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Grandma's Soapdish & Sundries, LLC
Making Quality Organic Soaps in Connecticut Since 1998
email: diane@grandmassoapdish.com



Brook Brook Brook


PROPERTIES OF FATTY ACIDS IN SOAPMAKING OILS AND BUTTERS

Now, why does anyone care about which oils are in the soap ? If the end product is a gorgeous bar of soap, that's what matters, right ? Not so fast. All oils are not created equal and they each contribute very special properties to the overall bar of soap, based on their fatty acid and iodine content levels. A knowledgable soapmaker knows their oils and uses this information to develop the best soapmaking recipe possible. One that contains a blend of the oils that will contribute all of the measurable properties a quality soap will have. What properties are measured ? Certain fatty acids, as listed below, may contribute the following qualities to soap; quality of a bubbly lather, a creamy, stable, lasting lather, strength of cleansing power, conditioning qualities and hardness (resistance) to dissolving in water. Each fatty acid has its own unique profile of contributing qualities. The synergistic blend of using the three best oils for sustaining soap longevity (hardness), along with all of the properties listed here, are palm, palm kernel, olive coconut and castor oils.

TYPE OF FATTY ACID PROPERTIES OF FATTY ACID
Lauric Acid contributes hardness to the soap, has a fluffy lather and
is one of the most powerful, deeply cleansing fatty acids in soap.
Linoleic Acid contributes to moisturizing and conditioning qualities for your skin.
Linolenic Acid makes a mild bar of soap with conditioning and moisturizing properties.
Oleic Acid another acid to contribute good quality conditioning
and moisturizing properties to your soap.
Palmitic Acid will add hardness to your soap and a creamy, stable, rich lather.
Ricinoleic Acid will add conditioning properties, a fluffy lather and a
stable, luxurious creamy lather. Of all the fatty acids from oils, this acid is prevalent
in castor oil by 90%, so it's the prime contributor when used in soap.
A little goes a long way.
Stearic Acid will also contribute hardness to your soap
and a creamy, stable, rich lather.
Myristic Acid contributes hardness so the soap, has
strong deep cleaning properties and adds a nice fluffy lather.
Iodine Value What is an iodine value? The lower the value of iodine in
soapmaking base oils, the harder the final soap will be. Hard, meaning how resistant the soap is to dissolving in water. High
iodine levels contribute to a softer soap that feels like a hard bar of soap, but will dissolve more quickly when used.
The three best oils (lowest iodine levels) to achieve a hard bar are coconut, palm and olive oils.
Glycerol All soap - real soap - is comprised of fatty acids and glycerol. The glycerol is a humectant and that means that it draws moisture to itself; thus to your skin. About 20% of soap is naturally occuring glycerin that forms during the saponification process of breaking & remaking element bonds between fats and oils, into fatty acids & glycerin. That's soap and soap really is a form of a salt. Certainly not one you would eat ! But one that is pH balanced and nutritious for your precious skin. This glycerol is not to be confused with "melt and pour soap", which really is not soap - but a chemically removed portion of real soap that gets used in other capacities in the food and healthcare industry as well as in the common "melt and pour sort-of-soaps" that one can easily find, sold in blocks in craft stores. Some people prefer it, but know what you're getting; a chemical containing product that is not technically soap, but a by-product of it.


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