What role does olive oil have in a lard-heavy soap?

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milky

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Sorry if this is a silly question! Lately every time I start to plan my next soap I get stuck on how much olive oil to use. I'm guessing that it helps with managing trace somehow. Or is it particularly conditioning or helpful with lather?

My last batch used 50% lard, 30% coconut, 15% olive, and 5% castor, with an 8% superfat. Haven't tried it yet. I was looking back at some of the recipes I'd read before and saw that they usually called for greater or equal olive oil to coconut. But why use it at all? What's the difference between a soap with say, 75% lard, 20% coconut, and 5% castor, and one that includes maybe 25-30% olive oil in there?
Thanks!
 

lenarenee

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Lard contains quite a bit of oleic acid, olive oil has even more. A 75% lard
and 25% coconut oil soap is a very nice soap and doesn't need olive, or other high oleic oils.

However, I myself like to use at least 10% high oleic sunflower or safflower to my high lard recipes because it makes the bar feel slicker, and the big bubbles look shinier. If I have them, I'll use almond, avocado oil instead.

ETA; as for managing trace - lard will do that all by its little lonesome; it's generous with the amount of time it gives you to color and swirl! No need for a liquid oil to help (Unless you add a lot of palm oil or butters to your lard recipe)
 

milky

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Neat! It never ever crossed my mind to shoot for slickness and shinier bubbles. My sleepy brain is doing a tailspin imagining a bathroom full of the shiniest bubbles all catching the light like crystals in a chandelier. Ooh-la-la! lol
Good to know that about trace. I was hoping to attempt my first proper swirl. :) And that's interesting about the oleic acid. I'll have to look more into its specific properties. I think I read a bit over at SoapCalc.. Must review..
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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I would give that 50% lard recipe a go, but also the recipe replacing the olive with more lard - that way you can compare them side by side.

Both are lovely soaps generally speaking
 

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