Just how long should dilution take?

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lenarenee

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I made gls paste yesterday. For 3 hours it's been in a jar in a large stock pot with the jar about 2/3 submerge. The water is warm enough to produce light steam and a few tiny bubbles on the bottom. I used 11 ounces oil in this recipe.

I diluted at .5 per lb of paste. But the stuff isn't making much progress at all. I just sb'd it and I have a somewhat softer and more uniform paste, and the volume has condensed about an inch. There are no layers forming - its still whitish paste.

Am I on the right track? I think this is going to take a bit more water. Can it take more heat (the paste is not that warm, I could leave my finger stuck in it all day, but cannot comfortable leave my hand on the jar)

I'd like to have this done before bedtime. Can I carefully microwave it? Throw it in the crockpot? Can I stop heating it for today, and re-start tomorrow?
 

DeeAnna

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I don't have a lot of words of wisdom for you, Lenarenee, but I can tell you that you definitely can leave the soap alone until tomorrow. Just turn off the heat, leave the jar in the warm water, and forget about it. I often add warmish water to the paste, chunk the paste up a little bit with a spoon or my fingers, and let the mess just sit on the counter without heating at all. If I think about it, I'll give the paste a smoosh and stir every few hours.
 

lenarenee

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Back at it this morning. Add water/sodium lactate, stuck it in the microwave. Its softening and turning more golden.
 

BrewerGeorge

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I am FAR from someone to give you advice, having only done the one dilution myself thus far. However, I can say that during that single attempt that didn't want to dilute, additions of water as small as a teaspoon into a quart of soap made a BIG difference.

If it goes another day, you might try adding a tiny big more water and see if that helps.
 

Susie

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I would not microwave it. Give it time and very small additions of water. If you are impatient, put it back into the pot or crockpot.
 

lenarenee

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Thanks Susie - to be more detailed, I only nuked it for 20 seconds at a time, waited a couple minutes, nuked again....just while waiting for the pot of water to heat up.

I'd already diluted at 50% of paste (unless I really screwed up my math yesterday, which is always possible)

Add more water today. This stuff is not sb-able, it's too thick, looks a lot like Vaseline. Been heating in water for 3 hours now.

So this is supposed to take hours and hours?
 

IrishLass

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Lenarenee- when I heat mine in my canning jars, the water in my pot is a lot hotter that what you described in your opening post, and it takes mine about 1 hour to dilute. Basically, the entire body of water in my pot is actively boiling the whole time, but it's at a gentle rolling boil instead of an insanely rapid rolling boil, if that makes sense. And I make sure the boiling water comes up to at least 1" over the contents of my jar at all times.

Before I cover my jar and add it to the pot of boiling water, I heat my dilution water and sodium lactate (and edta solution) together in a small pot until just boiling, then I pour the mixture over my paste in the jar before covering it with the lid and placing it in my pot.

I would try bringing your pot of water to a boil and see what happens. How much SL did you add? I add 3% as per the weight of my paste. If there's not much change after 1 hour of your jar being in boiling water, I would say that your paste needs more dilution water.


IrishLass :)
 

lenarenee

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Okay, Irish Lass trying a gentle boil now. (I know it's a Mason jar, but still makes me nervous to boil a glass jar!) My pot isn't tall enough to cover the jar though, only about 3/4.

Paste work nicely though...already washing hands with it!
 

Susie

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Be sure to put either a dish cloth or a jar ring under that jar to keep it from bouncing against the bottom. I had one break doing this.
 

lenarenee

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:evil::evil::evil: When is liquid soap supposed to get fun???????

Yes, Susie - I got something under the jar.

I'm at .75 water to paste weight.

It's improved a teeny tiny bit. Still not sb able. I want to throw it into a regular pot and melt it!! It's been in hot water 8 hours today!
 

KristaY

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I'm TOTALLY on your wavelength, lenarenee! I don't know if it's impatience, frustration or gremlins but LS is always a buggar for me. I keep detailed notes, take pics to refer back and every single time things are completely different. Even using the same soap paste! It always works out in the end but it takes me days to get there. I'm sure the LS process is at the root (hehe) of my gray hair and not my kids, hubby, pets, work, life......:twisted:
 

ngian

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Well I used once the stick blender at dilution phase and it helped a lot in the time needed to make the liquid soap. It also created a lot of bubbles that disappeared the next day but the paste was dissolved a lot faster than without the use of SB.
 

lenarenee

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I'm TOTALLY on your wavelength, lenarenee! I don't know if it's impatience, frustration or gremlins but LS is always a buggar for me. I keep detailed notes, take pics to refer back and every single time things are completely different. Even using the same soap paste! It always works out in the end but it takes me days to get there. I'm sure the LS process is at the root (hehe) of my gray hair and not my kids, hubby, pets, work, life......:twisted:
We're in the same club? The "liquid soap is evil" club? I think we've been had; Irish Lass and Susie are secretly drinking some perfectly steeped tea, eating scones and red velvet cake with ermine frosting and gloatfully snorting over our desperate posts while we poor virginal gls makers SUFFER!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, I just made gloatfully an honest to goodness real word!!!!!!

Tomorrow, the nasty stuff gets tossed into a pot and given the wicked witch treatment...boil boil toil and trouble....cackle cackle cackle. :twisted::twisted:
 

lenarenee

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Well I used once the stick blender at dilution phase and it helped a lot in the time needed to make the liquid soap. It also created a lot of bubbles that disappeared the next day but the paste was dissolved a lot faster than without the use of SB.
Thanks ngian, I'll try that when the paste is thinner. My sb is powerful, but can't handle the paste yet.
 

Susie

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Have you tried adding a bit more water? I never, ever SB my soap during dilution. I use my crock pot and add water until I get down to the next to last lump. Then I turn it off and let it cool over night. I have never had dilution take over 3 hours, either.
 

IrishLass

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I think we've been had; Irish Lass and Susie are secretly drinking some perfectly steeped tea, eating scones and red velvet cake with ermine frosting and gloatfully snorting over our desperate posts while we poor virginal gls makers SUFFER!!!!!!!!!!
:lol: lol Well...the scones and tea part are correct .....at least for me anyway. I'm not sure what Susie is eating right now, but I just downed a scone with clotted cream and jam, and washed it down with some Irish breakfast tea. Yum! No gloatful snorting, though.....at least not on my part. ;)

Re: using the stick-blender during dilution: I use mine only once during dilution- when the paste is as soft as jam/jelly. I actually don't really need to stick-blend during dilution, but I just choose to do so to hurry things along.

To judge whether my globules of paste are soft enough for successful stick-blending, I give the contents of my jar a stir with a knife or spatula. If the knife or spatula cannot slice through the blobs as easily as passing through a blob of fresh grape jelly (i.e., if they feel more firm and rubbery), I place the covered jar back into the boiling water and check again in about 10 minutes or so. Once they are soft enough, I only need to use the stick-blender once, and for no more than about 5 seconds at that.

From that point on, I place my jar back into the water, but with my pot turned off from there on out, and leave things alone to come up to room temp. I take the jar out of the pot once the water is room temp, and leave it to sit on my counter (usually overnight).

Liquid soap will clarify from the bottom up, and mine normally ends up looking like a glass of beer- i.e., clear amber on the bottom with a (temporary) foamy head of about an inch or so in depth on top.

If my calculations were correct and I had added enough dilution water to my jar at the start, the foamy head will gradually dissipate over the next hours into just mere cob-webby wisps floating on top, which to me means that my dilution is 100% complete/successful/done.

But if I didn't add enough dilution water at the start, the foam will seem to take forever to shrink, and if I poke at it, I'll feel that it's really not foam at all, but a blob of paste that has re-formed. That's my cue that I screwed up and it needs more dilution water, which has actually not happened to me in a long time, i.e., ever since I figured out my dilution rates. The remedy is to add more water a little bit at a time. I always added about 1/2 mL at a time. This water adjusting part can really be a tedious hassle, but if you take meticulous notes while making these adjustments, you'll only ever need to do this once....at least for this particular formula, anyway. lol

If you are boiling your jar of paste/dilution water/SL (not just barely simmering, but a real, true boil), and your paste is still too rubbery/not softening up after an hour, that's a good sign to me that it needs more water. I'd start with 1/2 mL at a time.


IrishLass :)
 

lenarenee

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Have you tried adding a bit more water? I never, ever SB my soap during dilution. I use my crock pot and add water until I get down to the next to last lump. Then I turn it off and let it cool over night. I have never had dilution take over 3 hours, either.

I tried the crock pot today, added more water - about 5 ounces by volume and the paste just soaks it up like a sponge. The soap actually hardened up back into paste again! Added 2 more ounces by volume, stirred, and turned crock off.

What am I missing here? Is it the quantity of paste? I'm trying to dilute almost the entire recipe made of 11 ounces of oil. The dilution formula was .5 water to 1 of paste, right?

Is it the heat, or the water that melts the soap?
 

Susie

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I tried the crock pot today, added more water - about 5 ounces by volume and the paste just soaks it up like a sponge. The soap actually hardened up back into paste again! Added 2 more ounces by volume, stirred, and turned crock off.

What am I missing here? Is it the quantity of paste? I'm trying to dilute almost the entire recipe made of 11 ounces of oil. The dilution formula was .5 water to 1 of paste, right?

Is it the heat, or the water that melts the soap?
Half the paste weight in water is where you START. Not where you FINISH. You keep adding water until all the paste melts into liquid. Hence the need to keep meticulous notes. It is the water that melts the paste. The heat just speeds it up.
 

lenarenee

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Half the paste weight in water is where you START. Not where you FINISH. You keep adding water until all the paste melts into liquid. Hence the need to keep meticulous notes. It is the water that melts the paste. The heat just speeds it up.
Okay, thought I read where some people also stopped at .5 and .75. I'm currently at 2 parts water to 1 part paste. However, it's been heated for hours and despite being covered, it must have lost moisture.

But the comments that say that 1/2 or 1 milliliter can make a difference - they must be a lot further along in dilution? Because I last added 30 grams of water and it made no difference.
 
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