Coming back to soap making - Liquid Soap Help!


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Active Member
Nov 28, 2015
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Hey there! I haven't made soap in over a year and when I did make soap, I was making CP bar soap!

I'm now interested in making some liquid soap for Christmas gifts and have a few questions..

1. Can I use soapcalc to determine the properties of a liquid soap? Or is there a liquid soap property calculator somewhere?
2. Do I still want similar properties as CP bar soap (minus the hardness?)
3. What kind of superfatting do I want? One website says NONE!

Lastly.. I found this recipe to make the paste..

Coconut Oil - 680g
Olive Oil - 600g
Cocoa Butter - 80g
Potassium Hydroxide - 340g
Soft or Distilled Water - 1020g

Total actives (excluding water) - 1700g

The recipe states using 1020g of water and 340g of KOH..

When I put the oils in brambleberry's calculator it gives the following values for water/lye:

Lye - 320.40 g
Water - 952.00 g

Which is correct?! Any help would be appreciated.. I'm a bit rusty! Thank you! :)


Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2013
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Soapcalc can be used if you are using only one alkali -- KOH or NaOH. You can choose 90% purith for the KOH, which works for a lot of the KOH sold, but not always.

Many people like better than Soapcalc. It lets you enter the actual purity for your KOH, which is an advantage if you know the purity. You'll get better results making liquid soap if the calc you use is calibrated for (or can be set to) the actual purity of your KOH.

Superfat is typically zero to +3%. More than that and you risk separation of the excess fats from the soap.

And I can say that you will get more reliable results with distilled, deionized, or reverse osmosis water only -- don't use tap water, spring water, etc. even if "softened."

But honestly, rather than fiddle around with someone else's recipes and methods, why not try the recipes from our own Irish Lass and Susie? They really work and their tutorials are very helpful.

No-neutralization Liquid Soap Tutorials:
Irish Lass: see posts 8 and 9

Another good resource is this:
Last edited:


Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2013
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Hey Kitty_Boots!

1. I use, be sure it is set on 3 to 1 ratio. The increased water makes a huge difference in how that batch dilutes.
2. Not exactly similar properties. Liquid soap is far higher in Coconut oil than bar soap.
3. You can use up to 3% superfat in liquid soap without cloudiness.
4. I would add at least 5% castor oil to help the lather. I would probably also add sugar to boost the bubbles.


Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2013
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16.5 ounces olive oil (find unrefined organic olive oil here)
7 ounces coconut oil (find unrefined organic coconut oil here)
5.5 ounces potassium hydroxide (find it here)
16.5 ounces distilled or filtered water (find the best water filtration systems here)
40 ounces distilled or filtered water
3 ounces borax (find it here)
6 ounces distilled or filtered water
essential oils, optional (find 100% pure essential oils here)
color, optional (see this article for ideas)

1. Weigh your olive oil and coconut oil and place them into the slow cooker. Turn on low.
2. In the quart jar, weigh your water. Slowly add the weighed potassium hydroxide, stirring gently as it’s added. Don’t be surprised at any sounds or reactions you may hear. (Potassium hydroxide reacts slightly differently than sodium hydroxide in water.)
3. When the potassium hydroxide is all mixed in and the solution appears clear, add your water/potassium hydroxide mixture to the oils. Don’t worry about the temperature.
4. Carefully stir by hand for 5 minutes to be sure all the oils come into contact with all of the potassium hydroxide.
5. After 5 minutes, begin stirring with the stick blender. It could take up to 30 minutes to achieve “trace.” (In soap making, trace is normally when the mixture is thick like vanilla pudding, but with potassium hydroxide trace might look more like applesauce.)
6. The mixture might look like it’s going to separate, but don’t stop until you have trace.
7. Cook in the slow cooker for about 30 minutes with the lid on. Check after 30 minutes. If it’s separated, stir it back in.
8. Check every 30 minutes for 3-4 hours.
Mixing any alkali in a glass container of any sort is dangerous, as the glass can etch and shatter.

There is no mention of what you are doing with the Borax. If you are using it to neutralize, it is a wasted step, as proper use of a lye calculator with a 0 or higher superfat can eliminate the need to neutralize. All recipes should be run through a lye calculator.

Why are you waiting up to 30 minutes for trace? Just add some glycerin and stop mixing at emulsion. Put a lid on it and walk away for a couple of hours or so.

Why are you cooking it? Just get it to emulsion, put a lid on it, and walk away.

This sounds an awful lot like it is (inaccurately) plagiarized from a book. Truly it does.