Using Kokum butter
Can I switch Kokum butter for Palm oil in any recipe? This is my first time making soap and I dont want to mess it up or waste the ingredients. Thanks, Marianne
Since this is your first time making soap, I would suggest sticking to a simple recipe rather than experimenting quite yet. Get the feel for soap making using less expensive ingredients before risking such lovely pricey ones. Once you've got the hang of it, then go for it!
I haven't used Kokum Butter yet but it's soap making qualities are very similar to Palm oil.
Kokum Butter gets is hardness mainly from Stearic acid whereas Palm oil gets it's from Palmitic acid.
You may find it rather expensive to entirely replace Palm oil with Kokum Butter. Shea Butter, Mango Butter and Cocoa Butter can be used and all of those tend to be less expensive. A blend of multiple butters is very nice as well.
Another thing to note...Kokum, Mango and Cocoa butter all have higher combined palmitic acid/stearic acid amounts than Palm oil and Shea Butter.
Too high of an amount of those acids in a recipe can speed up saponification considerably....I once had a recipe go solid within minutes while still in the pot and then within a couple of more minutes it went straight to gel...very scarry.
Don't forget to always run your recipe through a soap calculator once you have changed it. You will need to recalculate the amount of sodium hydroxide needed.