|Shannan has been kind enough to write a blog post for us. It is wonderful she is so willing to share her ideas, concerns, and difficulties so the rest of us have a better chance at making a successful batch of liquid soap. Thank you Shannan! I sincerely hope everyone enjoys Shannan’s post as much as I have and you find it helpful. Happy Liquid Soapmaking!
Here is my experience making liquid soap in the crock pot.
I choose the crock pot for the liquid soap for two reasons: 1) time; 2) I don’t have an older stove and I’ve heard that flat- top stoves don’t provide consistent heat – so I don’t want to take a chance.
Finding a recipe can be challenging and I just don’t know enough about the science behind liquid soap making to create my own. I decided to take the recipe from MMS (recipe section – liquid soaps – there’s only one) and try it in the crock pot rather than let it rest for a few days. Not having the shortening, I used Soybean Oil and double-checked the Lye. If I remember correctly, it was nearly identical.
After mixing the lye mixture in with the oils and putting the crock pot on high temperature, it didn’t take long to look like this.
It almost went over! (Yes, I’ve had that happen.)
I kept my eyes on it and stirred it every 30 minutes. After 3 hours, it looked like this.
Here is when I test it – I check at 3 hours with phenolphthalein. If it doesn’t turn pink, the lye has been neutralized. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but it is clear.
Next, I weighed about half of the neutralized soap and put it in a stainless steel pot on the stove with the same water weight. I brought it to a low simmer. The other half I let cool down, sealed it, and then put it in the refrigerator for future use.
The hard part for me was trying to determine the correct amount water to add to the paste. The goal is to get the soap paste to dissolve. I ended up going over double the weight of water and it was still a little thick. Then I added a mix of Lemon Sugar and Cotton Candy fragrances and stirred to incorporate the foam.
Here is what it looks like before I get ready to pour it into the soap containers (after I’ve spritzed it with rubbing alcohol to remove the remaining bubbles).
And the final finished product is.
It didn’t get all poured that night. The next day I added a little more fragrance and it looked very nice. It’s still pretty thick and I may need to add water to it periodically, but it still works and lathers well.
I’ll use the remainder of the batch with when we get low on liquid soap. I can use a different fragrance combination as well. This half batch has resulted in about 4 – 10 oz. containers.
Other than creating the recipe, the hardest part for me is getting the consistency correct. The last time I made it (from a different recipe), it was too thin. Still, I haven’t had to throw any away and I think it is much nicer than what you buy in the store. My hands aren’t all dried out. It will take a little more practice before the soap can be given to others.
The next time, I’ll try it the way the recipe is stated on the MMS site. It certainly seems a lot simpler.
Has anyone else made liquid soap and had success? If so, I’d really like to hear your words of wisdom.
This last weekend, I worked with the batch I had placed in the refrigerator. Here’s what it looked like.
This time I added 3 times the water. Here is what it looked like with the paste nearly dissolved.
Here it is with Purple Raspberry colorant and scented with Rooibos Tea and Red Currant. Sad to say, it’s still a little thicker than I would like.