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Unknown percentage of oils. Need help with water/lye

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Hi:bunny:
Here is my dumb newbie question of the day....
I found a recipie for HP soap by where she uses just coconut oil , and depending on the how much superfat she add she ends up with either shampoo bar or laundry soap or body soap.....
Here is my question:
I have a jar of Neem Butter from Essential Wholesale @ Labs that contains Coconut oil, Palm oil and Neem oil....I wrote to the manufacturer to find out the percentage of each oil ...but they are being sort of unclear....
Is there a way for me to figure out water/ lye ratio? Without wasting the oil.....
 
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BattleGnome

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Can you post a link to the recipe you're starting with? I'm confused by your comment of "whatever [superfat] she ends up with." It might be the tired talking but it sounds like a very imprecise recipe that may not be the best for a beginner.
 

Susie

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Although I can't recall where I read it, I have read much the same. They simply make 100% CO soap, and either use 0% SF or up for body soap.

Seahorsesforever- You can't make a soap from a product that you don't know how much of which oil is in there. Indeed, if you are even certain which oils are being used. Not that the seller was lying, but many olive oils are adulterated, and I have no doubt that others could be also. And since they sell that product, I doubt you are going to get the recipe out of them, not that I blame them.

However, if you would like to make a soap using some basic oils that are available in your grocery store, let us know. We can help you with that.

ETA: I do not ever suggest you use soap to wash your hair. Soap is a very high pH product, and is not a good idea for everyone's hair. Some people do fine using it, but I, and many others, can't. (Had to have 16 inches of hair cut off!) I certainly would never suggest you use 100% CO soap for hair, regardless of how much superfat there is. Coconut oil is great for skin and hair UNLESS you saponify it. Then it becomes the most stripping soap possible.
 
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Susie- thank you! Soooooo.....I'm impatient a bit while circling around my slow cooker decided just to go with it.... I cut the recipie in half in an attempt to not waste a lot in case I fail. Here is what I've done: 468 g of oil out of the mystery jar (the label claims coconut, palm, neem) , 75 g lye, 178 g water after an hour in a slow cooker added 14 g of Petitgrain EO . I even checked PH by sticking a rather pricey digital PH meter into the soap batter (it was 9.1) I guess I will know more when the soap cools down...but the leftovers that I scraped from the walls of the slow cooker made a rather nice leather didn't terribly dry my hands and .... even had a faint smell of Petitgrain.... soooo..... Great Success?!? (too soon?)
 

BattleGnome

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Thank you. That makes much more sense to me now, I have seen that page before.

If you are dead set on using the neem butter (in theory) you can add it after cook in a hot process recipe. I note that this is a theory for me as I haven't experimented with hot process yet.

Like Susie said, if you have other oils you would like to soap with we'd be happy to help.


Adding: (I didn't see your post)

Did you do a zap test? (That's the only thing I can think of to ask since I haven't had a chance to hot process yet) There are a bunch of sticky threads filled with information at the top of each board, one is conveniently titled "zap testing." The short instructions - dilute a bit of soap with water and gently touch it to your tongue. If it zaps there is still active lye and needs to be treated accordingly.
 
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Hi Battle Gnome! Thank you !!!! Zap test is to check the PH, right? I read that PH should be 7-10 and figured that my PH meter would do the trick...
 

Seawolfe

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If the pH meter isn't recently calibrated, and if you didn't dilute the soap in distilled water before testing (I think its supposed to dilute at 10%), I don't know that I would trust that reading. And in any case, pH doesn't tell you if saponification has completed or if there is still excess lye. Thus the zap test :)
 

Susie

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^^^What they said!! pH only tests, well, pH. Not for un-reacted lye. Do a zap test.

You have to take 1 gm of soap and dilute in 100 g distilled water to test the pH. Otherwise, all the meters in the world will not give you an accurate (yet still not useful for testing soap) reading.
 

DeeAnna

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What Susie and Seawolfe said. And what The Gent said.

pH meters are not accurate in concentrated solutions. Soap batter is highly concentrated. Also make sure the solution is at room temperature. Concentrated soap and higher temps will cause a false low pH reading.
 
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Ok...so I wouldn't want the possibility of having unreacted lye in my soap.... can I re-melt the soap and do the zap test? And if it zaps? Do I cook it longer? Thank you all for your kind replies!!
 
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earlene

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You don't need to remelt the soap to do a zap test. Is it now in a mold? Or have you unmolded it and cut it? I suggest you use gloved hands until you are sure about non-zapping.

Either way, you can still do the zap test with the hard soap (or even if it is still somewhat soft).
Method 1: Lick the soap with your tongue.
Method 2: Wet a finger, slide it along the soap surface to create a bit of lather & touch it to your tongue.
Method 3: Lather up a bar or sliver of soap (if already cut) and touch your tongue to the lather.

Any of these methods work fine. Touch a small area to your tongue at first, of course, in case there is a strong zap. A strong zap can be quite uncomfortable. If no zap with a small touch, try a bigger touch. Wear gloves until you know for sure there is no zap.
 
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You don't need to remelt the soap to do a zap test. Is it now in a mold? Or have you unmolded it and cut it? I suggest you use gloved hands until you are sure about non-zapping.

Either way, you can still do the zap test with the hard soap (or even if it is still somewhat soft).
Method 1: Lick the soap with your tongue.
Method 2: Wet a finger, slide it along the soap surface to create a bit of lather & touch it to your tongue.
Method 3: Lather up a bar or sliver of soap (if already cut) and touch your tongue to the lather.

Any of these methods work fine. Touch a small area to your tongue at first, of course, in case there is a strong zap. A strong zap can be quite uncomfortable. If no zap with a small touch, try a bigger touch. Wear gloves until you know for sure there is no zap.
Hi Earlene! Thank you for such a detailed response... so I tried method 3 and since there was no zap, I took my time to really check for the zapness....probably around 30 seconds...it made my tongue numb... and my roommate had a rather concerned facial expression.... it's not every day that you see a person sticking their tongue in a soap foam...also the soap really dried my hands....uh oh...
 

BattleGnome

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If soap is going to zap it will zap quick, there's no mistaking that feeling.

Don't discount your soap yet. Even hot process needs a cure to reach its full potential. Let your soaps sit for 4-6 weeks before calling it "done." (Then let it sit longer because old soap is awesome.) Test a bar each week and feel how it all changes, there are huge differences in how a soap performs as it ages.
 
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If soap is going to zap it will zap quick, there's no mistaking that feeling.

Don't discount your soap yet. Even hot process needs a cure to reach its full potential. Let your soaps sit for 4-6 weeks before calling it "done." (Then let it sit longer because old soap is awesome.) Test a bar each week and feel how it all changes, there are huge differences in how a soap performs as it ages.
Thank you Battle Gnome!
4-6 weeks even for HP?
Thank you for all your kind replies. I'm gonna hang around here for a bit more, as I have some more oils that I want to play around with.. just didn't wanna waste that mystery Neem Butter....
 

Arimara

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Thank you Battle Gnome!
4-6 weeks even for HP?
Thank you for all your kind replies. I'm gonna hang around here for a bit more, as I have some more oils that I want to play around with.. just didn't wanna waste that mystery Neem Butter....
It can be even longer before you get a proper full cured lather. Some of us wait til our soaps at the least hit the 3 month mark. That's when you really start seeing bubbles.
 

lionprincess00

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It is a common misconception hp doesnt need as long a cure. All cp and hp soaps need a good cure. Always:)

I believe hp can take longer, if fact, due to larger amounts of water used. I may be wrong, but I think I have seen that here before.
 
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