Liquid soap not thickening

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MindyLou

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Hi Everyone - I just finished up making a liquid soap that has Coconut, Castor, and Jojoba oil with Coconut being about 74% of the oils. Everything was going well and then I diluted the soap with borax and added a little more as it recommended it would help thicken up the soap. I let it sit overnight and as of this morning it was still runny like water. Is there any way for me to still thicken it up and how do I go about doing it? I was reading many posts on using other alternatives but saw that it is very dependent on the oils you are using so not sure what to follow for the recipe I was making.
Thanks for any words of wisdom. This is my second go at making liquid soap. The first batch was filled with lots of learning moments :)
 

Kcryss

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Hi Everyone - I just finished up making a liquid soap that has Coconut, Castor, and Jojoba oil with Coconut being about 74% of the oils. Everything was going well and then I diluted the soap with borax and added a little more as it recommended it would help thicken up the soap. I let it sit overnight and as of this morning it was still runny like water. Is there any way for me to still thicken it up and how do I go about doing it? I was reading many posts on using other alternatives but saw that it is very dependent on the oils you are using so not sure what to follow for the recipe I was making.
Thanks for any words of wisdom. This is my second go at making liquid soap. The first batch was filled with lots of learning moments :)
I've only made two batches of liquid soap, both 100% CO. Both were thin liquid and to my knowledge, there is no way to make it thicker. Others here may know if there is a way or not.
 

DeeAnna

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Your recipe doesn't have enough oleic acid in it. You simply cannot thicken a low oleic soap with table salt or borax or other salt. This type of soap is always going to be thin unless you use a cellulose-based thickener that doesn't rely on the oleic acid content for thickening.
 

esiuolm

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Your recipe doesn't have enough oleic acid in it. You simply cannot thicken a low oleic soap with table salt or borax or other salt. This type of soap is always going to be thin unless you use a cellulose-based thickener that doesn't rely on the oleic acid content for thickening.
Would you suggest that glycerin be added to the cold coconut based soap? It 8s a coconut and apricot oil soap. I did as Mindy Lou and made my first batch of liquid soap yesterday. I added borax though I read afterwards that I should have waited until it was cold to add the borax. Could that have been the problem? Now it is watery, and I am wondering if if it will thicken up or whether I should be adding glycerin to it to thicken it up that way. If not glycerin, what else would you suggest? I appreciate your advise. Thanks.
 

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DeeAnna

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Glycerin does not thicken liquid soap.

I already gave my suggestion for thickening this type of soap -- a cellulose-based thickener that doesn't rely on the oleic acid content for thickening.
 

cmzaha

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When I was making LS I always used Hydroxpropoyl Methylcellulose (HMPC) which I purchased from Lotion Crafter at the rate of 0.1% -2%. I recommend starting on the low end of usage. I never used 2%. Some say you can use xanthan gum but I never had much luck with it. Directions for using HMPC is on the Lotion Crafters website.
 

esiuolm

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So I realize it would be helpful to know 1) a list of possible cellulose based thickeners, and 2) for which types of oils they are recommended. Because my next question is about my coconut oil and apricot oil based soap....is that suggestion of Hydroxpropoyl Methylcellulose (HMPC) a good fit for this combination of oils. I’ll look it up too but perhaps you know, and don’t mind replying. Thanks for this forum, and all your help.
 

DeeAnna

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@esiuolm -- Celluose based thickeners like HPMC aren't used a lot by liquid soap makers here, but if your goal is to catch the eye of those who do use them, it's best if your question isn't buried in another person's thread. Use a title that relates specifically to YOUR question.

I have a fair bit of info about liquid soap making here, including links to another person's tutorials about thickening LS with cellulose thickeners -- Soapy Stuff: Soapy Stuff
 

gloopygloop

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For thicker LS without using gums or thickeners try duel lye, adding a % of NaoH will make for thicker LS.
 

DeeAnna

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I've never found adding NaOH to a LS recipe to be universally successful. Some people say it works, others don't see a benefit.

My guess is it depends on the fatty acid content as well as the % of NaOH used, so there's not going to be a single answer that works for every recipe every time.
 

gloopygloop

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I ususaly do duel lye for LS if there isn't anything like palm or butters to bulk it up a bit especially for an all CO oil LS for laundry etc. I find it works well but with the caveat that overkill will make for "snotty " feel and less is more, and it will tend to cloud up in cold weather but it makes for a good soap for me.
 

cmzaha

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I cannot help a lot with using HMPC only follow the instructions which I believe are on Lotion Crafter's website, and as I mentioned above go on the low end, and do not try it in your full batch of diluted soap, since it has a learning curve and you could waste your whole batch. I tried other thickeners with this one proving the easiest to use even with it's learning curve, just keep a good record of your dilution rate and HMPC ratio. A little note is too much will give a slimy feel to your soap, which is why I recommend starting out with the low percentage, the stuff thickens well and fast. Sorry, I am not more help and there may very well be some newer products on the market since I have not fiddled with LS for several years. There is a FB LiquidSoapers group but I am not a member. I was a member of a Yahoo LS group that is not gone as far as I know, and I think some of the original members are members of the FB group.
 

Jor224

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Hi, just to confirm, is it that the salt can only thicken oleic acid, or the salt can't thicken soap with high coconut oil content?

Let say that I randomly make soap out of sunflower oil only that has high linoleic acid and a little of oleic acid, will it be thickened with salt?


Your recipe doesn't have enough oleic acid in it. You simply cannot thicken a low oleic soap with table salt or borax or other salt. This type of soap is always going to be thin unless you use a cellulose-based thickener that doesn't rely on the oleic acid content for thickening.
 
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