Rolling My Own

What is your opinion on fine shaving creams and hard soaps? Do you like Trumpers, Coates, Taylors, Truefitt & Hill? Post your reviews and opinions here!
jkajfes
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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by jkajfes » Wed May 21, 2014 3:02 pm

I had a question that I bounced off of Chris as a pm but I thought maybe I should be posing the question here to gain the collective wisdom of others...
and I also thought this might be the appropriate thread....

There are a number of different types of coconut oils. The one I've been using I think is referred to as coconut oil (76) which at room temperature is more of a solid in nature not a liquid.

I have also seen another coconut oil different than (76) but I can't remember (90)??? Then there's another coconut oil called coconut Fractionated MCT 60/40.
When I was reordering oils I saw the shelf life of the 60/40 was much better and longer and so opted to buy it not really thinking about what I was doing.

Now I'm getting ready to make another batch and it just donned on the that I don't think the 60/40 is going to work as well at the regular (76). As a newbie it gets a little confusing to me with ingredients sometimes when base oil names are just thrown around. In this example ingredients are sometimes just listed as coconut oil nothing else... I did notice in Chris's recipes and a few others some folks listed the 76 in brackets as coconut oil (76) which I think is a good thing especially for newbies like myself...

it sort of reminds me when guys in my car circles just talk motor oil, oil changes etc... they just call it oil... well there's regular dino oil and then the synthetics and they aren't necessarily interchangeable... this may be a very poor analogy but I think some will get the drift.

And I'm too new at shaving soaps and soaps in general to have messed very long with subtleties in ingredients... but we're working at it...

So can you use the coconut fractionated 60/40 oil as a direct replacement?... it it going to be detrimental or is it going to be better? Is something going to be lacking in this oil? i.e. there's less fats and as such there's less conversion going on. I don't know enough about chemistry to understand it well. I guess the first thing I should do is print out the specs on each and go line by line through then trying to decipher it...

I have it so I'm inclined to want to give it a shot... but you more experienced soapers might be able to tell me don't waste your time...

I know in some recipes coconut oil any type it's completely left out... something about drying characteristics. I tend to want to leave it in... I've created some extremely good batches at this point. I'd say a good portion was simply trial and error and I've had a lot of fun doing it... and one thing for sure some of the stuff I've created is way better than some of the stuff I paid a lot for and had mediocre results with. Well that's why I'm doing this soaping in the first place...

Having said this my skin is different than say the next guys' (for one thing it's sensitive to a lot of stuff) so what might work for me might not for someone else but there no point in trashing any particular formula...

I might try a batch tomorrow... I guess one thing I should do is make sure I run it through soap calc to see what changes might be necessary in the lye department. I have a feeling here's going to be a change there so I'll run the numbers.
jk

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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by brothers » Wed May 21, 2014 3:16 pm

Wow jk. Your post reminds me of some of the discussions that took place in this thread about a year ago when it was new, between Chris and Tim. I successfully avoided all of the technical stuff, and waited until I had a recipe in hand that others have found to be successful. I got my Coconut oil from Sam's. It turns to liquid over 76 degrees. It works great. Some guys really get into the recipe-tinkering, and that's great, if it ignites your soap-making passion. I wish you all success in your soap-making endeavors! I really love the way my soap turned out. I've made 3 or 4 batches so far, and it seems the soap just keeps getting better and better. I don't have the inclination or the patience to try to figure out how to change something that already seems to be working. :D
Gary

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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by jkajfes » Wed May 21, 2014 5:35 pm

brothers wrote:Wow jk. Your post reminds me of some of the discussions that took place in this thread about a year ago when it was new, between Chris and Tim. I successfully avoided all of the technical stuff, and waited until I had a recipe in hand that others have found to be successful. I got my Coconut oil from Sam's. It turns to liquid over 76 degrees. It works great. Some guys really get into the recipe-tinkering, and that's great, if it ignites your soap-making passion. I wish you all success in your soap-making endeavors! I really love the way my soap turned out. I've made 3 or 4 batches so far, and it seems the soap just keeps getting better and better. I don't have the inclination or the patience to try to figure out how to change something that already seems to be working. :D
haha thanks... I just wished I had been around during all that great discussion last summer! I'm just thankful the thread was left in place for us new guys! I don't want to be a techno nerd, just happens. There are days when I like tinkering (Put a big enough engine on a fridge... you can make it fly!) and then there are days when I need a third cup of coffee. Most of the time I'd like it to be like that old Quiznos commercial... Get In, Get Out... Get on with your Life! then it ends... but alas this stuff gets the better of me ever time I fire up that crock pot and I haven't even really started with the EOs & FOs... I was into regular CP soaps and my nose told me to give it a rest with the fragrances. Heck I've got better soaping stuff with stainless pots and everything in between that it puts my regular stuff in the kitchen to shame!... call me crazy... hopefully not stupid!

The kicker for me was my first great batch when got it working after my sodium + sodium fiasco (seven duds in a row, well no wonder why!) and it went into high gear... batch after batch with tweaks, each one getting better and better... I've got so much soap I could clean up the whole neighbourhood! I'm driving my friends/neighbours crazy with this stuff... as in what ever you do... don't ask Kajfes about his soaps... you bring the bear... I'll bring the soap! haha. When I hand them out as testers nobody's refusing to try one of them or they're being really nice. Few days later... I'm.. Ya gotta try this one! Never mind I've already given them piles of stuff. I even got one neighbour to stop using his can stuff... and I think that pretty kool! Working on getting him to try a straight razor... he just won't give up his multi-blade. Might be a little dangerous as he's a pretty wired up guy! Heck I'm wired!

Now they want scents... do you think you could add some lime? How about a mint one? Can you make that barbershop smell? How about that hippie one Patchouli got any with that in it?... I just think it's funny... I was even thinking of doing color swirls in some of the shaving soaps nah not really... but you have to wonder with me. A few neighbours even phoned me after trying them for a week. This stuff is great! My skin feels great. It's got nice glide, really smooth, lather really lasts a long time. Had no idea shaving soaps could be this good and lathery... etc.

All of my soaps have either tallow or lard in them and I'm not going to change/swap out either of those two ingredients ever. One or the other stays. I'm waiting for the first veggie to pounce!

I just think the whole thing and tinkering is kool... from my cold dead hands!... haven't had this much fun in years! ya I don't get out much.

...still could use help insight with the coconut thing... 76 works but I gots ta know! I guess best way is to do a cook with the fractionated 60/40 and just see. I ran the numbers in SoapCalc and it's telling me to up the lyes... I found that interesting... Also the Lauric, Myristic, Palmitic dropped a bit or went lower so I dunno and I noticed hardness reads higher... I don't really want the soap harder as it's nice where it is in texture... allows you to squeeze it, mold it into bowls and I kinda like that.

I did buy a respirator after I got a good whiff of the fumes coming off the lye... I should be doing that shit outside, the weather up here is nice now. It's got purple canisters and I think I'm Walter White getting ready for my next cook! I loved that show... it end way too soon. bummer.

jk

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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by jkajfes » Wed May 21, 2014 8:09 pm

ok I've done some more reading on the coconut oil thing but it's till all Greek to me... sorry to our Greek friends. I don't have a chemistry back ground so I'm having a hard time understanding what I'm actually reading about the coconut types of oils.

Also I did note that soapcalc lists them separately. I didn't miss that fact.

but I really don't understand the difference between 76 & 92 I think I called 92 (90) in my other post so I'm correcting that little mistake. The 76 if I've read this right obviously has a lower temperature whereas the 92 is higher but is this because of the fact that it's hydrogenated? meaning the addition of hydrogen atoms, then something about double bonds of unsaturated oils, which means you can convert them to saturated which increases the oxidation stability and at the same time the melting temperature. So simply put non-hydrogenated or original melts lower 76F and hydrogenated coconut melts slightly higher at 92... but the only difference that registering with me is that it won't go bad....

if it's fractionated does this mean that the fatty acids are different? the chaining thing and what they look like? I really don't know chemistry here...

all I know is that fractionated is more expensive, then something about being composed of solely of medium chain fatty acids containing 1 gram more molecules than normal coconut oil and then there was some talk about needing more NaOH for it's saponification which soapcalc will give you the amount not an issue just add more as needed in your calculations...

are the fatty acids really different between the two 76 vs 92 that they are not going to be chemically converted in the same way? So you end up with different results in the shave soap.

I would like to leave coconut oil in the recipe as there are properties in it such as phytosterols, and phenolic compounds (caffeic acid, p-cumaric acid, ferulic acid, catechin) which have antioxidant and antibacterial properties but maybe this doesn't mean anything ultimately... also there's a bit of tocopherols or vitamin E which I think is also good.

It's really the chaining of this stuff I'm not understanding...

the coconut oil contain mainly medium chain fatty acids, which I'm told makes soaps that dissolve readily in water, makes beautiful bubbles and they clean/work also in sea water (and hard water)... so some of this counts as good properties in shaving soaps... not so much the bubbles to me but its dis solvable in water and works in sea water I like those...

so overall I think coconut oil in shaving soap is okay but I have seen recipes where it's been left completely out.

I'm all for less is better and I've seen some ingredients lists for shaving soaps that are very long and there seems to be stuff in there that I don't think is necessary but I'm not a chemist so I don't know and as strongly as I feel I like using coconut oil someone else might feel the same about leaving it out and using something else.

why am I on about this? because basically I bought a more costly coconut oil by mistake thinking of only it's longevity properties won't spoil as soon. I want to know if I use it I'll get the same properties to the soap as the 76 variety. This might be crystal to some but it's not to me... and all I need to do is add a bit more hydroxide to do the conversion properly or to compensate...

also from what I've read fractionated is liquid, has no scent or colour, is well absorbed by the skin and is ideal as a carrier or armotherapy and cosmetics... which maybe that doesn't matter in regards to a shave soap...

sorry if I've opened up some worms here... I just don't know enough yet...

the older soapers might really understand this better... I shouldn't be saying old I should be saying the more informed soapers...

can I use the more expensive stuff and it's going to do the same job?... I don't know what I'm on so much about this... I just like the stuff in my soap right now... ask me several months down the road and I might be off on another tangent... that's the beauty of this stuff, constantly evolving mostly for the better I hope.

I have been looking at shea butter, avocado oil and the interesting Kokum butter the latter of which I want to try next... I think that might add some great properties to a shave soap that I'm not seeing right now or have experienced... I know it's used because I've seen it in several recipes...

too many trees, not enough time... the permutations are well endless and I love this kind of stuff... there's also glycerin and lanolin... and those pros and cons...

I think one has to be careful with experimentation because you could end up with something that looks very good on paper but as a whole there may be limitations with the cross section of people using the soap... allergic, or skin issues

as brothers wrote: he's got something he's very happy with and quite honestly so have I... but I'm into giving stuff out gifts, People love gifts, especially something you made yourself, family, friends and sharing and the last thing I want is some neighbour banging on my door with a face that looks like a seriously ripe tomato! haha... kidding... I doubt that's in the cards... my spelling of some of the names above may be wrong and I apologize for that if they are...

I mentioned Walter White... I'm not really him but there are guys here or participated here that are Walter Whites... It's incredible the amount of info that was released in the early part of this thread... I'm still re-reading complete sections and gaining new insight and I have a lot of respect for those individuals... Tim comes to mind, never met him... I'm like the other guy doing the Chili-P... maybe a little past that now... but no where near the "blue" stuff yet! But we're going to get it or a variation of it.

jk

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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by drmoss_ca » Sun May 25, 2014 7:36 am

My son is home for a couple of weeks and happened to mention that he needed some soap. What is he - a straight man or what? Feeding me a line like that. Anyway, he now knows how to make soap, and has 3lb of soap cooking. I let him loose with all my scent oils and he has mixed up an amaretto/peppermint/lemon mixture that smells like the scented candle section of a department store. I think I'll let the soap be a bit too hot when that gets added so that most of the mistake will be flashed off. I guess he's the one who will be using it anyway!

Chris
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

brothers
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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by brothers » Sun May 25, 2014 7:44 am

There's truth in the old saying that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. Our kids do surprise us when left alone to their own devices, don't they? :D
Gary

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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by Squire » Sun May 25, 2014 10:28 am

I plan to surprise them by demanding they start supporting me.
Regards,
Squire

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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by brothers » Sun May 25, 2014 12:21 pm

Fair's fair. Good plan.
Gary

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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by tester » Wed May 28, 2014 5:02 pm

Would anyone care to share their recipe successes?

I have experimented, but none have bettered the knock off MdC.

I have purchased exotic butters and oils - and all have failed to live up to expectations and hopes. In fact, one of my worst experiments was a recipe of shea, kokum, mango, avocado, and cocoa, with lots of stearic and lard. It failed to live up to my own hype and it was literally tossed in the garbage..

I've tried many combinations of stearic, lard, tallow, and coconut oil. But the best for me remains the simplest as follows, and once again I take no credit for the "recipe".

MdC
Stearic Acid 52%
Coconut Oil, 76 deg 48%
100% KOH lye
Glycerine to superfat -5% superfat works out equivalent 3 tbsp of glycerin per lb of fats

I would be eager to cook a recipe that others have found to better the above MdC knock off. I have about 14 efforts under my belt and the one posted previously for me is still the best. =D>

jkajfes
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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by jkajfes » Sat May 31, 2014 10:45 am

drmoss_ca wrote:My son is home for a couple of weeks and happened to mention that he needed some soap. What is he - a straight man or what? Feeding me a line like that. Anyway, he now knows how to make soap, and has 3lb of soap cooking. I let him loose with all my scent oils and he has mixed up an amaretto/peppermint/lemon mixture that smells like the scented candle section of a department store. I think I'll let the soap be a bit too hot when that gets added so that most of the mistake will be flashed off. I guess he's the one who will be using it anyway!

Chris
this is quite funny Chris... let it burn/flash off!... hey dad I thought this was going to smell a lot stronger... seems pretty weak to me? Have no idea what you're talking about son.... hah

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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by brothers » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:12 pm

Thought I might stop by and log a progress report. One of the batches of soap I made last November turned rancid and got thrown away. It was the recipe with two kinds of lye and lanolin. The last batch I made in March of this year is the best performing soap of them all, even though the fragrances (Tobacco in one, and Cedarwood in the other) are mild. I'm seriously considering using Lime essential oil to scent the next batch I make, and I'm going to try my best to add enough fragrance to really get my attention when I use it.
Gary

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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by dosco » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:02 am

This morning I made a "single batch" which entailed mixing and melting all of the oils (stearic, coconut, and beef tallow) into one pot followed by addition of KOH and then cooking using HP. It is in the fridge now, cooling.

Many thanks again to Gary for informing us that stearic acid can be purchased at Hobby Lobby!! I've bought 4 bags (at 1 lb each) since and will continue to do so for the forseeable future! Huzzah!!

I'm still making unscented stuff. Next step will be to make some with a pleasant odor.

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Single Batch Shave Soap

Post by dosco » Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:27 am

So yesterday I whipped up a batch of shave soap. Recipe:

273g distilled water
205g potassium hydroxide

456g stearic acid
228g coconut oil
228g beef tallow

I followed a different procedure this time.

1. Setup ice bath and place a pyrex (glass) mixing cup in the bath. Put all of the distilled water into the pyrex cup, then slowly add KOH until it's all dissolved (this takes 15 or 20 minutes). Idea here ... since mixing KOH into water releases heat, do the mixing in an ice bath to manage the temperature of the KOH solution. Mostly for safety's sake.

2. Put a pot on the stove, add the fats/oils. Melt using low heat.

3. Once the oils/fats are melted, add a bit of KOH solution while stirring.

4. Stir for a few minutes.

5. Add more KOH solution.

6. Stir for a few minutes.

7. Keep repeating the add-stir steps until all of the KOH solution is incorporated into the pot.

8. Transfer stuff from pot into a crockpot (while mixing the KOH solution in step 1, fill the crockpot about 1/4 to 1/3 full of water and set to high heat ... immediately prior to transferring from the stove pot, turn off the crockpot).

9. Let the stuff cook in the crockpot until done. When I transferred the soap from the pot to the crock some of the oils had not yet saponified so the batch definitely needed more cooking. Based on my previous experience I am fairly certain that the remaining oil was coconut oil ... I thought this was good because I wanted the superfat to be coconut for it's emollient/moisturizing/whatever properties.

To me this seems to save quite a bit of time and is less likely to result in a boilover or "lye volcano."

I used a small piece of the soap for this morning's shave and it worked quite nicely. I am satisfied with the result.

Now to cut it up, give a few samples out, and send the remainder to my 2 brothers-in-law.

Then another batch (I still have 2 or 3 pounds of stearic left!).

-Dave

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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by tester » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:12 am

Dosco,

Thanks for sharing your recipe. =D>

I asked a couple of posts back for members to share their recipe successes. I have had no success bettering the MdC recipe posted several times previously.

I'll have to roll up my sleeves and get the pots out soon to experiment.

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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by dosco » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:37 am

Way back when this thread was new (about a year ago) we had some discussion regarding tragacanth gum.

Did anyone ever get any and try it?

Did it do anything to the soap?

Regards-
Dave

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dosco
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"Thirsty Soap" and Hydration

Post by dosco » Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:40 am

Gents:
Any thoughts on the relationship between a soap's "thirstyness" (when making lather) and the hydration used during saponification?

For example, I make my soap with low hydration, about 30%. My soap has been described as "thirsty" and I'm wondering if upping the saponification hydration will make it less thirsty.

As an aside, I have no basis for comparison (I've not tried Cella, P.160, etc.) ... and it seems to me that "thirsty = bad" and I'm not sure why.

Regards-
Dave

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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by dosco » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:05 am

So I gave the last batch to my brothers-in-law, however I had a 1 lb block of stearic soap sitting around with nothing to do. About 3 months ago I bought a 14oz tub of lard for the purpose of making shave soap.

This morning I whipped up a new batch of shave soap. I made about half a pound of soap using half lard and half coconut oil. I saponified using NaOH and KOH. I melted the fats in a metal cooking pan on the stove and added the hydroxide solution. After it was about 2/3 complete I added about a half pound of stearic soap to the pot and rebatched it while the other soap finished saponifying.

Once it was complete I spooned out about 100g and put it in a small Ziploc plastic tub ... the rest went into a bowl and into the refrigerator.

Once cooled, I used the soap in the tub for a shave this morning and the results were excellent.

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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by dawgs8um » Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:54 am

Hi all. I am new to the forum and have read some of this thread. I found it very interesting. I know next to nothing about soap making, but did manage a Fatty Acid Plant for several years. I though I would give some general information on fatty acids and triglycerides that may, or may not, be interesting to you.

The plant I managed was a commercial Fatty Acid Plant capable of processing 1 million pounds of fatty acid per day. We hydrolyzed(split) the triglyceride into glycerin and fatty acid, hydrogenated, and distilled into various fatty acid products. We did not make soap, but did further process the fatty acids into various other products. Naturally occurring fats and oils, such as tallow and coconut, are in the triglyceride form. Think of a capital E. The vertical part of the molecule is glycerine and each horizontal part is a fatty acid. The triglyceride is processed at high temperature and pressure with water, called hydrolization. The glycerine is split from the fatty acids and goes into the water, since glycerine is infinitely miscible in water. The glycerin portion is about 10% by weight.

I noticed several fatty acids were discussed in this thread: stearic, palmitic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic to name some of the key ones. In the industry, palmitic, stearic, and oleic are by far the most important. If you remember your chemistry, these fatty acids are straight chain carbon compounds which means the carbon atoms are bonded together in a straight chain with hydrogen atoms bonded on the carbon atoms. We identified the fatty acids with the number of carbon atoms in the chain, stearic has 18 and palmitic has 16, and the number of double bonds(unsaturated): oleic has 1, linoleic has 2, and linolenic has 3. For commercial uses, we hydrogenated all the double bonds which converts the oleic, linoleic, and linolenic to stearic. When all the double bonds were removed, the fatty acids are very hard at room temperature and a thin layer will snap just like a thin layer of ice. Companies that produce edible oils for human consumption only hydrogenate the linoleic and linolenic to oleic. This allows you to have a liquid oil such as Wesson Oil. Solid products such as Crisco are hydrogenated slightly more so that you have a soft solid at room temperature. The linoleic and linolenic must be removed since they are very unstable and will oxidize quickly making the oil go rancid quickly.

After hydrolization and hydrogenation, the fatty acids are distilled to produce the various fatty acid products. If memory serves, most commercial grades of stearic acid are 85% or greater stearic acid with most of the remainder being palmitic. To produce stearic acid, we used tallow almost exclusively. This was strictly an economic consideration as tallow tended to be cheaper than lard or vegetable sources. Various vegetable sources were used to produce other fatty acids such as palmitic due to higher palmitic content and lower stearic content.

If any want to learn more of the chemistry side and physical properties, I would recommend a book called Baily's Oil Chemist Handbook. You can find used ones on Amazon. Volume 1 is the most important(there are 4 or 5 volumes to a complete set) and an older edition(before about 2000) has better information. For some reason, later editions eliminated a lot of the valuable information in Volume 1. If any have specific questions, I will attempt to answer them.

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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by Squire » Sat Sep 06, 2014 7:06 am

Very interesting d8, and welcome aboard.
Regards,
Squire

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Re: Rolling My Own

Post by Thalay Sagar » Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:28 am

D8, thanks. This is great stuff. Please post more.
Best,
Chris

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