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Sulphur in potassium soap, is it possible?

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Rockhound

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Hi, I want to make a potassium soap with sulphur from the wood ashes. But so far I have never seen a potassium soap with sulphur, which made me think that there might be some reactions or any other problems. There are many kind of sulphur soaps but all of them are sodium based soaps. So I decided to ask the people who know how to do this before I get started. Is it possible to make potassium soap with sulphur? (I also want to add lavender oil.)
Thank you.
 

DeeAnna

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I gather you want to make a soft soap using wood ash lye. And then you want to add sulfur to it.

Based on how you worded your message, I got the impression you may think the sulfur can come from the wood ashes. This isn't something that can be done.

Am I correct about what you want to do, or am I missing your point?

One reason why you can't find any specific info on this project is not many people make soap from wood ash lye. And not many people make sulfur soap either. Finding resources that combine the two is going to be tough.

One issue if you want a pourable liquid soap (as opposed to a not-pourable paste which is more typical of soap made with wood ash lye) is that elemental sulfur does not dissolve. It will remain in particle form and may settle out of a liquid soap. If the soap is left as a paste, this won't be a problem.

As far as using a mostly potassium alkali versus using a sodium alkali -- it shouldn't matter. Get the soap made, add the sulfur, and see how the mixture behaves over time.

Basically I think you're going to have to try it and see how it goes. Let us know how it works for you.
 
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Rockhound

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I gather you want to make a soft soap using wood ash lye. And then you want to add sulfur to it.

Based on how you worded your message, I got the impression you may think the sulfur can come from the wood ashes. This isn't something that can be done.

Am I correct about what you want to do, or am I missing your point?

One reason why you can't find any specific info on this project is not many people make soap from wood ash lye. And not many people make sulfur soap either. Finding resources that combine the two is going to be tough.

One issue if you want a pourable liquid soap (as opposed to a not-pourable paste which is more typical of soap made with wood ash lye) is that elemental sulfur does not dissolve. It will remain in particle form and may settle out of a liquid soap. If the soap is left as a paste, this won't be a problem.

As far as using a mostly potassium alkali versus using a sodium alkali -- it shouldn't matter. Get the soap made, add the sulfur, and see how the mixture behaves over time.

Basically I think you're going to have to try it and see how it goes. Let us know how it works for you.
Thank you DeeAnna, I'm planning to add precipitated sulphur, and want to make a gel/paste soap. So probably will not face the problem you mentioned about liquid soap. I get started to distill some plants and take their essential oils and hydrosols and want to add them to soaps. Next week we will make our first soap, I'd love to share the result with you.
 

Primrose

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What is sulfur soap for? I've never heard of it
 

DeeAnna

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Sulfur is an FDA approved treatment for acne, at least in the USA.

And it is used, as Ladka says, as a remedy for other skin issues. I don't know if there is any science-based support (and FDA approval if in the US) for using sulfur soap for anything other than acne. If a person wants to make medical claims about sulfur soap, they need to do their homework to ensure the claims are legitimate.

Here's more info on my Soapy Stuff website: https://classicbells.com/soap/sulfurSoap.asp
 
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true blue

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Here's more info on my Soapy Stuff website: https://classicbells.com/soap/sulfurSoap.asp
That was a good read. Only one thing. You mention on your web page "You may want to sift sulfur powder to remove coarse particles before adding it to soap." ummm ... you might want to reconsider recommending that!

I use the Sublimed sulfur (aka flowers of sulfur) in a personal product for our family, and sifted it last year due to the clumps. Sifting it created TONS of static electricity that I couldn't seem to stop - the powder was sticking to everything! I immediately went and researched how to get rid of the static - could find very little info - but DID find that the sulfur powder is extremely flammable! We're talking explosions kind of flammable! Especially under those types of conditions. I don't freak easily, but that bothered me quite a bit! From now on, I'll be combining the sulfur with other powders BEFORE sifting!
 

Garden Gives Me Joy

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I use the Sublimed sulfur (aka flowers of sulfur) in a personal product for our family, and sifted it

[...] sulfur powder is extremely flammable! We're talking explosions kind of flammable! Especially under those types of conditions. I don't freak easily, but that bothered me quite a bit! From now on, I'll be combining the sulfur with other powders BEFORE sifting!
I'm fortunate to have never experienced static electricity. Scary! Unsure why because I sifted my sublimed sulfur with coiloidal oats and make a paste with water (both of which are unsafe ).

Happy for suggestions for sifting in a safer way.

Hadn't known re hazards and, thanks to you, will make precautionary notes in my worksheet.
 
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