Red Palm Oil Soap

Continuing on my palm oil theme of the afternoon, we’re going to use red palm oil in this batch.  This is the unrefined form of palm oil and it’s really more a carroty orange, which it gets from being loaded with carotenes. Red palm oil has the same saponification value (SAP value) as its bleached counterpart, so you put it in the lye calculator under plain ol’ “palm oil.”

  • 301 g red palm oil
  • 360 g olive oil
  • 207 g coconut oil (76F)
  • 30 g castor oil
  • 125 g lye (for 6% superfat)
  • 297 g water

Saponification value is the amount of potassium hydroxide it takes to convert some quantity of fats to soap, based on the average molecular weight of those fats.  We use, for solid soaps, sodium hydroxide.  To figure out how much sodium hydroxide, our usual lye, we have to use, we would have to divide by the ratio of the molecular weights of the sodium and potassium hydroxides.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I use a calculator.

Here’s how it looks when it’s done cooking and ready to go in the molds.  Tonight, we’re trying amaretto fragrance oil.  I got a batch of fragrance oils from Bulk Apothecary and some of them spilled in transit, but they very kindly gave me much more store credit than I had lost.  The kitchen smells wonderful and the suds that came out of the crock pot when I washed it out were absolutely luxurious, which bodes well for the final product.

Here it is just before going into molds.

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And here is a finished, if still slightly soft, next to a bar from another batch made with annatto seeds for color.  Can you tell the difference?  I really can’t.  It’s got the most glorious smell and lather.

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