Quantcast

Homemade Vanilla Stabilizer?

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

Todd Ziegler

Circle Z soaps
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
1,247
Reaction score
1,400
Location
Tipton IN
I did a little web hopping this morning with the goal of learning more about the use of sodium thiosulphate and sodium metabisulfite in cosmetics, especially in terms of safe usage rates. Apologies in advance if information here duplicates anything posted above.

First off, an Aussie soap making supplier has posted results after 5 months for MP soap made with homemade vanilla stabilizer (thiosulphate), here:

I found a brief discussion of use of thiosulphate and sodium metabisulfite for lotion at this link: sodium thiosulphate....looking to reduce browning (oxidation) with Vanillin — Cosmetic Science Talk

where a poster, Ozgirl, contributed this on why sodium thiosulfate can be listed as fragrance:

“The loophole is probably to do with the IFRA Transparency List.

IFRA Transparency List

IFRA describes two types of ingredients used in fragrances - Fragrance ingredients and Functional ingredients.

Functional ingredients are substances that are not used to provide odor or malodor coverage, but which are essential for the functionality or durability of a fragrance compound – such as an antioxidant, preservative, diluent, solvent or color.

Sodium thiosulfate is listed as being used in fragrances as a functional ingredient so if it is added to your fragrance to stop oxidation you can probably get away with listing the combination (fragrance + sodium thiosulfate) as "fragrance".”

That led me to the IFRA website where I found an August 2019 document from the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel (CIR) titled “Safety Assessment of Sulfites as Used in Cosmetics.” I skipped to the end of the long document and on page 52, the conclusion stated is:“The CIR concluded that Sodium Sulfite, Potassium Sulfite, Ammonium Sulfite, Sodium Bisulfite, Ammonium Bisulfite, Sodium Metabisulfite, and Potassium Metabisulfite are safe as used in cosmetic formulations.”

I haven’t been able to find a similar document that specifically discusses sodium thiosulfate/thiosulphate, but found this 2014 CIR document:

which on page 92, states “... the CIR expert panel concludes Sodium Sulphate to be safe as used in rinse-off formulations, and safe up to 1% in leave-on formulation.”

also, this:

As for getting to a standardized formula, the pentahydrate version of thiosulfate, which I’ve read is more shelf stable, has 5 attached water molecules compared with the anhydrous form. I think that means more of it is required to get equivalent concentrations of thiosulfate in a solution compared with using the anhydrous form.
Thanks for the hard work. You can also find usage safety from the FDA for metabisulfate and thiosulfate because they are both used in the food and medical industry. I know that metabisulfate is approved for internal consumption but in no way am I recommending that. It is used as a preservative for wine.
 

Mobjack Bay

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
2,716
Reaction score
4,566
Location
Virginia
This relates to using anhydrous sodium thiosulphate vs, the less expensive sodium thiosulphate pentahydrate form.

From the web:

Molecular weight of sodium thiosulfate is 158.11
Molecular weight of sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate is 248.19
Molecular weight of 5 water molecules is 5x18 = 90 (which nicely accounts for the weight difference between the two forms)

The less expensive, pentahydrate form of thiosulfate is 63.7% sodium thiosulfate by weight and the rest is water. I think that means 1.57x by weight of the pentahydrate form would be required to get the same concentration in solution for a given weight of the anhydrous form (sodium thiosulfate).
 

Todd Ziegler

Circle Z soaps
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
1,247
Reaction score
1,400
Location
Tipton IN
This relates to using anhydrous sodium thiosulphate vs, the less expensive sodium thiosulphate pentahydrate form.

From the web:

Molecular weight of sodium thiosulfate is 158.11
Molecular weight of sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate is 248.19
Molecular weight of 5 water molecules is 5x18 = 90 (which nicely accounts for the weight difference between the two forms)

The less expensive, pentahydrate form of thiosulfate is 63.7% sodium thiosulfate by weight and the rest is water. I think that means 1.57x by weight of the pentahydrate form would be required to get the same concentration in solution for a given weight of the anhydrous form (sodium thiosulfate).
I think I understand what you mean. You are comparing the two forms of thiosulfate and how much to use for the same effecisy rate. Am I close?
 

Mobjack Bay

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
2,716
Reaction score
4,566
Location
Virginia
I think I understand what you mean. You are comparing the two forms of thiosulfate and how much to use for the same effecisy rate. Am I close?
I will need to go back to find your numbers. I was looking at a 5lb bag of the pentahydrate form on Amazon for 16.99 including shipping. By the calculations I did above, it would yield to 3.2 lbs of sodium thiosulfate, which then works out to $5.30/lb. The cheapest anhydrous form I’m finding is about $19.00/lb with shipping.
 

Todd Ziegler

Circle Z soaps
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
1,247
Reaction score
1,400
Location
Tipton IN
I will need to go back to find your numbers. I was looking at a 5lb bag of the pentahydrate form on Amazon for 16.99 including shipping. By the calculations I did above, it would yield to 3.2 lbs of sodium thiosulfate, which then works out to $5.30/lb. The cheapest anhydrous form I’m finding is about $19.00/lb with shipping.
I bought mine from ebay and it was $11 for a pound.
 

Mobjack Bay

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
2,716
Reaction score
4,566
Location
Virginia
I bought mine from ebay and it was $11 for a pound.
And I also saw where someone had earlier posted 3 pounds of anhydrous on Amazon for around $15 with free shipping. Looks like the cost could be as low as $5-$5.50/lb if the pentahydrate form works works as well as the anhydrous form, or that low priced anhydrous is legit. I imagine that making chemicals anhydrous and ensuring purity adds cost.
 
Last edited:

AliOop

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
2,740
Reaction score
3,657
Location
US
For CP soap, I don't think I'd start with just the thiosulfate. The results from the original article in post #1, as well as @glendam's experiment/video (also posted way back in this thread) were done with thiosulfate. While they did lessen the discoloration, they did not eliminate it.

In contrast, Todd's experiments with the mix of the two resulted in complete elimination of the browning (to date), even with high vanillin fragrances. And he has stated his belief that it's probably the metabisulfite that's doing the work for CP soap, whereas the thiosulfate is probably for M&P soap. His instincts and research have been great so far.

If I were going to start with just one of the two, my money would be on the metabisulfite. Ebay lists it as low as $6.25/lb with free shipping. Amazon has it as low as $4.42/lb with free shipping for Prime members. But the reality is that Todd will probably finish his experiments and report his results, long before I finish up the bottles that I bought right as this thread started.

Todd, we should all be chipping in to send you a Christmas ______ (honey-baked ham, case of beer, bottle of fine wine, box of Neuhaus chocolates, fill-in-your-choice-of-treats-here). 🍺🍷🍫🍾 🍪
 
Last edited:

Mobjack Bay

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
2,716
Reaction score
4,566
Location
Virginia
Oh, good distinction on the MP versus CP soap factor. I only read through the entire thread once and I’m sure I missed a lot of important details. Do the manufacturers make the mix of thiosulphate and metabisulfite so they have all bases covered for MP, CP, lotions, etc?
 

dibbles

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
6,555
Reaction score
6,871
Location
Minnesota
WSP has three different VCS products, one for M&P, one for CP and one for lotions. I took a quick look and didn’t see anything listed about the ingredients, so it would take someone more knowledgeable than me to uncover what might be in them. I also have read that their version doesn’t work very well, but I can’t remember where. Seems to me I’ve read it several times though.
 

AliOop

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
2,740
Reaction score
3,657
Location
US
I've also read that WSP's version doesn't work well. Back when I was on FB, many soapers were saying how the stabilizer only worked for a certain amount of time, and then the browning was inevitable at some point during the cure.

My guess is that the VCS works differently in different soap recipes. With endless combinations of oils, micas, fragrances, and other additives, it's not a simple task to come up with something that will work for everyone.
 

Sunibee

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2020
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
Location
India
I'm glad you found the thread and are going to give it a try.

I would never patent the formula because first, I wasn't the only one involved with making it, 2nd it is meant for the soaping community and the satisfaction of helping others is its own reward. Everyone can pay me by sending pictures of their successes.

On the ROE, I use it in all my oils but I add it to the bottle of oil that I store them in, so that the unused portion lasts longer. So far I have not had a problem with any of the soap that I have used the homemade VCS in. You can definitely add it as you use it but you get more of a benefit by adding it to the source bottles of oil.

This is the recipe that I used to make the VCS.

3ozs metabisulfate, 3ozs thiosulfate in 10ozs of distilled water

I have someone who is going to help me with turning those numbers into percentages and I will put it in the summary thread.

Most people and me use it at a 1:1 ratio which works well for FO's with vanillin in it that go to dark brown. For FO's without vanillin but still discolor the soap you can lower it to 1/2:1. If the FO has vanillin in it but the end color is light tan or a dark tan you can match the percentages.
For example, I have an FO that has 3% vanillin in it but it only gets a light tan color. So I use 3% of the total FO amount. If my recipe calls for 10ozs of FO then 3% VCS would be 3ozs.

If you don't understand what l said please just ask me because I know I am not great at numbers.
Thank you for sharing so generously.Very interesting will chk
 

Todd Ziegler

Circle Z soaps
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
1,247
Reaction score
1,400
Location
Tipton IN
For CP soap, I don't think I'd start with just the thiosulfate. The results from the original article in post #1, as well as @glendam's experiment/video (also posted way back in this thread) were done with thiosulfate. While they did lessen the discoloration, they did not eliminate it.

In contrast, Todd's experiments with the mix of the two resulted in complete elimination of the browning (to date), even with high vanillin fragrances. And he has stated his belief that it's probably the metabisulfite that's doing the work for CP soap, whereas the thiosulfate is probably for M&P soap. His instincts and research have been great so far.

If I were going to start with just one of the two, my money would be on the metabisulfite. Ebay lists it as low as $6.25/lb with free shipping. Amazon has it as low as $4.42/lb with free shipping for Prime members. But the reality is that Todd will probably finish his experiments and report his results, long before I finish up the bottles that I bought right as this thread started.

Todd, we should all be chipping in to send you a Christmas ______ (honey-baked ham, case of beer, bottle of fine wine, box of Neuhaus chocolates, fill-in-your-choice-of-treats-here). 🍺🍷🍫🍾 🍪
The patent that I read included a lot of testing of different combinations of metabisulfate and thiosulfate in differing amounts. It even included different chemicals in conjunction with metabisulfate but the final winner in the tests was the recipe that I shared.

My tests are mirroring the same results that were achieved in the very thorough patent testing process.

I do wish someone who is using the VCS from WSP would chime in because I would like to know what there's smells like but if I am not mistaken, someone did find the percentages used in the crafters choice VCS.

I don't need a gift, just send me pictures of your soap with the ZCS results.
 

AliOop

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
2,740
Reaction score
3,657
Location
US
WSP has three different VCS products, one for M&P, one for CP and one for lotions.
I didn’t realize that vanillin would discolor lotions! I thought it was the lye or the saponification process that causing the browning reaction (the Maillard reaction of the soaping world, lol). This is good to know, thank you!
 

dibbles

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
6,555
Reaction score
6,871
Location
Minnesota
I didn’t realize that vanillin would discolor lotions! I thought it was the lye or the saponification process that causing the browning reaction (the Maillard reaction of the soaping world, lol). This is good to know, thank you!
I gave lotion making a try - it’s not for me. But I have bought and scented a premade base for years and it will discolor. Maybe not as readily or as dark as CP, but that might be due to a lower usage rate. M&P will discolor as well and in that case the lye and oils have already saponified.
 

glendam

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
235
Reaction score
362
Location
77063
@TheGecko this is the soap I experimented with, in which it seems the ROE is helping, which I added to the oils before adding the lye solution. The fragrance is chocolate mint from Nurture soap (discontinued).
I put thiosulfate in a 1:1 rate to half of the soap and poured it in the mold. The other half I did not add thiosulfate and expected it to get dark brown. I attempted a drop swirl with it, without realizing that in a tall and skinny mold it was likely to look like deformed buttocks.
it has been 3 weeks and the top half has yet to discolor the way it did the first time I used the fragrance, which is linked below.
98AFFEB6-9C2F-4EF1-B935-022D95408BA1.jpeg

How this fragrance did last year, after 2 weeks:

Chocolate mint
 

Todd Ziegler

Circle Z soaps
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
1,247
Reaction score
1,400
Location
Tipton IN
For CP soap, I don't think I'd start with just the thiosulfate. The results from the original article in post #1, as well as @glendam's experiment/video (also posted way back in this thread) were done with thiosulfate. While they did lessen the discoloration, they did not eliminate it.

In contrast, Todd's experiments with the mix of the two resulted in complete elimination of the browning (to date), even with high vanillin fragrances. And he has stated his belief that it's probably the metabisulfite that's doing the work for CP soap, whereas the thiosulfate is probably for M&P soap. His instincts and research have been great so far.

If I were going to start with just one of the two, my money would be on the metabisulfite. Ebay lists it as low as $6.25/lb with free shipping. Amazon has it as low as $4.42/lb with free shipping for Prime members. But the reality is that Todd will probably finish his experiments and report his results, long before I finish up the bottles that I bought right as this thread started.

Todd, we should all be chipping in to send you a Christmas ______ (honey-baked ham, case of beer, bottle of fine wine, box of Neuhaus chocolates, fill-in-your-choice-of-treats-here). 🍺🍷🍫🍾 🍪
I really don't need a gift and I appreciate the thought. If you really want to get something, then give me the gift of calling it ZCS, I really think that it deserves a spot in the abbreviations permathread and we can all take credit for it.
 

AliOop

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
2,740
Reaction score
3,657
Location
US
@glendam you crack me up! 😂 I think your soap looks great, as usual.

Just to be clear, are you saying that you believe the ROE is helping to prevent discoloration from vanillin? I must have missed that part of the discussion. So, did you add the ROE to master-batched oils, or only to specific ones before mixing with the rest of your oils?
 

Todd Ziegler

Circle Z soaps
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
1,247
Reaction score
1,400
Location
Tipton IN
@TheGecko this is the soap I experimented with, in which it seems the ROE is helping, which I added to the oils before adding the lye solution. The fragrance is chocolate mint from Nurture soap (discontinued).
I put thiosulfate in a 1:1 rate to half of the soap and poured it in the mold. The other half I did not add thiosulfate and expected it to get dark brown. I attempted a drop swirl with it, without realizing that in a tall and skinny mold it was likely to look like deformed buttocks.
it has been 3 weeks and the top half has yet to discolor the way it did the first time I used the fragrance, which is linked below.
View attachment 52015

How this fragrance did last year, after 2 weeks:

Chocolate mint
First, I love the soap and I love your stamp. How long do you wait before stamping your soap.

What is the vanillin content of your FO? What amount of ROE did you use with the thiosulfate. It would be great if the ROE adds something to the formula but it would be a very expensive one.
 

Saponificarian

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
517
Reaction score
654
Location
Alberta, Canada
I have been using Sodium Metabisulphate by itself and it’s working for me at half of my FO amount.

I have found that keeping my lotion slightly acidic keeps Vanillin FO discoloration to a minimum. I use BB Cocoa Butter Cashmere FO in lotion and it doesn’t turn but we usually use up a batch of lotion within 3 months. I havent kept the lotion for over 3 months to see if it does eventually turn brown.
 
Top