Frustrated, please help!

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Mommysoaper

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I hope I can get some help here. I have been working on LS for what feels like forever. I have a few recipes that I can get nice and clear after dilution. I did have issues with clouding after adding EOs and FOs but after using a little bit of Polysorbate 80 after dilution and after scenting I've been able to get the soap clear again. I would love to thicken the soaps, but that's where I get stymied. I've tried reducing the dilution rate, a 20% salt water solution, and a borax solution with minimal results. I know LS do not get as thick as detergent based, but I wondered if I am missing something or if someone has any advice? I made a batch tonight, got it a decent thickness (with salt water solution), fairly clear and fragranced with an FO. I just checked it and now it's cloudy! Total bummer.

The recipes I have used so far:

40% Olive oil
20% CO
13% castor
20% sunflower
7% sweet almond

this recipe came out nice and clear after dilution. Became cloudy when I thickened. Nice and bubbly though.

Also:

50% OO
25% CO
15% sunflower oil
10% castor oil

nIce and bubbly. Clear after dilution. Cloudy with thickening!

What am I missing? Have read Catherine Failor's book front to back several times and read David Fisher's webpage and watched several Youtube videos. I searched on here and read some stuff and that's where I got the idea to try the Polysorbate 80 to emulsify the fragrances into the soap solution. Now I know soap doesn't have to be clear, but this has become my white whale! Help!
 

FGOriold

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I have recently been experimenting with Hydroxyethyl Cellulose for thickening my liquid soaps with very good results and no clouding at all. I like my body washes and shampoos to have a bit more structure so that they don't just run down ones hand or scrubby thus wasting product. The instructions from the vendors are not very helpful (and I have recently spoken to two of these vendors too) because they are not at all familiar with liquid soaps created from oils/lye.

It can be tricky to work with when there are not clear instructions but it DOES nicely thicken every liquid soap that I have tried it on so far - just trying to get my procedure for using it down. I have settled on two methods that work without creating a huge foamy mess that takes days to settle down. They key to successfully using HEC is the temperature of the water or glycerin you disperse it into, them temperature of your liquid soap and timing. If either part is too warm, the solution will gel up on you very quickly and make it difficult to incorporate. Timing is also very important as once the HEC is dispersed into first liquid (your distilled water or glycerin) it wills slowly start to thicken in making it more difficult to incorporate into your liquid soap.

~ Faith
 

Mommysoaper

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I have recently been experimenting with Hydroxyethyl Cellulose for thickening my liquid soaps with very good results and no clouding at all. I like my body washes and shampoos to have a bit more structure so that they don't just run down ones hand or scrubby thus wasting product. The instructions from the vendors are not very helpful (and I have recently spoken to two of these vendors too) because they are not at all familiar with liquid soaps created from oils/lye.

It can be tricky to work with when there are not clear instructions but it DOES nicely thicken every liquid soap that I have tried it on so far - just trying to get my procedure for using it down. I have settled on two methods that work without creating a huge foamy mess that takes days to settle down. They key to successfully using HEC is the temperature of the water or glycerin you disperse it into, them temperature of your liquid soap and timing. If either part is too warm, the solution will gel up on you very quickly and make it difficult to incorporate. Timing is also very important as once the HEC is dispersed into first liquid (your distilled water or glycerin) it wills slowly start to thicken in making it more difficult to incorporate into your liquid soap.

~ Faith
Thanks! Where can you purchase HEC? I figured to get the thickness I want I'll need to use something other than salt water or a borax solution. Have you tried either liquid crothix or cosmetic xanthum gum? I've heard some people had success with these items but incorporation may be tricky just like HEC is tricky to incorporate.
 

FGOriold

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You can purchase HEC at both The Herbarie and Lotioncrafters. The reason I say it is tricky to use is because I am now experimenting with it to get the procedure that gives me the best way to use it consistently across all formulations. Some people use it during the dilution phase, but I am finding I prefer to use after dilution as it is the last thing I do to my soaps (after reducing PH if necessary and adding other additives). There is very little information about using it to thicken liquid soap and the suppliers are not much help because they do not work with liquid soap created form oils/lye.

I have successfully thickened only my 100% olive oil soaps with regular table salt and that works very well for them without clouding. My understanding is it will not work on formulations with a certain percentage of coconut oil (not sure exactly what that number is). When I use salt to thicken those, I do so while the soap is hot then allow it to come to room temperature to check thickness level (it gets thicker as it cools down). When I have tried to thicken the 100% olive oils soap while at room temperature, I find tiny salt particles that did not fully dissolve in the initial distilled water/salt solution floating in the soap. That is just my preference.

~ Faith
 

bodhi

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There are a lot of things that could be clouding your soaps, and yes you can get a very thick handmade LS without any synthetic thickeners. Some FOs and EOs are notorious for clouding, some oils will always cloud, using too much salt can cloud, not using enough lye can cloud, etc. Some will clear during sequestration, some not. Try your recipes and dilutions and thickening experiments first, drop by drop with the thickeners if you have to, then when you get one you like try experimenting with the fragrances.
 

Mommysoaper

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Thanks for all the responses and suggestions so far. I am making a list of things to test and check for my next few batches and I am currently "cooking" my paste in preparation for my next round of testing. Thanks! Any other ideas I am open to listen to. I some instances I know the clouding is from too much salt water, but I wanted it thicker and pushed the envelope too much. Lesson learned on that one.
 

whitetiger_0603

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There are a lot of things that could be clouding your soaps, and yes you can get a very thick handmade LS without any synthetic thickeners. Some FOs and EOs are notorious for clouding, some oils will always cloud, using too much salt can cloud, not using enough lye can cloud, etc. Some will clear during sequestration, some not. Try your recipes and dilutions and thickening experiments first, drop by drop with the thickeners if you have to, then when you get one you like try experimenting with the fragrances.

Hi! New to the forum, been LSing for about a year. So, how do you get really thick soaps without the aide of thickeners like Crothix? Castile soap I have no problem with, though all of my soaps come out cloudy. I've tested their PH and that's fine. My last batch of Castile, nice and thick from low dilution..very cloudy. PH good. I'll cook my soaps on low or warm in the crock over night to make sure they're done. No additives. The 2 batches I'm working on now. Watery, cloudy. Can't get them to thicken with salt or Borax. Cooking excess water off takes hours..and I kind of need my stove for food. One batch I don't expect to clear up because it's a (brunt) Goat Milk soap
 

bodhi

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Hi! New to the forum, been LSing for about a year. So, how do you get really thick soaps without the aide of thickeners like Crothix? Castile soap I have no problem with, though all of my soaps come out cloudy. I've tested their PH and that's fine. My last batch of Castile, nice and thick from low dilution..very cloudy. PH good. I'll cook my soaps on low or warm in the crock over night to make sure they're done. No additives. The 2 batches I'm working on now. Watery, cloudy. Can't get them to thicken with salt or Borax. Cooking excess water off takes hours..and I kind of need my stove for food. One batch I don't expect to clear up because it's a (brunt) Goat Milk soap
You might want to start a new thread so everyone can see your question - and post your recipe too.
 

lsg

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The liquid is very easy to use. I would wait for 24 hrs. after adding fragrance or EO to the soap to give it a chance to thicken some before adding liquid Crothix.
 
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