What soap has surprised you the most?

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RDak

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(slightly OT)

Sounds like a challenge!
My submission: 20% neem, 10% laurel, 40% MCT or fractionated coconut/PKO, 10% dairy butter, 20% salvaged HL sunflower oil (used just a bit too long for deep-frying sea fish). Scented with a ton of chili pepper and cinnamon EO.
I wonder who would love such a bar of soap? On the other hand, it would quite certainly “surprise” any unprepared user, so it's not entirely wrong in this thread. 😬😆
Now that would be interesting!!!

Off topic but I buy my laurel berry oil from a Turkish vendor and emailed him one time asking what percentage he likes best in his personal soap.

He said he uses laurel berry oil at 100 percent in the soap he makes and loves it. He also told me to try it.

So I did and it is great soap. Very nice lather and skin friendly with that laurel smell that I like personally. Overall it is very good stuff IMHO.

It is expensive to have it shipped all the way over here but maybe you can get it cheaper and try it at 100 percent in a few bars. You might like it.

ETA: Oh, I still have some bars after 3 years and they held up well and I use it mainly in the summer to relieve insect bites, poison ivy rash, etc.
 
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SPowers

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I landed on my go-to formulation last year which is fairly high in lard. I tend to stick to what works and have varied on occasion to make 'specialty' soaps. The biggest surprises for me are the design... when they turn out better than expected and of course those that don't!
 

ResolvableOwl

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Ginger: (juice, tea, ginger bug lemonade, and even ginger-heavy kimchi) I always notice a bit of a whitish precipitate, like starch or flour, at the bottom of the pot/jar. With the incredible-sounding lather effects of rice wash water, aloe juice, in mind, this might well be another kick. It's another question if, after cooking a meal, you want to wash chili sap off your hands with something quite as spicy 🤣

Laurel: I'm confident that pure laurel oil will make marvelous soap! Abundant lather, agreeable hardness, tolerable curing times, great colour, and all that sourced past competition with tropical ecosystems. Now if only I could stand (or remove) that smell.
 

RDak

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ROwl: I gotta tell you I was surprised that the 100 percent laurel berry oil made that nice of a bar. (I thought it might be too strong but it isn't at all.)

Yup on the rice wash water.......it does add lather anecdotally for me when using it like potato water and bean water does.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I'm still trying to come up with a couple of "go to" regular recipes---family and friends ask for my brine bar, so that's a keeper, but at some point I'd like to just have a few basic recipes so I'm not overrun with a bazillion oils and additives.
Of course, if you haven't tried it yet, ZNSC is one of my all-time favorites. :thumbup:
I recently returned to my roots when asked to make soap for my son's FIL. The one he ordered on line was no longer available. The dupe was easy because the ingredients were the Basic Trinity of Oils which I hadn't made since early in my soapmaking career. I used the Default Settings on SoapCalc, added colorant and fragrance. Lovely "all-around" good soap for most people's skin I should think. :thumbup:
One had only two oils, olive and PKO flakes, and the other was 50% butters (shea, mango, cocoa) and I added some rhassoul clay. VERY different formulations, but both bars rank as my favorite
Both of those sound nice. Good for you. Added to the Brine soap, I would say you have an easily controlled inventory to have on hand when needed.
have you made a soap that really surprised you, in a good or not so good way, and what was surprising?
My biggest surprise was another Blast from the Past! I took on @FragranceGuy 's Grocery Store Soap Challenge (BTW, it's an open challenge with no end date. You can do it anytime!). I made a lard-based coffee (Kitchen) soap meant to remove the odors of onions, garlic, fish, etc. (and possibly skunk, LOL) from the hands.

While chatting with a soaping buddy, she mentioned she was using MCT oil to make soap. MCT Oil is aka "FCO" (Fractionated Coconut Oil). I always thought FCO wasn't good for soaping, just leave-on body products. To test her theory, I made a 30 oz. batch @ 0% superfat and added 1.5 oz (5% SF) MCT Oil at the end. I was amazed at the result. Wonderful lather and emollience! I use it daily as I have it at the kitchen sink. It keeps my hands feeling soft and moisturized.
 

AliOop

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MCT Oil is aka "FCO" (Fractionated Coconut Oil).
They are similar but not identical. MCT oil has just the medium chain triglycerides, whereas FCO has both medium chain and short chain triglycerides.

Apparently this difference only matters if you are formulating products for someone with fungal acne, but I don’t remember which one to use or not use in that instance. In any event, because of this issue, it is important for labeling purposes to note which one you actually use in your product.
 

FragranceGuy

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I have @Zany_in_CO ‘s coffee kitchen soap at my sink and I use it anytime I need to rid my hands of food smells. It works great for onions and even the dreaded Worcestershire sauce that seems to soak through my hands to the bone 😆 Thanks Zany! This reminds me of a Demetri Martin joke, he says “My friend has hand soap that smells like coconut. It's nice, unless your hands are dirty from coconuts. Then it's the worst soap possible.” 😂
 

Carly B

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Both of those sound nice. Good for you. Added to the Brine soap, I would say you have an easily controlled inventory to have on hand when needed.
Hubby seems pretty consistent in that he loves the soap I make with tallow and lard. He's fine with the OO and PKO soap, and he says the lather on the 3 butter soap with clay is like "whipped cream," but his go-to soaps seem to always have both tallow and lard in them or else the brine soap. So I have to come up with the "perfect" lard/tallow bar. 😁 An excuse to keep experimenting.
 
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ResolvableOwl

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Not a particular soap batch that surprised me a lot, but more in general about self-made soaps with complex recipes (basic trinity and “worse”): I (somewhat) newly learned how to use soap!
As if I have to evoke the different parts of the recipe in the right order.

Washing hands, e. g., first I rub my hands with the bar and nothing happens, it feels a bit slippery, maybe some stringy slime rubs off, but not a very overwhelming experience all in all. Then I let drip some extra water onto my hands, and at once there are giant fluffy bubbles everywhere! Mere seconds later, the transparent slime has turned into a silky, nearly shaving cream like lather that is soothing, and cleans my skin without scraping it off.

When rinsing, the froth goes up again, turns bright white, and needs a happy long time to get washed off. Leaves my skin with the perfect balance of cleanliness, moisture and tenderness. A pleasure I never had before with store-bought soap, that was a mere basic commodity with no notable quality besides washing away dirt.
 

lonalea

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where is this company? gv shortening is Walmart but all I could find was a 48oz
 

Ugeauxgirl

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I like the GV shortening in soap too! Great lather and very mild. I'm not sure how long it'll last, but so far, so good...
 

AliOop

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sorry but where can you get the 50 pound cube?
In @RDak ’s post #54, above, you will see the word “Link” in green lettering below the text of the message. Click on that link to be taken to the website.

For me the price was good, but shipping killed any cost savings. Also, I can get a 48lb bucket of lard locally for even less than that from USChef’s Store (formerly Smart Foods, formerly Cash & Carry).

But since you are in Ohio, you should check Soaper’s Choice. If they are close enough, you can pick it up and save on shipping costs.
 

lonalea

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if you use lard and have a Gordon Food Service close-by they sell the 50 pound cube for $47
 
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