Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Calculating your soap mold

Hi There! Today I am going to give you 3 ways to figure out the size of your soap mold today. 

Method #1: Sometimes when I need to know the size recipe I can fit into a mold I cheat and look it up on the site I purchased it from. But for those times that I either can't remember where I got a mold from, if it's been discontinued or even if it is a homemade mold like a milk carton or pringles can for instance there is a calculation for figuring this out. AND it's quite simple :)

Method #2: The below formulas will give an answer in ounces but this can easily be converted to grams if that it your preferred working unit.

For square and rectangular molds: 



Length x Width x Height = X
X x 0.4 = Oz of oils needed (this number can be used in the soap calculator.)



If using centimeters your multiple is 0.7 instead of 0.4

If you need this in pounds take the ounces needed and divide by 16.
Example: 12” x 4” x 3” = 144”
144” x 0.4 = 57.6 oz always round down to prevent over-pouring so 57 oz of oil will fit into this mold.

In pounds this would be 57.6 oz / 16 oz = 3.6 pounds

For cylinder molds:
3.14 x radius squared x height of pour = X

Radius is the distance from the center of the circle to the edge. The  diameter is the distance across the entire circle. So a 3" round PVC pipe has a radius if 1.5"



X x 0.4 = Ounces of oils needed
Example: To figure out for a 3" round by 12" height of a cylinder mold:



3.14 x 1.5" x 1.5" x 12" = 84.78"
84.78" x 0.4= 33.91 ounces of oils (round down to 33 oz).

Method #3: As a third option if you are unsure of your math skills or just to confirm that you did your math correctly you can also place your mold on your scale and tare to "0" then fill with water to the height you want your soap to be. Soap is more dense than water so your batch may be a little shorter than you anticipate but it will get you pretty close without going over. This method will get you the full size of your batch, water, oils and lye.

I hope these tips and tricks help you in your soap making and calculating endeavors. Please feel free to ask questions!

As always,
Your Soapsmith





Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Oat Milk Soap (palm free!)

This is part 2 of the great oat caper! I've always wanted to partake in a caper, this may be the closest I get so let's just roll with it. To read about part one in which I made home made oat milk for this project click here

Recently I formulated twelve, yes, TWELVE new recipes and will be working through them all and writing (and possibly making videos) of the adventures. I am also going to be working with additives that I typically do not work with, it's a sort of learning and growing experiment that I am taking you all on. Today we will be using a palm free recipe that also contains shea butter. When I make test batches I make them at 1-lb each, large enough to have 4 nice sized bars to test out but not so large that I am wasting ingredients if a batch doesn't work out.

Let's look at our oil profile:
I choose olive, grapeseed, coconut, shea butter and castor oils. 

Olive oil has a pH of 5.5 which is the same as the sebum on our skin so it's quite complementary and found in many soaps and skin care products. It is medium in weight, mild and conditioning. It does not make great bubbles and can make a soap feel slimy in high amounts.  It can also slow down trace and take longer to cure in high amounts. It can product a surprisingly hard bar of soap for being a liquid oil. This is the oil used to make a true castile soap.

Grapeseed oil offers medium lather and mild cleansing. I have read accounts that this oil is prone to a short shelf life and may cause early rancidity and possibly DOS in your finished product. I have read other accounts that it has a normal shelf life too so I am still forming an opinion on this myself. Personally I have not had grapeseed oil become rancid or ruin any products so I decided to use it in this recipe. It's always a good idea to ensure you are purchasing your oils from a reputable source. If you are purchasing from a grocery store make sure it's a store that is busy enough to be able to turn over their products at a regular rate, this will help to ensure as fresh an oil as possible.

Coconut oil- creates a hard bubbly bar of soap. In high amounts (above 30%) it can create a drying bar of soap. To accomodate for a high % of coconut oil you would need to increase your superfat. For today though we are using a lower amount so it should not be an issue.

Shea butter- is mild and produces a creamy stable lather, it will also contribute to a long lasting bar of soap.

Castor oil- this is a special oil that has earned an interesting story in history, click here to read about how it was used as a form of punishment. It is the only oil to contribute ricinoleic fatty acid. It acts as a humectant and contributes to bubbles in soap.

I typically also add sodium lactate to my batches but for this project I am going to skip it so I can see how this recipe acts without it. I am curious to see if a palm free recipe will be as hard as I typically like.

Remember the oat "bits" from yesterdays milk making session? Well I saved them and added some at 1Tbsp PPO. So essentially since this was a 1 pound batch I added 1 tablespoon at light trace.

Below is the recipe listed by percentage. Please run through a soap calculator to get the size you need based on your chosen mold. I like this calculator if you need a recommendation:

Super Fat: 5%
Water Content (oat milk in this instance): 35%

Fragrance oil: 0.5 oz PPO

45% Olive oil
12% Grapeseed oil
20% Coconut oil
17% Shea butter
6% Castor oil

Notes: Since we are using a thick liquid that has solids which will account for part of its weight I chose to keep the water content on the high side. I also wanted to know if any of that mild, sweet oat scent will come through so I am doing my fragrance at half the amount I typically would do. Also, I am using oatmeal, milk and honey fragrance from Brambleberry, it's such a nice soft and sweet scent, very pleasant and plays very well in soap. You can find that fragrance here if you are interested.


Oatmilk soap in test mold.


Post soaping notes: So I made the soap and unmolded, cut and cured it and am now coming back to add my batch notes. Overall I am very happy with the hardness this palm free recipe was able to provide and will definitely make it again. This soap performs great too, it is bubbly and long lasting, smells great and has some light exfoliating due to the oat bits I added.
Some things I will do differently are to cut the amount of oat milk to about 50% and dissolve my lye in 50% distilled water before adding the oatmilk. Another way to handle this is to increase the water amount using to make the oatmilk. They reason I just cut the amount and also use water is because I like to SEE that my NaOH is completely dissolved and with an opaque liquid I can't tell. It's a matter of preference really. I might also add the oat milk to my oils instead of the lye water so the lye water will not burn off the sugars. There are a couple of different options on how to work with this recipe. I was otherwise very pleased with the recipe and really happy that I did the fragrance at half the normal rate too, it was just such a soft, sweet and subtle hint. Perfect for this batch.  

If you try this recipe or do a version of it let me know, I'd love to hear how it went and what changes you tried to make it your own.

Happy Soaping until next time.
~Your Soapsmith







Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Making oat milk in preparation to make an oat milk soap

Howdy Soapsmith Nation! I am working on some new recipes with additives I have been wanting to try out. After 10 years of making my tried and true recipes I have decided it's time to, once again, spread my wings and make some new awesome recipes! 

I wanted to work with oatmeal for a recipe so I decided to make it into oat milk first. Let's take a step back and look at the skin care benefits that oats can impart for us.

There are properties that will carry through saponification and some that will not carry through but are present in other skin care formulations, let's talk about both!

  • Inexpensive and readily available
  • Typically low allergenic and good for all skin types including problem skin
  • Can provide some exfoliation
  • Contains anti-oxidants and are anti-inflammatory
  • May treat dry skin and remove dead skin cells
  • Contains a compound called saponins which are natural and mild cleansers
Some talking points that may not carry over into soap but are relevant to other skin care formulations are:


  • Helps to keep skin hydrated by forming an occlusive layer on the surface that retains water in the skin
  • Imparts moisturizing, soothing, conditioning, and nourishing qualities, significantly improving skin dryness and roughness
  • Helps reduce skin inflammation making it ideal for treating inflammatory skin conditions
I would be more interested in adding colloidal oatmeal to a lotion or butter to see if I could get these results. As an aside this would make a wonderful set, a lotion and soap both with various forms of oatmeal in it.

I also looked into what oatmilk/oatmeal might do for a soap formulation and what I found is not that much so I changed gears and looked up some nutritional value in hopes to find properties that may come through in a soap.

1. sugar content - 1.1g per 1 cup - might contribute to more bubbles (may also not be enough to make a difference.)
2. gluten content - this is tricky, technically oats ARE gluten free but if they are not processed in a gluten free facility they shouldn't be marketed as such. I am starting to see more people asking and searching for gluten free soaps so this is a good point to remember.
3. protein content- 6g per 1 cup (probably irrelevant to soap...)
4. fat content - 3.2g per 1 cup- maybe slightly relevant as it could contribute to superfat but probably not in a significant way.
5. sodium content 115mg per 1 cup, we do know that salt can contribute to a harder bar of soap so this might also be helpful, but again based on how small of an amount it is it's probably not significant.
There are also vitamins A, B, C, Iron and Magnesium listed, there properties will most likely not survive saponification though.



Alright so now we know what oats can bring to this party, let's make oat milk!

I combed through the internet and saw many variations on how to do this. Many of them had similarities so it makes it kind of easy to give this a go. In the end I decided to use a loose version of what it on the actual oatmeal container and see how that worked out. 


As a side note pretty much all recipes recommended using old fashioned oats as opposed to steel cut or instant and all recommended blending immediately instead of letting soak because it makes for a slimy mixture (this is probably more relevant to the folks that want to use it in coffee).

Here is what I did:
2C oats 
4C water (recommendation to use distilled for soap making). 

Instructions:
1. Add water to oats, mix with spatula then hand blend for about 30 seconds. Let sit for roughly 30 minutes to thicken.

After 30 minutes it was a thin porridge consistency and I was happy with the size of the oat pieces. 

BUT

I stepped away for approximately an hour to handle something and then it became more like a thick porridge which I did not want. This may have worked to my advantage because I determined that I wanted oat milk and not oat porridge for this project. So I went ahead and strained the milk with a wire strainer and it became a nice, thick milk with some pieces which will be great as an exfoliant.

I managed to pull off about 1C of oat pieces (grains? I don't know
what to call them now). Which left me with about 1C still in my oat milk. For me this is very doable.

I weighed out and froze the portion of oat milk I will need for the upcoming soap recipe. I also set aside the extra oat....pieces as I can add them back in to my recipe as an additive. 

Ok so stay tuned for part 2 of this little adventure when I reveal my recipe and we make a super sweet batch of oat milk soap!

~Ta for now
'Soapie

References:
https://www.schoolofnaturalskincare.com/11-benefits-of-oatmeal-for-your-skin/