I've been wanting to try my hand at liquid soap for quite some time. I decided to ease myself into it, and I bought a ready-made liquid soap paste from BrambleBerry.com. Anyone who got a goody bag of toiletries from Mr. Fabulous and I for Christmas will know that liquid soap experiment, while producing a working soap, was not a complete success, as the soap was suuuuuuuper thin. What did I do wrong? I followed the thickening directions to a T, using a 20% salt solution. I think I ran astray by not putting in enough of the salt solution.
I had some of the paste left, so I tried again about a month later, wanting to create a soap and lotion set for a friend, and hoping for enough left over so I could have some too :o) This time it worked! THICK SOAP!! I was happy, but yet I craved more . . . .
|Liquid Soap Paste, mid-cook|
I decided that I would not be happy, I would not be satisfied until I made my own liquid soap from start to finish! And I did just that. With my $4 thrift store crock pot, I set out on Saturday night at 10 o'clock, vowing not to rest until I made liquid soap! And I did!!
Liquid soap is made out of water, potassium hydroxide, and oils. It gets cooked into a paste, and then that paste is diluted into liquid soap. If you would like to learn how to make liquid soap, BrambleBerry.com has a liquid soap making video that only costs a few dollars. That's what I've watched basically every day this past week. Also, there is the TeachSoap.com forum with literally tons of posts on the topic for perusal. Lastly, people actually still publish books made out of paper. Catherine Failor's Making Natural Liquid Soaps is a great one to start out with.
|Liquid Soap with New Labels. Graphics courtesy of The Crafty Clip, www.thecraftyclip.com|
With my paste made, I set out to dilute it Sunday morning. It turned into a day-long event, and it produced little success. Well, I did revamp my labels, and that's progress, but not liquid soap success.
I could not get the bloody stuff to get thick! It was thick like glycerin, but not thick like gel-like liquid soap. I was disappointed, though I did bottle some to keep, just in case.
Today was better. To bolster my spirits after yesterday's fails, I made a batch of cold-process, solid soap to instill some confidence and to inspire me to make awesome, THICK, beautiful liquid soap.
|Lemon Verbena with a Peacock Swirl|
So, now re-confident in my mad skills, and with Pandora's Hip-Hop BBQ to cheer me on, I portioned out some of my soap paste and water dilution. I added 3ml of my salt solution. Nothing. I did this about 7 times over the course of an hour, each addition making my soap ever so slightly thicker. Finally, thinking “what have I got to loose? I've got more diluted paste in the crock pot, more paste that I can dilute, and more oils and KOH if none of this stuff turns out. GO FOR IT!” I dumped the last half or so of my salt solution into my dilution. Cue singing angels!! THICK SOAP!! Suuuuuuuuper thick soap! Yay!! I did get to experiment with fragrance oils yesterday, so I knew what to expect when I added them in today. I made up SIX bottles of thick, wonderful liquid soap today, and I couldn't be prouder of my accomplishment.
|Today's Successes And Yesterday's Learning Opportunities|
You can find me and like me on Facebook as Doobs Soap & Toiletries :o)