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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope someone here can help me! I've been making soap for years, and love it. I learned from The Soapmaker's Companion book. Great book! I've never had a batch fail, and I still haven't, but I fear I might have made a giant mistake by not being careful enough.

I was recently given a gallon of grapeseed oil by a friend of mine. Since I was out of olive oil for soapmaking, I decided to make a batch using grapeseed oil to see how it came out. The Soapmaker's Companion doesn't list a SAP value for this particular oil, so instead of researching it properly to FIND the SAP value, in the interest of saving time I just used the lye calculator online at Columbus Foods. I plugged in my recipe (27 oz. grapeseed oil, 16 oz. palm kernel oil and 8 oz. cocoa butter) allowing for a 10% discount for superfatting, and it told me to use 193 grams of lye. So that's what I used.

I made this batch yesterday, and uncovered it this morning and took it out of the mold. It looks good, it smells good, but it's a little on the soft side, which I attributed to the grapeseed oil, which doesn't make as hard a bar as olive oil. But then I found the SAP value of grapeseed oil (.133) and when I ran the calculations by hand (as per my book), I find I should have only used 159 grams of lye. Even taking NO discount, I should only have used 176 grams. So now I'm thinking I made a super-harsh soap with way too much lye.

The first thing I did was taste it. LOL! I stuck my tongue on it, but it just tastes like soap. No burning at all. Is this batch going to be OK? I was going to give some away and sell some, but now I'm worried it has too much lye in it, even though it seems to be just fine. I'm very puzzled.

Anybody have any ideas on this?

~Lannie
 

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There is a range of SAP depending on how it was processed. I've found SAP for grapeseed oil as low as .1265

I plugged your recipe into 3 lye calculators and for a 10% SF, got lye amounts from 186.55 - 192.27 grams.

The reason your soap is so soft is because of the grapeseed oil. It has so much linoleic fatty acid in it. It is low in saturated fat. I wouldn't use this oil for more than 15% of my recipe. Give the soap 6 months and it will be hard and probably a very wonderful soap!
 

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I've often used grapeseed for lotion bars or to be mixed with whipped shea. It soaks in well and is gentle to the skin. It seemed a bit costly to me to use it in soap, so I preferred it in a leave-on product. But, if I was GIVEN grapeseed, I'd be using it in soap!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, Cyndi! I must have made a math error when I did the calculations by hand. I'll have to go double check. So my 192 grams of lye is OK. I thought it was because like I said it looks, smells and TASTES OK! LOL!

And I know grapeseed oil doesn't make a hard bar, but that was all I knew. Nothing about HOW soft it would be, and this was my first batch using it. Experience is the best teacher, right? It's firm enough to cut today, so I'll go ahead and set it out to start drying and curing, but I doubt I'll be able to wait 6 months to use it. So it'll just dissolve faster, so what? The smell is absolutely DREAMY! I can't wait. I scented it with 6 parts tangerine and 4 parts cedarwood EOs, with some paprika mixed in for a bit of color and interest. It came out really nice!

I guess I'll just have to wait to make more soap until I can get some olive oil, and then use the grapeseed oil in lesser amounts. I don't actually want to eat it because it's too high in Omega 6s, but I figured I could at least use it for soap! ;)

~Lannie
 

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Yeah, it will just dissolve faster. Try to save one bar for 6 months though! The lather will be tremendous then!!

tangerine and cedarwood - sounds devine!!!
 
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