Today I want to talk about Master Batching Oils for soap:
I prefer a soap recipe that has 60% hard oils. Coconut & Palm (or Tallow or Lard) are in that category, as well as all butters (even though some are harder than others). I like using 25% Coconut oil and 25% Palm (a mix of Palm Kernel Flakes & Palm oil).
In the past I used 10% butters, but have bumped that up to 12% because I have gotten some wonderful Mango butter and want to include that, so I have 4% each of of Cocoa, Mango, and Shea butter in this recipe. I like to include 5% Castor oil for lather (above 5% seems to cause acceleration).
Use your favorites for the rest of the oils. I have a variety of oils that have some wonderful skin loving properties and like to use a little of each. For this batch, I doubled my Sunflower Seed Oil to 10%, as it’s such a healing oil and I decrease the Olive Oil from 8 to 3%, as I am running low.
I melt all of these in containers in a microwave oven, then mix them together in a huge bucket and divide into five 1 gallon jugs and put in a refrigerator or freezer until I’m ready to use them (this slows down or stops the aging of the oils.)
Here’s Master Batch Oils #10:
Recipe: 600 oz oils/37.5 lb (makes 880 oz/ 55 lbs of soap):
5% Apricot Kernel Oil 30 oz 850 grams
5% Avocado Oil 30 oz 850 grams
5% Castor Oil 30 oz 850 grams
4% Cocoa Butter (Golden) 24 oz 680 grams
25% Coconut Oil 150 oz 4252 grams (34 oz 76′, 116 oz 92 degree)
5% Hazelnut Oil 30 oz 850 grams
4% Mango Butter 24 oz 680 grams
3% Olive Oil 18 oz 512 grams
8% Palm Kernel Flakes 48 oz 1361 grams
17% Palm Oil 102 oz 2892 grams
5% Rice Bran Oil 30 oz 850 grams
4% Shea Butter 24 oz 680 grams
10% Sunflower Seed Oil 60 oz 1700 grams (Total oils: 600 oz/17,006 grams)
Update: For MB #11, I used the same ingredients above, however all the Coconut Oil was 92 degree.
I entered this recipe into a Lye Calculator (I used Bramble Berry’s found here) at my usual 5% Super Fat and then resized the batch two dozen times to get different batch sizes. (I also adjusted the super fat on some for facial soap.) I then copied them down, with calculations included for the additives – here’s some examples:
Master batch Oils #10: 48 oz Oils (Makes 67 oz soap)
MB Oils: 48 oz/ 1361 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 6.85 oz / 194 grams
Distilled Water: (3.84 oz disc/ 24%): 12 oz / 340 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 14 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 14 grams (in oils)
Extract (1%): 14 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
(2% 28 grams; 3% 42 grams)
Master batch Oils #10: 38 oz Oils (Makes 53.5 oz soap)
MB Oils: 38 oz/ 1077 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 5.43 oz / 154 grams
Distilled Water: (2.54 oz disc/ 20%): 10 oz / 283 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 11 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 11 grams (in oils)
Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
(2% 22 grams; 3% 33 grams)
Master batch Oils #10: 28 oz Oils (Makes 40 oz soap)
MB Oils: 28 oz/ 794 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 4 oz / 113 grams
Distilled Water: (1.24 oz disc/ 13.3%): 8 oz / 227 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 8 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 8 grams (in oils)
Extract (1%): 8 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
(2% 16 grams; 3% 24 grams)
Some of my notes gathered over the years on these wonderful butters & oils:
Apricot Kernel Oil: High linoleic & oleic acids; readily absorbed into skin, conditioning, but small bubbles; good for sensitive, dry & mature skin; helps relieve eczema itch; use <15% (5-10% best) or will have soft bar; makes excellent massage oil. 1 yr shelf life.
Avocado Oil: Rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, D, E & Beta carotene; high in unsaponifiables for super fat; healing, moisturizing & conditioning; helps heal flaky skin, psoriasis & eczema; used to treat sun damaged skin; use <20% or will have soft bar. Classified as a monounsaturated oil and is best suited for dry skin conditions in topical applications. It is an emollient, highly penetrating oil. Its notable content of unsaturated fatty and essential fatty acids also makes it ideal for inclusion in nourishing, moisturizing hair care formulations. 2 year shelf life.
Castor Oil: A humectant – draws moisture to skin/hair; creates lots of lather; bubbles in soap & shampoo bars/super fat; use 5%/less or may cause acceleration (higher only for shampoo bar – which will accelerate trace); makes soft bar when >10%.
Cocoa Butter: Adds moisturizing & creates hard bar, small bubbles; use <15%. Mild chocolate flavor & aroma; may want to use deodorized with floral FO. Contains natural antioxidants; retains & restores moisture; rich in Vitamin E; helps to soothe, hydrate, & balance skin; provides collagen, which assists with wrinkles & other signs of aging. 2-5 year shelf life. Fatty Acid Profile: 25-30% Palmitic; 31-35% Stearic, 34-36% Oleic, 3% Linoleic (Average Melting Point: 100 degrees).
Coconut Oil: Moisturizing & easily absorbed in the skin; adds hardness & lather to bar; lather not stable, works best with other oils; because of high cleansing power, skin feels dry if more than 25%; use < 35%. Contains a lot of medium chain triglycerides; almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon Lauric Acid. (The lauric acid can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.)
Hazelnut Oil: Low in unsaturated fatty acids: for very dry skin; takes longer to trace; use <15%; 3 mo shelf life; for lotions/creams/facial/soap. It is highly unsaturated and very rapidly absorbed into the skin. It not only contains high concentrations of B vitamins, but is also rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin E and plant phenolics. It also contains a number of minerals, and oleic acid and linoleic acid, which are fatty acids that are essential in our biochemistry but have to be absorbed from plant sources because the human body cannot synthesize them. When rubbed into skin, hazelnut oil has an effective tightening effect that makes your skin look healthier and better toned. The antioxidant effect of Vitamin E is very effective in helping to regenerate skin cells, and overcome the effects of aging such as premature wrinkling, and is highly moisturizing. Studies have shown it can filter sun rays.
Mango Butter: Melts in contact with skin; can use straight; adds conditioning & moisturizing properties to soap; use <15%). High oxidative stability; high level of non-saponifiables – a very effective emollient; target dry, damaged, and aging skin. 2-3 years shelf life. Fatty Acid Profile: 6% Palmitic, 42% Stearic, 46% Oleic, 3% Linoleic. Tannins make it feel drier than other butters. (Average Melting Point: 86 degrees) Refined from the seed kernel of the Mango tree, with a composition resembling Shea and Cocoa, with a slightly different fatty acid content. Has a rich creamy color and is hard at room temperature.
Olive Oil: Rich feel; mild, creamy lather; makes long-lasting bar with tiny bubbles; color ranges from gold to green, difficult to get white soap; high levels of oleic acid. Health benefits of olive oil include the lowering of the bad cholesterol level in our blood, as it is rich in monounsaturated fat substance. The extra virgin type olive oil contains the highest level of antioxidant polyphenols and oleic acid. Use to 100%, but can be sticky at that level. CP: slow to trace – allows time for color swirls.
Palm Oil & Palm Kernel Flakes: Makes hard bar; adds some lather when used with coconut oil; stabilizes coconut oil’s bubbles with smooth, creamy bubbles. Melt entire container & stir thoroughly for all fatty acid chains to defuse through oil; use to 25%; from the fruit of the palm. It is very high in vitamin E which is said to play a protective role in cellular aging. Has similar characteristics to tallow in soaps. Fatty Acids: Palmitic fatty acid 45.5%; Stearic 4.3%; Oleic 36.6%; Linoleic 9.1%. (Average Melting Point: 95-97degrees)
Rice Bran Oil: Rich Vitamin E & anti-oxidants; substitute for lanolin; for treating mature & dry skin; skin moisturizing, conditioning, & protecting; small bubbles; extremely stable, similar to olive oil in shelf life. The health benefits include its ability to lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, improve skin health, and lower allergic reactions. Seems to accelerate trace when used above 7%. Turns soap yellow/ cream.
Shea Butter: A superb moisturizer; emollient & softening, with exceptional healing properties for the skin. Vitamin A in Shea improves blemishes, wrinkles, eczema & dermatitis. Fatty Acid Profile: 3-7% Palmitic, 35-45% Stearic, 40-55% Oleic, 3-8% Linoleic. does not add to lather or hardness. Use <10%. Usage in soap: 3-6%. 2 year shelf life.
Sunflower Seed Oil: High in Linoleic & Oleic essential fatty acids; high Vitamin E; high unsaturated fatty acids – leaves oily feel on skin; alternative to Olive Oil; conditioning lather; soft soap; best at <20%. Contains linoleic acid, which helps repair skin’s barrier mechanisms and helps prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL); oleic acid, which softens & moisturizes skin; and phytosterols, which reduce inflammation and itching as well as TEWL. Improves skin health. Shelf life <12 mo- refrigerate for longer life.
For Additional Resources – click on the links below:
Soap Master Batch #11 oils: I liked the soap MB #10 recipe so much and had a supply of all the wonderful oils & butters, that I made the same batch again when I ran out.
The Saga of the Coconut Oil Cube:
A funny thing happened with my first ever 50 pound cube of 92 degree Coconut Oil. It arrived in Denver Colorado, but was put on the wrong truck for delivery and went to two different towns in California. Then it was shipped to Nevada, where it sat for 3 days. (I think the cube took off and went gambling for a bit!) When it was finally delivered, it arrived over a week late and I was heading out of town, so my making of this batch of oils turned out to be 3 weeks later than I had planned. Thank goodness I ordered this several weeks before I needed it! (But all that waiting was still frustrating.)