How does one go about making castile dog soap?

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leahjo534

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After making dog bar soap and deeming it unconvenient(due to having to create a lather with my hands before transferring it to my large, not-short-coated rottie), I decided to try to make a liquid form. I wanted to buy pure castile soap online instead of making it from scratch. Then want to add my choice of essential oils and coconut oil and no extra water or vinegar cause 1) I don't want it to be runny and 2) I've read the vinegar makes the dog smell vinegary.

I searched everywhere for recipes and 1)there wasn't many
2)most of the recipes included Dr. Bonner's castile soap
3) they looked diluted to the point of being a sudsy, runny soap mixture.

I even looked at the ingredients on castile dog soaps for sale on Etsy but they are all in the foaming soap container things so I'm assuming those are runny also. And they did have alot of diluting ingredients in them.

I saw a video of a lady using straight Dr. Bonner's soap on her wet dog. So then I wondered to myself if Dr. Bonner's soap is diluted. I couldn't find an answer to that either.

So I guess my point in all this is, would it work to just use pure castile soap, coconut oil, and essential oils? Would it be too strong that way? Would the ph level be right?
 

DeeAnna

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...would it work to just use pure castile soap, coconut oil, and essential oils? Would it be too strong that way? Would the ph level be right?

Most of us here are making soap from scratch, as in chemically reacting lye with fat. What you seem to be talking about is buying ready-made soap and tweaking it.

I'm going to avoid the word "castile" and recommend you do too, because castile has a different meaning to many soap makers compared to regular consumers. I suspect you have a consumer's point of view, so let me explain --

Dr Bronners is a soap made from all vegetable oils and consumers (and the makers) call it a "castile" soap. But the original meaning of castile is a soap made from 100% olive oil. That's what many soap makers here think of when someone mentions castile.​
If you're in a group of soap makers, it's usually helpful to avoid "castile" and say "100% veg oil soap" or something like that. If you mean specifically a 100% olive oil soap, say "all olive oil soap" or something like that.​

Dr Bronners (or any other liquid soap) is not 100% actual soap, because if it was, it would be a firm paste that could not be poured out of a bottle. The first ingredient in the ingredients list of ANY liquid soap or liquid cleanser will be water -- get your Dr Bronners bottle out and read the ingredients list and you'll see water is listed first, which means it is the largest ingredient. That's not a "cheat"; it's simply how liquid soap has to be made -- if you want a pourable soap, you have to dilute it.

Many people don't recommend using any true soap (the cleanser made by chemically reacting lye with fat) for washing animals, because true soap is harsh to the hair and can be drying to an animals skin. They recommend a cleanser made from synthetic detergents, not soap, because syndets have a lower pH than any true soap will ever have. They are also not as harsh on the hair/fur as soap can be.

Other people think soap is fine for occasional use on a pet, but not for frequent use. For example, when my dogs come in the house stinky from having rolled in the remains of a dead animal, I grab whatever cleanser is closest, whether it's Dawn or hand soap, and we head for the shower. But they might get bathed like this only once or twice a year. On the other hand, if I had a show dog that had to be washed once a week, I'd never use true soap as the cleanser. So make an informed decision about how often you wash your dog, and whether it really makes use true soap on your pet or another type of cleanser.

Dr Bronners is an all-veg-oil soap, that's true, but I know from personal experience that it is not a mild cleanser. It's drying to my skin, so I don't like to use it for general bathing and I would not want to use it on my own hair or on my pets.

Essential oils are not recommended for casual use on pets. For one thing, EOs are often abused because many people think "natural" = "safe" and that's not true. A person needs to KNOW what EOs are safe for use on pets and if safe, what the limits are. For another, pets can't communicate well if there's a problem. The EO you love to smell on your dog is not necessarily an EO your dog can tolerate or likes to smell.
 

leahjo534

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Most of us here are making soap from scratch, as in chemically reacting lye with fat. What you seem to be talking about is buying ready-made soap and tweaking it.

I'm going to avoid the word "castile" and recommend you do too, because castile has a different meaning to many soap makers compared to regular consumers. I suspect you have a consumer's point of view, so let me explain --

Dr Bronners is a soap made from all vegetable oils and consumers (and the makers) call it a "castile" soap. But the original meaning of castile is a soap made from 100% olive oil. That's what many soap makers here think of when someone mentions castile.​
If you're in a group of soap makers, it's usually helpful to avoid "castile" and say "100% veg oil soap" or something like that. If you mean specifically a 100% olive oil soap, say "all olive oil soap" or something like that.​

Dr Bronners (or any other liquid soap) is not 100% actual soap, because if it was, it would be a firm paste that could not be poured out of a bottle. The first ingredient in the ingredients list of ANY liquid soap or liquid cleanser will be water -- get your Dr Bronners bottle out and read the ingredients list and you'll see water is listed first, which means it is the largest ingredient. That's not a "cheat"; it's simply how liquid soap has to be made -- if you want a pourable soap, you have to dilute it.

Many people don't recommend using any true soap (the cleanser made by chemically reacting lye with fat) for washing animals, because true soap is harsh to the hair and can be drying to an animals skin. They recommend a cleanser made from synthetic detergents, not soap, because syndets have a lower pH than any true soap will ever have. They are also not as harsh on the hair/fur as soap can be.

Other people think soap is fine for occasional use on a pet, but not for frequent use. For example, when my dogs come in the house stinky from having rolled in the remains of a dead animal, I grab whatever cleanser is closest, whether it's Dawn or hand soap, and we head for the shower. But they might get bathed like this only once or twice a year. On the other hand, if I had a show dog that had to be washed once a week, I'd never use true soap as the cleanser. So make an informed decision about how often you wash your dog, and whether it really makes use true soap on your pet or another type of cleanser.

Dr Bronners is an all-veg-oil soap, that's true, but I know from personal experience that it is not a mild cleanser. It's drying to my skin, so I don't like to use it for general bathing and I would not want to use it on my own hair or on my pets.

Essential oils are not recommended for casual use on pets. For one thing, EOs are often abused because many people think "natural" = "safe" and that's not true. A person needs to KNOW what EOs are safe for use on pets and if safe, what the limits are. For another, pets can't communicate well if there's a problem. The EO you love to smell on your dog is not necessarily an EO your dog can tolerate or likes to smell.

Thank you for that and going into such great detail! I have made bar soaps for awhile and never researched what went into making 100% vegetable oil soap. One part of your post I'm having difficulty understanding tho, its the bottom part of the 6th paragraph down. What are you referring to when you say "synthetic detergents"? By what you said in that paragraph,(unless I'm not understanding it right) you're saying that it's not really possible to make a liquid or bar soap thats 100% okay for dogs skin? And what do you use on your dogs?
 

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"...What are you referring to when you say "synthetic detergents"? ..."

A synthetic detergent is any cleanser that's not true soap. The cleansers used in commercial shampoo for human hair are synthetic detergents (syndets).

"...you're saying that it's not really possible to make a liquid or bar soap thats 100% okay for dogs skin? ..."

That's my opinion, yes. IMO, using soap for bathing a dog once in a great while won't be a problem, but I would not use it often. You're going to get a variety of opinions about whether true soap is safe for bathing dogs, however.

"...And what do you use on your dogs? ..."

I almost never bathe my dogs. They're indoor-outdoor dogs on a farm, and they're outside a lot. They (normally) themselves clean pretty much on their own, even my long coated pups, and do not (normally) have an objectionable smell. I brush the ones that need brushed, but don't see the point of bathing them regularly.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I use whatever cleanser is closest to hand if I do bathe them -- it might be Dawn or it might be true soap. The reason why I'll grab whatever I can find is they are covered with unmentionable crud and reeking to the heavens with the stench.
 

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Hi @leahjo534 and WELCOME! :D

Please take a moment to go to the Introduction Forum and tell us a little about yourself, especially your Soapmaking experience and anything else you care to share. This will make it easier for us to help you on your Soapy Journey and, if you're lucky, find a few soapy friends near you.

Next, take a cuppa along and explore the Beginners Forum to learn the things we talk about here.

Find the Beginners Learn to Soap Online thread that will help you get off on the right foot for making your first batches. Scroll down to "Lovin' Soap Studio" for sage advice and clear instructions for making CP (Cold Process).

@DeeAnna is our resident science guru. Browse through her Soapy Stuff whenever you need to research a problem.

You can also use the Search icon (magnifying glass at the top right of this page) for topics that have been discussed before.

Use the Recipe Feedback Forum to get input for a batch before you make it. That's a good place to pick up TIPS.

Making as many small batches as you can, as often as you can, will have you up and running with the best of us in about 4 months if you put the time and effort into it. It's best to avoid adding fragrance and color until you have a solid recipe that delivers every time you make it.

Finally, show off your soaps in the Photo Gallery. We LUV pictures -- even when a batch goes awry. Hopefully that won't happen, but if it does, see it as an opportunity to learn more.

You can also use the Photo Gallery as a log of every batch you make. Include the recipe as well as your comments about how you processed it for future reference. I only wish I had that available to me when I first started making soap in 2003. It's a great way to chronicle your progress in the Wonderful World of Soapmaking!!!

HAPPY SOAPING!

it's not really possible to make a liquid or bar soap thats 100% okay for dogs skin?
In addition to @DeeAnna 's excellent advice, you may want to check out this thread: DOG SOAP
 
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Hi @leahjo534 and WELCOME! :D

Please take a moment to go to the Introduction Forum and tell us a little about yourself, especially your Soapmaking experience and anything else you care to share. This will make it easier for us to help you on your Soapy Journey and, if you're lucky, find a few soapy friends near you.

Next, take a cuppa along and explore the Beginners Forum to learn the things we talk about here.

Find the Beginners Learn to Soap Online thread that will help you get off on the right foot for making your first batches. Scroll down to "Lovin' Soap Studio" for sage advice and clear instructions for making CP (Cold Process).

@DeeAnna is our resident science guru. Browse through her Soapy Stuff whenever you need to research a problem.

You can also use the Search icon (magnifying glass at the top right of this page) for topics that have been discussed before.

Use the Recipe Feedback Forum to get input for a batch before you make it. That's a good place to pick up TIPS.

Making as many small batches as you can, as often as you can, will have you up and running with the best of us in about 4 months if you put the time and effort into it. It's best to avoid adding fragrance and color until you have a solid recipe that delivers every time you make it.

Finally, show off your soaps in the Photo Gallery. We LUV pictures -- even when a batch goes awry. Hopefully that won't happen, but if it does, see it as an opportunity to learn more.

You can also use the Photo Gallery as a log of every batch you make. Include the recipe as well as your comments about how you processed it for future reference. I only wish I had that available to me when I first started making soap in 2003. It's a great way to chronicle your progress in the Wonderful World of Soapmaking!!!

HAPPY SOAPING!
Hi Zany, the blue highlighted text doesn’t seem to have links. Great intro paragraph though!
 

leahjo534

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Thank you all! @Zany_in_CO , that was very helpful! I will post an intro soon ;)

Also, don't hate me cause despite what Dee Anna suggested, I'm going to try my best to formulate and research for the best recipe for organic dog soap. I bathe my rottie once a week to keep her coat in top condition and would also love to add an amazing dog liquid dog shampoo to my line of human soaps.
 
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@leahjo534 no hate here, even when we disagree. But I encourage you to check out the ingredients of whatever "soap" you've been using to see what's in it. If it is a pet shampoo sold in stores, it probably isn't actually soap, as it most likely contains some gentle syndets that are lower in pH and better for your dog's coat. You can purchase these ingredients yourself, and some of them are even ECOCERT. In other words, you can still make an amazing liquid dog shampoo with ingredients that you select and trust - but that is not lye-based soap. Something to consider.
 

leahjo534

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artemis

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I bathe my rottie once a week to keep her coat in top condition ...

I don't know how different dog hair is from human hair. But, if the goal is to keep the coat in top condition, you might want to search the forum for the different experiences people have had with using a true soap on their human hair. A great many people report damage to their hair due to the high pH of soap.
 

leahjo534

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I don't know how different dog hair is from human hair. But, if the goal is to keep the coat in top condition, you might want to search the forum for the different experiences people have had with using a true soap on their human hair. A great many people report damage to their hair due to the high pH of soap.
There is ways of lowering pH tho... and if you look at the links I included in my recent post...
 

Zany_in_CO

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This is just me, but I didn't learn to make all natural soap just to go back to using chemicals, synthetics and detergents. Getting away from that stuff is what brought me to soapmaking in the first place. :nodding:

That being said, there is a whole syndet crowd here, if that's the way you want to go. I'd suggest starting a new thread with "Syndet Dog Shampoo" or something similar to attract those members who will be more than happy to weigh in with their advice. 😉

Hi Zany, the blue highlighted text doesn’t seem to have links. Great intro paragraph though!
Yeah. I don't know what happened. I can no longer edit it but you can report it by clicking the Report button, lower left corner of the post. Hopefully a mod will respond and fix it. :)
 

DeeAnna

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There is ways of lowering pH tho... and if you look at the links I included in my recent post...

Your recent post contained a link that has formulations using synthetic detergents, not soap. Syndets can have a lower pH, and that's why they work better for cleansing hair. But they're not the same as true lye-based soap. You can't assume what you can do to a particular syndet with good results will also be successful when done to soap.

While you certainly can add acids to lower the pH of true soap, the soap won't remain soap if you do that. True soap decomposes into fatty acids when you add a stronger acid.

@Zany_in_CO -- You will need to be responsible for fixing the broken links in your earlier post. The mods don't have a clue what the URLs are -- you had to have created those links yourself some time ago.

FWIW, the link to my "Soapy Stuff" articles is Soapy Stuff
 
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leahjo534

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Your recent post contained a link that has formulations using synthetic detergents, not soap. Syndets can have a lower pH, and that's why they work better for cleansing hair. But they're not the same as true lye-based soap. You can't assume what you can do to a particular syndet with good results will also be successful when done to soap.

While you certainly can add acids to lower the pH of true soap, the soap won't remain soap if you do that. True soap decomposes into fatty acids when you add a stronger acid.

@Zany_in_CO -- You will need to be responsible for fixing the broken links in your earlier post. The mods don't have a clue what the URLs are -- you had to have created those links yourself some time ago.

FWIW, the link to my "Soapy Stuff" articles is Soapy Stuff
I don't mean this snotty, its a genuine question lol. Is there something wrong with using synthetic detergents? Unless I'm wrong, didn’t you say it was better to use that than castile, oil, or lye-based soap?

Yeah. I don't know what happened. I can no longer edit it but you can report it by clicking the Report button, lower left corner of the post. Hopefully a mod will respond and fix it. :)
Thank you!!!
 
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I don't mean this snotty, its a genuine question lol. Is there something wrong with using synthetic detergents? Unless I'm wrong, didn’t you say it was better to use that than castile, oil, or lye-based soap?
Yes, she did say that. But your responses are confusing... it sounds like you want to make a lye-based soap with lower pH. DeeAnna is telling you that isn't possible. True soap is made with fat + lye, and is probably going to have a pH of 9 to 11.

As seen from the links you shared, you can make a syndet dog shampoo or cleansing bar with lower pH - but that won't meet the true definition of "soap," as it will be made with syndets and not with lye. This will probably be better for your dog's coat if you are washing him weekly.
 
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I used to use PRELL shampoo on my dogs all the time.
I had an English Setter with a propensity for going off and being gone for a couple of days and coming home smelling like.... well let's just say it wasn't pleasant at all. Living near the Kansas River didn't help much either.
My vet told me to use PRELL because it was mild, inexpensive and easy to rinse off, plus it was thick, a little went a long way and it lathered like crazy.
To the dog it didn't matter, she would just run around once off of the rope holding her while I bathed her then she would roll in the grass for several minutes.
She did the same regardless of the soap or shampoo used.

I have heard good things about "Mane and Tail" shampoo though. Used for horses but people use it too. Several of my lady co-workers in Oklahoma swore by it, plus it is about $6 a quart.
 

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I don't mean this snotty, its a genuine question lol. Is there something wrong with using synthetic detergents?...

No, there's nothing wrong with using syndets. I use them too. I once the mistake of thinking soap is okay for hair and learned the hard way that it is not. So I now make a syndet shampoo for my family's use and it works very well.

I said what I said about soap and pH for exactly the reasons AliOop explained. You had been focused on soap for most of this thread, and didn't make it clear enough (at least to me) that you changed your mind and want to use syndets instead. I'll quit blithering on about soap now that I'm up to speed with your current point of view.
 

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It's the fragrance! She was trying to get it off her. Keep that in mind when formulating shampoo for dogs -- syndet or lye-based. 😉
That's what the Vet told me too! She came from the hunting side of the breed and he said that they would try to cover up their scent when going on the "prowl" so to speak. Yes... dead rotting carp on the riverbank, and other things too gross to mention here. LOL!
Most intelligent dog I ever had and a great personality, she just had certain foibles regarding what I have mentioned. Had to worm her on a monthly basis too.

Her choice of edibles sometimes left a lot to be desired too! Kept a bowl of Brach's Peppermint disks by the chair, which she loved by the way, to take care of doggy halitosis!
 

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