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burnandgroom

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Hello, all! I have a question about cloudiness in my finished liquid soap. I used Irish Lass's method.

My recipe is the same as my bar soap blend:

50% Soybean Oil
25% Coconut Oil (76)
15% Grapeseed
10% Olive (pomace)

So it's obviously not the same ingredients as Irish Lass, but I follow her directions to the T as far as making, diluting, and everything. The finished product is great. We use it as body wash, hand wash, beard and hair shampoo.

Now that I can make it and love it, I'm getting picky. My soap never comes out as clear as the pics IL posted. When I let it settle in the heated water, the bottom half on my canning jars is crystal clear and beautiful and the top is hazy. When I pour it into bottles for the bathroom and such, it eventually does the same thing.

I've used various FO's in it and mixed it equally with PS 20. Would PS 80 be better? Would making a 0% superfat recipe and adding glycerin at the back end to prevent dry skin help?

Just being picky about it as the soap is great, but I know there are some experts on here and the Liquid soap thread IL made has gotten so long it would take a whole day to read through everyone's posts.
 

burnandgroom

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As a follow-up, I'm totally willing to change up my oils if that would help. I just thought it'd be neat/cost effective to use the same blend for both types.
 

IrishLass

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You may not have to change your formula at all. What I would do is try using PS80 instead of the PS20. Basically, PS20 is used for emulsifying lightweight things such as FOs into water-based products, while PS80 is used for heavier things such as carrier oils/fats, but can also be used for FOs as well. For what it's worth, I only keep PS80 on hand instead of PS20 and PS80, since the PS80 can handle both jobs. Here is a great article by the wonderful Susan Barklay (aka Swiftcraftymonkey) about the difference between the 2: http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2010/05/question-polysorbate-20-vs-polysorbate.html


IrishLass :)
 

DeeAnna

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I would be uncomfortable with that much linoleic acid in the recipe -- bar and liquid soap are both more likely to go rancid than a recipe lower in this fatty acid.

As far as the haze, I know IL's recipe of castor, olive, and coconut is crystal clear. I've even subbed a mix of rice bran oil and high oleic safflower for the olive and still got a crystal clear result.

So if you've followed her method closely except for the actual fats in the recipe, I'd guess it's something in the grapeseed or soybean that is crystallizing out and causing the haze.

The only other thing I can think of is it could be fatty acids or fats that are not fully saponified -- in other words your superfat is higher than expected. This could happen if your KOH is not as pure as you think it is.

You can test this by adding a small amount of dry KOH to a sample of diluted soap. If you know your dilution ratio and how much soap paste went into the sample, you could back calculate the amount of KOH to add to bring the superfat to about zero. If you can't reconstruct all that, just add a few flakes of KOH to a quarter cup to a half cup of diluted soap. Mix well until the KOH dissolves. The KOH will saponify some of the fat, but it will do so slowly, so let the mixture sit for a few days and observe what it looks like after that time.

Since you're adding KOH rather blindly, I would not count on the soap ever being skin safe, so do not use the soap -- discard the sample after your test is done.
 

burnandgroom

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"I would be uncomfortable with that much linoleic acid in the recipe -- bar and liquid soap are both more likely to go rancid than a recipe lower in this fatty acid."

DeAnna, I'm guessing the LA comes from the soybean oil? When I first started making soap I used Brambleberry's oil %'s guide and it says there that soybean can be used for up to 50% of a recipe. To keep costs down, I followed that suggestion. I still have a few bars of my very first batch of bar soap from almost three years ago. I kept it to see what would happen over the years. Still seems perfect. Liquid soap, however, could be a totally different game as I've only made 4 batches so far, vs bar soap that I make weekly almost. Thanks for your response!

Irish Lass, I've ordered the PS 80 and it will be here Tuesday. Hopefully that is it. If it's not, I will take Deanna's suggestion and cut out one oil at a time starting with soybean to see what the results are. Castor oil may be in my future, as I have been wanting it for shaving soap anyways.
 
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DeeAnna

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Soybean is 50% linoleic, and grapeseed is closer to 70%. Both of these oils are skewing your recipe in a direction I would be uncomfortable with.

Try soaping with an eye more toward building a quality product. Hand crafted soap making isn't about making something for less cost -- we all know Walmart sells soap far cheaper than what we can make it for. Broaden your soaping horizons a bit by boosting the palmitic, stearic, and oleic acids and reducing the linoleic acid content. (edit: I'm talking about bar soap here -- I formulate liquid soap with different goals in mind) See what you think.

I really have a problem with the brambleberry calc that goes hand-in-hand with soaping for quality. You can't change the lye concentration, and it tells you nothing about the fatty acid profile of the recipe. So you're soaping pretty blindly. I'm sure it's simplified to keep from overwhelming the beginners, but it's really far too basic for anyone beyond their first few recipes. Try http://soapee.com instead. It is easy to use -- as easy as the BB calc -- but provides more control and more information.
 
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burnandgroom

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DeAnna, I haven't heard of soapee.com. I'm gonna check it out for sure. I'm certainly not using soybean oil JUST because it's cheap. I just thought it was great that it happened to be a cheap oil and worked at 50% for soaping. Certainly not married to it. I don't use canola oil, for example, even though it's cheap because of dreaded orange spot stories. I actually thought grapeseed was a great oil after reading about it. It costs the same within a few pennies per oz of coconut and olive oil, so I thought it would be good to have a more blended, rounded recipe. Definitely not married to grapeseed either. I mostly like the oils I use because I can get them all at Costco at a moment's notice and not have to wait on ordering palm or castor or whatnot. Thanks for your help!
 

DeeAnna

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There are folks who use high linoleic oils -- soy, grapeseed, canola, flaxseed, corn, etc. -- in their soap recipes. I think Carolyn (cmzaha) uses canola with good results, to mention one person.

But most people don't generally use high percentages of these fats if they use them at all. The major players in most soap recipes are the myristic-lauric fats (coconut, palm kernel), palmitic-stearic fats (lard, tallow, palm), and oleic fats (olive, avocado, high oleic sunflower, etc.).
 

burnandgroom

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Yeah, DeAnna, I've self-imposed some parameters for my soaps. They're vegan, so no beeswax or animal fats, and I steer clear of palm. I know palm is wonderful, but with the controversy surrounding it, even though I know you can get it sustainably harvested, I just stay away. I'm not vegan myself, but it seems like EVERYONE around me is making goatsmilk soap so I wanted to offer something different, and vegan seemed like a doable route with the myriad of veggie oils available. I harden the bars up with a dash of sodium lactate.

I've always wanted to try sunflower oil, though. It just sounds fun to have in a soap!
 

StoneCottageSoapworks

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As far as the haze, I know IL's recipe of castor, olive, and coconut is crystal clear.
Castor should be your new best friend in liquid soap! The high Ricinoleic acid makes a very water soluble soap which is perfect for Liquid Soap. High is Oleic Acid at about 82% Olive Oil is your other best friend which makes quite a mild soap and of course you need Coconut Oil for lather and don't use that soapmakers thing about keeping it to about 20-25% of the formula! Remember you're diluting it so that doesn't apply! You can bump it up a bit but don't get too crazy as 60% would be too much! The Liquid Soap that I sell in my retail store and on my website is clear as can be even many months later! You can't go wrong with this suggestion and you can get all three of them pretty cheap as well! Good Luck!
 

Susie

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Yeah, DeAnna, I've self-imposed some parameters for my soaps. They're vegan, so no beeswax or animal fats, and I steer clear of palm. I know palm is wonderful, but with the controversy surrounding it, even though I know you can get it sustainably harvested, I just stay away. I'm not vegan myself, but it seems like EVERYONE around me is making goatsmilk soap so I wanted to offer something different, and vegan seemed like a doable route with the myriad of veggie oils available. I harden the bars up with a dash of sodium lactate.

I've always wanted to try sunflower oil, though. It just sounds fun to have in a soap!
The great news about liquid soap is that beeswax, palm, lard, tallow all make cloudy soap. Goatsmilk and jojoba will also yield cloudy soap. So, you will do well sticking to coconut, olive, and castor mostly. And they are cheap enough.

I stopped using soybean oil in my liquid soap quite a while ago as it was just there. It did not bring anything to the party. And with the increased risk of rancidity, I just did not want to fool with it any more.
 

DeeAnna

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As an alternative to olive oil, you can get good results with an "olive wannabe" oil such as high oleic sunflower, HO safflower, and the like. But they must be the high oleic versions -- you'll see "high oleic" or "good for sauteeing and frying" or "high temperature" or something like that on the bottle. If the container isn't labeled that way, it's probably conventional high LINoleic oil, and that gets you right back to the same problem as using soy. More: http://classicbells.com/soap/highOleic.html
 

Candybee

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Don't know if this helps but I make a shampoo soap and had to reconfigure my recipe due to it being high in linoleic from using grapeseed and soybean oils

I did some more research and decided to sub the soybean for avocado and keep the grapeseed but only at 5-10%. The avocado I use at 20-25%. Other oils I use in my shampoo soap are olive, coconut, and castor. Castor is fabulous in shampoos and I use it at 10% of my recipe.

The avocado and grapeseed oils also are a great selling point for my shampoo soap.
 
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