Using aloe butter in soap

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inkyfingers

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My soaping buddy and I have discovered soap making a few months ago, and are hoping to keep things vegan and eco friendly by avoiding animal fats and any oil that might endanger rainforests anywhere. Of course, this means tallow and palm oil is out, and so is beeswax. Some of our soaps are even softer than others.

When playing with soapcalc this morning, I discovered that aloe butter helps create a harder bar of soap while being more affordable than tucuma or kokum.

Has anybody used aloe butter in soap before, and what were the results? Would you recommend it?
 

Obsidian

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Keep in mind that aloe butter is just soybean oil with aloe added in it. You might be better off using shea butter.
 

seven

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aloe butter is, afaik, aloe vera extract mixed with coconut oil. i reckon it's the coconut oil that hardens the soap. i've never used the butter myself, only fresh aloe vera.
 

inkyfingers

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Oh dear, how misleading and disappointing!

And here I thought I had found an answer to my problems. :(

So shea butter is effective in creating a harder bar of soap, does it? I had a bar of 35% olive, 30% coconut, 30% avocado and 5% castor. It showed up in the recommended hardness range on soapcalc, but it was 2 days before I could take it out of the mold, and it is so soft I'm afraid to cut it. Other bars of the same recipe turned out fine, but that could be because they had EO added.

I'm putting Shea butter on my grocery list.
 

Lin

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Shea Butter seems to be similar in results to Palm. Personally my Shea Butter I buy in bulk (need it for my other products) is also cheaper than purchasing sustainable palm locally so I use it a lot.
 

seven

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i put your recipe into soapcalc and got an iodine level of 63, which is not that 'soft'. i've had recipes even higher than that and they still turn up fine. on paper, this recipe should be fine, the olive and coconut will contribute to hardness.

other than shea, there's also cocoa butter to consider.

and adding EO should not matter on hardness me thinks. how much water did you use for that batch?
 

inkyfingers

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I used the recommended water, 38%.

I'm not sure why the soap was so soft. The same recipe (save for the pinch of salt, honey, silk and EO) turned out great a few days before (nice n bubbly, hard enough, although it was pretty ugly, I really should rethink vanilla EO). I guess I'm looking to make a plain and simple base recipe with as few 'grocery store available' ingredients as possible other than castile which has such a long cure time. There's a beauty in simplicity, but all my best soaps so far have had 6 or more oils in them, and I'm really not trying to be a complicated soaper.

I have lots of cocoa butter, and I love it. Not everyone loves the smell of it as much as I do, though - even the deodorized smells a bit like chocolate. I am ready to buy a big jar of shea butter. I had some, but used it up when I made some heavenly lotion bars.
 

seven

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38% can be considered normal water. salt can contributes to hardness too. give it some time, let's hope and pray it will harden up nicely like the others. sometimes soap has a mind of its own. it has baffled me lotsa times too :D

good luck with the shea. i personally don't find shea butter that special. i use it more for lotions and stuff.
 

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