Monday, 19 March 2012

my liquid soap experiment

last year, I read an awful lot about making liquid soap using the glycerine method.  I'd never made liquid soap before, mainly because it seems such a faff!  But this method sounded quick & fun, perfect for a busy girl like me, and I wanted to have a go.  I ordered some KOH and when it arrived, this is what happened:

weighed out the KOH

oils (olive & a bit of castor) in the crock pot

 adding the KOH to the HOT glycerine, on a small flame

This part was interesting (read: scary!) the KOH fizzes as you add it to the glycerine, so you have to add slowly and stir it down as you do so. which was fun one handed whilst holding the camera steady with the other hand!  Too much and it will volcano out of the pan!  Keep stirring until it is fully disolved.

fizz fizz whoosh!

add the lye slowly to the oils and stir with a whisk

it changes fast, from clear to golden to.......

dark rich copper with sticky toffee forming in the middle

it thickens very quickly and goes from caramel to this:

lovely thick custard.

Now it is time to stop stirring. I left it over night and the next day the consistency was very unexpected. I thought I'd get sticky taffy, but instead, it was rock solid like toffee.

I could not get any out of the pot, so I reaheated it, weighed some out and plopped into a jam jar.It was like very sticky runny honey at this stage when hot.  I added freshly boiled water to dilute, it is impossible to stir it in, you just have to leave it to dissolve for a few hours, then stir it gently to avoid bubbles!

undiluted in the jar

with the hot water added. you can see the water floating on the surface.

Hope you enjoyed reading about my liquid soap experiment part 2 will follow soon. I'll show you how it turned out, what happened when I added EO and how it feels on the skin 8 months later. see you soon x


  1. I've been reading up on the glycerin method too, but haven't taken the plunge yet. Can't wait to read part 2!

  2. Oh I have some KOH myself but was keeping it for cream soap... but you never know!

  3. Love the photo's of the different stages.

  4. Great post. I've not done the glycerin method yet, and I may give it a try. I have lots of KOH on hand....

  5. Great post Emma. I;ve never tried liquid soap for the reason you gave - it seems such a faff. this looks do-able and your step by step photos are a great help xx

  6. thanks Lindy & Polly, it really was quite straight forward, but it does move quite fast! :)

  7. That looks seriously scary! Looking forward to part two!

  8. This is how I make my LQ and shampoo. I have to say it does not go solid though. I wonder if that is to do with the oils used?

    Great post!