Introduction to Liquid Soap Week, Day Three

Yesterday, I showed you a liquid soap that overflowed and was a very troublesome batch overall. Today, I’ll show you a batch of soap that I formulated with the idea of having a soap that had a good lather.

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Sweet Almond Oil
Castor Oil
Coconut Oil
Palm Kernel Oil
Wheat Germ Oil
Potassium Hydroxide
Water (I used Reverse Osmosis.)
Equipment
Scale
Soap Spoons
Gloves
Crock pot or Double Boiler system
Safety goggles, anti fog are helpful
Heavy duty gloves
Immersion blender
Thermometer
Work clothes with long sleeves and closed shoes
Vinegar
Microwave for heating oils (If you are using the crock pot)
Containers for the finished soap
Recipe in ounces:
4.5 ounces Sweet Almond Oil
7 ounces Castor Oil
8 ounces Coconut Oil
8 ounces Palm Kernel Oil
4.5 ounces Wheat Germ Oil

6.8 ounces Potassium Hydroxide
12 fluid ounces Water

This batch of soap was made just like the soap on Monday and I didn’t have any incidents, so I was very excited to have a normally behaving batch of soap. The oils were 160° F when the Potassium Hydroxide solution was added. The soap proceeded to mix well through the cottage cheese and then the sticky taffy stages. When the soap started to puff, I was a little nervous since I didn’t want a soap overflow again. The soap did not overflow and eventually settled to the dense paste again. I covered the crock pot with the lid and let the soap cook for 3 hours and stirred every 20 minutes.

When the soap reached this translucent stage, I boiled 2 ounces of water and added 1 oz of soap to the water. After stirring until the soap was completely dissolved, I allowed the soap sample to cool. This soap sample was completely clear. This meant the soap could be diluted with 64 ounces of water. I allowed the soap to cook for about an hour. This allowed the dilution to occur slowly without adding lots of bubbles.

I wasn’t completely sure how to answer some of the questions that have been asked, so I have written these Interview Questions and my responses. The questions are posed as from the Blog Editor. Enjoy!

Blog Editor: What did you like about this soap?
Andee: I enjoyed making this soap. It was easy and a boost in my confidence after my overflowing batch earlier this week.

BE: Why did you chose the oils that you did?
A: I chose the oils for various reasons that were noted in Catherine Failor’s book. I chose the Coconut and Palm Kernel Oils because these oils have an excellent cleaning properties that produced a quick lather with big bubbles. The Sweet Almond Oil was picked for the persistent lather and the mild cleansing action. The Castor Oil was selected for the long lasting lather that it could contribute. I also wanted to use the Wheat Germ Oil because it naturally contains Vitamin E and is great to use on the skin.

BE: Would you consider a stainless steel potato masher to keep the puffing down?
A: I don’t think so. The puffing reminds me of a jam or jelly that is coming to a full rolling boil. It needs to be vigorously stirred down.

BE: When it got to the edges did you have a scoop to make sure it didn’t overflow?
A: No. I just used the whisk attachment and stirred well to keep the puffing soap down.

BE: What are your questions to yourself about liquid soap making?
A: I have lots of questions and each one brings more questions after it.

  1. Why does Catherine Failor use a excess of KOH when a 2% superfat doesn’t require the neutralization that her recipes need? I would be intrigued to learn how she learned to make liquid soap and what the primary resources for information were during the writing of the book.
  2. How would this work on the glass cooktop? Would the cycling heat affect how the soap cooks?
  3. Is there a better option to make a liquid soap rather than small batches?
  4. Is there a way to mass produce liquid soap as a small home soapmaker? Even this batch that I made would only fill ten 16 fl oz bottles. When you are selling product, I would think you would want the ability to make more product that 10 bottles at a time. I figure you are looking at 4 to 5 hours from start to finish, so wouldn’t it be best to make the best of your time?

BE: If you had to show this to someone else what would you want them to see or question or challenge?
A: I want people to see that liquid soap is easy to make, if you are well prepared. I think people see a complicated process and they don’t see that other products they already make have a similar process, maybe not as time intensive, but just as complicated looking in the beginning. I would hope that people would challenge the recipes I formulated and try to make a recipe that works best for them.

The Day 3 Liquid Soap samples have been sent to the Shipping Department to send out in orders. I’m excited to say I have approximately 80 samples of this liquid soap! I would love to hear your comments about this liquid soap. I hope that anyone wanting a sample soap will request one with their order and if we have any samples we will send them to you.

Melted oils in the crock pot.

Mixing the oils and Potassium Hydroxide solution.

The cottage cheese stage has started.

The cottage cheese stage has progressed.

Puffing soap as it cooks.

Stirring the puffing soap.

Stirring the soap paste.

Cooking soap paste.

Cooling diluted soap.

Testing the soap.

Clear liquid soap after being completely cooled.

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4 Comments

  • Zany says:

    Why Catherine Failor uses excess lye:

    http://candleandsoap.about.com/od/liquidsoap/a/lyeexcessliquid.htm

    HTH

    Cee

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  • dianepsu01 says:

    Question on this soap. I made this recipe this weekend (olive oil instead of wheatgerm), so it never really poofed too much and it took about 15 hours to cook (i doubled the recipe). Finally it hit an tanslucent-ish ambe color and I figure it was done, tested it it and it did melt as it cooled, so I tried to dilute the entire batch. That took forever but finally got the paste disolved. My problem or question is once it sat in the pot overnight and the next day, i check in the evening to put it inot bottles and it had clouded over, it was a off white more solid color. I reheated it slighlty and it did turn back to the amber color. Is this safe to use or should I dump the batch? Thanks!

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    • Andee says:

      This soap is safe to use. There are several reasons that a liquid soap will be cloudy in appearance.
      1) Oils. If your recipe contains high percentages of oils like Palm Kernel Oil, the stearic and palmitic acids will form soap particles that can not be dissolved and cause cloudy soap. I can see where the problem is right here! I formulated this recipe with high percentages of these oils. I grabbed my soap sample of this batch and sure enough, this soap is cloudy. I’ve attached a picture for you see that I have a cloudy soap.

      I really should have watched the recipe and calculated it with a smaller percentage of these problem child oils. This is the recipe that I should have made.
      6.5 ounces Sweet Almond Oil
      7 ounces Castor Oil
      8 ounces Coconut Oil
      4 ounces Palm Kernel Oil
      6.5 ounces Wheat Germ Oil

      6.62 ounces Potassium Hydroxide (2% superfat)
      12 fluid ounces Water
      I could have also increased the amount of Potassium Hydroxide to help prevent a cloudy soap. Either way, this is probably the cause of the cloudy soap.

      2) Additives. Any additive will change your soap and some just happen to make your soap cloudy.

      3) Insufficient stirring of the soap paste. If the paste is not stirred enough, there will be parts of the soap that have been cooked sufficiently and parts that have not.

      4) Undercooking. I don’t think this is the problem, since you cooked it for 15 hours.

      There are many more reasons, but these four reasons are the “major” problems associated with clouding.

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  • dianepsu01 says:

    Thank you so much that makes perfect sense. I actually gave it a good stir with the blender last night and let it sit for another 24 hours. I notices there is this thick layer of stickey foam with some oils under neath on top. I skimmed this off and there is perfectly clear beautiful amber soap under neath so I think it’s good now. I want to put a preservative in and have all three formulas. How much should I put in for 64 oz of oils? Thanks again for your help

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