Lemon juice in place of water

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carlyjones

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This is the BB recipe with lemon juice. They say to add the lemon juice after trace, but could I subtract say the 5 oz of juice from my water total? I haven't used anything besides aloe juice in place of my water. I'm starting to play around with other liquids and I just wanted to see if you guys had any advice!
 

Obsidian

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I wouldn't use lemon juice in soap, not only does it add nothing to the soap but too much can actually chemically change it into not soap and make a mushy oily mess.
There are better options, I really like cucumber juice and I keep meaning to try tomato. Carrot juice is another but it tends to overheat badly when I try it. Instead I shred carrots, let them dry then infuse them into some olive oil.
Honestly though, aloe is the best I've tried. Easy to use, doesn't react with lye or do other weird things to the soap and it helps with lather.

Beer and coconut milk are my other favorites.
 

shunt2011

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Lemon juice will neutralize some of your lye, but I can't recall how much. This has come up before. I've never tried it though. I'm sure one of our science guru's will pop in. Also, your batch size seems a bit large for a new recipe. I would start with 1-2 lbs in case something goes wrong. I've only used milks, aloe, coffee, beer.

Also, cococoa butter won't leave any smell in your soap (was reading your notes), your not using enough to really make a difference I generall use 10% butters. You have a lot of liquid oils as well.
 

Arimara

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I just used the last of my aloe vera gel from BA in a couple of batches recently. I think it definitely adds something to the soapy party. I just think of how. my tester soap doesn't dry my skin out, especially since my skin hates PKO flakes. I've also wanted to try cucumber in a soap and may borrow my grandmother's magic bullet blender for it. But should I strain it after the blend? I rather not and see how it goes.
 

cmzaha

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The only thing you will really accomplish with lemon juice is to up the superfat in your soap, since the citric acid in lemons is going to react and neutralize some of your lye. There is just no point in adding lemon juice, you can control your superfat in soapcalc or any soap calculator.With lemons varying in citric acid it would be very hard to determine how much lye is going to be neutralized, and most soapmakers, including me, do not know how to perform such experiments (titration). Citric Acid powder can be used for chelating by using extra lye to react with the CA forming sodium citrate, to cut soap scum. There are a lot of good info threads in here if you research chelating.

Arimara, You do not have to strain the cucumber juice after pureeing it.
 

Obsidian

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I've also wanted to try cucumber in a soap and may borrow my grandmother's magic bullet blender for it. But should I strain it after the blend? I rather not and see how it goes.
No reason to strain it but I would peel and de-seed the cuke before blending.
 

DeeAnna

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Lemon juice has citric acid in it. Citric acid and NaOH make sodium citrate. If you don't add the extra lye that the citric acid will consume, you are going to increase the superfat in the soap. Whether by a lot or a little depends on the amount of acid in the juice and the total amount of juice added. It might not make any VISIBLE change in your soap, but it WILL change it. At worst, lemon juice can, as Shari said, make your soap a soft mushy mess if you add enough.

Brambleberry bloggers seem pretty willing to add citrus juice or baking soda to their soap recipes without considering the chemical reactions that these additives will trigger. I'm not entirely sure they're doing anyone any favors.
 

KristaY

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I wouldn't use lemon juice either. Too much will basically neutralize the lye. But if it does actually make soap your SF will be a lot higher than 5%. Here's Soaping 101's video on her experiment using lemons:

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFOdi989-aU[/ame]
 

carlyjones

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I usually run far from BB recipes, they often just don't make a ton of sense to me. A lot of people feel they are created to increase sales not to make a really good soap.

This is the first time I was going to try one of their recipes. The acidity of the lemon juice was making me wonder. I'm better off sticking to my own stuff!!
Lemon juice will neutralize some of your lye, but I can't recall how much. This has come up before. I've never tried it though. I'm sure one of our science guru's will pop in. Also, your batch size seems a bit large for a new recipe. I would start with 1-2 lbs in case something goes wrong. I've only used milks, aloe, coffee, beer.

Also, cococoa butter won't leave any smell in your soap (was reading your notes), your not using enough to really make a difference I generall use 10% butters. You have a lot of liquid oils as well.

As soon as I printed it I realized that I need to scale this bad boy way way back.

And the cocoa butter I've only ever used it in a higher percent and i smelled it in the final soap! I'm still really new so I was just crossing my ts and dotting my i's!! Good looking out though
I wouldn't use lemon juice in soap, not only does it add nothing to the soap but too much can actually chemically change it into not soap and make a mushy oily mess.
There are better options, I really like cucumber juice and I keep meaning to try tomato. Carrot juice is another but it tends to overheat badly when I try it. Instead I shred carrots, let them dry then infuse them into some olive oil.
Honestly though, aloe is the best I've tried. Easy to use, doesn't react with lye or do other weird things to the soap and it helps with lather.

Beer and coconut milk are my other favorites.

Using my own breast milk for a batch is next on my list! After that beer is definitely next on my list.
 
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TeresaT

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Carly, instead of the lemon juice, personally, I would use vinegar. Either apple cider or distilled white. They are readily available at your grocery store and have a standardized 5% acetic acid value (which means the other 95% is water. that's really important). This is an amazing thread to read and learn how to use vinegar in your soaps. I know, because Top of Murray Hill "held my hand" and walked me through the math and science. (Honestly, this is the most amazing group of people I have ever had the good fortune to find!!) Believe me, if I can figure this out (and I am NOT joking when I say I suck at math!!), then anyone can figure this out. The only reason I can imagine using lemon juice in soap is for the acetic acid, which would mix with the NaOH and convert to sodium acetate and make a nice hard bar. However, that's exactly what the vinegar does and it is a controlled substance instead of a variable like lemons and lemon juice. I have a bottle of GV 100% lemon juice in my refrigerator that does not have the acetic acid content anywhere on the bottle's label. It just says it's made from lemon juice from concentrate, has some preservatives in it and lemon oil. It's fine for water and marinades, but I wouldn't soap with it. I just thought of this, I've got Natural Rice Vinegar in the cupboard. I wonder how that would work in soap? Hmmm.. I feel another experiment coming on. The acidity on that is only 4.2% so the math will be a bit more complicated for me.

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=59148
 

carlyjones

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Carly, instead of the lemon juice, personally, I would use vinegar. Either apple cider or distilled white. They are readily available at your grocery store and have a standardized 5% acetic acid value (which means the other 95% is water. that's really important). This is an amazing thread to read and learn how to use vinegar in your soaps. I know, because Top of Murray Hill "held my hand" and walked me through the math and science. (Honestly, this is the most amazing group of people I have ever had the good fortune to find!!) Believe me, if I can figure this out (and I am NOT joking when I say I suck at math!!), then anyone can figure this out. The only reason I can imagine using lemon juice in soap is for the acetic acid, which would mix with the NaOH and convert to sodium acetate and make a nice hard bar. However, that's exactly what the vinegar does and it is a controlled substance instead of a variable like lemons and lemon juice. I have a bottle of GV 100% lemon juice in my refrigerator that does not have the acetic acid content anywhere on the bottle's label. It just says it's made from lemon juice from concentrate, has some preservatives in it and lemon oil. It's fine for water and marinades, but I wouldn't soap with it. I just thought of this, I've got Natural Rice Vinegar in the cupboard. I wonder how that would work in soap? Hmmm.. I feel another experiment coming on. The acidity on that is only 4.2% so the math will be a bit more complicated for me.

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=59148

I just read most of that thread and it's links. It's so interesting!! I can't wait to try this. I need to re read when I'm not holding a squirming baby, the math just zipped over my head. I'm curious about the rice vinegar. I love to eat it so it would be fun to soap with it!! If you try it please post I would love to see what you ended up with!! I'll post my findings as well :) thank you so much!!
 

Steve85569

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Carly, instead of the lemon juice, personally, I would use vinegar. Either apple cider or distilled white. They are readily available at your grocery store and have a standardized 5% acetic acid value (which means the other 95% is water. that's really important). This is an amazing thread to read and learn how to use vinegar in your soaps. I know, because Top of Murray Hill "held my hand" and walked me through the math and science. (Honestly, this is the most amazing group of people I have ever had the good fortune to find!!) Believe me, if I can figure this out (and I am NOT joking when I say I suck at math!!), then anyone can figure this out. The only reason I can imagine using lemon juice in soap is for the acetic acid, which would mix with the NaOH and convert to sodium acetate and make a nice hard bar. However, that's exactly what the vinegar does and it is a controlled substance instead of a variable like lemons and lemon juice. I have a bottle of GV 100% lemon juice in my refrigerator that does not have the acetic acid content anywhere on the bottle's label. It just says it's made from lemon juice from concentrate, has some preservatives in it and lemon oil. It's fine for water and marinades, but I wouldn't soap with it. I just thought of this, I've got Natural Rice Vinegar in the cupboard. I wonder how that would work in soap? Hmmm.. I feel another experiment coming on. The acidity on that is only 4.2% so the math will be a bit more complicated for me.

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=59148
Reduce the amount of lye being neutralized by 4.2/5. I.E. (4.2/5) times the multiplier. I don't remember the correct multiplier but I'm sure it's in the thread you posted. That should get you the correct conversion.
 

earlene

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Last October I made Lemon Juice Soap based on a recipe by Anne Watson, which she calls 'Citrus Soap'. I ran it through both SoapCalc and the MMS calculator. I wanted to add Sodium Lactate, and the MMS calculator helps with that. I used the lemon juice that comes in a green bottle from Save-A-Lot (not Dollar General, as I originally posted). I'd go look at the bottle for data, but my long drive from Colorado is just now catching up with me. It has copious bubbles, but that's to be expected given the high CO content. But it's a bit too drying on my hands, so if I make it again, I will use less CO.

Here is what it looks like. This is one of 3 bars left from the 12 bars I made.


And this is the recipes I used:


ETA: I looked at the bottle and it's probably the same stuff Theresa has only with a different store label. Ingredients: filtered water, lemon juice concentrate, sodium bisulfite (preservative), sodium benzoate (preservative) and lemon oil. Product of Argentina.
 
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DeeAnna

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I've updated my article about using citric acid in soap to include how to estimate the citric acid content in juice. See: http://classicbells.com/soap/citricAcid.html

In Carly's recipe calling for 5 ounces of lemon juice, she would want to add about 4.5 grams of extra NaOH to react with the citric acid in the juice. If she didn't add this extra lye, the superfat would go up another 4% -- in other words from 5% to 9% superfat.

Is that added superfat too much or is it okay? Hard to say. In a recipe high in coconut oil, the extra superfat might be a welcome addition. In a recipe with lots of liquid fats, it might add unwanted softness and kill some of the lather.
 

TeresaT

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Reduce the amount of lye being neutralized by 4.2/5. I.E. (4.2/5) times the multiplier. I don't remember the correct multiplier but I'm sure it's in the thread you posted. That should get you the correct conversion.
Thank, Steve. I'm pathetic. I still have to get out my pink paper and write everything down. So, when I get to the vinegar parts I'll sub the 5 & 95 with 4.2 and 95.8. But that's throwing a wrench in my works for sure!!
 

earlene

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I've updated my article about using citric acid in soap to include how to estimate the citric acid content in juice. See: http://classicbells.com/soap/citricAcid.html

In Carly's recipe calling for 5 ounces of lemon juice, she would want to add about 4.5 grams of extra NaOH to react with the citric acid in the juice. If she didn't add this extra lye, the superfat would go up another 4% -- in other words from 5% to 9% superfat.

Is that added superfat too much or is it okay? Hard to say. In a recipe high in coconut oil, the extra superfat might be a welcome addition. In a recipe with lots of liquid fats, it might add unwanted softness and kill some of the lather.

Thank you, DeeAnna! This helps a lot!

Based on your information in the above link, I was able to figure out what superfat I ended up with. IF the lemon juice bottle that says it is 100% lemon juice from concentrate is 3.9% citric acid, then I ended up with a 10% superfat with that recipe. I used a total of 10 ounces of lemon juice (reconstituted from concentrate per the bottle), so that means it neutralized 6.86 grams of NaOH, which in turn means that only 118.8 grams of lye were available to saponify the total of 283.5 grams of oils I had in that recipe. That results in 10% superfat per SoapCalc. I added that to my notes on the original soap recipe.

Bonus: reduced soap scum and more protection from DOS.

I didn't even know what I was doing at the time, so it's good to learn that there was some benefit to that process. Now I have a better understanding of what it can do for soap, it might be fun to do a recipe with just water and the same recipe with lemon juice instead of water and see how they compare over time. I don't know if I will do that, but I will keep it in mind.
 

Steve85569

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I once overdosed a batch of soap with ascorbic. I was watching what I was doing and countered with lye BUT the soap went in to gel at 3 hours in ( when I thought I was safe) and could not be unmolded and cut for 3 days. It is still soap but it REALLY REALLY likes to soak up water. I back calc'ed the percent and it came out to 3% almost on the dot.

The moral of the story is: stick to 1% or less ascorbic if you want your soap to "behave".
 

WillZ

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Thank you guys - I think I stay away from lemon juice
 
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