Thickening liquid soap and keeping lather, plus EO

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j163j

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I am using salt to thicken my liquid soap but I feel like it decreases the lather.

Although, maybe my oils just don’t lather well together? Ive tried the product before adding salt (when it’s all watery and just diluted) and after and notice a difference though. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make the soap more lathery but still thicken it with something? I am trying HEC which seems to be going okay but the lather still isn’t what I would like it to be. I don’t want to use the dilution method for thickening because that uses up more soap than I would like to.

With the salt thickening, I also don’t get a consistent result in terms of clarity - sometimes the result is clear before adding my essential oils and then sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s clear after adding my essentials oils and then sometimes it’s not. I use EO at 1%.

Regarding EO, what percentage do you recommend to be able to smell the scent as well as benefit from its effects?

Thanks!

this is what I use
80% sunflower
10% castor
9% coconut
1% palm kernel

and then i use 3% sorbitol PPO in my lye/water/glycerin to try and boost lather.
 

DeeAnna

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If you made a bar soap (with NaOH) and used the recipe you gave above, would you expect the bar soap to lather well? If the answer is no, you might want to reassess your blend of fats. Starting with a blend of fatty acids that is likely to produce good lather is the first step to making a liquid soap that lathers well.

You're right that salt will reduce lather. I've never tried cellulose based thickeners, but I would expect them to reduce lather somewhat, although for different reasons than salt. I've learned that adding more glycerin also reduces lather.

Try thickening with synthetic detergents if you want to boost lather while adding thickness.

Another issue many people don't consider is the lather also depends on how the soap is used. The amount of pure soap in the diluted product will affect the ability of the soap to lather. "Pure soap" is the weight of fats + alkali, nothing else. Most diluted liquid soap seems to run around 20-30% pure soap the way most soap makers make it. If you dilute the finished product down to, say, 10% or so pure soap content, you're likely to find the soap lathers more quickly and more abundantly for the same (or less) effort. Other ways to deal with this issue -- Use less soap and more water in your hand or washcloth. Use warm water rather than cold to increase the rate at which the soap mixes and dissolves into the water. Use a shower pouf rather than a washcloth to increase mixing and aeration. Use foamer dispensers -- they limit the amount of soap a person adds to their hand or washcloth per press of the pump, and the dispenser also aerates the soap so the lather starts quicker.

There is no scientific evidence that EOs in soap have any beneficial properties other than the scent. My advice is to enjoy EOs in soap for the smell and leave it at that. Yes, EOs can reduce the clarity of the soap -- if you don't want the soap to be cloudy, you'll need to do some testing to find out what EOs add cloudiness and which ones don't.
 

j163j

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If you made a bar soap (with NaOH) and used the recipe you gave above, would you expect the bar soap to lather well? If the answer is no, you might want to reassess your blend of fats. Starting with a blend of fatty acids that is likely to produce good lather is the first step to making a liquid soap that lathers well.

You're right that salt will reduce lather. I've never tried cellulose based thickeners, but I would expect them to reduce lather somewhat, although for different reasons than salt. I've learned that adding more glycerin also reduces lather.

Try thickening with synthetic detergents if you want to boost lather while adding thickness.

Another issue many people don't consider is the lather also depends on how the soap is used. The amount of pure soap in the diluted product will affect the ability of the soap to lather. "Pure soap" is the weight of fats + alkali, nothing else. Most diluted liquid soap seems to run around 20-30% pure soap the way most soap makers make it. If you dilute the finished product down to, say, 10% or so pure soap content, you're likely to find the soap lathers more quickly and more abundantly for the same (or less) effort. Other ways to deal with this issue -- Use less soap and more water in your hand or washcloth. Use warm water rather than cold to increase the rate at which the soap mixes and dissolves into the water. Use a shower pouf rather than a washcloth to increase mixing and aeration. Use foamer dispensers -- they limit the amount of soap a person adds to their hand or washcloth per press of the pump, and the dispenser also aerates the soap so the lather starts quicker.

There is no scientific evidence that EOs in soap have any beneficial properties other than the scent. My advice is to enjoy EOs in soap for the smell and leave it at that. Yes, EOs can reduce the clarity of the soap -- if you don't want the soap to be cloudy, you'll need to do some testing to find out what EOs add cloudiness and which ones don't.
Thanks so much for this help. I will change my formula to make it more naturally lathery.
 

Zany_in_CO

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DITTO @DeeAnna 's advice above. You also might want to check out the Liquid Soap section on her Soapy Stuff

Salt brine is used to thicken LS high in olive oil (and similar). It generally doesn't work for LS with over 20% coconut oil (or similar).

For a nice lathering balance, try 50% (or higher) coconut oil (or similar) plus oil(s) of choice. A bit of Castor oil is good for boosting lather. You may also like to read:

What to Expect From Various Oils in LS

Here is a source for formulating and for reviewing the basics of making LS, including thickening options, tutorials, Tips & Tricks. :thumbs: ;)

Basic Beginner Liquid Soap

Whether using FOs or EOs, it's pretty much trial and error to find ones that work. Some will cloud or thin a batch. I find that warming the batch helps to incorporate the fragrance but that isn't always necessary. I use MMS Fragrance Calc to determine the amount to use.

Since I'm fairly OCD about clarity, I use Polysorbate 20 or 80 to make water-based EOs at a rate of 1 part EO to 3-4 parts Poly in water before adding to the batch.

HTH
 

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