Neutralizing Liquid Soap - qts from a beginner

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

JillJ

JillJ
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Location
South Africa
Hello All,

I've recently made my first batch of liquid soap following the paste method in Jackie Thompson's Liquid Soapmaking book using recipe #7 60% coconut oil soap with olive & castor oils. I've run across a couple of things that I found confusing and hope that one of you experts will be able to help me out. :)

Step 11 Check for Neutrality: Followed the instructions here using phenolphthalein solution in diluted soap solution, and it was clear with no color change. Hooray! Instructed to move on to...

Step 12 Diluting the Soap Paste: Very confused here as to how to determine the desired concentration of soap. I ended up choosing 30% and diluted the soap paste. I think I did the right thing, but am not at all confident. How do you properly choose the concentration, please?

The next step is to neutralize the soap, and I decided to follow the Fairly Accurate Method, which involved preparing a neutralizer (20% citric acid solution) and three samples of the diluted stock. I put a few drops of the phenolphthalein solution in each cup and then started with a few drops of the citric acid solution. The citric acid solution immediately turned white, and little pieces began floating in the soap solution. It eventually did blend in (sort of), but none of the three samples ever turned pink.

Is this normal (likely not ;-) )? What should I do?

Thanks for reading this lengthy post, and for your responses!

Kind regards,
Jill
 

Attachments

JillJ

JillJ
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Location
South Africa
Just realized I should have posted the full recipe:

600g Coconut oil
200g olive oil
100g palm oil
100g castor oil
237.16 g KOH
749.31g distilled water
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,537
Reaction score
8,879
Location
Texas
Thank you for posting that recipe in weights. I just wasn't going to step in here unless I saw it. With that information, I was able to quickly and efficiently run that recipe through a soap calculator to diagnose what was going on.

You should not have needed to neutralize. I show 7% superfat before the citric acid was added. It was already not lye heavy. You have officially broken your soap. It can be salvaged with more KOH and water. First, you need to add at least 30 grams of KOH to an equal amount of water. I would put my soap into a crock pot on high or stainless steel pot on low on the stove and get it good and warm. Then add the KOH/water mixture in about 5 gm per 5 minute increments until it stops having stuff float on the top. I would then let it rest off the heat until you can safely handle it. Then I would zap test it.

Please learn to use a soap calculator rather than blindly following recipes. Yes, even I blindly followed a printed recipe the first time. But I learned better. So can you.

Next, you want 0- 3% superfat in liquid soap. Any more, and you have fatty acids floating on top. To be sure it is not lye heavy, zap test the paste before dilution. Much can be fixed before you dilute. Also, you can store your paste and dilute as needed.

Then, you need to read lots of this forum. Especially this thread: https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/soaping-101-liquid-soapmaking-video.46114/ I know it is a beast, but it is chock full of information not easily located elsewhere in the forum.

Good luck and happy soaping!
 

JillJ

JillJ
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Location
South Africa
You should not have needed to neutralize. I show 7% superfat before the citric acid was added. It was already not lye heavy. You have officially broken your soap.
Thanks, Susie!

I didn't actually neutralize the whole pot; just tried to do so with the three tester cups. The original batch is still sitting there in the crockpot. Must I still follow the steps you've outlined?

In the meantime, I'm going to get busy reading the thread you recommend.

Thanks again, and kind regards,
Jill
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,537
Reaction score
8,879
Location
Texas
It depends.

You still have way too much superfat in the base recipe.

If you want to toss it and start over, then no, you don't need to do that.

If you want to turn it into usable soap, then yes, you do.
 

JillJ

JillJ
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Location
South Africa
It depends.

You still have way too much superfat in the base recipe.

If you want to toss it and start over, then no, you don't need to do that.

If you want to turn it into usable soap, then yes, you do.

Thanks very much!

Kind regards,
Jill
 
Top