what is the PH to be maintained for soap?

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Kalpanaganesan

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I have seen many soap making videos in which it is told to maintain the PH of the soap to be between 8 and 9.But one of my friend who is a dermatologist says that the ph of skin is 5.5 and any top grade soap needs to have a PH of somewhere 7.If we cure the soap for a longer time will the PH get lowered or the oils we use must be chosen to maintain lower PH.I wish someone clarifies this aspect of mine.
Thanks in advance
 

ilonaliss

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Hi. The pH of lye-based soap can vary from 8 to 12 and the high pH is the very thing that makes it soap. The "top grade soaps" your friend is referring to are not really soap, but synthetic detergents (or mixtures of synthetic detergents and real soap) that clean the skin using surfactants, which allows them to have a lower pH. Lye-based soap will not turn neutral or acidic no matter how long you cure it.
 
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DeeAnna

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Soap versus non-soap cleansers -- Consumers often use the word "soap" to mean any type of cleanser, but if you're a person who is actually making these cleansers, it's best to use soap with a more precise technical meaning. Soap is a cleanser, but not all cleansers are soap. If we use soap as a catch-all word to mean any kind of cleanser, then we will forever be confused when having technical discussions like this. Shampoo, syndets, soap | Soapy Stuff

Soap pH -- It's probably more accurate to say the pH of true lye-based soap is typically somewhere between 9 to 11.5, give or take, with the possibility of some soap having a somewhat higher pH. Some pH numbers I've seen for commercial soaps have been over 12, but I'd say that's more the exception than the rule. From the info I've seen, soap made from fats typically used in soap making will not ever have a pH below 9 and still be functional soap. Soap pH | Soapy Stuff
 

Kalpanaganesan

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Soap versus non-soap cleansers -- Consumers often use the word "soap" to mean any type of cleanser, but if you're a person who is actually making these cleansers, it's best to use soap with a more precise technical meaning. Soap is a cleanser, but not all cleansers are soap. If we use soap as a catch-all word to mean any kind of cleanser, then we will forever be confused when having technical discussions like this. Shampoo, syndets, soap | Soapy Stuff

Soap pH -- It's probably more accurate to say the pH of true lye-based soap is typically somewhere between 9 to 11.5, give or take, with the possibility of some soap having a somewhat higher pH. Some pH numbers I've seen for commercial soaps have been over 12, but I'd say that's more the exception than the rule. From the info I've seen, soap made from fats typically used in soap making will not ever have a pH below 9 and still be functional soap. Soap pH | Soapy Stuff
Many thanks for your reply.
 

Kalpanaganesan

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Hi. The pH of lye-based soap can vary from 8 to 12 and the high pH is the very thing that makes it soap. The "top grade soaps" your friend is referring to are not really soap, but synthetic detergents (or mixtures of synthetic detergents and real soap) that clean the skin using surfactants, which allows them to have a lower pH. Lye-based soap will not turn neutral or acidic no matter how long you cure it.
many thanks for your reply and sorry for replying late as i was occupied for the past two days
 

AliOop

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@Kasuda thank you for sharing that link. My concern is that these "well known doctors" have an ulterior motive to promote non-soap cleansers: money, i.e., the potential to sell you expensive products that generally aren't made at home.

People have been using true soap (lye solution + oils) for centuries without "increased risk of infection and allergic reaction." A quick search will bring up scholarly articles that confirm that the skin IS self-balancing (which your article admits but then brushes off) and does so within minutes after washing with soap.

In contrast, many people react very negatively to the so-called "gentle" cleansers. These cleansers may have the same pH as skin, but they are made with ingredients that can and do cause allergic reactions and contact dermatitis. Many of these ingredients are suspected or even proven to have very ill effects on human health, as well as the environment. Try looking some of them up on EWG.com to learn more.

In the end, it is up to each individual to decide which product is safest and most effective for himself or herself. For me, my handcrafted soap works very, very well for my skin - far better than any pH-balanced product that I have ever purchased - and that list is quite long.
 
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Kasuda

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@Kasuda thank you for sharing that link. My concern is that these "well known doctors" have an ulterior motive to promote non-soap cleansers: money, i.e., the potential to sell you expensive products that generally aren't made at home.

People have been using true soap (lye solution + oils) for centuries without "increased risk of infection and allergic reaction." A quick search will bring up scholarly articles that confirm that the skin IS self-balancing (which your article admits but then brushes off) and does so within minutes after washing with soap.

In contrast, many people react very negatively to the so-called "gentle" cleansers. These cleansers may have the same pH as skin, but they are made with ingredients that can and do cause allergic reactions and contact dermatitis. Many of these ingredients are suspected or even proven to have very ill effects on human health, as well as the environment. Try looking some of them up on EWG.com to learn more.

In the end, it is up to each individual to decide which product is safest and most effective for himself or herself. For me, my handcrafted soap works very, very well for my skin - far better than any pH-balanced product that I have ever purchased - and that list is quite long.
[/QUOTE
I ventured into soap making because I want to gift the soap bars I make to my guests who stay at my Boutique guest house. After much reading / learning from the youtube videos and blogs etc from the internet I started to make soaps . Made few batches ,was happy untill my Son warned me about gifting to guests .His concern was what if it causes reaction or allergies ?hearing that got concerned and worried ,I started to look for material regarding soap PH . But your post and second para calmed my worry .I quote -

"People have been using true soap (lye solution + oils) for centuries without "increased risk of infection and allergic reaction."
Thumps up !! Thank you AliOop
 

AliOop

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@Kasuda I love your plan to gift soaps to your guests! I’ve stayed at AirBnB spots that provided guest-sized soaps in the bathroom and kitchen. They were delightful, and part of the charm of the experience.

Also, I don’t know about the laws where you are located, but where I am, the hotel owner can be sued whether the soaps are homemade or mass-produced. So using one or the other neither increases nor decreases the legal risk. As long as you label yours with the ingredients, any guests with allergies can avoid using them. And of course, always have the proper insurance. 😉
 

Kasuda

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@Kasuda I love your plan to gift soaps to your guests! I’ve stayed at AirBnB spots that provided guest-sized soaps in the bathroom and kitchen. They were delightful, and part of the charm of the experience.

Also, I don’t know about the laws where you are located, but where I am, the hotel owner can be sued whether the soaps are homemade or mass-produced. So using one or the other neither increases nor decreases the legal risk. As long as you label yours with the ingredients, any guests with allergies can avoid using them. And of course, always have the proper insurance. 😉
Thank you for the suggestion . I will make sure the soap has all the ingredients listed .It makes a lot of sense and safe going..thank you once again ..
PS. Were the soaps at the Airbnb you stayed at handmade? Mine too is an Airbnb Boutique guesthome .
 

AliOop

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@Kasuda yes, I should have clarified... these were handmade soaps, with handcrafted labels. No other packaging or wrapping, since they expected us to use them, and they put out new ones for each new guest. They also encouraged us to take our half-used soaps home with us. It was such a nice touch, and we really enjoyed the soap. I am sure it will be a very nice unique touch to your guest home.
 

earlene

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The idea of controlling the pH of true soap has been addressed, so I will not comment on that. But I do have a comment on the idea of lawsuits over soap in the hospitality industry.

I do a lot of traveling and in my experience practically every sort of lodging I've stayed at, be it hotel, motel, resort, B&B, hostel and even some campgrounds provide soap in some form. Even homeless or women's shelters provide soap, although I only know this from what I have learned from others (and I guess, technically they are not a part of the hospitality industry). I think once or twice, there was no provided soap at lodgings I have stayed at, and that was at the most minimal and really really cheap motel or cabin-like lodging. But both here and abroad, it is customary that hotels, motels, B&B's, resorts, spa-resorts, even places that are the simplest cabins where you have to bring your own linens, often provide soap. Our nation may be sue-happy, but the only soap-related lawsuits I've been able to find against hospitality (industry) have been liquid-soap related. For example, a leaking LS dispenser that contributed to a slip & fall injury.

In all places I have stayed that provide bar soap, it's packaged (with or without an ingredients list). In Europe and Canada, I do recall ingredients lists, but that is not at all common in the US, although I do see it sometimes at higher-end hotels. I have stayed at lodgings with what looked like artisinal soap packaging with an ingredient list in the US, but that has been rare, perhaps due to my choices of lodging.

Some lodgings provide liquid soap in dispenser, but I see that less often now than in the 90's. Perhaps related to faulty dispensers in showers that could cause slips & falls?-Just a guess, on my part.
 

Kasuda

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@Kasuda yes, I should have clarified... these were handmade soaps, with handcrafted labels. No other packaging or wrapping, since they expected us to use them, and they put out new ones for each new guest. They also encouraged us to take our half-used soaps home with us. It was such a nice touch, and we really enjoyed the soap. I am sure it will be a very nice unique touch to your guest home.
Thank you AliOop for the details.. I too have designed labels myself for my soaps. The tip for encouraging guests to carry their used soaps along is a good idea .It saves from wastage as we always put a fresh soap bar for every guests.
 

Johnez

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Is pH testing our soaps (personal use, gifting) a feasible idea? Genuine question as I've heard that it's unnecessary...but I'd like to get my soaps to as close to 9 as I can and don't know how I can do this without a meter.
 

Quanta

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Thanks for your reply.I used to test the soap with ph strips.
pH strips do not work for soap. The dyes used to make them just aren't compatible with soap and will always read a lower pH than it actually is. This is why you sometimes see people claim they were able to make a pH neutral soap. Their paper strips really did read 7, when the actual pH was more like 9. Plus, when using strips a lot of people just get the bar wet and lay the strip on it, which will never be accurate anyway because you can't know how concentrated the solution is.

A meter really is the only way to accurately measure the pH of soap. All you do is make a solution of 10% soap and 90% distilled water, and once the soap is dissolved you measure the pH with the meter. Easy.
 

Professor Bernardo

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And here's an even better series of articles on why testing pH really doesn't matter for soap: Soap pH | Soapy Stuff
To be honest, you are correct... 🤔
I was just trying to inject some of my twisted humor into the conversation. I quit worrying about bar soap pH over 20 years ago when I read a couple of articles similar to the link you posted. When working with liquid soaps I pay more attention to it. I use a pH meter to ensure proper pH plus I keep a couple of small jars of base and acid calibration solutions to keep the meter properly adjusted.
 

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