Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Liquid soap success

I've been wanting to make liquid soap for a long time now.  I finally ordered the stuff to make it and found a recipe that looked reasonable....and promised to be pretty fool-proof. 

This is my first batch.

Ain't it purty?

Unlike the goat's milk soap I make, liquid soap doesn't use lye, which is sodium hydroxide.  It uses potassium hydroxide.  The only way to buy this (either, really, for the most part.....I used to buy Red Devil lye for soapmaking in the grocery store, in with the drain openers) is online.  It is toxic and caustic, but completely neutralized in the soapmaking process.  Both of those chemicals are what turn fats and oils into soap.

I used this recipe from this wonderful blog.  I used the household cleaning soap and dish soap recipe.

In the article, she says to use distilled water, and every liquid soap recipe I could find said the same thing.  Why not use tap water, I wondered?  I just could not find the answer online, so I did a little experiment.  I diluted half of my soap paste with distilled water, and the second half with tap water.  We have pretty hard water.  This was the result, and later I stumbled across a note by the above mentioned blogger that said the soap would be clear with distilled water, and cloudy with hard water.  Yup.

Look at all that soap!

I figure cloudy soap cleans as well as pretty soap, so my plan is to make clear soap for containers that are clear or for gifting, and just use tap water for our everyday soap.  This first batch was on the thin side, and I chose not to thicken it.  I am now on a search for foaming pump dispensers to use with this.....I think those will be PERFECT.  And they conserve soap.  Meanwhile, I put a few drops of essential oils into some of it (notice the missing pint jar of clear soap in the photo) and it is in a regular pump dispenser by our kitchen sink.  I used lemongrass, tangerine, and a bit of lavender.  It smells heavenly.  

My next attempt will include my favorite soapmaking fats, tallow, lard (both pastured and pure) and extra virgin olive oil.  I'll be going for a less harsh soap for washing hands and for the shower.  Later.....shampoo?  Commercial versions of all these soaps are so full of toxic ingredients, very easily absorbed through our skin.  Soapmaking is surprisingly easy and very satisfying.  Let the experimenting begin!

1 comment:

  1. Very pretty. I like your experiment too. I will have to bookmark this, so I can make it myself sometime. ;)