Another vinegar thread

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TeresaT

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I initially posted this on TOMH's vinegar thread, but deleted it because the last entry was in April. Besides, it really is different.

Thanks in advance for the help!


I love using vinegar in my soap, but I also prefer using 50% master batched solution. I soap at 33.333% and when I use vinegar, I make it fresh each time. That's getting old because I want to use it in every batch and hate making solution every time. There is powdered vinegar (it has a bit of maltodextrine in it) that I've been thinking of using. Would I use the .49 gram per 1 gram ratio NaOH:vinegar if I use the powder? Use 4.9 grams of extra NaOH for every 10 grams of vinegar powder I use?

So, if I want 2% sodium acetate in my soap, I would add 20 grams of vinegar powder to my dilution water and 9.8 grams NaOH to my 50% solution before mixing the two? I don't mind adding a small amount of extra NaOH eack time I use vinegar. But mixing a new batch each time is annoying for me because I am a lazy person.

I know there has to be a way to use distilled white vinegar as the extra liquid for the master batched solution, but I have no idea how I would do that. I was thinking of master batching the solution using vinegar, but that's a disaster waiting to happen. I'm not that scientifically adept. Powdered vinegar seems to be the best solution (no pun intended) for me.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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If using a powder that needs more lye, use enough extra 50% solution and lower your diluting water to allow for that.

So if you need 10g more lye, use 20g more solution and 10g less "extra water"
 

Steve85569

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What I do is to simply neutralize a gallon of vinegar at a time and keep it in the fridge.
Since you are masterbatching your lye you could masterbatch the vinegar into a 50% solution. I have a 5% acetic vinegar multiplier in my soap making notebook but I don't have it memorized so I won't try and share the wrong number with you.
The multiplier works by weight of vinegar solution as a straight "add this much lye" converter.
Let me know if you think that will work for you and I'll round up my notebook.
 

TeresaT

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If using a powder that needs more lye, use enough extra 50% solution and lower your diluting water to allow for that.

So if you need 10g more lye, use 20g more solution and 10g less "extra water"
Thanks, TEG. That makes sense. I wasn't even thinking about that. I guess my big question is can the powdered vinegar be used instead of the liquid? If so, how much extra NaOH is needed to offset the reaction between the acetic acid in the powder and the NaOH used for the recipe. In my notes, I have .49 grams NaOH per 1 gram vinegar. But is that 1 gram actually a vinegar solution or is that the amount of acetic acid?

Never mind. As I was further typing my questions and concerns, I figured out the answers. I just needed to write everything down and see the pattern before it made sense. I overthink everything.

Thanks for your help!!
 

TeresaT

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What I do is to simply neutralize a gallon of vinegar at a time and keep it in the fridge.
Since you are masterbatching your lye you could masterbatch the vinegar into a 50% solution. I have a 5% acetic vinegar multiplier in my soap making notebook but I don't have it memorized so I won't try and share the wrong number with you.
The multiplier works by weight of vinegar solution as a straight "add this much lye" converter.
Let me know if you think that will work for you and I'll round up my notebook.
Yes, this is what I was thinking to do. Whenever you get time, I'd appreciate the numbers from your notebook. Then I could use the neutralized vinegar as my extra liquid and wouldn't have to worry about having my lye solution concentration or SF getting messed up because of a mistake. I could use the 50% master batched solution and the neutralized vinegar to make up the dilution liquid to get the 33.333% concentration.

Why do you keep the neutralized vinegar in the refrigerator? Will it spoil at room temp?
 

Steve85569

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I just like to start out my lye water from cold. I usually add some citric acid to the vinegar and neutralize that before adding the lye for soap making.
If you would have told me I'd be this far in to soap making a year ago....

The magic number I use for 5% acetic is .0337.
 
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topofmurrayhill

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There is powdered vinegar (it has a bit of maltodextrine in it) that I've been thinking of using.
Powdered vinegar isn't actually vinegar. Vinegar contains water and acetic acid, both of which are volatile liquids -- no solids to be found in it. Try evaporating a bit of white vinegar and it will disappear, apart from any impurities left behind.

The sodium acetate you make by neutralizing acetic acid with sodium hydroxide is a solid and actually still tastes vinegary. In certain forms it is used as a flavoring, for example in salt & vinegar potato chips and in powdered vinegar.

That might make one wonder whether powdered vinegar could be used as a soap hardener for its sodium acetate content. Meaning someone who is not me, haha. It's a whole kettle of fish I don't intend to climb into.

You could try it when you are feeling the mad scientist urge. You might not have to worry about adjusting the alkali since the active ingredient should already be neutral, but other ingredients could maybe cause undesirable results of some kind. Try not to explode anything.
 

Scooter

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I love using vinegar in my soap, but I also prefer using 50% master batched solution.
Please forgive me if this has been answered somewhere else. I have been reading through a lot of threads regarding vinegar/sodium acetate and noticed that penelopejane asked someone why they use sodium acetate from vinegar instead of table salt. I saw the "why use sodium acetate" answer but I don't think I have seen a post concerning why sodium acetate is a better hardener than just regular table salt.

So why are SL and sodium acetate preferred over just regular sodium chloride for hardening soap?

I appreciate all of y'all's feedback.

Scooter
 

ngian

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Never mind... I found an older thread that answered my question:

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=26684

That is, SL (and I assume sodium acetate) add more as far as smoothness and lather stability compared to sodium chloride.
SL stands for Sodium Lactate, and it is also a hardener for a soap bar.

What I am looking for is an explanation of how the chloride / acetate / lactate part is making a bar of soap harder in a molecular level. Is it because these ions force the soap molecules to be stacked closer or something else is happening?
 

Steve85569

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I did run an experiment last spring where I reacted vinegar to make sodium acetate and then slowly simmered the liquid down. I managed to remove half of the weight of the mixture so I had an SA content of approximately 9.5% by weight. What I discovered was that one CAN add too much SA and make a brittle soap ( but it lasts a really long time).

I now just neutralize 5% vinegar and use the liquid ( 4.8% SA) as usually half of my water. That level seems to shorten the time I wait to cut or it's too hard to cut well. This is when using a recipe that calculates a hardness value in the low 30's or high 20's.

As for just how these additive accomplish what they do someone with more chemistry knowledge than I have will need to help us out. I too am curious what is happening at a molecular level.

Steve

Powdered vinegar isn't actually vinegar. Vinegar contains water and acetic acid, both of which are volatile liquids -- no solids to be found in it. Try evaporating a bit of white vinegar and it will disappear, apart from any impurities left behind.

The sodium acetate you make by neutralizing acetic acid with sodium hydroxide is a solid and actually still tastes vinegary. In certain forms it is used as a flavoring, for example in salt & vinegar potato chips and in powdered vinegar.

That might make one wonder whether powdered vinegar could be used as a soap hardener for its sodium acetate content. Meaning someone who is not me, haha. It's a whole kettle of fish I don't intend to climb into.

You could try it when you are feeling the mad scientist urge. You might not have to worry about adjusting the alkali since the active ingredient should already be neutral, but other ingredients could maybe cause undesirable results of some kind. Try not to explode anything.
 

Scooter

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I now just neutralize 5% vinegar and use the liquid ( 4.8% SA) as usually half of my water. That level seems to shorten the time I wait to cut or it's too hard to cut well. This is when using a recipe that calculates a hardness value in the low 30's or high 20's.

Steve
Oh gosh I thought I was following you until this part. So how do you calculate the percentage of SA you want in a recipe? Are you doing something similar to what topofmurrayhill outlines here?

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=59295

Thanks!

Scooter
 

Steve85569

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Yes I am. The thing that I forget now is the process it took for me to get where I am at. I had to go back and read the thread.

When I replace the water in a 50:50 blend I usually use aloe vera juice for the other half as well.I end up with approximately 1/2 to 3/4 of a percent of SA by weight of oils. This is enough to produce hard enough soap for me with the recipe's I typically use.

I do not calculate out the exact amount of SA that I am adding for each batch any more. Experience with using the reacted vinegar has helped simplify the process to the point that *for me* just using the 50:50 blend works to my satisfaction. Individual results will of course vary depending on other ingredients used.
Steve

Oh gosh I thought I was following you until this part. So how do you calculate the percentage of SA you want in a recipe? Are you doing something similar to what topofmurrayhill outlines here?

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=59295

Thanks!

Scooter
 

topofmurrayhill

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Thanks for posting your experience Steve. I don't know exactly what's happening, but whatever it is seems to be the same as with sodium lactate. If anything, the acetate might be more powerful by weight, which might be meaningful from a molar perspective. Anyway, it works great.

Scooter, there are ways to do this that don't require an annoying bunch of calculations. You can just decide how much of your liquid will be vinegar, for instance 50/50 or whatever you find is good. The calculation for how much extra caustic soda to add is pretty simple, or you could simply create the recipe with no superfat, and just let the alkali consumed in the reaction be your lye discount.

No need to plan a moon shot to try this. At what level of detail you want to learn the chemistry and calculations is up to you.
 

penelopejane

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TeresaT

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Teresa did you ever post the results of the experiments you tried in this post:

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=59295
I think I did, somewhere. I'm at work right now, but I'll look for it when I get home. I remember telling the story of "discovering" that 25% vinegar solution slows trace only to discover I never added the NaOH to the vinegar in the first place. I just added vinegar and water to my oil (or something like that).
 

TeresaT

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I just like to start out my lye water from cold. I usually add some citric acid to the vinegar and neutralize that before adding the lye for soap making.
If you would have told me I'd be this far in to soap making a year ago....

The magic number I use for 5% acetic is .0337.
Hey, if my gallon of vinegar weighs 1000 grams, then I multiply that 1000 x .0337 to get the number of grams (33.7) of NaOH to pour into the jug, is that correct?

33.7 grams of NaOH will neutralize 1000 grams of 5% vinegar? Then I could just use this vinegar in place of my extra water?
 

Scooter

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Hey, if my gallon of vinegar weighs 1000 grams, then I multiply that 1000 x .0337 to get the number of grams (33.7) of NaOH to pour into the jug, is that correct?

33.7 grams of NaOH will neutralize 1000 grams of 5% vinegar? Then I could just use this vinegar in place of my extra water?
I'm liking where this is going.

How long would a batch this big keep?

Scooter
 
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