Thursday, June 21, 2012

Questions about lye and update on solubilizers

As a quick note to the kind readers who have asked if I'm okay. Yes. Our town - Chilliwack - is experiencing higher than normal water levels and the parts of town outside the dike are being evacuated, but those of us in the non-flood plain part are fine. Thank you for asking! I'll let you know if my status changes!

Terri asked in this post: I'm curious about the lye solution. Can I mix potassium hydroxide with water to make my own, or is this something you recommend purchasing already as a solution? 

In this post on gels, I suggest making the 18% solution by mixing 18% lye (sodium hydroxided) with 82% water to make the neutralizer for the carbomer gels. I don't know much about potassium hydroxide as I don't make soaps, but I think you could try the same thing with it to neutralize your gels. If it works, let us know! If it doesn't, let us know!

As an aside, I need more time to work with the caprylyl/capryl glucoside because as of today I'm really not a fan of it. I spilled a little on the glass on my workshop bench, and it has dried into a solid sticky mess that won't clean up well with even my strongest cleansers! There are bits of paper towel all over the glass! It's not solubilizing anything very well, and it felt really sticky on my skin when I used it in a make-up remover.

And I need to start my experiments with solubilizers again because it's not going well. I think I've chosen the wrong fragrance, so I need to choose a fragrance than I know will work - perhaps the Yuzu fragrance oil because I know that worked before - and start again! (I think the issue might be that the Clementine Cupcake is a non-polar fragrance? I can't really be sure, but it's my hunch.) As you can see above, I've tried the caprylyl/capryl glucoside, polysorbate 20, polysorbate 80, and Caprol Micro Express, and none of them have worked!


Clive said...

KOH will neutralize exactly the same as NaOH when working with Carbopol polymers. Of course the mass of the base that's needed will be different due to the different molecular weight.

Evik said...

I happen to use KOH for soapmaking - pay attention to the concentration of KOH, often KOH is selled in 85-90 % purity, that means you need to increase the pre-calculated amount of 100% KOH accordingly.

Nancy Liedel said...

I use NaOH as a neutralizer and make it up ahead of time. It's in a nice squeeze bottle with a lot of X's on it and red electrical tape. I put red electrical tape on every possible dangerous things. Oh, and things I don't want anyone to touch. hehe. In our house, "red is dead!"

I also keep it locked up away from any possible accidents. I use a citric acid solution I make up ahead of time too. Lower my pH.

I would rather use those than the other pH adjusters. I'm comfortable with them and they have more label appeal. :)

Robert said...

Nancy, I once heard that the amino acid Arginine (being very basic and positively charged) could be used as a 'natural' alternative to the more traditional carbomer neutralizers.

I have never tried this but it seems like this theoretically could work. I would be interested to hear the result if anybody should try this.

Marsha said...

Susan, What are your final thoughts on caprylyl capryl glucoside? I was going to purchase some, but after seeing this, I'm a little skepticle. I need something that will do well to solubiliz0e free/excess fats in my liquid soap making so that I maintain a clear soap. I'd prefer to use something that is EcoCert, however, I'm starting to relent a little on that and purchase polysorbate 80 for my needs until something else becomes available to home crafters that fits whqaqt I need. Maybe you can make a recommendation?