Transparent Soap Adventures

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by Richard Perrine, Aug 24, 2018.

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  1. Aug 24, 2018 #1

    Richard Perrine

    Richard Perrine

    Richard Perrine

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    NO Stearic Acid. NO Ethanol (alcohol). NO Sodium Lactate. VEGAN/ORGANIC Transparent Soap Test!

    Okay. I feel, after a few days of tweaking and researching, that I have a transparent soap that is alcohol, stearic-acid, SL, etc. FREE! :) I have posted pics of my most recent failures (translucent, but not transparent) that I really like and will now use to create gradients of translucency (more tests to come) flanking the successful transparent soap. transparent-translucent-test.jpg
    The orange coloration of the transparent soap is from the orange essential oil. The far left is natural and the right contains too much of a green mica pigment. It looks lovely in person though. The bars on either side of the transparent bars are translucent. Difficult to see in this pic. As you can see with the side-by-side, the transparency is pretty good. The bar on the left is alcohol-based (made about 3-weeks ago) and the three on the right is as advertised (made last night). The coloration is due to essential oils only. I am happy with what I discovered and again, thanks to the soap-making community who have already done so much of the work and is gracious enough to share. Love the glycerin feel. IMG_4067[1].jpg

    I have some time, so I will make some observations regarding my experience making the soap w/o alcohol, etc. I will put up my recipe later today...

    1. Unmolding the soap, there was considerable glycerine goop on and below the solidified soap bars. I simply wiped it off and all good. I hadn't experienced this before and I did use the same amount of glycerine as I had in the past. I am assuming it is glycerine as it felt, looked and smelled (no odor) like it. There was no negative affect to the soap overall.

    2. Glycerine to total oils was @ 50%. I do not get any sweating, but maybe it's b/c I live in dry Utah(?).

    3. I suck at adding coloring, so will, personally, refrain from doing so. I actually like the natural coloring that takes place with the essential oils.

    4. The fragrance from the essential oils are wonderful especially while lathering.

    5. Not great lather, but lather never the less... it just takes a little time. :)

    Transparent Soap Recipe

    Castor Oil – 250 grams (50%)
    Coconut Oil – 250 grams (50%)

    Lye – 78 grams (0% superfat to reduce cloudiness)
    Distilled Water – 156 grams (double lye amount)

    Solvents (equal to 100% of oils)

    Glycerin – 250 grams (50% of oils)
    Sugar – 250 grams (50%)
    Water – 160 grams (to create sugar solution)

    I made this recipe using a crockpot. After the soap mixture goes through its phases and is in apple-sauce stage, I then add the solvents. I prep the sugar water before pour by adding the sugar into the water to make a syrup. I pour in the glycerine into the sugar syrup, stir, and then pour into the soup mixture.

    Mix thoroughly. I put the heat on high on my crockpot and closed the lid tightly. I waited about 1-1.5 hours, stirring only 2-3x in between to get any insolubles mixed in and dissolved. A thin film may remain after this time. I pour my transparent soap through a sieve to block any insolubles.

    This process works really well for me. I turn off the crockpot and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes before adding my essential oils. Keep the lid on while cooling.

    Recent batch of transparent soap. Very happy except for the many air bubbles. I poured the soup through a sieve and likely resulted in the many air bubbles(?). Not too bad. Smells great and feels great. I left it cooking for an additional 30 minutes so that I had fewer insoluble soap floating.
    IMG_4077.jpg

    Put light under to show transparency better. Late night and didn’t have better light to really show the transparency in a more natural light. The orange color is from the essential oils. Will probably take a pic outside tomorrow.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2018
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  2. Sep 2, 2018 #2

    szaza

    szaza

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    Thanks for the update Richard! Great experiment and such a detailed explanation! Thanks a bunch :D (I'm sorry to reply so late..)
    One day, oh one day I will also muster the courage to experiment with transparent soap.
    I was also thinking about experimenting with palm/lard/tallow free;) (all my soaps are, so why make an exception here?) I've read somewhere that someone had some good results with refined shea, so that's one of the things I'm planning to try if I ever do muster up the courage. I've also read that some people use soy wax to replace stearic acid in shaving soaps, but I've never heard of anyone using it in transparent soap. Might be worth a try as well? (one day..)
    Keep us updated on how the soaps behave when you start using them! I'm curious if the lack of alcohol makes them less drying.. I'm not sure what your motivation is for leaving ethanol out, but how about propylene glycol? It's supposed to be less drying (though more cloudy/sweaty) and should make your soap remeltable.. just a thought!
    In the meantime, happy soaping!:D
     
  3. Sep 2, 2018 #3

    Richard Perrine

    Richard Perrine

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    Szaza. Happy to be helpful. I completely failed to mention that my initial tests were with soy wax! Sorry! The translucent bars were with soy wax! I abandoned it b/c at the time I couldn’t get transparency. But, I was curious, so the latest transparent bars are with 5 and 10% soy wax to total oils and as you can see, transparent. I have determined that I can use the soy wax to control translucency. Also, with this process, I find stearin acid unnecessary. For hardening? The bars come out HARD. I don’t use any Stearic acid, sodium lactate in any of my bars. I love soy wax...so versatile and cheap.
     
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  4. Sep 2, 2018 #4

    szaza

    szaza

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    That's great to hear that you had good results with soy wax! Your last bars look absolutely lovely:thumbs:
     
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  5. Sep 2, 2018 #5

    Richard Perrine

    Richard Perrine

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    Szaza. Thank you. I feel pretty good about my transparent method and it has not failed me. I stopped using the alcohol b/c of the drying concern and I have friends who prefer a completely natural soap and adding ethanol to the process doesn’t invoke ‘natural.’ I am also considering cost.☺️
     
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  6. Sep 3, 2018 #6

    Richard Perrine

    Richard Perrine

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    M&P without propylene glycol!

    Just an update regarding M&P. I took one of my translucent bars which contained some soy wax and melted it down and remolded it. Success! I feel that the transparent bars would probably melt smoother, better as they do not contain as much soywax or none at all. Regardless, the melting of this bar was nearly effortless. I have never worked with commercial M&P, but you have to work a little quicker with this soap. The soy wax content helps it harden quicker. Also, I imagine that the propylene glycol in commercial soap bases help it to remain smooth and viscous longer. I'll do some tests later.

    I made the mistake of keeping it in the microwave a little too long and it boiled up a little and added air. I should have melted with 10-15 sec bursts in the microwave. Melted quickly. I also added about a tablespoon of distilled water to the cut-up pieces. I saw no evidence of air within the bar, but the poured surface had plenty.

    IMG_4138[1].jpg

    I took some of the 'foam' that is created during the making of the transparent soap and formed it into an oval mold. I recently melted that bar down to create a rectangle form. Again, showing that the transparent recipe is also 'melt & pourable!' The remolded soap looks better, added apple fragrance and smells great! The soap created by the foam is softer, so not anticipating that the bar will harden much more, if at all over time. The glycerine will likely keep it malleable, but workable. This 'foam' is from my earlier transparent soap tests, so contains a good deal of soy wax.
    IMG_4145[1].jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2018
  7. Sep 4, 2018 #7

    Miki

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    Thanks so much for sharing, Richard, your soaps have turned out really well! I have been looking for a good natural recipe without alcohol, still too much of a learning curve to do any experiments. In saying that every batch I make is a experiment but transparent soap seemed too much of a holy grail for now. Would this work with a combination of olive oil and coconut oil? Is it unusual to add some SF to the initial batch of soap?
     
  8. Sep 4, 2018 #8

    Richard Perrine

    Richard Perrine

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    Thank you, Miki. It has been fun and I continue to learn from the process. I was like you, a little hesitant, so I started small. I made 1-2 bar batches to start. Just go for it! :) I don't doubt that it would work with olive and coconut oils, but most of your oils should be hard oils as I understand it. Still learning. I also believe superfatting contributes to clouding of the bars. I refrain from that. The glycerine really nourishes w/o superfatting. Hope that helps.
     
  9. Sep 4, 2018 #9

    Miki

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    Aha moment, once again, many thanks! Somehow I must have thought castor oil is a soft oil... back to the drawing board or get me a big bottle of castor oil.... which means a trip to town, sigh, but I will let you know how I go :)
     
  10. Sep 4, 2018 #10

    Richard Perrine

    Richard Perrine

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    Mimi,

    It is. It is used mostly for its bubbling effects. Notice I put as much coconut and soy wax, both hard oils and the process is essential hot process.
     
  11. Sep 4, 2018 #11

    earlene

    earlene

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    Castor oil is a soft oil. It's the stearin in the Soy Wax that is giving Richard a hard bar of soap, not the castor. Soy Wax is 87% stearin and 11% myrsitic. Hardness values are calculated by adding the values for Lauric + Myristic + Palmitic + Stearic acids.

    Castor is 90% Ricinoleic acid, which contributes to conditioning, creaminess and bubbliness, but not hardness. Castor is a thick oil, but it is not hard. Only one place I have found lists it as a hard oil and I suspect that was a type.

    ETA: The CO contributes to hardness, as well, of course, which I left out in my above comments.
     
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  12. Sep 4, 2018 #12

    Richard Perrine

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    I just want to clarify that the recipe above DOES NOT use soy wax and it produces very hard soap bars. The hot process and coconut oil are enough to create hard bars. I only use the soy wax for effect (translucency) only.
     
  13. Sep 5, 2018 #13

    Miki

    Miki

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    Its too early in the morning to grasp this info... coffee time :)
     
  14. Sep 5, 2018 #14

    Richard Perrine

    Richard Perrine

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    My apologies, Miki. Darn auto-correct on my phone changed your name to Mimi. Ha ha. It really is fun working with transparent soap. :) Not nearly as scary after you get rid of the alcohol from the equation. I will say that the alcohol as a solvent is very effective and seems to give better transparency. But no need to use such a volatile chemical to get something nice.
     
  15. Sep 5, 2018 #15

    Miki

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    I got over using lye, I'll do the same here I'm sure!
     
  16. Sep 5, 2018 #16

    Richard Perrine

    Richard Perrine

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    I’m relatively new to soap making. Soap WITHOUT lye?
     
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  17. Sep 5, 2018 #17

    earlene

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    Ah, my mistake, Richard about the soap without Soy Wax. I thought you used soy wax because of this post:

    I am intrigued by your soy wax transparent soap, though. Was it also the soap that you found to be effectively good for M&P? Or am I getting that mixed up too?

    My only one attempt at creating transparent soap (not MP) was not very successful. But I'd like to do it again for transparent soap and it sure would be pretty nice to be able to make my own MP without having to buy a bunch of additives I don't normally use. But now I'm not sure if you used soy wax with or without alcohol in the recipe. I'd love to learn more about that soap specifically because I really do like using soy wax as well.
     
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  18. Sep 5, 2018 #18

    Richard Perrine

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    Earlene,

    My first couple of transparency soap tests involved soy wax. I abandoned it b/c I couldn't get transparency at the concentration that I was using it. I went to 50/50 coconut/castor oil. It worked much better (the recipe is w/o soy and works beautifully for me), but I was also intrigued by the translucent effects created by the soy wax from the initial soaps. The first pic shows the two translucent bars (left and right) flanking the transparent bar made w/o soy wax. I really loved that green bar. Anyway, the second picture shows the transparent bar w/o soy wax compared with a transparent bar made with alcohol (on left). Much clearer. It is a little tackier than the transparent soaps created by alcohol, but still very hard. The third picture contains bars with some soy wax at 5 and 10%. Still transparent. :)

    Yes, the M&P bars also contained the soy. My post describing the M&P process above involved a bar with high concentrations of soy wax as I was deliberately trying to make a translucent bar this time.
    IMG_4147[1].jpg
    The bar above is from the same batch that the M&P demo bar is from. It cuts like hard cheese, smooth and clean and remelts nicely.

    Here is my recent M&P of the transparent soap that contains NO SOY WAX!
    IMG_4148.jpg

    I cut up a small bar of transparent soap that did not contain any soy wax. Put it in a glass measuring cup, 1 tsp of distilled water and heated it in the microwave. Far right pic at top is after 10 seconds. Lower left is completely melted after 20 seconds. I poured into spherical balls mold I am testing out for the first time. You can see how transparent the soap is. The bar w/o soy wax melts much quicker and smoother.

    IMG_4154.jpg
    After 10 minutes in the freezer, I popped out the cute, citrus scented, transparent soap balls.
     
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  19. Sep 5, 2018 #19

    Miki

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    Hehe, sorry, my quote button won't quote your exclamation about no lye.... no lye = no soap... it just took me ages before making my first batch of soap because I had heard horrific stories and warnings about lye... now I use it I try to be as careful as possible.

    No pictures yet but I have just done my first experiment to make transparent soap.... tiny amount, 100 grams of rebatched soap, 100 grams water and 100 grams glycerine in the microwave, got a lot of froth possibly through stirring with a chop stick so I sieved it into some small silicon molds and its in the fridge. Photo to follow of the finished product (its pretty dark day, finally getting some good rain)

    Ahh, did it... requote "I got over the fear of using lye" ... much better

    20180908_085628.jpg I've waited over 48 hours before unmolding my experiment... it was still rather snotty looking so onto a plate rather than a drying rack, plse note that this is my first experiment! There will be more.
     
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  20. Sep 8, 2018 #20

    Richard Perrine

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    Miki,

    Great first test! :) Not entirely clear (no pun intended), did they finish transparent or translucent?
     
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