If you are comfortable with the basics of cold process soap making and looking for a new challenge - a new delight in your shower - try making liquid soap. It is more complicated, takes a lot of patience, and a few changes in your soap making process, but if you follow the steps carefully, is not too hard.
The major difference between bar soaps and liquid soaps is the alkali used to saponify the oils. All soap, whether hard or liquid, starts with a simple chemical reaction between oils and an alkali. With bars soaps, it's sodium hydroxide. With liquid soaps, it's potassium hydroxide.
As I said, liquid soap is a bit more complicated, so for beginners, it's best to use a tried and true recipe. The recipe I'm using is based on a recipe from Ellen Peacock of Ellen's Essentials. It's a simple, easy to follow, reliable recipe with a good balance of lather and moisturizing.
For this recipe you'll need:
- 16.5 oz. Sunflower Oil
- 7 oz. Coconut Oil
- 5.5 oz. Potassium Hydroxide KOH
- 16.5 oz. Distilled Water for the Lye Mixture
- 40 oz. Distilled Water to dilute the soap paste
- Either 2 oz. of boric acid or 3 oz. of borax mixed into 10 or 6 oz. of water
- Approx. 3 oz. Fragrance or Essential oil, as desired
- Soap dye or colorant, if desired
- Basic tools etc. for mixing the lye
- Large crock pot
- Thermometer, scale, measuring cups
- Stick blender
- (Recommended) Potato Masher and/or flat whisk
- (Required) Several heaping measures of patience!
Let's get started!
Note: If you want to formulate your own liquid soap recipe, be sure to read Lye Excess in Liquid Soap Making for very important information on how to formulate your recipes!