I’m really sorry this happened to you but thank you for sharing your experience. I have been thinking about adding sorbitol to my soap too but may hold off for a while after seeing your results. Hopefully reducing the percentage will result in a good outcome.I, too, was intrigued by the Lather Lover's Additive Test and wanted to try sorbitol. I ended up buying 11 lbs of it from Bulk Supplements (don't judge - ha! Their pricing schematic at the time made buying 11 lbs make sense - pricing has since been changed by quite a bit so that it no longer makes sense).
Anyway, over the course of 2 days in early July I had to make 6 batches of soap for gifts and threw caution to the wind, adding 5% (oil weight) sorbitol to every single batch in spite of never having used it before. Figured, why not, it's supposed to be great and I have a ton of it. Well, that was a mistake. It may have to do with my recipe (olive oil, soy wax, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and shea butter), but these 6 batches of soap are not my finest moment.
This is a recipe I've used for a long time and am familiar with how the soap performs. The soap in my shower right now using sorbitol at 5% (oil weight), as opposed to my usual 5% (oil weight) granulated sugar, is a mess. The sorbitol soap started out nicely and lathered well (albeit not crazy good, as I thought it might), but after a few uses it started to become mushy, a little slimy, and soft. The soap is on a well-draining soap dish, so I can't imagine what a mess it would become it it wasn't. Overall, it's not great, not great at all. Initially, I did feel like there was a little more lather with the sorbitol soap vs. the sugar soap, but it's not enough to warrant putting up with the sorbitol soap getting... icky.
Anyway, eventually I'm going to try again but add sorbitol at a lower percentage to see if I can find a balance.
Anyone have any theories as to why sorbitol would make soap mushy? I believe it's a humectant, so maybe that is why?
I appreciate your entire post, DeeAnna, and this stood out in particular because yesterday in the shower I was (ruefully) entertaining myself by how I could bend the sorbitol soap into a U-shape (the sugar soap was not bendable). I'm easily entertained.As the % of a solvent increases in the soap, it will cause the soap to become more rubbery/pliable and less firm/hard.
It was a learning experience, for sure! Other than that burst of 6 batches in early July, I haven't been making soap at all; seem to be in a bit of a downturn on that end. But when I do fire up the process again, my first order of business needs to be making batches using sorbitol at 1%, 2%, and 3% (oil weight) to get to the bottom of things.I’m really sorry this happened to you but thank you for sharing your experience. I have been thinking about adding sorbitol to my soap too but may hold off for a while after seeing your results. Hopefully reducing the percentage will result in a good outcome.
I just received it (from Amazon) and I'm going to try it out.I used sugar in all my recipes until I got curious about sorbitol. I have to say that with my recipes, sorbitol seems to bump up the lather much more than sugar. Although sorbitol is more pricey, I make soap only for family and friends, so the price doesn't bother me. I order big bags of it from Amazon.