Finished liquid soap not thickening after diluting soap paste.

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Sharon downie

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Hi, I hope someone can help advise me please. I made liquid soap by cold process method ( mixed lye solution and oils at room temp) and after adding the lye it turned into a gel like paste but after diluting the paste with water the mixture turned into an oily mess and didn’t thicken. Here is ingredients:- Olive oil 50g, coconut oil 45g, castor oil 5G. Using soap calculator it showed I needed to add 49.8g water, and 4.6g Naoh and 16.7g Koh. So I had 154g soap paste and diluted with 154g water.
 

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DeeAnna

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Was the paste fully done saponifying before you tried to dilute?

After the paste turns thick, it takes time for saponification to happen. If it was not fully saponified when you added water, then I can see why you got the mess you did. I'd discard this batch and try again, to be honest. It's such a small batch and I question whether it's worth the time and trouble to fix, assuming it can be fixed.

A cold process method is going to be more satisfactory if you make a somewhat larger batch than 100 grams of fats. A tiny batch like yours will cool off a lot more than a larger batch, so you should expect a batch this small to take longer to saponify. My usual batch size is 300 g fats.

I'm not sold on the use of dual lye for making liquid soap. Some people claim it adds thickness, but I'm not seeing that. If you want to make it, it certainly can be done and there are no particular secrets to doing it. But I'm not sure using some NaOH offers any added benefit to liquid soap than just using KOH.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I'd discard this batch and try again, to be honest. It's such a small batch and I question whether it's worth the time and trouble to fix, assuming it can be fixed.
@DeeAnna, with all due respect, I think it can be saved. I could be wrong, but assuming Sharon doesn't have a clue about how to make CP soap let alone, liquid soap, she was taking her best guess as to how to do it. Take another look at the description of her process:
I made liquid soap by cold process method
1 - ( mixed lye solution and oils at room temp) and
2 - after adding the lye it turned into a gel like paste but
3 - after diluting the paste with water the mixture turned into an oily mess and didn’t thicken.
Ay Caramba! :oops:
Even in cold process LS, heat is required for the lye solution & melted oils to come together and then reach full saponification, off heat and over time, before diluting. Meaning:

"Using normal technique, combine when oils are 160°F (71°C) and lye solution is 140°F (60°C). Stir by hand, then Stick Blend (on and off) to trace 10 - 15 minutes, over low to medium-low heat. Maintain temp at 160°F (71°C) until trace occurs. Let sit 5 minutes off heat to make sure it doesn’t separate. At that point you can stop, keep it covered and wait 1-2 weeks to fully saponify (cold process) or cook with whatever process you are comfortable with."

Without more information, it's hard to say what exactly went wrong. That being said, I know a few LS'ers that add their dilution water at the beginning like Sharon seems to have done. If so the batch might likely be saved by heating it in a crockpot -- for how long is anyone's guess. This method would work for an experienced soaper who knows what to watch for. That's why I suggested she do a little research on the basics before moving on to gain a better understanding of the process. ;)

Anyhoo. That's just my take on the information as presented.

HTH (Hope This Helps)

ETA: The above method works with KOH lye solution. I have no idea how NaOH affects the process or end result.
 
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Sharon downie

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Thank you Dee Anna for taking the time to reply. After it thickened into a thick gel paste, I let it sit for a couple of days. I think you are right about it not fully being saponified. When I did the zap test it was cloudy. I did not know if it was not fully saponified it would not thicken on the final dilution phase and just turn into this watery mess. I thought it would thicken and then I could just leave it for a few weeks to make sure there was no lye left in it. Thank you for your help. 💕
 

Sharon downie

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@DeeAnna, with all due respect, I think it can be saved. I could be wrong, but assuming Sharon doesn't have a clue about how to make CP soap let alone, liquid soap, she was taking her best guess as to how to do it. Take another look at the description of her process:

Ay Caramba! :oops:
Even in cold process LS, heat is required for the lye solution & melted oils to come together and then reach full saponification, off heat and over time, before diluting. Meaning:

"Using normal technique, combine when oils are 160°F (71°C) and lye solution is 140°F (60°C). Stir by hand, then Stick Blend (on and off) to trace 10 - 15 minutes, over low to medium-low heat. Maintain temp at 160°F (71°C) until trace occurs. Let sit 5 minutes off heat to make sure it doesn’t separate. At that point you can stop, keep it covered and wait 1-2 weeks to fully saponify (cold process) or cook with whatever process you are comfortable with."

Without more information, it's hard to say what exactly went wrong. That being said, I know a few LS'ers that add their dilution water at the beginning like Sharon seems to have done. If so the batch might likely be saved by heating it in a crockpot -- for how long is anyone's guess. This method would work for an experienced soaper who knows what to watch for. That's why I suggested she do a little research on the basics before moving on to gain a better understanding of the process. ;)

Anyhoo. That's just my take on the information as presented.

HTH (Hope This Helps)

ETA: The above method works with KOH lye solution. I have no idea how NaOH affects the process or end result.
Thank you all for taking the time to reply to this thread. I agree it takes years to learn how to make liquid soap but being me, I wanted to try and make some while I am learning. I made a succession batch previously though it was a different recipe but still cold process method. The oils were room temp and lye was hot when I mixed them and that recipe turned into paste after bout a week and took few days after final dilution with water to turn into a nice honey like liquid soap. So that’s why I had trouble wondering what went wrong with this new recipe. Thank you all so much again for all your kind replies.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Thank you all so much again for all your kind replies.
You're welcome.

TIP: When you need help with a recipe it's best to post it in the Recipe Feedback Forum. Include a screenshot of your lye calc printout & process. ;) :thumbs:

TIP: When you have a moment, please go to the Introduction Forum and tell us as much as you care to share about yourself, but especially about your soap making experience. This will help us to help you when questions or problems arise. :)
 

ResolvableOwl

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zap test it was cloudy.
Zap test is done with the tongue. Cloudiness is something you see with the eyes. A clarity test is an important thing to do, yes. But what was the outcome of the zap test?

Zap test: zappyZap test: No Zap
Clarity test: clearLye-heavy (might be fixable by careful addition of oils)Perfect :thumbs:
Clarity test: turbidEither: Saponification still going on, let it react further. Or (if reaction is definitely finished): lye-heavy + unsaponifiables/contaminantsExcess lye discount (might be fixable by careful lye addition)
 

Sharon downie

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You're welcome.

TIP: When you need help with a recipe it's best to post it in the Recipe Feedback Forum. Include a screenshot of your lye calc printout & process. ;) :thumbs:

TIP: When you have a moment, please go to the Introduction Forum and tell us as much as you care to share about yourself, but especially about your soap making experience. This will help us to help you when questions or problems arise. :)
Will do, thanks 💕
 

Sharon downie

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Zap test is done with the tongue. Cloudiness is something you see with the eyes. A clarity test is an important thing to do, yes. But what was the outcome of the zap test?

Zap test: zappyZap test: No Zap
Clarity test: clearLye-heavy (might be fixable by careful addition of oils)Perfect :thumbs:
Clarity test: turbidEither: Saponification still going on, let it react further. Or (if reaction is definitely finished): lye-heavy + unsaponifiables/contaminantsExcess lye discount (might be fixable by careful lye addition)
Thanks for your reply. I wrongly stated that I did a zap test but it was in fact a clarity test. It was cloudy. Thank you for your clarity test info. You have all been so helpful and I will do another batch and make sure I give it enough time to fully saponified. 💕
 

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