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Liquid soap and temperatures

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DawnHoff

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Hi!
So yesterday (and the day before) I was making liquid soap for the second time in my life. Last time I didn't manage to get it to go clear, but it wasn't really a problem as it worked fine (didn't seperate or anything when I diluted it). This time however it did the same thing, and also the pH remained around 11 (it is supposed to be <10 right?). It went over the mash potato stage, but never started to become tranculent. I was cooking it in my InstantPot set to slow cook as I thought that would be a good temp (think it is around 70C?). After I read somewhere (SBMCrafters?) that the heat speeds up the process and after 8 hours I was running out of patience (Iast time I cooked it for 24h), I pushed the porridge button, and suddenly it started changing and the tranculent streaks appeared and within 1-2 hours it was done. I turned off the pot and left. Only the remaining heat from the pot must have made the process continue and the next day my soap paste was rock hard (and I had a whisk sitting in it that I couldn't get out). So now I have diluted it (and it is a beautiful golden soap). I have 2 questions:

I diluted it to be a relatively thick gel - it comes out of the bottle in blobs, if I put it in a pump I can still pump it, but it comes out in little blobs from the pump too. But I can still pour it and I can still pump it. Last time I only diluted when I ran out of soap in my soap dispensers in bathrooms/kitchen - so how long can I expect it to last? I don't want to add preservatives. The pH is around 9.

Second what temerature should I aim for when making liquid soap? Anyone have experience w. InstantPots and know a really good setting to use?

Oh third: The fact that it turned solid - will that affect the soap later on? Do I risk it solidifying like NaOH soap does when diluted?


Thanks in advance!
Dawn
 

Susie

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First, you need not cook liquid soap at all.

Second, blobby soap is insufficiently diluted soap. You probably cooked too much moisture out when you put it on "porridge".

Third, how are you measuring pH? Strips are notoriously incorrect when measuring soap.

Fourth, and most importantly, please go read Soaping 101 liquid soapmaking video? . I know it is a beast, but it is loaded with information you need.
 

DawnHoff

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Thank you for your help. I might try the GLS method, though I prefer to not have to buy glycerin it does sound very compelling as it is so easy.

I did use pH-strips yes, had a feeling they might be inaccurate,,, but I am honestly not comfortable with the ZAP-method.

I know the blobby soap is insufficiently diluted - my question was more, have I diluted it so much that I run the risk of it going bad, or do I have something akin to a paste? Last time I made soap I kept the paste for at least 6months and only diluted as I needed it. I prefer not to use preservatives.
 

Susie

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I keep the paste until I need to dilute also. But, I was able to keep diluted soap for almost two years before I could see microbes under the microscope. So, don't dilute more than you can comfortably use in a timely fashion.

I don't use preservatives, either. Ever.

The pH tells you nothing. We already know it is alkaline. The question is whether there is too much alkaline in the soap. The only way to tell that is to zap test. Take a tiny bit of paste, rub it with water until you get foam, then touch the foam to your tongue. Even if it zaps you, it is a very brief little shock on your tongue.

You don't have to use glycerin (although it speed trace, so I would rather use it than spend time stick blending). That thread has a lot of discussion about basic liquid soapmaking. And you need that information. Then I would suggest you go look at other recipes on the forum. Ask questions, maybe post a recipe for others to review.

Welcome to the addiction.
 

DawnHoff

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I keep the paste until I need to dilute also. But, I was able to keep diluted soap for almost two years before I could see microbes under the microscope. So, don't dilute more than you can comfortably use in a timely fashion.

I don't use preservatives, either. Ever.

The pH tells you nothing. We already know it is alkaline. The question is whether there is too much alkaline in the soap. The only way to tell that is to zap test. Take a tiny bit of paste, rub it with water until you get foam, then touch the foam to your tongue. Even if it zaps you, it is a very brief little shock on your tongue.

You don't have to use glycerin (although it speed trace, so I would rather use it than spend time stick blending). That thread has a lot of discussion about basic liquid soapmaking. And you need that information. Then I would suggest you go look at other recipes on the forum. Ask questions, maybe post a recipe for others to review.

Welcome to the addiction.
I know I am not supposed to dilute until I need to use it. But sinde everyting had stuck together I had to add water, to get my whisk out of the mix... but does that mean that it is now prone to bacteria? I brought it to a boil and after it cooled down I funneled it into the jug from the demineralized water (which should be pretty clean?). I can give it away/sell it I guess, if it might be prone to bacterial growth. As I said it isn't quite liquid, but also not a paste - more like a gell. It isn't too alkaline, I am certain of that.

I have read the first 2 pages of the thread now. Will continue. Thanks!
 

DeeAnna

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My guess is your gel/paste (whatever you want to call it) will be fine because it doesn't sound like you've added a huge amount of extra water to it. The point is to keep the soap as concentrated as possible for the best preservation abilities and the longest shelf life. If you want some extra insurance, can you store it in your fridge? That's what some people do with their paste, and I think it's a good idea.
 

Zany_in_CO

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First of all, Congratulations for figuring out what you needed to do to achieve a successful result! Well done!

Sooooo many questions! LOL My best advice, based on what you've said and the various questions you're asking, is, rather than slogging through IL's thread which introduces glycerin to the process, go to this site to review the basics which will answer most of your questions:

Alaiyna B's Basic Beginner Liquid Soap

Explore her other articles about making LS as well.

Comments:
Turning off the pot and leaving it to finish saponification overnight is one of the best things you can do in that situation. Good thinking! A long cook is hardly ever necessary unless you're making 100% Olive Oil LS that takes approx. 45 minutes to trace and a long cook -- 10 hours for me the first time I tried it.

The reason the paste was hard was most likely you cooked all the water out of it. You could have poured boiling water over it, heated back up then turn it off and let it set. The object is to get the paste to absorb all the water, not cook it at that point.

I make my paste and dilute it all at once -- it's just easier to my mind at least -- I make a gallon of all my recipes and store them in the laundry room. So when I run out of shampoo or whatever, a refill is at the ready. Here's a thread about diluting LS:
QUESTIONS ABOUT DILUTION
 

DawnHoff

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Ohhh! It is 100% olive oil. Obviously, since CP soaps take longer to cure so does the liquid soap. Yes makes sense.Thank you
 

Zany_in_CO

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Ohhh! It is 100% olive oil.
Like you, I thought 100% OO would be easy. A lot of Newbies think that and have the same experience you had. Not true. It's one of the most difficult of all LS due to the long time to trace and long cook. This is where GLS comes into play. It reduces both the time to trace and cook time by adding high heat to the process. 🤞
Obviously, since CP soaps take longer to cure so does the liquid soap.
Um, not true. I'm not sure where you got that idea but the LS paste should be fully "saponified" at the end of the cook. No cure required. You test it using one of 3 methods to make sure it's done. Read paragraph #12, 13 & 14 here:
http://alaiynab.blogspot.com/2014/07/basic-beginner-liquid-soap-and.html

Do not rush this step. If using the clarity test or ZAP test, it's best to wait another day or two before diluting. Testing with Phenolphthalein drops (1% in ethanol) is the most reliable. If the paste tests clear, you are good to dilute.

After dilution, sequester the batch for 2 weeks. This allows time for any problems to show up before decanting into containers. ;) It is also the best time to check the pH of the batch, although that is rarely necessary. For better a better understanding of pH in LS read:
Testing of Liquid Soap and Lowering pH

HTH (Hope This Helps!)
 
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DawnHoff

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View attachment 53507
Once again I wasn't clear. What I meant was - just like OO CP soap takes longer to cure (i.e. fully saponify), ir will also take longer to make the Liquid OO soap (i.e. fully saponify). I know it isn't supposed to cure.

Also - I don't use OO because it is easy, but because I live in Spain, and I produce Olive oil and it annoys me that I see "Olive Oil soap" or "Castille" soap every where, that is not, IMO, Castille soap. I want to produce a product that I can make for OO that I haven't sold within one year of harvest, or OO that doesn't meet my quality standards.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I was unable to open this attachment. :smallshrug:
What I meant was - just like OO CP soap takes longer to cure (i.e. fully saponify), ir will also take longer to make the Liquid OO soap (i.e. fully saponify).
Okay. Got it. But that's not exactly right either. As so many others will tell you, fully saponified soap is not the same thing as fully cured soap. Since I'm not a scientist, @DeeAnna explains it much better than I can here:

Curing soap | Soapy Stuff

I wish you all the best in your olive oil soap journey! 🙂
 

DawnHoff

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The attachment was just your reply to me. I don't know what happened there.

Thanks again I will look at that thread :)
 

linne1gi

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Like you, I thought 100% OO would be easy. A lot of Newbies think that and have the same experience you had. Not true. It's one of the most difficult of all LS due to the long time to trace and long cook. This is where GLS comes into play. It reduces both the time to trace and cook time by adding high heat to the process. 🤞

Um, not true. I'm not sure where you got that idea but the LS paste should be fully "saponified" at the end of the cook. No cure required. You test it using one of 3 methods to make sure it's done. Read paragraph #12, 13 & 14 here:
http://alaiynab.blogspot.com/2014/07/basic-beginner-liquid-soap-and.html

Do not rush this step. If using the clarity test or ZAP test, it's best to wait another day or two before diluting. Testing with Phenolphthalein drops (1% in ethanol) is the most reliable. If the paste tests clear, you are good to dilute.

After dilution, sequester the batch for 2 weeks. This allows time for any problems to show up before decanting into containers. ;) It is also the best time to check the pH of the batch, although that is rarely necessary. For better a better understanding of pH in LS read:
Testing of Liquid Soap and Lowering pH

HTH (Hope This Helps!)
I make 100% Olive Oil liquid soap (by the CPLS method) and I haven't had any difficulty with it at all. Yes, it does take a little longer to gel the oil - I blend for a bit and walk away, blend for a bit and walk away, etc - so far (4 batches) it takes about an hour. I tried to make liquid soap the cooking way, but it is so involved so the CPLS, is a really easy to do.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I make 100% Olive Oil liquid soap (by the CPLS method) and I haven't had any difficulty with it at all.
Just to be clear, by "CPLS" you mean "Cold Process" not "Crock Pot", yes? That's a great way for newbies to learn to make LS. Simply bring the batch to hard trace and stop there. The batch saponifies in two weeks or less. No cooking involved -- which is where most newbies run into problems like over-cooking, under-cooking, etc. I know some LS'ers who still prefer to do it that way.

Thank You.gif
 

linne1gi

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Just to be clear, by "CPLS" you mean "Cold Process" not "Crock Pot", yes? That's a great way for newbies to learn to make LS. Simply bring the batch to hard trace and stop there. The batch saponifies in two weeks or less. No cooking involved -- which is where most newbies run into problems like over-cooking, under-cooking, etc. I know some LS'ers who still prefer to do it that way.

View attachment 53597
Yes, cold processed liquid soap. And it’s saponified in about 12 hours. I usually let it sit overnight. Then I sequester for 2 weeks. Then I dilute. I’ve made about 4 batches with Olive Oil, a few with Lard, and Tallow, with some liquid oils as well. Success every single time.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Yes, cold processed liquid soap. And it’s saponified in about 12 hours. I usually let it sit overnight. Then I sequester for 2 weeks. Then I dilute. I’ve made about 4 batches with Olive Oil, a few with Lard, and Tallow, with some liquid oils as well. Success every single time.
:thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs::thumbs::thumbs::thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
I'm Duplicating this post so I can give it more Thumb's Up! 😁

Not enough members do CPLS and it makes the whole experience so much easier for Newbies, and with a greater likelihood of success!.

Thanks again for sharing @linne1gi !
 
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