Step One In Making a New RecipeWell I'm working on a recipe these days to bring the cost of my experimentation down. I'm trying to make a recipe that is similar to my favorites but doesn't cost to bloody much. I have lots of fragrances I want to test out but don't know what they are going to do. My experimenting is going to put me in the poor house. lol.. So what I look for in a bar of soap is a cleansing number that is on the lower end of the scale. 12-16. I like lots of bubbles though so you will always see Castor oil in my recipes. The bubbles and creaminess have to be in the 20 range 30 is best. And the hardness I like to be around 40 if I can make it that high and still have what is the most important factor to me the conditioning number. It has to have high 50's to 60 or over is good. This is what I've come up with so far. These recipes haven't been tested yet they are just being formulated. This is only Step one...finding out what's important to you and then finding the right oils to do the job.
Experimental Recipe 1
20% Coconut oil -I don't have a cheaper substitute for this oil because it's already economical on it's own. It's for cleansing and bubbles 20% keeps this cleansing number at a 14
20% Palm oil -I use slightly more in this recipe than I usually use because it makes the bar harder. It makes it a vegan recipe. Offers Hardness, creamy lather, and some bubbles. Can dry out skin hence the 18%
8% Castor oil -I don't know of any cheaper oil that will give the emollient qualities that this one does..plus bubbles woot woot. it makes lots of bubbles and makes them creamy. Makes a softer bar.
50% Soybean oil -This is my olive oil substitute. It's less expensive I think and still has the moisturizing qualities. Rice bran oil would also be good if they have any at a good price. These oils are mostly for the moisturizing or conditioning number the higher this amount of oil the more conditioning the bar will be. Too much makes a too soft bar. You can use canola or sunflower as well but that puts the hardness qualities of the bar to the absolute lowest number within the range. It's a little dangerous going that low your soap may not come out of the mold for days.
2% Stearic Acid Since I actually have some I may add some stearic acid to this recipe to make it a bit harder. If you don't want to add this then add an additional 2% to the Palm oil to make your 100%. You could also use Sodium lactate at 2% but you don't have to calculate it into the lye calc.
Experimental Recipe 2
20% Coconut oil -Again it's economical on it's own
8% Castor oil -Bubbles, bubbles bubbles must have bubbles
30% Sunflower oil, soy oil, canola oil or rice bran oil. I haven't made up my mind yet but soy and rice are in the lead until I find out how much they cost.
42% Lard (so unfortunately this recipe isn't vegan) Palm oil substitute. This oil has hardening, creaminess and moisturizing qualities that it adds to the recipe I'm curious to see how it works out.
May add 2% stearic acid to this bar too but I haven't made up my mind yet.
This is what a few days of reading and running numbers through SoapCalc have gotten me. I'm getting close to what I really want. I am going to try both experimental recipes because I want to see how the Coconut/Palm combination compares to the Coconut/Lard combination. I want to see if one is going to be dryer than the other since I followed my own rules closely with the first recipe and not with the second. As you can see there is a significantly more lard than palm oil which should be fine if it isn't a drying oil. I may even increase that so we'll see. I haven't tried either of these recipes yet. This is just step one.
Step two ...coming soon! Modifying the Recipe
Going to the grocery store and seeing how much all these ingredients cost in comparison to my regular oils to make sure I'm actually going to be saving money. And making the final changes to the recipes to reflect that new knowledge.
Until then Happy Soaping Everyone!