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      CommentAuthorMesha
    • CommentTimeJul 24th 2011
      0 points
    In looking around the net tonight I found a forum post that someone was using sodium lactate to help make their soap harder. Does this really work? What does sodium lactate do excatly if someone can tell me?
    I would love to find a way that I could get my batches of CP soap harder then what they are. I have tried adding beeswax at up to 2% but I didn't really think it made a difference. The only time I have really obtained the hardness I would like in my batches besides the salt batches is when I made one that was all coconut and lard except for %5 of the batch. Bar was hard enough but the lather sucked. I like using grapeseed and sweet almond oil as the luxury oils in my batches. Love castor oil too. I don't generally do more then 30% of the batch as liquid oils- is that too much?
    I don't ever go above 30 - 35% on the coconut either bcse I have heard that to do so makes it too drying and harsh to the skin. Has anyone found this not to be true?
    Maybe I am looking at a pipe dream wanting to have that bar with great lather and conditioning abilities yet hard enough it lasts months.
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      CommentAuthorEsther
    • CommentTimeJul 24th 2011 edited
      2 points
    I have used sodium lactate a few times in the beginning to make a more plastic-pourable bar during HP--others swear by it, though I don't think about it in HP terms....because I use it all the time to make a better cream during cream soap making to make a better cream. I don't take a water discount and use coconut milk to make the bars whiter.

    My recipe for soap that is hard and lathers well is
    50% Lard, Tallow, Palm Oil or Shortening
    25% Olive Oil
    15% Coconut Oil
    5% Castor Oil
    5% Emollient Oil (no more)

    YMMV :)
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      CommentAuthorMesha
    • CommentTimeJul 24th 2011
      0 points
    Thanks so very much Esther :)
    I will give your recipe a try. I love that it is versatile enough to switch out ingredients and try different things!
    Going to try it this coming weekend I hope.
  1.   0 points
    I feel that Sl helps to make the bar harder in respect to getting it out of the mold, but over time, I dont feel that it makes a great impact on the bars' qualities. But I really dont think that you have to add the sl to make a hard bar of soap. If you tweak your recipe a bit, I think you could come up with an oil combination that would give you a harder bar without the additive. [but you know I am biased toward no additives, Lol] Plus, allowing your soap to cure well, meaning evaporate all the water, will give you a harder bar, as opposed to when you shorten the cure time.
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      CommentAuthorMesha
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2011
      0 points
    I was thinking that maybe the sl would would be something I could add to my favorite recipe and others to make it a real hard bar yet still keep the other qualities that are so great about it. If over time it makes no difference I just don't see the point.
    I like less additives too but I am not going to totally give up some of the perks that FO and fancy colors can give at times. I do some batches all natural but if I am adding a FO I figure I may as well do neon colors and the works-lol

    Can't wait to play with Esther's recipe she gave- thanks again Esther :) This give me a good base to play around with. Anyone else mind sharing what they consider to be the max % of "conditioning" oils they use in a recipe?
  2.   0 points
    I hear ya on the additives Mesha, and those colors are quite tempting for sure! Lol Still, I dont think the sodium lactate is worth adding, but that is just my opinion. Try it and see what you think. I know some people use it in every batch, so to each his own.
    • CommentAuthorTaylor
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2011
      0 points
    If you don't want to use sodium lactate you can use stearic acid. This will harden the bar but allow you to keep the properties you enjoy so much! :-)

    Taylor
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      CommentAuthorMesha
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2011
      0 points
    Stearic acid? Do tell!!! I thought that stearic acid was something to be avoided and caused spots.
    I see MMS carries it and recommends 1/8th oz PPO.
    Are there any special things I need to know about to use it to avoid any cosmetic or other complications?
    Thank you :) this may just be the answer!
  3.   0 points
    Just make sure you melt it and then get it incorporated well and evenly. Just like when you use it to make lotions.
    I do really feel though that you can make hard bars without adding either of these. But that is just my preference for certain, lol, so do as you feel!
    However, if you want some help tweaking your recipe a bit, to get it harder, I would be happy to help you. You could just whisper it to me.
    Much luck in whatever you add!
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      CommentAuthorEsther
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2011
      0 points
    You can make a hard bar just from fats alone and no additives. Granted, you may have to try different techniques etc but I have a lavender-chamomile-neroli bar that was HP and even after several showers, the edges are still 'sharp'.
  4.   0 points
    Impressive Esther!
    Does HP makes the bar harder than CP?
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      CommentAuthorEsther
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2011
      0 points
    I don't know honestly--- I have CP bars that I've gotten via swaps that appear hard, but it could be also that they've aged a bit too. But for the most part, HP with the above recipe makes a consistantly hard, plastic smooth bar (for me). The only time I've had soft bars is when I've experiemented with additions like oatmeal, different oil mixes etc.
  5.   0 points
    In my experience the hardness of the bar is not dependent upon which method you use, both will give you a hard bar with the right recipe.
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      CommentAuthorEsther
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2011
      0 points
    I agree, I've made CP a few times and the bars were OK.... more opaque and milky looking but hard enough. I just have way more experience with hp.
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      CommentAuthorMesha
    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2011 edited
      0 points
    Crazy weekend so I didn't get to try Esther's recipe :(

    Spent all my time rebatching 4 batches of soap due to FO problems. I hate it when you follow their recommendations for use and it doesn't come out right [fragrance to light or morphed to yucky smelling sewage scent].

    Back on topic though- while doing all the rebatching and being frustrated over not being able to get a smooth enough consistency without adding more liquid then I would have liked I began to wonder if the sodium lactate wouldn't have helped with the rebatching by making it a smoother more pourable consistency.

    Thanks Lavender Lady- I may take you up on it sometime. Right now I am trying out so many different recipes that I wouldn't know which one to ask for advice on but if I try one that is a keeper except for the hardness I will surely take you up on it. You may wish you hadn't offered-lol
    • CommentAuthorCece
    • CommentTimeAug 2nd 2011
      0 points
    Esther makes a nice bar of soap! I've changed one of my favorite recipes over time to add a small amount of palm kernel oil and cocoa butter. I really like the hardness these bring to the recipe.
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      CommentAuthorEsther
    • CommentTimeAug 2nd 2011
      0 points
    Why thank you Cece! I love making soap too!

    And Mesha, just keep good notes--- I have my laptop I keep on the counter and just type things in as I see them. Do NOT count on your memory which I've done more than once, or scratched notes down on the back of grocery receipts....not smart either.
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      CommentAuthorMesha
    • CommentTimeAug 4th 2011
      0 points
    Shoot the mess I make I would be afraid to keep have my laptop near but I am slowly learning what I need to keep notes on and adding more to them every time. Recently I started jotting down the temps of the lye and oils when I mix then though I always aim to soap between 100*- 106*
    Recently was able to get some cocoa butter and I really like using it even if it is a pain to get melted.

    Esther I was wondering if I add it where does it fit into the recipe you gave?

    Is there a difference between palm Kernel oil and palm kernel flakes? Palm kernel flakes are my absolute favorite and I prefer to use them over coconut oil. Recently I have been using them about half and half but I ran out. Once I get some more in I want to try a recipe comparison between them and coconut oil to see if it makes a difference.

    Thanks for the tips ladies :)
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      CommentAuthorEsther
    • CommentTimeAug 4th 2011
      3 points
    Cocobutter is higher in palmitic, stearic and oleic acid, is a good conditioning fat and can be used at 5 to 15% of a recipe (give or take). I use a mix sometimes of shea, almond, jojoba, cocobutter and cows butter for a super lux bar.

    Palm Kernal oil is higher in lauric and myristic acid (like Castor and Coconut) is a good lathering oil and I keep it at about 20% (give or take). I use coconut because it's easier to come by.

    Palm Oil is higher in palmitic and oleic acid, is a good solid base oil and it can be as much as 65% of the recipe (give or take). I'd rather use lard because it's higher in stearic acid and way easier/cheaper to come by--- and it makes a really good soap.

    The best recipes have a good balance of hardness, lather and conditioning. Which is how I came up with my recipe (which is by no means the best recipe out there). I based it on what I liked, what worked best for me and fat accessablility since my (COOL) storage space is limited.
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      CommentAuthorMesha
    • CommentTimeAug 5th 2011
      0 points
    You can use cow butter to make soap O.O!!!!! Wish I could give you points for that pointer Esther but since I started the discussion it won't let me :( I hadn't even thought about that as being a possibility- you totally blew my mind with that one-lol
    I know what you mean about the coconut since I can get it at the grocery store but the palm kernel flakes were cheaper even with shipping and I make less of a mess with it.
    Due to having to rebatch so many batches last weekend and the fiasco with the essential oil when I went to make soap I didn't get a chance to try out your recipe but I am hoping to play with it this weekend. Try some different oils in it and cocoa butter to see what I like.