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M.Leffew

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I made my first ever batch of liquid soap Sunday. The paste turned out pretty easily, bur when I tried to dissolve/soften it it ended up becoming very foamy (I used a potato masher to gently mash the clumps). I waited over night and it was still a sort of foamy consistency. I then added fragrance from candlescience and it thickened back into paste! So, I added more water to thin it back out. Now I have soap foam that is slowly turning into a sort of shower gel on the bottom and foam on the top. I'm not sure if I over stimulated during dilution or if this is normal?
Here is the recipe I used
30% caster oil
50% olive oil
15% mango butter
5% caster oil
Water and KOH at a 5% superfat
This was made in the stovetop and hot processed. I dissolved the KOH in room temperature tea (made with Distilled water) while I slowly melted the oils and butters together. I then added the KOH mix to the oils and got it to trace with my immersion blender before switching to my spatula to get it into paste. When I softened/dissolved I used distilled water again without brewing it into tea. The fragrance used was a soap safe fragrance and I used it at the recommended 3%. I'd appreciate any advice!
 

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It really looks to me like you still need more dilution water. I'd recommend skimming off the undissolved portion, putting that in a double-boiler-type of setup over low heat, and adding small amounts of boiling water at a time. Keep track as you go so when you do reach full dissolution, you know how much water was required.

Check out this thread for a great dilution tutorial, including how know when your soap is fully dissolved. Post #4 is where she explains her dilution process. The pics are so helpful to know what to watch for. EDIT: you don't need to include all the additives she mentioned; those are specific to her recipe. But you can follow the general dilution directions.

Good luck, and keep us posted.
 

DeeAnna

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The 5% superfat you say you used as well as the cottage cheese curd-like look of the top white layer are concerning. You don't say what KOH purity you chose to use either -- did you get that info from your supplier and use it when designing your recipe?

This looks less to me like an under-diluted soap (which is certainly a possibility too) and more like the soap has too much superfat -- aka not enough KOH. The white layer is fats and fatty acids.
 

DeeAnna

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I've missed the superfat issue before and am likely to miss it for someone else ... I just happened to be thinking on that particular wavelength today. ;)
 

M.Leffew

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The 5% superfat you say you used as well as the cottage cheese curd-like look of the top white layer are concerning. You don't say what KOH purity you chose to use either -- did you get that info from your supplier and use it when designing your recipe?

This looks less to me like an under-diluted soap (which is certainly a possibility too) and more like the soap has too much superfat -- aka not enough KOH. The white layer is fats and fatty acids.
The top is literally bubbles. The KOH is 90% pure. Here are the measurements I used
150g coconut oil
225g olive oil
100g mango butter
25g caster oil
190g tea made from distilled water
98g KOH
The longer I leave it sit in the containers, the more liquid I get at the bottom as the foam pops
 

DeeAnna

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"...The longer I leave it sit in the containers, the more liquid I get at the bottom as the foam pops ..."

I would expect to see this whether the layer is simple soap foam or if it is fats or fatty acids. It takes some time to stabilize, whichever it is. If entirely foam, it will eventually dissipate. If fats/fatty acids, it won't. So give it some time and see.
 

Zany_in_CO

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@M.Leffew Thanks for starting a new thread. Well done! ;)

The longer I leave it sit in the containers, the more liquid I get at the bottom as the foam pops
Whenever I make LS, I keep a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol handy to spritz it lightly when foam appears. Take care because too much alcohol flattens the lather. You will be amazed at how fast that foam settles. :thumbs:

Using botanicals in water to make liquid soap is not recommended. Infusing teas/spices/herbs in olive oil, then straining through cheesecloth (or pantyhose) is less likely to grow nasties. This is how I do my oil infusions:

Carrot Tissue Oil (carrots infused in sunflower oil) is wonderful for skin.)

Okay. That being said, what I see going on here is a common Rookie mistake. You can't just take a favorite CP recipe and sub KOH for the NaOH in the formula to make Liquid Soap. Well, you can, but you're likely to end up with what you actually ended up with! 😁 My advice is to "sequester" that batch for two weeks to see how it develops. All may not be lost. You can make adjustments at that point if needed. TIP: A 2-week Sequester Phase is recommended for LS as a last step for that reason.

The links in this post will help you get off on the right foot. Pay special attention to how to set up formulas in SoapCalc.

If You've Never Made LS Before

150g coconut oil
225g olive oil
100g mango butter
25g caster oil
190g tea made from distilled water
98g KOH

So, once you set up correctly, KOH 90%; Water : Lye Ratio 3:1; Super Fat 0%

Correct KOH & SF.png

Results show that more water and KOH are needed to saponify this batch.
500g batch.png


The KOH is 90% pure.
150g coconut oil 30% - You can use more in LS than you would in CP. 50% is good.
225g olive oil 45% - This is A OK.
100g mango butter 20% - OK if you don't mind opaque LS; Use 2% for clear soap.
25g caster oil 5% - You can use more in LS than you would in CP. 15% is good.
190g tea made from distilled water 350g (round up)
98g KOH 117g (round up)

If you make the above adjustments, you can expect clarity with abundant lather. Coconut, olive and castor make clear soap; lard, tallow, palm, butters and similar will cloud the soap but are nice for other reasons. For example, if you prefer opaque soap. If you dilute with 40% paste to 60% water I would expect it to have the viscosity of shampoo. :D

If you HP this (in a Stainless Steel pot) range top, heat your oils to 160°F and hold; add the lye when it cools to 140°F. Stir up then stick blend (on and off) to reach trace in 12 - 15 minutes. Allow it to sit overnight to become firmer and honey-colored. It's best to wait 1-2 days (or longer if you like) before diluting.

Test by whatever method you are comfortable with to make sure the batch is fully saponified before diluting. See #12 and #13 on Alaiyna B's Basic Beginner LS.
Don't rush this part.

Once diluted, sequester for 2 weeks to allow any unsaponified fats to rise to the surface or other bits to settle on the bottom. Any issues that arise at that point can be corrected with a little troubleshooting.

Warm the batch to 140°F to incorporate any additives like clarifiers, 20% solution of citric acid, fragrance, extracts, cosmetic enhancements like Panthenol, liquid colorants, etc.

Whew!

HTH (Hope This Helps!) 😁
 
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M.Leffew

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So, once you set up correctly, KOH 90%; Water : Lye Ratio 3:1; Super Fat 0%

View attachment 66605
Results show that more water and KOH are needed to saponify this batch.
View attachment 66606

The KOH is 90% pure.
150g coconut oil 30% - You can use more in LS than you would in CP. 50% is good.
225g olive oil 45% - This is A OK.
100g mango butter 20% - OK if you don't mind opaque LS; Use 2% for clear soap.
25g caster oil 5% - You can use more in LS than you would in CP. 15% is good.
190g tea made from distilled water 350g (round up)
98g KOH 117g (round up)

If you make the above adjustments, you can expect clarity with abundant lather. Coconut, olive and castor make clear soap; lard, tallow, palm, butters and similar will cloud the soap but are nice for other reasons. For example, if you prefer opaque soap. If you dilute with 40% paste to 60% water I would expect it to have the viscosity of shampoo. :D

If you HP this (in a Stainless Steel pot) range top, heat your oils to 160°F and hold; add the lye when it cools to 140°F. Stir up then stick blend (on and off) to reach trace in 12 - 15 minutes. Allow it to sit overnight to become firmer and honey-colored. It's best to wait 1-2 days (or longer if you like) before diluting.

Test by whatever method you are comfortable with to make sure the batch is fully saponified before diluting. See #12 and #13 on Alaiyna B's Basic Beginner LS.
Don't rush this part.

Once diluted, sequester for 2 weeks to allow any unsaponified fats to rise to the surface or other bits to settle on the bottom. Any issues that arise at that point can be corrected with a little troubleshooting.

Warm the batch to 140°F to incorporate any additives like clarifiers, 20% solution of citric acid, fragrance, extracts, cosmetic enhancements like Panthenol, liquid colorants, etc.

Whew!

HTH (Hope This Helps!) 😁
Thank you so much! The soap Calc I uses said I was smack between 5 & 6% but it didn't have a KOH purity. I don't mind opaque soap at all. I'll give this a try when my kids go to there grandma's
 

Zany_in_CO

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@M.Leffew As I have said many times before on this forum, there are about as many different ways to make LS as there are LS-ers! 😁

I fully expect other members to challenge some of the advice I've given you here, i.e. using 0% SF; using glycerin to replace some of the water to make your KOH solution; using "dual-lye" to thicken the end product; etc. All those things are valid and handy options to keep in your soaper's toolbox for future batches.

For now, I advise you to spend as much time as you can at Alaiyna B's Blogspot, reading all her Tutorials (that actually cover the above mentioned options and more) and learning the basics so you can then discover what works best for you. :thumbs:;)
 
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@M.Leffew
I fully expect other members to challenge some of the advice I've given you here, i.e. using 0% SF; using glycerin to replace some of the water to make your KOH solution; using "dual-lye" to thicken the end product; etc. All those things are valid and handy options to keep in your soaper's toolbox for future batches.
Why would anyone disagree with any of those excellent suggestions? They are all pretty mainstream and used by many of us here, me included. It's like disagreeing about CP v. HP. They both make good soap, so do what works for you.
 
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I'm a little confused by some of the measurement's in Alaiyna B's beginner soap recipe.

She says that the recipe is for 1% SF, but when I plug her exact measurements in to SoapMakingFriend, I only get that amount of lye at a 5% SF. I also get 12.82oz of liquid at 3:1 water:lye ratio, assuming 5% SF. The liquid is even higher at 1% SF (due to the increased lye).

What am I missing? Does she use a different ratio?
 

Zany_in_CO

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I'm a little confused by some of the measurement's in Alaiyna B's beginner soap recipe.

She says that the recipe is for 1% SF, but when I plug her exact measurements in to SoapMakingFriend, I only get that amount of lye at a 5% SF. I also get 12.82oz of liquid at 3:1 water:lye ratio, assuming 5% SF. The liquid is even higher at 1% SF (due to the increased lye).

What am I missing? Does she use a different ratio?
Sorry. I missed this. :(
It's best to start a new thread. That way it will get more attention from all members. It would be good to include a link to the recipe and a printout from the calculator you used. :)
 

DeeAnna

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...She says that the recipe is for 1% SF, but when I plug her exact measurements in to SoapMakingFriend, I only get that amount of lye at a 5% SF....
I haven't crunched her numbers to know for sure, but it's pretty likely that Faith (Alaiyna B) based her recipe on KOH that has a different purity than the purity you assumed when re-calculating the recipe.

Many KOH soap are based on a KOH purity of 90%, but KOH typically ranges anywhere from 80% to 97% purity. I agree it would have been nice if she would have mentioned the KOH purity she used for her recipe. But even the best of soap makers (and she's a good one!) aren't always perfect. ;)

Suffice to say, if you know the purity of the KOH you have, you should use that and then base the rest of the recipe on Faith's parameters -- the 1% superfat, the 1.1:1 water:lye ratio, the 70:20:10 ratio of the 3 fats, etc.
 
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