Will these soap recipes I created work for their intended use?

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lorinda

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Hello there!
I am new to the community and I am loving the information and lye calculator and recipe builder. I made soaps in 1998 and I'm back at it. Some things have definitely changed like molds are mostly all silicone and recommendations for glass as viable mixing containers are no longer a thing and the internet is in full swing lol. I am here because I have my original books out plus the internet and this soapmaking friend for creating my recipes but I am not sure if I am making recipes properly. I have created 3 recipes and have made two of them so far. The next one I want to make is the charcoal shampoo bar recipe. Does anyone have the excitement to look at my recipes and let me know if they will work for the use intended? or if I'm on the right track? I tried to create a facial bar recipe (already made this afternoon) but now I'm wondering if too much 'cleansing' is a bad thing. I thought it would work considering I had so much shae butter and argan oil. Also, how can I tell by using the bars that they will be good at conditioning or any of the other properties? Is it bad to have too many bubbles? The body bar I created seems to be decently balanced on the chart though I'm not convinced the "vanilla booster" fragrance I added will survive, I read later that adding vanilla to the clay first will help preserve the fragrance. I've also read that I may be using too much shae butter in the recipes; I wanted to have a very conditioning bar which is why I chose it but is it wrong? If the soap traces fast, will this change the saponification? What exactly is gelling... is that saponification? Thank you!



 

lianasouza

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I'm still learning, but I don't recall seeing any recipe with as much castor oil as your second one.
 
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Hi Lorinda, so glad you're getting back into soap making!

You've asked a lot of questions that suggest it would be helpful for you to return to the basics of developing a recipe. There's no one resource I'd suggest, except for Kevin's Dunn's Scientific Soap Making book, however it was originally written as a textbook so it's full of science. Many people are able to glean a good understanding of soaping despite that (myself included) Deanna's website is also helpful and this particular page addresses items you asked about:Soapcalc numbers | Soapy Stuff

Other than that, this forum is full of good questions, answered by some very helpful and experienced people that love to help people learn -so feel free to continue to ask questions.

Your post covered a lot of material, and I'm not going to take the time to cover it - because its a lot of material. But I will say that that recipe 2 does have way too much castor - and is enough to ruin the soap (making it soft and sticky). Castor is usually used up to 10%, with 5% being the most common recommendation

Even if your soap calculator says your recipe has a cleansing of 0, the soap will still clean very well. Cleansing is not an accurate term and Deanna's page will help explain that. You may find that your recipes are too drying to your skin, even after a good cure. (and you may not). It's not uncommon for people to use 30% coconut oil, but many soapers prefer 20% or even less.

You're using fragrances; be sure to order from reputable suppliers that sell skin safe, and cold process appropriate fragrances - it will save a lot of problems.
 

TheGecko

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Welcome back.

I don’t know a whole lot about Shampoo bars since I have no real interest in making them and that’s because it takes different ingredients than you use for making soap.

Okay…your other soaps.

Pink Kaolin & Oatmeal Bar - Too high in Oleic Acid. It won’t be as long lasting and it could have a slimy feel.

Cucumber & Tea Tree Facial Bar - WAY too much Castor Oil. Argon Oil is a complete waste of money. Wouldn’t use Shea over 20%.

To answer some of your question:

Does anyone have the excitement to look at my recipes and let me know if they will work for the use intended? or if I'm on the right track?

The purpose of soap is to get you clean…that’s it. At least that is how it is in the US, I am not familiar with Canada’s laws. In the US, making any claim about your soap other than it will ‘get you clean’, falls under the jurisdiction of the FDA for Cosmetic and Drugs with rules and licensing (drug)

I tried to create a facial bar recipe (already made this afternoon) but now I'm wondering if too much 'cleansing' is a bad thing. I thought it would work considering I had so much shae butter and argan oil. Also, how can I tell by using the bars that they will be good at conditioning or any of the other properties?

Argon Oil is a waste of money is soap unless you are wanting to use it for label appeal. Saponification and Lye destroys most of the ‘benefits’ of the fats. And too…soap is a wash on/rinse off product that is maybe on your skin for five to ten minutes. You want to save the ‘benefits’ for lotions.

As noted by @lenarenee, some of the ‘property’ terms are misleading. You can make soap with any kind of oil, butter or animal fat and as long as it goes though the saponification process and turns into soap…it will get you ‘clean’. Now depending on what oil, butter or animal fat or combination thereof, it could dry out your skin, it could irritate your skin, but your skin would still be clean. The only way to tell if you have a well-balanced bar is simply to use it, to have friends and family use it.

Is it bad to have too many bubbles?

Not according to my husband. Last batch I made for him I added some sugar…he says I need to add more.

The body bar I created seems to be decently balanced on the chart though I'm not convinced the "vanilla booster" fragrance I added will survive, I read later that adding vanilla to the clay first will help preserve the fragrance. I've also read that I may be using too much shae butter in the recipes; I wanted to have a very conditioning bar which is why I chose it but is it wrong?

I’ve never heard of a ‘vanilla booster’. I don’t know if it’s true or not about mixing Kaolin Clay with your scent to ‘anchor’ it…maybe some day when I’m bored I’ll make some test batches with and without, but in the meantime…KC is cheap so why not.

I use Shea Butter at 10%. I’ve heard recommendations of 15% to 20%. Holly at Kapia Mera has used 100% and 60% Shea Butter. She said the 100% SB was great for her skin for the winter, but not a lot of lather. The 60%, she added Cocoa Butter, and Coconut and Olive Oils and liked it better. Like with most things in soap making, it’s about personal preference.

If the soap traces fast, will this change the saponification?

No…two different things. Trace is about the consistency of your batter…saponification is the chemical process that turns your fats and lye into soap.

What exactly is gelling... is that saponification? Thank you!

It can be part of the process, but it is not necessary. Gelling occurs when your soap reaches a certain temperature and the soap becomes translucent (not to be confused with clear Melt & Pour). Some folks ‘gel’ their soap because it makes the color more ‘vibrant’, the soap gets harder faster and so they can unmold quicker. I don’t gel myself…I like the matte and creamy appearance and I have enough molds that I can wait.
 
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Hiya,
I did note that you were adding cucumber puree in the second one. This should always be counted as part of the water content that you are adding, and should be weighed, not measured by volume. So if you are using 285g of water in your recipe for example, you should weigh your cup of cucumber puree, and if it weighs , say, 120g then deduct that from your 285g of water. 120g puree + 165g water = 285g total liquid. You can still add the puree at trace if you want to, and mix the lye with remaining water, but the water must be at the very least the same quantity (preferably a litre more) as the lye otherwise will not dissolve.
 
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Welcome (back) @lorinda to the soap addicts community!

I'm still learning, but I don't recall seeing any recipe with as much castor oil as your second one.
The “Cucumber & Tea Tree” is indeed a recipe that stands out. Please test it on a small scale first (maybe without additives & fragrance), and only scale up when you are confident that you do like the soap part of it. It might work out fine, but it also might not.

It is indeed rare to see such high castor oil levels. Castor itself makes questionable soap; to let it work its bubbly wonders, some 5% are usually sufficient. But there are recipes out there that use higher rates, like this one that exploits the transparency of high-castor soaps. I personally have bid farewell to high castor antics.
 

lorinda

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Gosh thank you everyone, I brought out my notebook and made so many notes from these responses! I appreciate all the advice and attention as I know you all have busy lives and just wanted to give a big warm thank you.

Firstly, you are right, I jumped into adding scents and additives when I need to get back to basics. This was due to me having the fantasy with having something different to put into stockings. Using the calculator, I felt I was safe to use what I chose, mostly under time pressure as I was squeezing making this in between kids and work. I spend hours deciding but yet, I didn't cross-reference with all my findings! My next batches will be more basic.

Ultimately, soap is to make you clean and the oils are mostly all saponified and if they aren't, then it's going to be a mix of 5% or so of the remaining oil and you don't get to decide which one! So I realize the main point is to get you clean without drying your skin. Use Argan oil for lotions or directly topical as they are useless in soap. The best way to know if your soap is balanced is to use it.

I didn't necessarily need to make a facial bar or shampoo bar, I just thought I would try with the calculator and at the very least, it will clean the hands and body. I thought an attempt would be interesting.

I realize now that my own notes told me that castor oil is best used as a superfat so I should have realized that it could be a 5% addition and something I could have avoided. I was also getting mixed messages from my notes and info about shae butter and using too much of that. In the end, I understand that castor oil is the one responsible for the stickiness. I was delighted with the lady who did the castor oil gelling recipe. The video was so calm and fun and the gel was incredible, very informative. I liked the link you gave that shows all the oils at 100% and the quality of soap that comes from it. I was reading the comments after the video and someone pointed out the water content was probably off which is why some of the oils were too soft or too hard.
Also, the 100% shae butter story and even 60% with coconut oil was also very interesting as I have been reading that too much makes a sticky bar.

The cucumber water situation was strange... as I had conflicting opinions about it how to add it with the lye water or reduce water accordingly and what happened in the end was, I made the lye water with the full amount of water then realized after I was mixing that I indeed want to add the cucumber and I considered that adding more water may not hurt it. The soap set up and it does look a bit transparent.

the "vanilla boosted" I believe is a perfume meant for CP and HP soaps. I bought all my scents and supplies from a soap supply store. I live in Canada and ordered from a store in Calgary that was recommended called Soap and More and here's the link for the vanilla boosted on their site.

If Oleic acid is from olive oil, then castile soap too soft? I'll update as to what my soaps end like in 4 weeks. See if they are a disaster or usable! I agree that the shampoo bars seem to best created with a dry process with no lye involved so right now, this seems to be a different art for me at the moment. The recipe that I was using online that I based my shampoo bar on, says that they use an acidic rinse to reduce the high PH caused from the soap. I understand that overall, shampoo bars are too high in PH for hair and not recommended. I think I'll go ahead and make the shampoo bar and call it a body bar. I didn't end up making it that day I posted as the soapmaking friend was down and that's where I had it saved.

I do want to explore making soaps and finding the core recipes that I like and others like. I will get more basic then add scents and things afterward. There is a lot to explore!
 
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If Oleic acid is from olive oil, then castile soap too soft?
In some way, yes. Castile soap itself gets nice and hard over months of cure, BUT as soon as it has the opportunity to soak up water, it will (= “castile slime”, bars that won't dry up after usage, and dissolve quickly on usage). The trick is to keep it from doing that, by adding hard, slow & sparingly soluble FAs – in terms of recipe: hard oils like cocoa, shea (not shae 🤫), lard, palm oil, or soy wax.
 

violets2217

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When you say “shampoo bar” are you talking cp soap for your hair or a syndet (synthetic detergent) solid shampoo bars? Because those are two different species! And some (myself included) do not recommend soap made with lye to be used as a shampoo because the ph is so high and it can dramatically damage hair. Then again there are some individuals that can use soap for their hair and not destroy their hair. Sadly, I am not one of those people.
And syndet shampoo bars are a very interesting and in-depth discussion all on its own.
 

TheGecko

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The cucumber water situation was strange... as I had conflicting opinions about it how to add it with the lye water or reduce water accordingly and what happened in the end was, I made the lye water with the full amount of water then realized after I was mixing that I indeed want to add the cucumber and I considered that adding more water may not hurt it. The soap set up and it does look a bit transparent.

People add all sorts of food stuff to their soap and my understanding is, if it is a 'wet' ingredient (purees) and not a 'powder' (ie spinach powder, tomato powder, pumpkin powder), you need to subtract it from your water.

If Oleic acid is from olive oil, then castile soap too soft?

Yes it is, which is why a traditionally made Castile Soap takes a good year to cure. I keep meaning to make some, just so I can say I did and try it out. I also want to make Aleppo Soap, and use some Red Palm Oil.
 

lorinda

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In some way, yes. Castile soap itself gets nice and hard over months of cure, BUT as soon as it has the opportunity to soak up water, it will (= “castile slime”, bars that won't dry up after usage, and dissolve quickly on usage). The trick is to keep it from doing that, by adding hard, slow & sparingly soluble FAs – in terms of recipe: hard oils like cocoa, shea (not shae 🤫), lard, palm oil, or soy wax.
Okay! Excellent

@TheGecko that is unreal that it needs a solid year to really solidify. Just wow!

@violets2217 I was referring to both soaps in the stuff I was writing. I originally had a CP recipe for hair that was suggested online but admitted that it's high in PH so she uses the apple cider vinegar rinse with some essential oils and possibly infused herbs. That's also when I learned there is the syndet method which I agree is a completely different art that I'm not honing in on right now. Same with Conditioner syndet bars. I ended up buying my daughter two of these from a local artisan for christmas 18$ each!

People add all sorts of food stuff to their soap and my understanding is, if it is a 'wet' ingredient (purees) and not a 'powder' (ie spinach powder, tomato powder, pumpkin powder), you need to subtract it from your water.

Yes it is, which is why a traditionally made Castile Soap takes a good year to cure. I keep meaning to make some, just so I can say I did and try it out. I also want to make Aleppo Soap, and use some Red Palm Oil.

I will definitely do the cucumber puree with the lye water next time. It was kind of a bad decision on my part because I knew I forgot to subtract the water which is hilarious because I was so organized with all my supplies and measurements... for some reason, this was a brain freeze for me and when I looked at the puree... I wanted it in there. Honestly, I should have left it out but I figured at least the lye wouldn't be stronger and make the bar caustic; it may affect the soap by making it softer.

I like your idea of making a castile recipe and waiting a year. I'd like to try that as well and I think I read that you can use it in a HP soap or shaving creams, I may have that wrong but I want to look into it again. I think the castile soap needs to be liquid but maybe there's a way to shave down a bar and use it with some water and the other ingredients.
 

lorinda

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Hello, here is an updated version of the "shampoo bar", I rendered my own tallow last week so I thought I would give it a try.

Can anyone tell me if this recipe will be balanced? I reduced oleic acid, CO and made castor oil way less. I added beef tallow to make up for the needed oils.

Charcoal & Cedarwood Body Bar
 

Zany_in_CO

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WELCOME TO SMF!
Wave.gif


Please take a moment to go to the Introduction Forum and tell us a little about yourself, especially your Soapmaking experience and anything else you care to share. This will make it easier for us to help you on your Soapy Journey and, if you're lucky, find a few soapy friends near you.

Next, take a cuppa along and explore the Beginners Forum to learn the things we talk about here.

Find the Beginners Learn to Soap Online thread that will help you get off on the right foot for making your first batches. Scroll down to "Lovin' Soap Studio" for sage advice and clear instructions for making CP (Cold Process).

@DeeAnna is our resident science guru. Browse through her Soapy Stuff whenever you need to research a problem.

You can also use the Search icon (magnifying glass at the top right of this page) for topics that have been discussed before.

Use the Recipe Feedback Forum to get input for a batch before you make it. That's a good place to pick up TIPS.

Your post covered a lot of material, and I'm not going to take the time to cover it - because its a lot of material.
I agree with @lenarenee -- too much info and too many questions and 3 recipes at a time is a bit overwhelming -- even for the best of us! 😁 In any case, set those 3 aside for now and learn by making "tried and true" recipes like the Basic Trinity of Oils starter formula.

Making as many small batches (500 grams/16 oz) as you can, as often as you can, will have you up and running with the best of us in about 4 months if you put the time and effort into it. It's best to avoid adding fragrance and color until you have a solid recipe that delivers every time you make it.

Finally, show off your soaps in the Photo Gallery. We LUV pictures -- even when a batch goes awry. Hopefully that won't happen, but if it does, see it as an opportunity to learn more.



HAPPY SOAPING!

I like your idea of making a castile recipe and waiting a year.
While @TheGecko is correct, traditionally, 100% Olive Oil used to take 3 months to a year to fully cure, that is no longer true with new innovations.


I think the castile soap needs to be liquid but maybe there's a way to shave down a bar and use it with some water and the other ingredients.
You can grate up any bar of soap, weigh the shreds, add water at a rate of 1 part soap weight + 8 parts water weight and achieve a gelatinous concoction best used for laundry soap! 😄 Liquid Castile Soap is MUCH better made from scratch using KOH instead of NaOH for the lye solution.
All in good time... ;):thumbs:
 

lorinda

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@Zany_in_CO Excellent, thank you! I will take my time and do the trinity soaps next week for my personal experiment and will take notes :)

I knew there would be a way to make your own liquid Castile soap from shreds so best I make a batch so I can experiment with Castile creations in the near future. I appreciate the video and all the newbie information. I did my intro and will post pictures. Thanks again, much appreciated 🤩
 
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Every one has given you great advice. I think I spent 1-2 months just reading various threads before I jumped in and made soap. I won't repeat any. Have a great tour of the site.

When I first came to this site, I printed off all of Deanna's Soapy Stuff...and still use it. I'm old style and still print things that I might want to read when I am offline. Once you get "back into" soaping a bit more, take a look at Triple Rice Soap from Dawni. By far my friends (all old ladies like me) want this soap out of all of them that I have made. It is a very gentle soap...at least on my skin and my friends...and even if you aren't into eating rice daily you can cook up a bit just for soaping like I do.

There are people who can use regular soap on their hair, unfortunately you have to use it to find out if you are one of those people. I think I can put just about anything on my hair and it survives! I have dipped my toes into the syndet bars for hair as regular soap was irritating the hearing implant my daughter got after her brain surgery. Now I like them so am making them for the family, too. That jump into syndet bars was a lot longer than jumping into soap making. It gets into way too many things I can't even pronounce...but with the advice here, you can make that jump too. Happy soaping
 

Microchick

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Gosh thank you everyone, I brought out my notebook and made so many notes from these responses! I appreciate all the advice and attention as I know you all have busy lives and just wanted to give a big warm thank you.

Firstly, you are right, I jumped into adding scents and additives when I need to get back to basics. This was due to me having the fantasy with having something different to put into stockings. Using the calculator, I felt I was safe to use what I chose, mostly under time pressure as I was squeezing making this in between kids and work. I spend hours deciding but yet, I didn't cross-reference with all my findings! My next batches will be more basic.

Ultimately, soap is to make you clean and the oils are mostly all saponified and if they aren't, then it's going to be a mix of 5% or so of the remaining oil and you don't get to decide which one! So I realize the main point is to get you clean without drying your skin. Use Argan oil for lotions or directly topical as they are useless in soap. The best way to know if your soap is balanced is to use it.

I didn't necessarily need to make a facial bar or shampoo bar, I just thought I would try with the calculator and at the very least, it will clean the hands and body. I thought an attempt would be interesting.

I realize now that my own notes told me that castor oil is best used as a superfat so I should have realized that it could be a 5% addition and something I could have avoided. I was also getting mixed messages from my notes and info about shae butter and using too much of that. In the end, I understand that castor oil is the one responsible for the stickiness. I was delighted with the lady who did the castor oil gelling recipe. The video was so calm and fun and the gel was incredible, very informative. I liked the link you gave that shows all the oils at 100% and the quality of soap that comes from it. I was reading the comments after the video and someone pointed out the water content was probably off which is why some of the oils were too soft or too hard.
Also, the 100% shae butter story and even 60% with coconut oil was also very interesting as I have been reading that too much makes a sticky bar.

The cucumber water situation was strange... as I had conflicting opinions about it how to add it with the lye water or reduce water accordingly and what happened in the end was, I made the lye water with the full amount of water then realized after I was mixing that I indeed want to add the cucumber and I considered that adding more water may not hurt it. The soap set up and it does look a bit transparent.

the "vanilla boosted" I believe is a perfume meant for CP and HP soaps. I bought all my scents and supplies from a soap supply store. I live in Canada and ordered from a store in Calgary that was recommended called Soap and More and here's the link for the vanilla boosted on their site.

If Oleic acid is from olive oil, then castile soap too soft? I'll update as to what my soaps end like in 4 weeks. See if they are a disaster or usable! I agree that the shampoo bars seem to best created with a dry process with no lye involved so right now, this seems to be a different art for me at the moment. The recipe that I was using online that I based my shampoo bar on, says that they use an acidic rinse to reduce the high PH caused from the soap. I understand that overall, shampoo bars are too high in PH for hair and not recommended. I think I'll go ahead and make the shampoo bar and call it a body bar. I didn't end up making it that day I posted as the soapmaking friend was down and that's where I had it saved.

I do want to explore making soaps and finding the core recipes that I like and others like. I will get more basic then add scents and things afterward. There is a lot to explore!
Pardon me if I am misunderstanding you, but the part about castor oil being a SF and that it could have been a 5% addition has me perplexed. Since in CP soap we don't choose the SF as we do in HP, we don't add more oils after trace if that makes sense. The SF is built into the recipe. I'm not an expert on the forum...perhaps someone can explan better. Meanwhile, enjoy the journey!
 

TheGecko

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Pardon me if I am misunderstanding you, but the part about castor oil being a SF and that it could have been a 5% addition has me perplexed. Since in CP soap we don't choose the SF as we do in HP, we don't add more oils after trace if that makes sense. The SF is built into the recipe. I'm not an expert on the forum...perhaps someone can explan better.

When you add a XX% SF to your soap calculator, there is no guarantee that you’re going to know what of your oils are going to be unsaponified because the calculation is all inclusive. I would have to see the base code myself, but I would hazard to guess that XX% is evenly distributed among all the oils in your recipe.

With that said, you absolutely can pick your SF. What you do is calculate your recipe with ZERO SF. Then you take the weight of your oils and multiply by you percentage of SF you want. So say you have 16oz of oils and you want 5% SF…16 x 5% = 0.8…so you would weigh out that amount of your chosen oil/butter.

And you can add your SF to your batter at anytime before you pour into your mold.

But here is the kicker. When you add your SF to HP soap, you are adding it AFTER the soap has saponified…the lye has already bound to the fats, so when you add in your SF…it’s running around in your soap all wild and free. With CP…you are adding it before saponification and so it’s the Lye that is running around all wild and free binding with who knows what oil or butter in what order if any order.
 

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