Liquid Soap

by Heather

Hi Cathy,

I know you don't work with liquid soap but I'm hoping you or someone else reading might be able to help me. This is my second time making liquid soap. My recipe is as followed:

24 ounces coconut oil
10 ounces olive oil
10 ounces castor oil
3 ounces jojoba oil

Lye Solution
11 ounces potassium hydroxide
33 ounces distilled water

I diluted with at first 34 oz distilled water but it still would not fully dilute. So next I added another 10 oz, still did not dilute so again another until I had added about 60oz water to (half my recipe of 37.5 soap paste)

My problem now is it's nearly water. Barly a thickness to it. So from reading I tried adding about 10 oz vegi glycerin to it in an attempt to thicken it. Sadly all it did was clear the soap more but it's still watery thin.

I have tried adding xanthan gum but that just makes a strange cloud in the soap. And I've tried (on the side) adding boraz. Still it's thin. Plus I would prefer to avoid using borax

Any suggestions on how I might truly thicken this soap up so it works with a soap pump? While keeping it natural?

I still have half my paste left too.


Catherine Failors book states (concerning liquid soap that has too much water in it) on page 29... "After the paste dissolves, boil the solution until the extra water evaporates: this will require a "before and after" weighing of the soap paste to determine the soap's concentration."

She also mentions that you can use a small amount of ethanol or isopropal alcohol to the water to help to dissolve the paste. I wonder if you could add more paste to the soap you currently have and add a bit of alcohol as well. Then let the mix boil until it is the thickness you want?

She does mention as well that a recipe like the one you have used which is high in liquid oils will need at least 32 to 48 ounces of water per pound of paste to prevent the oils from congealing into a thick crust on the top of the soap solution. She also mentions that the borax is used to prevent that.

I noticed that your recipe came from page 54 of Catherine Failors book "Making Natural Liquid Soaps". Try reading over pages 28 - 29 and 41 - 45 of her book...she has a few more tips on how to solve your problem.

Good luck,

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Thickening your liquid soap
by: Anonymous

I tried for so long to thicken the liquid soap as well. SALT works awesome!!

Thank you!
by: Heather

Thank you for these suggestions. I don't have her book, I found the recipe online but I will look into reading it.

However I'll try your suggestions and see if something will work. I'll keep you posted with results.

Thank you again

Liquid Soap Expirience
by: Elizabeth

I have the book titled Making Natural Liquid Soaps and have made many of her receipes. I will say it is a great book that started me on the less traveled path of liquid soaps.The author does NOT describe the method of thickening the soap succesfully. I found that after diluting the paste with water and your choice of neutralizer(borax,citric acid or boric acid)I let the solution cool. Then I add several ounces of borax disolved in boiling water to the cooled soap. It isn't a foolproof method but is THE only way it has thickened my shampoo(taken from her receipe). I also found a foaming pump that works great with thin soap. PLEASE LET US KNOW if you find a method to thicken liquid soaps!

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