Is cloudy LS such a bad thing?

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Apr 5, 2017
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Los Angeles
Does anyone know how much poly 80 should be added when superfatting or adding EO after LS is made? The recipe had 3% SF built into it then I followed these instructions for adding extra SF and EO at the end.

Meadowfoam oil (MO) at 3% of LS
Poly 80 at 3% of meadowfoam oil
(why only 3%??)

EO at 0.5 - 1% of LS
Poly 80 at 100% of EO.

After following these instructions, it was almost opaque, not even letting light through. I've always been told cloudy LS means there's unemulsified oil in it and needs more poly 80. So in small increments over a few days I ended up adding poly 80 of MO at 50%. I went from 3% to 50%. And the pic shows where it is now. The left one is with the 50% poly, MO, and EO/poly, and right has no extra SF or EO. It definitely got clearer after increasing thebl poly to 50% of MO but still cloudy. Is this still not clear enough? Should I keep adding poly 80 until it is as clear as the right one? It sort of seems like I should be adding equal amount (100%) poly of MO just like it asked for the EO.

What is the risk of having unemusified oil? Is it only that it may separate and float on top? If it doesnt do that but just cloudy, is there any reason why it matters? Of course aesthetics aside.

The LS recipe is from 3 bees 1 flower (Carrie's) posted by IrishLass. The SF/EO addition after making the LS is from Irish Lass's "Creamy Shea/Cocoa LS". I've made both recipes many times and have been using them as my home handsoap ever since I tried them! and I love the techniques I've learned from her of using less heat, dissolving KOH into glycerin and water, and most of all using jars to dilute!


Mar 9, 2017
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SE Denver CO
The thing about the polysorbates is that they are often called "emulsifiers" but technically they are "solubizers", i.e., they make oils water-soluble. You'll hafta ask IL about the Meadowfoam Oil. It's not something I would add to LS but that lady knows how to make magic with the stuff she creates!

As for FOs and EOs, just so you know, some incorporate into LS without the aid of Polysorbate and at room temp. That being said, I've found it's best to warm the LS to 140°F / 60°C before adding fragrance. The ratio that works for me is 3-4 parts Polysorbate 80 (or 20) to 1 part EO or FO. First add the poly to water. Stir until clear. Then add the EO or FO. Stir until clear. If the oil separates out, add 1 more part poly 80. It shouldn't take more than that.

The clouding that occurred is anyone's guess. It maybe the LS rather than the additives. I know "sequestering" has fallen out of favor these days, but I happened to make Carrie's GLS yesterday and it is sequestering in the laundry room for 2 weeks before I add fragrance or anything else. This gives me the opportunity to address any issues with the LS that appears over time, i.e., sediment on the bottom or film on the surface or opaque/cloudiness. :thumbs:

HTH :)
Aug 1, 2013
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I make the recipe without the extra fats and PS80. It works fine.

Some EOs and FOs just give cloudy soap. They just do. I have no idea why the same (species) EO from different sources would give different results, but there you go. I would use the soap. I would not sell the soap because other people won't think it is "good" soap, but I would definitely use it or give it to family members. I would only hesitate to use if it had oils floating on top as that will mess up the pumps forever (ask me how I know!).

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