Why does bar soap make my skin feel terrible in comparison to liquid?

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Now you've done it, one hit and you're hooked for life. Seriously, congrats, and extra congrats for soaping while parenting. That took me back, LOL. It took me weeks to paint my garage because my only daily window was my toddler's naptime. I remember actually mourning when my baby transitioned from 2 naps to 1 nap and then 1 nap to no nap.

One tip when I want to soap in a busy week. One day I'll measure out oils and and mix my lye solution. Then next day I'll combine them. When I started I was obsessed with temperature but now I soap at room temp or when the oils and lye are warm to the touch.

Sounds like you had a good first experience. Soda ash is only cosmetic. I pour my batter into mold, spray with rubbing alcohol (not always in stocked in stores here), cover with plastic wrap, cover with cardboard, then bury it with towels.

I love coloring with cocoa powder.

And in this case, procrastinating on dishes is guilt-free.
 

AxtFarm

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Now you've done it, one hit and you're hooked for life. Seriously, congrats, and extra congrats for soaping while parenting. That took me back, LOL. It took me weeks to paint my garage because my only daily window was my toddler's naptime. I remember actually mourning when my baby transitioned from 2 naps to 1 nap and then 1 nap to no nap.

One tip when I want to soap in a busy week. One day I'll measure out oils and and mix my lye solution. Then next day I'll combine them. When I started I was obsessed with temperature but now I soap at room temp or when the oils and lye are warm to the touch.

Sounds like you had a good first experience. Soda ash is only cosmetic. I pour my batter into mold, spray with rubbing alcohol (not always in stocked in stores here), cover with plastic wrap, cover with cardboard, then bury it with towels.

I love coloring with cocoa powder.

And in this case, procrastinating on dishes is guilt-free.


I'm in-between the 2 nap to 1 nap stage. He was supposed to sleep for his second time for 2 hours, but he cut it short at 30min. I had to use his first nap to cut grass. Having a farm and only nap times to do weeks of projects and chores can be daunting yet the moment I run out of stuff to do and can relax I don't know what to do with myself so I make myself more work lol.

I actually measured out my oils the day before since I needed to melt down my palm, mix, and portion. I feel like I wasted some oils though going from measuring cup, to storage container, to warming pot.

I assume the 5% super fats is there to help account for losses like that.

I guess I will cut up one of my Amazon boxes and get more towels rdy for the next one
 
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MrsZ

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So if I want to make another batch before 24 hours is it acceptable to clean the dirty dishes even though they have active lye on them?

I'm going to run out of palm oil after 3 test batches and want to save that for my real tests.

I have tons of olive oil, I know people do recipes with only olive oil so I was thinking of throwing something together like 80% Olive, 10% coconut, 5% caster, 5% Shae. Soapcal says it will be really soft. Is it worth trying anyways or is it a waste



I'm in-between the 2 nap to 1 nap stage. He was supposed to sleep for his second time for 2 hours, but he cut it short at 30min. I had to use his first nap to cut grass. Having a farm and only nap times to do weeks of projects and chores can be daunting yet the moment I run out of stuff to do and can relax I don't know what to do with myself so I make myself more work lol.

I actually measured out my oils the day before since I needed to melt down my palm, mix, and portion. I feel like I wasted some oils though going from measuring cup, to storage container, to warming pot.

I assume the 5% super fats is there to help account for losses like that.

I guess I will cut up one of my Amazon boxes and get more towels rdy for the next one
I have small children too. Makes a lot of projects difficult. :) But they are fun.

I may be in the minority, but I wash my soaping dishes immediately after pouring. I personally feel safer that way, knowing all lye is cleaned up.
 

Marsi

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congratulations on your first soaps!
i like your swirl

a polystyrene box with a lid is an easy insulator
the towel goes over the lid

soaping with children is difficult
cooling lye in a shallow container of ice water is faster (and safer against accidental ingestion) than the fridge

you can wash your dishes at any time
i put mine in a sink of water as i go
and wash them at the end

after you try your own cured soap 😍
there is no turning back to shop bought
 

Zany_in_CO

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I have tons of olive oil, I know people do recipes with only olive oil so I was thinking of throwing something together like 80% Olive, 10% coconut, 5% caster, 5% Shae. Soapcal says it will be really soft. Is it worth trying anyways or is it a waste
Good thinking. It's not a waste at all. That's a great combo to use with this recipe:
ZANY'S NO SLIME CASTILE

@AliOop's recipe is a good one that reflects her knowledge and experience -- she's offering you a "shortcut to perfection" (LOL). It is a variation of the BASIC TRINITY OF OILS Starter Formula (Tweak #1). The only thing I would recommend differently is using the Default Settings on SoapCalc -- 38% water as % of oils and 5% SF just as a starting point before taking a water discount (aka 33% lye concentration) and lye discount (aka "3% Super Fat") -- you can play with those two elements as needed in your trial batches to see what difference it makes. ;)
 

AxtFarm

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Batch one at 24 hrs
 

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AAShillito

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Good thinking. It's not a waste at all. That's a great combo to use with this recipe:
ZANY'S NO SLIME CASTILE

@AliOop's recipe is a good one that reflects her knowledge and experience -- she's offering you a "shortcut to perfection" (LOL). It is a variation of the BASIC TRINITY OF OILS Starter Formula (Tweak #1). The only thing I would recommend differently is using the Default Settings on SoapCalc -- 38% water as % of oils and 5% SF just as a starting point before taking a water discount (aka 33% lye concentration) and lye discount (aka "3% Super Fat") -- you can play with those two elements as needed in your trial batches to see what difference it makes. ;)
Yes please try Zany's Castile! Just as is no tweaks! . Its as close to almost instant gratification with making your own soap as you can get!
 

AxtFarm

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Batch 2 will be unmolded tomorrow afternoon (call it mango sadness) and batch 3 will be unmolded in the next several days.

For batch 3 I tried a version of @Zany_in_CO no slime Castile recipe with 85% OO, 10% CO, 5% castor, salt water+lye+sorbitol
White mica to lighten the base and then purple mica for secondary color+lavender EO.

I liked how much easier it was to work with since it traced so slowly so hopefully it turns out well.

I see it being a fun recipe to use a column on once I'm doing large batches.

Midnight soaping is much easier lol
 

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@AliOop's recipe is a good one that reflects her knowledge and experience -- she's offering you a "shortcut to perfection" (LOL). It is a variation of the BASIC TRINITY OF OILS Starter Formula (Tweak #1). The only thing I would recommend differently is using the Default Settings on SoapCalc -- 38% water as % of oils and 5% SF just as a starting point before taking a water discount (aka 33% lye concentration) and lye discount (aka "3% Super Fat") -- you can play with those two elements as needed in your trial batches to see what difference it makes. ;)
Thanks for the kind words, Zany, and I appreciate your wealth of knowledge, too. We can agree to disagree about using the water-as-percent-of-oils setting. I find that setting too unpredictable for scaling recipes up or down, since the strength of the lye solution varies by the batch size. To me, it is easier to stick with a predictable lye solution strength using one of the other two settings. Then I know that the 2500g batch will behave pretty similarly to the 500g tester batch. ;)

@AxtFarm great job on batches 2 and 3 - love the lavender swirls! And I think you will love the version of ZNSC that you tried. It took me a long time to try it; I also blended powdered GM into the oils. It is the first high-OO soap I have ever liked, and hopefully it works for you, too.
 

AxtFarm

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I know I'm supposed to let standard soap cure for 4-6 weeks and 6+ weeks on ZNSC. Is that the amount of time they need to cure before I test or can I test sooner and the final cured soap be similar?

(I forgot to add the baking soda to the salt water... hopefully that doesn't mess them up)
 
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TheGecko

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Why does commercial bar soap feel different than Dr Squatch? Why did the artisan GMS feel the same as the commercial soap? Because a lot of commercial soaps aren't really 'soap', they are detergents; might as well shower with Tide or Cascade. Not all artisan soap makers produce a good bar of soap.

These are the ingredients of "Cool Fresh Aloe": Saponified Oils of (Olive, Sustainable Palm, Coconut), Aloe Fragrance, Shea Butter, Kaolin Clay, Sea Salt, Colorant.

There are the ingredients of some popular commercial soaps:

Gold Dial - Benzalkonium Chloride 0.10% (antibacterial); Soap [Sodium Tallowate* · Sodium Palmate* · Sodium Cocoate* · Sodium Palm Kernelate*] · Aqua (Water, Eau) · Coconut Acid* · Palm Acid* · Palm Kernel Acid* · Tallow Acid* · Glycerin · PEG-6 Methyl Ether · Sodium Chloride · Parfum (Fragrance) · Tetrasodium Etidronate · Pentasodium Pentetate · CI 19140 (Yellow 5) · CI 45350 (Yellow 8) · CI 14700 (Red 4) · Coumarin · Butylphenyl Methylpropional · Linalool · Benzyl Alcohol · Eugenol · Hexyl Cinnamal · Citronellol

* - May contain some of these ingredients

Irish Spring - Sodium Tallowate and/or et/ou Sodium Palmate, Sodium Cocoate and/or et/ou Sodium Palm Kernelate, Water/Eau, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Tallow Acid, Coconut Acid, Fragrance/Parfum, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Pentasodium Pentetate, Titanium Dioxide, Green 8, Green 3

Ivory - Water/Eau, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance/Parfum, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Jergen's - Sodium Palmate And/Or Sodium Tallowate, Water, Sodium Palm Kernelate And/Or Sodium Cocoate, Glycerin, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Tallow Acid, Coconut Acid, Tetrasodium Edta, Sodium Hydroxide.

Why do you have better luck commercial body washes and liquid soaps than bar soap? Probably because they are liquid detergents with added ingredients. To be honest, I've never made Liquid Soap, but I know that the artisan variety is made is KOH instead of NaOH, it is made with the same kind of ingredients as True Soap, you have to cook the ingredients like with HP, it needs to saponify to a paste and then it is liquified with water and glycerin. And I think you might need a preservative.

I'm almost 60 and for the majority of my life I have suffered from dry skin. Face Moisturizer, Body Lotion, Hand Lotion...I'd go through bottles of that stuff every month. I haven't used body lotion since my first bar went into the bathroom two years ago. I still use a face moisturizer, but a bottle with last me three months and it's light and oil free. And I still use hand lotion, but I'm also a diabetic and I need it when I'm out and about use 'public' soap.

Dirty Dishes - I wipe everything with damp microfiber towels and set in sink. I then spray everything with some 'orange' cleaner I got from the local "Dollar" store and let them sit while I wiping down my soap cart (rolling kitchen island) with the cleaner and towels and general tidying up. I then rinse everything and either hand wash them or put them in the dishwasher. I then rinse the towels in the dish water and let them dry. They then get tossed in the washer. Another option is just to put them in a tub and let the batter turn into soap and then you only need water to 'wash' them.

Reading through some of your other posts...ye local "Dollar" store has been my best friend, along with Amazon. All of my mixing bowls/cups come from the $$$ Store along with spatulas, whisks, measuring spoons, wax and parchment papers, dish pans for larger batches, storage containers for salts, beeswax, butters, TD, Kaolin Clay, etc. May I recommend a pastry cutter to help you clean off your molds?

When I first started out everything fit in a rectangle laundry basket, then it was two. Instead of buy a third to lug around, I bought a nice rolling kitchen island and a shelf above it for colorants and scents. Everything fit perfectly in it and it was lovely. Hubby even bought me a shelfing unit in the garage and commercial size trays so I would quit using the cookie sheets and washer/dryer for curing. Then I bought wall hanging 'pantry' and it's where I store all my packaged soaps and scents (the colorants took over the shelf).

The Plan was to convert part of the garage over to soap making area for me and a hobby station for hubby. Then of course...things went quite a bit by the wayside when the pandemic struck. I've always been a bit of a stocker, but went into mama bear mode and cleared three of the five shelves in the garage for an extended pantry. Our four-person office became a two-person office as the boss and I started working from home. All the extra work and the stress left little room for soap making. Which worked out since the garbage company wasn't willing to deliver anything but a construction dumpster and wanted a grand to do it. Uh...no. So we were going to do it this year, but the price of lumber is just outrageous. It would be cheaper for me to rent a small storage unit for a year, than it would be to put up a single insulted wall in the garage.
 
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The Plan was to convert part of the garage over to soap making area for me and a hobby station for hubby. ....

It would be cheaper for me to rent a small storage unit for a year, than it would be to put up a single insulted wall in the garage.
Awww Gecko, such a bummer. What about buying a small storage shed and putting it inside the garage?
 

AxtFarm

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Is it normal for the bars to be tacky at 24 when you unmold and bevel? The feeling is like chocolate chips starting to melt in your hand. Had to use paper towel to rub down the potato peeler.
 

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I actually measured out my oils the day before since I needed to melt down my palm, mix, and portion. I feel like I wasted some oils though going from measuring cup, to storage container, to warming pot.
You can measure directly into the warming pot if it fits on your scale. Then you won't have any waste. Or weigh it into a lidded plastic container that you can actually make the soap in. You can put it in a warm water bath to melt the hard oils, if you're using any in that batch. Then pour in the lye and mix.

Oh, and if you decide you like palm and you want to keep using it, you can buy no-stir palm oil. It has been homogenized so it doesn't separate. Much easier, especially if you buy it in bulk.

Is it normal for the bars to be tacky at 24 when you unmold and bevel? The feeling is like chocolate chips starting to melt in your hand. Had to use paper towel to rub down the potato peeler.
Yep. Probably just not hard enough yet. Soaps high in olive oil are like that in particular, and other recipes too. It might be a few days sometimes before you can even get it out of the mold. Part of the reason for making so much soap before you can sell, is that once you nail down a recipe that works for you, you need to figure out the ideal amount of time to wait before unmolding and cutting.

Wait until you make a salt soap, though. That one can be ready to unmold and cut in as little as 45 minutes. A lot of people make them in cavity molds just to avoid having to cut soap that's still hot, lol.
 

AxtFarm

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You can measure directly into the warming pot if it fits on your scale. Then you won't have any waste. Or weigh it into a lidded plastic container that you can actually make the soap in. You can put it in a warm water bath to melt the hard oils, if you're using any in that batch. Then pour in the lye and mix.

Oh, and if you decide you like palm and you want to keep using it, you can buy no-stir palm oil. It has been homogenized so it doesn't separate. Much easier, especially if you buy it in bulk.


Yep. Probably just not hard enough yet. Soaps high in olive oil are like that in particular, and other recipes too. It might be a few days sometimes before you can even get it out of the mold. Part of the reason for making so much soap before you can sell, is that once you nail down a recipe that works for you, you need to figure out the ideal amount of time to wait before unmolding and cutting.

Wait until you make a salt soap, though. That one can be ready to unmold and cut in as little as 45 minutes. A lot of people make them in cavity molds just to avoid having to cut soap that's still hot, lol.

Thx for the response & info.

What I don't like about the cavities is they don't make perfect rectangles. The side bow in or out. Atleast the ones I got from Amazon do that.
 
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i have a 9 bar cavity mold from Brambleberry that doesnt bow out. I use it to make salt bars, which I love, love, love.

Curing time may vary, depending on your patience ;), most recommend 12 months at least, but i use them quite earlier than that. I have a few that are coming up on the 12 month date, so i will be comparing soon.

You might find these nice for your skin if you dont like other bars. I really feel a difference. My friends and customers love them. Note to self: time to break out another bar lol.

If you buy the BB mold, you will be ready to soap in six months or so :rolleyes:. (Hint, hint to any BB staff lurkers here lol)....shipping takes forever with them.
 

Quanta

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Thx for the response & info.

What I don't like about the cavities is they don't make perfect rectangles. The side bow in or out. Atleast the ones I got from Amazon do that.
You are welcome!

I have some molds from Amazon that are really bad about that. Then I have others from Amazon that don't bow out. I have some little guest soap molds from WSP that are very thick and sturdy, and a few other molds and it really depends on the mold and who made it. I have some like the pink one in your picture, and they are so bad I sometimes can't stand up the soaps on edge to cure. I made a few test batches of salt soap recently and I used a flower shaped mold I bought on Amazon. That one felt really thin and flimsy at first, but once you pour soap into it, it stands up just fine because of the shape.
 

earlene

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Is it normal for the bars to be tacky at 24 when you unmold and bevel? The feeling is like chocolate chips starting to melt in your hand. Had to use paper towel to rub down the potato peeler.

That is too soon to bevel. The only time I bevel new soap that early is if I am running against a deadline to photograph for a Soap Challenge, and then I have to do so very gently. Just a few days of sitting out in the air will make a huge difference in how much harder the edges become and how much easier it is to bevel without waste or accidental nicks with your fingernail or whatever. But I really prefer to allow weeks before beveling. Even less chance of nicks and waste.

Plus when the soap is too fresh, cleaning up the bevel tool is more cumbersome than if you wait for the soap to become dryer.
 
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Why does commercial bar soap feel different than Dr Squatch? Why did the artisan GMS feel the same as the commercial soap? Because a lot of commercial soaps aren't really 'soap', they are detergents; might as well shower with Tide or Cascade. Not all artisan soap makers produce a good bar of soap.

These are the ingredients of "Cool Fresh Aloe": Saponified Oils of (Olive, Sustainable Palm, Coconut), Aloe Fragrance, Shea Butter, Kaolin Clay, Sea Salt, Colorant.

There are the ingredients of some popular commercial soaps:

Gold Dial - Benzalkonium Chloride 0.10% (antibacterial); Soap [Sodium Tallowate* · Sodium Palmate* · Sodium Cocoate* · Sodium Palm Kernelate*] · Aqua (Water, Eau) · Coconut Acid* · Palm Acid* · Palm Kernel Acid* · Tallow Acid* · Glycerin · PEG-6 Methyl Ether · Sodium Chloride · Parfum (Fragrance) · Tetrasodium Etidronate · Pentasodium Pentetate · CI 19140 (Yellow 5) · CI 45350 (Yellow 8) · CI 14700 (Red 4) · Coumarin · Butylphenyl Methylpropional · Linalool · Benzyl Alcohol · Eugenol · Hexyl Cinnamal · Citronellol

* - May contain some of these ingredients

Irish Spring - Sodium Tallowate and/or et/ou Sodium Palmate, Sodium Cocoate and/or et/ou Sodium Palm Kernelate, Water/Eau, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Tallow Acid, Coconut Acid, Fragrance/Parfum, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Pentasodium Pentetate, Titanium Dioxide, Green 8, Green 3

Ivory - Water/Eau, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance/Parfum, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Jergen's - Sodium Palmate And/Or Sodium Tallowate, Water, Sodium Palm Kernelate And/Or Sodium Cocoate, Glycerin, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Tallow Acid, Coconut Acid, Tetrasodium Edta, Sodium Hydroxide.

Why do you have better luck commercial body washes and liquid soaps than bar soap? Probably because they are liquid detergents with added ingredients. To be honest, I've never made Liquid Soap, but I know that the artisan variety is made is KOH instead of NaOH, it is made with the same kind of ingredients as True Soap, you have to cook the ingredients like with HP, it needs to saponify to a paste and then it is liquified with water and glycerin. And I think you might need a preservative.

I'm almost 60 and for the majority of my life I have suffered from dry skin. Face Moisturizer, Body Lotion, Hand Lotion...I'd go through bottles of that stuff every month. I haven't used body lotion since my first bar went into the bathroom two years ago. I still use a face moisturizer, but a bottle with last me three months and it's light and oil free. And I still use hand lotion, but I'm also a diabetic and I need it when I'm out and about use 'public' soap.

Dirty Dishes - I wipe everything with damp microfiber towels and set in sink. I then spray everything with some 'orange' cleaner I got from the local "Dollar" store and let them sit while I wiping down my soap cart (rolling kitchen island) with the cleaner and towels and general tidying up. I then rinse everything and either hand wash them or put them in the dishwasher. I then rinse the towels in the dish water and let them dry. They then get tossed in the washer. Another option is just to put them in a tub and let the batter turn into soap and then you only need water to 'wash' them.

Reading through some of your other posts...ye local "Dollar" store has been my best friend, along with Amazon. All of my mixing bowls/cups come from the $$$ Store along with spatulas, whisks, measuring spoons, wax and parchment papers, dish pans for larger batches, storage containers for salts, beeswax, butters, TD, Kaolin Clay, etc. May I recommend a pastry cutter to help you clean off your molds?

When I first started out everything fit in a rectangle laundry basket, then it was two. Instead of buy a third to lug around, I bought a nice rolling kitchen island and a shelf above it for colorants and scents. Everything fit perfectly in it and it was lovely. Hubby even bought me a shelfing unit in the garage and commercial size trays so I would quit using the cookie sheets and washer/dryer for curing. Then I bought wall hanging 'pantry' and it's where I store all my packaged soaps and scents (the colorants took over the shelf).

The Plan was to convert part of the garage over to soap making area for me and a hobby station for hubby. Then of course...things went quite a bit by the wayside when the pandemic struck. I've always been a bit of a stocker, but went into mama bear mode and cleared three of the five shelves in the garage for an extended pantry. Our four-person office became a two-person office as the boss and I started working from home. All the extra work and the stress left little room for soap making. Which worked out since the garbage company wasn't willing to deliver anything but a construction dumpster and wanted a grand to do it. Uh...no. So we were going to do it this year, but the price of lumber is just outrageous. It would be cheaper for me to rent a small storage unit for a year, than it would be to put up a single insulted wall in the garage.
Thx for the info regarding commercial soap. I have 1 question, when you mention "sodium palmate' sodium chocolate' Sodium tallowate & others how are these fats processed' to arrive at a new name?.

Good luck on your future soap making area. I know lumber has tippled in price' hopefully the price will come down soon its absolutely ridiculous.
 

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