cream soap notes

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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 experience.
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 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.)