c. failor's tome on cream soap is only a 40
page booklet and, although she does give some information on the nature
of this kind of soapmaking, she strongly emphasizes experimentation.
until i discovered the "cream soap group" and "cream soap forum", i hadn't seen any other data on this kind of soapmaking.
there, i was confronted with a lot of new ideas, some that were
incongruous with those presented by ms. failor, and as with any
information from a non-authoritative source, i take it with a grain of
salt. since a lot of it didn't arrive from actual "bench-mark" tests,
but rather something that was tried and worked, but was not really
explored, explained, or understood, i've arrived at my own conclusions
about a lot of the various aspects of this process ...based on my own
with regard to future application, some of my deductions may hold up
while others may fail. time will be the judge. in any event, here are
some of those observations.
soap consistency: my objective was to create a thick lotion-like
soap to be used as a bodywash. consequently all of the recipes presented
are formulated to produce a soap that will be thinned to the proper
consistency. when recipe #1 (using the cream soap - 1 process) was
thinned, the liquid (over time) separated out from the soap and had to
constantly re-incorporated ( i had to shake to bottle before use).
recipes #2 & #3 (using the cream soap - 2 process) are more stable.
before thinning, recipe #1 produces a fluffy (whipped cream) soap.
recipes #2 & #3 produce a salve-like soap with the consistency of
frosting. -- (the differences in texture are manipulated through the choice and amount of oils and the ratio of fatty acids to liquids.)
glycerin: i was told that (for the cream soap 2 method) the
required amount of glycerin is 55% of the total stearic acid -- (the
stearic acid content of all the oils as well as the stearic acid
itself). it was further stated that this 55% was the amount of glycerin
needed to "neutralize the stearic acid", and that the source of this
statement was c. failor herself. nowhere in ms. failor's book does she
make this statement, so i have no way to verify it. in any event, the
amount of glycerin resulting from this calculation does fall within the
range suggested in the book, so i'm using the 55% calculation.
free stearic acid: the free stearic acid in the soap is what's
responsible for that waxy feel when you rinse, and the drying tight
feeling afterwards ...the more free stearic acid, the more pronounced
the effect. i'd omitted the supercream altogether in an attempt to
deminish (if not eliminate) the free stearic. I found that without it,
the only difference in the soap was that it didn't lather with that
thick dense billowy lather for which it known -- you see, as you wash
with the soap, it releases non-caustic alkalies which in turn react
with the free stearic to create more soap. so i reverted to using a
supercream, but a reduced amount (1.5% - half as much as suggested in
the book). this does provide an adequate supercream without exacerbating
its negative effects..
additives at trace: the example i originally followed called for
incorporating the additives at trace ...as you would with cold process
soapmaking. i no longer do this for two reasons. first, if any of the
additions is heat sensitive, the subsequent cooking would have an
adverse effect on it. secondly, in cp soapmaking, trace is the only time
to get the additives into the soap. with this kind of soap, (as with
liquid soap), the end product is not solid, so your additions can be
[safely] and more conveniently mixed in near the end of the process.
rotting time: c. failor suggests a rotting time of 1 week.
elsewhere, there are those who rot their soap for many months feeling
the longer it rots, the milder it gets. since i did notice when using
cream soap 2 method, that the soap did in fact get milder over the 2
week period, i've decided to stick with that time frame when using this
method. (the next time i use the cream soap 1 method, i'll divide the
batch and use some after 48 hours, some after 1 week, and the rest
after 2 weeks to see if there is any appreciable difference.)