Introduction to Liquid Soap Week, Day Two 2

On Monday, I made a liquid soap the right way and since I really messed up on this batch, I’ll show you what I did and how you can prevent it. This soap was the Olive & Coconut Oil Soap that I promised I would make and it turned out fine, there were just some problems during the processing!

If you want instructions for a good batch of liquid soap, I would recommend reading Monday’s blog post.

Uh-oh! The soap is overflowing!

Collect needed items:

Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Potassium Hydroxide
Water (I used Reverse Osmosis.)
Soap Spoons
Crock pot or Double Boiler system
Safety goggles, anti fog are helpful
Heavy duty gloves
Immersion blender
Work clothes with long sleeves and closed shoes
Microwave for heating oils (If you are using the crock pot)
Containers for the finished soap
Recipe in ounces:
10 oz weight Coconut Oil
38 oz weight Olive Oil

9.7 ounces Potassium Hydroxide
18 fluid ounces Water

I have given you the recipe as I made it, but I really should have adjusted the recipe to only have 2 pounds of oils instead of the 3 pound batch that I made. The overflow of soap happened because I tried to fit a 3 pound batch of soap into the crock pot. Since a liquid soap can easily puff and double or even triple the size quickly, it is smart to not fill your pot too much. I hope that my mistake has helped you prevent one of these mistakes yourself!

I accidentally overheated the oils and they reached 190° F. Whoops! I thought I would be ok to allow the oils to cool down and when the oils reached 175° F, my patience has reached the end of its normally long leash. I mixed my Potassium Hydroxide solution and added it the the oils. The oils began foaming madly after the addition of 1 ounce of Potassium Hydroxide solution. Liquid Soap = 1 versus Andee = 0. I decided to slowly add the Potassium Hydroxide solution and mix well. I really should have waited for the oils to cool down instead. After the Potassium Hydroxide solution and oils were in the same pot, I stirred until the soap reached the soggy mashed potatoes stage when I needed the whisk instead of the blender. I switched the mixing attachments and … trouble came around for round two!

Right after I had switched the mixing attachments, the soap started to puff and I began stirring but there was no apparent benefit in sight for me as the soap kept rising! In fact, the soap didn’t stop rising until the pot had overflowed and I had a soap mess on the counter. Liquid Soap = 2 versus Andee = 0. After the soap had overflowed, it stopped puffing and suddenly was flat again! GRRR! I grabbed a rubber scraper and scraped the soap off the side of the pot and off the counter so I could toss it right back into the pot. After all, the counters were clean before the mess.

Once the pot was clean (at least clean enough to continue cooking), I placed the lid on the crock pot and set a timer for 20 minutes. I remained in the blog kitchen working on other projects so I could keep an eye out for any problems with the soap, but I hoped I wouldn’t have another problem!

After 20 minutes, I took the lid off to stir the soap. The soap now had an off-white appearance instead of the translucent appearance it had taken during the overflow. I continued to stir the soap every 20 minutes until 3 hours had passed. I am glad to report that there were not anymore issues while the soap was cooking. When the soap reached the 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. The sample was completely clear and I was happy that the soap had not failed. Liquid Soap = 2 versus Andee = 1.

I started diluting my soap into a liquid soap. I added 96 ounces of water to the crock pot and allowed the soap to cook for about an hour. This allowed the dilution occur slowly without adding lots of bubbles. After the soap was completely diluted, I removed the pot to pour the soap into a bucket for sample making. Unfortunately, my hands were very slippery with all the soap on them and the pot slipped as I was pouring the soap into the bucket. Splash! I was now covered with soap from shoulder to mid-thigh. Liquid Soap = 3 versus Andee = 1. I actually didn’t spill very much soap on me, but it still was hot and I had to go grab the extra pair of clothes that I keep at work for this reason. I can guarantee that my clothes didn’t need anymore soap after that spill!

I headed off to the kitchen and finished pouring the soap into the bucket and then closed the bucket. Now that the pot had been emptied, I loaded the dishwasher with the dirty dishes and started it. Can you see the problem here? Yes, I forgot to rinse the soap covered dishes. I grabbed the cleaning rags and began cleaning the kitchen. I cleaned the soap off the counters, floor and walls. I finished wiping down the outside of the crock pot and turned around to see a pile of bubbles flowing out of the bottom of the dishwasher! Liquid Soap = 4 versus Andee = 1. Oh boy, here we go again! I opened the dishwasher and sprinkled baking soda over all the dishes and door of the dishwasher to help break down the bubbles. After all the bubbles had settled down, I restarted the dishwasher and began to mop the floor around the dishwasher.

Now, my blog kitchen is clean and the Olive Oil & Coconut Liquid soap is done. I hope this experience of mine will help you not make these mistakes!

While this soap was cooking, there was an odor of cooking Olive Oil that had me craving bruschetta, which is an Italian open sandwich of toasted bread topped with olive oil and tomatoes and olives. After the soap has been completely cooked and diluted, the olive odor disappears and the soap now smells like … soap!

The Olive Oil & Coconut Oil 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.

Stirring the oils and Potassium Hydroxide solution together.

Still stirring the oils and Potassium Hydroxide solution together.

The cottage cheese stage is progressing.

The soap is ready to change to the taffy stage.

The soap is looking like mushy potatoes!

The soap is starting to puff.

The soap has continued to puff in the pot.

Uh-oh! The soap is overflowing!

The mess I have to clean up now.

Cooling diluted soap.

The soap as the puffing stops and the mess has been made.

Testing the soap.

Clear liquid soap after being completely cooled.

Uh-oh! The soap is overflowing!

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About Andee

Director of Happiness. I'm a thirty-something soap snob. I've grown up with handmade soaps, and I love them! I really like making lotions, soaps, and perfumes. I adore mixing scents to come up with something new. My favorite scent is either Wicked or Cotton Candy. I tend to hoard fragrances, I even have an Earl Grey Tea from the MMS catalog. I won't tell you how old it is, but it sure is good!

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2 thoughts on “Introduction to Liquid Soap Week, Day Two

  • Maria

    What temperature is best for the oils to reach before adding the lye? What dilution ratio do you use (soap gel to distilled water)? And lastly do you cure your liquid soap or do you use immediately since it is already diluted?

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    • Andee Post author

      I find that my oils shouldn’t exceed 160°F and my typical range is between 140-160 just because heat is needed to jumpstart the saponification process. I generally dilute my soap as 1 part soap to 2 parts water by weight. Liquid soap doesn’t need “curing”, but letting it sit and sequester will let any solid oils settle to the bottom for a clearer liquid soap. I hope this helps!

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