What am I doing wrong

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New Member
Oct 28, 2023
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Happy Holidays everyone. I'm new to homemade cp soaps. I really enjoy making it and I see improvement in our skin. I've made a few batches that were acceptable and some that weren't, ending in rebatching or tossing. I am using the soap calculator on each batch but I'm obviously missing something.

Three weeks ago I bad a batch and to me it doesn't lather like the other has. Below is my recipe. Please help. Thanks

1 pound
Lye 28%
Sweet Almond oil 1.6 oz
Castor oil 4.8 oz
Coconut oil 3.52oz
Shea butter 1.60 oz
Olive oil 2.72 oz
Coco butter 1.76oz
Fragrance . 50 oz
I'm no expert formulator but I can tell you right off the bat that that is a LOT of Castor Oil (30%!). While high Castor Oil shows high bubbly numbers in SoapCalc, the truth is that Castor Oil is more like a supporting character than the star of the show. It boosts lather, more than making the lather on its own. Most people recommend a maximum of 5-10% of Castor Oil in their formulations. Any more and soap tends to get sticky/slimy.
30% castor oil is a lot. I use 5-15% and have wonderful results, but I can’t imagine going over 15%. I do find it takes longer to cure with 15% castor oil. I’m just posting your recipe for others to help. Idk what your super fat is so I just used 5%.

I would reduce the castor oil to 5-10% and split the rest between either shea, olive or almond oil.


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Like many of us did when starting out, you are experimenting. It pays to do some research on the qualities each oil adds to the soap. I don't use any more than one butter in my soap, and usually at not more than 15%. Dissolving a little sugar in your water before adding the lye will boost bubbles. Make sure all of the sugar is dissolved before adding the lye or you will end up with caramelized sugar in the lye water.
You might want to try the old standby:
30% palm oil (If you don't like using palm, you can try tallow.)
37% olive oil
25% coconut oil
8% Castor oil
Thanks for all your support. I definitely will alter the castor oil amounts. Very informative, thanks again.