bubble bath, Frankie asks: Hi Susan! I was very excited to try this recipe to make my own bubble bath so I whipped some up last night. It was so simple and it smells great... but it's so thick that it took about 30 minutes to bottle it! And I didn't even use anything to thicken it. I know bubble bath is supposed to be on the thick side, but mine is super thick. Perhaps this is a silly question, but if I want to thin it out a little bit, can I simply add more water next time? Thanks.
The short answer is yes! The long answer is yes, and don't forget to compensate with more preservative!
Remember, too, that the fragrance you use can have a massive impact on your bubble bath (body wash, facial cleanser, etc.). Citrus fragrance and essential oils tend to thicken it quite dramatically, while vanilla tends to thin it. Keep good records of everything you make and note the fragrance, too, because you don't want to make a really thin pink sugar bubble bath that never thickened up. (Pink sugar is vanilla based, so it'll be thinner!)
Fragrances and viscosity
Fragrance and clarity
Surfactants and essential oils
shampoo bars, Nikki asks: Hi Susan! My question is how long does it normally take for SCI to melt into a Smooth consistency? I tried your shampoo bar recipe yesterday? And I was storing for over an hour and I still don't think it was smooth enough. Thank you
How smooth SCI (sodium cocoyl isethionate) will get depends on a few things, including which surfactant you mix with it to melt and which SCI you've chosen.
There are all kinds of SCI you can buy from noodles and flakes to prills and balls. You can buy some with lots of extra fatty acids and some with only a little. And each of them take more or less time to dissolve that others. (Check out this post to see all the different kinds I've owned!)
When you are melting SCI, there are a few things you can add to increase the solubility and melting time. You can add some anionic surfactants like DLS or disodium laureth sulfosuccinate or SMO or SMC taurate. You can add an amphoteric surfactant like cocamidopropyl betaine. 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.
My first choice is always cocamidopropyl betaine because it increases the mildness of the surfactant mix! Except when I'm working on a shampoo for really greasy hair, then I use DLS in its place.
Noodles seem to melt easily for me, too, but they aren't as smooth when the shampoo bar pops out of the mold as the prills are.
If you have bigger noodles, you can put them in something like a magic bullet or chopper and make them smaller. They'll melt easier when they're smaller!
Hope this helps!