Would like a recipe for a simple Castile-like soap that cures fast

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alexanderte

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Title says it all. I’m into very simple things, and I would like the simplest soap that doesn’t need more than 4–6 weeks of curing. Do anyone have a recipe to share?

No animal oils, no colors, no fragrances – maybe with the exception of a dash of EO.

I only do CP. Would be helpful with lye concentration, and anything related to temperature that I should be aware of.

What are my options?
 

IrishLass

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Welcome Alexanderte! The best suggestion I have is to make a 100% olive oil soap with a 45% lye solution (1 part lye to 1.2 parts water).

Or if you want more bubbles from your lather, you could make an 80% olive oil/20% coconut oil soap made with the same amount of water (45% lye solution).

If using an essential oil, I would add no more than 3% EO per pound of soaping oils.


IrishLass :)
 

alexanderte

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Thanks, IrishLass!

But if I make another Castile with 45% lye concentration – it still need to cure for 1–2 years, no?

I’ve heard that coconut oil as part of the recipe will make it cure faster, and I will most likely use that as part of my next soap.
 

kchaystack

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Any recipe made with large % of oils that are liquid at room temp will need a longer cure. Try something like:

40% Palm
15% coconut
30% olive
10% shea or cocoa
5% castor

The palm and the butters add stearic and palmic fatty acids. The coconut adds the lauric fatty acid that crates bubbles. Castor has ricinoleic that helps keep the bubbles around longer.
 
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IrishLass

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Ditto what Kchaystack said about soaps made with lots of liquid oils benefitting greatly from longer cures, but lengths of cure anywhere beyond the 4 to 6 weeks minimum will vary from person to person depending upon what they choose as being fine for them to live with. For example, one of my several versions of Castile-type soaps that I make (using 80% olive oil, 10% coconut oil and 10% castor) made with a 40% lye concentration, is great for me with only a 6 week cure.


IrishLass :)
 

alexanderte

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Thanks for the recipes!

Not intending to be nitpicky, but I’m a bit concerned about palm oil from the environmental perspective. I see that it is used in a few recipes in a book about soap that I bought as well.

Anyone got any thoughts regarding that? Is there an oil that I could use as substitute?
 

shunt2011

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The only other alternative is to use a high percentage of butters (Shea/Cocoa) however you will also sacrifice in the lather with them. I agree with formulating your own recipes using a soap calculator. Especially since you are opposed to Palm, Lard and want something that doesn't require a long cure. You could also do 100% CO with a high SF.
 

green soap

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For bath soaps I make non Animal Oils and non Palm oils soaps using olive, coconut, shea and/or cocoa butters and a tiny bit of castor oils; in that order.

Play around with the percentages of each using a soap calculator (I use soapcalc.net) until you get % for each oil for the soap properties you like.

I would be glad to give you my specific % but I use a lot more coconut oil than most other members here like. I have dry skin and my soaps are not drying to me at all, but a lot of people here keep coconut oil at less than 30 or even 20%. It all depends on what your skin likes, and how cleansing you need your soap to be. I do really dirty work so I need my soaps to be cleansing.

Just wanted to add that olive oil is somewhat interchangeable with almond and also avocado oils. Choose the one(s) that are better priced where you are. Also, shea and cocoa butters are similarly somewhat interchangeable in soaps, while they do have different properties when used in lotions or balms.
 

MySoapyHeart

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Thanks for the recipes!

Not intending to be nitpicky, but I’m a bit concerned about palm oil from the environmental perspective. I see that it is used in a few recipes in a book about soap that I bought as well.

Anyone got any thoughts regarding that? Is there an oil that I could use as substitute?
Alexander, I answered your pm, it got a bit long, sorry. I just noticed this before I am going night-night:

There are some subs for palm oil and I use a lot of them as I don`t use palm oil either:

The Coconut oil we already have discussed, remember the one with 15-20% Superfat.
I think I also mentioned I used Sheabutter and Cocoabutter? Those are also great in soaps, but not too much as they can inhibit lather. I use it between 5 and 8% in my recipes, 10% at the most in one specific soaprecipe for my friend.
Also I think Babassu is possible, but that oil is not so easy to get for us in Norway, you probably have to check some internet vendors. I just didn`t want the hassle of expensive shipping and customs, so I skipped that one.

You don`t want lard, but I love lard myself, the soaps gets particularly creamy and gentle. Since that is out, the above oils I mentioned are the ones I use in adition to the other ones I mentioned to you, like Almond, Avocado, Olive, Castor, Lard.

Oh I forgot, I also use between 2-3% beeswax in several of my soaps. Makes them hard, durable and less prone to ash!
 

jules92207

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The only other alternative is to use a high percentage of butters (Shea/Cocoa) however you will also sacrifice in the lather with them. I agree with formulating your own recipes using a soap calculator. Especially since you are opposed to Palm, Lard and want something that doesn't require a long cure. You could also do 100% CO with a high SF.
I was thinking the same as shunt with the 100% coconut oil with a higher sf. Maybe go for 15% -20% sf. That makes a nice simple bar.
 

doriettefarm

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You could also try a salt bar. That's typically 100% coconut oil with 20% superfat. It will firm up fast so you can cut sooner than a bastile recipe. But most folks like them best with a 2-3month cure so that may not be soon enough for your liking. If you're determined to make an all-veggie soap that doesn't use palm oil and can be used quickly, I would look at liquid soap instead of bar soap.
 

TeresaT

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I am curious; why are you so anxious to have a short curing time? Making soap is not for those in a rush to get to the finished product. You can certainly use a 100% olive oil soap as soon as it is finished curing for only 4 to 6 weeks, especially if you use a high lye concentration (like the 45% suggested). That's less water to have to evaporate out. It will be soap. It will get you clean. However, it will be soft soap that will be very mushy when it gets wet, so, it will not last very long. You'll end up going through an entire batch of soap in a very short period of time. But, it may not matter to you if you have short-lived soap. What may matter to you is that you are actually using soap that YOU made with your own two hands. :clap: (A totally awesome feeling.) Personally, I love my soaps, but I also want them to last as long as possible, too. So I give them a long cure. My 100% olive oil soaps were made 08/04/2015, and I've only used one bar to test the qualities of the soap over the year. It is a very nice bar of soap. The lather has improved over time and I've noticed when I leave it on the counter for a little while (specifically for this "test") it doesn't get a slimy white soft coating as bad anymore. The bar used to melt/suck up a lot of water when I'd leave it in a puddle for a few minutes. It took a long time for it to completely dry out. Now it only gets a soft crustiness to it and dries by the end of the day. I refer to it as my slime (or melt) test, to see how long a bar will last when it is not properly cared for when used. I don't do it all of my soaps, just the ones with a larger portion of liquid oils.

ETA: I'm not judging. I'm just curious. If you feel this question is being rude or intrusive, I'm sorry. Obviously, you don't have to answer it.
 
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alexanderte

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Thanks for the responses all of you. It will take me some time to digest them, but I will read through and make notes.

TeresaT, I’ve got nothing against long curing times in general. I’m willing to wait a couple of years for my Castile soaps to cure, after all. But because I’ve just started out I’m a bit impatient to test my own creations. And I really want a simple Castile. But the good news is that I’ve ordered a couple from UK, and I recieved them today.

I’m known for being a bit impatient, and hopefully soap making can teach me something about that. :)

Not sure if any of you have any experience with programming, but that’s my background. What every beginner usually wants is to as quick as possible have their very own program running. It usually is very simple and prints “Hello, world.” on the screen. Apparently, soap making is very different from programming. :)
 

kchaystack

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Not sure if any of you have any experience with programming, but that’s my background. What every beginner usually wants is to as quick as possible have their very own program running. It usually is very simple and prints “Hello, world.” on the screen. Apparently, soap making is very different from programming. :)
I have been a mainframe programmer for 15 years now.

Making soap has a lot in common with programming. There is a basic procedure that you always follow, but then you can add on bells and whistles til your heart is content. You are really only limited by your knowledge which can be learned, and your imagination.

I like both the art and science behind making soap. I can not draw a stick figure - but I can create some pretty nice looking swirls.
 

alexanderte

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I have been a mainframe programmer for 15 years now.

Making soap has a lot in common with programming. There is a basic procedure that you always follow, but then you can add on bells and whistles til your heart is content. You are really only limited by your knowledge which can be learned, and your imagination.

I like both the art and science behind making soap. I can not draw a stick figure - but I can create some pretty nice looking swirls.
Cool! What kind of language do you use?

I’m mostly into web development these days, although I’m considering transitioning to doing more design work/visual problem solving as it seems like my natural abilities are stronger in that area. Complex systems in the real world tend to melt my brain. I prefer when I can choose a small subset of a craft, lock every variable and dig deep into what I’ve chosen to focus on. This guess this translates to soap making in that I try to choose one method (CP), a few types (Castile and Bastile), a consistent way of doing it (following a strict process) and iteratively improve the way things are done.

Not sure if this leads to good soap, but it’s the way my brain (currently) is wired.
 

kchaystack

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Cool! What kind of language do you use?

I’m mostly into web development these days, although I’m considering transitioning to doing more design work/visual problem solving as it seems like my natural abilities are stronger in that area. Complex systems in the real world tend to melt my brain. I prefer when I can choose a small subset of a craft, lock every variable and dig deep into what I’ve chosen to focus on. This guess this translates to soap making in that I try to choose one method (CP), a few types (Castile and Bastile), a consistent way of doing it (following a strict process) and iteratively improve the way things are done.

Not sure if this leads to good soap, but it’s the way my brain (currently) is wired.
COBOL, JCL, SQL, and a little linux shell scripting. I have dabbled in teaching myself ruby and java - but it isn't catching on without real world application.

I have done some html and css. I keep playing with the idea of setting up my own e-store.

You might find you really like those kinds of soap. There is not one master recipe that will make everyone happy, no right or wrong. So try it all in 1 pound batches and see what is best for you.
 

doriettefarm

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I have been a mainframe programmer for 15 years now.

Making soap has a lot in common with programming. There is a basic procedure that you always follow, but then you can add on bells and whistles til your heart is content. You are really only limited by your knowledge which can be learned, and your imagination.

I like both the art and science behind making soap. I can not draw a stick figure - but I can create some pretty nice looking swirls.
I'm a mainframe programmer too with pretty much the same skill set (COBOL, DB2, SQL). I agree the analytical skills needed for programming can also be applied to soap making (and baking which is my other favorite hobby). Guess that's why I love watching Alton Brown on the Food channel . . . it's like science class applied to food :)
 

TeresaT

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Cool! What kind of language do you use?

I’m mostly into web development these days, although I’m considering transitioning to doing more design work/visual problem solving as it seems like my natural abilities are stronger in that area. Complex systems in the real world tend to melt my brain. I prefer when I can choose a small subset of a craft, lock every variable and dig deep into what I’ve chosen to focus on. This guess this translates to soap making in that I try to choose one method (CP), a few types (Castile and Bastile), a consistent way of doing it (following a strict process) and iteratively improve the way things are done.

Not sure if this leads to good soap, but it’s the way my brain (currently) is wired
.
Ha! That explains it! That sounds like me and my hyper-focus type of ADHD. I am flighty, flaky and forgetful. However, when something grabs my attention, it grabs my attention and I am consumed/lost in it for hours at a time. I like archiving and filing and all of those tedious things. Analyzing a process and making improvements to it so that it's more efficient. "Finding a needle in a haystack." All of these are my ideas of fun.

We all have to do what's right for us as individuals. Now I understand you a little better and can see why you are wanting a quick soap.
 

Arimara

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I'm a mainframe programmer too with pretty much the same skill set (COBOL, DB2, SQL). I agree the analytical skills needed for programming can also be applied to soap making (and baking which is my other favorite hobby). Guess that's why I love watching Alton Brown on the Food channel . . . it's like science class applied to food :)
Don't get me started on baking and desserts. I'm hit-or-miss with it imo. I've been pining for German chocolate cake for years but my kid's allergic to tree nuts. You can't substitute nothing in that cake- it's coconutty-nutty perfection.
 

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