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Liquid shampoo recipe formulating?

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Hello all, so I've been lurking in the shadows of the message boards for a while but finally have a question that I cannot find answers to 😅

I'm new to soap making, so my theory could be completely wrong - but I had an idea but have no idea if it'll work or ratios to experiment with. Here goes:

Say I made your average liquid soap base and dilute it like I would normally - it'd be too thin/watery and a bit harsh. So, could I add things like stearic acid or cetyl alcohol to thicken it and add softness? Could I add a liquid combination of cocamidopropyl betaine and SCI for added lather and gentle cleansing? What about other things like vegetable glycerine? I'd also be interested in adding things like milks...(I do have optiphen as a preservative - I don't use any emulsifying waxes at this time and until I make more sales I am not too eager to spend more for experimentation purposes at this time).

I dunno, is my thought process completely off the rails wrong or is it possible to come up with a decent shampoo with these ingredients (this is what I have at this time and again, not wanting to spend additional money yet - I just want to know if it's possible).
 

AliOop

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^^^Ditto. There might even be some basic shampoo recipe threads here. If not, a $1 per month subscription to SwiftyCraftyMonkey will turn up a few that you can tweak.
 
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This subject has been discussed many times. I suggest you do a search (find the magnifying glass icon upper right of this page) for "shampoo".

Here's a thread that discusses lye-based liquid shampoo & non-syndet conditioner.
https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/making-shampoo-conditioners.82617/#post-870660
I apologise for repeating the same question - I was not finding anything specific to my ingredients I have readily available and just wanted to know if it would be wasteful to experiment or if it could be worth it to try... Thank you for directing me to another thread that provided some answers ☺
 

DeeAnna

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You might also get some ideas in my article -- Liquid soap diluting, thickening | Soapy Stuff

I'm definitely not the world's expert at all of the ways to thicken liquid soap -- I don't have much if any personal experience with some of these thickening methods. In the reference list for this article, I've included the info to other websites and SMF threads where other people share their advice.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I was not finding anything specific to my ingredients I have readily available and just wanted to know if it would be wasteful to experiment or if it could be worth it to try...
And I was trying to avoid a lengthy response! 😁 So, here ya go:
Say I made your average liquid soap base and dilute it like I would normally - it'd be too thin/watery and a bit harsh.
I agree, average LS is watery. That's just the nature of the beast. As for being "harsh", I have not had that experience.
So, could I add things like stearic acid or cetyl alcohol to thicken it and add softness?
Stearic acid, yes. I don't know about cetyl alcohol.
Could I add a liquid combination of cocamidopropyl betaine and SCI for added lather and gentle cleansing?
Those are syndet ingredients with which I have no experience. Members familiar with them need to provide input.
What about other things like vegetable glycerine?
Used to make the lye solution, you can soap hotter and faster but the result, IME is not thicker LS. Also, GLS tends to be more cloudy for me. Some LS-ers use a bit of glycerin in their dilution water. To me, it doesn't seem to thicken but does give a different feel to the soap.
I'd also be interested in adding things like milks...(I do have optiphen as a preservative - I don't use any emulsifying waxes at this time
No, no, and no. 😁 None of those are recommended for LS.

Although some LS'ers use preservative, fully saponified liquid soap requires no preservative any more than hard bars. That being said, there are ways to fiddle with the formula where it might make sense to add preservative.

HTH :)
 
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And I was trying to avoid a lengthy response! 😁 So, here ya go:

I agree, average LS is watery. That's just the nature of the beast. As for being "harsh", I have not had that experience.

Stearic acid, yes. I don't know about cetyl alcohol.

Those are syndet ingredients with which I have no experience. Members familiar with them need to provide input.

Used to make the lye solution, you can soap hotter and faster but the result, IME is not thicker LS. Also, GLS tends to be more cloudy for me. Some LS-ers use a bit of glycerin in their dilution water. To me, it doesn't seem to thicken but does give a different feel to the soap.

No, no, and no. 😁 None of those are recommended for LS.

Although some LS'ers use preservative, fully saponified liquid soap requires no preservative any more than hard bars. That being said, there are ways to fiddle with the formula where it might make sense to add preservative.

HTH :)
Thank you so much for all of that input, as I said I have limited soap making experience and am timid with experimentation. I was just thinking about all the things I thought could be good. If I just do a basic LS base, should I also have an acv rinse? Ingredients are kinda expensive and with covid pushing delivery times out I don't want to totally screw something up and waste a ton of supply for no reason then get sick waiting on new stuff that I need for other projects too.

Thanks again! It's all been very helpful!
 

Zany_in_CO

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