I’ve done six variations of recipes with lard and/or tallow since Part 2. So far, I still like the way the tallow performs in the soap and I believe it will be in my final formulation – so far. What I wasn’t sure about just yet was how to get the soap to be hard AND long-lasting. I received a tip from Sarah Chapin of Whimsical Soap Works that kokum butter was the answer to long-lasting soap for her formulation, so I ordered some to try it out. Sarah says that she preferred kokum butter over cocoa butter because she could use less kokum butter and the soap felt less drying than soap made with cocoa butter.
Since I was needing to re-stock some coffee soap, I went ahead and made a couple batches with cocoa butter and a couple batches with kokum butter. I wanted to differentiate between the different batches, so the first cocoa butter recipe is just a plain coffee soap (with orange and spicy essential oils – totally yum!), the second cocoa butter recipe has a cocoa powder swirl, the first kokum butter recipe has a red clay swirl, and the second kokum butter recipe has a yellow clay swirl.
I was surprised that the first cocoa butter recipe actually performed the best out of the four, as far as taking the most time to trace, hardness and lather!! It only has 5% cocoa butter, and I also left 30% tallow in the mix, and some sodium lactate with 6% superfat, and a 33% lye solution. They are all quite hard bars, and it’s been 5-8 days since they were all made. They all lathered well, with just a few minor differences. Here are the results:
The second recipe I just swapped the amounts of tallow and coconut to see if there was a difference, and the only difference I noted was the size of the bubbles – they were larger and less dense.
For the kokum butter test recipes, I just used 3% kokum and increased the amount of olive. These batches are fresher than the cocoa butter ones, so they didn’t feel as hard even without adding water, and they also didn’t lather as quickly as the cocoa butter bars.
I also tried one with some avocado oil in it, so it had less shea butter. Fairly similar results to the other kokum butter bar:
I did have overheating issues with all of these coffee soaps, but it could have been the spicy essential oils.
So my next test will be to make a batch of my best selling Stress Relief soap with my (so far) favorite cocoa butter recipe and compare the results with the original recipe. I will also continue to monitor these soaps as they cure!