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Low pH ingredients in soap.

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Bandaid

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Hi!

I recently purchased some liquid african black soap (pH around 10-11) which I use as a facial wash. I would love to incorporate some camu camu powder into this soap for a c-vitamin boost and scrubby effect, but this powder has a pH of 2,5.

I've heard that you can't mix citric acid with soap because it messes up the lye, so I just wanted to know:

1. what exactly happens to the soap if you lower it's pH with an acidic substance?

2. How much camu camu powder do you think that I can safely add to the soap without getting bad results?
 

elmtree

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Someone who has oodles of experience can correct me if I'm wrong, but I would use it like you do any other extract or powder in soap (citric acid is a ph adjuster and chelator (sp?) not an extract or common bar soap additive), just add your desired amount to whatever portion of your soap you want it in.
 

Kansas Farm Girl

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1. what exactly happens to the soap if you lower it's pH with an acidic substance?

From my understanding you won't lower the pH of soap as the nature of soap is a pH between 8 and 10, or 9 and 11, or whatever, depending on what you read.
 

jade-15

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1. what exactly happens to the soap if you lower it's pH with an acidic substance?
The issue is not so much the pH of the soap but messing up the lye/oil reaction (saponification).
Adding a heap of acid (such as lemon juice) results in less NaOH available to react with the fatty acids in oils.
How much? I'm not sure, sorry... maybe Deanna or someone else clever will come along ;)

What I know from lemon juice (thanks to soaping101)
- You can't use lemon juice purely for liquid
- You CAN add citric acid to soap.

You might need to experiment on 'how much', testing with pH strips as you go to see how low the acidity can get while it still works - and if it makes a difference adding before or after trace (If added to the lye water before trace it allows acid & base reaction without any competition from the oils... but as saponification occurs after trace who knows how much difference it will make!)
Beer has a pH around 5 and that's still ok to soap with :)

Are there instructions for a recommended use? If it is just a small amount mixed through lots of water it won't have much effect on pH at all.

Hopefully some of my ramblings have given you food for thought! Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
 

Bandaid

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Thanks everyone! I tried adding about 10% Camu Camu powder and let's see what happens. I ordered a pH meter online that should be coming soon, and I'll let you guys know at what pH the soap is currently at. Does anyone know the lowest pH a soap could have by adding acids without being destroyed?

Happy Easter to all of you by the way!
 

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