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Formulating liquid soap recipes and other LS ?s


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Can anyone give me some tips on what to look for when formulating your own liquid soap recipe? I know with CP we are looking for certain qualities like hardness, cleansing, conditioning ....

Can I just use my normal CP recipe but with KOH instead of NAOH?

Getting ready to take the plunge, fun to be a newbie at something again.

And what is the general scenting rule for FOs and EOs in liquid soap?

Do most of you make a master batch and draw from it as needed? Does LS need a preservative since there is water involved?

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Formulation planning can be a little different-a lot of folks go for a clear finished product, so this limits your oil choices since oils high in unsaponfiables, palm, or steric acid will leave a cloudy finish.

When figuring your KOH you must use more than what you would figure with the NAOH. This is because most to the NAOH we use in soapmaking is running 99% pure. Whereas the KOH is about 90%, it holds almost 10% water in it's crystals.

So......I generally will use a -10% KOH sometimes up to -12 depending on what I am trying to achieve. This is why one must neutralize afterwards.

Do believe Catherine Failor's book is still considered THE book on liquid soap and will be very helpful to get you started. Recently was shown the crockpot method for LS & find it much more doable for me. Can wander off & do other things -can turn it off & on as needed & won't mess up the batch.

I have a tendency to use much less fragrance in the LS- have never added any preservative and have not had any LS mold or go rancid ......and I have some statshed from my first batch in 2002. Generally keep my dilution somewhere between 1.5 to 2 parts water to 1 part paste

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Great advice there.

To elaborate on clarity, CO is often a significant proportion of the recipe if you don't wan't a cloudy result. The most soluble soap (hence the clearest) is made from the smaller saturated fatty acids like lauric and myristic -- the ones that contribute the cleansing and bubbly qualities to bar soap. Solubility is what gives them those qualities whether you use NaOH or KOH. For the rest I would lean towards as much oleic as possible, but people use linoleic oils like sunflower also.

But not everyone feels the need to make transparent LS, so you have other recipe options if you like. Even the possibility of superfatting.

Personally I go with using the extra KOH. Your choice of nuetralizing agent will then result in an additional ingredient that can change (sometimes improve) the soap qualities. For instance, if you use citric acid to neutralize the extra caustic, the result will be postassium citrate.

Edited by topofmurrayhill
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Thanks you guys. Your responses helped a lot. Lots of good info, but now I have more questions.

Are there other ways to make LS than the crockpot method?

The Summerbeemeadow LS calculator is supposed to have the extra KOH built in have you guys tried it?

If you let it cure for 3-4 wks will there still be a need to nuetralize it? Or is nuetralizing mostly for using it right away?

What is the best, most accurate, and most economical, tool for reading ph levels?

If CO is one of the best oils to use for LS then don't we have to worry about high quantities of it being drying like with CP?

When formulating a recipe, would you use any guidlines like 50% CO, and 50% OO? Now I'm not sure if I want to worry about super transparent or not. Maybe I would want to superfat it for a non-transparent, but very gentle soap. I will be using tinted bottles anyway. I'm mostly going to scent with EOs.

What's the smallest size batch you can work with? Most of the recipes I see are very large. I like to work with small recipes first to experiement with what I want it be like.

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Hi Jeana, I just wanted to let you know that I am reading book referred to before "Making Natural Liquid Soaps" by Catherine Failor. I think it would be worth it for you to invest in a copy. There is a lot of important information. I got mine for a great price on ebay ($4.95 retails for $14.95).

Although I am reading the book I don't feel that I am able to answer your questions because I have not yet made Liquid soap. Sorry:sad2:

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Liquid soapmaking is a hot process method - meaning you will apply heat (cook) to make saponifation happen; instead of mixing your oils & NAOH, pouring into a mold & wait for the chemical reaction to create soap.

Catherine Failor book sets you up cooking with a double boiler on the stovetop. It will take a few hours for the paste to cook before it is done, so I like the convience of the crockpot where I can walk away.

Hadn't tried-or known about that calculator, sounds pretty cool if it calculates that for you.

Since I do LS at -10....that is like doing NAOH at 0%, so needs to be neutalized no matter how long it sets. But if you were supperfatting, calculating at -5 or 6, let's say,you should be able to let 'er hop.

Almond, Castor, Olive, HO Sunflower are the ones I mainly use to mix with Coconut oil to get a clear soap, and to gentle down the coconut.

You could do a 50-50 with the coconut & olive & should be just fine. Gotta start with some sort of benchmark recipe -if you'll like me I'll tweak the next time around just because--lol

Base my formulas around a 40-50oz of weight for the oils, and that is pushing the capacity of my crockpot with room to stir. Would consider 20oz of oil small-lol. Guess it is what you are going to be comfortable working with & what your scale will let you do. HTH

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I'm going to stick with the crock pot method.

I'll get catherine failors book in the future.

I've gone through this tutorial a few times and other ones too. http://craftserver.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69345&highlight=liquid+soap+recipes

I've come up with a recipe of coconut, olive, soybean, and castor. I know it may not be perfectly transparent but that's ok.

The only thing I'm not really getting at this point is the water. (when making my own recipe) I know there is a water amount that shows up in the soaping calculator which is mixed with the KOH. But not sure how to come up with the dilution amount after it is cooked. How is that determined? Would a starting point be to double the total recipe amount?

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Well, like most things in this craft, dilution is going to be tweaked by your personal preference. Generally a 2 part water to 1 part paste is the rule of thumb. Mine is usually kept at a 1.5 part water to 1 part paste & generally don't add much more. If I still had kids in the house I would make their own bottle of stuff & dilute it much more than the 2 to 1, since they tend to think more is better:)

Some of the foaming bottles work better with a much higher dilution than the 2 to 1. I pretty much stick to the flip top dispensing caps & keep my shampoo & bath gel a bit more concentrate where I just squeeze out about a nickels size of product at a time.

I'd say start with a lighter dilution 'cause you can always add more water. Once it's added, it is there to deal with.

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Do you weigh the paste after it is cooked or do you use the original amount of all the ingredients you added in there when figuring your dilution water amount?

I was thinking of using pump bottles but they are about .50 more than a flip top bottle. They look really nice though.

Thank you for being so helpful on this G.

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Took a peek at the LS tutorial, good pics and looks like a lot of questions popped up, so should have you covered pretty well:)

I weight the paste after it is all said & done...but since the water is subjective I just measure that out & call it close enough. (Gallon of water weights about 8.35lbs ...or the old math saying-a pint is a pound the world over) But if you'd rather weigh out both-won't hurt a thing.

Have fun,--once you do it, you'll wonder what took you so long to try it:cheesy2:

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