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Dazzl3r

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Hi everyone. I have been doing liquid soap and want to make my own laundry soap. I have seen recipes that uses bar soap + water + borax. However, I prefer to make liquid laundry soap using 100% CO LS. Please, can someone help me with a recipe? It will be used up quickly because we have a busy household. I have a front load HE washer with 10kg capacity.

Thank you very much!
 

DeeAnna

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Do you know how to use a soap recipe calc? If not, now is the time to learn! I recommend the calculators at Soapmaking Recipe Builder & Lye Calculator or http://soapee.com

I have no idea how much of this soap you want to actually make, but since you are new to liquid soap making, I would recommend using no more than 500 grams (about 16 ounces) of coconut oil to make a modest batch of soap paste. That way if things don't work out well, you have not wasted a lot of ingredients.

Choose KOH as the alkali (lye). If you know the purity of the KOH, enter that as the lye purity. If you don't know the purity, many people use 90% purity which often is good enough.

You would have only 1 fat in this soap, so enter 500 grams (or 16 oz) of coconut oil.

Set the superfat to 0% to 1% so you don't have a lot of extra fat in the soap, since it is for laundry.

Set the lye concentration to 25%.

As far as how to make the soap, the liquid soap making threads I recommend to people --

Irish Lass's cold process liquid soap: Soaping 101 liquid soapmaking video? See posts 8 and 9. IMPORTANT -- I recommend that people do NOT use the method of dissolving KOH in hot glycerin as she describes in the first part of Step 3. Read and follow her directions in RED toward the end of Step 3 where she explains how to dissolve KOH in room temperature water. Much easier and safer.

Susie's cold process liquid soap: Cold Process Liquid Soap

Another good resource: Liquid Soapmaking – Where To Start
 

Zany_in_CO

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I prefer to make liquid laundry soap using 100% CO LS.
Thank you very much!
There are as many different ways to make LS as there are LS-ers. 😄 Here is a link to Basic Beginner Liquid Soap to start you off on the right foot and to learn more (choose "Tutorials" from the top menu).

For laundry soap, you'll want to use 0% super fat and just water, NOT water/glycerin for your KOH solution. Many liquid soap recipes you find online result in large amounts of finished LS. It's best to start out with a few trial batches of 12 oz. oils = 16 oz. (approx.) of soap paste that you can then divide into 4 portions to play with to determine the amount of dilution water, fragrance, colorant, etc. needed to suit your preference.

As long as your paste is fully saponified and you don't attempt to lower the pH by adding Borax, Washing Powder or Citric Acid to the dilution water, no preservative is necessary (covered in the above link).

IME and IMO (In My Experience and In My Opinion), the biggest mistake Newbies make is diluting the paste before it is fully saponified. Testing the paste before dilution is explained in #12 and #13 in the link above. The ZAP test isn't as reliable but can be used, if used correctly and if you wait an additional 24 hours or so to re-test before starting dilution. Here's a link:

HOW TO PROPERLY CONDUCT THE ZAP TEST

ETA: Haha. It seems @DeeAnna and I were writing at the same time. Ditto the above with one addition... The soap calc used in at least one of the references above is SoapCalc.net which is the one I use and the link to Alaina B's Blogspot as well. The two recommended calcs are also good, but newer.
 
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violets2217

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Set the lye concentration to 25%.
I've always used a lye concentration of 33% for all my soaps. So I'm curious why you recommend the lower %. Is it because it's a liquid soap? Is that the average % for lye concentration in liquid soaps?

@DeeAnna
*never mind a google search led me to your webpage and explanation! Thanks!
 

Zany_in_CO

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So I'm curious why you recommend the lower %. Is it because it's a liquid soap? Is that the average % for lye concentration in liquid soaps?
Good question! There's only one variable in making liquid soap. The ratio of water to lye is usually 3:1 (standard) but there are times when I use 2:1 but there you risk the chance of the batch bloating up and spilling over in the blink of an eye if you're not careful. Here's how to calculate the KOH using SoapCalc.net:
KOH in LS.png
First choose Water : Lye Ratio. Then type in 3:1. :thumbs:
 

DeeAnna

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What Zany said. A lye concentration of 25% is the same thing as a 3:1 water:lye ratio.

We use more water when saponifying liquid soap (and often in hot process bar soap) for ease of making and to allow for some evaporation while the batter is being cooked. You can use less water, but the paste is harder to stir.

Also coconut oil saponifies easily. To discourage over-enthusiastic saponification (aka a volcano), it's a good idea to use more water.
 
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Dazzl3r

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Thank you @DeeAnna and @Zany_in_CO thqnk you for your assistance. I have been using the soap making friend calc and I love it.

I have made over 10 batches of liquid soap so far using the resources above as my guide to to come up with a recipe that I like.

Currently, I have a 100% coconut oil ls soap, 0% SF that I had dilluted to 60% distilled water. If I were to use 500g dilluted ls to add borax to make the laundry soap, how much borax do I add and do I add more water?

The current recipe I have for the laundry soap is:
300g liquid soap
1/4 cup borax
600g distilled water

I could not find a resource of a laundry soap recipe that uses liquid soap so I don't really know the right proportion. Is there an advantage in using a grated 100% coconut soap bar at 0% sf vs 100% co liquid soap in making laundry soap?

Thank you in advance!
 

Zany_in_CO

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Currently, I have a 100% coconut oil ls soap, 0% SF that I had dilluted to 60% distilled water.
Well done. :thumbs:
If I were to use 500g dilluted ls to add borax to make the laundry soap, how much borax do I add and do I add more water?
If using Borax (water softener & cleansing booster), it's better to follow the directions for adding it to the wash water as the tub is filling. From experience I learned that it lowers the pH if added to the liquid soap. I stopped doing that. Here's a post from the (now defunct) Yahoo Liquid Soapmakers Group:

Zany wrote: I added 1 cup sodium carbonate (1/2 Borax, 1/2 Washing Soda) and diluted the paste in that. The only problem I've found with adding sodium carbonate to the dilution water is that it lowers the pH to around 7.5 -- maybe too low for laundry? Dunno.

I could not find a resource of a laundry soap recipe that uses liquid soap so I don't really know the right proportion. Is there an advantage in using a grated 100% coconut soap bar at 0% sf vs 100% co liquid soap in making laundry soap?
I've done both. Liquid soap is better. A grated-up hard bar diluted in water at a rate of 1 oz. soap to 8 oz. water works, but you get a slimy gelatinous result and the NaOH tends pull the solution to harden over time. ;)

I just posted my recipe for you for 100% Coconut Laundry LS:

ZANY'S 100% COCONUT LAUNDRY LS
 
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DeeAnna

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Borax is a salt, but it has the unusual ability to behave as a weak acid in some situations. When it's added to a liquid soap is one of those situations; it causes the soap to decompose. I agree with Zany that adding borax separately to the wash water as being a better option.

I personally would use washing soda (sodium carbonate) rather than borax, however. It is even more effective than borax for softening water and maintaining a high enough pH in the wash water so the soap can function well. But that's purely a personal preference.
 

Dazzl3r

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Thank you @Zany_in_CO I found the recipe and saved it. This will greatly help me and my household. My daughter is allergic to scents and her skin would sometimes get itchy if we use a strong detergent.

Btw, I have used your recipe of no slime Castile Soap as my guide in making my castile soap and it turned out great! 🙂

@DeeAnna Thank you! I read your blog and it is awesome!

I have learned a lot from you both. Thank you very much! ❤
 

Shewearsfunnyhat

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Zany wrote: I added 1 cup sodium carbonate (1/2 Borax, 1/2 Washing Soda) and diluted the paste in that. The only problem I've found with adding sodium carbonate to the dilution water is that it lowers the pH to around 7.5 -- maybe too low for laundry? Dunno.
I have been reading Science Soap Making by Kevin Dunn. I learned that you don't want to lower the pH of the soap too much because that will convert the soap to fatty acids. This means it no longer has surfactant properties. You can shift it back to soap by adding a base to your solution.


Given this information, it's best to not add borax and washing soda to the liquid soap. Add it separately to your load of laundry.
 

DeeAnna

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...you don't want to lower the pH of the soap too much because that will convert the soap to fatty acids. This means it no longer has surfactant properties. You can shift it back to soap by adding a base to your solution....
This is correct. I agree 100%. But ...

"...Given this information, it's best to not add borax and washing soda to the liquid soap. Add it separately to your load of laundry...."

... your premise does not support this conclusion. You are saying valid things, but you're getting things a bit garbled.

Both borax and washing soda function as alkalis when used with true soap. The pH of these two chemicals is also in the same range as soap. (see info below) Neither borax nor washing soda will decompose true soap into fatty acids.

If these chemicals actually did cause true soap to decompose, why would you want to add them to the wash water? That doesn't make any more sense than adding them to a laundry soap product.

The point of adding borax or washing soda for washing clothes is (1) to maintain the alkalinity (high pH) of the wash water in an optimum range for soap to work well and (2) to react with and remove hard water minerals from the water to reduce soap scum. They do a good job of both.

The problem with adding washing soda to a liquid laundry soap is the washing soda will gradually decompose upon exposure to water and the carbon dioxide in air. So adding washing soda in a liquid soap isn't a good idea if you are also going to store the product for a longish time.

Add washing soda to a dry laundry soap mix or add it to the laundry water right when you do a load. Either of these options helps the washing soda to stay effective.

Borax is not as effective as washing soda but it is stable in a water-based product. That means it can be added to a liquid laundry soap and retain its usefulness over time. I still think it's better to add borax as a separate product to the wash water -- or better yet add washing soda to the wash water instead. That way you can adjust the amount to suit the situation. But that's more of a personal preference thing.

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is another story. It is indeed alkaline, but its pH is lower than soap. When combined with soap, baking soda can function essentially as a very weak acid. That may seem odd, but it's true. This means if you add baking soda to soap, the soap may at least partially decompose into fatty acids. Furthermore it is not nearly as good at softening water nor at maintaining a sufficiently high pH so the soap can do its job well.

I don't recommend baking soda as an additive for use with true soap -- stick to washing soda or borax.

Baking soda has a pH of about 8.
Washing soda has a pH of about 11.
Borax will have a pH in the range of 9 to 10 in an alkaline mixture like soapy laundry water.
Lye-based true soap has a pH in the 9 to 11 range.
More: Laundry soap mix | Soapy Stuff
 
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Shewearsfunnyhat

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This is correct. I agree 100%. But ...

"...Given this information, it's best to not add borax and washing soda to the liquid soap. Add it separately to your load of laundry...."

... your premise does not support this conclusion. You are saying valid things, but you're getting things a bit garbled.

Both borax and washing soda function as alkalis when used with true soap. The pH of these two chemicals is also in the same range as soap. (see info below) Neither borax nor washing soda will decompose true soap into fatty acids.

If these chemicals actually did cause true soap to decompose, why would you want to add them to the wash water? That doesn't make any more sense than adding them to a laundry soap product.

The point of adding borax or washing soda for washing clothes is (1) to maintain the alkalinity (high pH) of the wash water in an optimum range for soap to work well and (2) to react with and remove hard water minerals from the water to reduce soap scum. They do a good job of both.

The problem with adding washing soda to a liquid laundry soap is the washing soda will gradually decompose upon exposure to water and the carbon dioxide in air. So adding washing soda in a liquid soap isn't a good idea if you are also going to store the product for a longish time.

Add washing soda to a dry laundry soap mix or add it to the laundry water right when you do a load. Either of these options helps the washing soda to stay effective.

Borax is not as effective as washing soda but it is stable in a water-based product. That means it can be added to a liquid laundry soap and retain its usefulness over time. I still think it's better to add borax as a separate product to the wash water -- or better yet add washing soda to the wash water instead. That way you can adjust the amount to suit the situation. But that's more of a personal preference thing.

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is another story. It is indeed alkaline, but its pH is lower than soap. When combined with soap, baking soda can function essentially as a very weak acid. That may seem odd, but it's true. This means if you add baking soda to soap, the soap may at least partially decompose into fatty acids. Furthermore it is not nearly as good at softening water nor at maintaining a sufficiently high pH so the soap can do its job well.

I don't recommend baking soda as an additive for use with true soap -- stick to washing soda or borax.

Baking soda has a pH of about 8.
Washing soda has a pH of about 11.
Borax will have a pH in the range of 9 to 10 in an alkaline mixture like soapy laundry water.
Lye-based true soap has a pH in the 9 to 11 range.
More: Laundry soap mix | Soapy Stuff
I quoted Zany who said adding the washing soda and borax lowered the pH of the soap to 7.5 when added to the liquid soap. A pH of 7.5 is low for a soap product. Low enough to cause it to turn into fatty acids.
 

DeeAnna

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Zany and I have butted heads many times on this issue. I respect her as a person, but I disagree with her views about pH and soap.

You are correct that soap will no longer be actual soap if the true pH is too low, but that "too low" pH is closer to about 9 -- it's not 8 and certainly not 7.5. By the time the pH of a soap solution is dropped to a true pH of 8 or less, the "soap" mixture will be almost entirely fatty acids.

Problem is most soapers don't measure pH accurately nor do they use high quality test strips or a decent meter. Typically, the results they get show an inaccurate pH that is 2-3 units lower than it really is.

So that "pH of 7.5" is more likely a true pH closer to 9.5 or 10.5. And that range is within the realm of reality for the pH of lye-based soap.

Washing soda and borax are both alkaline salts, not acids. Both can behave as buffers when added to a soap solution, and borax in particular can sometimes cause soap to partially decompose if the conditions are right. That's a little different than what I said above, but ...

but ...

... even allowing for the oddities of borax in a soap solution, it's highly improbable that either borax or washing soda can reduce the accurately measured pH of a soap solution below 8. You need an acid to do that -- citric acid or vinegar will do the trick very easily.
 
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Zany_in_CO

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I quoted Zany who said adding the washing soda and borax lowered the pH of the soap to 7.5 when added to the liquid soap. A pH of 7.5 is low for a soap product. Low enough to cause it to turn into fatty acids.
That is based on my experience. @DeeAnna's comments are based on science which often informs my experience as well. Best to listen to DeeAnna. Science trumps experience. :thumbup:
 

Shewearsfunnyhat

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Zany and I have butted heads many times on this issue. I respect her as a person, but I disagree with her views about pH and soap.

You are correct that soap will no longer be actual soap if the true pH is too low, but that "too low" pH is closer to about 9 -- it's not 8 and certainly not 7.5. By the time the pH of a soap solution is dropped to a true pH of 8 or less, the "soap" mixture will be almost entirely fatty acids.

Problem is most soapers don't measure pH accurately nor do they use high quality test strips or a decent meter. Typically, the results they get show an inaccurate pH that is 2-3 units lower than it really is.

So that "pH of 7.5" is more likely a true pH closer to 9.5 or 10.5. And that range is within the realm of reality for the pH of lye-based soap.

Washing soda and borax are both alkaline salts, not acids. Both can behave as buffers when added to a soap solution, and borax in particular can sometimes cause soap to partially decompose if the conditions are right. That's a little different than what I said above, but ...

but ...

... even allowing for the oddities of borax in a soap solution, it's highly improbable that either borax or washing soda can reduce the accurately measured pH of a soap solution below 8. You need an acid to do that -- citric acid or vinegar will do the trick very easily.
Thank you for writing a detailed response. I appreciate your knowledge and patience with me. I have been looking into ph tests for soap. I think I am going to do the titration method for my soaps. The instructions are in Scientific Soap making.

I am sorry it took so long to respond. I needed to be off the internet for a while due to anxiety.
 
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