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Craftedinthewoods
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I wonder if this looks good for a recipe to try with palm kernel...

15% Coconut oil

15% Palm Kernel flakes

30% olive oil

30% lard

5% castor oil

5% cocoa butter

Does this look balanced?

Also, when do you actually use a new bar of soap? I've tested and played a little with some slivers I've shaved off, but I don't know how long I should really wait.

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I think your recipe looks very good, maybe great, but I don't think it needs the castor. I suspect switching that 5% to the lard might be an improvement--just my instinct combined with running it through some worksheets. On the whole, I think you're off to a great start and will have better soap than 4 out of 5 newbies who start off randomly experimenting with oils or soaping found recipes. You should be psyched.

It's like 6 to 8 weeks for reasonably well-cured soap, though it should improve for a good while after that. But go ahead and grab a bar to use every two weeks or so (or weekly, depending on how much you made) and see how it's coming along. That would be more fun than staring at them. :) Later you'll have more batches on the rack, which will help with patience.

There are some otherwise good instructions, like Bunny's for instance, that also mention a 50/50 rule of thumb. They may be good instructions otherwise, but I don't agree with that aspect. There seem to be more good soaps among the harder recipes and they don't need as much babying to last a reasonable time. It's all about your definition of normal I guess; to me, the 50/50 guideline is just off the mark for "normal" soap.

I think the room-temp soaping procedure that's come into style is kind of related to the bias towards softish handcrafted soaps. When you're heavy on the liquid oils, temperature doesn't matter as much. But for getting good saponification in the CP method, especially with more saturated oils, normal soaping temperatures are still a valid rule.

Edited by topofmurrayhill
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I think your recipe looks very good, maybe great, but I don't think it needs the castor. I suspect switching that 5% to the lard might be an improvement--just my instinct combined with running it through some worksheets. On the whole, I think you're off to a great start and will have better soap than 4 out of 5 newbies who start off randomly experimenting with oils or soaping found recipes. You should be psyched.

Thanks, Top. I am psyched! Hmmm... I'll have to think about the castor suggestion - I'll explain more further down.

It's like 6 to 8 weeks for reasonably well-cured soap, though it should improve for a good while after that. But go ahead and grab a bar to use every two weeks or so (or weekly, depending on how much you made) and see how it's coming along. That would be more fun than staring at them. :) Later you'll have more batches on the rack, which will help with patience.

Yay, that means I can use my first bar in - 11 more days. Still an eternity! :)

I think the room-temp soaping procedure that's come into style is kind of related to the bias towards softish handcrafted soaps. When you're heavy on the liquid oils, temperature doesn't matter as much. But for getting good saponification in the CP method, especially with more saturated oils, normal soaping temperatures are still a valid rule.

OK - It's very interesting you mention this rtcp procedure. Last night I spent a while reading on line (and a little info on this forum) about that method and I was very intrigued. So I decided to give that method a whirl with the above recipe. I made my lye solution and wieghed out my oils and melted them together last night (so for this time my castor is already mixed in). My thought was then to try it out this morning.

But one thing that I've encountered already is my oils, while not solid, are definetly cloudy in my kettle. That must be the higher amount of hard oil like you suggest that doesn't stay clear at room temp?

Should I heat everything back up and cp at 100 degrees? Or can I go ahead with my 'experiment'? I just wonder if the cloudy oil will soponify?

IF... I go ahead and try in now at room temp and it doesn't seem to work, would turning the heat on low on my stove to jump start the process?

So many questions!!!:confused:

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I think it looks like a nice well balanced recipe I'd leave the castor oil in it. You already have lard, CO, PKO, OO and CB that will add to the hardness of your bar so there is no need to up your lard even further IMO. Castor oil is wonderful in soap and can add lather and conditioning properties unlike any other oil. Its a wonderful addition to any bar.

Cure time should be about 4 weeks but the longer the better expecially when there is a higher content of OO. You can use a soap before then but I would not sell a soap before curing for at least 4 weeks.

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But one thing that I've encountered already is my oils, while not solid, are definetly cloudy in my kettle. That must be the higher amount of hard oil like you suggest that doesn't stay clear at room temp?

Yes, exactly--it's the saturated oils that account for the cloudiness at room temperature. RTCP versus the normal method is more and more likely to make a difference as you add saturated oils to a recipe. It should still work fine in this case, but personally I only soap clear oils.

RTCP is easier and slows down trace a little, but it's also been helping to instill an attitude of "it doesn't matter" in new soapers when it comes to normal CP procedures. Since people have been hoodwinked by a certain lye calculator into making overly soft recipes, maybe it doesn't really matter--except that you end up not learning as much about the CP process. If you don't understand why the rules are there, it's hard to know when and how and why you can vary from them.

Even though you often don't need to start with a warm mixture in all cases, temperature totally does matter. Heat helps the saponification process, keeps the oils liquid so the soap mixture can emulsify well, and carries some warmth over into the mold. Call me a traditionalist, but I think that's still the best procedure, especially with the better-balanced recipes you're starting off with.

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I ended up heating my oils back up to 100 - 105 and put my lye pitcher in hot water to bring it up to temp as well. It all went well.

I was soap crazy to day! I made 4 small (1lb.) batches - all cp.

I studied some castile recipes on line and created one of my own - adding in some other oils to add lather & hardness, I made a shampoo bar recipe (studying on line and in a book I have and modifying for what I've been learning), and then tried a couple variations of my first recipes using palm kernel flakes.

I molded 3 batches in 1 foot long pvc pipes and 1 batch in a cardboard quart milk jug (read about that on line).

It is taking all my will power to not go in my spare room and peak at them. I'm forcing my self to wait, wait, wait!:smiley2:

After today, I think I'll put my oils and tools away for a few weeks. I'll have enough soap to test and I've neglected the kids enough for a while! It's a good thing social services don't know how soap can affect a person!

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Kids can survive a long time as long as they have water. Go feed them something and tell them it could be worse--at least mommy's not opening a meth lab. Congratulations on all the good work.

:laugh2:

Thanks! I can't remember the last time I've been so facinated by anything! I really think I've made all the sample soap I should for now. Once I test a few bars I'll be able to come back and make (or tweek) the ones I like best.

...although - I may continue searching for more shampoo bar recipes. I made one today, but it would be nice to have a couple to compare to each other. Hmmm, maybe the soaping equipment & supplies aren't going to be put away yet...:rolleyes2

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Kids can survive a long time as long as they have water. Go feed them something and tell them it could be worse--at least mommy's not opening a meth lab. Congratulations on all the good work.

my 12yo was with me when I was buying lye at the hardware store..we go to check out and he says to the lady

'dont worry..my mom doesnt make meth'

yup,thatll throw them off my trail..

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Should I heat everything back up and cp at 100 degrees? Or can I go ahead with my 'experiment'? I just wonder if the cloudy oil will soponify?

IF... I go ahead and try in now at room temp and it doesn't seem to work, would turning the heat on low on my stove to jump start the process?

So many questions!!!:confused:

Here is how I make my soaps. First I get my lye going and place it in a container of ice water to cool it down quickly. I heat my oils in the microwave just enough to melt and then I take my oils like Castor which comes out of the fridge and pour in to the heated mix....it cools the oil to a perfect temp. Then, I get my lye which has cooled down just right and add to my oils and start blending away. I never check temp, just feel the oil with my hand and the bottom of the lye container on the outside. I'm not a stickler for rules anymore, anything goes and my soaps are just fine. I can make a batch in under 30 minutes time.

Also, I would leave the castor oil in, I have about 5% in mine as well. Your recipe looks really good BTW.

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Here is how I make my soaps. First I get my lye going and place it in a container of ice water to cool it down quickly. I heat my oils in the microwave just enough to melt and then I take my oils like Castor which comes out of the fridge and pour in to the heated mix....it cools the oil to a perfect temp. Then, I get my lye which has cooled down just right and add to my oils and start blending away. I never check temp, just feel the oil with my hand and the bottom of the lye container on the outside. I'm not a stickler for rules anymore, anything goes and my soaps are just fine. I can make a batch in under 30 minutes time.

Also, I would leave the castor oil in, I have about 5% in mine as well. Your recipe looks really good BTW.

I think I'll stick to the thermometer for a while but I appreciate hearing your methods. I did this to a small degree the other day by puting my lye pitcher outside (it was mid teens that day) and then melted my oils and by that time, the lye was the right temp. By the 3rd batch I know it only took me 30 to 45 minutes to complete the batch. I know I'll get more proficient with ever batch.

Sadly, I just put all my soaping stuff away today. Sitting out on the counter for 1 week is long enough. I can't wait to try soap again!

I do believe that once you begin soaping time begins to slow down. Before I never new where the days went. Now, they aren't going by fast enough so I can test my new soap.

So my theory is that everyone should soap... it would slow our lives down considerably!

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Here is how I make my soaps. First I get my lye going and place it in a container of ice water to cool it down quickly. I heat my oils in the microwave just enough to melt and then I take my oils like Castor which comes out of the fridge and pour in to the heated mix....it cools the oil to a perfect temp. Then, I get my lye which has cooled down just right and add to my oils and start blending away. I never check temp, just feel the oil with my hand and the bottom of the lye container on the outside. I'm not a stickler for rules anymore, anything goes and my soaps are just fine. I can make a batch in under 30 minutes time.

Also, I would leave the castor oil in, I have about 5% in mine as well. Your recipe looks really good BTW.

I haven't used a thermometer making soap in years either. I too go by the feel of heat of the container my oils are in and the one my lye is in.

Edited by Meridith
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