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Sapo

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Greetings SMF crew.

Been devouring info for a while, first time poster. Tons of great info and helpful people here! I have some experience (CP, HP, LS) but some aspects still bug me :).

If someone has a moment to clarify the questions below (or direct me to answers), I'd be most grateful. In no particular order and/or importance:

Sorry for the wall of text :\.

HP/CP
I've read that saponification is only about 10-20% finished by the time trace is achieved in CP soap making, therefore adding superfats at that stage is largely the same as adding them at the beginning?

Is saponification in HP soap making completely concluded by the time we add superfats, or does the process continue during the curing period, like with CP, albeit on a smaller scale?

... If the above is true, is it correct to say that HP offers superior control over the soap's properties?

LS
Can LS be superfatted without emulsifiers (e.g. borax/PS80)? By this I mean; are clouding/separation (Are there any other consequences? Such as faster rancidity etc.?) avoidable without these additives? Is the point of superfatting LS identical to bar soap - avoiding any possibility of hydroxide excess and increasing emolliency/other properties? Is the superfat added after the cook, much like with HP?

Can LS be formulated exclusively out of "soft" oils? If one wanted to make LS out of local oils (mediterranean), using exclusively stuff like olive and sunflower oil?

When using soap calcs (various, I used soapee) and selecting 90% KOH purity (mine is 90.5%), one need not neutralize as per Failor's natural LS making (2000)?

Most LS recipes seem to use a 3:1 water to KOH ratio for the solution. What happens if you put more or less water (not so little as to prevent the KOH from not being able to dissolve, ofc)?

I used soapee, 90% setting, cooked and diluted everything - everything went as planned. For experimentation's sake and to follow Failor to the T, (allthough I suspect it was not needed) I added citric acid as a neutralizer. This immediatly produced white..... spermy looking, floating little bits in the soap. Any idea what that is? My best guess is that because due to mixing a recipe that already accounts for KOH impurity with a method (Failor) that handles the excess manually, fatty acid separation (de-soaping?) occured when citric acid hit the soap. Am I thinking correctly? Mind you, a 20% salt solution as a thickener did the same thing. Both of them produced floaties. After sequestration, many of the floaties disappeared.

GLS

Why does GLS achieve a thicker soap? Is it simply diluted less and the glycerin prevents separation/skin formation?
 

Susie

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Greetings SMF crew.

Been devouring info for a while, first time poster. Tons of great info and helpful people here! I have some experience (CP, HP, LS) but some aspects still bug me :).

If someone has a moment to clarify the questions below (or direct me to answers), I'd be most grateful. In no particular order and/or importance:

Sorry for the wall of text :\.
Hey and welcome! Glad to have you in the forum! Questions are more than welcome, and walls of text are forgiven instantly, as they are the best way to present multiple questions.

HP/CP
I've read that saponification is only about 10-20% finished by the time trace is achieved in CP soap making, therefore adding superfats at that stage is largely the same as adding them at the beginning?

Is saponification in HP soap making completely concluded by the time we add superfats, or does the process continue during the curing period, like with CP, albeit on a smaller scale?

... If the above is true, is it correct to say that HP offers superior control over the soap's properties?
Yes, HP offers the best control over the oil in the superfat. However, the soap's properties are controlled by the oils chosen and the amount of superfat.

LS
Can LS be superfatted without emulsifiers (e.g. borax/PS80)? By this I mean; are clouding/separation (Are there any other consequences? Such as faster rancidity etc.?) avoidable without these additives? Is the point of superfatting LS identical to bar soap - avoiding any possibility of hydroxide excess and increasing emolliency/other properties? Is the superfat added after the cook, much like with HP?
Yes, you can superfat up to 3% without emulsifiers. Superfat is added up front in the recipe, not at the end. If you add oils after the paste gels, you run the risk of separation. Yes, the point of superfatting for LS is the same as for bar soap.

Can LS be formulated exclusively out of "soft" oils? If one wanted to make LS out of local oils (mediterranean), using exclusively stuff like olive and sunflower oil?
Yes, but it is not going to be the best liquid soap, in my opinion. I like the lather when I add some coconut and castor oils.

When using soap calcs (various, I used soapee) and selecting 90% KOH purity (mine is 90.5%), one need not neutralize as per Failor's natural LS making (2000)?
True. No need to neutralize soap with a 0 or more superfat.

Most LS recipes seem to use a 3:1 water to KOH ratio for the solution. What happens if you put more or less water (not so little as to prevent the KOH from not being able to dissolve, ofc)?
If you use less than 3:1 water ratio, the paste is hard and difficult to stir. If you use more (even 4:1), it takes forever to get emulsified and to paste stage.

I used soapee, 90% setting, cooked and diluted everything - everything went as planned. For experimentation's sake and to follow Failor to the T, (allthough I suspect it was not needed) I added citric acid as a neutralizer. This immediatly produced white..... spermy looking, floating little bits in the soap. Any idea what that is? My best guess is that because due to mixing a recipe that already accounts for KOH impurity with a method (Failor) that handles the excess manually, fatty acid separation (de-soaping?) occured when citric acid hit the soap. Am I thinking correctly? Mind you, a 20% salt solution as a thickener did the same thing. Both of them produced floaties. After sequestration, many of the floaties disappeared.
Yes, you over neutralized the soap and got separation.


GLSWhy does GLS achieve a thicker soap? Is it simply diluted less and the glycerin prevents separation/skin formation?
I do not know for sure, so wait for one of the more sciencey folks to come answer. However, my thought is that the glycerin is simply more thick to start with. The glycerin does not prevent skin formation, you still need the correct amount of water to dilute. The correct amount just happens to be less.

Also, if you are referring to IrishLass' recipe in particular, it is higher in olive oil and the fatty acids in there simply require less water to dilute as compared to coconut oil.
 

Sapo

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Yes, you can superfat up to 3% without emulsifiers. Superfat is added up front in the recipe, not at the end. If you add oils after the paste gels, you run the risk of separation. Yes, the point of superfatting for LS is the same as for bar soap.
are EOs part of the superfatting percentage?

Yes, but it is not going to be the best liquid soap, in my opinion. I like the lather when I add some coconut and castor oils.
Yeah true forgot about that, thanks. What would you (and others) consider the minimum amount of coconut/castor required?

Also, if you are referring to IrishLass' recipe in particular, it is higher in olive oil and the fatty acids in there simply require less water to dilute as compared to coconut oil.
I've seen it around but I suck at navigating the forum for some reason, can't find it.
 

kchaystack

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are EOs part of the superfatting percentage?
Nope, EO's do not saponify.



Yeah true forgot about that, thanks. What would you (and others) consider the minimum amount of coconut/castor required?
5% is the minimum for oils. For coconut, most people seem to use at least 10% if they are going to use it at all.


I've seen it around but I suck at navigating the forum for some reason, can't find it.
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=57974
 

Sapo

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What does LS & GLS mean?
Liquid soap/glycerin liquid soap

One more question (thanks to everyone for the clarifications so far!):

It was my understanding that Failor intentionally used a lye excess (of about 10%?). It was also my understanding that the soap calculators we use account for the standard impurities of KOH (unlike Failor), thus making neutralization unnecessary.

Why then, do you basically get the same recipe from the calculators as from the book?

E.g. from the book:
48 oz. olive oil
10 oz. KOH
30 oz. water


soapee:
48 oz. olive oil
10.13 oz. KOH
30.4 oz. water


soap calc:
48 oz. olive oil
10.13 oz. KOH
30.4 oz. water


summerbeemeadow:
48 oz. olive oil
9.77 oz. KOH
29.32 oz water


Confused :confused:
 

IrishLass

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Welcome Sapo! :wave:

Susie gave you great answers, but I just wanted to add something extra.....

Is saponification in HP soap making completely concluded by the time we add superfats, or does the process continue during the curing period, like with CP, albeit on a smaller scale?
Saponification is complete in HP when the cooked batter no longer zaps (the ideal time in which to add your superfatting oil), but complete saponification is only the beginning.... other things happen inside the soap matrix during cure, things such as the organization of the crystalline structure, and a slight decrease of the pH, etc... all of which help any soap, whether CP or HP, become more mild over time and achieve better lathering abilities, etc....


LS
Can LS be superfatted without emulsifiers (e.g. borax/PS80)? By this I mean; are clouding/separation (Are there any other consequences? Such as faster rancidity etc.?) avoidable without these additives? Is the point of superfatting LS identical to bar soap - avoiding any possibility of hydroxide excess and increasing emolliency/other properties? Is the superfat added after the cook, much like with HP?
It's as Susie said- yes. I superfat (up front) one of my formulas at 3% without the addition of PS80, and the soap is great- no separation or rancidity or anything like that. However, I have another formula that I superfat 3% up front and about 4% after the fact, but I do add a little PS80 with that one because it separates if I don't.

GLS

Why does GLS achieve a thicker soap? Is it simply diluted less and the glycerin prevents separation/skin formation?
I do not know about the why, I just know that it does. lol

Sapo said:
What would you (and others) consider the minimum amount of coconut/castor required?
I'm a bubbly lather lover, so I like to use more than the average person rather than less. My minimum when it comes to my liquid soap is 25%. That's the amount I use in the formula that I make with 65% olive oil and 10% castor, superfatted at 3%. In the other formula that I make (my creamy cocoa shea formula), I use 35% CO, superfatted at about 7%.


Susie said:
Also, if you are referring to IrishLass' recipe in particular, it is higher in olive oil and the fatty acids in there simply require less water to dilute as compared to coconut oil.
Actually, I've found my 100% coconut oil GLS needs very little water to dilute indeed- amazingly so: 74% paste to 26% water.


IrishLass :)
 

Susie

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Actually, I've found my 100% coconut oil GLS needs very little water to dilute indeed- amazingly so: 74% paste to 26% water.-IrishLass :)
Is your dilution method the same as for GLS, just with smaller amounts of water?
 

topofmurrayhill

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When using soap calcs (various, I used soapee) and selecting 90% KOH purity (mine is 90.5%), one need not neutralize as per Failor's natural LS making (2000)?
Failor didn't account for the typical moisture content of KOH. We assume 90% caustic strength and add additional to compensate. Failor assumes 100% caustic strength and adds additional to assure complete saponification. That's why her KOH amounts and ours are the same.

Why does GLS achieve a thicker soap? Is it simply diluted less and the glycerin prevents separation/skin formation?
The answer to this is actually in Failor's book. She uses glycerin and/or alcohol and sugar as solubilizers that can help with clarity ("sequestering agents") as well as for creating gels or thicker liquid soap. It works because glycerin is a better soap solvent than water and decreases the amount of liquid needed for dilution.

The way people use glycerin now enhances clarity with less concern about complete saponification, and produces slightly thicker soap because of its solvent properties. We also take advantage of these properties to make the paste more easily by adding glycerin up front. Failor doesn't use glycerin for that, but has an alcohol method that is based on the same principle.
 

Sapo

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Failor didn't account for the typical moisture content of KOH. We assume 90% caustic strength and add additional to compensate. Failor assumes 100% caustic strength and adds additional to assure complete saponification. That's why her KOH amounts and ours are the same.
Understood. But wouldn't the fact that we're adding the same amounts mean that she always over-neutralizes in her recipes (since we don't have to)?

I'm a bubbly lather lover, so I like to use more than the average person rather than less. My minimum when it comes to my liquid soap is 25%. That's the amount I use in the formula that I make with 65% olive oil and 10% castor, superfatted at 3%. In the other formula that I make (my creamy cocoa shea formula), I use 35% CO, superfatted at about 7%.
Isn't everyone :mrgreen:? I'm gonna attempt 0%, 25% and 35% CO Lsoaps then. Made a 50-50 (CO+OO) and it's quite epic, but I'm really gonna try and see just how far I'm able to stretch it.

Actually, I've found my 100% coconut oil GLS needs very little water to dilute indeed- amazingly so: 74% paste to 26% water.
Dang, that is some concentrated stuff.

It's as Susie said- yes. I superfat (up front) one of my formulas at 3% without the addition of PS80, and the soap is great- no separation or rancidity or anything like that.
At 3% the clarity is unaffected, I assume?
 

topofmurrayhill

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Understood. But wouldn't the fact that we're adding the same amounts mean that she always over-neutralizes in her recipes (since we don't have to)?
You would think so. I can't explain why it seemed to work for her. When I initially made LS Failor-style I calculated the lye excess in addition to assuming 90% caustic strength and that seemed to work out well. I suppose LS is actually fairly forgiving of variations in formulation.
 

IrishLass

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Is your dilution method the same as for GLS, just with smaller amounts of water?

Yes, although I should make mention that this particular dilution rate is based on having dissolved my KOH in glycerin, as opposed to mixing the KOH 50/50 with water before adding my usual/full complement of glycerin.

IrishLass :)
 

Sapo

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Random question time...

From Dr. Bronner's website:

Citric Acid
Citric Acid is used in our soaps to adjust the pH level and help “superfat” them, making them more moisturizing. The Citric Acid used in our soaps is Non-GMO verified.
They are probably formulating the soap with a lye excess, otherwise that statement doesn't make much sense, right? A 0% lye excess soap would have the same pH as one neutralized by CA, right?
 

TheDragonGirl

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Random question time...

From Dr. Bronner's website:
Citric Acid
Citric Acid is used in our soaps to adjust the pH level and help “superfat” them, making them more moisturizing. The Citric Acid used in our soaps is Non-GMO verified.



They are probably formulating the soap with a lye excess, otherwise that statement doesn't make much sense, right? A 0% lye excess soap would have the same pH as one neutralized by CA, right?
I think this: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=60408 actually talks about what they're doing with that!
 

Susie

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They are using a very low superfat to start with, possibly even a lye excess. Then "neutralizing" or superfatting by adding citric acid later. I say skip the extra steps and start off with a superfat.
 

topofmurrayhill

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They are probably formulating the soap with a lye excess, otherwise that statement doesn't make much sense, right? A 0% lye excess soap would have the same pH as one neutralized by CA, right?
Making soap involves breaking up the oil molecules into their constituent fatty acids, which react with the alkali to become the sodium (for bar soap) or potassium (for ls) salts of fatty acids. Adding an acid shifts the equilibrium of this reaction so that there is less soap and more free fatty acid. Fatty acids are basically liberated from the soap as you partially reverse the the saponification reaction.

Residual fats in soap or free fatty acids in soap are both called a superfat. Fats and fatty acids can both contribute emollient properties. The difference with a fatty acid superfat is that it results in a soap with a lower pH.

You don't need a lye excess to neutralize the soap with citric acid. You can use a lye discount and perhaps have residual oil, so adding an acid would give you both types of superfat, residual oil and fatty acids.

You can neutralize the soap to any pH you want, but as you go lower you have less soap and more fatty acid. Taking it too far is counterproductive.
 
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Sapo

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Understood, but wouldn't the partial reversion of the saponification process be apparent, if they actually did it? Their soap is clear and in my tests the "overneutralization" resulted in white floating/blobs of FFAs - which in my tests either float on top, or can be sort of emulsified back into the whole thing by reheating (neither scenario seems to be the case in Dr. B's).

Which leads one to believe they might just be countering the lye excess, like Susie said? More specifically, it is my assumption that they are possibly using it as a chelator? Which is kind of what I'm researching right now, because I want to do it...but I don't know how much CA to add! Any ideas? I'm aware I'll need to add 8.42 KOH for every 10g citric-allthough I don't know if 90% KOH is what is used for that calculation.

For giggles, I tried adding a massive amount of CA, achieved 50% separation, heated the sucker up and made LS that went from clear amber to completely white and useless (the FFAs are so sticky that it takes 10min of scrubbing with dishwashing detergent to get them off).

Thanks for the thread DragonGirl, will devour it now.
 

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