What happened to my liquid soap!

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Hi All,

this is the 3rd batch of liquid soap I made so far. The first 2 batches are perfect and I have been testing for the past week. This one….is it separating? The oils differed between them, but the hard difference is the addition of optiphen. Could it be the preservative that did this?:oops: Help!
 

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The oils used actually make a big difference in liquid soap, including dilution rates. Can you post your whole recipe and process, including paste weight and weight of dilution water?
 

Zany_in_CO

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To me, that looks like the batch wasn't fully saponified before diluting. So yes, the batch has some serious separation going on where the unsaponified oils are rising to the top. There are several issues that can cause that. Once you determine what the issue is, you can try to correct it.

ADVICE: Review your process in this helpful picture tutorial from Alaiyna B Blogspot -- especially #14 that shows how to test to see if the batch is ready to dilute:

How to Create Liquid Soaps & Shampoos

Re: Optiphen: -- In general, fully saponified liquid soap paste requires no preservative. ;)

NOTE: I've been making LS since 2004, with 10 years active on the Liquid Soapmaking Yahoo Group, and never found the need to add a preservative.

That's not to say you don't need it. Those who sell tend to include it for their own peace of mind. It's totally up to you, but please understand that there is no preservative specifically designed for liquid soap. Nasties don't survive in an alkaline environment (pH 9-11) that properly-made LS is. :thumbs:
 

DeeAnna

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I doubt the preservative is the cause. Much more likely is the superfat is too high. Some reasons -- there's not enough alkali in the batch to saponify all of the fat due to a calculation or measurement error, or you added an ingredient to the batch that consumed some of the alkali, or you didn't recalculate the recipe based on the different fats you used for this batch, or the saponification process isn't fully complete. Or something along those lines. We can't help you further without a full recipe, as AliOop explained.

Regarding the preservative -- Not only is there an ongoing debate about whether to add a preservative at all, there's also the question, if you do choose to use a preservative, which ones actually work. There are very few preservatives suited for high pH products. The only 3 I'm aware of at the moment are Suttocide A, Glydant Plus, and Liquid Germall Plus (LGP), although using LGP in liquid soap is an off-label use. Your Optiphen is not effective in liquid soap. Preservative Reviews
 
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Sorry for the delay...Super busy days!

so my recipe is attached:

I heated the glycerin over 200 deg, then added the KOH and stirred till dissolved. Added lye mixture to heated oils (included sorbitol and CA) and blended to trace. Cooked for at least 3hrs, stirring intermitted. Turned off croc and let paste sot in crock overnight. Added 2x distilled water, and let sit in warm crock to dissolve paste. When cool added preservative, fragrance.

I think that's it...

Thank you for your help!

To me, that looks like the batch wasn't fully saponified before diluting. So yes, the batch has some serious separation going on where the unsaponified oils are rising to the top. There are several issues that can cause that. Once you determine what the issue is, you can try to correct it.

ADVICE: Review your process in this helpful picture tutorial from Alaiyna B Blogspot -- especially #14 that shows how to test to see if the batch is ready to dilute:

How to Create Liquid Soaps & Shampoos

Re: Optiphen: -- In general, fully saponified liquid soap paste requires no preservative. ;)

NOTE: I've been making LS since 2004, with 10 years active on the Liquid Soapmaking Yahoo Group, and never found the need to add a preservative.

That's not to say you don't need it. Those who sell tend to include it for their own peace of mind. It's totally up to you, but please understand that there is no preservative specifically designed for liquid soap. Nasties don't survive in an alkaline environment (pH 9-11) that properly-made LS is. :thumbs:
Great info in this link btw...
 

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DeeAnna

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I see your recipe is set at 5% superfat. That's pretty high for KOH soap. Most of us use no higher than 3% and I find even 3% can be a little "iffy".

You didn't say what purity your KOH has -- your supplier should be able to tell you that (although some don't). Do you know what that is?

Soapcalc allows you to choose either 90% purity or 100% purity. Which did you go with?

Using shea and avocado oil in KOH soap is more likely to make the soap cloudy, even if the superfat is okay and the soap is properly made. Just something to think about for the next batch if clarity is important to you.
 
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Agreed, I've never been successful over 2% SF (except adding it post-cook with other ingredients). Also, did you dissolve the CA and sorbitol into your lye solution? How much of each did you use?
 
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O wow…I see how this may have gone wrong…
  1. I will lower SF for my liquid soap
  2. Didn’t check purity…so didn’t select anything other than the default in soapcalc . It is 90%
  3. I dissolved the CA and sorbitol in the oils as I used glycerin instead of water. Thinking of it now, I did not adjust the lye for the CA…🤦🏾‍♀️ Boy…

  4. so yeah….of course it separated.
 
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O wow…I see how this may have gone wrong…
  1. I will lower SF for my liquid soap
  2. Didn’t check purity…so didn’t select anything other than the default in soapcalc . It is 90%
  3. I dissolved the CA and sorbitol in the oils as I used glycerin instead of water. Thinking of it now, I did not adjust the lye for the CA…🤦🏾‍♀️ Boy…

  4. so yeah….of course it separated.
Glad you figured it out. Also, neither CA nor sorbitol will dissolve in oil. They are only water-soluble. Although they might have dissolved eventually in your dilution water, next time, just dissolve them ahead of time in a few grams of warm water, and then add that to your KOH solution or your oils.
 
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So actually I dissolved the CA in water then added to the oil…I had liquid sorbitol for the first 2 batches, ran out and used the solid dissolved in water . Is this ok? I didn’t think these additives would fit into the lye mixture with glycerin.

BTW, what do you all think about using glycerin instead of water for the koh?
 
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So actually I dissolved the CA in water then added to the oil…I had liquid sorbitol for the first 2 batches, ran out and used the solid dissolved in water . Is this ok? I didn’t think these additives would fit into the lye mixture with glycerin.

BTW, what do you all think about using glycerin instead of water for the koh?
Oh good, yes, that was fine to dissolve and then mix into the oils.

You can definitely use glycerin instead of water for your KOH solution. However, an easier (and less expensive) way is to use just enough distilled water to dissolve the KOH, and then add the glycerin as the remaining liquid. That way, you don't have to deal with heating the glycerin, but you still get the benefits of the faster trace that glycerin offers. :)
 
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Oh that is a great idea! Should I just add the glycerin to the heated oils? I think my main issue was too high SF…

mid the batch a loss, or can it be saved? It seems to be soap…

thank you everyone for your help! That’s why I love this forum!
 
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Yes, the too-high SF which was exacerbated by not accounting for the CA, as well. You should be able to add more KOH solution to save it; I've read some threads here about how to do that so probably look through the liquid soap forum.

For future, you can add the glycerin to the oils or to the lye solution. Have you read Irish Lass' thread on making glycerin liquid soap? She describes the process very well there.
 
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