Change suggested value for Cleansing

Davali

New member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
12
I'm wondering why all the soap calcs set suggested cleansing value at 12-22. Experienced soapers know that most body soaps are going to be gentler at 0-15-ish, with even that being the high end, IMO. But inexperienced soapers don't know this, and often mistakenly make soaps with cleansing at 17 or so - because they think that mid-range is best for every value. It just seems silly to me to keep using a range that almost none of us really agree with --do we??

I also wonder if each suggested range for each quality could have a little informational icon that could be popped open to explain what the value represents, and why one might choose to be at one end or the other (or in the middle) of the suggested range.

Thanks for considering this!
 

Yooper

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 7, 2019
Messages
319
Location
Upper Peninsula of Michigan/ Florida Gulf Coast
You’re right- even a soap cleansing value of 0 will still clean.

This value though represents the ability of the soap to “grab” onto oils. It is the sum of the recipes combination of the percentage of lauric and myristic percentages.
 

Davali

New member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
12
Thank you for responding so quickly - I appreciate that. 😃

I guess I didn’t explain myself well. I get that each factor - cleansing, bubbly, longevity, etc. - represents the sum of specific fatty acids. I’m good with that and am not suggesting we change that.

The part I don’t understand is why all the calculators must stick with certain suggested ranges for those factors. This is especially true for Cleansing, where almost no one who knows about soap formulating actually stays within that range for formulating.

Is there something else going on with the science or politics (FDA or other regulators?) that this suggested range cannot be modified to more accurately reflect real world usage?

To say it another way, if we were designing this today, with no history to influence us, and given that soap formulators tend to use a very different range in real life, would you still set the Cleansing range of values from 12 -22? If so, why?

I appreciate your wisdom in this and look forward to learning more.
 

Yooper

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 7, 2019
Messages
319
Location
Upper Peninsula of Michigan/ Florida Gulf Coast
No, I think the cleansing values would stay the same. It’s because it’s a safe range, without being too drying or too oil heavy. You can always go out of the ranges, but staying within the range means that until you are more experienced you will have a good idea of the properties of the soap.
 

Davali

New member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
12
No, I think the cleansing values would stay the same. It’s because it’s a safe range, without being too drying or too oil heavy. You can always go out of the ranges, but staying within the range means that until you are more experienced you will have a good idea of the properties of the soap.
I guess the issue then is that new soapers need to do a lot more studying before they try to create recipes. It’s a daily thing to answer questions from people who sincerely believe that a good soap, or even the perfect soap, requires a recipe where each number is in the exact middle of the suggested ranges. Makes me batty. Perhaps I need to step away from the keyboard! But so many people helped me along the way that I do like to help others who are just starting.
 

Yooper

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 7, 2019
Messages
319
Location
Upper Peninsula of Michigan/ Florida Gulf Coast
Yes, I see what you are saying. But changing the numbers would really be a nightmare, because that range, while not perfect, will give you a perfectly reasonable soap. To change it would mean that it would be even harder for new soapmakers to judge what is a good baseline to start with.
 

ekkle

New member
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
4
I appreciate this conversation. I’m not a new soaper but I’m a middle ground cleansing number soaper. I have learned that if the cleansing number is too high just up your SF. I also learned that my SF should be 1/2 my cleansing number.Example if my cleansing number is 17 I up my SF to 8. I must have been miss informed according to this conversation.
 

WilliamD

New member
Joined
Sep 28, 2020
Messages
13
I think I might add a different insight into this......Let's say a new person is using Palm Kernel Oil and they go way beyond (Let's say they use 50%) what we would know to be only to use 20-30% as a base. Sure his cleansing would be skyrocketed but also the bar would be super hard but Very Brittle; thus my understanding of the graph is to keep beginners from doing just that type of mistake. It should be stated that the graphs are guidelines only. (Make a traditional Castille Soap and your longevity will definitely be in the red...doesn't mean it's a bad bar of soap but we know why that's OK and maybe a beginner doesn't)! I understand the frustration of solely relying on the middle ground of the graph for you, ......but you, I and others are more advanced and know how to work different oils and percentages. Maybe a solution is to add a suggested maximum percentage of that particular oil to be used as a base oil in the information icon for each oil.
 
Last edited:

DeryBy

New member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
1
If we talk about normal values, the normal ph of the finished "zero" soap is 8-9. It can be reduced to 7.5, but no less, then the soap will cease to be soap. A "zero" soap with ph of 5.5 cannot exist by definition. I, for example, prefer to buy natural soaps at this store. But if you make your own - measure the right proportions of oils. The composition should include: oils that make the soap hard (e.g. palm, cocoa, etc.) - up to 65%; foaming and foaming-stabilizing oils (coconut, babassu) - up to 35%; oils that care for the skin, which provide good conditioning properties of soap - up to 25% (for example, avocado, almond, mango, etc.).
 
Last edited:

ShonaR

New member
Joined
Sep 3, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Fife, Scotland
This is a very interesting thread, Im a relatively new soaper and I find CO very drying, I have been playing with the amounts and thought that under 10 cleansing was not good. So I can ignore the red 'warning' and go lower? I am also confused about superfatting, Ive been told it encourages DOS and reduces latehr - its such a juggling actLOL. I LOVE soapmaking friend more than any other calc btw!
 

Yooper

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 7, 2019
Messages
319
Location
Upper Peninsula of Michigan/ Florida Gulf Coast
This is a very interesting thread, Im a relatively new soaper and I find CO very drying, I have been playing with the amounts and thought that under 10 cleansing was not good. So I can ignore the red 'warning' and go lower? I am also confused about superfatting, Ive been told it encourages DOS and reduces latehr - its such a juggling actLOL. I LOVE soapmaking friend more than any other calc btw!
You can have a 0 for cleansing; but still get clean. For want of a better explanation, soap will “grab” and hold dirt and rinse off even with a low cleansing number. The higher the number, the more readily this happens. It’s also more drying.

I wouldn’t superfat over 5-7% except in the case of salt bars (which I do with 100% coconut oil at 20% superfat!).
 

Davali

New member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
12
If we talk about normal values, the normal ph of the finished "zero" soap is 8-9. It can be reduced to 7.5, but no less, then the soap will cease to be soap. A "zero" soap with ph of 5.5 cannot exist by definition.
Great point, although I think finished soap is often much higher than 8-9. Because PH strips are notoriously inaccurate for testing, especially since most folks don't use them correctly, they think their soap is somewhere around 8, and it's really 10 or higher.

This is a very interesting thread, Im a relatively new soaper and I find CO very drying, I have been playing with the amounts and thought that under 10 cleansing was not good. So I can ignore the red 'warning' and go lower? I am also confused about superfatting, Ive been told it encourages DOS and reduces latehr - its such a juggling actLOL. I LOVE soapmaking friend more than any other calc btw!
Totally agree with Yooper. I try to keep my cleansing down around 10, but you can certainly go lower. I also keep my CO under 20% unless I'm making salt bars or laundry/dish soap. With those numbers in mind, I only SF around 2-3% (except I do use 20% for salt bars). Lower SF reduces the chance of rancidity, lowers the amount of soap scum, and leaves my soaping utensils way less greasy. But everyone has to figure out what works for their own skin. :)
 
Last edited:
Top