Liquid soap is not...liquid

Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums

Help Support Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums:

Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
4
Location
Texas
Hello!
I made my first batch if liquid soap a few weeks ago, and decided to do it again because it turned out so well. I used soapmakingfriend.com for my recipe calculations, but I got distracted and made several mistakes.

Recipe
11.21oz distilled water
NaOH 1.68 oz
KOH 3.93 OZ
Lard 37.27 oz
Olive oil 24.84 oz
Sal butter 15.53 oz
Castor oil 6.21 oz
Hemp oil 6.21 oz
Stearic acid 9.94 oz
Phenonip 1.5 oz
Iodized salt 6 Tbsp

First off, I realize I probably should have used less hard oils and stearic acid. I used less last time and it worked great. Secondly..I know I used way too much salt. I was scatter brained and grabbed a Tbsp instead of a tsp and just was not paying attention. I meant to use 2.5 tsp, honestly, not sure what happened with that.
I added my stearic acid to my fats instead of at trace. I realized just as I poured the melted stearic acid into my pot, that I had made mistake #1.
I blended with my stick blender until it wouldn't mix anymore, and let it cook in the crackpot on low for about 40 minutes. It looked perfect. I turned off the heat and started adding my water little bits at a time. The third round of adding water, it separated and had a lot of blobs that wouldn't dissolve. After researching, I warmed the whole batch up until it was all dissolved and that seemed to help a lot. I let it cool and it was just a bit too thin for my liking, this is where I add the salt. Again, not sure what happened or why I added so much. But I did. It immediately thickened into a paste, like I hadn't added any water, but it was still sticky and malable, not crumbly, so I added more water and let it set. Fast forward, it's been almost 3 days, I now have a 5 gallon bucket almost full of this soap and it's no where near thin enough. What can I do? By time I get it thin enough to actually use, I'm afraid it'll be too diluted to be considered soap. Any advice? Thanks in advance!
(Sorry for the entire book, but I wanted to give as much info as possible to get the best help. Thanks!)
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
2,573
Reaction score
6,890
Location
Germany
The KOH lye aside, this recipe would make decent bar soaps. But it is not a liquid soap recipe!
  • What do you want to achieve with this amount of hard fats (lard, sal butter, stearic acid = 15 P + 22 S)? Of course it will thicken up to a concrete-like texture, need endless to dissolve, and give a murky, gloppy jelly with no resemblance of viscous liquid. If your goal is to get a naturally white (opaque) LS with opalescent glitter effect, much less hard fats are needed. Otherwise, save your expensive butters for luxurious bar soaps, and make the bulk of LS from neutral liquid oils. Have a read here for the caveats of various oils in LS: What to expect from various oils in ls
  • Too much sodium. WAY too much. Your lye already contains 30% NaOH, and you are adding about as much sodium with the salt afterwards. And a lot more than needed to thicken up liquid soap. Thickening with sodium (by dual-lye or table salt addition) is only useful in the region of low single-digit percentages AT MOST. But with that amount of NaOH to start from, you can't do a “salt curve” at all. And any additional salt will just increase the risks of separation (salting-out). Read on here: Liquid soap diluting, thickening | Soapy Stuff
  • Your lye addition is totally off the chart? 4.5 oz NaOH equivalent NEVER suffice to saponify 100 oz of oils, rather you have 70% superfat/lye discount. I wouldn't even call this soap at all. Are you sure that's the right numbers (and units)?
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
4
Location
Texas
The KOH lye aside, this recipe would make decent bar soaps. But it is not a liquid soap recipe!
  • What do you want to achieve with this amount of hard fats (lard, sal butter, stearic acid = 15 P + 22 S)? Of course it will thicken up to a concrete-like texture, need endless to dissolve, and give a murky, gloppy jelly with no resemblance of viscous liquid. If your goal is to get a naturally white (opaque) LS with opalescent glitter effect, much less hard fats are needed. Otherwise, save your expensive butters for luxurious bar soaps, and make the bulk of LS from neutral liquid oils. Have a read here for the caveats of various oils in LS: What to expect from various oils in ls
  • Too much sodium. WAY too much. Your lye already contains 30% NaOH, and you are adding about as much sodium with the salt afterwards. And a lot more than needed to thicken up liquid soap. Thickening with sodium (by dual-lye or table salt addition) is only useful in the region of low single-digit percentages AT MOST. But with that amount of NaOH to start from, you can't do a “salt curve” at all. And any additional salt will just increase the risks of separation (salting-out). Read on here: Liquid soap diluting, thickening | Soapy Stuff
  • Your lye addition is totally off the chart? 4.5 oz NaOH equivalent NEVER suffice to saponify 100 oz of oils, rather you have 70% superfat/lye discount. I wouldn't even call this soap at all. Are you sure that's the right numbers (and units)?
Those are the right numbers. I used lard in place of coconut oil, added sal butter because I thought I needed additional hard oils. (I should have stated that I am very new to soap making) I used it in my last batch, along with stearic acid, but I guess I completely spaced that I was already using lard. (Used coconut oil in my last batch.) I guess I just need to throw this batch out because as you said, it's a globby mess with endless diluting. Thanks for the help!
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
2,573
Reaction score
6,890
Location
Germany
Thanks for clarification. Keep in mind that coconut oil is not a hard fat in liquid soap. It adds next to zero P+S, and coconut LS is runny even at high concentrations. Swapping it by a hard fat in the narrower sense (lard, sal butter, whatever) is a bad idea, regardless if liquid or bar soap is concerned. It is an unfortunate misconception that lauric oils (coconut etc.) are considered “hard oils” by many (or rather, that the “hard” in “hard oil” refers to the hardness of a bar soap at the time of unoulding – completely irrelevant for liquid soap!).

Once again asking about the numbers: to come anywhere close to full saponification, you would need more than 20 oz (!) of KOH. With your numbers, the lard, olive and hemp oils are not saponified at all, but just linger around in your soap, awaiting to become rancid, or be eaten up by hungry bacteria and fungi. Have I understood you correctly that this is your goal? I'm very curious where you have that advice from about these lye discount numbers.
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
4
Location
Texas
Thanks for clarification. Keep in mind that coconut oil is not a hard fat in liquid soap. It adds next to zero P+S, and coconut LS is runny even at high concentrations. Swapping it by a hard fat in the narrower sense (lard, sal butter, whatever) is a bad idea, regardless if liquid or bar soap is concerned. It is an unfortunate misconception that lauric oils (coconut etc.) are considered “hard oils” by many (or rather, that the “hard” in “hard oil” refers to the hardness of a bar soap at the time of unoulding – completely irrelevant for liquid soap!).

Once again asking about the numbers: to come anywhere close to full saponification, you would need more than 20 oz (!) of KOH. With your numbers, the lard, olive and hemp oils are not saponified at all, but just linger around in your soap, awaiting to become rancid, or be eaten up by hungry bacteria and fungi. Have I understood you correctly that this is your goal? I'm very curious where you have that advice from about these lye discount numbers.

The soapmakingfriend.com I added my ingredients and it gave me my lye and liquid discount numbers. I thought it seemed low but I didn't want to mess with the numbers since I'm still new to working with lye altogether. Totally should have asked on here before even starting this batch.
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
4
Location
Texas
Omg my numbers were wrong 😂 I gave the percentages not the oz.

Distilled water
NaOH 11.21 oz
KOH 1.68oz
Lard 12oz
Olive oil 8oz
Sal butter 5oz
Stearic acid 3.2 oz
Castor oil 2 oz
Hemp oil 2 oz
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
4
Location
Texas
Sure these numbers are correct now? Your NaOH percentage went up from 30% to 87%.

Really should have checked for typos...on my phone and it keeps correcting things. Distilled water is 11.21 oz NaOH is 1.68 oz and KOH is 3.93 oz (Lye weight is 5.61oz total)
Sorry for the confusion!
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,897
Reaction score
9,697
Location
Texas
Toss this batch.

Start over using a new recipe that uses the classic coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil. There are many recipes floating around the forum that work. Pick one. (Just one)

Run the numbers through SMF or soapee.com using a 3:1 water/KOH ratio. Do not change anything from what the recipe calls for at any point in the process.

Use a digital scale that has new batteries and has been checked for accuracy.

Once you know how to make good liquid soap, then you can start trying more adventurous recipes. But you have to walk before you run.
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2021
Messages
10
Reaction score
4
Location
Texas
Toss this batch.

Start over using a new recipe that uses the classic coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil. There are many recipes floating around the forum that work. Pick one. (Just one)

Run the numbers through SMF or soapee.com using a 3:1 water/KOH ratio. Do not change anything from what the recipe calls for at any point in the process.

Use a digital scale that has new batteries and has been checked for accuracy.

Once you know how to make good liquid soap, then you can start trying more adventurous recipes. But you have to walk before you run.

I will, thanks!
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
14,030
Reaction score
21,197
Location
USA
I'll add another bit of advice to Susie's --

You made a huge batch of soap paste. IMO, it's best to not invest a lot of resources in any given batch, especially if you are a newish liquid soap maker or if you're trying an untested recipe ... or both as is true in your case. If you don't like the soap or if something happens to ruin the batch, discarding a small batch isn't as wasteful.

Even if you do like the recipe, smaller batches still make sense. It's best to get liquid soap used up in a reasonable amount of time because it can go rancid as time passes. Better to make smaller batches more often to keep the soap fresh. That will also keep your liquid soap making skills sharper.

If this soap is for personal use only, 500 grams (roughly 16 oz) is a reasonable size. Since I use liquid soap only for spot-washing dishes and handwashing at the kitchen sink, I make 300 gram batches and each one lasts for months.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,897
Reaction score
9,697
Location
Texas
I make 32 oz of oil recipes. But I use hand soap in foamers all around the house. It takes me about 6 months to use it all up. I don't dilute it all at once, though. I divide the paste in half and dilute one half at the time. The only time I ever dilute a lot at once is for gifts at Christmas because I give it all away.

I also make 100% CO 0% SF soap to clean with, but I use as a paste, so it does not count.
 

Dana89

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Messages
294
Reaction score
251
Hey all. I hope you are all well, I wanted to say as a long-term liquid and hard soapmaker that I found this for the very same reason. I put too much stearic acid in mine and it is the consistency of a thick lotion.
The first answer too @Simpleforskincare, was very rude and the änswer" was basically calling her stupid. There is not be one if you say you have never screwed up before. I'm sure the oils are tossed by now but I don't see why she could not have at least tried to add more liquid oils, some emulsifying wax to a small bit, and see if she can get a decent lotion. That is a lot of good oils barely saponified to just toss.
Besides my own screw-ups, I have seen a large amount on here, and this was an extremely supportive board. So since no one else will say anything @Resolvabable Owl - I see you looked like you may have tried to help a little later on, she was not rude to you at all and I hope you were just in bad mood and apologized later.

To the rest of the board, after having to leave to care for my dad who had dementia, I came back twice I think to try to get my mind of the the last very hard months of his life and death. However What I needed was a break and some therapy,. It may be the natural order of things but if you feel like you need help, get it. I suffered not only through grief but guilt, always wondering if I had done the right thing and many other emotions.

I wanted to thank all of you who offered your support, your own stories, thoughts and prayers. Thanks so much.
 

Latest posts

Top