Acid Citrik Neutralization

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visar0990

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Hello Everybody!

I have started to make liquid soap.My liquid soap ph was 11.
I decided to neutralize with citric acid.I neutralized the soap on hot temperature.Everything went fine.But after a few hours my soap turned into a milky colour.I don't know what is the problem?I have added too much citric acid or why?
 

Susie

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Hi visar0990!

I am not sure where you read or heard that soap was not supposed to be alkaline, but I assure you that it will either be alkaline, or it will be a synthetic detergent liquid. You see, all soap is alkaline. Liquid soap can easily range from pH 9-12 and be perfectly safe. Probably what you did by adding citric acid is "broke" the soap. That is, you over neutralized, and have separated the fatty acids from the watery liquid below. However, only time will tell.

If I were you, I would set this aside for a day or so, to see if it will clear up or not.

A better way to decide if soap needs neutralization is to "zap" test the paste. You simply rub your wet finger on the paste, then touch it to your tongue. If it ZAPS your tongue, then there is free lye that then needs neutralization.

Not all paste needs neutralization. The best way to avoid needing neutralization is to utilize a reputable lye calculator and a positive (0-3%) superfat. I am fond of summerbeemeadow.com and soapee.com. Both use my preferred 3:1 water/KOH ratio.
 

Seawolfe

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There is no pH neutral lye based soap. And some very gentle soaps are surprisingly alkaline.
I think the whole "pH" neutral thing was just a ploy by marketing to sell more detergent based soaps :)
 

TwoHippies

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In case you weren't trying to bring it neutral, but rather between 9 and 10:

Not all soaps will turn (or remain) clear. Also, citric acid is a bit more extreme than using, say, Sodium Tetraborate or Chloride, so there are more than likely some reactions happening (potassium citrate, etc) that could contribute to the clouding. Here's some things you could try to avoid it

1) Thicken with small amounts of table salt prior to addition of citric acid so the citric acid wont react as heavily.
2) Avoid the use of "butters" in liquid soap as they *will* cloud it. Shea butter is practically my second wife, but everything has it's place :)
3) Just accept the milky look. Most people I talk to think the perfectly clear soaps are "cheap looking". The slight pearlescent look is actually preferred!
 

topofmurrayhill

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Hello Everybody!

I have started to make liquid soap.My liquid soap ph was 11.
I decided to neutralize with citric acid.I neutralized the soap on hot temperature.Everything went fine.But after a few hours my soap turned into a milky colour.I don't know what is the problem?I have added too much citric acid or why?
The milky color is free fatty acids from adding too much citric acid. You can counteract this by adding more potassium hydroxide. Now that you have added an excess of citric acid, you will end up with a greater quantity of potassium citrate in the soap when you fix it.
 

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