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Posted by andriantoangkadirjo85 on July 7, 2011


This time I’d like to write about bar soap, especially transparent soap. Well, bar soap market is expected to grow at a very healthy rate of 5%-6% over the next five years. Hence, the bar soap business is a very interesting market. The bar soap has evolved over the years from purely cleansing product to a product that now offers multiple benefits and functionality. As a consequence, the bar soap is continuously being challenged to provide more value-added features in the area of multifunctionality, ex :

1. Soaps with extracts, oils and polyols, such as honey oil, chamomile, tea tree oil, etc.

2. Soaps that offer personal protection and hygiene such as in the anti-bacterial domain.

3. Soaps that provide skin care properties such as moisturizing, mildness, etc.

4. Soaps with a combination of mild synthetic detergents.

5. Soap bars with distinctive appearance, perfume impact and release, and bar feel.

Well, what is soap actually? It is a sodium salt of fatty acids from oils or fats of both animal and vegetable origin. A strong alkaline base is reacted with a fatty acid such as those found in tallow, palm oil, or coconut oil. The base used is almost always sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. This process is known as saponification. In South East Asia, soaps are primarily made from palm oil blended with either coconut oil or palm kernel oil. India uses hardened rice bran oil, China, cattle and sheep tallow and lard. Australia generally uses tallow. A typical blend would be 80% palm oil or tallow and 20% palm kernel oil or coconut. The 80/20 formulation gives about the right balance of lather, rate of wear, cleaning ability and hardness.

Sodium hydroxide (lye) makes a hard soap, while potassium hydroxide makes a softer or gelatinous soap. Hard soap can be made transparent by the addition of alcohol to ground soap particles after the soap-making process has completed. Liquid soaps and some cream soaps are translucent without the addition of alcohol, primarily due to a higher water content in the soap.

The process of saponification can be devided into COLD PROCESS SOAP, MELT AND POUR SOAP, HOT PROCESS SOAP, etc. In my case, I use MELT AND POUR SOAP methods in regards of its simpleness. I purchased clear soap base in blocks to be melted down, colored and fragranced, and placed into molds ( of course, you can make clear soap from scratch, similar to those of cold process but take a few steps further by adding alcohol for clarity and a glycerin and sugar mix to suspend and enhance the clarity ..). Hope got a chance to practice it..:)

I used : TRANSPARENT ULTRA TR as soap transparent base, GLUCAM P-20 2% as humectant, Vit. E acetate 1% as antioxidant, fragrance green apple 3% and green color qs.

First, I melt the base at 70C . Remove from the heat, let cool to 50C and add humectant, vit E, fragrance apple and green color. Mix slowly to avoid bubble. Then pour into the plastic mold as quickly as possible and spray down foam with alcohol. Spritz until smooth. Then freeze the soap in the fridge for one hour  (this doesn’t hurt the soap at all). The faster the cooler, the better! 

Give the soap about two weeks to dry and become even more transparent and longer-lasting.

A couple more tips :

  • When unmolding use rubber gloves so you won’t get fingerprint on the soap.
  • Frozen soap will look cloudy; let it rest first before checking for clarity.
  • After freezing, let soaps thaw for about 3 or 4 minutes and they should pop out.
  • If you find your soap is sticky or not clear after removing from the molds, you can cut it back, melted down. Add a couple more alcohol, stir and pour through a sieve. Then pour into your molds. Make sure you do this within the first couple of days because you risk evaporating alcohol, which reduces transparency and makes sticky soap.

andriantoangkadirjo85 bottom line

– Well, certainly it takes a bit of practice to make transparent soap, but these are the steps and once you get the hang of it, it’s rather matter how you make it, by melt and pour method or from the scratch.

– If your soap fails the first time, it can nearly ALWAYS be saved! However, it is usually recommended to give rebatched/remelted soap a couple of weeks in which to harden up so that it will last longer.


One Response to “TRANSPARENT SOAP..”

  1. fun said

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