Correcting pH after sequestering

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New Member
Jan 26, 2019
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Hi, soapers!

This is my first post here on SopMakingForum and I'm excited to become part of this community. For the last eight months or so, I've been doing bar soap with great success and just ventured into liquid hand soap. The liquid world is much more finnicky as I'm sure you're all aware, which is why I'm here today.

I made my first batch of liquid soap last week (50% coconut oil, 25% olive, 25% castor) and it's been sequestering for about five days now. I tested it on a pH strip this evening and it's registering at a 10. That's too high for soap, correct? For reference, I tested some commercially liquid soap I purchased from Target and that is registering at 5.

If a 10 pH is too high, is there anything I can do to save it without having to start over on a new batch? If so, how? Also, what pH should I be shooting for ideally? Thanks so much!

For reference, I made my soap in a crock pot (with distilled water) and used a citric acid dillution at the end to try to even out the pH. I was following Catherine Failor's Making Natural Liquid Soaps recipe and cooking process (the non-alcohol version). This is my third attempt at it and finally made it to sequestering. But I'm a little nervous about the pH level.

Any advice, comments, counsel, etc. that you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2013
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"...commercially liquid soap I purchased from Target and that is registering at 5..."

That's very likely because the Target "soap" isn't real soap; it's a blend of synthetic detergents. Prove it to yourself by reading the ingredients list. Do you see things like potassium cocoate and other "-oates"? If so, the product is real soap. Or do you see things like sodium lauryl sulfate? If so, the product is syndet.

The pH of syndets can be less than 7. Real soap is always alkaline and generally between 9 and 11, give or take a bit.

The Failor method is not the only way to make liquid soap and it's certainly not the easiest. Many of us use a cold process method with recipes that are slightly superfatted, so no neutralizing is required. See Irish Lass: especially posts 8 and 9 Another Irish Lass tutorial: Also see Susie's tutorial: And one more good resource is this: