Who invented Glycerin LS?

Discussion in 'Liquid Soap and Cream Soap Forum' started by Zany_in_CO, Aug 17, 2019.

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  1. Aug 17, 2019 #1

    Zany_in_CO

    Zany_in_CO

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    While discussing the subject of Stealing Someone's Recipes on this thread:
    https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/stealing-someones-recipes.76086/#post-783711
    It occurred to me that I would really like to know who first thought of subbing glycerin for water to make liquid soap???


    Carrie Peterson aka "3 bees and 1 flower", was the first to post it on the Liquid Soapmakers Yahoo Group, but I'm not sure that she is the one who first thought of it. Does anyone know who that might be?
     
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  2. Aug 17, 2019 #2

    DeeAnna

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    No, Carrie wasn't the first. She just popularized the method by her tutorial.

    The glycerin method has been around for a long time. A Soap Dish member named Silverdoctor explained that the method was used by pharmacists to quickly make a soap for pharmaceutical use. On the former About.com forums (now TheSpruce.com), a Dr. Robert Nelson (not sure if this is Silverdoctor or another person) said --

    "...In days gone by, pharmacists frequently made medicinal liquid soap, which was employed in many preparations, including a very widely used disinfectant called saponified cresol solution. I have taken the small recipe below from the USP XIII, and deleted the portions dealing with adding cresol. This recipe is great because it never fails (persistent phase separation, never achieving trace). IT USES NO WATER! Instead, the potassium hydroxide is dissolved in hot glycerin, which is the lye solution added to the oil. You never have phase separation, as glycerin, unlike water, is soluble in warm oil. Trace is achieved, literally, in a couple of minutes...."

    He refers to USP XIII which is the US Pharmacopeia dating to the mid 1900s. So the method is at least that old.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
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  3. Aug 17, 2019 #3

    IrishLass

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    Ditto what DeeAnna said. It's been around for a looooooong time. The first time I personally was ever made aware of the method was on the Dish forum in a thread by Tarafotty who heard about the method by a doctor who had written about the method on another forum ( I believe About.com), and who eventually joined the Dish as SilverDoctor. I'm pretty sure (but not 100% certain) he is the same Dr. Nelson DeeAnna mentioned. Anyway, Tarafotty tried it and wrote of her experiences making it over at the Dish and it wasn't long before everyone else on the Dish was trying it and writing about their experiences in the very long glycerin method thread over there, including 3bees~1flower who subsequently ended up making the short video posted above. Too bad the Dish is no longer around. The posts in that thread by SilverDoctor were a goldmine of wonderful information on the subject. He had been making the soap for his family for quite some time before ever joining the Dish.


    IrishLass :)
     
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  4. Aug 17, 2019 #4

    JamesSaldivar

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    Karl Wilhelm Scheele
    Glycerin is a humectant. It absorbs water from the air and thus attracts moisture to your skin. Glycerin is a natural by-product of the soap making process. It was first discovered in 1779 by the Swedish chemist, Karl Wilhelm Scheele, who named it “sweet principle of fat.”
     
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  5. Aug 17, 2019 #5

    gloopygloop

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    Yes ditto again, I first read this method on about.com a very long time ago and then found the dish thread of experiences. if I remember correctly the Doctor reply like an all OO LS which he said came out very thick and mild.
     
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  6. Aug 17, 2019 #6

    DeeAnna

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    Just to be clear, I don't recall that anyone, including Silverdoctor, claimed the "glycerin method" aka "pharmacist's method" makes a soap that's superior to soap made by other methods. It's just that the use of glycerin makes the soap faster to make.

    The medicinal soap formula in USP XIII is a linseed oil soap. Linseed, like other high oleic and high linoleic fats, would be slower to saponify than, say, coconut oil or even lard.

    I don't have all of Silverdoctor's posts archived, but I seem to recall him saying something to the effect that pharmacists wanted a quick method to get soap made fast with the implication being this would help them compound their soap-based medications quickly and thus get their customers served promptly. I don't think pharmacists typically use large quantities of soap -- just enough to serve their immediate needs.

    The problem with this method being out in the general soap making public is there are too many reports where this method has not gone well for some people who have tried this method without understanding what they're doing.

    When glycerin breaks down under high heat, it degrades into acreolein which is toxic. When you read about people who say their glycerin-KOH mixture has turned brown or has gotten an odd smell during heating, that's what is happening. I see this mentioned here on SMF a few times each year, and if that many people report it, you know there are more incidents that aren't reported.

    I'd rather have people dissolve the KOH in water equal to the KOH weight and then add sufficient glycerin to make up the total required amount of "water." That works, IMO, as well as the 100% glycerin method with fewer safety risks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
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  7. Aug 17, 2019 #7

    Zany_in_CO

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    This is wonderful information! Thank you all so very much!
    Thanks.gif
    That's what I love about it! :cool:
    Interesting comment. As it happens, I only use this method for LS with a high % of olive oil due to the long amount of time it takes to trace and then a long amount of time to cook the batch. With high % of lard, coconut, etc. I use water. :thumbs: (Mainly because I find that using glycerin with those fats gives me a slightly cloudy result and I'm OCD about clarity. :rolleyes:) I hadn't thought of trying it with my linseed/flaxseed oil shampoo... should be fun... there's rosin in the formula so I expect it will really heat up! Woo hoo... that's one to get my heart started in the morning! (Just kidding. I'll be careful, for sure.)
    TIP: To avoid yellow or brown glycerin, be sure to remove it from heat the minute you can see "heat waves" rising from the surface.
    CAUTION: This is an advanced technique best suited to soapers with some knowledge and experience making liquid soap.

    I'd also like to reinforce what DeeAnna said about the importance of taking good care when trying this method. For one thing, the glycerin gets extremely hot. Secondly, be sure to wear a mask to avoid toxic fumes if the glycerin turns yellow or brown. IF that does happen, take it off heat, cover it, and allow it to cool before trashing it. You don't want that stuff in your finished LS. ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
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  8. Aug 17, 2019 #8

    Mobjack Bay

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    So wish I’d started making soap before the Dish broke!
     
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  9. Aug 17, 2019 #9

    DeeAnna

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    To be honest, The Dish culture was not especially friendly. Sometimes new people here complain that they don't get enough hand holding and emotional support from us to suit their expectations. They obviously never visited The Dish. If you said the wrong thing at the wrong time when the wrong people were reading, you could expect to have your pedigree read and very bluntly analyzed. I can't say there was much (or any) moderation to keep things on an even keel and more newbie friendly.

    There were a few highly qualified people who really stood out and provided good information, so I visited occasionally to glean their nuggets of wisdom, but I mostly lurked and rarely posted.
     
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  10. Aug 18, 2019 #10

    shunt2011

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    I agree with DeeAnna. The Dish could be brutal. I leaned a lot reading there but rarely participated. Some were downright mean.
     
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  11. Aug 18, 2019 #11

    Mobjack Bay

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    I had the sense from other bits I’ve read on SMF that they were not a friendly crowd. Luckily, we have the friendly experts here :). Oh, and now I’ve added liquid soap to my “must make some day” list...
     
  12. Aug 18, 2019 #12

    Dahila

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    The Dish was brutal so is the Dish group on FB, I need to leave it, I was too scared to post on dish beside "welcome to the forum" and "happy Birthday " :)) While here I do not feel that anyone will attack me or make fun of me ;)
     
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  13. Aug 18, 2019 #13

    Zany_in_CO

    Zany_in_CO

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    Funny! Thanks for the giggle! :D
     
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