sticky grease-type lubricants. In your bath water, these soaps stick to your skin and can feel unpleasant and even irritating. I personally don't think I'd intentionally try to make a bath (toilet) soap high in these minerals. In a word -- ugh.

The larger commercial makers of soap in the mid-late 1800s used the cleanest water they could find. Many older recipes for homemade soap calls for using rain water if possible. I'm sure plenty of well or spring water was used too, but rain or snow water would be best.
 

SaltedFig

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Hardness in the soap calculator doesn't really mean much to me. The hardest bars I have are my pure OO castiles, and those are "17 hardness". I swear the bar I use for my face every night has lasted almost 6 months so far.
Same. I fetched my current olive oil blend out of the shower to try and squish it - it's not possible to dint it with my fingers, so I gave it a bit of a tap with the large ball-peen knockometer. That put a dint in in (to about a cm deep), but the soap smooshed out of the way (funny stuff, soap). It didn't crack. Now it's really hard, with a big round dint in it. Olive oil soaps are one of the oddball soaps - their numbers make no sense if you look in lye calculator numbers.

Perth, good luck with your first CP soap - I hope you post us some pictures!

PS. A little beeswax (0.5% to 1% of oil weight or less) adds a noticeable amount of hardness (a brittle sort of hardness, so it's good for soft soap recipes). The downside to beeswax is that a little bit too much and it cuts soap bubbles.
 

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