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Castor Oil Substitute


brempel
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I wouldn't think you'd get much benefit off a T of castor oil anyway.

I was thinking the same thing. I really dont think it would make any difference in the soap. BUT yes, NEVER do a recipe without first running it through the lye calc.

Just up your coconut 1oz if you want too.

tootie

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You can probably get a small amount of castor oil from any pharmacy. The Walmart's in the states sell it on the shelves. I personally don't feel there is a sub, but in such a small amt, it shouldn't matter that much. I'd just up the coconut one tablespoon.

It is imperative to throw any recipe into a good lye calc. Especially a tiny batch size. There is no room for error/scale variance in doing less than a 2 lb batch.

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I think there's some question about what castor does exactly and how much you need to use.

It's been discovered you only need a small amount, maybe as little as 1%, to dramatically help with the clarity of liquid soap. Pottasium ricinoleate seems to increase the solubility of the other types of soap in the mix. I've not verified this myself, but I have some references for it.

That makes sense in light of the fact that people use it to increase the lather of bar soap. Maybe it does exactly the same thing in sodium soaps and maybe it's also effective in small amounts.

It's an interesting soap chemistry question that I'd like to understand better. A related question is whether increasing the solubity and lather of soap with castor oil also increases its cleansing and potentially its drying properties. You would think it might.

At this point I'd be suspicious of how SoapCalc interprets ricinoleic acid in its soap qualities arithmetic. I don't think it's clear how it should affect those numbers.

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I would just leave out the castor and recalculate the lye based on the other oils. I'm a heretic in the soaping world, though, as I don't believe castor contributes much to lather, and nothing to bubbly lather at all.

If you make a bar of soap using only coconut oil, you get big, fluffy bubbles. You even get pretty decent bubbles from a bar made using only sunflower oil, even though SoapCalc gives sunflower a zero for bubbly lather. If you make a bar using only castor, you get no lather at all. My fella joked that he got more bubbles just rubbing his hands together under running water than with the all-castor soap.

I do understand the concept of synergy, and I can see that castor might contribute a creaminess to lather by counteracting the big bubbles from other oils. I just don't see how an oil that makes no lather on its on can magically make big bubbles when combined with others.

Several years ago I did a couple of test batches, one with 5 percent castor and the other with no castor. (I think I bumped the olive up 5 percent to make up the difference, although I don't remember for sure.) I had several people, including some soapmaker friends, do blind tests, and nobody could tell any real difference between the two batches -- certainly no significant difference in lather.

Top, SoapCalc appears to count the full ricinoleic content of castor in both the bubbly lather and conditioning categories. That would be a pretty good trick if it were true, since the other fatty acids it counts toward bubbly lather all tend to clean so well they can be drying. I thought the idea that ricineolic acid = bubbles came from Cavitch, but I just read through her comments on castor and don't see anything about lather. So I don't know where the idea got started.

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Roxanne, I've been leaning towards the same conclusion about castor.

Lately I've made a lot of recipes with either no castor or two different amounts. With respect to both lather and skin feel, changing the proportions of other fatty acids seems to make a much bigger difference than how much castor is in there.

If ricinoleate makes potassium soaps more soluble, I can imagine how it could make bar soaps more bubbly, but maybe you only notice that with certain kinds of recipes.

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yea, I know that - 1 teaspoon = 5mls

1 tablespoon = 15 mls

and with water and other products where the density (or rather specific gravity) = 1, then 1 ml = 1 gram

which is PROBABLY close enough, but still it's not an appropriate measure for calculating lye

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And all this time I thought I was the only one who didn't notice a difference in soap without castor. I also never noticed all those other issues people seem to have with using it in high amounts... I experiment a lot..lol

My first 6-8 months of soaping I didn't use castor in cpbs or ls and there was no change when I started experimenting with it. I never had any issues with clarity in LS before the castor and so i can't say that it contributed anything to that either.

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