Liquid soap recipe

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LiminalVeil

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I want to try making a liquid soap that is moisturizing and leaning toward luxury. I couldn’t find any recipes readily available that incorporated oils other than the usual olive, coconut, castor, rice bran, etc—so, I plugged my own recipe in and the values seem to work, but will it? Liquid soap seems kind of intimidating to me!

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I have never made an HP liquid soap, just CP bar soap. I plan to dissolve the KOH in glycerin (some sources suggest the glycerin weight should be .55 of the KOH weight)

What do you think—will this recipe work? I’ve excluded all butters to keep clarity and it’s at a 2% superfat.
Any suggestions are welcome!
 
You can try a small batch. Personally, I don't usuually use luxury oils in my soap as it is a wash off product.
 
I agree -- try a small batch. No harm in doing that.

I do want to say that "luxury" fats aren't necessarily as luxurious in soap as people want them to be. Saponification breaks fats apart into fatty acids and glycerin in order to create soap.

The properties of a given soap are more closely related to the various fatty acids in the soap rather than the fats from which the fatty acids come. Oleic acid molecules from marula oil don't look any different to KOH than the oleic from olive oil.

So-called "luxury" oils certainly increase the cost, but IMO their main benefit is mainly to add an "ooh la la!" factor to the ingredients list. The soap itself will most likely not perform much differently than if it had been made from more humble soap making fats.

The marula, sweet almond, and olive are all high-oleic fats, but at a total of 50% oleic acid, the amounts you used of these fats is fine. It should dilute to a nicely thick pourable soap.

At almost 30% coconut, you might find the soap to be rather drying to the skin, but a test batch will be the proof of that.

If you want a clear product, consider increasing the % of castor which is helpful to get to a crystal clear soap. I typically use about 10%, but others use up to 30% in their recipes.
 
I have never made an HP liquid soap, just CP bar soap.
You can make CP liquid soap, as well. Just like CP bar soap, CPLS will saponify on its own. Simply blend to the paste stage, then cover it and let it sit for a few hours until it is zap-free.

I plan to dissolve the KOH in glycerin (some sources suggest the glycerin weight should be .55 of the KOH weight)
KOH doesn't dissolve well in glycerin unless you apply heat, and there are potential dangers to doing that. May I suggest the following alternative? Dissolve the KOH in an equal amount of distilled water - no extra heat needed. Now add the remaining liquid amount as glycerin. The glycerin will help to speed trace, and to make a milder end product. That's helpful given that the SF in LS has to remain low to avoid post-dilution separation.
 
You can make CP liquid soap, as well. Just like CP bar soap, CPLS will saponify on its own. Simply blend to the paste stage, then cover it and let it sit for a few hours until it is zap-free.


KOH doesn't dissolve well in glycerin unless you apply heat, and there are potential dangers to doing that. May I suggest the following alternative? Dissolve the KOH in an equal amount of distilled water - no extra heat needed. Now add the remaining liquid amount as glycerin. The glycerin will help to speed trace, and to make a milder end product. That's helpful given that the SF in LS has to remain low to avoid post-dilution separation.
Thank you, I will try diluting 1:1 in water first before adding the KOH in glycerin! As for the SF, I have it set at 2% but now wonder if I should set it at 0 because I don’t want any separation.
 
Thank you, I will try diluting 1:1 in water first before adding the KOH in glycerin! As for the SF, I have it set at 2% but now wonder if I should set it at 0 because I don’t want any separation.
I personally prefer using a 0% SF for that very reason, especially since our KOH may not be the same level of purity assumed by the soap calculator. You can always add a bit more SF later with some polysorbate 80 or another emulsifier.
 
I agree -- try a small batch. No harm in doing that.

I do want to say that "luxury" fats aren't necessarily as luxurious in soap as people want them to be. Saponification breaks fats apart into fatty acids and glycerin in order to create soap.

The properties of a given soap are more closely related to the various fatty acids in the soap rather than the fats from which the fatty acids come. Oleic acid molecules from marula oil don't look any different to KOH than the oleic from olive oil.

So-called "luxury" oils certainly increase the cost, but IMO their main benefit is mainly to add an "ooh la la!" factor to the ingredients list. The soap itself will most likely not perform much differently than if it had been made from more humble soap making fats.

The marula, sweet almond, and olive are all high-oleic fats, but at a total of 50% oleic acid, the amounts you used of these fats is fine. It should dilute to a nicely thick pourable soap.

At almost 30% coconut, you might find the soap to be rather drying to the skin, but a test batch will be the proof of that.

If you want a clear product, consider increasing the % of castor which is helpful to get to a crystal clear soap. I typically use about 10%, but others use up to 30% in their recipes.
I see what you are saying—that the same type of molecule chains will be just that—the same, no matter their oil of origin. I am trying to develop this with some label appeal in mind but not go overboard on expensive oils.
I personally prefer using a 0% SF for that very reason, especially since our KOH may not be the same level of purity assumed by the soap calculator. You can always add a bit more SF later with some polysorbate 80 or another emulsifier.
If I do that, will that affect the clarity?

I agree -- try a small batch. No harm in doing that.

I do want to say that "luxury" fats aren't necessarily as luxurious in soap as people want them to be. Saponification breaks fats apart into fatty acids and glycerin in order to create soap.

The properties of a given soap are more closely related to the various fatty acids in the soap rather than the fats from which the fatty acids come. Oleic acid molecules from marula oil don't look any different to KOH than the oleic from olive oil.

So-called "luxury" oils certainly increase the cost, but IMO their main benefit is mainly to add an "ooh la la!" factor to the ingredients list. The soap itself will most likely not perform much differently than if it had been made from more humble soap making fats.

The marula, sweet almond, and olive are all high-oleic fats, but at a total of 50% oleic acid, the amounts you used of these fats is fine. It should dilute to a nicely thick pourable soap.

At almost 30% coconut, you might find the soap to be rather drying to the skin, but a test batch will be the proof of that.

If you want a clear product, consider increasing the % of castor which is helpful to get to a crystal clear soap. I typically use about 10%, but others use up to 30% in their recipes.
I see what you are saying in regards to the identical acid chains. So, I’m not trying to go overboard on expensive oils.
Thank you for the suggestion to up the castor. I’m used to using 5% or under for soap bars.
I also may tweak the coconut down to 20%. I don’t want this to be harsh at all but I want it to be creamy and lather and also be nice and thick after dilution—which I will probably add a bit more glycerin during that process.
 
I see what you are saying—that the same type of molecule chains will be just that—the same, no matter their oil of origin. I am trying to develop this with some label appeal in mind but not go overboard on expensive oils.

If I do that, will that affect the clarity?
Yes, the less SF, the more clear it will be - assuming you use oils that create a clear soap.
 
Yes, the less SF, the more clear it will be - assuming you use oils that create a clear soap.
I’m ok with it being slightly yellow, I just want it to have clarity. That is why I’m not putting any butters in it. Unless you know of butters that don’t cloud.
 
No, I don’t know of any butters - or animal fats - that will produce a clear LS. I actually love the pearly look of a soap with those ingredients. Since that is not your goal, sticking with the oils in your recipe, and using 0% SF should produce the clarity you seek.
 
Despite what some claim, glycerin does not thicken liquid soap. The only thing I found when I tried using glycerin to dilute the soap paste is glycerin slightly cuts the lather. It did not increase the viscosity.

I do use glycerin sometimes when making the paste because glycerin is an accelerant for KOH soap -- the soap batter comes to trace faster.

I do not ever dissolve KOH in hot glycerin. Simply dissolve KOH in an equal weight of room-temperature water, and then add glycerin to that. So much easier, faster, and safer, and works just as well.
 
Despite what some claim, glycerin does not thicken liquid soap. The only thing I found when I tried using glycerin to dilute the soap paste is glycerin slightly cuts the lather. It did not increase the viscosity.

I do use glycerin sometimes when making the paste because glycerin is an accelerant for KOH soap -- the soap batter comes to trace faster.

I do not ever dissolve KOH in hot glycerin. Simply dissolve KOH in an equal weight of room-temperature water, and then add glycerin to that. So much easier, faster, and safer, and works just as well.
Good to know. I’ll dissolve in water first before adding glycerin.
What is the best ingredient I can use to thicken the soap during dilution? I read that salt water in small amounts can do it. Some people add sodium lactate (I don’t remember if they were adding that as a thickener or as an emulsifier). Borax is another one—but I don’t know if that thickens as well as neutralizes excess lye—I’d rather not use it though because I don’t think I need to with KOH between 25-30%
 

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