Question about how to make my soap more clear??

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

Jen74

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
47
Reaction score
13
Location
United States
Hi all.

I am a newbie and just made my my first batch of soap. I have SUPER sensitive skin and was only able to tolerate one kind of soap which I was buying ( it was a unscented glycerin soap with only few ingredients). They changed their ingredients recently and added other stuff so I decided to make my own. I used the same ingredients their original soap had that I did good with( however of course I did not know the specifications and how much of what they used in making their soap). The ingredients I used were as follows using soapcalc: 9.18 ounces of water, 4.52 ounces of lye, 6.40 ounces of palm kernel oil, and 25.60 ounces of palm oil. My soap came out cream colored and not clear. How do I make my gylcerin soap more clear? Is there something I have to do or add? Sorry about all the questions, I am still very new at this. :)
 

shunt2011

Staff member
Admin
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
14,768
Reaction score
8,941
Location
Michigan
Hi all.

I am a newbie and just made my my first batch of soap. I have SUPER sensitive skin and was only able to tolerate one kind of soap which I was buying ( it was a unscented glycerin soap with only few ingredients). They changed their ingredients recently and added other stuff so I decided to make my own. I used the same ingredients their original soap had that I did good with( however of course I did not know the specifications and how much of what they used in making their soap). The ingredients I used were as follows using soapcalc: 9.18 ounces of water, 4.52 ounces of lye, 6.40 ounces of palm kernel oil, and 25.60 ounces of palm oil. My soap came out cream colored and not clear. How do I make my gylcerin soap more clear? Is there something I have to do or add? Sorry about all the questions, I am still very new at this. :)
You're not going to get clear soap with the ingredients you listed. You're making CP soap not glycerin soap. Yes, glycerin is a by product in CP soap but they are made two different ways.

Clear soap is more of a process and more expensive from what I've read to make.

Here are a couple threads that may help:

https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/kinda-plain-classic-method-transparent-soap.59007/

https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/transparent-soap.56382/
 
Last edited:

CatahoulaBubble

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
236
Reaction score
383
Location
Seattle. WA USA
The clear soaps are glycerin soap which is a byproduct of soap making. Normal CP and HP soap creates glycerin when you make soap. When you combine lye and water with oils, it goes through saponification and becomes soap. it's pretty much ⅔ soap detergent and ⅓ glycerin. So when large companies that produce soap like Coast or Irish Spring, they make HP soap and then they process it to separate the glycerin to sell for other purposes. Glycerin soap, explosives, and fertilizers are some uses of Glycerin.

You have to break down the soap crystals to make them smaller so light can pass through them. A crock pot is good to use because of the need for using alcohol as a solvent. It's flammable so using a crock pot is safer. Basically you heat your oils and lye in a crock pot and cook it down until it's in gel phase that looks a bit transparent like vaseline. It takes about 3 hours or so. When you can dissolve some bit of your soap in water and if it immediately dissolves it's ready but if not then keep cooking and stirring. If it dissolves then you move on to the next step which is adding 70% or higher alcohol and then liquid glycerin. You want to add the alcohol and stir it in, a potato masher works well. Then once it's mixed up cover it right away and use plastic wrap to seal the crock pot lid. Also there are some pretty strong fumes to make sure your space is well ventilated. You want to then let it cook again about 30 min to an hour. While it's cooking you can make your sugar syrup solution. Boil water and sugar until it's fully dissolved. Skim the impurities off of the top and then slowly add your sugar solution to the soap and stir it in slowly. You want to keep from generating a lot of suds and froth. Stir and mix until the soap is liquid. Once it's liquid then you will skim off any foam and pour it into your mold and wait until it cools.

There are youtube videos that will show you this process as well as different recipes online. It's not an easy soap to make. I've only made it a few times at request but to be honest I charge a lot for it because it's so time intensive. If I want to make embeds out of glycerin I just buy blocks of the base to melt and pour. Saves me time.
 

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
4,697
Reaction score
3,493
Location
SE Denver CO
It's not an easy soap to make. I've only made it a few times at request but to be honest I charge a lot for it because it's so time intensive. If I want to make embeds out of glycerin I just buy blocks of the base to melt and pour. Saves me time.
Well said @CatahoulaBubble ! :thumbs: I would add to that, not only is it not easy to make, but it's twice as expensive to make with the addition of ethanol, glycerin, and simple sugar syrup.
I am trying to make my own so I can avoid some of the ingredients in the store bought stuff...
I was exactly where you are now, only 15 years ago. Transparent glycerin soap was one of the first soaps I made. I also had sensitive skin. When my favorite clear, olive-oil base DHC Mild Soap went up in price from $5 to $12 for a 3.5 oz bar, that's when I decided to make my own. I've made all kinds of soap since then and only recently made a batch of M&P just to try it out. I was pleasantly surprised!

Not all M&P soap is the same. This is the one I used:

MELT & POUR SOAP BASE: Low Sweat Clear

Take a look at these ingredients:
Ingredients: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin (kosher, of vegetable origin), Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide (saponifying agent), Sorbitol (moisturizer), Propylene Glycol (from vegetable glycerin), Sorbitan oleate (emulsifier), Oat protein (conditioner)

With the exception of Sorbitol, Propylene Glycol, and Sorbitan oleate, all those ingredients are typical of CP/HP soap. The addition of those 3 ingredients is what makes the melt & pour, melt and pour :) and were probably in the original bar you liked.

Having been where you are right now, and knowing how lovely a glycerin soap is for sensitive skin, I'd encourage you to at least try a batch of M&P before you commit to a long-learning curve for making it from scratch.

One of my best soaping buddies for the past 15 years has made a living selling M&P soap. She does amazing things with her soaps by using additives to produce a large variety of soap for different uses, not just for sensitive skin. She's amazing, really.
 
Last edited:

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
12,343
Reaction score
16,921
Location
Northeast Iowa, USA
"...Normal CP and HP soap creates glycerin when you make soap. When you combine lye and water with oils, it goes through saponification and becomes soap. it's pretty much ⅔ soap detergent and ⅓ glycerin. So when large companies that produce soap like Coast or Irish Spring, they make HP soap and then they process it to separate the glycerin to sell for other purposes...."

Hot or cold process soap as we make it is roughly 9% glycerin on a pure soap basis, not 33% (1/3 glycerin). I suppose a transparent/translucent soap might be 1/3 glycerin, but you'd have to add extra glycerin to get that high.

Commercial soap is usually made with a batch "boiled" process with an excess of water or with specialized continuous saponification methods. It's not made with the hot process method we're familiar with. The HP method we use is called a "semi boiled" method in the commercial soap making world.
 

Jen74

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
47
Reaction score
13
Location
United States
Well the clear unscented glycerin soap I was using( store bought) did not have all the added ingredients which is why I love it. It is a shame they stopped making it. The one I was using only had these ingredients : Sodium palmate, sodium palm kernelate, palm kernel acid, Glycerin, and sodium chloride. That is it. They did not have any glycols which I cannot tolerate. I only want to use as little ingredients as I can. No sweeteners or glycols. Any suggestion on how to go about making it myself? I tried many over the counter M&P ones and they all irritated me except for the one I had found. Sadly they changed their ingredients and I can no longer tolerate it. They added stuff.

QUOTE="Zany_in_CO, post: 804148, member: 22120"]Well said @CatahoulaBubble ! :thumbs: I would add to that, not only is it not easy to make, but it's twice as expensive to make with the addition of ethanol, glycerin, and simple sugar syrup.

I was exactly where you are now, only 15 years ago. Transparent glycerin soap was one of the first soaps I made. I also had sensitive skin. When my favorite clear, olive-oil base DHC Mild Soap went up in price from $5 to $12 for a 3.5 oz bar, that's when I decided to make my own. I've made all kinds of soap since then and only recently made a batch of M&P just to try it out. I was pleasantly surprised!

Not all M&P soap is the same. This is the one I used:

MELT & POUR SOAP BASE: Low Sweat Clear

Take a look at these ingredients:
Ingredients: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin (kosher, of vegetable origin), Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide (saponifying agent), Sorbitol (moisturizer), Propylene Glycol (from vegetable glycerin), Sorbitan oleate (emulsifier), Oat protein (conditioner)

With the exception of Sorbitol, Propylene Glycol, and Sorbitan oleate, all those ingredients are typical of CP/HP soap. The addition of those 3 ingredients is what makes the melt & pour, melt and pour :) and were probably in the original bar you liked.

Having been where you are right now, and knowing how lovely a glycerin soap is for sensitive skin, I'd encourage you to at least try a batch of M&P before you commit to a long-learning curve for making it from scratch.

One of my best soaping buddies for the past 15 years has made a living selling M&P soap. She does amazing things with her soaps by using additives to produce a large variety of soap for different uses, not just for sensitive skin. She's amazing, really.[/QUOTE]
 

Relle

Administrator & Bunny Fanatic
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
11,246
Reaction score
3,757
You are asking the same question on another thread. Please don't double post.
 

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,016
Reaction score
9,733
Location
Southern California
Jen, it is very possible they were mis-labeling and either got caught or acquired a consensus. Clear soap has to be made with solvents, for instance, glycerin, sugars, alcohol, glycols, and usually a combination of solvents. Just using glycerin as a solvent will result in a clear soap that melts in a sticky pool of liquid. Been there tried that as a test. Sorbitol is widely used since it is a Sugar Alcohol and works well. BTW Sorbitol is one of the sugar alcohols that helps cut tooth decay. Also if you eat a lot of berries and fruits you are probably eating sorbitol. Apples and blackberries are one example. There was a time Melt and Pour was mostly made with surfactants but that has pretty much fallen out of fashion so now they are made with soap as a base and now considered a soap.
 

Jen74

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
47
Reaction score
13
Location
United States
You must be right. I mean the one thing I cannot understand is the soap I was buying said unscented. It had no smell at all really. Now when they channged it, it definitely has a scent( fraugrance), yet they claim it is all unscented. The woman at the company claimed they did not change the inngredients, but they did. When I read them I saw that they added a coupld different things( including sorbitol). I was thinking maybe that is what changed the smell or added the scent to it? I am not sure. I just want to learn how to make a Melt and pour glycerin that has No scent.








Jen, it is very possible they were mis-labeling and either got caught or acquired a consensus. Clear soap has to be made with solvents, for instance, glycerin, sugars, alcohol, glycols, and usually a combination of solvents. Just using glycerin as a solvent will result in a clear soap that melts in a sticky pool of liquid. Been there tried that as a test. Sorbitol is widely used since it is a Sugar Alcohol and works well. BTW Sorbitol is one of the sugar alcohols that helps cut tooth decay. Also if you eat a lot of berries and fruits you are probably eating sorbitol. Apples and blackberries are one example. There was a time Melt and Pour was mostly made with surfactants but that has pretty much fallen out of fashion so now they are made with soap as a base and now considered a soap.
 
Top