Syndet %s and processes

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Savonette

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I’m wondering about the basics of non-pressed syndet bar percentages and processes? I’m seeing ingredients sold in solid and/or liquid form so...

Percentages: Is there a good rule for solids/liquids that hold a non-pressed shampoo bar together?

Process: I see melt/cool phase everywhere. Is the purpose to melt ingredients at their lowest possible point and then combine? Is citric acid the go-to pH balancer? Can pH be tested before molding?

I bought SCM’s e-book but it’s not the easiest read. I wish my parents would have told me I WOULD use chemistry later.
 
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