Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i would like to get good info about the oils...
like what dose caster oil do for final product? do some oils blend together better than others ? are there oils you never mix together ?
ex. of some info I'm looking for
what dose safflower do ? dose it make soap lather well, feel silky to skin, dry skin out?
I'm looking for a good balance of oils that don't dry my skin out but yet don't smell like tuna,or something rancid when I'm in the shower.......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
726 Posts
Castor has high cleansing values and also great for bubbly lather. I use both castor and coconut oil. I adore Lard in my soaps and use it liberally (50%) in many of my recipes. I always like to mix solid oils with liquid. So say lard at 50%, sunflower (or canola, safflower,etc.) at 20%, coconut at 20% and castor at 10% is a decent bar. If I use a lot of soft oils I almost always add Cocoa butter (5%) and some stearic acid at 1-2% because I want a really hard bar (but stearic over that amount accelerates like no other! - I make a shave soap with 26% stearic that I have to HP).

HTH,
Kids
 

·
Master Of My Domain
Joined
·
7,220 Posts
i find castor gives a nice fluffy lather. i used to use 5%, but i cut it back to 4%. too much and you have a real shampoo bar, lol. it is a conditioning oil...good for the skin.

there is so much to learn about oils. there are measured values for hardness, cleansing, conditioning, bubbly lather, etc. there is also so much to learn about fatty acid types and skin types. you can't really answer your question without knowing what you wish to end up with.

i used to use a lot of canola oil...i got a very good deal on it once. IMHO, that was the cause of some nasty "dreaded orange spot". i quit using it like i used to. i dropped the percentage down to 10%, then to 5% and then i just gave it away for cooking use. i avoid canola now.

i think the key is to find a blend of oils you are comfortable with and to make a nicely balanced bar that has as high a number of measured qualities as you can. my focus used to be on making the hardest bar i could. that was all well and good, but those bars always seemed to be too high in cleansing value and rough on the skin. generally, if you make a bar high in conditioning value, it will be softer or just not cleansing enough...generally. this is where finding the right fatty acids comes into play.

it has been a little while, but using oils i find locally and cheaply, i have been making soap that uses castor, coconut, beef tallow, lard and olive oil. sometimes i get a sample of something more exotic and change my recipe a bit, but i have found that i can make good soap from the oils i listed. it gets a bit tougher if you want vegan soap. i have never used stearic acid. i don't plan to, but to each his own. i bet i made 50 lbs. of soap before i started to figure out the things i liked. that is the fun of it though. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,281 Posts
Tammy,

Cyndy of Muller's farm has a great booklet with information on different types of oils and their properties. Talk to her!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
726 Posts
I was just wondering, Meloc, what is wrong with veggie stearic that you won't use it? Maybe there's some downfall I'm not aware of?

My bars are very hard and very conditioning (they are also GM) so I have not had your experience. My cleansing values are at the 11-14 range. My experience with soft bars is they don't last verylong and customers don't like to pay $5 for a bar that doesn't last awhile.

kids
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,102 Posts
Kids, what kind of oils are you using? How long are you curing...what's your water/lye discount...?

I found that rice bran oil added to the recipe makes it rock hard and I've not noticed a difference in how the bar feels on my skin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
726 Posts
I've made a Rice bran oil bar with 20% coconut, and 10% sunflower, 10% castor that was so soft - GRRR!

My current veggie recipe that is really hard is rice bran, palm, coconut, sunflower, castor, 5% cocoa butter and 1% stearic. I also add honey at .8 oz ppo.

My non veggie is mostly lard with sunflower, coconut, and castor.

Most of the time I soap with a lye solution at 33%. Cure time is minimum 3 weeks to skate by but I prefer 6 weeks. My bars are hard...

kids
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ok now I'm soap dumb how do i know a cleansing value range ? I am very new to making soap.... only have made like three batches so far... I really enjoy making it and glad there a spot like this to learn from.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
oh Kathy's site is great got it booked marked just got to get my printer working to sit and read ... I don't like sitting for hours in front of this thing I get that dreaded feeling I got nothing done and everything to do and no more time to get it done
 

·
Master Of My Domain
Joined
·
7,220 Posts
kidsngarden said:
I was just wondering, Meloc, what is wrong with veggie stearic that you won't use it? Maybe there's some downfall I'm not aware of?

My bars are very hard and very conditioning (they are also GM) so I have not had your experience. My cleansing values are at the 11-14 range. My experience with soft bars is they don't last verylong and customers don't like to pay $5 for a bar that doesn't last awhile.

kids

it is just a preference. since i am still somewhat new to soaping (about a year and a half now), i want to exhaust all possibilities to create a bar of soap simply from oils and lye. i have had some awesome hard bars of soap without having to use stearic acid. they may have been a tad high on the cleansing value though...perhaps, but still within the acceptable range according to soapcalc. personally, i find that any soap with a cleansing value higher than 15 or 16 seems a bit harsh to my skin, so i can see the practicality of someone wishing to use stearic acid, it is just not for me. i look at it as just another expense and unneeded step in the process. i have found that most of my soaps harden enough if given enough time to cure. that is not to say that i haven't sold any soaps that are a tad soft, it just seems the ones that sit for a few months get hard enough without stearic acid.

another interesting thing about soap, commercial soap and homemade, is that some folks may actually prefer a softer soap. i am one of those people. as a hairy man (don't laugh), i find that even if the soap is one that is made to have a nice, rich lather, if it is not hard as a rock i get an even better lather. i guess that is t he result of being able to use more of the soap all at once, and yes...i guess it will make the bar not last as long as a hard bar. i always wondered why a fresh bar of soap from the store lathered so well...it was because i didn't open the package and let it cure like some folks do.

as far as getting one's money's worth...that just goes with the territory. folks who appreciate homemade soap really don't let the price get in the way.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top