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Help with Soap Recipe


Alyssa
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Hey everyone! I'm working on formulating my own cp soap recipe. I made a batch about 6 weeks ago and i felt like it could be more moisturizing and bubble more. After rinsing,  i tried rubbing my hand up and down my arm and it was getting stuck a little bit. Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you in advance (:

 

 

Here is the soap calc numbers from my original recipe i made 6 weeks ago 

Hardness - 33

Cleansing - 10

Conditioning - 64

Bubbly - 10

Creamy - 22

Iodine - 74

INS - 124

 

Here is the new recipe i made in soap calc :

Hardness - 32

Cleansing - 11

Condoning  - 66

Bubbly - 20

Creamy - 30

Iodine - 74

INS - 120

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I don’t worry so much about the soap calc numbers any more.  They were a decent guide when I started but were not as useful the more I learned. Instead, I used the fatty acid profiles of the oils.

 

sharing the formula is more helpful.  For instance, if your formula contains a lot of castor oil, you will have that drag you mention. 

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The first recipe from 6 weeks ago :

 

Olive Oil - 30%

Rice Bran Oil - 25%

Coconut Oil - 15%

Shea Butter - 15%

Avocado Oil - 10%

Sweet Almond Oil - 5%

 

 

The updated recipe i have yet to try:

 

Olive Oil - 30%

Rice Bran Oil - 20%

Babassu Oil - 15%

Shea Butter - 15%

Castor Oil 10%

Avocado Oil - 10%

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Olive and rice bran are very similar. Often they are interchanged when supply of olive oil is in short supply. Both can be draggy. Both can be prone to softening and lack of lather. 
 

castor oil is very draggy. I dropped it to just 3% in my formula and found I love it so much more. Castor helps to maintain make lather bubbles build slightly due to its sticky/rubbery texture. Too much make the soap prone to being soft when exposed to humidity. 
 

babassu is close to coconut at a much higher price point. I used to try those more spendy oils then realized profit margins are just to thin with no better performance. 
 

are you opposed to palm? Its twin, lard, makes a super nice texture of soap. 
 

One of the easiest and most reliable formulas is 50% olive, 25% coconut and 25% palm (or lard). It can be tweaked with slight changes like castor so easily. 
 

Shea at higher % can also be draggy. I lowered mine considerably and honestly am considering eliminating it altogether. 
 

cocoa butter has been my favorite. It creates loads of little foamy bubble lather, hardens the overall soap and used at low % is effective both in performance and cost. 

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 I was thinking maybe my skin doesn't like coconut oil? I read that people had a similar feeling after using soap that had coconut oil in it. They swapped it for Babassu. I will look into adding cocoa butter into my recipe.

 

I never considered using palm or lard. I've seen a few people say they are heavily against using it. Is it ok if i comment back on this thread in the future? Or would it be better to create a new topic? Thank you for all your help (:

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If you look at the fatty acid profiles of oils you’ll start to recognize how similar many are that are subbed. babassu and coconut oil are super similar. As are lard and palm in the fatty acid components that matter. 
 

I learned after a long while to make what *I* like versus trying to formulate for the fringes. Fringes don’t pay my bills. If I make what I like then it’s not a huge burden to use what doesn’t sell. Turned out most of “my” people like what I like anyway, so it’s a win all around 😂
 

 

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Another thing you should consider is your curing time. You mentioned you made the soap 6 weeks ago. Perhaps you need to cure yours for 8 weeks or longer. The longer the cure, the milder the soap.

 

Personally I find soaps high in olive oil and low in coconut/babassu to be more moisturizing and gentle. I make a bastile of 75-80% olive oil and 10-15% coconut oil. I love the combination of castor and coconut oils in my soap as they make creamy, bubbly lather. But I prefer to keep my castor oil at 5% and not go over unless I am doing a specialty soap.

 

You can also raise your superfat level. Don't know what you are using now but soapcalc sets their default at 5%. You could opt to try out 6-8% superfat.

 

Formulating soap recipes tends to be a give or take as in if you go for more lather you tend to get a higher cleansing and hardness. Go for more conditioning and hardness and lather may be compromised. Its up to the soapmaker to find the happy medium. Study your oil properties and their fatty acid profiles. If you are new to soapmaking it may seem overwhelming at first but it will help you to understand some of the chemistry of soapmaking to improve your recipes.

 

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My personal opinion coconut oil is a must in every recipe, just watch the quantities, and if you do not use it, your soap will not be as bubbly.

The reason people are against palm oil, is because the way is sometimes harvested, but is amazing in soap, and I have never met a soap with lard I did not like.  So if you are not against animal products, lard is the best alternative to palm oil.

 

Personally, I think your recipe is too high in conditioning, and too little in cleansing, I would balance those numbers more.

 

Like TallTay said rice bran and olive are very similar. I would use one or the other.   If you want to use those oils, or tell me which oils you would like to use,I can help you create a recipe. 

 

I watch every penny, and I mostly make my soap with the walmart shortening that has animal fats. I basically make all my soaps from that and coconut oil, and then balance it with a high oleic like shea, cocoa butter, avocado, or sunflower. And a little bit of castor to pump up the bubbles.  I have even make soap just with crisco, and it made a lovely soap.

 

 

 

Soap batman robin.jpg

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I think you recipe is making it overly complicated for you. Looking at recipe the cleansing is only 10. I personally think you might like more bubbly, more bubbly will be less draggy IMHO. Keep castor at 5 per cent. Do a classic three four part recipe. Coconut, babassu for bubbles, some castor for bubbles but not needed if you have enough coconut, palm or Shea, olive oil, sunflower, safflower oil. You can do a three part soap eliminate castor. By keeping it simple it’s easier to trouble shoot the numbers, and remember this is a rinse off product keep your pricey oils for lotions etc.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I too have found Rice bran oil, castor, and even olive oil to be draggy in feel when compared to some other soft oils I've used.  From memory Rice bran oil and Castor were more draggy in feel than olive oil.  I love the hardness that Sodium Lactate gives a bar of soap but it too can produce a draggy almost tacky after feel when drying my hands. Perhaps some of this is due to my hard water.

 

Both are Palm and Lard are lovely in soap an offer some different qualities and they are nice combined. 

 

Generally my recipes have ranged with soft oils making up 30-50% of the recipe and hard oil 50%-70%.  I generally use coconut oil in the 27-30% range.  The softer oils do contribute to conditioning but can make for an overall softer, less lathering bar of soap in my experience.   

 

I confess I haven't studied fatty acid profiles as much as I've just made numerous recipes subbing this oil for that to see how they preform and feel and compare with each other, but then I do really enjoy the experimental part of soap making.

  

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