Melting Castile Soap, Question, Help
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Ok so I have some recipes that require you to melt down castile soap, the one you buy at the health food or supermarket kind not the melt and pour kind.
I can only find the coco (coconut oil) castile near me and not the olive oil.
The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of distilled water to infuse your herbs and then you use that water to melt the shredded soap.
The thing is that just when I add the first bit (it says to add a little at a time) it seems to absorb all the water quickly (yes on low heat) and the soap does not melt, it instead clumps up and gets sticky and there doesn't seem to be enough water for the rest of the soap.
I found some other recipes online......the one I have if for 4oz and 1/4 water.....I found the online ones to either call for the same amount of water or one for 8oz of soap and 1/2 cup of water. Some say to melt in the microwave (have not tried that yet).
So my questions are
Is 1/4 enough for 4oz or does it need more? Would it be better to melt in the microwave?
What exactly does melted castle look like as it doesn't seem to melt pourable but rather a think paste almost clay like texture you could mold with your hands......is this correct?
Would the olive oil castile melt different from the coco one or does it not matter since they are made up of basically the same thing just the oils are different.
Thanks for any help
Posted at 12:17pm Mar 5, 2010 EST
Reduce, what do you need the soap for? What kind of recipe is it?
If it is real soap, it won't melt into a "liquid" state. You might be able to get it to turn into a gel, but paste may be as good as it gets.
And in this soaper's humble opinion, it isn't castille if it has anything but olive oil in it. =] But the addition of the coconut oil wouldn't make a difference in its melt-ability.
Feel free to convo me if I can help.
Posted at 12:38pm Mar 5, 2010 EST
ok so it is suppose to get into a paste state....that makes sense now, I just don't see how the 1/4 cup of water is enough to melt it though.
I did however try the 1/2 cup recipe with the 8oz shredded and noticed a difference in the melting and turning of paste I did however add a bit more water in 1/4 intervals and 1 oz intervals of shredded until I had almost 12oz of shredded melted into the paste. It was easy to pack into a simple milk carton mold I made.
I am trying my hand on some recipes I found for my other shop......testing the waters right now with these......I am a scaredie cat for lye and kinda clumsy so I don't trust myself to go the from scratch route...I am not comfortable with it.
I really didn't want to have to buy the melt and pour castile base so I am trying this one, just wish it had some pictures to get a visual of what it should look like more or less according to this recipe.
4oz shredded bar castile (should be olive oil but can't find it local yet)
1/4 cup dried oats
1/4 cup distilled water
I subsituted the dried herbs with tea bags instead as there is a note next to the recipe that you can do that.
and a few drops of vitamin E
You can use jojoba oil or green tea oil about 1 tablespoon but I have to get my hands on some....I don't think that would make a big difference in the melting as it's added after not during.
My biggest thing is/was really the melting process.
So far the top dried fine, left it over night and peeled off the carton and not letting it fully "cure" just hoping it will. The water got me a little nervous.
Posted at 1:01pm Mar 5, 2010 EST
By standards I believe a bar has to have 72% or more olive oil or more to be considered castile. Anything else is not castile.
if it is real soap it will melt into a paste.
If you want to try your hand at making a real castile bar, why not try making it yourself? I think the end result would be much more rewarding.
There are also sites out there that sell rebatch castile soap if you don't want to mess with lye.
Posted at 2:29pm Mar 5, 2010 EST
This has been very helpful, now I know no need to panic at the melted paste......I wasn't actually sure what real soap looked like melted as I have never tried it.
I have a bunch of sites saved I will have to see if they have any rebatched cause all I found last night were the melt and pour castile......I do melt and pour but really didn't want to have to with the castile.
It is amazing the debate on what is and what isn't real castile but I am a believer of the olive oil one being REAL castile I just need to find it, lol.
Posted at 2:36pm Mar 5, 2010 EST
I will say that if you dont want to use lye..and I cant blame you :)
you can purchase 'rebatch' bases..which is cold process soap that is already shredded or ready for shredding..
heres an example..
I dont have anything against store bought soaps but sometimes you just NEVER know..
Posted at 10:00pm Mar 5, 2010 EST
Thanks for all the advice
The store bought I got is a very well known brand been around for many years...kirk's and the ingredients are all natural nothing extra and it's very environment and animal friendly. :0)
Well the grating worked, yay, and I used the microwave this time and it came out the way it should an nice workable paste. I found a recipe that used soy milk instead of the water....I used organic reduced fat milk and just 1/4 cup of water because I didn't do 4oz I did 6oz.....brewed a chamoile tea bag and lavender buds in it. This back has the light honey like color instead of that dark brownish I got from the other but I think that was due to the teas I used that tinted it.
I am happy with this batch of lavender oatmeal...it's packed (in the mold) and cooling.
I think the problem is that some recipes are not exactly worded correctly....like shredded should be grated or processed (like in a food processor) and some say pour and some say pack.....the correct one would be pack as in "pack the paste into the mold" not "pour the mixture into the mold".....it makes it confusing for newbies especially those like me who are more visual learners....yes I need pictures it helps a lot.
thanks again everyone :0)
Posted at 11:46pm Mar 5, 2010 EST
I recommend melt and pour soap if you don't like the idea of lye - melting down a real bar of soap tends to just make a slimy mess. You can melt your shreds just a bit with a tidge of water and glop it in a mold, but it'll be chunky and gloopy no matter what you do. :)
Melt and pour soap will melt smoothly though, and make a much prettier bar.
Posted at 12:41am Mar 6, 2010 EST