LS Citric Acid theoretical question

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lizard1232

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So I'm not so great with the search function on the forum, nor searching the forum through Google. I/m sure a question like this has been asked before, too. I was trying to find a good dish soap recipe using citric acid. I'm leaning towards 100% CO w/ 0% SF. (Maybe someone could point me to a few threads.) Now here is the theoretical question. I've worked out that some methods use citric acid to neutralize the lye excess after the whole process, but does anyone know what would happen if you add the the citric acid to the lye water? Just curious if anyone has tried and what their result was. I have no qualms learning from other's experiences.
 

LBussy

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So I'm not so great with the search function on the forum, nor searching the forum through Google. I/m sure a question like this has been asked before, too. I was trying to find a good dish soap recipe using citric acid. I'm leaning towards 100% CO w/ 0% SF. (Maybe someone could point me to a few threads.) Now here is the theoretical question. I've worked out that some methods use citric acid to neutralize the lye excess after the whole process, but does anyone know what would happen if you add the the citric acid to the lye water? Just curious if anyone has tried and what their result was. I have no qualms learning from other's experiences.
That's generally considered an outdated method (on here anyway). Here's some stuff to chew on:

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?p=428988
 

DeeAnna

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Neutralizing is just that ... adding just enough acid to remove any lye excess there may be in the finished liquid soap. If there's no lye excess, you don't neutralize. If there's a little or a lot, you neutralize appropriately.

If you have the ability to accurately calculate the lye requirements so you KNOW what your lye excess will be when the soap is done, I suppose you could add citric at the start of the process, but most of us don't have that ability to precisely know the saponification values of the fats and the purity of our lye.

As far as making liquid soap, there is no reason to make a lye-heavy soap and then neutralize. In fact, you're more likely to mess the soap up, than have success, so most liquid soap makers have gone to a slightly superfatted method that gives more reliable results and requires less time and work. Why not try it and avoid the whole neutralization hassle?

No-neutralization Liquid Soap Tutorials:
Irish Lass: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?p=428988 see posts 8 and 9
Susie: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=49852

If you want to use citrate (not citric acid) as a chelator and soap scum preventer, then do so, but formulate your recipe intentionally for that.

CITRIC ACID in Soap to reduce soap scum and help prevent rancidity
Citric acid and Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) make Sodium citrate in soap.
Citric acid and Potassium hydroxide (KOH) make potassium citrate in soap.
Typical dosage: 10 g citric acid for every 1,000 g oils (1% ppo). Range 0.1% to 3%.
10 g citric acid neutralizes 6.24 g NaOH
10 g citric acid neutralizes 8.42 g KOH
 
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lizard1232

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I apologize. I should have been more clear. I already use the Lass and Susie versions of liquid soap making and they have improved my experience and product by leaps and bounds. I wasn't planning on making lye heavy soap and then neutralizing it. I was however thinking about using the citric acid as a chelator/scum preventer. I was just curious if adding the citric acid to the KOH water would make any difference as opposed to adding it at dilution. DeeAnna, I already have those formulas in my book, as I stalk basically every piece of information you supply on this board. :shifty:

ET change "formulations" to "formulas" because I can't even believe I made that mistake in the first place.
 
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DeeAnna

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Okay, thanks for clarifying. I didn't read your first post at all in the way you meant it -- it sure sounded like you wanted to use the Failor method of making liquid soap. Tis good to get redirected back to your real question, which is the use of citric acid to make citrate as a chelating agent for your soap.

Theoretically it probably doesn't make too much difference when you add the citric acid. But theory and practice are two different issues. I think it may be best to add the citric acid up front.

First off, adding citric acid at dilution means your paste will be lye heavy and that creates safety concerns for handling the paste. I don't know if you do this, but I don't dilute all of my paste at one time -- I dilute it as needed -- so this would be an issue for me. Also if you want to use the paste directly for cleaning, the lye-heaviness might not be a quality that is very appealing.

There is also some potential for the excess lye to react with CO2 in the air, so some of the lye might end up forming potassium carbonate. If you add citric acid based on all of the excess lye being 100% available for reacting with the citric acid, it's possible you might end up with a diluted soap that contains excess of fatty acid. Then you might well have separation problems.
 
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FGOriold

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Have you considered using sodium citrate or potassium citrate as a chelating agent to add to your diulted soap instead of citric acid - that way it will not mess with your pH.
 

DeeAnna

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Faith -- If I'm following Lizard correctly, the idea is to add citric acid and sufficient extra lye to neutralize the citric acid. The end result is potassium citrate or sodium citrate depending on the lye used. The thinking is citric acid is easier to find than citrate, so why not use it to make the citrate rather than buy potassium or sodium citrate.
 

lizard1232

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I'm glad I went with my first hunch then. I added the citric acid to the lye water and now I have an awesome dish paste/soap. My dishwasher didn't even get my glasses this sparkly . Thanks for your input, everyone!
 

LBussy

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I found this thread very interesting, especially the OP’s findings of sparkling dishes and glasses. In other threads I’d taken away that EDTA was a more effective chelate and therefore dismissed citric acid as a good addition. I remembered a personal experience this morning that caused me to go hunting for more info.

There’s a commercial product called Lemi Shine® that I had always used for cleaning my reloading brass (I reload ammo too of course, I mean why save time and buy it?) I use a slightly different medium for cleaning than most people and the person who supplied that medium recommended adding Lemi Shine to the water along with plain old dishwashing detergent at a rate of ¼ tsp per gallon more or less. The difference is ridiculous, night and day, the brass looks brand new.

So this thread comes along and makes me think again of Citric Acid in soap. I searched for an MSDS for Lemi Shine and was met with:

http://lemishine.com/system/lemi-shine-detergent-booster/

Chemical Name: Supplier Trade Secret Proprietary
CAS-No: Proprietary
Weight %: 60 - 100

Chemical Name: Supplier Trade Secret Proprietary
CAS-No: Proprietary
Weight %: 1 - 5

That’s a whole lot of “no help” so I looked for any other information. I found:
  1. pH: 3
  2. Appearance: White
  3. Odor: Lemon
  4. Physical state: Solid, powder
  5. Health Hazard: 1
  6. Flammability: 1
  7. Stability: 0
  8. Flash Point: N/A
  9. Ingredient #1 Toxicity: LD50 Oral 3000 mg/kg ( Rat )
  10. Ingredient #2 Toxicity: LD50 Oral 2840 mg/kg ( Rat )
  11. Ingredient #2 Toxicity: LD50 Dermal 5 g/kg ( Rabbit )

So I looked up Citric Acid’s MSDS:

http://hazard.com/msds/mf/baker/baker/files/a7608.htm

I found a match for 100% of the items except for the smell. We have that mysterious 1-5% of the second Trade Secret. What if I assume that was Lemon essential Oil? I searched for an MSDS and found a match for the smell (obviously), and the Oral and Dermal toxicity listed.

Of course there is any number of other things that could also match the properties given in the MSDS, but I find that I was able to get exact matches with the very first thing I checked which I take as a promising sign. This suggests therefore that if a person can’t get hold of Citric Acid, grabbing some Lemi Shine at the store may be a good alternative. At $3.47 for 12 oz. it may be a pretty cheap way to go. Any idea how a person could figure out if it was really citric acid?

Anyway, I think part of what makes it so effective is that I use a detergent. Dawn is pH 8 or so and of course is synthetic. That much citric acid might pull the pH down as well, and certainly would not convert to sodium/potassium citrate. Do you think there’s a big difference in chelating properties between free citric acid vs sodium/potassium citrate?

Anyway, it makes me want to re-consider using citric acid.
 

lizard1232

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How much % of citric acid did you use?

I used 20g PPO. I may try adding another 10g next time, though.


There’s a commercial product called Lemi Shine® that I had always used for cleaning my reloading brass (I reload ammo too of course, I mean why save time and buy it?)

This made me literally laugh out loud.

Honestly, though, I was pretty blown away by how well the paste worked to clean. I can't say that the citric acid made all the difference, though, because I never tried the recipe without it. The thing I found interesting was I used to be one of those "crunchy" chicks that made my own dishwasher tablets. (I'm still pretty "crunchy" but now I know how to better find reliable information for said crunchiness.") I tried every formula on here: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/green-living/which-homemade-dishwasher-soap-recipe-best/ and my glasses would always come out with spots and film. And forget using them on plastic. At least in my washer. So I went back to store bought pods.

I can't, with a clear conscience, say that it cleans better than original dawn, but it did remove the coconut oil from the plastic container. It did make my glass and stainless steel shine with no film. It did, however, leave a slight residue on my Teflon. (I'm not 100% crunchy.) And some of the super greasy items needed hit a second time after rinsing, but I am definitely happy with the results. I didn't dilute the paste. Just used a dab straight on the sponge.

Your Lemishine ideas and the referenced website make me wonder if lemon drink mix would make any difference, both with imparting a lemon-y fresh scent and as a chelator, though. I suppose I will experiment with that when my paste starts getting low.
 

liquidsoaplady

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In my experiments and trials, I have found using a 20% citric acid solution added to my diluted soap at a rate of 1.5 teaspoons per pound of soap paste, works well as chelating agent, I also add borax at 1.5 teaspoons per pound of paste, the two seems to work together to increase lathering, making a more sustainable foam, that makes a really good bubble bath even in hard water. So far I haven't experienced any separation problems. When I used a 50% citric acid solution, then my soap experience a small degree of separation.
 
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Spice

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I just want to add my 2 cents to all of these posts. 2 cents is all I have because every post is way above my knowledge, if something I have never done, and have no experience with, keeps my attention, then its good. All of the post are wonderful and full of info. When its my turn to make dish soap....and I will, this is where I will get all of my needed help.:p
 

Spice

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I'm glad I went with my first hunch then. I added the citric acid to the lye water and now I have an awesome dish paste/soap. My dishwasher didn't even get my glasses this sparkly . Thanks for your input, everyone!
How is dish paste worked? I mean....is it water soluble? Does the recipe turns it into paste?:?:
 

DeeAnna

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Spice -- The paste soap that Lizard is talking about is the thick soap paste that you get when you saponify fat with potassium hydroxide (KOH). This very thick, rubbery gel is what liquid soap (LS) starts out like. Yes, LS paste is water soluble -- in fact, water is added to the paste to dilute it into a pourable liquid. The pourable liquid is the stuff that most people think of when talking about liquid soap, but the LS paste is also soap too, just not pourable yet. I hope that answers your basic question.

I can't speak about what Lizard is doing with the LS paste, but Susie championed the idea here on SMF of using LS paste for general cleaning in the kitchen and bath, as a laundry spot treatment, and for hand washing dishes. Just keep some of the paste in a little container or put it into a squeeze tube or pack it into a large "lip balm" type tube. Rub off some of the paste onto your cleaning cloth or scrub pad or dirty clothes and rub away. Paste soap doesn't lend itself to just adding to a sink of hot water because the paste doesn't dissolve very fast without agitation to get it broken up and mixed with the water. But put it on a cleaning cloth or scrubby, and it works very well. I sometimes dust the paste with Bon Ami (a gentle abrasive scrubbing powder) for extra cleaning power.
 
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zolveria

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nice thread. I was thinking of experimenting with my soap recipe to lower the PH which in turn will not burn the eyes.

This Idea came about when a client said my soap did not burn his eyes. But this was a HP soap that i created.
Most of my wood mold soaps are CPOP.
 
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nice thread. I was thinking of experimenting with my soap recipe to lower the PH which in turn will not burn the eyes.

This Idea came about when a client said my soap did not burn his eyes. But this was a HP soap that i created.
Most of my wood mold soaps are CPOP.


Have you seen the posts about Dr Dunn challenging people to actually show their pH neutral liquid soap? Might be worth a read
 
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