Figured I would share a basic liquid soap recipe for those who may not have done it yet or are on the verge of trying it.
This one is for canola glycerine that is processed using NaOH, but may also be applied to sunflower oil based glyc (not 100% on the later but they are both short chain oils so should be).
4L liquified glyc
4 L water into which is dissolved 160 gr KOH.
Wait for the glyc to be fully liquified and the add whatever scent you wish. I prefer essential oils for their natural base. About 30ml (1oz) or a little more if you want it to be stronger. Once you have whisked in the scent oil then slowly add thee caustic water. You will know if the mix is a little too hot if it starts to boil up. You will need to whisk this down quickly and remove from the heat or you will have a mess to clean up. You can continue when it cools down a bit.
Mix all the caustic water into the liquified glyc/sccent, and continue whisking it until the whole thing is fully blended. Stop, wait 10 minutes and then whisk it back up again. Do this a couple times or until you see soap bubbles forming on top. You can then set it aside and allow to cool. The next day it should be good to go as this was done using the hot process method.
The above is for canola processed using NaOH as mentioned but you can do the sames thing if processed with KOH, although the end result may be a little more runny. If it is a bit too runny for what you like simply reduce the amount of water used to make the caustic mix.
There may be a layer of thicker soap on top of the dark brown when it has cooled. This is not a throw away; simply scoop it into the container used for laundry and use the smoother soap for shampoo ect.
What you get is the best liquid soap/degreaser/all purpose cleaner out there. We use ours for everything; shampoo, dishes, laundry, bathroom cleaner (tub,sink,toilet). There are any number of applications where this soap replaces and does a better job thna any commercial offering.
Thanks for the post. This will save some time looking for the correct amounts of ingredients.
Hi Luc and thanks...I'll try it for sure...
And since I only made 1 big batch of handcleaner soap so far...I'l take advantage of this generous post...lol
But let me ask you if the same recipe applies when using the inititial pure soap that results from distilling methanol since that soap is certainly very pure and very heavy compared to the rest of the glycerine...
I guess the water content would change?
I am assuming that this is in reference to what is left behind after distilling the methanol out of the biodiesel, as in a dry wash set up? If that is the case I cannot help much there as I have never personally used it for a soap base, however Graham laming uses it as a degreaser/soap in his shop.
Graham's Eco System set up a little over half way down the page.
On the subject of degreaser though; you can use the glycerine as is once the methanol has all been removed from it. It is a little greasy as there are some un reacted glycerides but as a degreaser for parts ect it works well.
Thank you for posting this recipe for liquid soap. I have never tried soap making before, however I took the plunge last night and followed your instructions to the letter.
I used the KOH glycerol from my last biodiesel process.
I think that I have been successful, in that the soap I produced washes dirty hands very effectively as well as making a good job washing clothes in the washing machine (I used four tablespoons in the washer to wash my dirty work clothes).
I do have a couple of comments/observations about the process:
Demething the glycerol was a challenge! I used a large pan to bring slightly over 1 litre of glycerol to a rolling boil and kept it boiling for 40 mins. At first it seemed to go well, but then about 20 mins in it started to smoke. I thought that this was steam coming off, but in fact it was a quite unpleasant smoke with an acrid smell. The glycerol was not burning or sticking to the pan, but it seemed to have reached a temperature where it simply started to smoke. My infrared thermometer is not so reliable on shiny metal surfaces, but it indicated that the temperature had reached 360F, which seems pretty hot to me!
In connection with the above, when I cooled the glycerol after demething, it seemed to retain the smoky burnt smell, and that smell is discernible in my finished soap. Is this normal?
The finished soap is only just runny and more jelly-like.
The soap cleans well, but does not produce much lather. My water here in Yorkshire is not hard.
Should I continue to use the soap as is, or can I do anything else /further processing to make it any better? Is there a specific recipe for laundry detergent, or is it ok to simply keep adding four tablespoons to my washing machine?
I wouldn't fancy using my soap in the shower due to the slightly burnt aroma. Is this simply as it normally smells?
I'd love to have another go at liquid soap making, and would appreciate any further advice or suggestions for my next batch.
Best wishes from the UK,
Picture of the soap I produced:
Too hot, most definitely. All you need to do is keep it at a gentle simmer. If it smokes it is creating Acrolein , a toxic substance (inhaled not in the final product).
IMO you can continue using it for laundry, although I would up the amount a bit for an even better clean.
If you have processed your oil normally with KOH then an additional 40gr/L should give you a soap that lathers, if not excessively, but some, and very little in the washing machine which is why it is suitable for the new low suds washers.
My latest batch was yesterday, and it turned out great (as usual :-) ) For home use I like to use a mix of lemon and eucalyptus oils for the scent. It is not overpowering yet is pleasant either for dishes or in the shower.
Thank you Legal Eagle,
I have now obtained some lemon and eucalyptus oils via eBay and will try another batch, this time being careful not to get it too hot.
I have found that the stuff I made is really great stuff. Washes hands without leaving them dry and cuts through the grease like nothing else.
Will report back when I have processed my next lot. Thanks again.
Leeds, Yorkshire, England.
Always nice to hear how soap makers are doing. No better way to "dispose" of the glycerine glut IMO :-)
Just underway with my second process of liquid KOH soap. This time I didn't let it get too hot, but it seemed to me that once all the water and methanol has gone, the glycerol will still smoke a bit, even at low temperatures.
All has gone well so far. I've added the KOH/water mixture to the glycerol, stirred continuously and then added 2ml of Lemon and 2ml of Eucalyptus oils.
Will let you know how it looks tomorrow.
I think this will make a jelly soap like last time. If I want to bottle it for convenience, can you please give me an idea of how much additional water I should add so that it will dispense nicely?
Thanks again for your help.
Well this second batch has turned out rather well. This time it is much less like a jelly than last time; I think that is due to me not getting it too hot during demething.
I'm a bit disappointed by the oils that I purchased from eBay to add scent to the soap. They seemed a bit cheap, and although they are marketed as "essential oils", the smell from the bottles doesn't seem as intense as when I have bought 100% genuine essential oils from the aromatics shop. I will try to get some pure essential oils for my next batch, and try a different combination of scents.
The colour of this batch is much lighter than my first batch, also down to not over cooking I guess.
As an aside, I have purchased Legal Eagle's soap making guide, and can thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wants to try soap making.
"As an aside, I have purchased Legal Eagle's soap making guide, and can thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wants to try soap making." Thanks for the kind words.
You may be under doing the EO's a bit, however that is dependent upon volume. You will not entirely get rid of the glyc smell either. I use 15ml's EO to a 4L batch and it seems to do well.
The scents that I have found that work best are the above mentioned combo of lemon/Eucalyptus or peppermint and even lavender. Do not use wintergreen unless you want your soap smelling of black tea ;-) Did it once. That was enough. I use a few other scents as well but those are for bar soap.
JUst be \certain that all the methanol is removed as it is a nasty product. Test what you think is ready by pouring a small amount into a flat dish (jar top) and strike a match to it. It should do ... nothing. If methanol is still present the top of the glyc will bubble (you won't see the flame as methanol burns white not blue)
HTH and have fun, you are making the world's best soap.
I used glycerin from biodiesel made using sodium methylate. The soap is a little "hot" using the formula at the top of this thread. PH around 12. The glycerin was mixed with the KOH water at around 140F so I am not sure if that is hot processed.
Should I cut back on the KOH next batch or just buffer the soap with acid?
sodium methylate is one avenue I have not ventured into, so anything I say about it is pure guesswork.
That said however, it only stands to reason that if you are getting soap that hits a PH of 12 it is WAY too alkaline (hot. At 140F it would class as hot processed, so I do not believe that any amount of curing time would change it. You could try acidulating it a bit (vinegar?) to bring the PH between 7 and 10, which is considered normal.
Normal NaOH processed glyc will convert well to liquid using 40gr/L KOH. That is what I do all the time and have never had a problem. Equal parts water to glyc, of course.
Thanks for the reply. I will reduce the KOH a little on the next batch and see where the PH falls.
I have a good citric acid to use on the HOT soap. It will be easy to fix the problem.
Legal Eagal, I made a batch of soap the other day using your recipe with KOH glycerol and KOH caustic and it works great but is really runny. I made another batch tonight with 1/4 the amount of water and was curious if this will be safe to use or not. I'm new to bio and totally new when it comes to soap making so I was unsure about the formula for what atcually makes soap. In other words, is the ph value based on the oil+lye ratio or the oil+lye+water ratio.
Whether or not it is runny is not important. Canola with a KOH process and KOH soap process will keep the short chain intact. If you want to see if it is still "hot" take a toothpick or pen tip and dip it in the soap and touch that to the tip of your tongue; if it bites like a 9V battery then it is too caustic and will require curing time of anywhere from a week to a month. This is of course if the reason for it is the temperature of the process and not some massive mistake on the amount of caustic due to faulty scales.
The amount of caustic to be added is roughly 25% of the volume, and sufficient water/liquid to fully dissolve it. I use a one to one ratio of glyc to water as I process using NaOH and finish up the soap with KOH. Want it a little less runny? reduce the water by about 15%
OK, so lowering the water amount by 75% makes it solid! Lol. I was shooting for a liquid that is the same viscosity at dawn dish soap. I will lower it by only 15% for the next batch.
I gotta say though that my first batch is awesome soap! Does a really good job at cleaning really nasty, dirty or greasy hands and my skin feels nice afterwards. Very different than any off the shelf soap I have ever used. In a good way!
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