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Want to increase hardness.

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Zing

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Smart soapers: I love my basic recipe because of the lather and bubbles and how my skin feels (I've commented frequently on this forum how my skin has never felt better since using DYI soap). However, it is soft even tho' I use soap saver pads and cure for several months. Frequently as the bar gets used, it will split in half. I'd like to stay vegetarian. I'm looking for feedback on ways to increase the hardness quality without sacrificing the bubbly quality. Different ratios? Different oils? And I know the amount of coconut oil is controversial -- but my family loves it and does not experience dryness. Thank you for your help!
soapcalc.PNG
 

AliOop

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What about 1% beeswax? It isn't vegan, but is considered vegetarian as most people define that term.
 

GemstonePony

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If you're looking to only change the oils, my best (tired) thought would be to substitute 2.5% Palm for Castor (to try to keep the bubbles), and substitute 5% of the Olive for Cocoa butter.
May I ask what you're currently using for liquid/additives? The harder the bar, the less material it will give to lather with in use, so you might need to find additional ways to boost the bubbles to make up for what the hardness would take (Aloe Vera Juice, alcoholic beverages, honey, sugar, sorbitol, I've forgot the rest).
Anyways, I'd love to hear what the super experienced people think.
 

Zing

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My liquid is distilled water. Colorants are micas, sometimes titanium dioxide. Smellarants (just made that word up) -- or scents -- are essential oils.
 

SeaSuds

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i have learned from this forum that to formulate a hard and long lasting soap I should aim for a combined palmitic and stearic value in the range of 28 - 33 (longevity) and hardness in the range of 40 - 43. Your recipe looks very nice but I would suggest adding 10% cocoa butter and taking away from the coconut oil to increase the longevity. Your high level of coconut oil may be making your soap too soluble which could be why it is splitting. If you are worried about losing bubbles then add any of the additives GemstonePony mentioned. Even though my recipes (no animal fats) show as only having 18 on the bubbly scale this doesn't worry me because I use additives such as honey, beer and aloe vera and the lather is lovely. Make a test batch and see what you think...you might be pleasantly surprised!!
 

shunt2011

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You could increase your palm to 35-40% and lower your liquid oil or add a butter (I prefer Shea over Cocoa but either is nice), add beeswax or soy wax. My vegan soap is similar to yours but I use less CO and liquid oils and I add shea butter. My soap is hard and lasts quite a long time with a good cure.
 

dibbles

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Palm oil isn't my favorite, but I would maybe look at changing that. My soaps usually have a hardness number of around 42 and that seems fine for our use. Since I don't sell and enjoy making soap, the longevity isn't as critical to me as it might be for those who do. I think your circumstances are similar to mine. As a reference for an approximately 5 oz bar, hubby and I each have a bar of soap in the shower which will last for about 30 showers +, and we have softened water.

I am a bubble lover as well, and find that 25% CO is enough for lots of bubbly lather. I do usually add sugar at 1-2 tsp PPO, or use aloe as part/all of my liquid. I think you might have a little experimenting ahead of you to change your much loved recipe to find something similar.

I really like cocoa butter. If you want to try adding a butter, I'd look at trying 26% coconut, 25% palm, 10% cocoa or shea, 22% olive, 12% avocado, 5% castor.
 

Zing

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THANKS all for the input -- I 'preciate it!
i have learned from this forum that to formulate a hard and long lasting soap I should aim for a combined palmitic and stearic value in the range of 28 - 33 (longevity) and hardness in the range of 40 - 43.
These numbers are super helpful as I adjust percentages.
Zingy my boy, you know what I'm gonna say.....soy wax ( or if you're anti - then cocoa butter).
I am so psychic and was just waiting for this!;) Question for the soy wax queen: You have gorgeous designs and swirls but do you have to soap at a high temperature to keep the soy wax melted?
You could increase your palm to 35-40% and lower your liquid oil or add a butter (I prefer Shea over Cocoa but either is nice), add beeswax or soy wax. My vegan soap is similar to yours but I use less CO and liquid oils and I add shea butter. My soap is hard and lasts quite a long time with a good cure.
Question about shea butter. My wife loves shea butter in my soaps. However, I don't like how the soap feels. "Slimy" is not the exact word -- it's more "lotion-y" than lather, if that makes sense -- is that what "creamy" means as a soap bar quality indicator? I'll try it again, maybe at a low percentage. I'll also look into deodorized cocoa butter.
Palm oil isn't my favorite, but I would maybe look at changing that. My soaps usually have a hardness number of around 42 and that seems fine for our use. Since I don't sell and enjoy making soap, the longevity isn't as critical to me as it might be for those who do. I think your circumstances are similar to mine.

I am a bubble lover as well, and find that 25% CO is enough for lots of bubbly lather. I do usually add sugar at 1-2 tsp PPO, or use aloe as part/all of my liquid. I think you might have a little experimenting ahead of you to change your much loved recipe to find something similar.

I really like cocoa butter. If you want to try adding a butter, I'd look at trying 26% coconut, 25% palm, 10% cocoa or shea, 22% olive, 12% avocado, 5% castor.
Super advice here. Yes, I make it mostly for personal use but I do give a good chunk away to friends and family which is why I'm concerned about this issue. Obviously I have a lot of experimenting to do!
 

lucycat

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I don't have an issue with regular cocoa butter. It is sometimes a bit darker than deodorized which makes it harder to get a bright white soap. Regardless of the strong chocolate scent of the butter in the pail I have never had a finished soap with a cocoa/chocolate smell. Most of the time I don't think the price diff for deodorized is worth it.
 

KiwiMoose

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Haha @Zing! I soap at around (your) hundred degrees or slightly over. I use it at around 20% in most of my recipes - if I'm doing an Eve's Garden type swirl then I reduce it to 15% and increase my OO to 45%. Along with my 20% soy, I also use 10% shea. But bear in mind I don't use palm at all so I have not other saturated fats aside from the CO. Get the GW415 because it has the lowest melting point of all of them.
ETA - I also use avocado oil and RBO and they have quite high percentages of palmitic for liquid oils.
 

mtinetti61

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My go to formula is similar to yours Zing, with the addition of either cocoa or shea butter and less avocado. I end up with a bar that is adequately hard, but here's my gripe: We all know that DIY soap needs good drainage. I even stick a card to that effect in soap that I gift (I no longer sell but when I did I included them ). I have soap dishes that provide good drainage if the soap is placed correctly and have no problem with sliminess, yet when I "visit" my soaps in bathrooms of my family and friends they are totally wet and slimy, sitting in water. And when my grandkids are here the same thing happens. Now how in the heck they manage to get so much water into the soap dish (which has indentations in it for drainage) I have no idea. I'm thinking of putting signs on the counter by the dish, haha....
 

atiz

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I would second the beeswax suggestion if you're not against that. It lends a lovely feel and hardness to the soap, even at 1-2%.
 
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sarahmarah

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I’ve just had a very positive soaping experience with a low percentage of high temp soy wax. I was able to soap at 90F with plenty of time for designs. I’m wondering if it’s finicky about overheating, I got a very slight superficial alien brain from CPOPing at 170F. I’m wondering how much soy I could add before it becomes a temp issue....
 
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