Preservative suggestions

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Mariam Hanif

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Hello, I am looking into adding preservatives into my liquid and bar soaps. From online research I have found names like Optiphen and Germabin etc. but it is difficult for me to access these brand names in Pakistan. Generic chemicals are easily available.

Do you guys have any suggestion for generic preservatives? and any other suggestions regarding this topic are always welcome. Thank you :)
 

MKLonestar

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I don't know what you could use for liquid soap, but for bar soap you do not need a preservative. Preservatives are usually added lotions, scrubs that will be used near water, body butters, etc. Soaps don't have preservatives added because they do not grow bacteria or mold, which is the purpose of adding the preservatives.
 

lenarenee

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This website will have the chemical name listed with the brand name. Look for the INCI name in the product description. The owner of the business really knows her stuff and is always happy to answer questions. Good luck!

http://www.lotioncrafter.com/
 
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Zany_in_CO

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Fully saponified soap, both bar and liquid, requires no preservative -- that's why you are unable to find one made specifically for soap. I've been making both bars and liquid soap for over 14 years and never used a preservative in either. I do, however, add antioxidants ROE and vitamin E to melted oils before adding the lye solution.

HTH
 
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cmzaha

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I do not agree with not using preservative in LS I use it in all cream soap, and my soft (croap type) shave soap, since I have had mold with both LS and Cream Soaps. One time is all it took me to change my ways. I usually use Liquid Germall Plus
 

lenarenee

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Shoot - I forgot to include the link to lotioncrafter.com in my first reply. It's there now. It will have the generic (INCI) names you're looking, plus other information.

ETA: I completely agree with using preservatives in liquid soap. Years and years ago when SoftSoap became popular, we bought the small pump bottles for each bathroom, then refilled from the large Softsoap bottles when those came out. The small bottles were refilled for years. We never washed them out, just rinsed the outside pump when it got yucky. When we were low on soap, sometimes we added tap water to the little bit of soap left in the bottles. I'm sure that after a while those were teeming with microbes.

Point is: you don't know what's going to happen to that liquid soap. I make my own liquid soap with no preservatives, but it's stored as paste in the refrigerator until diluted when needed. If it's not used up quickly, it gets tossed.
 
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DeeAnna

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I agree with not using a preservative in bar soap. I also do not use a preservative in liquid soap paste. Like Carolyn (cmzaha), I choose to use a preservative in diluted liquid soap, but many soap makers do not.

If your diluted liquid soap is basically only water, fat, and alkali, it might not need a preservative. If you try to artificially lower the pH or if you add any sources of food (aloe, milk, hydrosol, etc.), then you really should use a preservative in the diluted soap.

If you choose to use a preservative in liquid soap, only a few are able to survive the high pH, so be careful to use one that will work. Here is an article written by a cosmetic chemist about preservatives, including ones suitable for use in soap -- http://makingskincare.com/preservatives/
 

lenarenee

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I agree with not using a preservative in bar soap. I also do not use a preservative in liquid soap paste. Like Carolyn (cmzaha), I choose to use a preservative in diluted liquid soap, but many soap makers do not.

If your diluted liquid soap is basically only water, fat, and alkali, it might not need a preservative. If you try to artificially lower the pH or if you add any sources of food (aloe, milk, hydrosol, etc.), then you really should use a preservative in the diluted soap.

If you choose to use a preservative in liquid soap, only a few are able to survive the high pH, so be careful to use one that will work. Here is an article written by a cosmetic chemist about preservatives, including ones suitable for use in soap -- http://makingskincare.com/preservatives/

I've always meant to ask: due to the fact that liquid soap (the Irish Lass or Susie recipe with lots of olive oil) is more water than paste, does that lower the over pH of the soap?
 

Dahila

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Suttoside A, is the one good for liquid soaps, it is high ph so works very well in liquid soaps. Bar soap, hm you do not preserve it, the ph is high and not water (it evaporates while curing) so you do not need to preserve CP soap bar. Liquid soap will not be lower than 9 ph and it is difficult to achieve. soap is usally between 9.5-12
 

Zany_in_CO

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Liquid soap will not be lower than 9 ph and it is difficult to achieve. soap is usally between 9.5-12
That's right. LS with 9.5-12 pH is alkaline, meaning, nasties are highly unlikely to survive in an alkaline environment. Preservatives are designed to prevent nasties in an acidic environment like lotions & potions.

Here is a list of well known lye-based liquid soaps that do not contain preservatives, but some do as I do and use antioxidants:

Vermont Soap - Foaming Hand Soap
http://www.vermontsoap.com/foamer.shtml
Ingredients: Saponified organic olive, coconut and jojoba oils, vegetable glycerin, organic aloe vera and rosemary extract.
NOTE: Contains no preservative but does use antioxidant ROE (Rosemary Oleoresin Extract) -- an excellent alternative to using preservatives.

Dr. Bronner's http://www.drbronner.com/DBMS/LS.htm
Pure Castile Liquid Soap - Baby Unscented 32oz.
https://tinyurl.com/All-Natural-Castile-Liquid-Soa
INGREDIENTS: Water, Saponified Organic Coconut*, Organic Palm* and Organic Olive* Oils (w/Retained Glycerin), Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Essential Oils**, Citric Acid, Vitamin E
NOTE: Contains no preservative but does use antioxidant Vitamin E -- an excellent alternative to using preservatives. The citric acid may contain preservative qualities as well. Dunno.

Dr. Woods Pure Almond Castile Soap, 32 Ounce
Ingredients Purified Water (Aqua), Saponified Coconut, Hemp and Olive Oils (with retained Glycerin), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Natural Almond Fragrance, Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Rosemary (Rosemarinus Officinalis) Extract

Oregon Soap Company - Liquid Castile Soap
Ingredients: cocos nucifera (coconut) oil,* olea europaea (olive) fruit oil,* helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil,* potassium hydroxide, aloe barbadensis leaf juice,* citric acid, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter),* rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) flower extract. *organic ingredient

Carolina Castile Soap
Ingredients Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Kukui Nut Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, Citric Acid, Potassium Hydroxide (none remains after saponification), Water, Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

If you try to artificially lower the pH or if you add any sources of food (aloe, milk, hydrosol, etc.), then you really should use a preservative in the diluted soap. ... If you choose to use a preservative in liquid soap, only a few are able to survive the high pH, so be careful to use one that will work.
DeeAnna's point is well taken. Newbies get in trouble when they mess around with lowering the pH; adding botanicals (i.e. herbal tea), protein (i.e. cream), beer, or any number of other liquids to the dilution water. Any of these things can make the LS smell "off" in a very short period of time.

I'd also like to mention that if you choose to add a preservative you need to do your homework. Even if you find one that survives the high pH of LS, over time it may degrade into formaldehyde or other chemicals you don't want in your soap. It's a dicey situation to be sure.

As for me, until the industry creates a preservative specifically formulated for use in liquid soap, it isn't necessary within the boundaries of pure unadulterated soap. I mean, unpreserved LS has been around since the Hippy Days in the form of Dr. Bronner's ! Great stuff! No worries!
 
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DeeAnna

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I've always meant to ask: due to the fact that liquid soap (the Irish Lass or Susie recipe with lots of olive oil) is more water than paste, does that lower the over pH of the soap?
Actually, the more water in a liquid soap, the higher the pH reading will be, all other things being equal. In order for the soap to ionize as much as it is going to ionize, it needs plenty of water. You can see this connection between water content and pH in Faith's article -- http://alaiynab.blogspot.com/2015/05/ph-testing-of-liquid-soap-and-lowering.html#more

I think there's a perception problem that people have they think about soap pH. There's this idea that pH remains a constant value, and that doesn't necessarily hold true. Soap is a buffer, which means that it "wants" to keep the pH relatively constant, but the buffering ability of soap varies based on the total amount of soap in the product.

The lower the % of soap, the less the soap can buffer (stabilize) the pH. As long as the pH stays high, the pH provides a decent preservative effect. But if the soap cannot sufficiently buffer the pH, then the pH can drop and the preservative effect of high pH no longer functions. This is why diluted liquid soap is more likely to allow microbial growth than LS paste or bar soap.

This failure of high pH to prevent microbial growth is going to be highest on the edges of a container of liquid soap where there is only a thin film of soap present. The pH, food sources, and oxygen content in this region are more favorable for microbes. You see the same thing happen with jelly in a jar -- mold usually grows around the edges of the jelly and on the walls of the jar, not in the middle where the high sugar content in the jelly acts as a preservative.

This effect has been shown to be true for bar soap as well -- microbes grow on the surface of bar soap where contamination from dirty hands, water, and oxygen all promote microbial growth.
 

Mariam Hanif

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Hey! Thank you all for the input. We do not use preservatives in our soap since its just pure soap. But now I am looking forward to adding natural colorants such as spinach. Due to this addition I will need to add preservatives.
 

madison

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Hey! Thank you all for the input. We do not use preservatives in our soap since its just pure soap. But now I am looking forward to adding natural colorants such as spinach. Due to this addition I will need to add preservatives.
It doesn't need preservative with vegetable and fruits puree, the spinach color will change gradually, it will not remain the same.
 

Zany_in_CO

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...We do not use preservatives in our soap since its just pure soap. But now I am looking forward to adding natural colorants such as spinach. Due to this addition I will need to add preservatives.
If you want to add natural colorants to pure soap, rather than using food sources, you can skip the preservative and look no further than your spice cabinet! Tumeric & paprika add color to soap, as well as other spices, fresh or dried herbs, seaweed, any number of options that are infused in oil, strained (or not, depending on preference).

To give you a list of options, I buy spices, herbs, herbal teas, etc here
From that list, some of my favorites are calendula, comfrey, alkanet, annatto, spirulina, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, sweetgrass, etc. Yellow dock is a weed that grows just about everywhere and the roots infused in oil create a raspberry pink soap! A carrot shredded and infused in oil makes wonderful face soap.

Google "DIY Natural colorants for soap" for more ideas.

PS: I have NEVER seen "preservative" on any list of ingredients for bar soap, and rarely on top brand name "natural" liquid soap. I'm just sayin'...
 

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