Does Anyone Know A Very Slow Tracing Recipe

by Christine

Does anyone know of a fool-proof 'slow tracing' recipe? I would love to try doing some swirls but by the time I mix the colours to the trace, my recipes always seem to thicken up too quickly.

Sometimes the mixture thickens within one minute after adding the lye and stick blending for only a 5 second burst(esp. on recipe 2)! I can't blame the fragrance there. Here are 2 recipes I used:

Recipe 1

100g coconut oil
100g unrefined palm oil
100g olive pomace
10g avocado oil
10g almond oil
20g soybean
10g castor
10g unrefined shea

Recipe 2

50% coconut
20% castor
20% olive pomace
5% almond
5% avocado

On both recipes, I warmed the butters with the oils at the same time. Would this affect it?

Would prefer a vegan recipe please.


I can see right away what the problem is! Here is a list of some of the oils that tend to trace quite quickly in soap making:

Babassu Oil
Coconut Oil
Castor Oil
Cocoa Butter
Palm Oil
Palm Kernel Oil
Pomace Oil
Shea Butter

In recipe #1, 89% of the oils are quick tracing oils.

In recipe #2, 90% percent of the oils are quick tracing.

My suggestion would be to substitute the pomace oil with Grade A or B olive oil and if that isn't enough for recipe #2, you may want to bring down the percentages of coconut oil and castor oil and increase the olive oil.

Good luck,

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Very slow trace
by: Anonymous

I use 40% shea and 60% olive oil. Although you are able to have a slow trace with almost any oils, provided you have the right technique.
Try room temperature soaping. You measure out the hard oils and chop them into little bits in one bowl. You measure out your liquid oils seperately. Reserve your additives to one side, such as colours and FO's. You make your lye water, and as soon as it loses it's cloudiness, pour it onto your hard oils. Keep whisking! ( Not stick blending).The hard oils will melt from the heat exchange with the lye. As soon as they are fully melted, go ahead and add your liquid oils.
This is where your chemistry comes into play. Because you are at such a low temperature, you can stick blend until thin trace, but saponification is very slowly building at this stage, so you usually have upwards of 20 minutes to play. You MUST not blend past THIN trace, or your soap will be a little too goopy for fancier moulds, and no amount of bench tapping will help. Some FO's and colours will still cause seizure, but this is where you play around.
Hope this helps you!

Slow Trace Recipe
by: Christine UK

Your answer has made things much clearer for me. Hope it also helps anyone else who is just dying to try out all the different soaping techniques that require a very light trace which gives you plenty of time to add your colourants, EOs/FOs, and add design/style to your soap's appearance, making it aesthetically pleasing

%age of Slow/Fast Oils for Slow Trace Recipe?
by: Christine

Thanks for speedy reply. As a newbie, and strapped for cash, can someone suggest a guide as to the ratio of how much slow and fast tracing oils should be used in a recipe to guarantee a slow trace mixture i.e 60% slow tracing oils to 40% non-slow tracing oils? Any advice will be much appreciated.


It's hard to give a definite ratio since each oil is different. Even though coconut oil and cocoa butter are two faster tracing oils, they still will trace at different rates.

If you tried making a soap with 40% coconut oil and 60% olive oil, it would not trace as fast as one made with 40% cocoa butter and 60% olive oil.

The other problem is "How slow do you want the soap to trace?" A recipe with 100% olive oil will take quite some time to reach trace. Once you start adding in coconut, palm and castor oils the soap will trace faster.

I suggest trying my Basic Recipe and omitting the optional ingredients. See if that is slow enough for you. If it isn't, reduce the amount of the palm oil and coconut oil by 5% each and up the olive oil by 10%. Keep experimenting until you get what you are looking for. Remember to run the recipe through a lye calculator every time you change it.

I know that experimenting can be expensive, especialy while you are trying to find the perfect recipe but in my experience experimentation often plays a big part in soap making. I find the key to keeping the cost down is to take lots of notes. And I mean lots.

For every recipe you try you should be writing down every detail you can think of about what you used, how you used it and the end results. That way you can see what to do (or not to do) next time.

Good luck,

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