Quantcast

So there I was.... [seeking advice on thickening liquid soap]

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

KimW

Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
860
Reaction score
1,227
Location
Michigan, USA
Has anyone ever tried using Hydroxyethyl Cellulose to thicken liquid soap?
It's not that spendy, but no use wasting even $10 if someone knows better!
TIA!!

Oh, so there I was...thinking, "I wonder how 90% RBO liquid soap would turn out?" :dance:

ETA: I found a very old thread about using this product, but the person that said she used it successfully hasn't been here since 2017...
ETA2: Ok, oy, finally heard back from product support and they sent link to the tech data pdf, which only addresses detergents, not soaps, but didn't answer my question. Of all the things that trip my trigger...it's things like this. ewebaadoobah...hummina!
 
Last edited:

KimW

Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
860
Reaction score
1,227
Location
Michigan, USA
Since I think it too sad when I find an unanswered thread about a question I have, I'm going to sort of answer my own.
I did not try HEC, or anything else, to thicken my soap. Prior to posting, I searched SMF and online. I knew a little about thickening with salt, but most of what I found on SMF was news to me. So, I encourage anyone finding this thread to search SMF's liquid soap forum for answers and things to try - I found the best results using just the word "thicken".

I'm not going to try to thicken this soap, because it's just for washing dishes (I squirt soap onto my sponge, rather than filling a sink with water) and it does a good job of it, rinses clean and is gentle on my hands. I'd hazard to say it cleans just as good as my 90% CO/10% OO LS. Oh, so many abbreviations! LOL

I've made LS before with lower oleic than this recipe, and they were not runny. The consistency of warmed honey, to use what seems to be a common analogy, so I'm surprised at how this soap turned out - which is watery.

Here's what I'm going to do:
Use the exact same recipe, but add glycerin to the lye solution, which I learned about on SMF.
You can find info on that here:
I'll use what I've made for washing dishes until it's gone.
I'll update after I try the glycerin/lye method.
 

KimW

Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
860
Reaction score
1,227
Location
Michigan, USA
Thanks so very much, DeeAnna. I will have a look at your page and that link. Can't believe I didn't peruse your pages!
Yes, Faith is the member whose post I'd seen.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,341
Reaction score
18,927
Location
Northeast Iowa, USA
I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner so you didn't have to reply to your own first post. :(

The tutorials on Faith's website probably give more info than what she shared here, so hopefully they'll get you further along in your quest.

Saranac had some good stuff about using synthetic detergents as thickeners for liquid soap. I've experimented a little bit with good results. As long as I started with the right syndet, It doesn't take a lot to get a decent amount of thickening. I haven't tried using syndets to thicken a low oleic soap, however.

Remember soap IS a detergent, so advice related to detergents in general may be useful for soap in particular.
 

KimW

Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
860
Reaction score
1,227
Location
Michigan, USA
Awe - you're so funny. Yes, why oh why aren't you lurking and waiting to answer any and all of my posts?! 😁

Thank you, AGAIN, for the added info. I hadn't considered that advice related to detergents would also be useful. You are a peach.
 

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
5,419
Reaction score
4,473
Location
SE Denver CO
I don't have personal experience with HEC, but Faith (former member here) has some tutorials on HEC and HPMC -- Alaiyna B. Bath and Body
:thumbs: I recommend Alaiyna B. Bath and Body for good info on thickening as well.

I have tried most recommended thickeners. Of the cellulose thickeners, HPMC is preferable to HEC. A trick I learned from using Knox Gelatin, that Faith doesn't mention, is to add the powder to cold or room temp liquid and allow it to hydrate for 5-15 minutes before whisking it in thoroughly. Then add heat. It thickens as it is warmed up. This is to prevent "fish eyes" which is often the result of the process. It takes practice to figure it out -- you'll know what I mean if you try it. :oops: It really is pretty cool once you succeed.

I don't thicken my LS. I've found I can get the viscosity I want with the choice of oils/fats i choose and the correct amount of dilution water for the batch.
 

KimW

Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
860
Reaction score
1,227
Location
Michigan, USA
I did end up thickening my soap because I felt sorry for it. LOL
I used borax on half and it worked a treat. No discernible effect on lather, cleaning or rinsing. A little harsh on the hands, so the other half that's still watery I saved for refilling foaming hand washing dispensers.

I have yet to make another batch using the glycerin/lye method, but I've used that method before with other oils and it produced a LS with the consistency I like. Will update once I do, but for now it will wait because the sun is out and temps are not only above zero, but are even above freezing here. YES
 
Top