Liquid soap 5% discount... Milky outcome

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Sonhonauta

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Hello, Its my first time making liquid soap. I used this exact recipie:
-1413 gr extra virgin olive oil.
-256 gr KHO.
-710 gr distilled water.
I used a 5% lye discount, and now I found out you cant superfat liquid soaps. The taffy mess is never quite translucent. When I chek for doneness its always milky. Its been cooking 7 hours now!
Can I still save it somehow? Can I use it? Thanks a lot
 

DeeAnna

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Your recipe assumes the KOH is 100% pure, and that is very unlikely to be correct. You need to learn the actual purity of your KOH. Only then will you be able to figure out how much KOH you should have used. Your supplier can provide information about purity.

With 95% pure KOH, you should have used 269 g KOH.
At 90% pure, the amount goes up to 283 g KOH.

Liquid soap paste is not always clear or translucent.
The cloudiness test only tells you if your paste has extra fat in it. It doesn't tell you if the saponification is finished.
You probably won't like using the soap as it is now, because the extra fats and fatty acids will separate out from the soap.
The soap was saponified hours ago. Cooking longer is not going to make things any better.
 

Susie

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^What DeeAnna said!

Now, the good news is that you can fix liquid soap much easier than bar soap.

You need a total of 289 grams of KOH to bring that to 3% superfat, which is the maximum that you can superfat soap without using an emulsifier. You therefore need 33 grams more KOH to bring that to 3% superfat. Mix that with 99 grams of water (to give you a 3:1 ratio), and mix that in with the soap. Cook the soap with that in it until it is completely integrated.

You will probably never get clear soap with this batch. Clarity has far more to do with oils than "doneness". I don't even cook my liquid soap any more. I just get it to emulsification and then let it get itself to gel. Once it is gelled, I zap test and dilute. There are a whole bunch of us "no-cook" rebels over on the Liquid Soap and Cream Soap Forum!

I strongly suggest you start with this thread, yes I know it is big, but it is loaded with good information. Pay special attention to post 8.

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=46114
 

Sonhonauta

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Thank you so much DeeAnna!

Ok so now I know how pure the Kho is: According to the vendor 98 or 99%.
-Is there any soap calcuator that alows you to enter the exact percentage?
-Otherwise how can I calculte it?
-Would it be close enough the 100% purity calculation?
-Is it the same if I calculate a 3% lye discount or a 3% superfat?
-I am going to use it with my new born baby when he arrives, probably next week. But I feel it might need to rest or maybe not?


I am reading now Irishlass post on Glycerin olive soap and is great! Not time consuming at all, neither electricity or gas, so wonderfuly ecologic!
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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For the first year at least, your baby should only need water with a little oil in it - no soap AT ALL. Even on my 17 month old, I use a Castile (100% olive oil soap) like I use turpentine soap on myself - very occasionally when it is absolutely necessary. His twice-weekly bath is more than enough, especially with twice daily washing with a wash cloth.

The idea of using soap, especially this untested "first time" soap, on a new born horrifies me
 

DeeAnna

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If the KOH (not KHO) you have is really that pure, then the calculator you are using is fine. Being just a percent or two off is not going to make a great difference.

For fixing the soap, follow Susie's advice. You still have too much fat in the recipe.

A 3% lye discount is not precisely the same thing as a 3% superfat, but for everyday use, the differences are not worth worrying about. The two terms are usually used to mean the same thing.

I gather you are a new soaper or at least new to making liquid soap. It makes me uncomfortable to hear you plan to use this soap on your newborn. Use it on yourself or let other adults use it -- that's fine -- but I'd want to have the experience to know my soap was perfectly made and utterly mild before I'd use it on a child, let alone a newborn.
 

Susie

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I would not use my liquid soap on my own skin (and I've been making liquid soap for over 3 years) for bathing for longer than two days running. Why, you ask? Because liquid soap is much more drying than bar soap. You can superfat a bar soap more than a measly 3%. And my skin likes at least 5% superfat. It truly does make a difference.

I am not one of those "no soap on babies" people. I think that each parent needs to talk to his/her child's pediatrician and go on those recommendations. I know that to advise other than no soap is to ask for trouble, but you have to do what your conscience and your pediatrician dictates.

IF and I do mean IF your child's pediatrician okays bar soap, then buy an unscented handmade bar soap from an experienced soapmaker. You will get experience before too long, but please don't experiment on your newborn.
 

Sonhonauta

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Thanks again for your replies. I will definetly NOT use this soap on my baby. Thanks for the advise. I did especificaly search for a mild baby soap recipie, and I found that 100% olive oil with KOH was the mildest possible soap. Even like that I was planing to start with a no soap cleaning rutine for the first month. But now I see how optimistic and irresponsable that was. My will was to avoid harsh comercial products...
 
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DeeAnna

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You sound like you have your baby's best interests in your heart. Bravo!
 

topofmurrayhill

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Thank you so much DeeAnna!

Ok so now I know how pure the Kho is: According to the vendor 98 or 99%.
-Is there any soap calcuator that alows you to enter the exact percentage?
Being able to enter an exact percentage is not very useful, because you wouldn't typically know what it is.

Suppliers aren't usually chemists and often quote the wrong specification due to misunderstanding. For instance, the purity of your KOH might be 98 to 99% if all the water could be removed from it, but that's not the number we are interested in. The main thing that lowers the strength of the KOH we buy is moisture, so we need to know its purity with the water included. On that basis, truly 98 to 99% pure KOH would be an expensive specialty product. There are few applications that require such a thing.

The two most common grades of KOH are often referred to as 85% and 90% pure, but that's unfortunately not enough information either. Those numbers are minimums rather than an actual assay of what you're buying. If you use those numbers, you could easily be using more caustic than you thought. That's the opposite of the error we prefer.

What we get is generally at least 85% and maybe sometimes gets up towards 95%, but the actual purity is unknown. This used to be understood in the craft world. The most popular calculators for liquid soap can be used to take account of this. The Summerbee Meadow calculator is hard-wired to assume 95% KOH strength, which is a safe maximum. Usually it will give you a larger superfat than you calculated. Alternatively, you can use Soapcalc and check the box that says 90% KOH. That's kind of a reasonable guess, especially if you include a modest superfat in your calculations.

You can use any calculator if you make the adjustment yourself. If the calculator assumes 100%, take the KOH amount it gives you and you can multiply by .95 or .90 or whatever. To adjust what you did in this batch, you would divide rather than multiply. For instance, your 256 g KOH divided by .90 would be 284 g if you assume 90% KOH.

If I were you, I would just dilute the stuff before making a decision about whether there's a problem with it. See how it works when you use it. If it's not clear enough add a bit of KOH to a sample and see if that clears it (to confirm the diagnosis). If you do decide to add KOH to the batch, you can add the flakes directly to the diluted soap if you like and give it an occasional stir until they dissolve and react. It will take some time. Then you can add whatever amount of water you need to dilute the excess soap that forms. Alternatively, you can make a 50/50 solution of KOH in water and add that.
 
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