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Olive Oil Liquid Soap

Recently, I was asked to show how to make a batch of liquid soap that was a 100% Olive Oil batch. This batch of soap was easy to make, but definitely a learning experience during the dilution phase!

Collect needed items:

Olive Oil
Potassium Hydroxide
Water (I used Reverse Osmosis.)
Soap Spoons
Crock pot or Double Boiler system
Safety goggles, anti fog are helpful
Heavy duty gloves
Immersion blender
Work clothes with long sleeves and closed shoes
Microwave for heating oils (If you are using the crock pot)
Containers for the finished soap
Recipe in ounces:
32 ounces Olive Oil

6 ounces Potassium Hydroxide
12 fluid ounces Water

To begin making my liquid soap, I weighed and poured my Olive Oil into the crock pot. I turned the crock pot on and waited for the oil to heat. My desired temperature is around 160° F. This temperature does not need to be precise. This took about 10 minutes to heat the oil to 157° F. As this is close enough, I weighed the Potassium Hydroxide and then added it to my water. I’ve made three other batches of liquid soap, so this time the boiling sound did not bother me. Once the Potassium Hydroxide solution was completely mixed, I added it to the oil in the crock pot. Don’t forget to pour in a slow and steady stream to help prevent splashing oil or clumping of the ingredients.

I used the immersion blender and began mixing to combine the Potassium Hydroxide solution and oils. It will take a longer time to mix together because Olive Oil takes a long time to saponify. It actually took about 20 minutes before the soap reached to cottage cheese stage! I would switch my motor for the immersion blender out with another motor to prevent myself from frying the motor. I probably switched between the two motors every 5 minutes.

After the soap finally reached the cottage cheese stage, it still took another 30 minutes just to finally reach that thick & sticky stage that is called the “sticky, saltwater taffy” stage. I could no longer use the immersion blender as the soap was so thick. I grabbed the whisk attachment for the blender, switched out the blending blade for the whisk and continued to mix the soap.

This batch of soap was behaving much more slowly than the other batches that I have made so far. Another indicator was that the soap never puffed, which I was ok with. I don’t like worrying if my soap is going to overflow! I continued cooking the soap and stirring every 20 minutes. I remained in the blog kitchen working on other projects so I could keep an eye out for any problems with the soap.

After 3 hours of stirring the soap every 20 minutes, the soap still had an off-white appearance with some translucent spots. Since it was the end of the work day, I took the crock pot home with me. I continued to cook the soap for another hour I stirred the soap every 20 minutes. After that additional hour of cooking, I the soap was completely translucent. When the soap reached this translucent stage, I boiled 2 ounces of water and added 1 oz of soap to the water. After stirring until the soap was completely dissolved, I allowed the soap sample to cool. Yippee! The sample was completely clear.

I turned off the crock pot and allowed to soap to cool completely in the pot. The next morning, I took the soap back to work and dumped it into a large pot for dilution. I added 64 ounces of tap water to the pot and cooked the soap for 1 hour on low heat to allow the soap to dilute slowly. After 1 hour of cooking, there were still clumps of soap, so I added another 32 ounces of tap water. I cooked the soap for another hour and finally the soap was completely diluted. I poured the soap into a 2 gallon pail to cool and covered it. Then I cleaned all of the remaining tools and pots.

I left the pail sitting on the counter overnight and when I came back the next morning, I was VERY surprised to find my soap had become a thick gel that was like in rubber cement in consistency. Ack! What did I do wrong? I asked our Technical Support team and they asked me what water I had used for dilution. Ahh, there was my problem. I used tap water and since we have a water softener, there was a higher salt content to the water. This caused the soap to thicken so much. I asked if it was possible to fix my soap or if I had really messed up. Luckily, I was told that I could dilute the soap gel with either distilled water or reverse osmosis water and have a fluid soap again.

I pulled out my clean pot and scraped the soap gel into the pot and added 32 ounces of reverse osmosis water to dilute the soap. I cooked the soap for 1 hour on low heat to allow the soap to dilute slowly. After 1 hour of cooking, there were still clumps of soap, so I added another 32 ounces of reverse osmosis water. I cooked the soap for another hour and finally the soap was completely diluted. I poured the diluted soap in a clean 2 gallon bucket and covered the bucket. The next day, I checked on the soap and was so excited to find that it was still liquid.

The Olive Oil Liquid Soap samples have been sent to the Shipping Department to send out in orders. I’m excited to say I have approximately 80 samples of this liquid soap! I would love to hear your comments about this liquid soap. I hope that anyone wanting a sample soap will request one with their order and if we have any samples we will send them to you.

I hope you have found this post to be entertaining as well as educational. Stay tuned for some great upcoming posts including a special bar soap for a special person, lotions that are perfect for the spring weather and even some food recipes!

Heating the Olive Oil in the crockpot.

Adding Potassium Hydroxide to the water.

Mixing the Potassium Hydroxide and water.

Mixing the oil and potassium hydroxide solution.

Stirring the mixture.

The soap is beginning to clump.

The clumps are starting to get bigger.

Starting to mix the soap with the whisk attachment.

Stirring the soap paste.

Yay! Translucent spots!

Still diluting the soap.

A full bucket of soap gel.

Completely finished liquid soap!

The soap as it cooks during the first 20 minutes.

The soap after 90 minutes of cooking.

Beginning to dilute the soap with tap water.

Rubber cement soap gel.

Putting the soap gel back in the pot.

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