November 15, 2012

3 Palm Free Soap Recipes

Lately, there's been a lot of talk about whether or not to use PALM OIL in soap making. The recipes in our from-scratch Soapmaking Classes almost all contain palm oil, so we thought we'd post some palm-free soap recipes here for those who are interested in soaping without it.

These palm-free recipes can be used with both Cold Process or Hot Process soaping methods. Of course, before attempting to make these recipes, knowledge of making soap from scratch is necessary (our CP 101 class would suffice). Always use extreme caution and wear skin & eye protection when working with Lye (aka Sodium Hydroxide).

 The "Soap Dr." with one very big batch

Here's a recipe provided by Soap Doctor David Critchfield, owner of Mission Peak Soap and teacher of Big Batch Soapmaking in our popular 2-Day Soap Making Boot Camp:

Total Oil Weight: 64 oz (or 4 pounds)

40% Soybean Shortening (100% soybean or cottonseed oil blend): 25.6 oz

30% Olive or other high-oleic oil: 19.2 oz 
28% 92 Degree Coconut: 17.92 oz

2% Castor Oil: 1.28 oz

Lye: 255.15 grams (or 9 oz) - I'm not sure what the superfat on this is, probably right around 5%, but it depends on which oils you choose.
Distilled Water: 18 oz - Note: David uses less water than Jen or Lori. If you are making CP soap, 18 oz would be fine, but if you are doing Hot Process, we recommend going with 24 oz.
David's recipe uses shortening, which is an easy oil to get a hold of & therefore should make your post-palm recipes fairly simple to digest (monetarily speaking - please don't eat the soap!).

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Jen at our recent 9th Anniversary Party

If you're in the mood for something more luxurious (and also a little more spendy due to the high percentage of butters), we also have this recipe from Jen Grimes, owner of Loft Soap and teacher of Cold Process Soap Making 101, Hot Process Soap in the 2-Day Soap Making Boot Camp, Liquid Soap & Transparent Soap making (both part of the 2-Day Soap Making Boot Camp, Part II):

Total Oil Weight: 64 oz (or 4 pounds)

41% Olive Oil: 26 oz
25% Coconut Oil: 16 oz
25% Mango Butter: 16 oz
6% Avocado Oil: 4 oz
3% Shea Butter: 2 oz

Lye: 252 grams (or 8.8 oz) - 6% lye discount (also known as 6% superfat)
Distilled Water: 24 oz

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And finally, from one of David's favorite authors, the out-of-print Essentially Soap book by Dr. Robert McDaniel comes this 3-oil soap recipe called "Royal Castile Soap" on page 97. Changes have been made the the lye amount (see * below) and also to the batch size, to standardize & for easier comparison to our other recipes listed in this post.

Total Oil Weight: resized to 64 oz (or 4 pounds)

77% Olive Oil: 49.5 oz
22% Coconut Oil: 13.7 oz
1% Jojoba oil: .8 oz (note: this is not 8 oz, but .8, or eight-tenths of 1 ounce)
*Lye: 8.82 oz - 5% lye discount (also known as 5% superfat)
Distilled Water: 20 oz

IMPORTANT NOTE: The original recipe from McDaniel suggested using 12 ounces of lye. I ran this through the lye calculator and it was just below 0% superfat (which means it might be just a touch lye heavy, which is just a touch dangerous in my book). We recommend using a 5% lye discount/superfat, so the lye amount above has been calculated & listed for that.

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So there you have it - three different palm-free & Nova Studio approved soap recipes! If you try one of these recipes, please post a comment below and let us know what you think. Or, if you have your own palm-free recipe you would like to share, feel free to post the recipe below. Happy Soaping! :)

Additional Notes:
-All percentages are rounded off to the nearest whole digit.
-To get percentages & obtain superfat amounts, recipes were entered into the lye calc at Majestic Mountain Sage.
-We recommend using the resizing function on the calculator if you want to make a different batch size (the 4 pound batch sizes listed about make about 18-20 bars). To resize, simply enter the recipe amount in ounces for each oil as listed above, and hit "calculate lye" button. Then on the following page at the bottom you'll see the "resized batch" button, and you can enter in any number you like.

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