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How does molasses affect the lather of (liquid) soap.

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Garden Gives Me Joy

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Having had an endless supply of molasses, I made a 'molasses' liquid soap. BTW, I am also a newbie at liquid soap (and used palm kernel oil / PKO for the first time).

When the batter had already passed trace and could maintain peaks, I added the molasses at a whopping rate of 52% (out of 120%) of the recipe's total 100% water requirement. (These percentages were my attempt to compensate for the highly viscous nature of the molasses which might seize the soap otherwise?).

I figured that, since my soap would be dark, neither a clarity test ... nor in turn neutralization would be possible. So, I superfatted at 5%. Was my thinking correct?

I cooked for 2 hours between 73 and 85 deg C (163 and 185 deg F), beyond 'mashed potato' until slightly flakey when there was no longer a zap on my tongue. BTW, did not see 'vasceline'. Despite my soapcalc formulation scores being cleansing (21), bubbling (28), creamy (16) and conditioning (65 :nodding: ), the soap was moderately lathering properties and ... NOT conditioning :beatinghead:.

Is the high mineral content of the molasses responsible for the lather and the very disappointing conditioning result? Suggestions please!:confused:
 
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DeeAnna

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You may find your soap will separate at 5% superfat, not just be cloudy. The rule of thumb of limiting superfat to 3% or less helps avoid separation issues where the soap cannot emulsify or solubilize all of the fat present.

As far as the soap not being "conditioning", I don't believe in that concept as it relates to soap. Soap can certainly be milder or harsher to the skin, but it's not going to "condition" the skin like a lotion or balm does.

In addition to that, the way the "conditioning" number is calculated (the sum of the percentages of oleic acid + linoleic acid + linolenic acid + ricinoleic acid) does not necessarily result in a soap that everyone finds "conditioning". Oleic acid is a big part of most liquid soap recipes and some people find a soap high in oleic acid can be drying.

There are a number of reasons why liquid soap can be more cleansing and drying than bar soap. You didn't share your recipe, so it's impossible to say if it could be tweaked to be milder. Another issue that most people don't realize is most people put too much liquid soap on their skin and more soap on the skin can result in desirable skin oils being removed so the skin feels dry and taut.

You don't need to cook for hours and you don't need to see all the visual stages that the tutorials seem to imply you have to see. Get the soap to a stable emulsion, turn off the heat if you're using heat, cover the pot, and walk away. The soap will saponify just fine without hours of hovering. After my soap batter gets to a stable emulsion, it's done in 1/2 hour or less.

As far as what the molasses is doing to the lather and skin feel ... I don't have an answer. If you really want to know, make the same recipe with just water and see how it compares to the molasses version.
 
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Garden Gives Me Joy

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Hi DeeAnna,

Thanks so much for your reply.

There are a number of reasons why liquid soap can be more cleansing and drying than bar soap. You didn't share your recipe, so it's impossible to say if it could be tweaked to be milder.
Please see the attached recipe. I was happy for high cleansing but also hoped for the soap to be sufficiently emollient that it offered an soothing after feel, ie rather than the abrupt feeling after being rinsed. (... To an extent, I'm also comparing with my usual 5-10% superfat of my bar soaps?) During dilution, can I superfat with castor oil and, to prevent floating oil, polysorbate 80? Were my expectations re capturing the emollience of sunflower oil too high ... or was my overcooking the batter responsible, at least in part? ... that, having not done a clarity test and neutralization, it is too alkaline? Unsure if safe to add boric acid.

You don't need to cook for hours and you don't need to see all the visual stages [...]. Get the soap to a stable emulsion, turn off the heat if you're using heat, cover the pot, and walk away. [...] After my soap batter gets to a stable emulsion, it's done in 1/2 hour or less.
Noted with many thanks. Is it possible to do the clarity test on dark coloured soap? I overcooked the batter through fear of excess lye. I did the tongue zap test only. Should I have turned off the heat after 20 - 30 minutes by which time the batter had already reached mashed potato? If it cooks for a shorter period than even HP solid soap which sometimes requires curing time, how can I ensure liquid soap cures sufficiently well?

Thinking of using the soap alone and in scrubs. Happy for thoughts.

As far as what the molasses is doing to the lather and skin feel ... If you really want to know, make the same recipe with just water and see how it compares to the molasses version.
Point taken. Agreed!
 

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