(Note: This post is not a tutorial on liquid soap. If you are interested in that, please see Humblebee and Me for a great tutorial or 'Making Natural Liquid Soaps' by Catherine Failor. This post is my notes on the Dilution Ratios of Liquid Soap. Your comments are greatly appreciated! )
My adventures in soaping have expanded into liquid soap! I've used Catherine Failor's book as a resources, reading it from cover to cover multiple times (a must have if you are making liquid soap!). However, I found it confusing when it can to the dilution section. So... in order to understand her ratios, I took my 6 lb. batch of soap and broke it up into six one lb. batches. Then I used her dilution chart and experimented with 3- one lb. batches.
In batch one, I diluted the paste by 35%, batch #2 by 30%, and batch #3 by 25%. I choose these percentages because I used soft oils and according to the book, the oils are more soluble. The second reason is that it's always easier to add water than to take it away. To have watery liquid soap, would be a whole new ball game! So I took lots of notes per batch to understand how the dilution process worked.
Results: Batch #1: My soap did not dilute. So I had to add more water.
Batch #2: My soap was a little more diluted, but I still had to add more water.
Batch #3: Much better! There were chucks of soap in the crock pot that stubbornly wouldn't go away (the crock pot might not be hot enough) so I took a stick blender to it. The soap clumps went away, the soap turned cloudy, but it quickly went away and I was left with clear soap. I did add more water!
Conclusion: For the soft oils I used, my recommendation is start off with a 25% dilution ratio. By the time I added more water to batch 1 and 2, I was at 20%. So, I found that a 25% ratio makes great shampoo or body gel while the 20% makes a great hand soap!
What have you discovered with your liquid soap?