How to Thicken Liquid Castile Soap

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Greetings fellow soapers! I hope everyone is staying healthy and well. Sure is a good time to know how to craft your own soap, huh? :)

I feel like I finally got the liquid castile soap making down and have been using it to clean dishes, as a shower gel and shampoo base (though for this I super fat at a higher rate so it's nice and soft and I blend in a little SCI and xanthum, which thickens the shampoo...if anyone is interested in the recipe and ratios i'd be happy to share...), and even use it mixed with ACV or baking soda to clean the house. One question: is there a way to make the liquid castile soap a little thicker? My hubbie and my close friend who I share my soap with both prefer a little more of a substantive liquid soap. And to be honest, while the soap really cuts grease and does lather well when I am washing dishes, because it's liquidy, it does slip through fingers or drip off the sponge. So I was wondering how to get it a little thicker. I am experimenting with xanthum gum but don't know how to use it yet. And I've tried mixing a little sea salt. It didn't thicken it too much.

I use the Oh The Things We Will Make recipe (see the thingswewillmake.com website) and Tara Lee (search her on you tube), and Humble Bee and Me. The recipes are really lovely and work well...just wondering about thickening...

Cheers from NY!
 

kina.karpinska

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Try mixing 30 gram of salt with 100 gram of water. Then slowly add to the soap, using spoon, you will quickly see the difference and sometimes even 2 teaspoons would be ok for 500ml of soap, so pour a bit in, mix and check. It will be better than just adding salt into the soap.
Good luck xx
 

moodymama

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Try mixing 30 gram of salt with 100 gram of water. Then slowly add to the soap, using spoon, you will quickly see the difference and sometimes even 2 teaspoons would be ok for 500ml of soap, so pour a bit in, mix and check. It will be better than just adding salt into the soap.
Good luck xx
Does the salt need to be without iodine?
 

kina.karpinska

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So far I have used both just normal white cooking salt the cheapest from the shops, and Himalayan pink salt they both worked fine. The only differenece I have noticed is that Himalayan one makes soap more cloudy, while whita table salt not.

Thats all info I can offer really, so far I was jist making liquid soap for me and close friends so never read much into the topic.
 
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Try mixing 30 gram of salt with 100 gram of water. Then slowly add to the soap, using spoon, you will quickly see the difference and sometimes even 2 teaspoons would be ok for 500ml of soap, so pour a bit in, mix and check. It will be better than just adding salt into the soap.
Good luck xx

Thank you so much!
 

Kazellecare

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Good night, I too encountered this problem~ I ordered premade liquid soap but the viscosity was to runny and so I googled how to fix, saw the tip on using salt to thicken applied it but it made a thick lather on top and the water stayed at the bottom. Anyone experienced this?
 
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Did you try to forcefully mix it? worked for me

Also whats your oil composition, oils high in coconut oil will be hard to thicken using salt while soaps with high oleic fatty acids (ex. olive oil) will be much easier (at least form what I have read haven't tried this yet)
 

Chris_S

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Good night, I too encountered this problem~ I ordered premade liquid soap but the viscosity was to runny and so I googled how to fix, saw the tip on using salt to thicken applied it but it made a thick lather on top and the water stayed at the bottom. Anyone experienced this?

Yes once it happened to me and i ended up throwing it out as a result but others have been absolutly fine when iv used a salt solution and its only happened once too me aswell. I thought it was maybe the fragrance i used and as iv been adding the fragrance after the salt then adding a little plain water if its too thick then mixed it together. Maybe add the salt solution before the scent if thats not how you did it!
 
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Just like with making gravy or sauces, I simply cook the water out of the soap until I have almost the thickness I want - soap thickens more as it cools.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Good night, I too encountered this problem~ I ordered premade liquid soap but the viscosity was to runny and so I googled how to fix, saw the tip on using salt to thicken applied it but it made a thick lather on top and the water stayed at the bottom. Anyone experienced this?
Although not always necessary, when adding anything to liquid soap I find it's best to warm the soap a bit before proceeding. Thickening with salt (see post #2) applies mainly to castile soap high in olive oil (80-100%). It does not work well for LS containing over 20% coconut oil. ;) Add while stirring; SB not recommended.
 

DeeAnna

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If you want a LS that can be thickened with salt, there's no real reason to use olive oil specifically. Focus instead on keeping the oleic acid content around 50%. You can get that by using any high oleic fat -- HO safflower, HO sunflower, HO canola, sweet almond, avocado, etc. -- as well as olive.

Understand too that salt is tricky to use. As salt is added, the soap will thicken up to a point and then it will begin to thin again as more salt is added. There's an optimum percentage of salt that will give the best thickening. Anything more or anything less will not be as thick. So you can't add salt willy-nilly and expect good results.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Understand too that salt is tricky to use. As salt is added, the soap will thicken up to a point and then it will begin to thin again as more salt is added. There's an optimum percentage of salt that will give the best thickening. Anything more or anything less will not be as thick.
So true! That's why some soapers test the pH in between each addition. Best to start with a small portion of the batch so you don't go over the limit of the optimum amount. That way, the test batch can be saved with the addition of more LS. As always, take good notes. ;)
 

DeeAnna

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Why does adding table salt change the pH?

I agree with your advice about testing a sample to find the best amount of salt to add.
 

DeeAnna

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Hmm. Yes, saltwater has a pH of 7, but I'm seriously skeptical that the pH of soap is related to its viscosity.

A "salt curve" is the industry standard way to figure out how a liquid soap (or other liquid product) responds to thickening with salt. You'd make your liquid soap and weigh out a number of samples -- say 100 g of LS per sample. Then make a saturated brine of salt and distilled water. Add enough salt brine to supply 0.5% salt by weight to one LS sample. Add 1% salt by weigh to the second. Repeat all the way to about 2% salt by weight in the sample. Evaluate the viscosity of each sample and figure out what is best for your particular situation. No pH required.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Okie dokie. Makes sense to me. I'm copying your instructions and will give it a go... as soon as I can clear a block of time. :rolleyes:
Thank You.gif
 
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