liquid soap has white foam

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Persofit

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Hello :)
I made a batch of soap with 500g olive oil, 200g coconut, 150 castor oil.
I used 164g KOH ( with 494g water for KOH ) my KOH has a 100% purity,
and calculated with 5% superfat.

It came to trace just fine and then i left it sit in oven 6 hours in residual heat and then it looked nice and translucid:); so i go and dilute it with 800g water with borax solution of 33% and i get a thick white foam on top with beautiful soap underneath.

My question is can i do something to transform the foam into the nice soap i have underneath or do i just chuck it?

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topofmurrayhill

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Hello :)
I made a batch of soap with 500g olive oil, 200g coconut, 150 castor oil.
I used 164g KOH ( with 494g water for KOH ) my KOH has a 100% purity,
and calculated with 5% superfat.

It came to trace just fine and then i left it sit in oven 6 hours in residual heat and then it looked nice and translucid:); so i go and dilute it with 800g water with borax solution of 33% and i get a thick white foam on top with beautiful soap underneath.

My question is can i do something to transform the foam into the nice soap i have underneath or do i just chuck it?
The foam is actually undissolved soap. If you add water in small amounts, mix well and allow ample time between additions, you'll find the thick floating layer will gradually get thinner. It might take a while to carefully get the soap to just the right point. The borax also helps dissolve the soap and form a thick liquid at the same time, but don't overdo it.

Your KOH is not 100% purity. Sometimes they leave out the moisture in reporting the purity because the water content is assumed by people familiar with the product. Unless a batch has been analyzed, neither you nor your supplier knows the strength of the KOH. It's standard to assume 90% (much lower than NaOH), so there's a box you can check for that in Soapcalc.
 
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Susie

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Actually, there is indeed a "lack of KOH" for the following reasons. By the way, that is not foam, it is fat.

Firstly, the KOH you bought was not 100% purity. What was in the bottle is nothing but "KOH", meaning it did not have any other chemicals, but it always absorbs a little moisture. Use the 90% purity click box. This should be closer to the truth.

Secondly, you used 5% superfat. Liquid soap really does not like to have more than 3% superfat unless you use something like polysorbate 80 to emulsify the fat.

Thirdly, you "neutralized" with borax. Which further raised how much fat you have that is not saponified by KOH. You do not need to neutralize a soap that has a superfat. Only lye excess soaps need neutralization.

So, to fix this batch, what I would do is to mix about 50-60 g KOH with triple that amount of water, put the soap back on some heat, and add the KOH/water mixture about 20 g at the time (about 15-30 minutes between additions once the soap is good and warm) until you start seeing that fat layer decrease. Once you see it improving, reduce the additions to about 5 g at the time. Stop right before the last is completely gone and allow it to come back to room temperature.
 
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Persofit

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Actually, there is indeed a "lack of KOH" for the following reasons. By the way, that is not foam, it is fat.

Firstly, the KOH you bought was not 100% purity. What was in the bottle is nothing but "KOH", meaning it did not have any other chemicals, but it always absorbs a little moisture. Use the 90% purity click box. This should be closer to the truth.

Secondly, you used 5% superfat. Liquid soap really does not like to have more than 3% superfat unless you use something like polysorbate 80 to emulsify the fat.

Thirdly, you "neutralized" with borax. Which further raised how much fat you have that is not saponified by KOH. You do not need to neutralize a soap that has a superfat. Only lye excess soaps need neutralization.

So, to fix this batch, what I would do is to mix about 50-60 g KOH with triple that amount of water, put the soap back on some heat, and add the KOH/water mixture about 20 g at the time (about 15-30 minutes between additions once the soap is good and warm) until you start seeing that fat layer decrease. Once you see it improving, reduce the additions to about 5 g at the time. Stop right before the last is completely gone and allow it to come back to room temperature.
I will do that and let you know how it turns out
 

topofmurrayhill

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Actually, there is indeed a "lack of KOH" for the following reasons. By the way, that is not foam, it is fat.

Firstly, the KOH you bought was not 100% purity. What was in the bottle is nothing but "KOH", meaning it did not have any other chemicals, but it always absorbs a little moisture. Use the 90% purity click box. This should be closer to the truth.

Secondly, you used 5% superfat. Liquid soap really does not like to have more than 3% superfat unless you use something like polysorbate 80 to emulsify the fat.

Thirdly, you "neutralized" with borax. Which further raised how much fat you have that is not saponified by KOH. You do not need to neutralize a soap that has a superfat. Only lye excess soaps need neutralization.

So, to fix this batch, what I would do is to mix about 50-60 g KOH with triple that amount of water, put the soap back on some heat, and add the KOH/water mixture about 20 g at the time (about 15-30 minutes between additions once the soap is good and warm) until you start seeing that fat layer decrease. Once you see it improving, reduce the additions to about 5 g at the time. Stop right before the last is completely gone and allow it to come back to room temperature.
I'm pretty sure that isn't fat at all. With a high oleic soap, if I hit it with the stick blender with the initial water addition, the soap ends up very well dispersed. When there is not enough water to fully dissolve it, I get a layer of soap goop on top that looks exactly like that, with clear saturated liquid beneath it as pictured. The top layer disappears as I dilute further.

Granted, there could be an issue from assuming the high KOH purity and using the lye discount, but at this stage I think it's just not diluted enough.

Borax is actually alkaline. It won't break the soap like neutralizing with acid can, freeing up fatty acids. In fact it is a multipurpose additive for LS. It acts as a pH buffer, plus it decreases the amount of water you need to dissolve the soap, which adds delightful thickness, and it acts as an emulsifier. It might actually help keep the superfat from separating.
 

Susie

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I'm pretty sure that isn't fat at all. With a high oleic soap, if I hit it with the stick blender with the initial water addition, the soap ends up very well dispersed. When there is not enough water to fully dissolve it, I get a layer of soap goop on top that looks exactly like that, with clear saturated liquid beneath it as pictured. The top layer disappears as I dilute further.

Granted, there could be an issue from assuming the high KOH purity and using the lye discount, but at this stage I think it's just not diluted enough.
I have had undiluted soap assume many appearances also. However, that looks to me like soap separation. Especially in the presence of too high a superfat. The OP is trying my solution, and I really hope they post the results.


Borax is actually alkaline. It won't break the soap like neutralizing with acid can, freeing up fatty acids. In fact it is a multipurpose additive for LS. It acts as a pH buffer, plus it decreases the amount of water you need to dissolve the soap, which adds delightful thickness, and it acts as an emulsifier. It might actually help keep the superfat from separating.
I understand that this is what borax is supposed to do, however, in the presence of too high a superfat, exacerbation of the separation is always my result. If you can help me achieve different results with the use of borax, I am more than willing to learn.
 

topofmurrayhill

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I understand that this is what borax is supposed to do, however, in the presence of too high a superfat, exacerbation of the separation is always my result. If you can help me achieve different results with the use of borax, I am more than willing to learn.
It sounded like you were describing it having the effect of adding acid, which could certainly free up more fattiness. As neutralizing agents go, Borax is unique in not working that way.

For me the most striking effect is how much soap goes into solution with just Borax instead of water. If you add some to a fairly viscous soap a little before full dilution, you can end up with an even thicker liquid.

The last time I wanted to decrease the superfat of a LS, it wasn't separated but adding KOH increased the amount of soap to the point that some came out of solution and the white foam returned. Instead of water, I added Borax and the excess soap dissolved until I had a thick, clear liquid.
 

Persofit

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Susie - This is what i get after adding KOH and letting sit for 2 hours ( i didnt add any water yet ). I will see what it looks like tomorrow morning. Its fun expirementing with soap.
I will try this recipe again sunday.

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Susie

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Did you mix the KOH with some water? If so, how much KOH and how much water?
 

Susie

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Add more water in small amounts about every 15-30 minutes while it is over heat. (going with TOMH's suggestion) I would probably add no more than 60 g at the time. When you see only a single lump left, stop diluting.
 

topofmurrayhill

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Susie - This is what i get after adding KOH and letting sit for 2 hours ( i didnt add any water yet ). I will see what it looks like tomorrow morning. Its fun expirementing with soap.
I will try this recipe again sunday.
It needed more water but you added more soap because the KOH saponified your superfat. Now it will need even more water, but it's fine since the superfat was high anyway.
 

Persofit

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Ok I added some water with soup spoon of Borax and it was still hot when I left for a skiing weekend but I brought a small sample with me and it is beatiful amber color and clear. Once cooled off it is thick and gives good foam. I absolutely love it.

Thanks everyone.
I am going to make a new test batch of this recipe and see if I get it right.
 

Persofit

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Hello here is the results after adding KOH and dilution water. Its beautiful and perfect gel thickness. I read once that if the soap has Borax in it you have to leave it sit for 2 weeks before using it, ( is that nonsense or correct? )

Thanks for all your help, everybody.

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