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LS with crude castor oil separating at trace

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shmaria

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I'm making liquid soap for the first time, trying a shampoo recipe with Coconut oil, sunflower oil and castor oil. The castor oil i used is a crude oil from a village mill.
Now I've been stick blending on and off over the past hour and the mixture has arrived at a medium trace but separates soon after I stop blending.
Any suggestions/solutions?
 

Susie

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If you could post your entire recipe in weights, it would help us troubleshoot what is wrong.
 

shmaria

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here's the original recipe:
SNOWDRIFT FARM SHAMPOO
Castor oil is the key to rich conditioning and super lather. Add 0.5% hydrolyzed silk protein after dilution for additional conditioning.
Oils: (by weight)
35 oz. castor oil
45 oz. coconut 76 degree
45 oz. sunflower seed oil

Water = 48 fluid oz. Potassium hydroxide = 26.5 oz. (by weight). This is a 3% lye discount.
Dilution water = 2 to 2.5 gallons
I made a quarter of this, changes/additions - used crude castor oil (color & texture like honey), and a 2.5 gm piece of silk fabric added to the lye, since we don't get the other stuff.


1: the silk didn't completely dissolve in the lye, so strained it out when pouring the lye. Put the leftover silk back in the bowl and added a couple tbsp of water, and it had all dissolved an hour later.
2: Took over an hour for the mixture to trace, and every time I gave the blender a rest, mixture would start to separate (or curdle).
3: Over an hour later, when it finally reached thick trace, didn't separate any more; started cooking the mix over a pan of hot water.
4: Took about 5 hours to reach translucent gel stage, but dilution was still milky; cooked another 2 hours and stopped.
5: Added hot dilution water and left overnight; soap had mostly dissolved and looked clear but there was a thin layer of white stuff (loose, not a film) on the surface.
6: Stirred the mix to dissolve the last bits, and now, 4 hours later it's all dissolved but milk-sand pink in color. The silk I used was dyed pale pink -could that be why?

If you could post your entire recipe in weights, it would help us troubleshoot what is wrong.
 

Susie

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Yes, that could be why. I have never used silk in liquid soap, but I doubt it is going to give clear soap. After all, it is something solid that is being dissolved.

I also ran that recipe through Soapee.com and got 9% superfat. You are 1.92 oz short of KOH for a 3% superfat. I also like to use a 3:1 ratio of water to KOH, so that right there would have given me a paste I did not like to work with.

You must run EVERY recipe, no matter where you got it, through a lye calculator for yourself. Typos happen, people make mistakes. All you can do is reduce the risk of having bad soap by running the recipe through a calculator for yourself.
 

DeeAnna

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Besides what Susie said, a couple more thoughts come to my mind --

I'm not sure what crude castor oil has in it compared to refined castor oil, but it may be that some of the cloudiness may be caused by residues in this ingredient. Not at all sure about this, but it's something to think about.

You also don't say what kind of water you used to make and dilute the soap. If it is not distilled, deionized, demineralized, or rain water, the minerals dissolved in the water can also add a milky appearance to the diluted soap.
 

shmaria

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Thanks, DeeAnna. I used filtered water- my filter claims to remove hardness and purify the water. I'll try distilled water (the stuff they use in car batteries) next time and see.
I don't mind the cloudiness, just wasnt sure if it was safe to use. Did try it out yesterday - tested with ph strip and got 7.5, tried on my hair - it felt too watery and the lather only lasted about 20 seconds!
Besides what Susie said, a couple more thoughts come to my mind --

I'm not sure what crude castor oil has in it compared to refined castor oil, but it may be that some of the cloudiness may be caused by residues in this ingredient. Not at all sure about this, but it's something to think about.

You also don't say what kind of water you used to make and dilute the soap. If it is not distilled, deionized, demineralized, or rain water, the minerals dissolved in the water can also add a milky appearance to the diluted soap.
 
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shmaria

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Thanks Susie. I looked at soapcalc but couldn't quite figure out the chnages when using KOH, so thought i'd just follow the recipe.
I've described what the soap felt like in my last reply - Do you think I could make up another batch at 0% superfat and then mix with this one to compensate for the miscalculation, or is it hopeless once the mixture is diluted?
I also ran that recipe through Soapee.com and got 9% superfat. You are 1.92 oz short of KOH for a 3% superfat. I also like to use a 3:1 ratio of water to KOH, so that right there would have given me a paste I did not like to work with.
 

Susie

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If I were you, I would mix 1.92 oz of KOH with an equal amount of water, then add to the diluted soap (assuming that you diluted all of the paste). That should bring the soap back to the 3% range, and end your separation issue.

I use Soapee.com to make all my soaps. It is so much easier than soapcalc.net. Just remember to tell it to use a 3:1 water/KOH ratio with 90% purity on the KOH.
 

shmaria

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Will do. What about thickening the mix?
If I were you, I would mix 1.92 oz of KOH with an equal amount of water, then add to the diluted soap (assuming that you diluted all of the paste). That should bring the soap back to the 3% range, and end your separation issue.

I use Soapee.com to make all my soaps. It is so much easier than soapcalc.net. Just remember to tell it to use a 3:1 water/KOH ratio with 90% purity on the KOH.
 

earlene

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If you do thicken it, I wouldn't put it a foamer. I just did that and boy was it hard to get it out when I was washing my hair with it today. (I also just made my first liquid shampoo today.) But I am expecting the soap to improve somewhat after it sits for a few days. I read that some people who use their liquid shampoo or LS right away don't always like how it turned out, but a week or two down the road it has improved remarkably. So I am looking forward to that myself.
 

DeeAnna

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Filtered water is still tap water -- filtering does not remove the calcium and magnesium normally in water that makes hard water scum. You need to use distilled, deionized, or demineralized water or even rain water to eliminate the cloudiness when you do a clarity test. IMO, a cloudy diluted soap due to the nature of the fats or other ingredients in the recipe is fine -- a cloudy diluted soap due to the soap turning into soap scum is not so nice.

With about 30% castor in the recipe, the shampoo may not foam a lot. Castor enhances bubble stability when used in small amounts, but it depresses lather in large amounts. I don't know where the turning point is for a given recipe, but I'd expect 30% might be pushing it.

Also the amount of dilution may be an issue. Unless you used high oleic sunflower, the oleic acid content in this Snowdrift recipe is fairly low. That means if you want a somewhat thick soap without adding a separate thickener, you probably can't use that much water. By contrast, look at Irish Lass' liquid soap recipe (the one Susie gave in her post above). The IL recipe has a high % of oleic acid and is diluted much less than the Snowdrift recipe -- there's more than 50% actual soap (fat + KOH) in IL's diluted soap. By following the dilution rate as given for the Snowdrift recipe, the diluted product has about 30% or less of actual soap in it. That's another reason why you might not be getting much lather --> less soap = less suds.
 

shmaria

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If you do thicken it, I wouldn't put it a foamer.

I am expecting the soap to improve somewhat after it sits for a few days. I read that some people who use their liquid shampoo or LS right away don't always like how it turned out, but a week or two down the road it has improved remarkably. So I am looking forward to that myself.
No, we don't get foamers here, just flip-top bottles, which is why i wanted to thicken it a bit. And yes, it did get nicer in the time since i made it.

Filtered water is still tap water -- filtering does not remove the calcium and magnesium normally in water that makes hard water scum. You need to use distilled, deionized, or demineralized water or even rain water to eliminate the cloudiness when you do a clarity test. IMO, a cloudy diluted soap due to the nature of the fats or other ingredients in the recipe is fine -- a cloudy diluted soap due to the soap turning into soap scum is not so nice.
I don't mind cloudy soap, but yes, I think my problem is soap scum. will upload some pics soon.

With about 30% castor in the recipe, the shampoo may not foam a lot. Castor enhances bubble stability when used in small amounts, but it depresses lather in large amounts. I don't know where the turning point is for a given recipe, but I'd expect 30% might be pushing it.
Also the amount of dilution may be an issue. Unless you used high oleic sunflower, the oleic acid content in this Snowdrift recipe is fairly low. That means if you want a somewhat thick soap without adding a separate thickener, you probably can't use that much water.
That explains it - I made this recipe just to try out, and it looked like the high castor oil content would make a good shampoo, but what you say about oleic acid content sounds right.
By contrast, look at Irish Lass' liquid soap recipe (the one Susie gave in her post above). The IL recipe has a high % of oleic acid and is diluted much less than the Snowdrift recipe -- there's more than 50% actual soap (fat + KOH) in IL's diluted soap. By following the dilution rate as given for the Snowdrift recipe, the diluted product has about 30% or less of actual soap in it. That's another reason why you might not be getting much lather --> less soap = less suds.
I wonder if I should make another batch of paste and mix it into this.
 

shmaria

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uploaded the pix in reverse order so
1: stirred up LS
2: LS with scum skimmed off
3: LS in pot with scum layer
 
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