Source: Pat Prenty-Essence Supply The Recipe • 366 g Coconut Oil • 1,424 g Canola Oil or 1,466 g Corn Oil • 400 g Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) • 1,204 g Water The Method This method uses a double boiler system, I use two pots, one smaller than the other, the handles on the top pot hold it suspended over the bottom of the larger pot. I put water in the bottom one and when the top pot is on it, the water level is over the bottom of the top pot. When you add the potassium hydroxide it will sound like it is going to explode or boil over, but the water does not bubble up at all and it doesn't even heat us as much as sodium hydroxide so don't worry. One more note, I am one of those risk taking soapers who doesn't even wear gloves when making soap. (this is not a recommended method of making soap!). When mixing the water & potassium hydroxide together and when mixing the soap there seems to be a very caustic steam that comes from the mixture. When I make liquid soap I always wear long sleeves and gloves otherwise my skin begins to burn. The Method - Pre-heat the water in the bottom of your double boiler - Heat and mix your oils and fats like you normally would for cp, using the temperatures 70oC for the oils and 60oC for the Potassium/water mixture, they will get to these temperatures very fast so be ready with your hot water in the bottom of your double boiler when you start. Try to bring your soap to trace, which even with a stick blender is pretty long. It will go through a few stages before it hardens into your paste. It will also keep trying to separate, but keep mixing it until it is VERY VERY thick like a very thick custard or maybe a meringue. Tip: Try to keep your soap as close to 70oC as you can, if you go over 70oC your soap will boil up over the top of the pot, much less than 70oC and your soap will take forever to trace The Method This is not trace, just a good imitation. It has to get much thicker than this. If you stopped at this point your soap would separate. Nope, this isn't it either, keep going. I am not sure you can tell by this picture, but at some point your soap may look sort of grainy and like it is separating. Keep going, this is normal. Now this is a stage you have to look out for. This is what your soap looks like just before it starts to puff up and out of the pot. What happens is that the soap gets too hot (you notice that it is in the double boiler.) and it doubles in size. The Method If you see this start happening get your pot into your sink and let it cool off. I have a sprayer in my sink and I use it on cold and spray the outside of the pot. I don't have any pictures of the soap puffing up, because I was just a tad too busy making sure I didn't get caustic soap all over the counter and the floor. That is exactly what happened when I tried a crock-pot to make liquid soap. I guess my crock-pot is a bit too hot and there is no way to cool it down quickly as the sides are meant for insulation. Catherine mentions this in her liquid soapmaking book, but she says that it is because of the trapped air in the soap. Through my experience I disagree with her theory. It does look as though it is full of air and that is why it is puffing up, but as long as the pot was too hot, I could not stir it down, while using a sprayer to cool the side of the pot immediately made the soap collapse back to it's original size. Whatever the theory, be aware this may happen and be prepared. The Method I didn't get a picture of the most important part of this process, trace, as when the soap came down from it's puffy stage it collapsed into a solid mass. This is sort of what it looked like, but this is a bit further on in the process, after it has been heating for a while. Put the soap into the top of your double boiler and bring the heat up. It will make a very stiff paste, I don't bother to try and mix it, it is far too thick. Check your mixture twice for separation 20 min apart. You have to pry the paste away from the bottom of the pot. If it has separated there will be a clear liquid on the bottom. If you find this you will have to mix it up again, which believe me is not that easy, a very good reason to make sure you get it too full trace. The Method Keep the water in the double boiler boiling for 3 hours. Make sure that your pot is covered, the idea is to get it as hot as possible. After about 2 hours it will start to turn translucent, if not keep cooking it at a very fast boil until it does. Cook for 1 hour after the translucent stage. I have cooked it for about 4 hours once, and it made a beautiful clear batch of soap. I have never tested my liquid soap with phenolthalein so I don't know how well that works. Dilution: Scrape the paste into a pot of 4820 ml of water for dilution. Break it up a bit to get it into manageable sized chunks. The Method Slowly heat up your water/soap mixture to a medium heat and then turn it off overnight. Make sure the pot is covered. If your soap is high in soft oils (which this recipe is) it will get a skin on it if it isn't covered. Once you add the borax it will fix this but until that time, keep the lid on all of the time. If you have lots of coconut in your soap it will completely melt overnight. If it is high in soft oils (again which this recipe is) you will have to reheat it in the morning to get rid of the last of the chunks. In the morning heat up your mixture to just warm and melt any leftover chunks, again making sure you keep the lid on until it warms up. The Method The soap doesn't have to be very hot. Add your neutralizer, I use borax Neutralizer: 56 g borax 112 g water Heat up the water and borax mixture in the microwave until the borax completely melts. This is harder than it sounds. Borax will not melt until it is very hot and it will become solid again as soon as it cools so you have to heat it up just before you add it to your soap. When the borax is melted it will be as clear as water. When you add your fragrance to the soap it may cloud the soap., the soap will clear again as it cools. The Method Sulfated castor: This recipe should give you a very clear gel like liquid soap, but to get it totally clear you have to make a soap that is at 0% superfat. You are a soapmaker so you know that soap made with no superfatting will leave your skin quite dry. The only thing that will superfat this soap and not make it opaque is Sulfated castor oil. It is kind of hard to get, and really if you don't care if your soap is transparent, you can use any oil that you like. I like the clear soap so I hunted down the Sulfated castor. -add 70g of sulfated if you are using it, and fragrance. If you get the mixture too hot, you may want to wait for the solution to cool down a bit to add the fragrance, otherwise it will vaporize. Let it cool and voila, liquid soap. It seems complicated at first, but once you do it a few times it becomes much clearer. Remember what CP seemed like when we first started. The Understanding Now this may seem to be an obvious point, but one day I got the light bulb and it seemed pretty important. Liquid soap is water soluble, when you mix water and oil, the oil will turn the water white and eventually migrate out and float on top of the water. This means that if you want to superfat any oils left over will, first make your soap cloudy, then eventually end up as a layer of white on top of your soap. Some people may not mind a cloudy soap and may even want the look of a superfatted liquid soap, the bottom line is that I have never found a way to keep the oils incorporated in the soap with out adding polysorbate 20… which brings us to the next point. If you want to superfat your liquid soap, you have to use either turkey red oil (sulfated castor) which is water soluble, or add polysorbate 20 to your oils to make them water soluble. The Understanding I now make liquid soap at a 0% superfat. When you add fragrance or essential oils that close to the line, your soap may turn cloudy due to the oil in the fragrance. This will not happen if you make your soap with water soluble fragrances, but water based fragrances are just regular fragrances with polysorbate 20 in them, so you might as well add it yourself. I have taken pictures of a soap that I made that turned cloudy and separated, so I took some pictures to show how well polysorbate 20 works. This was the cloudy soap. It turned cloudy when I added the borax, so I suspect that I miss-measured the lye a bit to get a bit more superfatted soap. As I added the polysorbate 20 the soap started to clear. When you first add it, the soap does not seem to be effected, but as you stir it slowly starts to clear. The Understanding Here is the final product, I added 1 drop of green food coloring to the whole batch and my fragrance. By the next day it was crystal clear., and smelled great btw. Thick soap I like you have tried everything to thicken soap, bottom line… I have found nothing that will thicken your soap except the mixture of oils. I have tried, crothix (various ways including neutralizing with citric acid), xanthum gum, various carbopol's, guar gum, and innumerable chemicals. The only thing that I have found that will make a thicker soap is by using no more than 20% coconut oil. I also made a 100% batch of castor oil batch and it was water thin. I have read on a list that some people are making a thicker soap by boiling down their soap to evaporate the water out of your solution. I personally did not find that that works. As you can tell, my "understanding liquid soapmaking" is pretty low on information. I have been making cold process liquid for over a year now, and for me it is much less stressful. I will be updating this page again with CP liquid soap later in the year (after tax time). If you have any other insights to liquid soap, let me know and I will put it on the web page. I have to be able to reproduce your results so it may take a while to get on the site. I will of course credit you for the information.