First time soap process-shave soap

Discussion in 'Shaving Soaps' started by Dilbone, Jan 18, 2015.

    Thank you Phog Allen, It is most definitely a "whisker killer"...I LOVE this soap. You're right about the lather "tightening up" so I usually have to wet the tip of my brush a couple of times and go back over the lather to moisten it up to where I like it for a straight shave.

    I melt the oils in the crock pot, measure out my KOH/NaOH and the total water, then I add both hydroxides to the water and let it dissolve. Once the lye solution clears a bit I add it straight to the melted oils. I haven't had a stick blender until recently, so I would just stir it for a while and let it start to cook. I do remember someone saying they add the stearic after trace, but I never have myself.

    Now that I have actually picked up a stick blender I'll look forward to a batch taking less time to cook after being able to emulsify the lye and oils. It really is pretty darn simple, however, after the cook the soap is nearly impossible to work with and will never make a "pretty" soap. Once it passes the zap test it's pretty much like waxy mashed potatoes and plopping it in the mold results in a pretty lumpy product that isn't able to flow to the shape of the container very well...but I don't want to have to wait around for weeks to test the soap!!!
    I've never actually done cold process soap. I don't have the patience for it!!
  1. Just found this thread today, good thing since I just started my first batch of soap!

    60/40 KOH/NaOH, 45% water, 50% Stearic Acid, 20% coconut oil, 20% lard, 10% cocoa butter since my Shea butter isn't here yet. Will add 10 gr of glycerine at end of cook with the superfat and fragrance (Sandalwood II from BulkApothecary)

    Instant mashed potatoes, so either the lye was cold or it saponified that fast, cooking now. 5% of the cocoa butter goes in after cook for superfat.

    We shall see, will probably just make a lump on some freezer paper rather than trying to mold it per se -- 100 g batch. Larger one I'll make a log and slice.
  2. Shaved with my new soap today. Needs a bit more scent, the lemon is too light, but otherwise excelllent. Very slick, very smooth, lathered very well, and it's CHEAP.

    Probably cooked it way to long, but it turned out well. Molded it in some cat food containers, will weigh it tonight and see how much I made with 100 g of oils.

    Also changed my mind and used amyris EO, Citonella EO, and Lemon EO for scent rather than sandalwood. Will do that next time for a friend.
  3. I really hate to necro an old thread, but if any thread out there deserves it, it's this one.

    I've read through a bunch of "roll your own soap" threads here. They're all good, but this one stands out to me for some reason... maybe it's the fact that he says that it performs similar to Tabac.... maybe it's the fact that the recipe is so well shown that it makes it a no-brainer to throw into soap calc for a complete new guy like me. Or maybe it's the added scenting instructions.

    @Dilbone Thank you very much for this thread. I'm getting the ingredients needed to throw a batch in the wife's crock pot. I just bought her an "Insta-Pot", so I figure her old crock pot is fair game. :)

    Just one question... what heat setting on the crock pot do you recommend? You mentioned you thought the heat was a bit high on one of your batches, but I'm not sure you ever mentioned in this thread what setting you used for cooking your soap? I probably just missed it.

    @psfred I've also followed your soap exploits, too. I've learned a lot from your posts. Thanks for your contributions!
  4. I melt all the oils in the microwave, it's a lot faster than waiting on the crock pot to heat up. Hotter equals faster soap making, but keep the temp under 150F unless you are prepared to stir down a soap "volcano" when the soap gets so hot the unsopanified lye boils! Very caustic and very hot, you can get both thermal and chemical burns.

    Otherwise it's stir and wait, or stick blend and wait.

    For small quantities (under a couple pounds) I recommend a mini-crock pot, you have less water loss while cooking. Cover with crock with plastic wrap to reduce water loss, too, and don't be afraid to add a little boiling water at the end of the cook if the soap is dry. Dry soap isn't a big problem, but adding boiling water makes it soft enough to mold into a single mass, not a bunch of crumbs stuck together. Works fine for shaving either way, but it's easier to mix in fragrance when it's semi-fluid.

    Have fun!
  5. @psfred Thanks for the info! My wife happened to have a brand new 1.5 qt crock pot she gave to me. The only thing that concerns me is that it has two heat settings, low and high.
  6. I use high, but expect it to boil up. Low is safer for your first try I think. Mine is done in half an hour, but I have a beast of a stick blender.
  7. Sounds good. Yeah, I just bought a new stick blender, as I thought my 20 year old one would probably coat the kitchen walls with soap it's so powerful.

    @Dilbone Did your last batch (that you made with lard) come out a bit easier to mold? I'm getting ready to run this recipe, but was thinking of upping the water content in the hopes of making it a bit easier to mold.
  8. What about adding/upping potassium hydroxide to get a softer soap? I didn’t see what recipe you were using. Good thread to resurrect. I’m about ready to make my first batch!
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  9. Actually, my reading comprehension is flawed. On page 6, he walks through a cook where he changes the recipe from shortening to lard, resulting in a much softer soap. More along the lines of Cella soft.

    Check out the recipe and the pictures on page 6... it looks like a really nice soap.
  10. On page 2, he does note he's using 60/40 KOH/NaOH as well
  11. Thanks FloorPizza, I'm glad this thread has been helpful and informative. My goal at first was just to document for my own records, but it turned into what I had hoped could be a decent resource as well. At the time there weren't a lot of detailed threads with pics showing the process as far as I could find in my searching.

    My crockpot is a really old model and only has high and low. I wish it had medium because high is a bit too hot and low is bit too cold. I usually start with it on high and switched to low half way through the cook then back to high near the end again so I can keep it loose enough for mixing in the scented oil and get it transferred to the PVC mold.

    I recently switched back from lard to shortening because I noticed the lard after time would impart a terrible pork rinds or rancid pork. I was afraid that cooking too hot was causing it to become unstable but that didn't seem to make sense because I've had rendered bacon grease sitting around for years with no smell. Anyway...switching back to shortening has helped. I've experimented a bit since this thread slowed down changing a few things over the years and have always gone back to what I had with the Shea butter addition recipe. I've recently kicked around the idea of adding a few % of avocado oil for more skin conditioning but haven't tried it yet.

    I typically only make small batches(like 8oz of oil) which yields about 10.5oz of soap. I'll take a puck for myself and have thrown an occasional puck on the bay for sale just to get rid of it since a full batch is nearly a year's supply and I like a little variety. Most of the folks I knew that wet shaved has since quit and don't need my soap anymore so I have had to get creative in getting rid of it haha.
  12. The shortening I used the first go around was Walmart's great value(which does contain animal fats as well). After switching back from lard this time around I picked up Aldi shortening which is listed as an all vegetable blend, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, fully hydrogenated cottonseed oil, with mono- and diglycerides added, to be exact.

    This is apparently the "old" crisco formula. New crisco has palm oil as well which may be better for soaping I don't for baking I've heard people going after the Carlini Shortening from Aldi because the new crisco is causing issues for them. This may be a worthy test. I may have to pick up some crisco and see how it does.
  13. @Dilbone Great information, thank you! How have the scents been working out for ya?
  14. Lard goes rancid without serious anti-oxidants. BHT with citric acid seems to work the best.

    The tallow base shortening at Walmart (and other stores, look on the label for "animal fats") makes great bath soap, it's pretty close to balanced all by itself. For shaving, you still need 40% or so of stearic acid or soy wax 415.
  15. The Cierra Candle Co. scents are awesome. Although I have yet to use the "cool water" or the "ocean" scents. They're just a bit too "modern" for my taste right now as shave soaps. I'm sure they'd make a great bath soap though.
    The bergamot rosewood, cedar and spice(great for fall), and oxford are all fantastic.
    I've also picked up some from Lone Star Candle Supply. I have a mahogany woods(B&B scent copy) and cucumber melon as well. The mahogany woods is VERY close to the bath and body scent and great for the shave soap. The cucumber melon is great for bath soap but I haven't used it for shave soap.

    I don't really scent very strong. I also don't measure out the fragrance oil...I just drizzle some in there until I think it's probably enough. We're talking only a few grams anyway with my small batches. If I were making large batches I would be measuring it out for sure.
  16. @Dilbone Thanks! I've just ordered a few scents from Cierra. I had only intended on buying the Cedar and Spice and Oxford scents, but once my wife found out that they also do knockoffs of popular Bath and Body Works scents, the gloves came off... ended up ordering over a dozen of them.

    If she makes me cook up a batch of Moonlight Path scented shave soap, though...

    I've also ordered up some Tetrasodium EDTA. It's supposed to help delay the onset of rancidity. I've spent most of the day researching how to inhibit rancidity, and I feel like I've only scratched the surface of the information available. There's so many different combinations available, all of which have varying degrees of efficacy. It's enough to make your head swim.

    BHT and Citric Acid are also popular, but many hot process soapers state that BHT causes their soaps to go bright yellow.

    It's not like I'm going to be storing soap for years, so I'm just going to start out by keeping it simple... the recommended dose of Tetrasodium EDTA. I'll probably store a puck of soap made with just EDTA in it for a year in my warm, moist bathroom and see how it keeps.
  17. @Dilbone Thanks for your patience in answering all these questions... just one last one? :)

    Do you have a preference between the lather made with the shortening vs the lather made with lard? Going strictly by your pictures, I'm leaning toward the lard. I prefer a wet, yogurt-y lather rather than a whipped cream lather.
  18. Yeah, after reading your post, I ran the walmart shortening through soapcalc by itself. I was amazed at the results it kicked out! I'm seriously thinking of knocking out a test batch of HP bath soap just using the shortening tonight.
  19. Honestly, I don't see much of a difference between the 3 I've used. The walmart great value shortening, lard, and aldi carlini shortening all perform almost identically IMO. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the options. If you're taking steps to avoid rancidity then it really does become a coin flip as far as I can tell. All of my lathers are thick yogurty lathers as long as I load enough soap and add enough water. Softer water also makes a HUGE difference in that regard. I know my water is fairly hard and I can see an immediate difference when I use softened water that the lather just explodes.

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