3 LS questions

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goodjoan

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Sorry if these are stupid newbie questions, I did search and couldn't find the exact answers. I don't normally make liquid soap, I'm more of an intermediate CP soaper :) I've made LS before, but never anything complicated and never colored or scented or thickened.

Anyway, I made a batch of liquid soap paste using the tutorial by IrishLass. I ran out of glycerine so I subbed in distilled water for about half of the liquid portion. No troubles there, the soap paste came together just fine. It's 100% coconut oil with a 3% superfat using soapcalcs calculations for 90% KOH. It's resting happily wrapped in a few thick towels. It's beautifully translucent but still a bit zappy. I'll poke at it tomorrow. I'm not concerned about the soap paste.

My questions are these-

When I dilute this, I'd like to add a little fragrance oil. The tutorial says 1:1 with polysorbate 80. I don't have polysorbate 80 on hand but I do have some ewax that I got from SPwax dot com. Could I use that to emulsify the FO into the diluted soap? And if so, how much wax to FO? I'm not concerned so much about the cloudiness or clarity of the soap when its mixed. I wouldn't be sad if it thickened it a little.

I'm hoping to give some of the diluted soap to a friend to try. (I have insurance.) And I worry the kids might drop it in the sink or possibly contaminate it in some way. Should I add a preservative? Does it need one? I've never had an issue with spoilage in my diluted soaps but I don't want to start with a sample I give to a friend! A quick google says phenonip would work in a high pH product, but that it's deactivated by polysorbate 80. I feel like I'm chasing my tail a little bit!

Help? Be gentle!
Thanks so much!
 

Susie

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I do not use preservatives. I have never used preservatives. I have a bottle of liquid soap that is over 2 years old with no growth of anything visible under a microscope. I give my liquid soap away with no hesitation. However, if I sold I would use a preservative.

You do not have to have polysorbate 80 to add fragrance oil. I add mine to warm, diluted soap with no problems. If you add a superfat after dilution of the soap, you will need PS80.

I would not use ewax in liquid soap. However, I have never tried it, so if you did a small sample for a trial, you may want to tell us what it does.

Congratulations on a successful batch!
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
.

My questions are these-

When I dilute this, I'd like to add a little fragrance oil. The tutorial says 1:1 with polysorbate 80. I don't have polysorbate 80 on hand but I do have some ewax that I got from SPwax dot com. Could I use that to emulsify the FO into the diluted soap? And if so, how much wax to FO? I'm not concerned so much about the cloudiness or clarity of the soap when its mixed. I wouldn't be sad if it thickened it a little.
Hi GoodJoan! :) I've never used e-wax to emulsify my FO's into my liquid soap, but my thoughts are that it would be very tricky since e-wax is solid and needs to be melted, whereas PS80 is liquid.

You may or may not be able to get by without using an emulsifier at all with the FO- it depends on which FO and how much you use of it. YMMV, but for what it's worth, during the few instances I've experimented with forgoing the PS80 when adding my FO, the soap would look great for a few months, but then the FO would eventually precipitate out and float on top of the soap, so I always use it as a precaution.

Should I add a preservative? Does it need one?
You'll get different opinions with many good, intelligent voices who stand on opposite sides of the fence on this subject, but for what it's worth, I stand with Susie- I also don't use a preservative in my liquid soap, and I also don't sell, although I do gift my liquid soap to certain of my trusted family and friends.

If I did sell, I would use one- not because I think it inherently needs it, but because I would have no idea how the buyer would treat it once they got home. For example, what if they decide to super-dilute the soap down with tap water and put it in a foamer bottle to so that they could extend it? That's the main kind of scenario that in my mind would justify me adding a preservative.

For what it's worth, I still have samples of some of my batches of liquid soap on my shelf that go back to 2012, and they are all perfectly fine.


IrishLass :)
 

DeeAnna

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"....during the few instances I've experimented with forgoing the PS80 when adding my FO, the soap would look great for a few months, but then the FO would eventually precipitate out and float on top of the soap, so I always use it as a precaution...."

This is a great example of "your mileage may vary!" I am not quibbling with your experience, IL, but I have to say my experience is similar to Susie's in that I've never yet had FOs or EOs separate from my diluted LS. Now I've seen FOs and EOs thicken or thin the diluted soap, definitely. But they haven't separated out.

I have a large container of diluted LS right now that was made up and scented in mid-September, 2015. There is no sign of separation of the FO from the soap. Ditto for the LS in a long-forgotten pump bottle -- probably 2 years old. I've had other batches of diluted soap that have sat around for months (but I've used 'em up, so I can't go look at them right now), and I have not noticed separation with them either. I've used a variety of EOs and FOs in my LS, so it's not like I'm only scenting with one product either.

I'd say my point of view is this -- I test an FO or EO scent in a small amount of diluted LS to see how it behaves at least up front. Does it thicken or thin the LS? Does the color or texture change? Does the opacity or transparency change? If the scent seems to behave itself, then I would normally scent a larger batch for long-term use without any PS80. If the scent then separates out with time -- and I'm not saying it won't, just that I haven't observed it to happen for me -- then PS80 is certainly an ingredient to solve that problem. And take notes for future use.
 

Susie

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People are probably cringing at the thought of our old liquid soaps, but none of us sell, so the only people we are "endangering" are our families and ourselves.

I test any new scents in very small batches, also. Just makes sense to me. I do keep good notes, though.
 

goodjoan

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I'm not selling it now, but if the person that asked for it likes it, I would sell it to him in the future. In the short term, he's my product tester, since it's something he specifically asked for. I have a TON of paste now, and plan to dilute a handful into 4-6oz bottles. I'll try a few scents and I'll watch for separation or other issues. They will live here in my soap room as experiments. If I do sell it, maybe I can skip the PS80, add the phenonip, and put a note on the label to shake well before use. I'd be much more concerned about a product that got moldy or spoiled than one that simply separated and looked funny.

If it really needs PS80, is there another preservative that would work in liquid soap? Phenonip says no PS80.

I'm tempted to try the ewax, because its here. Melt it and mix it with the FO and add to the soap while it's being warmed to dilute it. I'll let you know what happens if I get the nerve to try it! I'm sure in the long run it's not an affordable solution but I got the wax free as a sample thinking I was going to make lotions to go with my soaps, then I decided that was reinventing the wheel and I didn't have the time or the energy!

Thanks for your help! This last batch, using glycerine, came together so quickly and easily I am tempted to make more and more often!

People are probably cringing at the thought of our old liquid soaps,
I recently reorganized my soaping supplies and found a gallon jug 1/4 of diluted soap that has been hiding for months! Probably over a year! I thought the kids had used it up, apparently they just put it away! It looks fine. Same color, same consistency. Still too watery :)
 
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DeeAnna

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I use Liquid Germall Plus as a preservative in my diluted liquid soap. That's an off-label usage, yes, but is based on a recommendation by a cosmetic chemist with knowledge in this area. Its the only alternative to Suttocide that I know of for use in LS. I don't believe Phenonip is rated for high pH environments -- even an off-label rating. I don't use preservative in the paste.
 

goodjoan

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I'm basing most of my observations on this post
http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/tips-and-tricks/perfectly-preserved/
as it has a good breakdown of several products with more information than any of the suppliers seem to have easily available but obviously, it's only the products BB carries. I just looked at suttocide and that may be the idea solution. It looks like it should work for the soap, as well as some other non soap things I've got on my idea list and it seems like it plays well with PS80. Since I never jumped into the cosmetic/personal care side, I havent had to consider emulsifiers and preservatives till just now!

I need a pot of coffee and an evening with swiftcraftymonkey to hammer out the chemistry of what I'm trying to make, outside the soap, so that its safe and functional.

Thanks so much for the help! There's so much crappy information on the internet, I know you folks are smart and honest and wont pull any punches if I'm doing something stupid!
 

Soapmaker145

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You don't need a preservative for liquid soap for 2 reasons. The pH is too high to support "life" and liquid soap even when diluted is too concentrated a surfactant to allow the growth of microbes. If you ever have something growing in LS even if it sits for years on the shelf, it means you made a mistake in formulating or making your soap. Why use more chemicals than you need?
 

goodjoan

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ok NOW I have stupid newbie question :)

The paste is cool, translucent and looks lovely. I zap tested it and its not zappy, not like I expect with CP soap. But after the initial touch, it does have a slightly burning "aftertaste" like having just licked a spicy pepper. My initial thought this morning was "Oh it is sweet!...ooh, ow!" It's still done, right? I'm burning because its highly concentrated and all coconut, right?
 

dosco

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You don't need a preservative for liquid soap for 2 reasons. The pH is too high to support "life" and liquid soap even when diluted is too concentrated a surfactant to allow the growth of microbes. If you ever have something growing in LS even if it sits for years on the shelf, it means you made a mistake in formulating or making your soap. Why use more chemicals than you need?

That seems to go against some of the other comments in the thread. Can those that use preservatives in their diluted soap respond to this?

-Dave
 

Soapmaker145

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I'd rather not if I can help it! I just worry about people using it wrong and suing me later!
If people are going to use your soap in a wrong way, the preservative may not help you much. How do you know that the preservative will be active after people modify or dilute the soap you gave them? Using this argument in a court of law means that you will have to provide "proof" that the preservative can function as intended using properly designed and carefully executed and documented studies which I don't think you have. It can make a bad situation worse.

If you are worried about getting sued, I suggest you spend an hour consulting with a lawyer. A simple "do not dilute" or "use as is" on the label will offer you more protection than a preservative that you haven't tested and reduces your liability if people misuse your product. It shifts the burden of proof to the user. A use by date will also be helpful. I'm not a lawyer and I don't sell. A lawyer will be able to modify your labels to include proper disclaimers. In any case, get used to adding lot numbers to your products and saving an aliquot of every lot for a reasonable length of time, just in case you need it.

I'm not trying to convince you to use or not to use a preservative. I'm just telling you that you need to think through your arguments carefully and set up standard operating procedures that offer you the protection you need.
 

goodjoan

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That is good advice. The more I pondered it last night, I was thinking even if I did put a preservative in it, if it fell in the sink and got more diluted or something like that, the preservative wouldn't be at the right ratio and might not work anyway. I don't expect people would use it wrong, but there's a reason your hairdryer has a tag that says "Do not use under water." As long as its safe and doesn't spoil with normal use and normal circumstances, the liquid soap should be safe to go as is. I do think some label warnings are smart. Do not dilute, discontinue if irritation occurs, etc. I'm diluting it now and once its full diluted, I have several bottles that I plan to fill and test with various scents, as well as just leave one or two the shelf to see how it behaves over the next several months. I wouldn't put it in my shop until I was certain it would behave. This was just a specific request so I'd like to be able to hand over a sample/tester soon, at least to that one person.
 

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