Soap PH level

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diana carmen

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Hello everyone,

What is your experience with soap PH? How much does it matter and how does it influence the soap?
Also, do you find that shampoo bars should have a different PH than body soap bars?
And how do you measure PH? If the water is harder, has a different PH and also the resunting value is different.

I am making cold processed soap, and the PH is usually high, around 9/10. And the bars are very soft on skin, and hidrating; I also have extra fat of about 8%. But I measure this using PH strips and tap water.

Because the water ph varies and the results vary, a friend sais she is not measuring ph anymore because it’s not relevant. So now I wonder what is your experience.

Thank you for your thoughts,
Diana
 

steffamarie

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All lye-based soap is alkaline, usually around 9-10. The more neutral you get, the less the soap will stay...well, soap. It's an alkaline product by nature. I don't measure pH - the strips aren't terribly accurate anyway. You will hear a lot of opinions on lye soap as shampoo bars, and I'm personally too chicken to try it out on my own hair. Too many people have had disasters after a period of time, and I will stick with my synthetic detergent shampoo. Zany (Zany in CO) does use shampoo bars based on lye soap and has had success although uses some very specific stuff - you can find a lot of threads about this topic.
 

KiwiSoap

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If you'd like to learn more about the pH testing of soap, Modern Soapmaking has an article exploring the accuracy of different testing methods: https://www.modernsoapmaking.com/how-to-ph-test-handmade-soap/ (a quick heads-up: it's not that easy, and not necessarily all that useful!)

For discussion about shampoo bars, check out Genny's Shampoo Bar thread: https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/shampoo-bar-thanks-lindy.30946/ There's a LOT of discussion there. It's on my list to try!

Happy soaping!
 
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