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  1.   1 point

    If you have the time, patience, and motivation, read on...

    1) At a pH level of "7" Dove is a true neutral pH soap. To get this you'd have to run your cured soap through a rebatch operation and mix in boric acid to lower the soap's naturally high pH. Source:

    2) You can lower your soap's pH by adding Citric Acid but then you must also up your lye to compensate for the CA or your soap will separate. Tricky, but it can be done. Here's a formula from my files:

    Add 0.571 oz. of NaOH for every oz. of CA.

    Example: If you use 0.25 oz. of CA ppo (Per Pound Oil) for 32 oz. oils:

    2 (lbs) x 0.25 = 0.5 oz. CA

    0.5 x 0.571 = 0.2885 oz. extra lye (0.29 oz. rounded off)

    3) Citric Acid can be used to reduce soap scum, especially useful if you have hard water. It reacts with the lye to form sodium citrate.

    Use rate is 0.1% to 0.5%. Up to 1 tsp. (1-5 grams) ppo

    SAP value is 0.571 for monohydrate citric acid.
    SAP value is 0.625 for anhydrous citric acid.

    Add citric acid to oils before adding lye water. If you add it to your water, add the lye slowly and carefully. The citric acid will cause some excess bubbling and splashing.

    Clear as mud, yes? HAVE FUN! and please report back if you try this...
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2009
      0 points
    Please use caution when adding citric acid, and only do it during a rebatch. I know people think we are crazy here, but we always try to err on the side of caution.

    Please be careful out there.
  2.   1 point
    Hi Zany! I'm new to the forum, and have been soaping for a few years now. I do only liquid soap however.

    I've had this particular post bookmarked for some time, as it interests me a lot and is probably the most substantial thing i can find on the internet that pertains to my goals. Not even Kevin Dunn's forum has any info. I'm attempting to lower pH in my liquid soap, and i've tried several method thus far. As it stands, they all yielded the same end result, a lower pH. So now, i'm trying this method outline here, in an attempt to see if it is simpler than my others. Thus far, I've used a combination of citric and lauric acids for my first test run. And my second involved a very high superfat. So now, I'm trying to use this method that is outlined, with the variation being using KOH of course. I created 2 solutions, 1 KOH, and 1 citric acid, each at a 4:1 ratio in water, in ounces( 4oz water, 1 oz koh/ acid) Then, using phenol drops, I did a titration, by adding the citric acid solution drop for drop, to 30gram sample of the KOH solution, until the phenol's color phase was activated (clear to pink indicating it's within its readable range) then back to clear again when it' reached it's endpoint, and thus showing that the acid solution neutralized the KOH solution. I did this on my scale so i could account for the amount used, and verifed neutrality using my pH meter. I noted the weight of the acid solution being 1.9 grams. Did the appropriate resizing math, then created the new potassium citrate solution and again, verified neutrality, with a pH of 7.4. However, when I add the solution to my soap sample, the pH does not change, in fact, at some points it rises slightly. I'm wondering if the potassium citrate being in solution is having an effect, so I evaporated excess water, back to my original sample weight and am waiting for that to cool. In my 2 acid experiement, I added the powders straight to the soap batch. I also noted that the soap has become very milky compared to when I started. I'm unsure if this is free fatty acids, or something else, considering that the use of KOH with the citric acid should have prevented this.

    I guess my question is, is there any way you can site resources for your information, so that i may read further? Pretty much, i'm stumped and no matter how I word things, Googling for my answers isn't helping. For isntance, where did you find the SAP value of citric acid? And will using the proper conversion from NaOH to KOH suffice here? In your instructions, you say to rebatch, assuming cold process. Considering this is liquid soap, it's already cooked. However, Near the end, you say to "add the acid to the oils before adding lye to water...." ; is this an indication that this can be done at the beginning of the soap making process? Or is this still in reference to rebatching? Also, the Waltonfeed link is broken and it looks like their new website , Rainy Day Foods, doens't seem to contain the relevant info that was sourced. I'm also wondering what you'e thoughts are on the ph now lowered using this solution, if the problem I have is in fact not related to having used a solution versus just adding the acids and KOH to the soap.

    As it stands, i'm stumped with this one. Thanks in advance for your reply.
    • CommentTimeJul 29th 2014
      0 points

    As you are making liquid soap with Potassium Hydroxide, the ideal pH for this product is 9 to 10.5. Any lower and the soap has a tendency to "break". If the pH is too low, it can actually cause your handmade soap to become irritating.

    Most commercial cleansing products that have a pH closer to 7(neutral) are not actually soap, but detergents.

    Please proceed with caution when neutralizing your soap. We want your soap to succeed and you to be safe.
  3.   1 point
    Hi Andee. Thank you for the prompt reply, and your concern.

    However I'm very well aware of the implications to lowering ph, as it does the same thing a bar soap does. The difference would be the fact that you can actually see the results in liquid soap, compared to bar soap. The "breaking", is typically fatty acids being freed from their potassium/sodium counterparts in soap. However, this shouldn't be the case when using a like buffer such as potassium citrate, to prevent citric acid from " eating" or using up any present potassium ions in the soap itself. In liquid soap, this is best resolved by using a solubilizer, which will prevent seperation. I've found the lowered ph in liquid soap to be much better for my skin, as well as my family members skin and hair, compared to higher the higher pH counterparts. Again, I've already successfully lowered pH closer to neutral in 2 samples of my soap thus far, using 2 different methods and am attempting this method now, but am coming accross the road blocks that I previously mentioned.

    As for ideal pH of an unadultered, properly finished liquid soap, anything above 10 is too high and can be indicative to having a lye excess.

    Maybe the use of commercially made potassium citrate would be best and thankfully that arrives tomorrow.

    Thank you again, and if you have any information that would be helpful to my cause, I'd be most appreciative.
    • CommentAuthorcelestem1
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2016
      0 points
    Using the formula above, I just made a 1 lb batch of soap and added .25 oz CA and an additional .14 oz sodium hydroxide; I also used 3 pH ionized acid water + superfatted @ 7%. This batch tested a 12 pH at pour.

    I'm wondering how adding extra lye with a pH of 14 will actually lower the pH of the bar. I can wait to see the results.

    Based on this recipe, what pH range can I expect the soap to be @ cure?

  4.   0 points
    Can someone tell me if anyone was successful in lowerig PH to 5.5? I know a lot of people say naturals soaps are around PH 9.0 but I breakout easily and PH adjusted products works better on my skin. I've been researching for awhile and I also experimented a lot. Lowest i went was about 7.9 and when I put more CA, it totally separated. Is there a way to fix this also? Please email me if you found any solution!!! It would be greatly appreciated!!
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2016
      0 points
    Handmade soaps, or soap in general, are by nature alkaline. Putting them into the acidic pH range may not make them do what they are intended to do. A 7.9 is pretty darn good for a handmade soap. Have you tried this soap? I bet it's pretty mild.

    That being said, your best bet might be to hot process your soap and adding in your acidic compounds after the cook. Be sure you warm your liquid ingredients before adding to the hot soap to avoid seizing and then gently stir to incorporate. I have done this successfully with apple cider vinegar, although the resulting soap was still above a 7. I wasn't trying to go below that.
    • CommentAuthoranaabreu
    • CommentTimeNov 5th 2016
      0 points
    Hi everyone,

    I have been doing soaps using the cold process method for a while and now I decided to give a try to Citric Acid. I followed the calculations suggested at the top to calculate my extra lye. While making the soap I added the citric acid to the oils, however, I couldn't get the citric acid to dissolve. When I mixed the oils + citric acid with the water + lye solution the soap traced immediately and my red cabbage/ph tests tell me the soap has excess lye. Could it be because the citic acid didn't dissolve in the oils? Or could it be that the formula
    was wrong in the first place? Has anyone tried this successfully? I would greatly appreciate any tips! Thank you and much love
    • CommentTimeNov 5th 2016
      0 points
    It's because when you calculate your lye, it is based on the fatty acids in your oils that will make the soap. if you add citric acid before the saponification process is complete it will completely throw off your process and your soap will not turn out right. Please refer to my previous post in this thread on how to add acidic compounds without interfering with the natural process.
    • CommentAuthoranaabreu
    • CommentTimeNov 6th 2016 edited
      0 points
    HI crima! Thank you so much for getting back to me! However, I use the cold method process for soap making and I am not very familiar with the hot process. So I don't quite understand your previous port. Imagine I finished the soap using the cold method process. What can I do? Shall I try to heat up the whole thing while it traces and add the citirc acid there? I have a feeling in won't dissolve just like it didn't in the oils, since it's a powder with the same texture as sugar and not a liquid... Maybe reduce the water in the water + lye misture and then add it in the end with the citric acid? Thank you
    • CommentTimeNov 8th 2016
      0 points
    hello ana - i assume this is your name,

    What I mean by hot process is that I mix my soap the same way as the cold process method, but I do it in a crockpot with the heat turned on. No need for your oils and lye to cool down, just mix hot and stick blend to very thick trace. Then I put my lid on the pot and let it do it's thing. Depending on your recipe, it may take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes for the soap to cook. I resist the temptation to stir and just stay close by doing something else so I can keep an eye on it. It will start gelling before your eyes and some will bubble up the sides. It's very tempting to stir, but leave it alone, just keep an eye on it so it won't boil over. It'll slowly work its way from the edges to the middle and when there is no more white lump of raw soap in the middle, you can give it a good stir and do the tongue zap test. It's most likely done at this point. Which means, you are now ready to add your citric acid (as well as your other additives and fragrances). Again, how much, size of recipe matters, but I would use no more than a teaspoon for 3 lbs of soap. A little goes a long way. Dissolve that teaspoon of citric acid in about 2 ounces of hot water. You do not want to add anything cold to the soap at this stage. Once the citric acid is dissolved, pour into the crockpot with the hot soap and gently stir to incorporate.

    A small amount of water doesn't make a huge difference, especially in hot processed soap. You can hold some back from your recipe, if you want, but either way works.

    Again, I am not a big proponent of adding acidic compounds to handmade soap other than special oils or maybe ACV for its healing properties. I believe that soap needs to be alkaline and this whole pH neutral advertising by the cosmetics industry is a whole bunch of baloney. But it never hurts to experiment.