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Why Apple Cider Vinegar

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gsc

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Sorry if this is a redundant OLD question but exactly why do people put apple cider vinegar in their hot process soap? I've never used it.
 

AliOop

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I use regular vinegar, not ACV, but they react the same in soap, whether HP or CP.

Personally, I use it bc it hardens the bar and makes it a bit easier to unmold. I also like the feel of the lather - it is a bit softer or something. A bit hard to define, but I know the difference between my vinegar and non-vinegar bars.

I use the soapmaking friend lye calculator, which automatically calculates the extra lye needed to offset the acetic acid in the vinegar. You can also calculate that amount by hand but I don’t recall the formula offhand. If you use the search bar to search for vinegar, a bunch of threads on the topic will come up.
 

Rsapienza

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I use vinegar in many batches. I, too, like that it hardens the loaf faster. I have used ACV and some people swear it's providing some benefit. I didn't notice any difference so I use regular vinegar. I've seen it used a lot in bars people use for shampoo and facial bars. Personally, I don't think there's much that survives the lye monster, so label appeal?
 

gsc

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I've made 1 batch with vinegar and it unmolded from my silicone Tall Skinny mold like a dream! I don't love the way the soap thickens faster in the pot, though.
Did you add your vinegar in HP after the cook?
 

cmzaha

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Vinegar usage in soap replaces the need to use Sodium Lactate allowing you to unmold your soap quicker. I use distilled Vinegar in all my soaps using 50-100% as water replacement, usually, I use 50%.

The vinegar reacts with NaOH (lye) to become Sodium Acetate which is what hardens the soap and it apparently can also act as a chelator although I do not use it as the chelator in my soap. Since the Vinegar reacts with you lye you need to add in extra lye or you will be upping your superfat. The factor you use is to multiply the amount of vinegar you are going to use by 0.0357 so if you are going to use 141 g vinegar x 0.0357 = 5.03 g extra lye. You want to do this when you mix your lye solution.
 

earlene

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When I have used vinegar for the sodium acetate that it produces when reacting with lye, it's only at about 50% water replacement or less because I also use masterbatched lye (50% water to 50% NaOH). Therefore the additional water needed to get my desired lye concentration is the maximum amount of vinegar that can be added (less the calculation for additional lye, which SoapmakingFriend lye calculator does for me, although before that feature was added I used the formula cmzaha mentions.)

I prefer the lower amount of vinegar usage to a larger amount because in my recipes I found the higher amount caused some brittleness to my soap.

Not everyone likes vinegar in soap. There is another soaper here at SMF who found it less pleasant in use than without it and that was also the conclusion from her soap testers as well. I can't say I have found it to be desirable over time, so I don't use it as much as I did at first when I tried it out.

I have never used ACV in soap, but there are some threads where soaper mention using it. I don't recall how the soap itself turned out or if they thought it was better soap with or without the ACV.
 

cmzaha

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I will say I have been using distilled vinegar in the soap for a few years now from 50-100%. I use low CO and low superfat dual lye in my soaps which are either a tallow/lard based or high palm-based soap depending on vegan or non-vegan. My soaps lather well and I find the feel very creamy and lather nice and so did my very large customer base. In fact, many asked what I changed when I did change to my current formulas. As several told me, my soaps were always great but they went to fantastic. I never noticed any brittleness in my soaps even at 100% vinegar. I wonder if the dual lye makes a difference.
 
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AliOop

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My recipe is also high lard with a good creamy lather that people love, and they definitely notice the positive difference with vinegar, too. Haven't tried dual lye yet, but I have it on The Try List. I need a month off to get through that list!
 

Ale

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The vinegar reacts with NaOH (lye) to become Sodium Acetate which is what hardens the soap and it apparently can also act as a chelator although I do not use it as the chelator in my soap.
I had never heard about it. I knew that sodium citrate or sodium gluconate are used as chelators. Have you (o has someone else) found that vinegar reduces DOS in their soaps?
 

DeeAnna

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"...People sometimes wonder if household chemicals can be effective chelators for soap. Possibilities include table salt (sodium chloride), sodium ascorbate made from Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), sodium acetate made from the acetic acid in vinegar, and sodium lactate made from the lactic acid in fermented dairy.

Sodium acetate and sodium lactate are two household chemicals that can function as chelants. They are sometimes used for that purpose in foods and as medical treatments.

I do not see acetate and lactate being recommended as chelants in soap or cosmetics nor for treating minerals in hard water to prevent soap scum. The chelators normally suggested for these purposes include EDTA, citrate, gluconates, GLDA, etc.

Not every chelator is effective for every purpose. IMO, acetate and lactate should be used in soap mainly for the other qualities they contribute, not for their chelating ability...."

Adapted from my article What is a chelator | Soapy Stuff
 
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earlene

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I will say I have been using distilled vinegar in the soap for a few years now from 50-100%. I use low CO and low superfat dual lye in my soaps which are either a tallow/lard based or high palm-based soap depending on vegan or non-vegan. My soaps lather well and I find the feel very creamy and lather nice and so did my very large customer base. In fact, many asked what I changed when I did change to my current formulas. As several told me, my soaps were always great but they went to fantastic. I never noticed any brittleness in my soaps even at 100% vinegar. I wonder if the dual lye makes a difference.
That or the formula itself. But I'll bet it could be the dual lye.
 

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