Thursday, April 12, 2012

An aside...Working with SCI noodles, prills, or other solid forms

If you're planning to work with SCI (sodium cocoyl isethionate), remember that you need to melt it for quite some time before it is usable in your product. The best way to do this is to melt it with cocamidopropyl betaine, but you could use some anionic surfactants like the alkyl sulfosuccinates, alkyl ether sulfosuccinates, sodium or ammonium taurates, acyl glutamates, or acyl sarcosinates. You can add the amphoteric surfactants like the betaines or hydroxysultaines. Or you can add some non-ionic surfactants like polysorbate 20 or 80, alkyl glucosides (like decyl glucoside), PEG glyceryl cocoates or PEG glyceryl laurates. (Click here if you want to read about all these various surfactants! I'm just too tired to link every single category here)

Here's how I do it. I put the SCI in a Pyrex jug with my cocamidopropyl betaine and set it in to melt. I put all of the other ingredients I might add to the SCI later - my surfactants, water, aloe vera, and so on - into another container and heat it at the same time. Mix the containers regularly. When my SCI has melted, I'll add the heated other ingredients to it and stir well. I find that I still need to heat it further because the adding of the two things tends to make some of the SCI solidify. This might take some time, but better this than having that layer of SCI at the bottom of the product or having big chunks of it floating in the product!


Nedeia said...

Wow, thank you Susan! Next time I will let it melt for a longer time! Just for my info, for how much time do you heat the SCI before and after mixing with the rest of the ingredients?

Thanks!!!!!! You're a life savior!

Nancy Liedel said...

Or, you can make, hand lotion, conditioner bars, soap, and some lipstick while it melts in thecock pot with the coco-betaine....and then use it!!

Reading, "War and Peace," works, too.

Nedeia said...

Hm... THAT LONG??? I mean, more than 30 minutes before mixing and more than 30 after mixing?

p.s. speaking of War and Peace - a joke I recently heard:

"tip for the FB generation: F.M. Dostoyevsky is NOT an online radio station..." (I am unfamiliar with the EN spelling of his name, we in Romanian write Dostoievski :) )

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

It takes as long as it takes. Yep, bad answer, but it can take me 10 minutes to melt the SCI prills if all my ingredients are at room temperature when I start, my double boiler is primed and ready, and the ambient temperature isn't at the freezing or below. It can take longer if you're using SCI noodles with added stearic acid in plastic containers in a double boiler that isn't primed with surfactants that aren't great at helping solubilize it. So the factors can vary. I'm with Nancy - I prepare all kinds of other things or clean up my workshop or prepare the cool down phase, or just play Draw Some for a bit!

Tara said...

I use a teflon pot to melt SCI. It drastically reduces the time and comes out perfectly every time!