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Teach Soap • View topic - Shea Butter in place of lard?

Teach Soap

Soap Making Recipes, Tips and Tutorials
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:38 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:49 am
Posts: 6
Below is my recipe for soap. I use the lard in order to coagulate the soap so that it basically stays 'together'.
Would it be possible for me to replace the lard with shea butter to accomplish the same results of keep the soap together with the goal of my soap bars not just washing away when its used?
And if I were to replace the lard with shea butter how much shea butter would I use per my recipe below?
Thank you in advance
20oz coconut oil 1.25
20oz olive oil 1.25
18oz goat's milk 1.25
90z lye
130z lard


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:14 pm
Posts: 24336
Location: Mistress Of Lather
Coconut Oil 20 ozs. 37.74%
Olive Oil 20 ozs. 37.74%
Lard 13 ozs. 24.53%
Total Weight 53 ozs.

For this size batch, you would need 13-20 ozs. of liquid or milk
and 7.6 ozs. of lye for a 7% superfat.

9 ozs. of lye would make the soap lye heavy.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:25 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:15 am
Posts: 24
I realize I am a day late and a dollar short here for my input but if you use shea butter at the exact percentage as the replacement for lard the only thing that would change is your lye amount. Keeping in mind that shea butter does have different sap values, so I'll post the different values for you.
Shea refined/organic/Olein @ .131, 13 oz changes the lye value for the whole recipe to 7.41 oz lye.
Shea Ghana/Beige/unrefined @.128, lye value for the whole recipe is 7.37 oz

The Shea is almost 25% of your recipe so be aware that it does not take much for Shea to saponify very quickly and easy.
25% Shea, from my experience is not really that much to even worry about it but you still must be expedient.

My question is why is your soap not staying together?

If your talking about cracking during usage then you could consider lessening the percentage of coconut. Coconut is a hard oil and if the percentage is more then desirable then it can increase the heat in the gel stage. Too high of a heat in the gel stage dissipates more quickly and cools off quicker which can result in soap that eventually cracks during usage.

"Holding together" might also mean that your soap just might not be lasting very long.
This is my cure for that. Every one has their own opinion but this is what I do...
Mine for example;
My 5 oz bar lasts 10-12 weeks (depending on recipe) possibly longer. I don't know because I have the same 7 bars in my soap basket for half a year now?
In my opinion, they last because I use the least amount of water as possible. Sometimes I might go 1.1 times the amount of lye but that is about it. That will result in 476 ppt with 500 ppt being the most soap you can get out of a bar.

S0 you know the difference; 2.5 (water) X lye results in 286 ppt. (your 5 oz bar is only half soap)
2 (water) X lye results in 333 ppt which is a little better here.

I actually do not depend on water to control my soaping because water never turns to soap and is only a carrier for lye. It does nothing else. So by increasing your water your actually decreasing the quantity of soap in your bar while decreasing your oil.

How I control my soap is the percentage of hard and soft oils.
I am just assuming here but it looks like your recipe would behave slightly better if you lessened your coconut (but you really don't need to.).
Your Lard will hold together just as good or better then Shea at that percentage because of the heating and cracking problems it MIGHT cause. Meaning too high of a percentage will crack during its use after curing.
In my opinion, you should stick with the Lard (easy to work with) and maybe add 10% Shea if you want to.

And, considering super fatting by increasing your oils to more then 100% or decreasing your lye, I actually haven't felt any difference between a 0% (exception here for higher hard oil percentages in leaving darker skinned people ashy)SF and a 5-7% SF. One might just last longer because it doesn't wash down the drain so easily and actually cures more closer to the original weight.
A 50/50 water/lye ratio will only lose about 5% water weight for example.

Again, I actually think your recipe is just about fine and experimenting on your water amounts would be good to know to add to your arsenal of skills. I could use a few of those skills myself!
And I tend to agree with Soapbuddy with the lye amount.


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