Soaping 101 liquid soapmaking video?

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KimW

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I don't use preservatives in mine either. Like Susie, I've kept certain dilutions of my formulas under observation for a little over 2 years and they never came down with a case of the nasties, nor did they develop any off-smells.

I should mention that I don't sell my soap. If I did, though, I would use a preservative because you just never know how a customer is going to treat the soap once they get it home, such as opening it up to add more water to it in order to get more mileage out of it, and things of that nature- the kind of stuff I never do to my liquid soap, because that would introduce nasties into it.

I do the same as Susie with my paste ......i.e., once my paste is made, I dilute as much as I will use up in a reasonable amount of time and store the rest in a Ziploc bag.....only I keep mine in the fridge. Not that it's necessary to refrigerate it, mind you. It's just something I've always done with my paste from the get-go.


IrishLass :)
Thank you!
 

Susie

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The pH of the liquid soap is too high to allow most pathogens to grow. Having said that, I do use due caution and care when making soap. Everything I use is clean, water is distilled and from a closed container. I keep my paste tightly covered once it is made. I just don't invite the yuckies to the party.
 

KimW

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Thank you!
I made this soap and it's fantastic. Thank you SO much for sharing, and especially for the video!
One question: When my soap was still warm, about 98F, it was still translucent. But, once it completely cooled to 76F, it turned cloudy. No other issues. Lather and scents are still great. Any idea why the cloudiness would happen after cooling? Here are two pics. FYI - I used water from our reverse osmosis system, because the nearest distilled water is in town 20 miles away. :) Thank you, again!!
1st_liquidsoap_3_stillwarm.jpg
1st_liquidsoap_cooled.jpg
 

Tamara Cetkovic

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Well done! It wasn't nearly so hard as some people on the internet make you think, was it?
Thank you and sorry for replying so late :confused: I haven't been active in a loooong time!
No, actually, it wasn't so difficult...and it was fun too :) I did do my research beforehand, though, and made sure I was well prepared and organised before attemting it.

Wow! That looks amazing! :thumbs:
Thank you so much :)
 

DeeAnna

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"...Any idea why the cloudiness would happen after cooling?..."

One possibility is some of the soap is crystallizing into small solid particles as the mixture cools. It's the same process that happens when fudge crystallizes as it cools. If the soap passes the zap test, cloudiness is purely an esthetic issue, not a safety problem.

I suspect (but don't know for sure) that the particles that cause cloudiness are mostly crystals of stearic and palmitic soap molecules. The lower the stearic and palmitic acid content in the recipe, the less likely the soap will be cloudy. For example, I have made LS with a high % of lard in the past, and it was permanently cloudy.

The coconut-olive-castor recipe that IrishLass has shared with us is usually nicely clear for me when diluted. If your LS is based on this same recipe, the problem might be slight differences between the fatty acids in your fats versus mine.

Another possibility is unsaponifiable content from the fats that may cause temperature-sensitive clouding. And last but not least, scents -- EOs and FOs -- and other additives such as salts can sometimes cause cloudiness.

Hard to say what it is for sure.
 

melinda48

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Okay- to continue.......

To dilute, I use Carrie's canning jar method. It's easy and it prevents evaporation as your're diluting:

A) I heat up some water to simmering in a large soup pot (enough water to come up the sides of my (wide-mouth) canning jar without making the jar float). Also- I stick a round cake cooling rack in the bottom of the pot so that my canning jar won't be in direct contact with the pot's bottom.

B) While the pot of water is coming to a simmer, I weigh out my paste (dried foamy head and all) into an appropriate-sized canning jar, i.e., one that will accomodate my paste and dilution liquid with enough room to spare for stickblending purposes, and set aside.

C) I weigh out my dilution water and my sodium lactate and add them together into a separate pot (using the dilution rate of 1 part paste to .75 parts water, and 3% sodium lactate as per weight of my paste)*[See edited note in post #8 under procedure #3]. I bring this mixture to a boil then immediately pour it over my waiting paste in my canning jar.

D) Then I cover the the jar tightly with its matching lid, give it a shake, then place the jar into the large soup pot of simmering water to warm and soften things up.

E) After about 15-20 minutes or so I take the jar out, wipe the water/condensation off the jar, then I open it so I can stick a clean knife inside to stir things around and test how soft the paste has become. If it's as soft as jam/jelly, I hit it with my stickblender for a minute or so of on and off pulsing until there are no more lumps, but if the paste is not soft enough to my liking yet, I'll just cover it back up and let it sit in the simmering water about 10 minutes more and check again before deciding to stickblend or not.

I need to mention that when I hit it with the stickblender, the contents turn an opaque milky white color. This is normal and only temporary.

F) Once it has been stickblended, I squeegee off as much soap as I can from the stickblender back into the jar, cover with the lid, and stick the jar back into the pot of hot water (off the burner this time). If all goes as planned, the soap will clarify over the next few hours from the bottom up and turn into clear liquid soap with a foamy head on the surface.

G) Re: the foam: The foam eventually dissipates if I let it sit long enough (the warmth of the water helps greatly with this), but sometimes when I get impatient I'll spritz the foam with a spray or 2 of alcohol periodically to help the foam to dissipate in a more timely fashion. I try not to over-do the alcohol,though, because I don't want it to thin my soap out. I've read of people just skimming the foam off, but because I hate waste, I like to let it sit and dissipate to become part of the main body of soap.

H) When the soap is foam-free enough to my liking, I partition off as much as I would like to scent and bottle at that time, and I store the rest in the canning jar at room temp for later use.

I) When I add scent, I make sure to also add an equal amount of PS80 as per the amount of scent so that the scent will not separate out of my soap. I mix the scent with the PS80 and then stir the mixture into the soap. If it looks like the soap is clouding up from the scent at all, I'll just add more PS 80 drop by drop until all is clear again. Thankfully, that doesn't happen but once in a blue moon.

The finished soap is quite lovely, thick, and crystal clear:
View attachment 28474


Here is a shot of it outside held up to the sky:
View attachment 28475



My suds:
View attachment 28476


IrishLass :)
Thank you for always being so willing to share your successes and processes! I learn every time I read one of your posts!!
 

Tara_H

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Hope it's ok to revive this thread! It seems to have been going on for many years now (I read about the first 25 pages), so hopefully this isn't a massive faux pas...

I'm looking for a second opinion on a batch I've tried according to the method being discussed in this thread. I had done a couple of previous batches in the hot process way and they came out pretty ok, although I had a high tallow content and they tended to separate over time into distinct layers.

I was curious to try a cold process method since I have plenty of patience and would rather use a recipe that doesn't involve a lot of heat and hovering ;)

The recipe I used was:
44.35g KOH + 44.35g water to dissolve
133.05g glycerine (I may have gone wrong here, I went back and forth on whether I needed to subtract the water from the glycerine but in the end I didn't)

130g olive oil
50g coconut oil
20g castor oil

After dissolving the KOH I let it get back to room temperature then mixed it in with the glycerine. The result was completely clear and just a little syrupy.
The oils were just above room temp as well (our kitchen tends to be on the chilly side, 18C/64F approx) so that the coconut oil was just about liquid.

Using the stick blender it quickly went quite thick and transparent, then thinner and more opaque, which sounded like what I had read in the early posts here, so I was encouraged. I blended it for a few seconds at a time over what must have been 20 minutes or half an hour, but I never got any 'flying bubbles' or sudden thickening again. It seemed pretty well emulsified though, so I left it for about 2 hours, checking on it periodically.

It thickened very slowly over the course of the evening, but by the time I had to go to bed it was still like thin honey in consistency and appearance.
IMG_20210226_202931.jpg

At that point I did a zap test (I've only ever tried it on previous soaps after I was pretty sure it was finished so was also curious to experience a zap :p ) and I definitely felt it! I decided to leave it overnight and let it do its thing.

By this morning a lot of it had set quite hard and almost brittle, and there was a lot of liquid on the top. I was able to break it up easily with the spatula.
IMG_20210227_082630.jpg

I was wondering if maybe the oils were setting up a bit, so I put it in the microwave to heat it very slightly then zapped it with the stick blender. It very quickly changed to something which looked like trace (literally blobs of thick opaque batter were appearing where the blades of the blender were)
IMG_20210227_084618.jpg

I left it for a bit while I had my coffee (still early here!) and it was starting to get transparent again when I went back. At that point I got out the hand whisk and moved it about a bit, and the batter got very creamy looking, but still not much thicker.
IMG_20210227_093414.jpg

I did a zap test and got no zap at all, just a slightly sweet taste, presumably from the glycerine.

My confusion here is that I was expecting paste like I got for my other batches of liquid soap, and like everyone else got with this recipe! Given how thin this batter is, it should be super easy to dilute, but I'm a bit hesitant to do that just because it's so different from what I was expecting. On the other hand, if it's not zapping then presumably it's done all of the saponifying it's going to do and should be safe to use. So I'm wondering if the potentially excessive liquid I used right at the beginning could be the cause? If so it seems like a positive outcome, given that my objective was a recipe that didn't involve too much messing about. (assuming I could do this again without all the poking and worrying over it :rolleyes:)

Would appreciate any and all thoughts on whether I should just go ahead and dilute this or if there's something else I haven't thought of.
 

Tara_H

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After sitting on it a bit longer this morning and still no change I tried a dilution test - 25g of this batter + 15g of distilled water in a jar and mixed them together gently. It seemed to make literally no difference so I sat it on the warm stove for a bit and kept checking. It's now separating out a little, there's a slightly darker and clearer layer appearing on the bottom of the mixture.

It's making me wonder if maybe what I have is basically a very thick lather! I really hope this is the case because the bottom layer is a lovely pale gold colour, which is exactly what I was looking for, and another reason I didn't want to cook the recipe a lot.

IMG_20210227_111436.jpg

Kind of chatting to myself here, but I may as well post the outcome in case anyone is interested 😂

The sample ended up settling down nicely so I'm diluting the full batch at the same percentage. Once it's diluted and the suds are gone it's a very beautiful pale yellow colour, exactly what I was hoping for!
IMG_20210227_123227.jpg

The rest of it is taking a lot longer to fully dilute but the part that's done is very similar.
IMG_20210227_183740 (1).jpg

I'm really curious now if it would have been fine without the additional messing around this morning. Certainly it was a lot easier to dilute when it was still liquid, and the outcome seems to be the same. I'm quite tempted to try another batch by just putting it away and leaving it for a while, but I'll need to wait to get more glycerine.
 

DeeAnna

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I haven't read your posts with full attention today, but I did look at the photos. I suspect the "foam" you mention is actually an excess of fatty acids and/or fats.

If you leave the soap to sit quietly for some time, the white layer will dissipate if it's simply foam. You might be able to accelerate the breakdown of any foam by misting the layer with alcohol.

The layer will not dissipate if it's fats or fatty acids. If the layer seems stable, dip a fingertip into the white material, rub it into the skin, and rinse the skin with cool water. Don't rub the skin while rinsing and don't dry the skin -- the point is to remove any water soluble stuff but not remove any fatty stuff. If your fingertips feel slightly oily or the skin have visible traces of fatty material, that's an even better proof the layer is excess of fatty acids and/or fats.
 

Tara_H

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Thanks @DeeAnna for looking at my ramblings!

I'm pretty convinced at this point that it really is foam on the top; it settles down over time and every time I swirl it up it settles down again faster. Here's a close up of the sample that I diluted first thing this morning, the white on top is all bubbles:
IMG_20210227_192717.jpg
 

Zany_in_CO

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I'm looking for a second opinion on a batch I've tried according to the method being discussed in this thread.
Not to worry. You haven't done anything wrong. It's just that your query could get buried in this thread rather quickly. You would receive more replies if you started a new thread in the RECIPE FEEDBACK Forum. ;)
You can reference back with a link to this thread. :thumbs:
 

DeeAnna

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...I'm pretty convinced at this point that it really is foam on the top...
It's good you're getting comfortable evaluating your soap. It's hard to tell sometimes from a photo. I thought I'd mention the fatty acid alternative just in case that was happening to you.
 

Tara_H

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It's good you're getting comfortable evaluating your soap. It's hard to tell sometimes from a photo. I thought I'd mention the fatty acid alternative just in case that was happening to you.
Thanks, I hope I didn't come across as not valuing your input! I've definitely filed the info away in case it comes up in future.

You would receive more replies if you started a new thread in the RECIPE FEEDBACK Forum.
Oh, cheers! I tend to lurk in only very specific areas of the forum for some reason so I wasn't familiar with that bit. Will bear it in mind for next time :)
 

Nibiru2020

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The SBM Calculator leaves a lot to be desired. No way to change from ounces to grams, etc., when using the "advanced" calculator. The standard calculator does have the grams option... the "advanced" one does not. Definitely not a "USER FRIENDLY" calculator. For me it gives wacky numbers way out of line compared to the Soapmaking Friend calculator associated with this site.

That is why I really appreciate the work that went into making the Lye Calculator for this website here at the top of the browser page on the right.
 

Nibiru2020

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So... I just made my first trial batch of cold process liquid soap. It was a convoluted process for me to say the least, at least getting it to saponify.
At first, I thought after 12-15 minutes of blending that I had reached a thin trace... nope! Second, after sitting for an hour and still a liquid I then re-blended it with the stick blender. Finally a trace. Let is sit for about 3 hours... nothing happened at all. Sooooo.... I cheated.
I put it into a 190° F oven for 3 hours and then stirred it vigorously with a SS whip. Finally, about another 4 hours later in an insulated bag it saponified and was at about a pH of 9.5. Checked with the phenolphthalein drops too, and all was good. Diluted with a 62% distilled water weight to paste ratio and 3% of paste weight Sodium Lactate. These are two photos of it. I will let it sequester for a week or so and see if it clears up more. Last night is was cloudier, but this morning it looked about a 30% improvement.

At least it didn't turn an amber color. I will try this recipe as a hot process glycerin soap as soon as I get more KOH.

IMG_20210306_091252.jpg

IMG_20210306_091257.jpg


Recipe is:

Castor Oil - 80 grams
Coconut Oil - 131 grams
Olive Oil - 230 grams
Distilled water - 301.3 grams
KOH @ 90% Purity - 100.43 grams
Veg. Glycerin - 301 grams

Mixed water and glycerin together prior to adding KOH flakes. Stirred well until dissolved, about 3 minutes at room temperature.
Blended KOH / Glycerin / Water mixture with heated oils. KOH mixture was about 135° F and oils were about 140° F.

I probably should have had a higher temp for the oils... say around 180° F or so.
The temperature during blending leveled off to around 127° F or so. I definitely should have had my oil and lye mixture temps higher to speed up the blend to a state of trace. Irish_Lass never mentioned those temps... if my memory serves me correct.

I am open to suggestions, comments, criticisms, etc.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Sky King and Penny are warming up the Song Bird for another exciting adventure! Yeehaw! 🤠
 
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