Thickening Liquid Soap

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millerson15

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Persistent Thin Soap:

I used Lots of Lather Quick Mix (Canola, Castor, Olive, Coconut, Sweet Almond, Vitamin E) - they do not tell you the ratio of each. so I am guessing I need to use a formula that allows me to know the ratios of each oil.

It will not thicken with a 20% salt solution. The soap became an opaque yellow cloud.

I boiled 2 oz of borax and 6 oz of distilled water and the soap became a tan opaque cloud.

I need some help thickening soap. The first batch I ever made (using Lots of Lather thickened with the salt solution and I have never been able to duplicate the results)

Any help is appreciated.
 

IrishLass

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Welcome Millerson! :wave:

From what it looks like, I think Brambleberry's Lots of Lather Quick Mix was formulated for bar-type soaps made with NaOH as opposed to liquid soaps made with KOH. That's not to say that you can't transpose a recipe formulated for bar-types soap for use in a liquid soap, but it's very unfortunate that they do not list the quantities of each oil. Knowing those amounts is crucial when attempting to make a different kind of soap other than for what the formula was intended..... and also for when it comes to troubleshooting if things go wrong. Without knowing those things, the best advice I myself can offer for thickening soap is my stand-by, fail-safe method of heating the soap uncovered to evaporate some of the water off. Hopefully our DeeAnna, Susie and/or TopOfMurrayHill will chime in to give their opinions.

IrishLass :)
 

millerson15

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Thanks Irish Lass!

Oh jeez, when I cooked "off" the water, I did so with the lid on. LOL. I have the pot back on the heat to try again. Will post an update. Thanks so much for a helping a frustrated newbie :)
 

millerson15

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So I have had it cooking in an uncovered pot for about an hour. It's still clear as a bell, but thin. How long do you let your soap cook? Do you stir? Must it cool before it thickens? do you add anything else to thicken your soap?

Thanks so much
 

Susie

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I have no words of wisdom to share about that product, as I have never used that product. Sorry!

However, I can point you to a tutorial on how to make your own lovely, thick liquid soap from scratch with no cooking, no muss, no fuss.
 

IrishLass

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So I have had it cooking in an uncovered pot for about an hour. It's still clear as a bell, but thin. How long do you let your soap cook? Do you stir? Must it cool before it thickens? do you add anything else to thicken your soap?

Thanks so much
You must let it cool before it shows its true thickness. Also- I personally would cover it while it cools to prevent possibly going overboard on the evaporation.


IrishLass :)
 

millerson15

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I let it cool all the way down in a small sample glass, it's still pretty thin, BUT BETTER. Would you recommend further cooking? How viscous do you get your soap?

Thanks again for all your help
 

IrishLass

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I let it cool all the way down in a small sample glass, it's still pretty thin, BUT BETTER. Would you recommend further cooking? How viscous do you get your soap?

Thanks again for all your help
Knowing whether 'tis good to cook more or not can be somewhat of a tricky thing, because there is a point of diminishing returns (which is different for each soap formula) where the soap can end up containing too little liquid in order for it be able remain in a fully diluted state. In other words, it's possible that a portion of it may revert back to a paste state if you go overboard, which is not a horrible thing since it's fixable, but it's just annoying because you'll have to play around with adding different amounts of water back in to re-dilute the hard portions.

If it were me, what I would do at this point is to try heating just a portion of the soap (i.e., not the whole batch) to see if it's possible to get it thick enough to your liking without parts of it re-solidifying. If it's possible, then you can follow suit with the rest of it.

If it's not possible to get it thick enough, even with salt or other things, then I would scrap that recipe and use a different one. I have two formulas that I like to use that make wonderfully thick soap (they are posted here in the Liquid Soap section).


IrishLass :)
 

biarine

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I use crothix and I use first 1% if I wanted more thicker then I added another 1% until it reach the thickness I wants.
 

DeeAnna

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And the other problem is -- what is "too thin" to you? Thin like water? Or like warm honey?

If your soap is water thin, then it's possible you diluted too much. Adding salt to over-diluted soap won't necessarily thicken it. Even if it does, over-diluted soap may not lather nor clean very well. Adding salt will cut the lather even more. Best to reduce the water content if this is the issue.

If the thickness is like warm honey, that may be as thick as you're going to get. Salt may thicken the soap a bit more, but be aware that too much salt will cause the soap to thin out again. Don't assume if a little salt is good, more will be better -- it doesn't work that way. Also it takes time to see the full result of thickening with salt, so don't get impatient with the process.

If you want shampoo or shower gel thick, you're going to have to look at other thickeners besides table salt to get that much thickening.

Salts doesn't always work for thickening. If the soap has a relatively low oleic acid content, it won't thicken much with table salt. People's results with borax, another type of salt, are mixed -- some get decent results, others get separation.

HEC (hydroxyethylcellulose) or crothix or xanthan gum are thickeners that may work better. I've not used them, but others get good results.
 
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