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Apr 18, 2021
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Hi, I am a newcomer here so best regards to all of you soapmakers.

So, recently I made a surfactant-based (decyl glucoside, lauryl glucoside, SMCT, cocamidopropyl betaine) liquid hand soap and after a few experiments, I tried one with an addition of 1% diluted citric acid (1 part water : 2 parts citric acid) solution.

Got the best texture I've ever made so far, though unfortunately when I tested the pH level, it was way too acidic of 3.8, so it got me really concerned.

How would you utilise citric acid in my case? Should I put less and compromise with the texture, or should I maybe try putting an alkali-based something to neutralise the pH?

Thank you very much
I don't make syndet (synthetic/detergent) liquid soap, but in lye-based LS, if using citric acid, a 20% CA solution is recommended.

From my Files:
Add 2 oz. Citric Acic to 8 oz. boiling water to make 10 oz. of neutralizer. Stir until clear.
Use 3/4 oz. (1 1/2 Tablespoons) of solution per pound of paste.

@indonesiansoapenthusiast : Not many syndet experts around here, but maybe you can get some advice anyway.

First, you can just increase your pH again with baking soda, or (if you want to avoid bubbling) very diluted sodium hydroxide solution. Or, mix it 1:1 with a soap that has no citric acid added yet. For the future just use less citric acid.

But on the other hand: What makes you concerned about pH 3.8? It's still a very diluted acid, and you don't dissolve in sauerkraut either.

What's important in any case is that you care about preservation of your LS. Properly made lye-based LS is not a very friendly place for bacteria and fungi, but your mild syndet blend probably is.