Can you overcook liquid soap?

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Wandering Woman

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Morning everyone. I am a newbie at making LS. Made several batches and never had a clear soap!

I have now changed to: deionised water, a recipe without Jojoba (only Coconut & Olive & Castor Oils in fact)

I do 'cook' the soap a little (I know it can be CP) so I am just wondering if soap batter is overheated does this affect the clarity?

The soaps that I have made do not zap and lather well so I am just curious about why I cannot make a crystal clear soap even with the most simple of recipes?

Thanks
Louise
 

DeeAnna

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What is your recipe and method? Might help if you shared more info -- otherwise we're just going to be guessing.
 

Wandering Woman

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I just use Coconut Oil, Olive Oil & Castor Oil (I have used different amounts on different recipes)
48% Olive (120g)
35% Coconut (87.5g)
17% castor (42.5g)

calculated with Soap Cal 90%KOH 25% concentration 2.5% SF
57.4g KOH
172g water
250g total oils

Melted oils in Slow cooker. Combined water & KOH
Blend together until custard stage
keep on warm setting and check every 20-30 minutes and do a quick stir... it goes through the normal stages... applesauce, mash, taffy, and it looks like quite a clear petroleum jelly!

(this time) I turned off heat and left it overnight, added 80%(+) water to dilute = Cloudy Soap!

Always let it saponify for at least 4 hours, either on heat or off heat... tried several different ways. I have left them to sequester but still cloudy!

grrrr... nice soap but why so cloudy????
 

DeeAnna

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And just to confirm -- you used deionized water for dilution?
 

galaxyMLP

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Curious, what brand olive oil did you use?

I just made a new batch of 100% OO liquid soap and it came out cloudy after dilution even though the soap was cooked to paste, did not zap and even came back at a pH of 8 (like usual) with the same test strips I always use for testing my liquid OO soap. The only difference was that this time I used EVOO from Walmart and last time I used trader joes "pure olive oil". I too diluted with distilled water. I had a 2% SF. I think maybe the brand change (and going from pure to ev OO) had something to do with it.
 

Susie

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Yeah, cloudy soap is why I stopped using anything but the cheap yellow OO. Pomace, EVOO, VOO all gave me cloudy soap that had particulates settling out.
 

Wandering Woman

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Thanks for the advice, I use a cheap local British Supermarket own brand and am wondering if it is polluted with any other oils?! It is the only OO I have ever used... but I did wonder if my oils were contaminated in some way... perhaps next batch will be different olive oil to see if this changes anything!

Curious, what brand olive oil did you use?

I just made a new batch of 100% OO liquid soap and it came out cloudy after dilution even though the soap was cooked to paste, did not zap and even came back at a pH of 8 (like usual) with the same test strips I always use for testing my liquid OO soap. The only difference was that this time I used EVOO from Walmart and last time I used trader joes "pure olive oil". I too diluted with distilled water. I had a 2% SF. I think maybe the brand change (and going from pure to ev OO) had something to do with it.
 

Wandering Woman

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Just had a quick check and it says EVOO & OO on the ingredient... It is OO Light in Color - Next recipe plain old OO and see if this helps...

However, any other suggestions (just in case that isn't the reason) still welcome!!!
 

kchaystack

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If your KOH has lost purity, like age, exposure to humidity, or something you might have superfatted more than you expected, that could make your LS cloudy.
 

Wandering Woman

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It is brand new but I will add that to my list for testing. Try 1% SF perhaps

Thanks

If your KOH has lost purity, like age, exposure to humidity, or something you might have superfatted more than you expected, that could make your LS cloudy.
 

galaxyMLP

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Yeah, cloudy soap is why I stopped using anything but the cheap yellow OO. Pomace, EVOO, VOO all gave me cloudy soap that had particulates settling out.

Thank you for sharing this, Susie! I need to start ordering reg OO online from Walmart and getting it shipped to store so I can go back to having whiter soaps and clearer liquid soap. I don't notice any difference in performance of the soap which is why I haven't minded much. After a few months of curing the color of the soap goes pretty white but it does start out darker than with pure OO. It was just convenient to pick it up when I went shopping and not have to think about when I needed to order it. I also found it was less expensive than SC. I'll have to get the pure OO now though since I really don't like cloudy LS.

And WW, your OO is probably just fine. Those articles out there talking about adulterated olive oils were referring to EVOO not being truly extra virgin. They were all still olive oil though! In the case of soaping, you don't need EVOO. An EVOO and pure OO blend will work just fine (although apparently the EVOO can cause clouding as we've both discovered...)
 

DeeAnna

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It sounds like you're getting some good ideas about your problem, so I hope you find the solution!

If you decide you want to reduce the superfat to see if that is causing your cloudiness, I have a suggestion. If you want to add a ~small~ amount of KOH to diluted soap to reduce the superfat, you can just add solid KOH directly to the diluted soap, stir well, and let sit for about 24 hours. I would NOT do this to paste -- it's going to be too stiff and difficult to mix the dry KOH into the paste. But for making small adjustments to diluted LS, it seems to work fine.

The back story -- I had made a lard-CO-castor liquid soap with a 3% superfat and an appropriate correction for the purity of the KOH. This is the same approach I've used to make Irish Lass/Carrie's olive-CO-castor soap. The olive-based soap recipe works fine at 3% superfat, but the lard-based soap separated badly. The short version of this experience is that anything over about 1% superfat is too much for this particular recipe.

While I tried to figure out what needed to be fixed using a sample of the soap, I got impatient with diluting KOH to make a liquid solution and adding that to the soap, so I started adding the dry KOH directly to the diluted LS. After trying this several times as I zeroed in on the maximum allowable superfat for the recipe, I realized adding a small amount of dry KOH worked pretty well to make this kind of small correction.

What's also interesting about this experience is that I found I could use the zap test to tell the difference between 0.5% lye excess (-0.5% superfat) and no lye excess. The tongue is that sensitive.
 

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