How To Make Homemade Soap – Liquid Soaps
Many soap makers start out by making solid soap bars, because it is a fairly simple and straightforward process. Making liquid soap can be a bit more complicated and requires some practice, but it is just as fun and the end product is just as useful.
Knowing how to make solid soaps first is certainly an advantage, especially considering that one of the most popular methods of making liquid soap is to make it from bars of solid soap, and the other is very similar to the hot process method for making bars. .
When making liquid soap, different ingredients are required than you would use for solids. The type of bleach that is typically used to make solid soap bars is sodium hydroxide or NaOH. Potassium hydroxide, or KOH, is generally used to make liquid bars, because soap produced with KOH is inherently milder than soap produced with NaOH. Also, the varieties of fat used to make liquid soap are different.
There are two varieties of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and make a much harder bar; Unsaturated ones are very soft solids or liquids, at room temperature, and make ones softer. As you may have guessed, unsaturated fats are what is typically used in the liquid soap making process.
There are two processes to make good liquid soap. One process is quite similar to the cold process method for making solid bars; however, instead of curing the soap after removing it from the molds, it should be cut into small pieces or grated. The pieces can then be melted with water in a water bath; the ratio should be one cup of soap for every three cups of water. Heat over medium heat and stir regularly until soap melts. (If there are chunks that don’t melt, just remove them from the mixture.)
The other way to make liquid soap is to do it using the hot process method. Mix the oils and lye as you would cold process soap; it may take a long time to track it, so please be patient. When traced, it can be slightly thinner than normal cold process soap. Cook in a clay pot or in a double boiler for 3 to 4 hours, stirring every half hour. It will go through many stages; in its final stage, it will be translucent and creamy. To check and see if the soap has cooked long enough, mix one ounce of soap with two ounces of boiling water. If the mixture is milky or very cloudy, once the soap has dissolved, you need to cook longer. (If cooking the soap longer does not clarify it, one of the ingredients may have been measured incorrectly.)
As with regular bars, essential oils can be added to liquid soap to give it a pleasant scent, and if it is stored in a clear bottle, you may want to add some coloring as well.
Liquid soap can be prone to spoilage, so glycerin or another oil containing vitamin A, C, or E should be added to help preserve it. Store your liquid soap in a cool, dark place, inside a pump or flip-top bottle, to further protect against spoilage. Use the soap within 6 to 8 months and throw it away if it turns cloudy or smells rancid.