Cloudiness and Separation Troubleshooting!

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Wandering Woman

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I have made 3 batches of LS now and still having problems with cloudiness in particular!

I used tap water initially then moved to deionised water but I am still getting cloudy soap!

I use 2% SF, 90% KOH on calc and my recipe includes Olive, Coconut, Castor Oils with 2% Jojoba (in that approx order)

I do 'cook' my soap batter until it doesn't zap then added 80% of its weight in water - leave overnight and then reheat & fully mix it and then add essential oils (Patchouli & Lavender). Leaving it to sequester...

This latest batch is not only cloudy but has a little jelly layer on top (I am wondering if this maybe undiluted soap as it lathers OK)

Anyone can help to enlighten me why I haven't got wonderfully crystal clear soap?! Pleasssseeee!!!!
 

Susie

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Jojoba will always give cloudy soap. It has too many unsaponifiables to yield clear soap.

The jelly layer on top is, indeed, undiluted soap. What happens is that you dilute the soap, then it loses just a bit too much water to evaporation, and part of the soap re-solidifies as a layer on top.
 

Wandering Woman

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Could I sneak in 1% of jojoba? ha ha - I really want Jojoba in it!!!!
Castor Oil definitely doesn't cloud? It is at 15%

Thanks for taking the time to answer x
 

topofmurrayhill

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Could I sneak in 1% of jojoba? ha ha - I really want Jojoba in it!!!!
Castor Oil definitely doesn't cloud? It is at 15%

Thanks for taking the time to answer x
Castor oil is fine. It's a solvent and actually helps with clarity. Jojoba, however, is mostly wax rather than oil, so most of it doesn't saponify and wants to separate.
 

Susie

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If you must have jojoba, just understand that the soap will be cloudy. I have a liquid soap recipe made primarily with lard that is cloudy, and I add jojoba. It is wonderful soap, it is just cloudy. I really don't get why everyone insists on perfectly clear soap. My family does not care if the soap is cloudy, it is good soap.

If you put it into an opaque pump bottle, nobody knows but you.
 

IrishLass

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At the moment I want the challenge of clear soap!!!
For me, making a clear soap is very easy. The trick simply comes down to knowing which fats to use and which to avoid, and/or which EO's or FO's to avoid.

I have 2 different formulas I like to use for my liquid soap. One of them produces a clear-as-a-bell liquid soap and the other produces a creamy/opaque liquid soap. The one that is clear as a bell contains 65% OO, 25% Coconut Oil and 10% Castor, superfatted @ 3% using SummerbeeMeadows advanced lye calculator, which is set on a default 94% KOH purity.

For what it's worth (speaking of lye purity), it was not until recently that I started using a KOH of known purity, meaning that for the past 4 years of my liquid soap-making endeavors, I had been using KOH of an unknown purity- but happily my soap still came out clear using the SummerbeeMeadows calculator set on a 3% superfat.


IrishLass :)
 

Wandering Woman

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For me, making a clear soap is very easy. The trick simply comes down to knowing which fats to use and which to avoid, and/or which EO's or FO's to avoid.

I have 2 different formulas I like to use for my liquid soap. One of them produces a clear-as-a-bell liquid soap and the other produces a creamy/opaque liquid soap. The one that is clear as a bell contains 65% OO, 25% Coconut Oil and 10% Castor, superfatted @ 3% using SummerbeeMeadows advanced lye calculator, which is set on a default 94% KOH purity.

For what it's worth (speaking of lye purity), it was not until recently that I started using a KOH of known purity, meaning that for the past 4 years of my liquid soap-making endeavors, I had been using KOH of an unknown purity- but happily my soap still came out clear using the SummerbeeMeadows calculator set on a 3% superfat.


IrishLass :)
I have now pared down my original recipe to stick with those 3 oils + deionised water so going to try that today but I do wonder how Dr Bronner gets to add Hemp & Jojoba Oils and stay so clear??!!!!
 

Susie

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LOL, I have to wonder, indeed. It makes me think about the fact that if you add one drop of jojoba to a 250 gallon batch of soap, you get to say that there is jojoba in it. Just a thought.
If you have not tried IrishLass' LGS (found on the "Soapmaking101 Liquid Glycerin Soap" thread), you are truly depriving yourself of a wonderfully thick soap. I made a batch earlier this week, and had to add water to my jug just to be able to pour it out.
 
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Wandering Woman

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If you have not tried IrishLass' LGS (found on the "Soapmaking101 Liquid Glycerin Soap" thread), you are truly depriving yourself of a wonderfully thick soap. I made a batch earlier this week, and had to add water to my jug just to be able to pour it out.
Only on my 5th batch :) I have seen posts about it and did debate which method to go with... There is time to try it :)
 

Susie

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I meant to add for you not to repeat my error if you want to keep it super thick. Put it into something you can scoop out of rather than a jug of any kind.
 

topofmurrayhill

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I have now pared down my original recipe to stick with those 3 oils + deionised water so going to try that today but I do wonder how Dr Bronner gets to add Hemp & Jojoba Oils and stay so clear??!!!!
The saponified oils in Dr. Bronner's are CO/PKO and Olive. The hemp and jojoba are listed at the end of the ingredient list, immediately after the main FO or EO and before the stabilizers. I guess that means you can add a few drops.
 

Susie

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I wouldn't, if you are wedded to the idea of clear soap, add jojoba. With the smaller batch sizes of home soapmakers, even a few drops are going to cause visible cloudiness. I know, I tried, repeatedly.

I did, however, manage to make it sound like I meant to do that. I just told my family, "LOOK, it has jojoba! You can see it!"
 

DeeAnna

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I managed to get some extra superfat (meadowfoam oil) into a clear LS (IL's olive-coconut-castor recipe) with the goal of getting a clear "soap" in the end. The solution I found was to mix the superfat with 4-5 times its weight of polysorbate 80.

Example: If you have 100 grams of LS and wanted to add 3 grams of an oil to the soap, then you'd want to also add 4 X 3 = 12 grams to 15 grams of PS80. Expect the mixture at first to be cloudy with some separation, but give it time (several days to a couple of weeks) to sit quietly and the mixture will gradually clear. The PS80 cuts the lather somewhat, but it does function as a low-no lather surfactant so it offers that benefit besides solubilizing the added fat. I'd guess this much PS80 might work okay to solubilize hemp, but I couldn't guess about jojoba.

I did this experiment simply to see if it could be done. I question what one should call a mixture of liquid soap and that much PS80 -- the mix is about 30% pure soap (fat+lye weights) and 13% syndet. I truly don't think one could call it soap anymore.
 

Loralei

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Could the jojoba be added after dilution? Since its primarily wax, and mimics the sebum of the skin, perhaps adding it after dilution in small quantities could help with moisturizing? Just hypothesizing here, but maybe it would work...
 

Zany_in_CO

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Could the jojoba be added after dilution? Since its primarily wax, and mimics the sebum of the skin, perhaps adding it after dilution in small quantities could help with moisturizing? Just hypothesizing here, but maybe it would work...
Hiya Loralei! I think you missed reading DeeAnna's experiment - Post #14:
I managed to get some extra superfat (meadowfoam oil) into a clear LS (IL's olive-coconut-castor recipe) with the goal of getting a clear "soap" in the end. The solution I found was to mix the superfat with 4-5 times its weight of polysorbate 80.
Several soapers are using PS-80 to dissolve oils/butters in LS after dilution. Mix 1 part jojoba to 4-5 parts PS-80 and allow it to sit overnight. If there's separation, add more PS-80 until the jojoba is fully incorporated. Then warm it and add it to warmed diluted LS.
I use 2% SF, 90% KOH on calc and my recipe includes Olive, Coconut, Castor Oils with 2% Jojoba (in that approx order)
Try 0% SF. Coconut at 50%. Leave jojoba at 2% and divide the balance between olive, hemp and castor. My Dr. B's type LS has 2% jojoba and it is clear.
I do 'cook' my soap batter until it doesn't zap then added 80% of its weight in water ... This latest batch is not only cloudy but has a little jelly layer on top
Even tho your paste doesn't "ZAP", you may want to also do the soap-in-water test to be sure it won't be cloudy after dilution. (Note: I have the best results putting a drop of phenolphthalein onto a butter knife after sticking it in the paste. If it's clear, I'm good to go.) In any case, for clear LS, it may be beneficial to cook it a little longer or wait a day or two before dilution.

The "jelly layer" on top is an indication that not enough water was used to dilute the soap. For LS with 50% Coconut I use 40% soap by weight to 60% water weight. LS high in Olive Oil requires more water to fully dilute. So, warm it back up and add water until the jelly layer is fully incorporated. TIP: You'll know your at the "perfect" dilution amount when the batch starts forming a film on top. Add a bit more water until the film no longer forms and you're done. Keep good notes!

HTH :)
 
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Loralei

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Hiya Loralei! I think you missed reading DeeAnna's experiment - Post #14:

Several soapers are using PS-80 to dissolve oils/butters in LS after dilution. Mix 1 part jojoba to 4-5 parts PS-80 and allow it to sit overnight. If there's separation, add more PS-80 until the jojoba is fully incorporated. Then warm it and add it to warmed diluted LS.

Try 0% SF. Coconut at 50%. Leave jojoba at 2% and divide the balance between olive, hemp and castor. My Dr. B's type LS has 2% jojoba and it is clear.

Even tho your paste doesn't "ZAP", you may want to also do the soap-in-water test to be sure it won't be cloudy after dilution. (Note: I have the best results putting a drop of phenolphthalein onto a butter knife after sticking it in the paste. If it's clear, I'm good to go.) In any case, for clear LS, it may be beneficial to cook it a little longer or wait a day or two before dilution.

The "jelly layer" on top is an indication that not enough water was used to dilute the soap. For LS with 50% Coconut I use 40% soap by weight to 60% water weight. LS high in Olive Oil requires more water to fully dilute. So, warm it back up and add water until the jelly layer is fully incorporated. TIP: You'll know your at the "perfect" dilution amount when the batch starts forming a film on top. Add a bit more water until the film no longer forms and you're done. Keep good notes!

HTH :)
Thanks, Zany - I actually don't use PS 80 - I use PS 20, with no issues; I make cleaning supplies, but was just commenting on the OP, so yes, I missed Deanna's experiment :)
 

Zany_in_CO

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Thanks, Zany - I actually don't use PS 80 - I use PS 20, with no issues;
You're welcome, Loralei -- As you probably know, both PS 80 and PS 20 work equally as well in LS. I just prefer PS 80 in foaming products; PS 20 in non-foaming products -- something I picked up early on. Not a biggie, tho.
...was just commenting on the OP,
Oopsie... :oops: I totally missed that.
 
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