What to expect from various oils in ls


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Mar 9, 2017
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SE Denver CO
ZANY’S NOTES ON WHAT TO EXPECT FROM VARIOUS OILS IN LS - From a variety of sources, including Catherine Failor

QUOTE: It isn't a problem if your oils cause clouding. Some people LIKE the "creamier" look of LS. The problem is that if you are not experienced, you won't know if the clouding is from the formula or from it not saponifying properly. HTH Sharon

OILS FOR CLEAR LS: Almond, Apricot Kernel, Canola, Castor, Coconut, Flax seed (linseed), Olive, Palm Kernel, Rosin, Soybean, Sunflower. (This list is by no means complete, only what I have gleaned so far.)

COCONUT - Use more than you do in hard bar formulas, 30% - 80%. Coconut oil is the mainstay of liquid soap for clarity, great lather, excellent cleansing, and is not drying when combined with at least 20% liquid oil. For a high foaming mild LS, use 50/50 Coconut/liquid oil(s) of choice. 100% coconut oil LS works well in hard or salt water but is not recommended for dry skin. NOTE: Borax will NOT thicken formulas that have more than 20% coconut oil.

Use LIQUID OILS at higher percents for mildness and clarity.

Keep HYDROGENATED OILS on the low side -- instead of solid soy use liquid.

Use CASTOR OIL for conditioning and super lather.

AVOCADO OIL contains “unsaponifiables” but creates a clear LS with dense lather once the particles settle out.

BUTTERS contain “unsaponifiables” and should be kept below 2%. Instead of shea butter, try shea oil.

UNSAPONIFIABLES are a large group of compounds called plant steroids or sterolins. They soften the skin, have superior moisturizing effect on the upper layer of the skin and reduce scars. The sterolins in avocado oil have been found to diminish age spots. Oils with the highest unsaponifiables are shea butter, avocado oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and olive oil.

WAXES, including JOJOBA, should be kept at less than 2% to ensure transparency. The fatty alcohols in waxes do not dissolve and form a waxy, milky layer that floats at the top of the soap mix.

LANOLIN - VERY low side of your formulations.

TALLOW/LARD/PALM make good cleansing, very mild soap with lasting thick bubbles, but the palmitic and stearic acids they contain produce opaque soap. Lard adds pearlescence to liquid soap. TIP: Make up a small batch of 100% tallow and add a small % to Liquid Soap for body and to help prevent thinning of gels during the summer months.

ROSIN at 5%-15% makes incredibly clear amber brown LS with awesome lather. Adds transparency and emollience and acts as a preservative as well. Try with 5% coconut oil and 80% liquid oil(s) of choice for high foaming shampoo. CAUTION: Can be sensitizing.


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Jan 28, 2017
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This is just great, exactly what I've been looking for, than you so much for sharing your experiences! There will be made a lot of liquid soap tomorrow :mrgreen:
May 22, 2020
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Thanks for the valuable information I also have attached a table from the soap makers companion by Cavitch which outlines different oils with soap properties, it tailored for bar soaps but it should also give an indication for LS, hope you find it helpful!