why is my liquid soap too thick

Frustrated with liquid soap making? Let’s troubleshoot! Here are some of the most common problems and their solutions.

Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot of questions from people making liquid soap. They often write me in a panic, right in the middle of their first batch. Unfortunately, despite my trying to help answer as quickly as I can, I can’t always be around to answer questions immediately.

I decided that it would be a good idea to consolidate the main problems here and link to this troubleshooting guide from my various liquid soap recipe posts. As we find more questions and more solutions, I’ll try to periodically update this post with more information.

Soap paste should be malleable. It’s a putty-like substance that you can stretch and pull into different shapes. If, rather than having a soap paste, you have what appears to be a bar soap, it may be that you actually did make a bar soap instead.

Several people have come to me with this problem, and we later discovered that they had used NaOH (sodium hydroxide) rather than KOH (potassium hydroxide) when making their liquid soap.

While both NaOH and KOH are often referred to as lye, they are not directly interchangeable.

NaOH is the type of lye generally used to make solid soaps like bar soap. KOH is the type of lye generally used to make liquid soap. Some soaps like cream soaps and shave soaps will use a combination of the two types of lye to get a different consistency.

why is my liquid soap too thick

My liquid soap is milky (past cloudy)!

Normally, if you find a milky looking mixture when you mix your soap paste with distilled water, that is an indication that you have unsaponified oils in your soap paste. This may either be because of the oil used (jojoba has a lot of unsaponifiables) or because the recipe hasn’t been calculated well. You may be able to fix this problem by adding some more KOH solution to your melted down paste (if the recipe used too many oils).

Milkiness may also indicate that your soap paste hasn’t fully finished cooking and your soap hasn’t completely saponified. If you’ve been cooking your paste for hours, though, and you still have a milky substance when you dilute your soap paste in distilled water, you likely have another issue (like too many oils or the wrong types of oils).

If you’re having issues with cloudiness or milkiness, one thing you can try is to allow the diluted soap to rest untouched for several days to weeks. During this “sequestration” time, any solids in the soap will likely settle to the bottom. The extra fats and unsaponifiables should float to the top, forming a cloudy layer. In the center, you should find that most of the liquid soap is clear.

If you’re careful, you may be able to remove the cloudy top layer, and then bottle up only the clear soap for using.

Why does my liquid soap irritate my skin?

If you find that your soap causes skin irritation, it may be an indication that you may have a lye excess. Having unreacted lye solution in your liquid soap can result in a liquid soap with a higher pH than normal. While soap is normally naturally alkaline, having a pH that is too high can be problematic, especially for people with sensitive skin.

Some people also find that soap, in general, is irritating to their skin. They may be more sensitive to the high pH of soap and may do better with a non-soap surfactant cleanser with a lower pH. (Read more about the importance of pH in cosmetics.)

How to Thicken watery Liquid soap | thcken dishwashing liquid


How do you make liquid soap thinner?

it’s possible to dilute thicker antibacterial liquid soap to achieve a consistency suitable for use in foaming soap dispensers. The process involves diluting the soap with water to create a thinner solution that can generate foam when dispensed through a foaming soap dispenser.

What makes liquid soap thick?

A separate cellulose-based thickener such as HEC (hydroxyethyl cellulose) or HPMC (hydroxypropyl methylcellulose) can be used to thicken liquid soap. Other thickeners that have been used for thickening liquid soap include guar gum, Crothix, and xanthan gum.

What is the best way to dilute liquid soap?

Liquid Soap Concentrate Base needs to be diluted before use. We recommend a 4:1 ratio of water to soap. In a large pot, bring distilled water to a boil. Add the concentrate and stir to combine.

What if my soap is too thin?

If it bothers you that your soap is too thin, you can either try to thicken it with some sort of thickener, or you can dispense it in a foaming soap pump to give a mousse-like consistency when you want to use it. Let’s face it. Not all oils make great looking liquid soaps.

Why is my soap batter so thick?

3. Temperature Issues Reason: If your oils & lye are too cold, then the hard fats in the recipe (cocoa butter, kokum butter, lard, tallow, palm, etc) will start cooling and begin returning to their solid form, causing the soap batter to have a thicker texture.

Why is my soap watery?

These microbes from the air then cause the soap’s emulsion formula of the soap base to crack and separate. This causes the soap to become watery. Similarly, a 2011 study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology found that liquid soap dispensers refilled with new soap are prone to bacteria contamination.

How does temperature affect the thickness of a soap dispenser?

This is especially true if you topped off your partially emptied dispenser with new soap. While less common, temperature can also affect the soap’s thickness. If the temperature gets hot, the molecules within the liquid move faster, causing its viscosity to diminish and making the liquid soap turn watery.

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