So after two failed attempts I have successfully made liquid soap! Horray! Customers have been asking for it and I can finally add it to the line! Bottles are on their way - no going back now! I used a recipe from The Liquid Soap Making ebook that I bought by Anne-Marie Faiola of Brambleberry for just $7.95!
Me making the soap. I had to use a plug for the crock pot and to get better leverage I was standing on a stool. It looks a little silly - my room mate came out into the kitchen and snapped this shot after saying something like "you never know what you are going to see when you walk out into the kitchen".
To make liquid soap you use potassium hydroxide which allows to soap to stay in a semi liquid state, rather than sodium hydroxide which makes hard bar soap. It is a hot process method so you have to cook the soap until it is completely saponified, but the bonus is you don't have to cure it for 4-6 weeks - it is ready to use after it is fully cooked! The cooking process makes a paste that is then diluted with distilled water then thickened. I made a Castor/Olive oil soap and with the soft oils it took quite a lot of time - 9 hours to cook the paste plus 1 hour to trace the soap!
Cooked Soap Paste
Here are the dilution tests. As you can see, the last test is clear (you can see by counter top through the bottom)
The next step it to test fragrance. Not all Fragrance oils and essential oils mix well into liquid soap so testing before scenting a whole batch is absolutely key! I tested 24 in all! These are tests of 2 oz of thickened soap with 1.5 ml of fragrance or EO.
The big winners - these stayed clear and did not break down or separate the soap. The Almond stayed clear but made the soap a darker shade:
• Cybilla Almond FO from Bramble Berry
• Sweetgrass FO from Bramble Berry
• Peppermint Essential Oil
Runners up - These are almost clear - so close - more translucent
• Bamboo Sugarcane type FO by Crafters Choice
• Gardenia FO by Bramble Berry
• Pineapple Cilantro FO by Bramble Berry
Other tests either Milky, broke down the soap so it was very liquid or separated:
Kumquat - separated soap
Brown Sugar & Fig - separated soap
Pumpkin Pie FO - turned soap dark/milky
Red Tea Lychee FO - soap is clear with some separation but soap broke down to very liquid
Tahitian Vanilla FO - turned soap dark/milky/broke soap down to very liquid
Mediterranean Fig type FO - milky
Passionfruit Pineapple FO - milky
Sun Ripened Raspberry FO - milky
Santa's Spruce FO - milky
Wassail FO - turned soap dark/milky
Peach FO - milky/some separation
Clean type FO - milky
Fresh Bamboo FO - milky
Wasabi FO - milky
Cranberry Fig FO - milky
French Lavender EO - milky
Lemongrass EO - milky
Tea Tree EO - milky
Rosemary EO - milky
It is possible that some of these will perform better with less fragrance - again this is 1.5 ml of fragrance in 2 oz of soap. Really devote a whole batch to testing. This batch made over a gallon of soap and all of it will be used to test fragrances.
If anyone tests other fragrances and would like to share - let me know so I can grow the list!
Off to do more testing! Happy Soaping!