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Castile Liquid Soap

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lotionlady

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I've had two failed attempts and I'm starting to wonder if this is more complicated than it seems. Anybody had success with this and, if so, would you be willing to share some ideas. I can post the exact recipe if that would be useful. I don't want anything else in it besides EVOO.

I guess it's possible that my lye is no longer good - I've had it for 5 years :) It doesn't seem to have collected water or anything. I have an unopened container and maybe I'll try with that one. TIA!
 

Becky

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I tried my first batch of liqiud soap on the weekend, using the technique in Catherine Failors book - Making Natural Liquid Soaps. I ended up chucking it out. I had a really smooth, pliable paste, but as soon as I added water, it siezed. I spent hours trying to smoosh & mix & dissolve the paste, but finally gave it away as a bad idea. :? I'm going to try again this weekend, but I'm going to add more water to begin with & see if that helps :lol:

Lotionlady, by all means post your recipe & your method. As with any problem, having all the info makes it easier for everyone to help you. We may have a liquid soap expert lurking out there. At least, I hope we do!! :lol:
 

lotionlady

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I make liquid soap usually with Almond, Olive and CO. Never had a problem. The castile is just not working.

Because the batch was too small (it was a test batch), I had bits all over the place while I tried (for a long time I might add) to bring it to trace. Finally, trace (I think). I then cooked this small batch for 3-4 hours until it was a clear gel and added hot water. It dissolved completely but it was this uber thick soap. And when I try to dilute it down, it was too cloudy even at a high water percentage.

Here's the recipe I tried:

EVOO 9oz
Water 5oz
Lye 1.71

To dilute I added 25oz water.

That's it. It is a translucent really thick soap. Not at all clear and so thick it is almost gummy. Normally at this stage and with this rate of dilution, I get a clear liquid (at room temperature) that I then use as 1/4-1/3 of my foamer.

I'm stumped. Thinking that maybe it didn't really trace and that I should try a larger batch so that I can mix it without all the drama and make sure it traces.
 

StevCrutch

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try hand milling castile soap

Make your olive oil soap normally, then you grade it, mix with a lot of water and heat it up. I don't have the recipe in front of me, but you can probably find one easy. or just keep adding water until you find the consistency that you like.
 

lotionlady

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Thanks so much. But I'm a little confused though as to how that's different from what I did. After I added the water, I heated it and it does soften somewhat. But no amount of water dilution seems to result in a clear soap (or even close).

I can only guess that there is free oil. When I check the SummerBee calculator, it wants a higher lye content than I added by .1-.2oz which for a small batch is quite a bit. I know they are accounting for some moisture issues in Potassium Hydroxide that are not considered in SoapCalc and some others.

What do you mean "grade it"?
 

lotionlady

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That's interesting! Maybe I'll work with it a little more to see if it is usable before I chuck it out. Then I think I'll try a batch with a little higher lye. Do you use the Summer Bee Calc for liquid soap? My normal recipe calls for 1.7 oz of lye for 9oz of EVOO and Summer Bee says 1.83oz lye.
 

lotionlady

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Well I'm using this batch to make a facial cleanser with honey and glycerin since it doesn't matter that it's not clear. I tried to add more water and I could see then that there is free oil. So the next step is to use a little heavier lye concentration.

Will post the results - eventually :)

BTW, the honey cleanser is lovely! I added wild orange eo but I figured for a rinse off product that would be ok. And it tastes great too :D
 

IanT

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ever tried adding some orange zest too?? gives a nice scent and could add a little bit of exfoliation to the soap as well!
 

MetalSubstance

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lotionlady,

It could be possible that your lye might have reacted with the carbon dioxide in the air and converted to "soda ash", given that you've had it for so long. I don't understand the chemistry very well, but from what I know, soda ash doesn't work as effectively as fresh lye.

Then again, if your lye container was airtight, it should have remained mostly preserved.

I'm also curious how to go about making liquid soap using NaOH instead of KOH, since the latter is not available where I live unless I mail-order it and deal with shipping.

--Metal Substance
 

IanT

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or you could make some from wood ash leaching!! its time consuming but very rewarding! :)
 
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