Diluting Liquid Soap Help Needed

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Risaka

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2023
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Location
UK
Hi!

My first post here but for my very first attempt in soap making, I made 2 batches of liquid soap paste with the CP method and after sequestering my 2 batches of soap for a week, I'm now trying to dilute the soap paste for the 1st batch of soap.

My 1st batch of soap (400g oil) has 30% coconut oil, 10% palm kernel oil, 10% jojoba oil, 20% olive oil, 20% avocado oil and 10% shea butter. I used 82g of lye (KOH) and 205g of water to make the soap paste. I decided to dilute the entire batch at once so I could free my container up (the container i used to sequester and store the soap paste in) for future soap projects, and used a 1:3 dilution ratio of soap paste to distilled water (room temperature). It's been 3 days now and the glass jar (an IKEA Korken 2L) I used for the dilution still has a large chunk of soap paste sitting at the bottom of the jar and it doesn't seem to be dissolving or diluting. The water is cloudy and murky which is fine, but I'm worried that the paste will not dilute at all. I tried using a warm to hot water bath but it doesn't seem to be helping. I can't really stir the paste in the jar as the jar is quite tall and a little narrow, but I did try it and the paste feels tough and sticky (not hard like bricks, but like a thick paste).

What should I do to speed up the dilution process, or will it eventually all dilute by itself?

For my 2nd batch of soap, I used 30% coconut oil, 55% olive oil and 15% shea butter (800g in total), with 160g lye (KOH) and 380g of water for the paste. I haven't started diluting it yet, but plan to dilute it with a 1:3 ratio again with the same glass jar, and wanted to ask if I should heat up my distilled water before diluting it with the paste. I plan to start with 400g of paste with 1200g of water. I'll be using a preservative (Liquid Germall Plus) after the paste has completely dissolved, and lavender EO afterwards. Is this okay?

Thanks!
 
Don’t use LGP as your preservative; the pH of LS is too high for it to be effective. I believe Suttocide is one that tolerates high pH.

For the lavender EO, test it in a small bit of diluted soap first. Some EOs will cause separation in some recipes, and not in others. So always test a small bit first until you know how that EO behaves in that recipe. Depending on your SF, you may only be able to use 1% EO unless you blend it with a bit of PS80 so it stays mixed.

You didn’t mention what SF you used. Anything more than 1-2% is likely to separate out as an oil slick on top of the diluted soap, unless you use some PS80 to keep it solubilized. You didn’t mention any separation yet, but I thought I’d address it just in case.

Now to your dilution issue. :) I always pour boiling hot dilution water over the paste. That extra heat really helps. I also tend to dilute as soon as possible, without sequestering the paste, since I want the paste to be as soft as possible. I only sequester after dilution, not before.

For now, consider fishing out the lump of paste and diluting it separately with boiling hot distilled water and a little sodium lactate -try 1% of paste weight. Start with 1:1 paste:water before adding more boiling water 1 Tbsp at a time if needed.

Hope that helps, and please update us as to how it works out. 😊
 
Liquid Germall Plus is recommended for liquid soap, but the higher pH of liquid soap (9.5 or higher) means this is an off-label use for LGP.

You're using recipes similar to bar soap recipes, so you're unlikely to get a clear liquid soap -- shea, jojoba, avocado contribute to cloudiness. You may also see some separation as time passes.

If the soap doesn't dissolve at the paste-to-water ratio you used, then have you given some thought to the idea of adding more water?

To be honest, I use the dilution ratio as a guide, not a hard-and-fast rule. In my experience, the amount of water required will vary from batch to batch, so I'm not afraid to alter the water content to get the dilution I want.

You can fish out the solid chunks and dilute them separately, leaving the main portion of diluted soap untouched.
 
Don’t use LGP as your preservative; the pH of LS is too high for it to be effective. I believe Suttocide is one that tolerates high pH.

For the lavender EO, test it in a small bit of diluted soap first. Some EOs will cause separation in some recipes, and not in others. So always test a small bit first until you know how that EO behaves in that recipe. Depending on your SF, you may only be able to use 1% EO unless you blend it with a bit of PS80 so it stays mixed.

You didn’t mention what SF you used. Anything more than 1-2% is likely to separate out as an oil slick on top of the diluted soap, unless you use some PS80 to keep it solubilized. You didn’t mention any separation yet, but I thought I’d address it just in case.

Now to your dilution issue. :) I always pour boiling hot dilution water over the paste. That extra heat really helps. I also tend to dilute as soon as possible, without sequestering the paste, since I want the paste to be as soft as possible. I only sequester after dilution, not before.

For now, consider fishing out the lump of paste and diluting it separately with boiling hot distilled water and a little sodium lactate -try 1% of paste weight. Start with 1:1 paste:water before adding more boiling water 1 Tbsp at a time if needed.

Hope that helps, and please update us as to how it works out. 😊
Hey, thanks for your reply!

Sadly, I've already bought the LGP as it was recommended from other posts I've read...

I'll test out the lavender EO in a 200ml (6.7oz) bottle of the diluted soap once it's ready and if it works out, I'll use the same percentage on the bigger batch of diluted soap that would be sitting in the glass jar.

Now as for the dilution, I was considering pouring boiling hot water over the paste, but the glass jar that I keep my paste in for dilution is only able to tolerate 50°C (122F) before it starts to crack (from what I read from the manufacturer's details). I'll keep in mind to try diluting before sequestering the soap for my future batches!

I think I'll also have trouble fishing out the paste as the jar is almost completely filled (20% paste sitting at the bottom, 60% water in the jar it seems), and I also run into that problem above with the temperature limit of the glass jar. I was wondering if I should pour away some of the water (it's cloudy, murky and yellow which means that some of the soap paste did dissolve, but the remaining large chunk is still sitting at the bottom) and refill it up with boiling hot distilled water.

Liquid Germall Plus is recommended for liquid soap, but the higher pH of liquid soap (9.5 or higher) means this is an off-label use for LGP.

You're using recipes similar to bar soap recipes, so you're unlikely to get a clear liquid soap -- shea, jojoba, avocado contribute to cloudiness. You may also see some separation as time passes.

If the soap doesn't dissolve at the paste-to-water ratio you used, then have you given some thought to the idea of adding more water?

To be honest, I use the dilution ratio as a guide, not a hard-and-fast rule. In my experience, the amount of water required will vary from batch to batch, so I'm not afraid to alter the water content to get the dilution I want.

You can fish out the solid chunks and dilute them separately, leaving the main portion of diluted soap untouched.

I see...so LGP really isn't recommended then for the batch I made?

I honestly don't mind the cloudiness and the separation as long as the soap works as intended :)

I thought of adding more water, but I'm already at a 1:3 dilution ratio which seems to be quite a lot, and my jar is almost completely full, so I don't have the capacity to add more water unless I empty some of it out. Perhaps I should empty some of the water out into a pump bottle because it looks cloudy, murky and yellow which might indicate that some of the paste did dissolve and I can use this as soap now, and add more distilled water afterwards for the remaining chunk of paste?
 
You need to decide if LGP works for you, but I thought I made it clear it's an option that is still on the table -- I said "...Liquid Germall Plus is recommended for liquid soap, but the higher pH of liquid soap (9.5 or higher) means this is an off-label use for LGP...." I thought that would be enough to help you come to a decision. I'll also share I use LGP in my diluted liquid soap.

You're going to have to decide on your goals for this soap. The options are to add water to dilute it to the desired consistency or live with what you've got. If you don't like what you've got at a 3:1 dilution, then isn't it time to consider doing something different? Like adding more water?

If it were me, I'd add more water. Most soap that's diluted to a honey-thick consistency is rather too concentrated to lather at it's best anyways. So adding adding sufficient water to end up with a honey-thick soap is no big deal to me, even if it's more than some "ideal" dilution amount.
 
You need to decide if LGP works for you, but I thought I made it clear it's an option that is still on the table -- I said "...Liquid Germall Plus is recommended for liquid soap, but the higher pH of liquid soap (9.5 or higher) means this is an off-label use for LGP...." I thought that would be enough to help you come to a decision. I'll also share I use LGP in my diluted liquid soap.

You're going to have to decide on your goals for this soap. The options are to add water to dilute it to the desired consistency or live with what you've got. If you don't like what you've got at a 3:1 dilution, then isn't it time to consider doing something different? Like adding more water?

If it were me, I'd add more water. Most soap that's diluted to a honey-thick consistency is rather too concentrated to lather at it's best anyways. So adding adding sufficient water to end up with a honey-thick soap is no big deal to me, even if it's more than some "ideal" dilution amount.
Thanks for your reply!

I'll stick with LGP for now then, even if it's an off-label use.

I'm definitely thinking of adding more water, although this batch of soap right now is very liquid and not honey-thick. The consistency of the diluted portion seems to be as thin as water, which is what I'm going for.

I think I'll empty out the diluted portion of the soap to make space for me to add more water into my container to try diluting the rest of the soap paste (which still hasn't changed and still looks the same since my last comment)
 
Hey, thanks for your reply!

Sadly, I've already bought the LGP as it was recommended from other posts I've read...

I'll test out the lavender EO in a 200ml (6.7oz) bottle of the diluted soap once it's ready and if it works out, I'll use the same percentage on the bigger batch of diluted soap that would be sitting in the glass jar.

Now as for the dilution, I was considering pouring boiling hot water over the paste, but the glass jar that I keep my paste in for dilution is only able to tolerate 50°C (122F) before it starts to crack (from what I read from the manufacturer's details). I'll keep in mind to try diluting before sequestering the soap for my future batches!

I think I'll also have trouble fishing out the paste as the jar is almost completely filled (20% paste sitting at the bottom, 60% water in the jar it seems), and I also run into that problem above with the temperature limit of the glass jar. I was wondering if I should pour away some of the water (it's cloudy, murky and yellow which means that some of the soap paste did dissolve, but the remaining large chunk is still sitting at the bottom) and refill it up with boiling hot distilled water.



I see...so LGP really isn't recommended then for the batch I made?

I honestly don't mind the cloudiness and the separation as long as the soap works as intended :)

I thought of adding more water, but I'm already at a 1:3 dilution ratio which seems to be quite a lot, and my jar is almost completely full, so I don't have the capacity to add more water unless I empty some of it out. Perhaps I should empty some of the water out into a pump bottle because it looks cloudy, murky and yellow which might indicate that some of the paste did dissolve and I can use this as soap now, and add more distilled water afterwards for the remaining chunk of paste?
Cut the chunk into smaller pieces and put in a microwave safe container, add enough water to cover and microwave 30-40 sec bursts. Keep doing it and stir here and there until melted. I agree that dilution water amount varies from formula to formula.

Just keep track of how much you use so you'll know precisely next batch.
 
Back
Top