HEC and clear liquid soap

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growjamaica

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I have a problem - i have made a fragrance-free clear liquid soap. When diluted, it is very clear - it can sit for months and still remain clear. However, when i add 1% HEC, the soap does come out clear however, after a while (days to weeks), a thin cloudy layer forms on top. I have tried storing the thickened soap in the dark - but layer always appears after a while. I'm wondering if it's the climate (Jamaica, West Indies). Also - i tried heating to remove the cloudy layer but it still comes back after a while.

Any thoughts???
 

growjamaica

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Hey - thanks for your reply....yes I have been using alaiynab blogs as a resource. The soap comes out crystal clear and will stay that way for weeks....then a light cloudy ring at the top - if i agitate, it dissipates...therefore some kind of precipitation seems to appear. Going to do a little more testing..will update. Thanks again
 

DeeAnna

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Faith Gratz Oriold (Alaiyna B) is a member here but doesn't visit often -- you might contact her directly.
 

Stu

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Hi there folks, I too have a problem with HEC making my liquid soap go cloudy.

My fragrance free liquid soap is crystal clear. But if I thicken it with 0.8% HEC it stays clear until the soap cools and then it goes cloudy.

I’ve been trying to get this to work for 6 weeks, can anyone help me figure it out?
Very best
Stu
 

Saranac

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Can you provide us with your process (i.e. how are you incorporating into the LS)?

EDITED TO ADD: Also, where are you purchasing the HEC from; I believe there are different grades.
 
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Stu

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Hi thanks for the reply,
Im making my liquid Soap using the no paste method in 'Liquid Soap Making' by Jackie Thompson

Ive attached my recipe as a PDF

I got the HEC on eBay , I can check the company and come back to you
 

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Stu

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I should point out that in the recipe Step 10 is written wrong
Step 10. Thicken the Soap with Hydroxyethylcellulose at 1% and further dilute the soap stock with up to 150% additional water.

Actually what i do is:
Mix the HEC into the 150% dilution water, then add that into the soap stock (Which is at 65C) and mix until smooth.

It looks wonderfully clear when finished, but once it cools..... Cloudy!
Its driving me crackers!! LOL

Best
Stu
 

Saranac

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Full disclosure: I've been working with HEC from LotionCrafters for a few months, but I've only just figured out how to make it work in LS (at least, make it work for me!). I'm far from an expert, but I may be able to help you work through the process.

First, the HEC from LotionCrafters has a built in hydration delay to prevent "fish eyes" when adding it to water. As a result, it's best to hydrate it in cool distilled water for about 30 minutes. At that point, it should be slowly heated (I use a water bath) while stirring until the temperature is about 75C. At that point it should be nice and thick, and can be incorporated into your formulations. To avoid lumps at this point, I've found that it's best to slowly stir your other ingredients into the HEC-thickened water. Trying to stir the HEC-thickened water in other liquids (IME) causes lumps.

The problem with adding the powdered HEC to liquid soap, is that a high pH (soap) causes the hydration to run too quickly. Just like you, I've tried taking diluted LS, adding the HEC (mixed into a little water), and heating it all up. The result is a thick and clear soap--until it cools. All of my attempts have ended up with the HEC settling to the bottom of the container, and still leaving the soap cloudy.

My best advice (until I "perfect" my method), is to pre-hydrate the HEC in water, slowly heat it to thicken, and then add an already diluted soap. LotionCrafters states that the usage for HEC is 1-3%. If you over thicken your water, you might be able to add just enough of it to your soap to thicken it. My experiments, thus far, are suggesting that 0.5% - 1% HEC is sufficient for soap.

I hope that helps.
 

Stu

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Thank you very much for this, I really appreciate it.
First thing tomorrow I’m going to try adding my liquid soap to pre fully hydrated HEC, I will of course post back to let you know how I get on.

Very best wishes
Stu
 

Saranac

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Yes, do let us know, Stu. And welcome to the forum!
 
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Stu

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Hello again,
I tried again this morning. I Hydrated my HEC, then once I had it nice and thick and smooth, I added my soap in.

The whole mix went instantly from thick to runny. So I think I should have maybe let the HEC cool down before adding the soap?

Ill need to make some more soap before I can try again, next time I'm going to let the HEC cool, and mix the two liquids together when they are both cold and see how that works..
 

Saranac

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Hello again,
I tried again this morning. I Hydrated my HEC, then once I had it nice and thick and smooth, I added my soap in.

The whole mix went instantly from thick to runny. So I think I should have maybe let the HEC cool down before adding the soap?

Ill need to make some more soap before I can try again, next time I'm going to let the HEC cool, and mix the two liquids together when they are both cold and see how that works..
Give it a day and see how it looks tomorrow morning. I've notice that my soaps tend to thicken after about 12-24 hours.

It seems to work better for me if things are of a similar temperature. If I add cold soap to hot HEC-thickened water, the temperature causes some lumps (but this seems to be remedy by time, additional heat, and mixing).
 

Stu

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Hi Saranac,
Could I ask you one question, do you mix together you thickened HEC and LS while they are both room temp, or while they are both 75C?

Many thanks
Stu
 
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