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Adding superfat oils after mixing oils with lye-water


ssolis
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Is it advisable, in order to retain as much of an oil's essential properties, to add oils AFTER mixing the lye water with the base oils? In other words, if I am looking to use neem oil in my recipe to reap its possible skin healing benefits, should I wait a few second/minutes until the lye solution is mixed in with my olive, coconut, etc. oils to pour in the neem?

Or does it even matter?

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If your making hot process soap you would add your neem oil after the cook at the same time you add the FO and additives.

If your doing CP you can superfat a percentage of your oils when your calculating. I've also seen soapers on youtube superfat with an additional oil after trace at the same time their adding fragrance and additives. I don't know if this will prevent that particular oil from saponifying or will mix in with the other oils, but only so much lye will saponify so much oil. Since in CP it's during the gelling and curing process that the oils and lye turn to soap there is a chance some of the added neem oil will become soap and some of your other oils won't saponify.

If you want to be sure that the neem oil is not at all turned into soap I recommend trying oven or crockpot hot process soap making this way all your oils and lye will have fully saponified before the neem is added.

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Thanks, JacquiO! I am doing CP (I forgot to mention) method.

I really appreciate your input. My main concern is simply having the essence of neem saponify and not be as "potent" in the final product. I'm not actually really sure how much of it is lost during saponification.

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With the cold-process method, there's nothing special you can or should do with the neem oil.

When this question comes up, people are thinking in terms of whether the oil will react with the lye or make it into the finished product, but that doesn't matter. Neem oil is a collection of different things that all have their own fates when mixed with lye. The vast bulk of it is oil like any other in your recipe, and it makes no difference whether it saponifies or not.

What you are probably most interested in is some of the chemicals unique to neem oil that might be responsible for what you consider to be its special properties. Without more in-depth analysis, we can't predict what will happen with those, but in CP soaping there's nothing we can do to control it anyway.

What happens with those substances depends more on their chemical properties than when you add them to the mixture. Some of the chemicals in neem oil may react readily with NaOH. Many things react with lye a lot more easily than oil does, and those things will be gone as soon as they are added to the mixture. The lye will essentially go out of its way to eat those molecules and then go back to chomping on oil. Other chemicals in neem oil may not react with lye at all. Those will make it into the final product intact.

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Lye is not discriminating and will grab onto whatever fatty acid it can. You can't control what it saponifies and what it doesn't; you might want to SF with neem but that might be the oil that the lye grabs first and what is left in the soap in its natural force might be another oil you used. For this reason, many soapers actually prefer to discount their lye rather than superfat.

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Thank you for your explanation. I guess CP is sort of like cooking vegetables; raw is best to get the most nutrients, and it's a mystery when the oils have been "cooked". :)

That's a very good analogy. And it's even more like cooking vegetable puree. No sense asking whether the brussels sprouts will survive the cooking process--they're gone. We don't care about the fiber (oil) from from brussels sprouts versus the fiber (oil) from the carrots. It doesn't matter. Your question is actually about what happens to the little smattering of flavor compouds and nutrients that came from the brussels sprouts. That depends on how each one reacts to the cooking process. Some might be destroyed right away. Others might not be sensitive to cooking at all.

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