Liquid Soap Didn't Trace

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FarmerYoYo

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Hello, I am new to liquid soap. I am actually trying to make shampoo, but it start with this recipe...

Oil Phase: The Oils, Butter, and Glycerin combination that is melted together in the crock pot on medium heat.
  • 8 Ounces Canola Oil
  • 5.3 Ounces Coconut Oil
  • 1.1 Ounces Castor Oil
  • 0.8 Ounces Mango Butter
  • 0.8 Ounces Sunflower Oil
  • 4 Ounces Glycerin
Water Phase: The Lye Solution, mixed separately and set aside till oils are melted.
  • 6 Ounces Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
  • 3.9 Ounces KOH
After Cook: The Superfat Portion of the recipe, which is added after the liquid soap paste reaches vaseline stage.
  • 0.5 Ounces Argan Oil (or other superfat oil of your choice), after cook
  • 1 Tablespoon Liquid Lecithin
Dilution: The Water Portion of the recipe, which is added after the cook and the addition of the superfat.
  • 30 ounces distilled water
  • Optional: 2.4 ounces Cetrimonium Chloride (about 4%)
Cool-Down Phase: Fragrance and preservative, which are added after some cooling.
  • 0.2 Ounces Germall Plus (or 5.7 grams--or round up to 6 grams, if your scale doesn't do tenths of a gram) — can be added when the temperature is under 176° F. The suggested usage rate for Germall Plus is 0.1% to 0.5%. For 60 ounces of finished product, you can use anywhere from 0.06 ounces to 0.3 ounces. It is best to weigh this out in grams, since the amount is very small. So the suggested amount in grams will be 1.7 grams to 8.5 grams. I've suggested 6 grams because that's more or less in the middle of that range.
  • 0.5 Ounces Essential Oil (or 14 grams) — best added when finished soap is still somewhat warm
  • Optional: 3 ounces DL-Panthenol (mixed with about 1 ounce water to dissolve) (about 5%)
  • Optional: 2-4 ounces Crothix, to make shampoo thicker.
I got to the part where I added the KOH/apple cider vinegar was added to the oil mix. After stirring and stirring, and cooking and cooking... there was simply no trace, never mind the "vaseline" stage. All I have is liquid. No Zap (and I didn't superfat)

Anything I can do to salvage this?
Thank you in advance.
 

Susie

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Hi FarmerYoYo, and welcome to the forum!

First off, you need to do a lot of reading. I strongly recommend you first go to here: https://classicbells.com/soap/aceticAcid.asp and get info on ACV and KOH interaction. While you are there, peruse and bookmark this site: https://classicbells.com/soap/soapyStuff.asp. It is written by our own DeeAnna, who is just the best. Best at what, you ask? So far, everything. She is a scientist type person both by training and interests. So, in short, if you need to understand soapy stuff, she is a great one to ask.

Then, you need to go to this thread (yes, it is massive, but read it anyway): https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/soaping-101-liquid-soapmaking-video.46114/

Then, read this forum. Read everything that says "help" or "problem" in the title, as I can assure you that you need all of that information. You may wish to read everything that talks about "shampoo" also. These are all great words to search by.

Next, don't throw anything away. Most everything made with liquid soap can be fixed. Not everything, mind you, but if you know how much of what went into it, we can help you figure your way to fixing this.

I am on my way to work, and really suck in math, but others will be on shortly to help. Just start reading and be patient. Although it is counter-intuitive, there are more people active during the week on here than on weekends. If you don't get help today, just don't give up or get mad, and someone will be along at least by Monday to help.

ETA: I am going to go out on a limb by saying I ran just your oils through a lye calculator, and you just don't have enough KOH. DO NOT go randomly throwing more in!!! Let other people do a more thorough job of analyzing this. But it looks like you copied a recipe from the internet, and that rarely turns out well. Learn how to use and learn to love a lye calculator. Also, be prepared to support why you used all the extra ingredients.
 
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FarmerYoYo

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Thank you Susie for your thoughtful and quick reply. :) I got the recipe from
https://feltmagnet.com/crafts/How-T...-Using-Liz-Ardladys-Famous-Shampoo-Bar-Recipe
by a woman named Sharon Vile.

Yes, I trusted the recipe. :( I also ran the numbers through a calculator and found them lacking. (thank you for all the links) I've never used a calculator before, this is all new to me.

I simply want a very basic but effective, shelf stable shampoo.

I've read most of what you listed, but still do not have an answer to "how do I salvage this?" anywhere.
I look forward to someone with an idea of what I can do from here. :)
Thanks again!
 

Kcryss

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Interesting recipe. Not sure why the need for ACV, it will not survive the process and vinegar is used to harden bars of soap. That wouldn't be needed in liquid soap. If it's being added to lower pH, that doesn't work either and would cause the need for additional lye to compensate for the additional acid.
 

FarmerYoYo

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Interesting recipe. Not sure why the need for ACV, it will not survive the process and vinegar is used to harden bars of soap. That wouldn't be needed in liquid soap. If it's being added to lower pH, that doesn't work either and would cause the need for additional lye to compensate for the additional acid.
Could that be why I only have a pot of liquid, lye smelling stuff? LOL How can I add what I need to get it up to speed? Or do I just need to start over? I'd like to salvage it if I can.
 

Kcryss

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Could that be why I only have a pot of liquid, lye smelling stuff? LOL How can I add what I need to get it up to speed? Or do I just need to start over? I'd like to salvage it if I can.
I'm very new to soap making and have only made two batches of liquid soap. I really don't know what you need to save this batch other than more lye. However, you cannot simply add the lye to the existing oils. You will need to know exactly how much lye is needed and you will need to mix it before adding to your batch. Follow the advice of @Susie above. She is very experienced and is one of the authorities on liquid soap. When she gets a chance she will likely respond to this thread or others may chime in with additional advice.
 

DeeAnna

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Vinegar is a legitimate ingredient to use in soap whether liquid or bar type soap. When it reacts with KOH, it makes potassium acetate. As long as you add sufficient KOH to react with the vinegar, there's nothing wrong with using it in liquid soap.

Whether vinegar in soap does what people want it to do is another story. The usual rationale for using vinegar in a liquid soap "shampoo" is to eliminate the need for an acidic rinse after washing the hair. Adding vinegar to soap does NOT solve that problem. You aren't washing your hair with soap + acid, you're washing with soap + potassium acetate. Two entirely different things.

Another thing -- The idea of using soap to wash the hair is pretty controversial. Use soap on your hair if you want, but understand that soap is fairly hard on many people's hair, damaging the hair shaft and leaving it rough and straw-like. The damage is cumulative. Some people apparently don't have problems washing their hair with soap, but I'd never recommend using soap on hair given the high proportion of people who do have serious trouble.

I'm not quite awake yet, so I could be wrong, but my calculations are showing the recipe is fine as written, including the 6 oz of vinegar. Assuming the 16.5 oz fats as written (including the argan), 90% purity KOH, 3% superfat, I'm coming up with 3.6 oz of KOH for the base recipe without vinegar. If I then substitute 6 oz vinegar for some of the water, that adds 0.3 oz additional KOH for a total of 3.9 oz KOH.

To the OP -- If you stirred and stirred this soap, were you stirring with a stick blender or some other tool?
 
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FarmerYoYo

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Hi DeeAnna, I'm not sure why the ACV, she didn't say and I am just learning. :) I have been attempting to find a solid formula for shelf stable liquid shampoo. I don't like shampoo bars. I honestly thought I was making a liquid shampoo. (as opposed to "soap")

I stirred this with a stick blender, in the crockpot on low. It mentions in the recipe that it should trace at a certain time, go to vaseline stage at a certain time... mine did neither. It has simply stayed runny as water. I stirred from time to time with a spatula to keep the sides down... while hot it foamed quite a bit. I ended up letting it cook all night long (simply by accident - I got tired of checking it and forgot to turn it off.) But nothing changed.

This is still sitting in my crockpot on the counter, LOL In hopes of me finding a way to salvage it for something, even if it is simply a decent hand soap. Any way I can do that?
 
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Thank you Susie for your thoughtful and quick reply. :) I got the recipe from
https://feltmagnet.com/crafts/How-T...-Using-Liz-Ardladys-Famous-Shampoo-Bar-Recipe
by a woman named Sharon Vile.

Yes, I trusted the recipe. :( I also ran the numbers through a calculator and found them lacking. (thank you for all the links) I've never used a calculator before, this is all new to me.

I simply want a very basic but effective, shelf stable shampoo.

I've read most of what you listed, but still do not have an answer to "how do I salvage this?" anywhere.
I look forward to someone with an idea of what I can do from here. :)
Thanks again!
I agree with what is being said...I am not an expert at liquid soap making and have finally gotten good enough at it that I use it for dishes, shampoo and hand and bath soap, but I never use ACV. I stick with the KOH/oils/water ratio recommended by Humble Bee and Me, Bramble Berry, and Tara Lee.
 

DeeAnna

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The Ardlady recipe has quite a (cult?) following among fans of using "soap as shampoo". Again, if that's what a person wants to do, go for it. But that recipe looks like a nice, gentle bath soap. There's nothing magical in it that makes it "shampoo" any more than any other nice, gentle bath soap.

There's a long thread here (the subject line starts with Thanks, Genny... if I recall correctly) where a recipe is given that is probably somewhat similar to the Ardlady recipe. Many of us have tried the soap-as-shampoo recipe in that thread with varying degrees of success.

***

Again, I want to say there is nothing wrong with using vinegar in soap, whether you're making bar soap or liquid soap. Vinegar is perfectly acceptable as long as you also add the extra alkali (KOH and NaOH) that the vinegar is going to consume. The use of vinegar is basic chemistry that's well defined and understandable, so don't discount its use without having studied the matter first or tried making a soap with vinegar. The point being ... the soap you make and the soap I make can be quite different, but we both can be successful.

***

Many of us make shampoo bars based on synthetic detergents, but DIY syndet shampoo does not have to be in a solid bar form. If you don't want a solid shampoo, then formulate a liquid product instead -- the main difference is a liquid version will contain more water than a solid version.

***

@FarmerYoYo -- As far as why your particular batch is staying so liquid, there's nothing in what you're reporting that seems suspicious to me.

Liquid soap doesn't always go through all the stages that people think it needs to go through, which is why people cook for hours 'n hours and get frustrated. A lot of that is unnecessary angst.

So ... I think you might want to troubleshoot this a little further.

First thing is to see if your soap might actually be soap, rather than soap batter. Pour it into a clear container and let it sit for awhile. Is it separating into a lye layer on the bottom and a fat layer on top?

If it stays as one homogeneous liquid -- in other words it's not separating out with time -- the stuff is probably soap.

If so, you might do a cautious zap test to see if it's lye heavy or not. There's a sticky thread in the Lye-Based Soap Forum about zap testing the right way.

If the soap is not zappy, try washing your hands with it and see if it lathers okay and feels okay on the skin. It might well be soap -- fully saponified and fine to use.
 

FarmerYoYo

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DeeAnn
It has sat for days now, since I started this thread.

And sorry for such delayed replies, but I seem to be having issues posting. I've posted twice, long and tedious to quote just so and etc and it simply disappears - bleh)

So anyway, this soap is simply liquid, nothing separated, nice amber color. (stirred it to be sure)
Absolutely NO zap, just a very unpleasant smell (like VERY strong soap) that stays on my hands after a very good rinse.
It lathers slightly, very little slip though. My hands felt like they were being washed in very hard water.

Hard to believe that this was "supposed" to be shampoo!

Even with the smell, can I use it for laundry or dishes?
 

DeeAnna

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Well it looks like my long reply apparently got deleted too. Short answers --

It sounds like you've got soap. Good!

Unless you add a water softener such as washing soda, lye-based soap is not going to do well in the washing machine or in a sink full of hot dish water.

Even if you do use enough washing soda to soften the water, this particular recipe is pretty mild -- it's not going to do well at cutting greasy soil. Stick with a recipe high in coconut oil for laundry and dish washing.

I would use this particular soap on a sponge as a spot cleaner for hand washing dishes, in a squeeze or pump dispenser at the sink for washing hands, or in the shower for bathing.
 

FarmerYoYo

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DeeAnna, Thank you so much for taking the time... I used to moderate two forums and I know what it takes to keep up with helping. So Thank You!

I will use it like you advised. But one last question... anything I can do to thicken it a bit? Salt?
 

shunt2011

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DeeAnn
It has sat for days now, since I started this thread.

And sorry for such delayed replies, but I seem to be having issues posting. I've posted twice, long and tedious to quote just so and etc and it simply disappears - bleh)

So anyway, this soap is simply liquid, nothing separated, nice amber color. (stirred it to be sure)
Absolutely NO zap, just a very unpleasant smell (like VERY strong soap) that stays on my hands after a very good rinse.
It lathers slightly, very little slip though. My hands felt like they were being washed in very hard water.

Hard to believe that this was "supposed" to be shampoo!

Even with the smell, can I use it for laundry or dishes?
That's because you have been sent a message by me with not response so it was deleted.
 

DeeAnna

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...I will use it like you advised. But one last question... anything I can do to thicken it a bit? Salt?
I'm not a moderator or admin, just a regular member.

Salt might work but I can't make a prediction -- you will have to try it and see. Test on a sample. Remember too much salt will thin out the soap. You're looking for an optimum amount -- not too little, but not too much.
 
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