Potassium Cocoate

Discussion in 'Liquid Soap and Cream Soap Forum' started by clhigh29, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. Jan 15, 2018 #1

    clhigh29

    clhigh29

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    I decided to make my own potassium cocoate, since I have all the ingredients at hand. I measured everything (and yes, I used KOH) and placed it into my Instant Pot and set it to Slow Cook. I slow cooked it for 8 hours before going to bed and setting it for another 4 hours. I used two measures to determine if it is ready ... does it turn cloudy or clear when desolved in water, and does it turn bring pink with phenolphthalein. After cooking this stuff for over 24 hours, my soap doesn't past either test. What did I do wrong, or maybe I didn't do anything wrong - I just don't know, this being my first time doing this. I used 32 oz. coconut oil, 17.77 oz. water, 8 oz. glycerin, 8.59 oz. KOH. Thank you.
     
  2. Jan 15, 2018 #2

    DeeAnna

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    It looks like the superfat is too high for a liquid soap. If you read the tutorials by Susie and Irish Lass here, they will advise a superfat of about 3% for a basic liquid soap.

    Cloudiness may or may not mean your soap is fully saponified. Some soap is simply cloudy due to the fatty acids or other additives in the recipe. In your case, however, I suspect it shows you have too much superfat (aka not enough KOH).

    Properly-made soap in dilute solution will cause phenolpthalein to blush pink because the normal pH of soap is within the range at which phenolpthalein turns pink. Dropping phenolpthalein on soap paste doesn't really tell you whether there is excess lye in the soap or not. The zap test is the test most of us use to determine whether the soap has excess lye or not.
     
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  3. Jan 15, 2018 #3

    clhigh29

    clhigh29

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    Thank you, DeeAnna. This soap is zippy, but I wouldn't say zappy. I used a published recipe, so this can't be that far off. I've started to dissolve some in distilled water and it should be ready by the time my test strips arrive. I've read that citric acid can help to neutralize the soap should it be necessary, so I'm pretty sure this wasn't a complete waste.

    Thank you, again, for your insight. Much appreciated.
     
  4. Jan 15, 2018 #4

    penelopejane

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    Luckily we have soap calculators to check published recipes. People are not infallible.
     
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  5. Jan 15, 2018 #5

    DeeAnna

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    I agree with Penelopejane -- never trust someone's recipe. Always doublecheck the numbers. Even the best and most careful of soapers make mistakes.

    If the soap has a zap, it has a zap. The zap can be stronger or milder, but it is still a static shock type of sensation -- hard to mistake for anything else once you've encountered it once. Since you say your soap is "zippy", I'm clueless about what that means and I don't know what advice to give, if any.

    If by "test strips" you mean pH test strips, they don't tell you whether there's excess lye in the soap. The zap test does that -- or a full fledged excess alkalinity test. A pH test only tells you the pH. On top of that, pH test strips are not reliable nor accurate -- they typically report the pH is lower than it really is.
     
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  6. Jan 17, 2018 #6

    clhigh29

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    It tingled my tongue, but did not zap it. I did run this through a calculator, and it looked fine. This soap melted clear once I placed it in a larger jar. The curious thing about this recipe is the amount of glycerin it called for, since it shouldn't need any. The writer uses 8 oz. of glycerin in her castile liquid soap as well. The only reason I used this recipe is because I was specifically looking for "potassium cocoate," and it was the only one that popped up. Now I realize I could have just grabbed a bottle of Dr. Bronner's and been done with it.
     
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  7. Jan 17, 2018 #7

    DeeAnna

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    Glycerin is used to accelerate the saponification process so you can make the soap more easily using a cold process method that doesn't require hours of cooking and hovering. Since you used a long-cook HP method, the glycerin was not necessary although it didn't hurt anything. Some folks claim the glycerin also makes the diluted liquid soap a thicker, but that's not been my experience. You could make it with water if you make it again with the same HP method -- or you could even use a CP method if you don't mind tweaking the process a bit to compensate for no glycerin.

    Dr Bronners isn't 100% potassium cocoate, so if you specifically need potassium cocoate, you did it the right way.
     
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  8. Jan 18, 2018 #8

    Zany_in_CO

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    I ran your recipe through SoapCalc as I would formulate it. Altho slightly different results, yours looks okay, given the amount of KOH you used.:
    KOH Cocoate.png

    I'm wondering if you brought the batch to trace before cooking? If not, then it may take longer to saponify.

    ETA: If you warm your coconut oil to 160°F (71°C) then mix your KOH solution and add it while it's hot (one advantage of using glycerin as part of your liquid) that will speed up trace considerably... 12-15 minutes or so. Do take good care tho, and best to use a stick blender with a stainless steel shaft. Plastic can melt. (Been there; done that! LOL)
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  9. Jan 18, 2018 #9

    bathgeek

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    I have to wonder if the OP’s soap is KOH-heavy. Your attachment says less than 8oz of KOH.
     
  10. Jan 18, 2018 #10

    DeeAnna

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    OP's recipe is 58 ounces of fat. Zany's is 32 oz total fat.
     
  11. Jan 18, 2018 #11

    clhigh29

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    The Brambleberry soap calculator came pretty darn close ... within .20 oz. on the KOH when I calculated it. I'm very happy with the end result. The lather is nice and soft, and it doesn't leave my hands dry. I did only make this because my scrub recipe called for potassium cocoate, but for the .50 oz. I needed, Dr. Bronner's would have worked in a pinch. This project was the result of having too much time over a long weekend. I will try another liquid soap, since I've learned so much from this experience.

    Thanks all!
     

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  12. Jan 19, 2018 #12

    Zany_in_CO

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    @ clhigh: All's well that ends well! Good for you! :thumbup:

    Without knowing OP's superfat number, I assumed 3% (no need to neutralize) which calls for 8 oz (rounded) KOH and 24 oz. (rounded) or 3 X KOH water/glycerin. There are a few variables for figuring KOH that I didn't want to take time to compute.

    Rather than trying to figure out how the person who formulated the recipe came up with 8.6 oz KOH, which requires (3 x KOH =) 25.8 oz water/glycerin, it works, to my mind at least. Judging by the clarity of the liquid soap above, it did work. So, hence my guess that not bringing the batch to full trace before cooking might be the reason for the problem of the long cook. I hope that makes sense?

    ETA: Altho, you may be right. It may be lye heavy and need a little citric acid solution to neutralize excess lye... especially if it still stings. Not sure.

    What am I missing? :confused:
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  13. Jan 19, 2018 #13

    DeeAnna

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    Wow. Did I ever misread the recipe. Thanks for pointing this out -- I'm sorry for the error.
     
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  14. Jan 19, 2018 #14

    Zany_in_CO

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    No worries, Dee Anna... my marbles have been slipping out lately... easy to make oopsies at my age. It's good to have back-up. Just really wanted to know what I missed. :smile:
    Thanks.gif
     
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  15. Jan 21, 2018 #15

    clhigh29

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    Oh, I absolutely brought this to trace ... stopped blending just before possibly burning out my blender. I think because I'm an amateur with liquid soap, I trusted two different sources ... the author, who instructed to test for cloudiness/clarity, and did not say what size container and how long to wait for results. The second source was Alicia Grosso's The Everything Soapmaking Book, who instructs to use phenolphthalein to test. Both tests failed me, as Dee Anna would predict. These two test lead me to cook this way longer than ever needed. In the end, the soap came out perfect ... even tested a solid 10 on the ph strips (curiosity had me do this test). Again, thanks for everyone's help ... taught me a lot, and hopefully will help others who decide to experiment.
     
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