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Jcandleattic

January 2017 SOTM

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Glycerin Method Liquid Soap

Skill Level : Intermediate

Supplies Needed:

Goggles

Gloves

Stick Blender (preferably with a SS bell)

Crock Pot

Deep Sauce Pot (Make sure it is stainless steel and not aluminum!! Very important – aluminum will react poorly with the KOH and give off a noxious gas and is extremely harmful to breathe in, and will ruin your pot! Gives a similar reaction as NaOH)

Spoon

Mini Stove (optional - but you want your glycerin hot when adding your KOH or it will take hours to dissolve your lye where as if it is hot it will only take a few minutes) 

 

 

Recipe:  1lb recipe (You can make it bigger if you choose, by using the percentages)

 

 

Sunflower Oil –                               11.20 oz (70%)

Coconut Oil -                                   4.00 oz (25%)

Castor -                                             .80 oz (5%)

 

 

Glycerin -                                          10.53 oz

KOH – (Potassium Hydroxide)          3.51 oz  (Remember this is KOH not NaOH and is specifically for liquid soaps (or cream soap) make sure you are using the correct lye)

 

Phenolphthalein   (I got mine at Amazon for $9 ish for 2oz bottle – it is spendy, but you only use a few drops at a time - you can also get it from chemical supply shops, and pool/spa supply stores) (ALWAYS use gloves when handling this product - be very careful not get on your skin!) 

 

Liquid Germall Plus preservative at 1% of total paste weight for dilution purposes only 

 

Instructions:

*note*

Always run your recipe through a lye calculator. Summer Bee Meadows has a good one for liquid soap.  I use Glycerin as 100% of my liquid because for me it is a much quicker method, and makes great liquid hand soap. I do not make liquid shampoo, and have no idea how the glycerin would react on hair, seems it would make it gooey feeling.

 

 

Weigh out oils and put in crock pot on low and melt the coconut oil. Leave on low until lye solution is ready

 

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Weigh out your Glycerin in a stainless steel sauce pan, and put on medium heat.

 

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Weigh out your KOH

When your Glycerin is very hot and little bubbles coming up (almost boiling, but not quite) add your KOH. No need to go slow, but do be cautious. This mixture will pop and hiss quite a bit. Don’t worry, that is typical of KOH.

 

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If your mixture almost boils and bubbles up, lift off heat for a few seconds and it will go back down.

Stir quite often. If there are stubborn flakes or beads of KOH that will not dissolve, smash against side of pan with the back of the spoon.

Once all the KOH is dissolved, take off heat and pour into your waiting warm oils. Temps do not matter much but you want your oils at least warm, and the crock pot kept on warm during this step.

 

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Stick Blend until you start to see bubbles ‘flying’ around. (hopefully my pic captured it, but you will know when that happens. Bubbles literally fly up into  your face) I recommend using a SS bell because KOH can get VERY HOT and I have actually had my KOH solution melt/warp a plastic bell stick blender before. 

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The stages are all subtle and I couldn’t capture them all.

 

Once it is at that stage it should be thick but still liquid. Leave crock pot on low and cover for about an hour.

 

 

After that time, it is time to test. Pull out a tiny blob and put on a paper towel. Make sure you are wearing your gloves during this step. It is highly recommended not to get the phenolphthalein on your skin!

Drip a few drops your Phenolphthalein on the paste. If it turns pink, the KOH is still active and needs to cook longer. DO NOT PUT TESTED SOAP BACK INTO YOUR SOAP POT whether it tests clear or not - it will ruin your batch and you will have to throw the whole thing away. 

If your soap tested pink, keep the crock pot on low and test another blob on a new piece of paper towel again in about 30 minutes.

After your test comes out clear and you are done testing, throw the paper towel in the trash receptacle where no one will have skin contact with it. I always wrap the towel up in my gloves, and then put it into a ziplock and throw away. 

 

 

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If it tests clear, you are ready for the next step.

Mine tested clear.

 

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Now turn off the crock pot and wait.

At this time my soap is still fairly liquid. It will take a while of cooling down before it becomes paste. I usually keep it in the turned off covered crock pot overnight for this stage, but it should be ready within a few hours. 

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Once it is a thick paste and cool you can dilute it.

I was in a hurry and did things a lot warmer than I normally do to get it done, and it turned this caramel color. It may lighten up still, as it is still very warm. Typically it is a very light amber paste. This can affect your coloring if you decide to color your end product, so take that into consideration. 

 

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You can dilute either all, some, or none. I usually wait at least a week before dilution. You can store the paste in an airtight tub in the refrigerator if you want. I’ve had paste keep for up to 9 months before with no problems.

 

 

 

Dilution is tricky and a personal preference. I like my liquid soap in-between thick and thin. (if that makes sense) and I normally don't scent or color my end product. These 2 factors will affect the viscosity of the soap when complete. (*See below) 

 

 

The best way to find out how much dilution you like, is to dilute 1 oz at a time, and start with 1:1 ratio, paste to liquid.

Adding more liquid if needed or less if needed.

Different oils need different dilution ratios.

 

 

I have also found that if you add up to 2% sodium lactate to your dilution solution (usually just water for me)  and warm it up, it dilutes much faster, and the SL will help thicken (or keep it thick) for you.

 

There is a debate of adding a preservative or not. I always do, as the 1 time I didn’t within 6 months, I got mold in my LS. I don’t use while making the paste but only in the dilution solution.

I add 1%  Germal Plus per lb of paste to be diluted.

 

*If you decide to scent your soap, do so after dilution however be aware of these few tips I have read about - 

Some fragrances and essential oils such as lavender can thicken your soap back up to almost a gel like consistency where as ones that are more citrus in nature can thin it out to almost water consistency. This is where you will really have to test and experiment with your dilution rates concerning the different scents you want to use. Just as in candles and bar soaps, there is no shortcuts, you will just have to test each scent and take meticulous notes to find the right fit for your application. 

 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and I apologize for it being so late. 

If you have any questions, please let me know. 

 

POST NOTE: 

If you are cooking cooking cooking for several hours and test several times, and it is STILL coming out pink, you can turn it off, let it sit overnight to12 hours, to become paste, then test again. At that time it should test clear. 

I apologize. I thought these were in the original instructions, but they are not. 

 

Edited by Jcandleattic
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What a great tutorial Jcandleattic! This is something I have looked at, but never bit the bullet and done it yet...this just may be the push I need. Thanks so much for sharing!  The folks on this site are amazing! :)

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Thanks for taking the time to do this ! When you say coconut oil, do you mean fractionated or regular CO ? Interesting how different Eo's or Fo's can effect

the consistency, I would have never thought that.  I agree with Puma 100% - Amazing group on this forum :) Thanks for sharing - very informative ! 

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Thank you, thank you, thank you! for this lovely liquid soap tutorial. This is exactly what I was looking for and wanted to try. I have been wanting to try liquid soap forever!

 

Now where did I see that liquid Germall Plus? I know one of my suppliers carries it....

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Any anhydrous preservative should work. But I get mine at MMS or -? shoot, can't remember the last place I got it. I think WSP carries it, but I don't shop there, so not sure... 

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On 1/8/2017 at 5:41 PM, puma52 said:

What a great tutorial Jcandleattic! This is something I have looked at, but never bit the bullet and done it yet...this just may be the push I need. Thanks so much for sharing!  The folks on this site are amazing! :)

This glycerin method is the only one I will make for liquid soap. I tried the traditional water method several times and after cooking for about 8 hours it still wouldn't get to the stage it needed to get too, and then it never set up to a thick paste, and when diluting I always had a 'sludge' at the bottom. Oh every batch there was something. I tried about 12 times before finally admitting defeat and not doing it again.

So I was hesitant to try this method but so glad I did!! Literally to the testing/resting stage in about 15-20 minutes (vs many many hours) and it dilutes so much better with no nasty "sludge" crap to deal with. 

I applaud those who can make great liquid soap no matter the process because the traditional way is just not something I mastered. 

Give it a try! It's fun when it works! LOL 

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On 1/9/2017 at 11:27 AM, Candybee said:

Thank you, thank you, thank you! for this lovely liquid soap tutorial. This is exactly what I was looking for and wanted to try. I have been wanting to try liquid soap forever!

 

Now where did I see that liquid Germall Plus? I know one of my suppliers carries it....

Meant to say earlier too, that I know a lot of people use Optipthen, Phenonip, and Germaben. (I've never used any of them, and I know different pereservatives have different usages, and I've not researched any of them)

I have just always used the Germall Plus, it's what I'm familiar with, it's what I have on hand and it works, so that's what I use.  

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I've been reading through Catherine Failor's Liquid Soaps book trying to prepare myself for starting to make some. I may try your glycerin method first before I tackle the one's in her book. Her book is actually a bit outdated in some aspects but otherwise has some good information. But I wanted to read through it first so I have a better general understanding of the process first and knowledge of what goes into making a good liquid soap.

 

Will be trying firsthand sometime this year... when I get up the nerve. LOL! I say that because I don't want to end up with a whole batch of botched soap. I really hate that!

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I'm glad you are getting good info out of her book. I really didn't like her book at all. The recipe's just never seemed decent to me and her methods were confusing and IMO unless you already had a good understanding of liquid soap making they are very hard to follow. 

I was so happy when Jackie published her book, so much easier to follow and understand for beginners. 

 

If you make some liquid soap, let us know about the process, and post pics. 

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I will. I had decided some time ago I wanted to learn to make it. I want to be able to make shampoo for both people and dogs. I also would like to make a hand soap, basic soap for showering or bath, and my own liquid laundry soap.

 

I will keep on reading Failor's book despite its shortcomings as its the only one I have right now. Hopefully I will be able to get a better book in the near future.

 

Which book shows you the glycerin method? Its definitely not in the Failor book.

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6 minutes ago, Candybee said:

I will. I had decided some time ago I wanted to learn to make it. I want to be able to make shampoo for both people and dogs. I also would like to make a hand soap, basic soap for showering or bath, and my own liquid laundry soap.

 

I will keep on reading Failor's book despite its shortcomings as its the only one I have right now. Hopefully I will be able to get a better book in the near future.

 

Which book shows you the glycerin method? Its definitely not in the Failor book.

I learned that method by watching YouTube videos. Jackie Thompson's book touches on it, but I like the visualization of the YT vids. 

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15 minutes ago, Candybee said:

Does the glycerin method cloud the finished soap?

Not in my experience. Usually it's the FO, or oils used that clouds it up, from what I've read. I normally don't scent my liquid soap, and I've always had clear soap, so I must use oils that keep the soap clear. 

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9 minutes ago, Candybee said:

Have you got any pictures of your finished liquid soap you can post? Would love to see it!

I still haven't bottled it. It's in the crock pot still. If/when I get the ambition to make it back down to my lab, I'll take a pic

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What % superfat do you use? From what I have been reading you would want to set the superfat at 0? or am I wrong. Also, I keep trying to find the answer to how much FO I should use? I want to scent my soap with Peaks Fruit Slices. Hoping it won't cloud the soap but will have to find out in any event if it does as its one of the FOs I would want to use in my soap.

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Nevermind, I used the Summer Bee Meadow calculator for liquid soaps and just left the superfat box empty. It gave me the same lye & water amounts as your recipe.

 

I think if I use soapcalc I have to plug in the dilution rate to get the right water amount-- or change the water % to include the dilution rate. I think I will stick with Summerbee's calc until I can figure out how to use soapcalc for liquid soapmaking.

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I typically set it at 3% and use the 90% purity function. I believe this is the default at the SummerBee Meadow website, and that's the one calc I use for my liquid soaps. Use 50% less fragrance than you would use in bar soaps. So I use .45oz per lb of paste. 

 

I want pics. I know I haven't shown pics of mine, but for the life of me I cannot find my clear bottles to bottle it. I think they are buried in the garage somewhere... 

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Thanks. That helps.

 

I'm heating my oils now. Will take pics of the finished soap. Will try to take pics as I go along if that is not too complicated for my first try. LOL

 

I know I should do a first test batch without additives like FO-- but I want to use this and want a nice fragrance I like so I am going to do my 1st test batch with fruit slices.

 

I changed my recipe slightly as I want to use both OO and Sunflower and higher amounts of both castor and coconut oils. BTW, I am using regular sunflower, not high oleic. I like regular because it is high in linoleic fatty acids which gives my skin such nice softness.

 

Here is my revised recipe:

 

Olive Oil 50%

Coconut Oil 30%

Sunflower Oil 10%

Castor Oil 10%

 

Summerbee gave me 3.55oz KOH and a minumum of 10.55oz water. I will use liquid glycerin in place of water.

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Okay I think I have done something wrong. The glycerin heating produced enough smoke to set off my alarm. I couldn't see if it was boiling so I just poured in the KOH and it started to stir but it was so hot the stuff bubbled up almost to the brim off the pot. I took it off the heat. I put used the high heat mark on my stove.... I assume I need to heat my glycerin slower?

 

Anyway, the KOH melted almost instantly with only 3-4 pieces I had to mash up to melt. I SB my soap batter but it didn't come out creamy white like yours. Mine is kind of amber colored and it won't get thick. Just how long am I supposed to SB?

 

Here is a pic. Hope it helps show if there are problems. Right now I just keep checking on it to make sure the oils stay blended so if they seperate I keep SB'ing them back into the batter.

 

liquid soap.jpg

 

 

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