Making bubblier suds lasting liquid soap

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Hi Everyone,
I made a few liquid soaps in the past several months and I let them sequester to see if the bubble makes it better.
What is the bubble enhancing ingredients that do not use coconut or palm kernel oil?
So far I have used sucrose, sodium lactate (not really for bubbles though), salt, glycerine to make liquid soap paste.
I also used double lye in the hopes to increase viscosity. I haven't had much luck with it to increase viscosity.
One thing I really liked about my soap pastes that I made so far is super gentle though it is lower in SF obviously compared to solid soap made with sodium hydroxide.
I used castor oil (over 10%), HO sunflower oil over 40% (because it is cheaper instead of olive oil), rice bran oil (I love this oil and easily accessible for me), palm kernel oil around 15% (I don't use coconut oil due to skin sensitivity to coconut oil). The result is shy bubbles but extremely gentle I can use it on babies (I have very sensitive skin but if I can use this babies can use this that is for sure haha.)
I used 60% glycerine and 40% distilled water in an attempt to make it milder and it did make very mild soap, even with SF at 4%.
Not too sure if sugar is making a difference. Would glycerine make less bubbles? Should I decrease glycerine?
How do I make it more bubblier liquid soap without making it harsh?
I am hoping I don't have to increase palm kernel oil and I think I am using enough castor oil over 10%.
I saw cellulose on my soap supplier recommendation as one of the bubble enhancing ingredient.
Has anyone used cellulose for bubble enhancing and viscosity increasing ability?
Or should I use olive oil for viscosity instead of HO sunflower? (olive oil now is very expensive so I was hoping for cheaper alternative).
 

Zany_in_CO

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Castor oil is conditioning as well as clarifying and increasing lather. I would use at least a little PKO to bump lather. While I like sunflower oil for infusing herbs, for your purposes, and since it is readily available, I would go with RBO instead + PKO 10% + Castor 10% or higher. I would make small 300 gram batches to test how high you can go with the castor.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM VARIOUS OILS IN LS
Unsaponified oils flatten lather. I use 0% SF for that reason. :tub:

Dual lye and sodium lactate are options for increasing viscosity. You might also like to try Stearic Acid:

STEARIC ACID TO THICKEN LS

I'm not a fan of using sucrose or glycerin -- but that's just me.

Using 60/40 glycerin/water to make the paste allows you to soap hotter which moves the process along quicker. Glycerin is particularly useful in 100% olive oil castile (and similar, like almond oil) which is the only time I use it.

Carrie Peterson got all us LS-ers using the glyceri-sub-for-water back in 2011. A lot of variations evolved from there -- mostly based on safety concerns. Just for fun, have a look. It's the single most exciting way to make soap ever! 😆

CARRIE PETERSON’S GLYCERIN LS
Watch while the paste goes through all the stages of becoming soap in 2 minutes! NOTE: NOT recommended for beginners due to the high heat that can cause scorching and toxic fumes.

To prevent that, I remove the KOH/glycerin from heat at the first sign of heat waves coming off the surface.

 
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Castor oil is conditioning as well as clarifying and increasing lather. I would use at least a little PKO to bump lather. While I like sunflower oil for infusing herbs, for your purposes, and since it is readily available, I would go with RBO instead + PKO 10% + Castor 10% or higher. I would make small 300 gram batches to test how high you can go with the castor.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM VARIOUS OILS IN LS
Unsaponified oils flatten lather. I use 0% SF for that reason. :tub:

Dual lye and sodium lactate are options for increasing viscosity. You might also like to try Stearic Acid:

STEARIC ACID TO THICKEN LS

I'm not a fan of using sucrose or glycerin -- but that's just me.

Using 60/40 glycerin/water to make the paste allows you to soap hotter which moves the process along quicker. Glycerin is particularly useful in 100% olive oil castile (and similar, like almond oil) which is the only time I use it.

Carrie Peterson got all us LS-ers using the glyceri-sub-for-water back in 2011. A lot of variations evolved from there -- mostly based on safety concerns. Just for fun, have a look. It's the single most exciting way to make soap ever! 😆

CARRIE PETERSON’S GLYCERIN LS
Watch while the paste goes through all the stages of becoming soap in 2 minutes! NOTE: NOT recommended for beginners due to the high heat that can cause scorching and toxic fumes.

To prevent that, I remove the KOH/glycerin from heat at the first sign of heat waves coming off the surface.


Hi, thanks for your reply! I forgot to mention I am doing CPLS lol so not for adding heat, I usually let it sit for 3-4 days and voila soap! I have been making solid soap for over 15 years or so, but pretty new to liquid as you can probably tell :D

Interesting to know about stearic acid. I don't have stearic acid in hand but I have used it before in making cream etc., and I know people make solid shaving soaps a lot due to lasting lather.
I have lots of cocoa butter and unrefined shea butter. I may use a bit of cocoa butter as unrefined shea butter tend to increase SF so I can make the lasting bubbles maybe. I think it may help in viscosity and bubble factor for lasting lather, but I don't want stearic acid floating to the top like snow flakes I have seen in some soap maker's soap as a failed soap(?).

I primarily used glycerine for skin conditioning properties, that's why not all glycerine especially that CPLS. But I watched the video it is interesting how it turned to soap in minutes but cooked for only an hour vs 3 hours :D Good to know thank you!

I got a new batch of potassium hydroxide recently so it's fresh and I will do it at 3% SF this time perhaps. I will increase more RBO and a bit more castor and tiny more PKO, plus adding cocoa butter a bit, maybe 5%?, and dual lye.
Not too sure if I would do without glycerine, it is stripping otherwise I think.

May I ask why you don't like sugar? I think sugar helps the paste to dissolve very fast when I add boiling distilled water it dissolves in less than 2 minutes which I love compared to non-sugar version. It's also a humectant I thought?
 

Zany_in_CO

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I am doing CPLS lol so not for adding heat, I usually let it sit for 3-4 days and voila soap!
Good for you! I wish more newbies would do Cold Process LS -- to insure a successful result. Many problems arise during the cook with Crockpot Hot Process -- either cooking too long or not long enough.

I watched the video it is interesting how it turned to soap in minutes but cooked for only an hour vs 3 hours :D Good to know thank you!
You're welcome! To be clear, it goes through all the phases of becoming soap in 2 minutes! Then it needs to rest (not cooked) for an hour before it tests clear with the pheno drops. How cool is that?!

May I ask why you don't like sugar?
It's not necessary. Just my personal preference -- "less is more" approach to designing soap formulas.

One of the first soaps I ever made when I first started soaping in 2003 were transparents. You make the soap then add a "polyol" mix of alcohol, glycerin & simple sugar syrup to clarify the batch, making it beautifully transparent.

Similarly, Liquid Soap can be clarified by adding one or all of the 3 ingredients during the 2-week sequester phase. Since I'm OCD about achieving clarity, I find that clarity can be achieved without the polyol addition depending on the oils used and 0% SF.
I think sugar helps the paste to dissolve very fast
Good tip! Thank you. I learned something today! :thumbs:
It's also a humectant I thought?
Glycerin is a humectant. I'm not so sure about sugar. 🤔
 
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earlene

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Yes, sugar is a natural humectant on the skin. I am not sure how much so in LS, as I would guess the amount used makes a difference, but it certainly is not drying to the skin.

I have not found that cocoa butter increases bubbles. Some people feel that High Oleic sunflower oil produces better bubbles than RBO, but I cannot say that I have experimented to see if that is the case. Perhaps you could sub some of the RBO with sunflower oil to see if it makes a difference.

I do not have any experience using lard in liquid soap, and have no idea if you are for or against lard, but here is a thread about using it in LS, which may give you another ingredient to add to increase lather (lard=creamy lather, while low cleansing): Lard liquid soap

You can go still lower than 3% SF, but I understand being cautious. If you are using phenolphthalein, though, you should certainly be able to ensure your LS is not lye heavy.

If you haven't tested your lye for purity, using phenolphthalein, here is a link to DeeAnna's instructions how to do so (opens a pdf):

NaOH or KOH Purity Check for Soap Makers - Classic Bells

 
Joined
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Yes, sugar is a natural humectant on the skin. I am not sure how much so in LS, as I would guess the amount used makes a difference, but it certainly is not drying to the skin.

I have not found that cocoa butter increases bubbles. Some people feel that High Oleic sunflower oil produces better bubbles than RBO, but I cannot say that I have experimented to see if that is the case. Perhaps you could sub some of the RBO with sunflower oil to see if it makes a difference.

I do not have any experience using lard in liquid soap, and have no idea if you are for or against lard, but here is a thread about using it in LS, which may give you another ingredient to add to increase lather (lard=creamy lather, while low cleansing): Lard liquid soap

You can go still lower than 3% SF, but I understand being cautious. If you are using phenolphthalein, though, you should certainly be able to ensure your LS is not lye heavy.

If you haven't tested your lye for purity, using phenolphthalein, here is a link to DeeAnna's instructions how to do so (opens a pdf):

NaOH or KOH Purity Check for Soap Makers - Classic Bells

Yeah, sugar is a humectant. I use around 1-3 tsp PPO, depending on other ingredients, I think I will use trehalose and not sucrose this time as I have extras though these are normally for cosmetic making for leave-ons. I will keep but I will decrease glycerine, as that may be inhabiting lather (I am suspecting) though it's very conditioning.
I will add small amount of cocoa butter and small amount of shea as to stabilize the lather once created with bare minimum amount of palm kernel, just to see if that makes it better, slightly increased.
I already use high amount of HO sunflower, but I think it won't make as high viscose of liquid soap as olive makes thicker soap? So I am going to switch to olive oil from HO sunflower just to see if that changes anything in terms of viscosity, but I will increase KoH and decrease NaOH.
I have left over avocado oil I made CP soap with a few weeks back, so I am going to use that.
I also have sesame oil left over as well, so I will use that to increase linoleic acid, as I found linoleic acid rich soap makes bubblier soap in my experience for solid soap though not so much as it increases chances of rancidity.
I am going to increase castor to like 20%. Lol I have never used 20% for solid soap, 12% maybe but not 20%! Lol
It should be interesting. I will only make a small batch 300g total oil, so not much of a loss if I don't like it.
I don't have anything against lard, but snowflake effect of lard, I have seen many articles on those which I would like to avoid. But a little bit of butters should help stabilizing the lather I am hoping and it shouldn't be full of stearic and palmitic acids.
 

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