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Crafty Goths
Some soap questions formulation, rancid oil, skin issues 
21st-Dec-2008 10:12 am
Hi All,

1. I would really like some info on telling if an oil has gone rancid. I have mostly only been able to find people saying "You'll know" and that isn't very helpful. I really do need some characteristics... how will it smell will it be a slightly off smell, or like over powering and knock you over.

The problem is I have some Sweet almond oil that I had lost and just found I've had it for probably 3 years, it's been closed and in the dark but has been through temperature fluctuations has it was in a cupboard in my carport. It smells slightly... I don't really know how to describe it... it could be a nutty sorta of smell or maybe musky would be a better description, but I haven't used sweet almond in so long I haven't the faintest idea if that is how it is supposed to smell or if it's too far gone to use for soaps.

Please help I really wanna start on some crock pot HP ASAP.

2. I have had to stop using my homemade soaps because my skin gets horribly dry and itchy in the winter. This makes em really sad. But even the super conditioning soaps with a 10-15% super fat (I am afraid to go any higher for fear of dreaded orange spots) in the best conditions... summer high humidity and so on... leave my skin with a squeaky tight feeling in the winter it gets simply awful with itchy, flaky skin. Mostly the soaps I've been making are 1/3rd lard, olive, and coconut. I also tried reducing the coconut and adding shea with still no luck. I even tried using lotions, aloe, and oils as after products but it still wasn't enough finally I just had to go get some super moisture body wash and quit using my homemade soaps in the winter.

Any suggestions? Would taking the coconut out completely help? Would a totally different formula? What about using KOH instead of NaOH?

If anyone wants to help me figure out a good formulation here are the oils I have at home. If I don't have them currently The only other oils I have quick enough access to are found at grocery stores.

Have on hand:
liquid lanolin
Castor oil
Olive oil
Shea butter
Coconut oil
and if it's not rancid the sweet almond

Thanks so much for your help
x-posted to craftgrrl, and Soap_making
21st-Dec-2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
The sweet almond oil usually smells light and sweet when fresh and sort of sharp when rancid. I guess musty would be a way to describe it. It definitely doesn't smell sweet or almondy anymore. When the bottle I had went rancid, the texture of the oil became somewhat sticky and the colour looked darker.
21st-Dec-2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
Chances are the almond oil is bad. My husband is fairly knowledgeable so I'll get back to you once I've asked him about it if I'm wrong.

You should also consider keeping your oils in the fridge. That will help keep their medicinal potency longer. I don't know a whole lot about essential oils, but I did pick that much up from my husband taking his classes.
21st-Dec-2008 07:30 pm (UTC)
He wasn't much more helpful then the advice you've gotten already. He just repeated "you'd know" line. He did mention that if it'd been him that found it he'd throw it away if the bottle had been opened before being misplaced. If the bottle is still sealed up though, theoretically it could still be good.

You might be better off not using it and buying some new almond oil. Then you know you are working with some good oil, and you can compare it to your old oil.
24th-Dec-2008 03:00 am (UTC)
thanks I appreciate the advice. it probably is bad.
21st-Dec-2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
i don't know about the almond oil...i don't use it much, as i tend to try and be allegry aware.

but the dry skin thin has me wondering about a could things.

1. how high is your lye content?
2. are you putting your soap to shelf (cure) for at least 4 to six weeks before using it ~ lye sucks the moisture outta skin like a mofo.
3. and i wonder about the lard, only because i use vegetable shortening.

check online for a good simple recipe. try http://www.lyndenhouse.net/recipes.htm i took a class when i fist got started and came away with a huge recipe book & a dozen or so soaps for about the price of a few bars at Lush. i haven't made any soap for a few months (moved and everything is still packed away) but i am pretty sure the base i used most often was olive oil, shortnening and coconut oil( solid form) oops! i just realized you want to do HP and i am a CP kinda girl...the suggestions may still help you though.

happy soaping!!
24th-Dec-2008 02:59 am (UTC)
thanks I've been soaping for years. But I never really got the hang of CP. I used to either miss trace all together or it just never traced or false trace... arg!

I usually use a superfat of at least 10%

Lard is supposed to be very good at conditioning. and I've had trouble with veggie shorting in the past. Tho I think it was my fault mostly.

I think I'm going to try using a canola oil. I remember making some soap with it in the past and while it was soft I loved the way it made my skin feel.
21st-Dec-2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
You could make up a small test batch of something with the almond oil and see how it comes out. I wouldn't leave out the coconut oil. That's really good for your skin. What about glycerin?
21st-Dec-2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
It sounds to me that it is rancid. I agree with the "you'll know" concept. I think you should go buy a fresh bottle and compare the scents so that you will never forget how rancid oil smells.
22nd-Dec-2008 02:54 am (UTC)
Goth Rosary's lotions have been the only things that have saved my skin.
They smell delightful, too :P
22nd-Dec-2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
Seconding this!
22nd-Dec-2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
I love the deodorant too!
And the solid perfume.
And the incense.

I think I'd buy a unit each of Nocturnal EVERYTHING. :D
24th-Dec-2008 03:02 am (UTC)
So is this something I could get a recipe for?
24th-Dec-2008 04:40 am (UTC)
Nope. You can buy it from www.gothrosary.com, or use her list of ingredients to invent your own recipe.
22nd-Dec-2008 04:29 am (UTC)
I wouldn't leave out the coconut either. That's good stuff. I would, however, get rid of the lard ASAP. Admittedly, I know nothing about soap-making, but I do know about plant oils and they are really good for skin.

Have you tried using the coconut oil as a lotion? My skin gets awful in winter, but I rub it on after a warm shower and sit around in my bathrobe a while and I feel like a newborn babe! It's not greasy either, it soaks into the skin and just leaves you smooth.

I use Dr. Bronner's liquid soaps as body wash and I can't say they moisturize a lot but I'm not left looking dull and powdery like after sulfate-laden bodywashes either.
24th-Dec-2008 02:55 am (UTC)
coconut oils fantastic properties as an oil are primarily lost when it is saponofied. it becomes drying and is mainly used mostly because it creates a good hard bar that has fluffy bubbles.
22nd-Dec-2008 05:31 am (UTC)
Hey, glad to see a fellow soapmaker.

(1) What happens when oils are degraded over time is that they form compounds called short-chain fatty acids that smell horrible. The more of them there are, the worse the oil smells. Get some fresh almond oil and compare. If the old oil smells different, get rid of it. You can try using it in soap, but (1) any rancid smells may transfer and (2) its saponifying qualities will be altered. You are better off throwing it out, unless there is no noticeable change.

(2) you might want to try a castile soap (100% olive oil - you can find recipes online) and make sure that you aren't adding too much sodium hydroxide (lye), that your lye and water are very pure (no contaminating salts that may crystallize in or on top of the soaps), and that your soap is completely cured before you use it (I like to put my soap (in molds) wrapped in blankets in an insulated cooler for a few days after pouring it- this speeds up the rate at which your soap cures tremendously). If the pH of your soap is around neutral, and castile soap doesn't work for you, then the only suggestion I have is that you use a good moisturizer right after washing. I live in Alaska where the relative humidity in my house is super low- it doesn't matter how gentle my soap is, my skin dries out. But if I use a moisturizer right after I shower, my skin feels fine.
22nd-Dec-2008 05:36 am (UTC)
Oh, and by the way- coconut oil just makes a nice lather. It is very drying for your skin.

If you have problems with acne, try (1) an exfoliant- poppy seeds, crumbled dried herbs, cinnamon powder, corn meal- these can all make good exfoliants; and (2) try antimicrobial essential oils (not perfumes). Lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, these are all useful. Or you can also mix powdered myrrh in with something that blends with it. If you are not sure which essential oils or herbs to use, go to a herb shop you trust and ask the person behind the counter or an aromatherapist. Or try the Essential Oil Company (they sell very good quality oils, just google it, should come up). I think they will answer questions if the web pages are not informative enough.
24th-Dec-2008 02:53 am (UTC)
I don't have acne.

The problem with a high olive content soap is that sometimes it produces a slimy lather. no one has been able to explain why or what causes it but I've tried to keep my olive to less than half for that reason.

I mostly do HP. I can never seem to get CP right.

I do use lotions but it hasn't been enough. I'm trying some aloe in my new batch and I may use some high oleic cornola oil I remember making a batch with it a while back that was extremely moisturizing.
24th-Dec-2008 03:09 am (UTC)
The "slimy lather" is something I haven't experienced- but then I've always tried to stick with pomace olive oil, which is a little different from extra virgin olive oil. My 100% olive oil soaps don't foam up as much as when they contain coconut, but they are not "slimy" either.

Good luck!
24th-Dec-2008 03:13 am (UTC)
I am wondering if it's an HP think. maybe something in the fast cook. I try not to use EVOO but just get the bottles on the shelf that say olive oil, but I don't know if that's the same thing as pomace.

I used to have an awesome photo of the olive soap slime that I posted on the whisk soap forum but I haven't logged in there in years and I bet it's gone now.
23rd-Dec-2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
making a castile soap with what you have would probably help you avoid drying out. does it have to be in bar form or would you be satisfied with jarring it and using it in liquid form?

i'm not a soapmaker but i have some excellent liquid castile soap - olive oil works great for it ^^
24th-Dec-2008 02:54 am (UTC)
I might try some liquid soap soon. but it's more difficult and I've not made soap with KOH before and I'm a bit nervous.
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