*5/8/2013 – I am absolutely flattered and excited by the attention this post has gotten but it is well over two years old now and I am still getting comments and questions, daily sometimes! As much as I would love to answer them all, the bulk have been answered in the comments section below and beyond that I simply cant answer them any further. Between school, a family, kids, new blog posts, and an editor position on a popular local blog, I no longer have the time- thanks for understanding guys*
I love cold process soap, don’t get me wrong… but there is something really nice about squeezing a little liquid soap on a bath pouf and lathering up! Liquid soap isn’t hard to master once you learn the basics, and once you have the basics down you can use soap calculators to design your own perfect recipe! I decided to share a simple recipe that is not only simple to make but cost affective, as all the oils I used can be purchased in small amounts from your local grocer.
PS… if you are unsure of yourself, try a half batch! It will cook a bit quicker, and its less stressful for a first try.
My body soap recipe contains more oils than this, such as castor and some shea, but this is a perfectly acceptable soap for use on the body. This makes a large batch of liquid soap, over 1 gallon. To make an all purpose cleaning or laundry soap, use all coconut! (remember to run through soap calc before making a batch where you substitute any oils because the sap value will change.)
Heat safe container for lye/water mixture
Heat safe spoons for mixing/stirring
Accurate scale (this is a MUST.)
Crock pot (find a used one at the second hand store!)
Large bucket or non corrosive (stainless steel) pot for dissolving soap in after cook
(30%) 14.1 oz coconut oil
(30%) 14.1 oz soybean oil (liquid, not shortening)
(40%) 18.8 oz olive oil
32.9 oz distilled water
9.39 oz KOH (Potassium Hydroxide)
This is a 70% water as percent of oil weight, and a 5% superfat discount. technically because this contains more olive than other oils you could call this a liquid castile soap, but in my book castile means 100% olive oil, so its really up to you!
Here is the video with visual step by step instructions… and below step by step instructions to read along with. Enjoy and have fun!
Melt your oils in your crock pot. I set my pot to 4 hour setting, which would be “high” if yours doesnt have the hour options. Meanwhile (after I put on my gloves and goggles), I mix my KOH flakes into my distilled water (always pour lye into water, NEVER pour water into lye!).
We do not need to wait for our KOH mixture to cool, just pour it right into the crock (slowly) while stirring. From here it is basically the same as making cold process soap, but be careful because this is a hot process, with caustic chemicals, and it is a large batch. Stick blend off and on for about 15 minutes to reach a nice thick trace that I like to call runny mashed potatoes. Your mixture might want to separate, and thats OK. Just keep stirring, it will all come together in the end.
When it becomes too thick to stick blend, start stirring with your spoon and keep the mixture moving. We are entering the taffy stage now, where it begins to get very thick and almost rubbery. Stir until you can stir no more! It helps to have a strong husband nearby, but we’re soapers… we’ve got strong arms! We can take it!
When you cant stir easily anymore, lid your crockpot, set it to 6 hour (or medium) and step away. Dont get distracted and forget about it, but from this point on you have 20-30 minutes in between stirs to get other little things done or watch some TV. Return every 20 minutes to give it a good solid stir, re-lid, and wait again. The whole process from adding the lye/water mixture to the oils to finish should take between 3-4 hours depending on the heat of your crock pot.
Your soap will start turning translucent. When the whole batch is translucent and looks kind of like thick raw honey, you might be done! How to check for sure is simple. Boil 1 cup distilled water and add a glob of your soap. If the water turns cloudy/milky, continue cooking. If the water is clear, you are done!
When the soap is done cooking, plop it all into the bottom of a large (stainless steel only) cooking pot or sturdy plastic pail. Pour 80 oz (5 pounds) of boiled distilled water over the top and allow to sit overnight to dissolve (may take more or less time). When dissolved, pour into whatever jugs you have (distilled water gallon jugs work great!) and let “cure” for 4 weeks. YES you can use it right away, but like most soap, it only gets better with age. I think its best to leave the whole batch unscented and then scent small batches as you need them. Use recommendations from your fragrance oil supplier as your guideline for scenting. (PS… For great fragrance oils, as well as fixed oils such as the coconut, check out Majestic Mountain Sage.
View the results here https://silverfirsfarm.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/liquid-castile-soap-results/ Happy Soaping everyone 🙂
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WOW, this is amazing! I’ve always wanted to try liquid soap (I’ve even got the KoH already) but it seemed daunting. Your video makes it look so fun!
Now we’ve got to try this… My soaper mom and I have three guys in the house who need to build up their soaping muscles. 😉
Thanks for the great post, and congrats on your MMS win!
Thank you Cheyenne, I hope you guys have fun! Its a long process but its SO rewarding! Have fun!
Congrats! This post was excellent and you won a Perfumer’s Kit. I hope you will enjoy your kit once you receive it!
Thank you Andee and the whole MMS team!
I have a question. I’ve been researching making liquid soap and a couple of the other recipes say to neutralize the soap after the cooking process is complete. They also have 0% superfat. Do you not neutralize your soap because you have superfat? Or do you just not think it’s necessary because of the 4 week sequestering period?
Because I super-fat my soap, I do not neutralize the soap. KOH is only 90% anyways, so it ends up being only about a .5% lye excess, which the superfat takes care of. I also use a lye calculator that I personally designed, I’m not comfortable relying on regular lye calculators for liquid soap because they simply arent made for it.
The cure absolutely improves the feel, so I always encourage people to at least give it that 4-6 weeks, but it really does get better with age. After the cure, its important to test the soap for feel. If you think its too drying, you can add some hydrovance or glycerin (along with a proper preservative) or you can re-evaluate the recipe. It is possible you would need to neutralize if something went wrong with the batch, but there shouldnt be an excess of lye if its been properly calculated and superfatted.
This recipe I posted is not the recipe I sell… My liquid soap I retail has sweet almond, shea, castor, and cocoa butter… so be sure to try different batches to see what you like best, as well. You can really tell the difference when you start adding in more moisturizing oils.
When adding glycerin what is the percentage range of diluted soap? I made a few batches, where even after neutralizing a bit, adding a super fat and diluting them a bit, they still felt a bit dry. I did have another recipie that was 80% olive, 10% castor and 10% coconut which became much more bubbly after a couple weeks sitting in it’s bottle. Will all soaps improve if they sit for weeks? I’m still a little unsure about this process. Thanks!
I have used up to 10% but usually I just add 1% of the oil weights of glycerin 🙂
I definatley want to super fat my liquid soap but so much of the research says otherwise. What would you cosnsider a safe percentages to superfat at? I would love to make a creamy looking liquid castile soap but all of the reference point towards clear soap, which would be great too. I have tried a batch wit cocoa butter at 3% and was wondering if it could cause a problem if I upped the butter content in my liquid soap. I love high butter soaps. Thank you for your help!
I really wouldnt go higher than 5%, I use cocoa butter and shea butter (both at 5%) in my other recipe and still get a very nice clear soap!
This is my creamy soap recipe.
12 oz of lard
4 oz of coconut oil
3.5 oz of KOH
8 oz water
Mix KOH and water, set aside to cool , melt oils With KOH at 115* F an oils at 115* F combine and stir. It can take about 45-50 minutes to trace. I kept my crock on low. Turn off the heat and let sit over night or up one week. Heat paste in crockpot . Boil 16 oz of water and add 3 oz of borax. Slowly add to paste, a small amount at a time. Store in a plastic container for 1 week. You may thin out a little more after ageing if it’s too thick. This is creamy white like Ivory body wash. I don’t remember where I got this recipe from.
Sounds lovely! I dont normally use lard but I’ve been wanting to try a liquid lard recipe, because I know some people swear by the creaminess. Thanks for sharing!
When you say you use Borox, do you mean like the 20 mule borox powder for doing laundry? also, you say after you bring it to trace, you TURN IT OFF? Did I see that right? you said like over night to a week?? did I see that right? this goes against my OTHER liquid soap recipes where I cook it for 3 to 4 hours stiring every 20 or 30 minutes…Thanks for the reply..I LOVE your recipe
Great video! Thank you for posting it.
I noticed that the amount of water you use is more than the online soap calculators suggest. How do you calculate the amount of water to use? Does the increased amount of water result in runnier soap or a longer cooking time?
Hi Beth, I settled on that number through trial and error, originally I learned on another recipe that used alot less, and the soap wasnt cooking properly in the crock, it was way too thick to be able to even stir.. so I went ahead in added more water the next time around and it worked like a charm. This soap is a bit thicker than dr. Bronners, but thinner than say, a shower gel. You can always mess with the dilution amounts, but the amount I use for the cook I have kept consistent for a few years. It depends on the oils, as well.. for my “real” castile which is 75% olive oil, 10% coconut, 5% castor, 5% cocoa, and 5% shea, I have to add a bit more water.
Thank you for your reply!
Hi again, Kristin,
Another question: When you dilute your paste, do you get a white crust on top? I always get this, which I remove, combine with hot water and then add back to the soap pot. However, I end up with a white liquid on top. Do you get this and if so, how do you deal with it?
Hi Beth- sometimes I get the white film on top, I just scrape and toss- then make sure I lid my dilution bucket or pot well, that seems to avoid it coming back! Hope that helps!
Kristin, I just wanted to say THANKS!!! for posting the video and this recipe! I spent the last three weeks and way too much money trying a recipe that I found on eHow (http://www.ehow.com/way_5422101_homemade-liquid-castile-soap.html) that insisted you could make KOH by mixing potassium chloride (like Nu-Salt) in hot water. Guess what? Doesn’t work. (Or maybe it does — I just gave up stirring after an hour where I couldn’t see any change.)
Then I found your video. I bought the KOH online; I used a couple of different lye calculators I found online to calculate the amount of KOH to use and split the difference. I used the last of the sunflower oil (it was either that or use it to pop popcorn, which I REALLY don’t need.) (Hey! There’s a plan! Soapmaking as a way to lose weight!) and made up the difference with olive oil. It’s cooking now, but I’m confident it will turn out just peachy. Your instructions gave me the confidence to give it one more try. Thanks!
Yeah that Ehow tutorial scares me a bit! I’m glad you are giving it another shot! Hope it turns out for you!
So far, so good. Since I’m only making a 1lb batch (instead of the 2lbs of oil you used), there’s enough room in my crock pot to hold both the soap and the water. I boiled 40 oz. distilled water (or at least got it very ,very hot in the microwave) and I poured it into the crock pot with the soap. My question now is: is it OK to keep the crock pot going on “low” (6 hours) for another few hours to make sure the soap melts into the water, or should I turn the blessed thing off and let nature take its course over night?
I would turn it off… I’m not sure about whether or not the water would dissolve as it ran its course overnight.. or whether the bottom might burn. It does a pretty good job of dissolving without it.. and whatever doesnt you can always heat it and add a bit more water to take care of the rest 🙂
Greetings! I’m keeping you up to date on what’s happened, partly so I can learn if I did anything wrong, and partly to help any other masculine-type guys like me who may want to try their hands (and their patience) with making soap. So, OK. Here’s what happened:
I woke up from my cats walking on my head saying, “Oh, hello. Since you’re awake could you feed us?” After stumbling through that process, I shambled over to where the crock pot holding yesterday’s concoction was ruminating. From what I could tell, almost none of the globs of material had dissolved overnight. What’s more, the larger globs were still honey-yellow but had developed white cores. I used my wooden spoon to stir the solution and found the globs would easily smash against the side of the crock pot, and could mix that way, but it was taking WAY too long.
I can only attribute what happened next to my not being completely awake (i.e., impaired judgment). I pulled out my stick blender, stuck the whisk attachment on it, and gave that crock pot a 30-second blast. The solution instantly turned into a semi-solid mass like wet Vaseline. (The petroleum jelly, not the hand lotion.) It was so stiff it could support the weight of the stick blender. So I did the guy thing: I estimated the crock pot cold hold about 20 ounces more of distilled water (always a good way to measure amounts when soap making), I weighed out that much water, microwaved it until it was boiling (not just very hot), poured the water into the pot, and hit that sucker with the whisk-on-a-stick-blender. WHAM! The water was immediately incorporated into the soapy jelly. It also immediately foamed up. (Whisking a pot of soapy water produced soap bubbles. Whoda thunk?) So back to the wooden spoon and carefully mashing the jelly against the side of the pot. This time things went much faster, but there were still too many (much smaller) globs. What’s more, the result seemed more like after you’ve watered down the shampoo in the bottle for the third time to make sure you get ALL it it out.
So I put the spoon down, backed slowly away from the crock pot, and got on with my day. Four hours later, the soap bubbles from my whisking were STILL there, but now there didn’t seem to be many globs and the result wasn’t quite so runny. I scraped the bubbles off the surface and dropped them into the sink, where I found a lot of globs still hiding. After filling up the sink, I found it makes a really good dish soap. (You have to be careful rinsing, though, as the globs don’t want to let go.) After I find a funnel, I’m going to put the soap in a jug to let it cure for a few weeks, then test it, scent it, and send it out to my family. If I don’t like the results, I figure I can grate half a bar of Fels Naptha, throw it and the soap into the crock pot again, and make some really, really nice laundry soap that will take only two tablespoons for a whole load.
Here’s what I will do differently:
1. Make sure I’m fully awake before approaching the soap. If necessary, apply 1 heaping tablespoon of coffee in the drip coffeemaker with 6 oz water, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup, and 2 tablespoons creamer. Apply to me, not the soap. (Chocolate-scented soap: just sadistic, in a creepy sort of way.)
2. This is only a 1 pound batch (one pound of oil) instead of the 2 pounds you use in your recipe. I’ll try cooking only 3 hours instead of 4. (I think maybe the white cores came from overcooking the soap.)
3. When I add the water, I’ll make sure it’s really boiling and not just very hot.
4. When the soap is finished cooking, instead of just adding the water and letting it dissolve (or try to dissolve), I’ll try gently mashing the cooked soap against the side of the pot to mix the soap and the water. Or I may throw caution to the wind and hit it with the electric whisk again. You never know.
Thank you so much for your help!
First I have to say, this is the BEST tutorial I have found for making liquid castile soap!! Thank you very much for sharing!!
I finally went for it, and tried the process last night. Everything worked beautifully, and it looked just like the pics in your video. This morning I woke to find big lumps still floating in my water. Will it dissolve further on it’s own? Or should I reheat it? It’s in a stainless pot, so it would be easy to throw it on a burner.
I made a 1lb batch, and I actually used my cordless drill with a mud mixer(from home depot, $9) instead of a stick blender. I never had to worry about wearing out the motor, and it worked great! Hope that tip can help other soapers.
Thanks so much for your feedback!
Hi Joy- thank you! The lumps will continue to dissolve, but most of the time I scoop them out and pour a bit more boiled water over the top of just those, to speed the process along. I am so impatient!
The drill is a great tip! I use 5 gallon buckets to make unscented batches of cold process for milling and thats what I use, a big drill and a big mixer attached thats intended for mixing paint.. it works fantastic! Such a time saver.
Congrats on your liquid soap! I hope you enjoy it 🙂
Thanks Kristin, I was impatient too, and went ahead and heated it slowly. Everything melted in less than an hour. I like your tip too, I will try that next time. Thanks!! Keep up the great work!!
If you leave the soap in that same condition for a really long time will it eventually begin to rot or become destroyed?
Do you mean in liquid form? In bottles (I store mine in gallon bottles) it will last a very long time. I generally use it all up within 6 months so Im not sure exactlyhow long, but the PH of the soap prevents any ickies from growing in it, unless there is too high of a water/soap ratio when it is disolved. Of course, a preservative could always be added if you were really concerned 🙂
Hope that answers your question
I have regular lye, I know there is a difference between it and KOH but is it interchangeable? If it is, do you measure it the same? Do you get different results?
I would appreciate any knowledge you have on the subject, have you found anywhere to read about it?
Hi Grace, it is not interchangeable. Lye will give you solid soap, so if you attempted this recipe it would be very heavy on water but it would still not stay liquid- KOH and lye have different SAP values with oils as well. I think SoapCalc.com has a good guide on it. KOH is unfortunately a bit of a pain to obtain (if you dont have a local supplier) but its the only option for liquid soap.
Hope that helps!
You are wonderful! By the way, you have THE BEST soap blog I have seen. You are so generous with giving information and I think that pleases the Almighty in Heaven. God bless you and yours!
I was wondering after the soap has cured for 4 to 6 week do u just take some out and put your essential oils or what ever in and then it is ready to use or do u need to reheat or something.
Hi Jeanie, yes I just mix it right in.. make sure you follow manufacturers instructions on the amounts to use and some FO’s will make it cloudy so you have to test, but I dont warm it, I just mix it in (gently) with a rubber coated wisk.
This is what I was looking for- Thanks!
Thanks so much for the recipe. As soon as I can get my hands on some KOH I’m going to try it. I’m wondering if you would be willing to share the recipe you use for body soap? I would love a nice moisturizing liquid body soap to use in the shower!
Hi Rachel, so glad to hear you are going to give it a shot! Since I do sell my body soap retail, I prefer to keep the recipe a secret but you can make a very moisturizing recipe by playing around on soap calc. Good luck and have fun!!
oh well, it was worth a short. Thanks anyway for the recipe and the very thorough directions, can’t wait to give it a try.
Hi, I’m new to the soap making world. I made it couple of times and my problem is the ph of the soap it is about 9.5 to 10 . I tried to lower it by putting the citric acid (also tried lactic acid) and then I got little white lumps in my soap and it really didn’t looked good at all but the ph went down to 8. I tried to put just little bit of citric acid but then the ph won’t go down.
The problem is that I found my liquid soap very drying for my skin ,one time I made it with olive and coconut ,second time only with olive oil and for the third time with olive, coconut and avocado oil. I’m not sure why is it drying is it the ph or not enough cooking, or something completely different. I would love to use it for my skin and hair but like this it is impossible it’s only good as a hand wash.
I also found website where they make their shampoo with this ingredients : Purified Water; Vegetable Derived Glycerin; Saponified USDA Certified Organic Coconut Oil; USDA Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil; oleic acid (mono-unsaturated omega-9 fatty acid from olive oil); USDA Certified Organic Hemp Seed Oil .
Is this possible ?
Please help ,I really don’t know how to solve this problem!
Hi Aida, how long did you let the soap cure? The PH will lower as the soap cures. It is also possible it wasnt cooked long enough… the cook is what ensures all the excess lye is out of your liquid soap, but generally testing for cloudiness and zap will tell you right away if it has cooked enough. Cloudiness isnt ALWAYS an indicator though, because castor oil is the only oil I know of you can use to superfat without getting some form of cloudiness in the liquid soap. I dont focus on having clear soap as much as I do having creamy soap…. my body soap recipe is not clear, its opaque.
You can add glycerin after the cook, which can help with drying soaps.. but I find its better to just find a recipe that works from the start 🙂 It could be the shampoo ingredients you posted that they add the glycerin after as well. Borax can be used as a neutralizer, and it can thicken the liquid soap as well.
Thanks a lot for your answer .
I left my soap to cure for 2 weeks and the ph is still about 9.5.
Next time I’ll try to cook it more and maybe find some other recipe.
I also would like to make creamy body soap and also for me is not that important that the soap is clear just it is very important that is not drying.
I didn’t wanted to use borax because I always avoid to use any kind of chemical if I don’t have to, lactic and citric acid are not that bad as borax. But I would like to find the recipe that I don’t have to use ph neutralizes . So my search continues.
Hopefully I’ll get there!
Thanks a lot! 🙂
When you add citric acid, you have to boil the diluted paste. Let it sit after stirring and you’ll find the white stuff will incorporate. If you lower the PH too low, your soap will get cloudy or actually reverse-saponify meaning you’ll be turning your soap back into oil! It will be a white gloppy mess. If your soap is dry use less than 25% coconut in your recipie and dilute it to about 20-25%. Soaps high in coconut and are diluted less than 25% will probably be drying. I believe dr bronners is mostly coconut but as you can see its very watery because they dilute it very thin.
I would like to try the recipe you refer to above. Where can I find it?
And also, how can I tell if there is extra lye in my soap?
I keep my body soap recipe a secret because I do sell it.. but you can use soapcalc to formulate a great one, just play around with butters and oils until you find a recipe you are happy with! If there is no zap, you likely dont have a lye excess.
Can I ask how you are testing the PH? Are you using litmus strips or phenol?
Soap is notoriously hard to test the PH of… you can get missreadings very easily. The truth is not all pH strips are created equal when it comes to testing soap. Some are inaccurate by as much as 2-3 units because the surfactant nature of soap can interfere with the indicator dyes used to make the strips. laboratory grade plastic test strips are more accurate than paper test strips for testing soap, but some require more time than others… as much as a minute. To test what I’ve typically done is take a bar and shred it, create a “paste” in some distilled water, and test with that. You can still get false readings, however. In some tests I’ll get 7-8, in others I’ll get 9-10.5, on the same bar of soap.
For body soap, a pH from 5 to 8 should be mild to skin. Higher pH values generally mean better cleaning of greasy and/or oily soils. A pH from about 8 to 10 seems fairly optimal for hand/body soap. If the soap is for laundry, a pH of 10 to 12 is acceptable. If you use phenolphthalein, it will be colorless in the body soap range, faint pink in the hand soap range, and deep pink in the laundry soap range.
Greetings! I’ve left the soap to cure for over 6 weeks. It is smooth and works just peachy. It has, however, a fairly strong (neutral) scent. So much so that the essential oil I’m using (lilac, which says to add between 3 and 9 drops per ounce of soap) is having no success in actually making the soap smell like lilac.
I had put the soap in a one-gallon container to cure, with the lid put on tightly. In the future, should I leave the lid off, or put it on loosely? Thanks!
hi Muzhik, it does have a stronger smell than solid soap. With oils (fragrance oil in your case, unfortunately there is no such thing as lilac essential oil, its just not possible.) You want to work with percentages, verus drops. So most fragrance oils you would work with 5%-10%… so say you need to fragrance 16oz of liquid soap, you would add up to 1.6oz of fragrance oil, but you would be better to start at a lower amount, like 5%… and then you can make it stronger from there. 5% would be .8oz. The general rule of thumb with fragrance oils is 1oz PP of oils in cold and hot process soaps, so you could use that here as well, but every fragrance has its own strength and not knowing where yours is from I cant speculate entirely on how much to use…
Wanted to let you know that when I wrote you, the “neutral” scent was still overpowering the lilac. However, after 24 hours, the lilac scent was so strong, the entire bathroom smelled of it every time I washed my hands! Next time, I’ll add half as much and let it set for 24 hours before seeing if I need to add more fragrance.
thanks a lot for your time . 🙂
The problem is that the liquid soap is drying for my body, it is the feeling I have when I use it in the shower. I test ph with paper strips.
I don’t care actually so much about ph it is more important that I want the soap that feels nice when I use it and this one feels drying .
Anyway I’ll try to use different kind of oils maybe that is my problem.
Thanks a lot 🙂
definately try other oils! This recipe is drying for some skin types for sure. 🙂 Good luck!!
I’m afraid I thinned my soap too much. After curing the soap for 6 weeks, it’s still too thin. I’m trying to thicken it up with materials I have laying around the house. Would it be possible to boil the soap down to keep it from being so runny?
hi Muzhik, boiling will help reduce some of the water for sure. If that doesnt work as you want, you can look into some crothix, that will thicken it right up, but as a last option 🙂 – Kristin
Add about 3 to 7 % (of weight) Supersaturated saltwater to your diluted soap and this should thicken it up nicely.
OK. I boiled the soap and got the volume reduced. I evidently went too long, because when I turned off the heat and left the soap to cool for a while, I came back to find Vaseline. I heated some water and added small amounts until I got a liquid soap with the consistency I wanted. BUT… the soap has a layer of foam on the top that acts just like meringue — gooey, sticky, and stringy. I’ve tried gently stirring it to incorporate it into the liquid; it just separates out a short time later and is not inclined to go away.
Should I just wait to see what it does, or should I scrape it off and discard it? Or perhaps add JUST A TOUCH more water to see if that makes it go away? Maybe put the foam in a bowl and put it in the microwave for a minute or so? (Frankly, I’m afraid to leave it in the pot overnight for fear that it will crawl out and attack me in bed, or maybe clean the kitchen.)
haha Oh I’ve had that happen to me before too 🙂 (the vaseline look) I would skim that off and discard it. I dont know why it happens, but sometimes there is some that just wont go back in no matter what you do.
Do all oils used have to be liquid? Could I use palm oil (which is thick like shortening) in place of the soybean oil? I reeeeeallllly don’t want soybean oil in my soap! If not palm oil, is there something else that would suffice?
Would adding vitamin E be beneficial since the soap is superfatted, to make sure that the additional oils don’t oxidize/go bad?
Is there any way to make the end result thicker? I’d really like a thick/creamy liquid soap.
Hi Shae- yes you can change out any oil, but you need to be aware of the oils properties… putting palm in place of the soybean will create a very drying and “hard” soap because both palm and coconut lend bubbles and lather, but are not particularly conditioning. So you would need to play with SoapCalc to design your own recipe you are satisfied with the values on.
You can make it thicker by simply diluting less.
I have not seen a problem with the oils going bad, as long as you are using good oils. You could of course change the recipe in any way, this is just a how liquid soap is made kind of tutorial, not the end all be all of recipes 🙂 If you do a bit of searching, there is a liquid soap group on yahoo that has a ton of cream and liquid soap recipes that are fun to try! Using this video as a reference, of what you should “see” and “feel” you can develop or try hundreds of options!
Have fun and good luck
I recently stumbled on your blog. Its amazing to me to see the different processes and creativity each one of us use when making soap. I look forward to hearing about whats next.
And thank you so much for posting this…
I tried a batch today with only olive oil and KOH. I put the proper measurements into the soap calc . Measures out with a digital scale, followed you exact instructions and 7 hours later, te mix still looks like a thick vaseline state.
Can you tell me what went wrong? I adjusted the measurements (per the soap calc) for using just the olive oil.
Does it take longer to thicken with only olive oil or is it required to have another oil in there to make the soap?
Hi Brandy, I’ve had similar results with pure olive oil liquid soap. I think it simply requires more water.. the only issue with 100% olive oil liquid soap is that it wont have very good lather, but some palm or coconut blended in would boost it 🙂
hope that helps!
I recently stubbled across your tutorial for liquid soap & was delighted as I am in the process of making our home healthier. I made up a batch last week and left it to cure and it has separated. There is a thick white layer under the transparent layer. What have I done wrong? Is there anything I can do to save the soap?
Thank you so much.
Hi nicola, I’m not quite sure- I’ve never seen that happen to a batch before, but maybe try slowly re-heating the batch in a double boiler, add a bit of water, 4-6oz should do it.. and heat until it all comes back together. See if that brings it back together!
Hi, I still haven’t tried out the recipe yet, haven’t had extra money to spend on soaping, but I’m planning to try it soon!
I was wondering if you (or anyone who’s made this or similar liquid soap) has tried putting it in a “foaming” dispenser? I’ve been using store bought liquid soap in a foaming dispenser and I really like the results so I’m hoping I’d be able to do the same with this homemade kind.
Hi Rachel- yes it will work in a foaming bottle! You might have to play around with the concentrations because I know different viscocities of soap will give different results but it will theoretically work. I’ve only tested in a leftover method soap bottle I had, and I used 25% soap to 75% water, that worked pretty well!
hope that helped and good luck!!
Hi there, thank you for posting this. Are all your amounts by weight not volume? Even the water? I’m from New Zealand – we’re a metric folk – and I don’t know the difference between fluid ounces and ounces – if there is one.
Hello yes they are by weight, even the water 🙂
Yes, there is a difference between “fluid ounces” and “dry ounces”. All the amounts in any soap recipe will be in dry ounces, even the liquids.
To convert, multiply the ounces by 28.35. So the above recipe becomes:
340.2 grams of lard
113.4 grams of coconut oil
99.225 grams of KOH
226.8 grams of water
Ty sooo much for this recipe, I’m very excited to try it out. I see that you superfat at 5%, but do you just include those superfatting oils in the beginning and not at trace (like I’ve done with solid soap)?
Yep superfat is calculated right in with my lye calculator.. its really not MORE oils, its LESS lye, in my case 🙂 The lye will only convert as much fats as it can, so no matter when the oils are added the superfat will work the same 🙂 have fun! -Kristin
I’ve made this 3 times now! I love it! I wanted to make it out of pure olive oil but after reading Brandy’s comments I’m going to stick to your recipe. I’m working my way through all my beauty products coming up with homemade versions. This was a godsend since I love my liquid soap.
I just finished my first full batch and I may not have cooked it not long enough. It reached the honey crystalized looking stage but when I tested it the water was not clear. I waited 30 more minutes (still moving it around) and tested it again- still murky. I know you preach patients with this recipe but I had to go so I went ahead, boiled the distilled water and poured it all together. It was more honey crytalized looking than previous batches.
Now it’s been sitting for 12 hrs and is very clumpy (not so surprised, previous batches have taken up to 3 days to dissolve) but I notice it’s not clear like other batches. Am I doomed? What’s the problem if you end the cooking too early?
Oh man.. you know, I’m not really sure what to do with it at that point! Really the cook is to neutralize all the lye, so its like with hot process soap where we would do a zap test, no cloudiness is your zap test of sorts.
http://www.snowdriftfarm.com/phtest.html I’d say to go with a Phenolphthalein test… and thats going to give you your ultimate answer. Its possible it could be OK, but you wont know for sure without that unfortunately
good luck!! -Kristin
I tested the soap and it’s pH was 8.5 so I think I’m OK. I’ve got to practice my patients. It bites me in my tush every time! I know it’s only Feb. but I’m already excited to give this soap away as gifts at Christmas (and I love the pump soap on the canning jars- so cute!)
I have made bathces of liquid soap that has taken 3-4 separate nights a few hours each. I cook it on the stove. The next night, I break it up if it has solidified and add some distilled water. Does get to clear…eventually.
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Kristin, Thanks so much for sharing this valuable information and tut. You are great and so smart at making soaps. It is so nice when people are willing to share with people trying to learn. I know I really appreciate you more than you know.
Thank you Rae!! ❤
Wow! I agree: your blog and videos rock! Very inspiring as well. 🙂
I’ve been practicing my liquid-soap making and I keep on having the same problem: when I dilute the soap in distilled water (after cooking it, to test if it has saponified correctly, and if so, to proceed to dilute the whole batch), there’s this white layer at the top, above a more yellow liquid… (I got a picture just in case)
Is it lye/oil/water/heat/? excess? How can I fix it?
Thanx a lot in advance for your kind attention. MJ
Hi Mary Jo, thank you! is it like a film that will scrape off? Does it re-form if its scraped off and left uncovered? Sometimes my soap will get a white film on top, probably 1/8″ thick- its totally safe, just icky.. so I just skim it off, strain the batch before bottling, and it wont re-form once its bottled.. might be that! Hope that helps!
Thank you very much for your kind attention and suggestions. 😀
Is this because of the superfat? I had a batch that had a white film on top – ended up being a great soap but I did not sell it for fear of it acting funny.
hey I tried to make liquid soap according to your instructions. So I have reached up to the point where I let the soap in the slow cooker and stir in 20-30 minutes. I saw my soap separated (I can see the oil separated from the mixture) and the color is light brown and not translucent. Is that normal to separate? When I turned off the slow cooker, I stirred the soap and it’s homogenous again. But when I turned on the slow cooker, the mixture separated again. Did I heat it too long? I’m looking forward to your reply. Thanks a lot!!!
Hi Jessica, without knowing how hot your crockpot gets its hard to tell but I would wonder if it got too hot, and almost “burned” the mixture. Has it come together since?
I followed your great tutorial with this recipe I recieved from a soap store but unfortunately it didn’t firm up in the end, and when I did the test it was very milky. I just kept it cooking but nothing helped. I really wanted to make a pure olive oil liquid castile soap. The end product looks as if it should work, but when I add water it fails the test. Help…..
This is the recipe.
48 ounces olive oil
10 ounces potasium hydroxide
30 ounces distilled water
Hi Laurie, sorry I was out of town for awhile and missed this.. Did this end up turning out for you? I ran some calculations and I came up with 8.6oz KOH to 48oz of olive oil, with a 5% superfat. Without, I get 9.12. So either way I’m seeing a lye excess with your recipe.
It has been a long weekend so I might be getting my eyes crossed but that could be one problem.
Thanks for the great video! I am wanting to make the soap for making cleaning supplies so I’m not really worried about it being drying, so I was wondering do you have a recipe for all olive oile liquid castiel soap? I have only tried solid soap, and want to give liquid a try because most my cleaning supplies I make use liquid, thanks for any help!
Hi crystal, actually for cleaning I would suggest using 100% coconut oil, you’ll get much better results. SoapCalc.net is a great liquid soap calculator, I’d stick with a 5% superfat (thats what I use, I think it makes for softer laundry) and 325.312 grams of KOH. I use the same amount of water mentioned in the recipe above 🙂 Hope that helps!
I just made your way but a little different recipe… whenever i tested it it was cloudy…any suggestions? do you also have a recipe for baby liquid soap?
Hi Kristin, if its cloudy it needs to keep cooking, that means it still hasnt been neutralized. I dont have any recipes for tear free soap because tear free soap technically is a detergent, thats what makes it tear free.. but for a soap for a baby I’d use lots of cocoa butter, shea butter, some lanolin, coconut for gentle lather, and olive oil 🙂 hope that helps!
Hi, thank you for the ‘how to’ on making Castile liquid soap. I made a batch yesterday. I used 100% Olive Oil. It finally finished about 12 hours later. I put it in a 5 gallon bucket, boiled the 80oz/5lbs of distilled water and poured it on top of it. I woke up this morning and it didn’t dissolve. Some, on the edges did, but it is still like ‘Vaseline’. What do I need to do to get it dissolved?
Hi Tanya, sounds like you need more water and more time! It can be a lengthy process depending on the oils, pure olive oil takes longer to dissolve.
Thank you! I ended up using a total of 14 lbs. of water. It’s consistency is like that of a dish-washing liquid. Did I get it too thin? Next time I will use 11 lbs. of water initially and then see how that turns out. I’m really not sure about the final consistency. What should it be like?
Again…thank you for the tutorial…I have enjoyed making this!
No thats just fine! Really you can make it any consistency you like, sometimes if its too thick it comes off a litte… snotty, for lack of a better word!! So sometimes thin is better 🙂
Awesome!…well, then…FYI: I ended up with 2 gallons and 16 oz. I used your recipe above, just used 100% Olive Oil instead of all the other oils. I am really pleased with the outcome…
Thanks so much!
hey there great tutorial!!!
greetings from mexico
so i just wanna now if the crock pot its a must or is there any other way to makeit without the crock pot??
Hi Pablo, thanks! The crock pot certainly helps.. as the process is LOOOONG, but, you can do this with a doube boiler method… meaning a pot inside another pot with boiling water- I believe it would take even longer though, and space could be an issue. Hope that helps!
thanks a lot id definetly wonna give it a shot!!
I am curious, I will be trying to make liquid soap this weekend (providing baby will let momma be for that long) and the intent for me is making shampoo with the liquid soap once cured. Diluting with distilled water and essential oils added accordingly.
What are your opinions on the above recipe for such a venture? I am a hp soaper at heart but just branched into cp and am HOOKED…beyond hooked even.
Thanks so much in advance
Hi Tasha, Olive oil has been said by some to be a bit heavy on hair, so I would suggest testing a small batch first- but thats what I’ve heard in the past so I would try a recipe without any heavy oils (shea, cocoa, olive) and think more along the lines of cleansing, coconut palm castor… hope that helps! Thanks! -Kristin
yes I read that somewhere, but most of the recipes for natural shampoo I have come across call for diluting castile liquid soap with distilled water, so essentially diluting the paste twice, if that makes sense lol. I am in the middle of making my first liquid soap with 100% olive oil, so far so good. Fingers crossed though
I am trying this recipe right now but made a few minor adjustments to it im almost into my 5th hour of stirring(you weren’t kidding) but I have cleaned the house and watched a movie so it’s not that bad. It’s at the “thinking about becoming translucent stage” right now i cant wait until its done. Hopefully it turns out alright lol. Thanks for the tutorial either way it made learning how to do this fun! Love the song attached to it and thank you so much for sharing this recipe!
Good luck! Hope it turned out for you 🙂
It has great suds, it turned out really creamy, not sure if this is okay… It looked the same color as yours but there were giant chunks in it after a few days of sitting so i wisked it together and then it turned white and creamy. Hopefully I didn’t ruin it but it seems to be working very well for the most part.
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Hi! Loved the video and blog materials for making the liquid soap! I am using argan oil and shea with KOH (using a SAP calculator) and using your technique. Everything is fine until the last stage where I put the cooked soap into a bucket to dilute. I poured in the boiling water to the soap and let it sit overnight as directed. However, in the morning it was solidified. Should I reheat this product and add more water? Has this ever happened with the other oil mixtures you have used?
Hi Sarah, so sorry I’ve been ill and neglected the blog- I hope you figured it out, but yes you can reheat the mixture and add more water, some oils need more water than others to reach the desired consistency 🙂
I have enjoyed watching your Youtube Video for this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing the information. I had a question watching the video – what is the difference between using 100% olive oil versus the mixture of different oils as you’ve shown here? Is there a difference in the amount of lather? Which do you prefer and why? Thanks!
Hello! Olive oil doesnt have much “lather” due to its properties… so using just olive oil can result in an almost “slimy” soap, but its a matter of preferance as I’m a fan of 100% OO bar soaps, and some poeple cant stand them! I think a blend is best when you want a multifunctional soap, but it really depends on what you’re going for.
Hello there, Thank you for all the time and effort you give to newbies ♥♥ I have been trolling the internet for days and am now more confused than when I started 😦 I originally saw your video days ago and went eewwwhhh!! then I found the ehow recipe and was going to make that. It looked much simpler but I now realize that would be dangerous. Then I thought I’d just make castile soap bars and afterwards grate it and add other appropriate ingredients to make hair shampoo, dish detergent and liquid laundry soap. Would there be anything unwise with that idea? Here is the recipe I was going to use. Thank you for your help, Joy
3¾ cups pure 100 percent extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup of grated beeswax
½ cup of lye (sodium hydroxide)
1¼ cups of distilled water
In a double boiler, melt the beeswax in the olive oil over low heat. Use a candy thermometer so the mixture does not reach higher than 120 degrees. VERY CAREFULLY Stir the lye into the distilled water. Allow the lye to completely dissolve in the water before blending into the beeswax and olive oil mixture. Pour into soap molds and allow it to cure for up to six weeks.
I would never suggest using a recipe that measures in cups versus weight, but aside from that there is nothing wrong with making the soap in bar form and grating it down for different uses! Good luck!
Thank you very much for your reply. I’ll look for a recipe written in grams and see how it goes. Cheers, Joy
Hello again! Thank you for your reply. So I finally got my hands on and started making my first batch of liquid castile soap! I chose 70% olive oil + 30% palm oil blend because I wanted a multi functional soap and I heard palm oil lathers really well. I have a problem here – when mixing in water+lye solution with a blender to the melted oil solution, I never got to that runny mashed potato stage – I went straight to thick mashed potato stage, after blending about 30 minutes or so (I had to do it because the mixture was uneven before this point). The toffee stage also never happened to me – the consistency afterwards was kinda like thick mashed potatoe. The color did change to more honey-like transluscent yellow, but the texture is never that thick. After about 5 hours, I put a small drop of it in a cup and poured hot water, and it was milky. Since it was already late, I kept the crock pot in low and went to sleep, and went back this morning. I put a small drop in a cup and poured hot water, and it’s still milky! I’m still cooking my soap mixture..Can you tell me what happened here and what I can do to fix? Thanks so much in advance.
the only thing I can think, if the mixture is still milky after that long of a cook, is that you may have too much lye in your batch- which calculator did you use?
I have used this one : http://www.thesage.com/calcs/lyecalc2.php
Actually, about 3-4 hours after I left the comment, I did the water testing, and it didn’t turn milky anymore, and the mixture finally got really thick. So I mixed it with water, and it took more than one gallon of water to become softer! (keep in mind I used only half the ingredients as you suggested) Golly, I wonder how much water it would have taken if I sticked to the original amount! And then I had to actually “cook” the water and soap mixture because I have waited couple days and it just won’t melt on its own. Hopefully this soap will be really good after the “curing”.
I had two more questions while melting the soap with hot water – at this stage, can I use filtered water or spring water instead of distilled water? I have used distilled water when mixing with lye and oil to make soap, but I wonder if I still have to stick to distilled water during the “liquidifying” stage.
Another question was, does palm oil take longer to cook than other oils (i.e. coconut) when making HP soaps? It finally became transparent when testing, but it took a lot longer than what I expected after reading this article.
Thank you so much for sharing with newbies like me, and even though I have encountered challenges, this has been a fun, learning experience for me. 🙂
Palm is quite a firm oil, so it could very well take longer! I dont personally use it so I dont have alot of experience with it, but that might be the case! You really can use any kind of water at this point, the main concern is just contaminated water… some water of course has flouride and such in it, but I know some veteran soapers swear it doesnt matter- I just stick with distilled because I buy it by the case and I’m on city water, I just dont know a whole lot about the source- unless of course I’m making soap with beer- which is on my “to try” list… liquid beer soap.. sounds like either a dream, or a nightmare! lol 🙂
Hi, thank you so much for your recipe and video! I have to say.. I ran out of distilled water part way through my liquid soap making one time.. and I used tap water and it was fine.. funny thing is.. we use tap water to shower with anyway.. I was so worried and then I thought of that. lol. I understand we don’t want the extra ions in our soap.. but it does still work with tap water. Thanks and happy holidays!
I have done some research about the use of tap water in soap making and since tap water varies from place to place it is difficult to predict results, but what I found was that the minerals in the water contribute to soap scup and additional residue, not only on your body, but on your dishes, surfaces, washing machines etc… Also, the mineral content of tap water might contain elements that react with the KOH/ NAOH and affect the saponification process, producing varied results. I hope that helped. Casey
Hi, Thanks so much! Can I use 100% olive oil for this?
Hi, I just read the notes above… disregard please! 🙂
Have you ever converted a bar soap recipe to a liquid soap recipe? Is it possible to do that? If you have, any advice would be appreciated! I have found a great shampoo bar soap recipe I would like to convert.
Hi Becca- nope these recipes arent transferable but if you google shampoo soap recipe you will find plenty!
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Love your recipe and your blog. I have made several batches that all turn out exceptional. However, I am trying to master a recipe that would be similar in grease cutting power and bubbliness to dawn dishsoap. My latest attempt was 50% olive oil, 10% castor, 10% fractionated coconut, 20% coconut 76, 10% cocoa butter. It came out just fine, but I was disappointed at how quickly the bubbles dissipated, and how poorly it broke down grease and left a slight residue. Any suggestions on a liquid castile ratio that is as effective as dawn?
Hi Steve- I would use less olive and more coconut and castor! Good luck!
Thanks for your video. It was a real help and my first attempt turned out perfectly. I am a little concerned about diluting it. You say 5# of water, but I would like to know what is the ratio, from my calculation it is 2:1. Most recipes I find using liquid Castile soap tends to refer to Dr. Bronner’s, so does this dilution ratio give a similar concentration and consistency as that product or other like it? Thank you! Casey
I tired your recipe, however used a quarter of each ingredient, since it was my first time and I wanted to only make a small batch, strangely it started going translucent then it become opaque and after I kept the mixture at a low heat for 3 and half hours I have up!
Shall I try again but use half the ingredient quantity?
I did half the amount of your recipe, I used JoJo oil and apricot oil instead of the soybean oil. After 7 hours I gave up as the mixture was still milky.
How do I calculate the quantity of the different oil types?
Thank you! 🙂
Hi thanks heaps for your video and instructions. I would like to try make a soap with these oils: coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil and hemp seed oil. What weight/ratio’s would you blend these at? Does this sound acceptable?
50% Olive, 40% coconut, 10% hemp seed oil, 10% jojoba
Thanks a million
I am trying to come up with a recipe for liquid shampoo soap. This is what I got from the SoapCalc. Would you mind running it through your lye calculator to see if you get the same thing for the lye? I am superfatting at 5%.
9 oz coconut oil
9 oz olive oil
5 oz castor oil
3 oz jojoba oil
2 oz cocoa butter
2 oz shea butter
1 oz beeswax
11.78 oz water
5.737 oz KOH
Also, how do I determine how much water to dilute with? Thanks.
What is the Beeswax for ?
I don’t know what the beeswax is for. These ingredients came from a shampoo bar soap recipe that I made and have been using. I have very long hair and I would prefer a liquid shampoo. So I am trying to make a liquid shampoo using the same ingredients. It could be to make the bar soap harder as it is a pretty soft soap. I should probably just the beeswax out.
PH on hair products is critical to our scalp health. Do you know what the PH is on this shampoo? How did it turn out?
Hi there.Thanks for posting this,it was easy to follow 🙂
I made this batch yesterday, everything went well,stored it in a big container.
The next day,the liquid was almost all gone.So I heated the paste back up and added 20 more oz, I just got big fluff floating on top.I added even more water,and that took care of the problem.My question is, I went from the original 80 oz of water to 120 oz.Is that acceptable, if it works for me? I wonder why I needed so much more?
I recently made a couple of soap batches with different recipes and they never reached the translucent stage and ended up turning into a solid, dried up mass that I had to throw out. Do you know what causes this?
my first guess would be too high of heat, my second guess would be a possible miscalculation in the lye amount, thinking perhaps you had a bit too much – of course these are just guesses
I followed your receipe.. Everything is fine up to mash potato stay.. However it won’t turn to Tafty stage and I’ve been stiring and stiring. What did I do wrong? Thank You
Hi! Did it ever turn to taffy? Often it just takes time!
I think iam about two years late on this post but im wondering. I want to make a liquid soap that is a alpurpose cleaner as in body,laundry,hair,dishes. You know like that dr guys is. Where you can dillute it for all different applications. Well my question is can you do that with the recipe you posted on how to make liquid castile soap or is there a combination of other oils that would be best for what im doing.
Hello! This recipe would work fine for that, except hair- well, for me personally, it makes my hair TOO moisturized and thus slightly greasy.
I tried your recipe, only replacing the first batch of distilled water with goats milk, but using it for the 80oz in the end. I’ve let it sit for a few days now, but it has turned an ugly brown. Any ideas what I did wrong? My CP goats milk soap doesn’t have this problem.
I have never used Goats milk in the recipe, but I can only assume the goats milk spoiled, as the additional liquid is added AFTER the cook to dilute the soap only. If you wanted to use goats milk I would recommend using it in the initial cook only, never to dilute.
Yes that is what I did- during the lye phase. I used distilled water for the dilution phase. I did hear from someone else that its supposed to be brown. Thanks!
I was wondering is it normal for my dissolved soap to have a beer head on the surface?
Yes it is, from time ti time- I scooped off and discarded or would use it for myself
Thank you for this tutorial, the only problem that I have encountered is that when I go to dissolve it. Not much of it wants to dissolve at all Any thought of what I am doing wrong? I am using coconut. olive, castor, shea butter
Did you try warming the soap and water? Sometimes that helps!
Can you use your regular cooking equipment to make this soap or do you recommend keeping them separate? I have all the materials, I just wondered if there was a possibility of harming the pots, crockpot, etc for future cooking. Thanks!
I use tools specifically for soaping only, to avoid any cross contamination
Tried a smaller version of your recipe…with only olive oil…yesterday. The batter never traced and I eventually gave up and tried another version…which also failed. Went to throw the first batch away but it had firmed up when it got cold. Stirred for awhile and got it to very thick but never to the taffy stage. Cooked it anyway and it turned out great.
It seems that you should keep it off heat until well after the trace when it starts to thicken but the video seems to suggest that the heat is on the crock pot all the time. Did I misunderstand the video?
Hi Mark, your results were due to using simply olive oil- olive oil takes longer to trace than other oils, so letting it sit brought it closer to trace. That is why moslt castile soaps in bar form need to be cured for up to six months.
Hi, I’ve tried this recipe 3 times and it keeps drying out before it gets translucent. My crock pot has only 2 setting high and low and I follow the measurements to the tee. I would love to keep trying to make my own soap, but need some suggestions on how to stop it from drying out. Please help 😦
Kat I would add additional water during the cook- adding water wont hurt it, it will just be thinner
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Hi there, as im sure youv heard a million times, amazing info and much appreciated..
I am knew to making castile liquid soap or soap in general.. at this minute im deep in research to ensure i get everything correct before I start..
The one confusion I have is when using the “Soapcalc” site to calculate my ingredients etc, im noticing the default advice for the “water as % of oils” is 38. and also noticing your recipe has it as 70..
could you please tell me in brief how this effects the overall batch and why 70 is better than 38
this would bee so helpful.
That advice is based on bar soap- you need more for liquid 🙂
Kristin: Thank you for this post. I never made soap before. I want to use this recipe, but not use soybean oil, just olive oil and coconut oil, will that change the amount of KOH needed? Also how to use Borax to neutralize or boric acid, any tips? Lastly I would like to add glycerin at the end but I don’t understand what “adding at 1% of diluted soap” means, could someone give an example? I would be using your recipe just 70% Olive oil to 30% Coconut oil unless you think 60/40 would be better?
I went to the soapcalc.net site and figured out the KOH question. I am still puzzled on lowering PH with Borax and how much and when to add glycerin.
Trent I do not suggest using borax, I do not personally think (using a balanced recipe) it is needed to neutralize the soap. As for glycerin, if I choose to add it I do it after the soap has diluted, I warm a portion (usually 8oz or so) and then add the amount of glycerin I desire. Good luck! Hope that helped
Thanks for your help. Couple of things I did to speed up the process.
1. Microwaved the oil to get it up to temp fast (110 degrees) then put it in the crock pot.
2. My stick blender got very hot after 15 min of on / off use… mostly on. It was a good Kitchen Aid unit so I thought it could handle the constant running but after about 15-20 min I took the blade off and put the motor in the freezer for 10 min while I spoon stirred. The motor cooled off quickly and I stick blended to a sticky goo in no time flat. I used 70% olive oil and 30% coconut oil and I was at a thick mashed potato state in 30 min from the time I added the lye.
I have used sunflower oil and coconut oil to make a liquid soap. I wanted to make it all goats milk, and so used 100% goats milk when i mixed the potassium hydroxide. The soap went a horrible brown colour as it cooked, and stayed like it even when i diluted with water! So i tried again, this time mixing the potassium hydroxide with 3/4 of the liquid as water. i traced it, and then added the last 1/4 of the liquid as the goats milk when it was all slightly cooler. As i cooked it it didnt go too brown, but darker than amber! Even when diluted with water the resulting liquid soap is fairly brownish. And not very clear. Any suggestions as to why it goes brown? The amount of goats milk is really tiny (onlyabout 4oz) and so I dont think it could be that? Be really grateful for ideas on this one!
I think it is the goats milk, just as it would in bar soap- when goats milk gets too hot it browns, and the liquid soap making process is SO hot there isnt a way to control that; aside from adding at the end- in the dilution process.. but I don’t have any experience with that.
I’ve read on other sites that when making soap with milk, you should freeze the milk first before adding it to the lye. This will create the lye solution without cooking the milk and turning it brown.
I still believe it would be too hot, as the soap requires the heat to process- but it would minimize it for sure
re:Milk soaps… I lost the link to my original webpage that described making milk soap, a quick Google search turned up a number of other milk-based soap recipes. Most of them called for the milk to be frozen, or at the very least, placing the bowl with the milk in ice water to keep it cool while adding the lye. By keeping the milk below 100 degrees Fahrenheit while adding the lye, you can keep the milk from scorching.
Yes, but again thats for cold process bar soaps, liquid soap requires the heat to process- it MUST get over 100*, so unless the milk was added at the end of the cook- there is no control. An I simply cant give advice on what adding it at the end would do, but my advice would be not to.
I tried a batch yesterday, only I used 47oz Olive Oil (total weight of all three oils), 32.9oz distilled water and 9.39oz KOH. Each stage took considerably longer to reach. My crock pot has “Low”, “High” and “Warm” settings. After 6 hours on Low it was very slowly turning translucent so I turned it up to High. After another 4 hours in the crock pot (and all my tests turned out cloudy) Very tired and discouraged, I turned off the crock pot and went to sleep! This morning the entire batch is translucent but the test is still cloudy. I am assuming that it has not saponified. And it is a failed batch. Am I correct? Any wisdom would be so appreciated. – Audrey
Audrey did you let it sit longer and re-test?
Help! I added to much citric acid to my liquid castile soap, it turned into fatty acids. Then I added baking soda to bring up the ph level again, it starting forming into creamy soap again. Would you recommend this save for skin and hair?? Thanks
I’m sorry Delilah, I’ve never experienced this myself and I don’t feel comfortable without seeing and testing the soap myself, giving a recommendation
My soap won’t get to the translucent stage. It’s very thick, but it still looks cloudy. I left it in a warm oven overnight, but that didn’t help either. Any ideas?
I know you are busy and this particular blog has kept you hopping, but I tried liquid soap for the first time (thanks to your video and instructions) and I have an issue you may have some advice on. You’re the only person with Q&A about liquid soap. My soap is 5 days old now and it’s a runny very liquid consistancy. I did research about how much water to dilute with after I had already added water. I’m pretty sure my dilution ratio was wrong. Everything else went well. Would it be ok to cook it and get rid of some of that water?
Hi, how to make liquid soap with ph 3.8? I would like to make intimate wash but organic? Pls help me
I’m ready to give up. I used a recipe with 16 oz sunflower oil, 5 oz coconut and 3 oz ea olive oil and cocoa butter. Superfatted 2%. I’m using a crockpot to make it. But after 6 hours of stirring every 30 min last night it still did not reach transparency! 2:30 am turned off the crockpot and went to bed. Do you think this can be saved, and how?
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Kristin, Thanks so much for tour post! I tried it but I’m afraid I might have screwed my batched up. Is it possible to over cook it? My soap never turned clear when dissolving it into the water. Any ideas of what I could have done wrong? I’ve been cooking it for almost 11 hours 😦 and no luck. Should I pour it into the water and leave it over night? Or is time to toss it out and try over again? Thanks Krisitin!
so sorry I never saw this before now, hope it worked out for you
I would think that the amount of Coconut Oil you have devised in your formula would be way too drying for the hands and skin in general. Anytime you have a large amt. of Coconut Oil in a liquid soap formula, you end up with soap that you will not be able to use on your skin because of its drying effects.
this recipe (as mentioned in the article) is not one I regularly use for body- general cleansing, laundry, so on. The purposes of the article was to win a competition, YEARS ago… For body, much more moisturizing butters would be used. I encourage people to use this only for example, and formulate their own recipes.
What is the PH level of your soap? My liquid soap says that its around 7. Is that normal?
I think Aloe Vera juice would be a good replacement for the distilled water??
I have been looking and finally found this recipe! Thank you for posting. I was wondering, though, if anyone has made this on the stovetop? Living off grid makes heating elements not something I use. Just wondering. Thanks again for posting.
I’ve not ever tried it on stovetop, but if I did I’d use a double boiler method. did you try it? Did it work?
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Today was my 1st attempt at making the liquid castile soap recipe above. I didn’t realize there was a difference in lye’s and used sodium hydroxide instead of potassium. Is my recipe ruined or can this be cured and still used as bar soap?
sorry I never saw this! I hope it worked out.
Hey, Quick question. Late last night I completed cooking the oils – or so I thought. This morning I did a test cup dilution and it was still a touch cloudy. I restarted my crockpot. Is it okay to reheat/recook the paste?
so sorry I never saw this. I hope you figured it out!
Reblogged this on A Painterly Life and commented:
Definitely trying this!
I read that you should use only stainless steel or silicone stirring tools. Your video shows wooden spoon. What is your input on this?
I use the same spoon every time, since the products are just for home use, I don’t worry about bits of wood coming off in it, or the soap leaching into it. I’d be much more worried about the spoon type if it was for any other purpose than washing here at home 🙂