Transparent Liquid Soap

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kotipelto

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Hello everyone,

I'm new to soap making and I'm trying to make a transparent liquid soap. It's important that it be clear transparent for my use.

I'm using the following formula:

100g Texapon (SLES)
12.5g SLS
1000ml Water
100g Salt

The outcome is beautiful and super clear after letting sit for a few hours.

I'm having a major problem though, as soon as I add a fragrance oil. As I add and incorporate, the mixture turns cloudy and it gets diluted and extremely thin and watery.

Does anyone know what's happening and how I can fix it?

I appreciate any insight.
 

DeeAnna

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Soap is a cleanser made by chemically reacting fats or fatty acids with a strong alkali. Consumers use the word "soap" to mean any cleanser, not just true lye-based soap. When talking to a more informed audience like you are here, using the word "soap" to describe a non-soap cleanser really confuses people. The cleanser you are making is a blend of synthetic detergents (syndets) so you could call it a syndet cleanser. It is definitely not soap.

You can't change a formulation and expect the changed product to behave the same as the original product. Liquid cleansers are very sensitive to changes.

I'm pretty sure the salt is added as a thickener, and I suspect the 100 gram amount was determined to be optimum for the blend of syndets and water without fragrance. Too little salt won't give the desired thickness, but too much will cause the mixture to thin out.

By adding a fragrance, you're changing the chemistry. Fragrances can also thicken and thin a liquid cleanser similar to how salt thickens and thins. I suspect the fragrance added to the 100 g of salt was too much.

Test each fragrance with the SLES, SLS, and water mixture without salt and see how the mixture behaves. When you find a mixture that works but it's not thick enough, try adding salt to thicken the mixture. But don't just dump in that 100 grams of salt -- you really need to do a test called a "salt curve" to see what the optimum salt content is needed to thicken the product. You may have to do a salt curve for every combination of the cleanser and each fragrance.

Also make sure the fragrances you're wanting to use are specifically intended for use in liquid cleansers and for use on skin. There are a lot of fragrances meant for use in candles, etc. that aren't suitable.

I don't have the background to help you troubleshoot this further, but a lot of the information you are seeking, including how to do a salt curve, can be found in the "Chemist's Corner" website.
 

kotipelto

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Soap is a cleanser made by chemically reacting fats or fatty acids with a strong alkali. Consumers use the word "soap" to mean any cleanser, not just true lye-based soap. When talking to a more informed audience like you are here, using the word "soap" to describe a non-soap cleanser really confuses people. The cleanser you are making is a blend of synthetic detergents (syndets) so you could call it a syndet cleanser. It is definitely not soap.

You can't change a formulation and expect the changed product to behave the same as the original product. Liquid cleansers are very sensitive to changes.

I'm pretty sure the salt is added as a thickener, and I suspect the 100 gram amount was determined to be optimum for the blend of syndets and water without fragrance. Too little salt won't give the desired thickness, but too much will cause the mixture to thin out.

By adding a fragrance, you're changing the chemistry. Fragrances can also thicken and thin a liquid cleanser similar to how salt thickens and thins. I suspect the fragrance added to the 100 g of salt was too much.

Test each fragrance with the SLES, SLS, and water mixture without salt and see how the mixture behaves. When you find a mixture that works but it's not thick enough, try adding salt to thicken the mixture. But don't just dump in that 100 grams of salt -- you really need to do a test called a "salt curve" to see what the optimum salt content is needed to thicken the product. You may have to do a salt curve for every combination of the cleanser and each fragrance.

Also make sure the fragrances you're wanting to use are specifically intended for use in liquid cleansers and for use on skin. There are a lot of fragrances meant for use in candles, etc. that aren't suitable.

I don't have the background to help you troubleshoot this further, but a lot of the information you are seeking, including how to do a salt curve, can be found in the "Chemist's Corner" website.
Thank you so much for you reply DeeAnna, since I asked this yesterday I experimented dissolving the fragrance in SLS (3 parts fragrance and 7 parts SLS) and a bit of water before adding it to the mixture and it seemed to do the trick although it tinted the clear Cleanser (sorry about using soap, excuse my ignorance) a slight yellow, which I believe is because that's the color of the oil used in the fragrance, but I may be wrong. I am almost happy with the thickness now.

I set 7 different tests overnight with different levels of salt to check tomorrow morning.

Once again I appreciate you sharing your knowledge on this and I will definitely post the results of the finished product in a different part of the forum since now I realize I have made a mistake.
 

DeeAnna

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Best of luck to you -- I hope you figure this out!
 
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