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Wandering Woman

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Hi All, I am usually a CP Soapmaker however I am keen to try my first batch of Liquid Soap (for hand/body use). I have a few questions which I really hope you can answer for me. My current, planned, formula is as follows:

87.5g Coconut Oil
120g Olive Oil
37.5g Castor Oil
5g Meadowfoam Oil

KOH - 90% Pure = 57.6g
Water - 172.8g

2% Superfat (Not planning on neutralizing it)

0.5% Rosemary & Peppermint E/O

Now the questions:
1. Is that enough water (I used SoapCalc)? Should I use 1/3 to dissolve the KOH and then dilute the soap batter with the rest after saponification?
2. Should I use 100% or 90% KOH Values when calculating?
3. Do I add the essential oils after the sequester time?

I think I have the actual process in hand - just would appreciate a practised eye on my newbie calcs and plans....

Thanks :)
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
Hi1. Is that enough water (I used SoapCalc)? Should I use 1/3 to dissolve the KOH and then dilute the soap batter with the rest after saponification?
Yes- that is enough water. Use 1/3 to dissolve the KOH/saponify your oils to the paste stage, then use however much extra water you desire when you go to dilute the paste.

2. Should I use 100% or 90% KOH Values when calculating?
If you are absolutely sure that the purity of your KOH is 100%, then use 100%, but if you are not sure, use the 90% instead.


3. Do I add the essential oils after the sequester time?
That's pretty much what I do. I dilute enough paste into finished liquid soap that will last me through about 4 to 8 pump-bottle refills, and I store it in canning jars unscented until needed. The time that I add scent is when I go to re-fill one of my pump-bottles, but I only add the scent to the portion of LS I need for my re-fill.


IrishLass :)
 

DeeAnna

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"KOH - 90% Pure = 57.6g
"Water - 172.8g
"...Should I use 1/3 to dissolve the KOH and then dilute the soap batter with the rest after saponification?..."

I'm reading this to mean WW would use 57.6 g to dissolve the KOH and make the soap and the remainder is what she's expecting to use to dilute the soap. Am I following this correctly?

If I am not off base, the water needed to dilute the paste is not included in the recipe to make the soap. You will want to use ALL of the 172.8 grams of water to make the lye solution and then all of that goes into making the paste. You will need use an additional amount of water after the paste is made for dilution.

Your EOs might change the thickness of your diluted soap (thicker or thinner), so be sure to test them in a sample before scenting the whole batch.
 

Wandering Woman

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Thank you for the correction! You rightly interpreted me, so use all water from calc up front.

Then diluting it is more of an art form?
Thinking I would start diluting with 2 parts water to one part original oil weight as a starting point then?

Sounds OK?

Thank you so much!!!!


"KOH - 90% Pure = 57.6g
"Water - 172.8g
"...Should I use 1/3 to dissolve the KOH and then dilute the soap batter with the rest after saponification?..."

I'm reading this to mean WW would use 57.6 g to dissolve the KOH and make the soap and the remainder is what she's expecting to use to dilute the soap. Am I following this correctly?

If I am not off base, the water needed to dilute the paste is not included in the recipe to make the soap. You will want to use ALL of the 172.8 grams of water to make the lye solution and then all of that goes into making the paste. You will need use an additional amount of water after the paste is made for dilution.

Your EOs might change the thickness of your diluted soap (thicker or thinner), so be sure to test them in a sample before scenting the whole batch.
 

Wandering Woman

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Thank you for sanity checking me! I have read the KOH it says 90-100% helpful huh?!

I am going with 90% for the formulation...

Thanks again - excited to try it now!

Yes- that is enough water. Use 1/3 to dissolve the KOH/saponify your oils to the paste stage, then use however much extra water you desire when you go to dilute the paste.



If you are absolutely sure that the purity of your KOH is 100%, then use 100%, but if you are not sure, use the 90% instead.




That's pretty much what I do. I dilute enough paste into finished liquid soap that will last me through about 4 to 8 pump-bottle refills, and I store it in canning jars unscented until needed. The time that I add scent is when I go to re-fill one of my pump-bottles, but I only add the scent to the portion of LS I need for my re-fill.


IrishLass :)
 

Susie

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Then diluting it is more of an art form?
Thinking I would start diluting with 2 parts water to one part original oil weight as a starting point then?
Dilution is not an art form. You will use the same amount to dilute the same recipe no matter how many times you repeat it. That makes it a science.

You need to start with one part water to two parts paste. Just heat and stir, and add additional water in small amounts, allowing time for the paste to dilute slowly. Once you have the dilution ratio for that paste, write it on the recipe so you can just start with that amount the next time.
 

Wandering Woman

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By artform I meant trial and error initially!!! :) There is no set formula as each recipe is requires different dilution?

So 1 part water to 2 parts paste initially... how do I know if I need more though? The paste won't dilute?

I do always record my experiences / recipes
Thanks for your help.


Dilution is not an art form. You will use the same amount to dilute the same recipe no matter how many times you repeat it. That makes it a science.

You need to start with one part water to two parts paste. Just heat and stir, and add additional water in small amounts, allowing time for the paste to dilute slowly. Once you have the dilution ratio for that paste, write it on the recipe so you can just start with that amount the next time.
 

DeeAnna

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"...Thank you for the correction! You rightly interpreted me, so use all water from calc up front...."

Okay, that's good -- I'm glad we got that cleared up! Making paste with one part water to one part KOH would have been tough -- the paste would have been very dry and very thick.

"Dilution as an art form" -- I suppose you could put it that way. :mrgreen: Tedious is another way to put it. :think:

Until you know your recipe, it's best to err on the side of caution. A safe method is to start with 1 part paste and 0.5 parts distilled water and increase the dilution ratio from there. As you get close to the consistency you want, it can take only a teaspoon or so of water to make a definite change in the viscosity.

This is especially true of a LS high in myristic and lauric acids (coconut oil, palm kernel); high oleic acid (olive oil, avocado, high oleic sunflower) soaps are more forgiving. A mostly coconut oil soap will also naturally be thinner regardless of how carefully you dilute vs a mostly olive oil soap which can be honey thick. Keep good notes so you don't have to reinvent the wheel next time you make the recipe.

Even with a recipe you're comfortable with, it's always best to start with a little less water than you think you'll need and sneak up on the dilution. Small variations in your fatty acids, the water content in your paste, and such can affect how the soap dilutes.

We so often get folks here complaining about following someone else's recipe, dumping in all of the dilution water the recipe calls for, and then wonder why their soap is water-thin.

No-neutralization Liquid Soap Tutorials:
Irish Lass: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?p=428988 see posts 8 and 9
and: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=57974
Susie: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=49852

Another good resource is this:
https://milesawayfarm.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/liquid-soapmaking-where-to-start/

Thank you for the correction! You rightly interpreted me, so use all water from calc up front.

Then diluting it is more of an art form?
Thinking I would start diluting with 2 parts water to one part original oil weight as a starting point then?

Sounds OK?

Thank you so much!!!!
 

DeeAnna

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"...2 parts water to one part original oil weight..."

Oh, I wanted to add -- you have a point about using oil weight to figure dilution, but I wanted to share my perspective about that.

The most consistent way to figure the dilution water is based on things in your soap paste that don't change -- the fat weight, the KOH weight, or the pure soap weight (KOH + fat). The soap weight is more commonly used and most accurate number of the three, since the ratio between fat and KOH isn't constant -- the ratio will change depending on the average saponification value.

When you figure the dilution based on the paste weight (water + KOH + fats) then the story changes because the paste can contain more or less water from batch to batch. That said, most of us dilute based on paste weight anyway -- it's easier and less math. If you keep your paste in an air-tight container, the water content of any given batch won't change a lot as the weeks go by, so diluting on paste weight is a reasonable simplification.

If a person made liquid soap on a production basis, using the soap weight to calculate the dilution water weight might make more sense. But most of us aren't so structured -- we make LS for personal/household use and often dilute portions of the paste as we need more because it's easier to store soap paste than diluted soap. Also, the undiluted paste is handy for household cleaning and for filling lip balm tubes to make Susie's "Soap 2 Go" travel soap.
 

Wandering Woman

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Thanks everyone for their input - this is what is looked like!

I know it is cloudy and I assume this is from tap water so will be sourcing distilled water asap!
I also found that a dense layer at the top - looked like soap batter hadn't been fully mixed into the water so will be adding a tad more water next time... As for the recipe... good bubbles, honey consistency - ALL GOOD!

SMF Collage.jpg
 

Susie

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That's wonderful!

The only suggestion I can make is to toss the pH testing kit. You can zap test it to be sure if it not lye heavy. If you need to know what the pH is for preservative purposes, get a meter that you can calibrate. Then be sure you dilute it properly before testing. Those strips don't work well on soap. We already know it is alkaline.
 

Wandering Woman

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Yeah, bought the pH strips ages ago and realized they weren't much use! I was just making sure the alkalinity was on the right track! Zap test was all good though! I am debating on the whole preservative thing (I don't use them in CP) but I have one test bottle I am keeping - see if anything 'grows' in it :)

That's wonderful!

The only suggestion I can make is to toss the pH testing kit. You can zap test it to be sure if it not lye heavy. If you need to know what the pH is for preservative purposes, get a meter that you can calibrate. Then be sure you dilute it properly before testing. Those strips don't work well on soap. We already know it is alkaline.
 

Susie

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I have a bottle that is over two years old without anything growing. I would use a preservative if I sold my soap, though. Just to be super sure nothing bad happened at a customer's house.
 

DeeAnna

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Distilled water can be tough to find in some areas. If you are having trouble finding it, others that work well are demineralized, deionized, or reverse osmosis (RO) water.
 
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