How to Use Liquid Soap Base
Making liquid soap from scratch is not for the faint of heart - it usually takes at least 8 hours to cook and then dilute. Premade bases are great if you're short on time. We have several options to choose from. They still feel amazing on the skin and you can customize them with fragrance, color, and additives. Learn how to work with liquid soap bases below.
Liquid Soap Concentrate Base needs to be diluted before use. We recommend a 4:1 ratio of water to soap. In a large pot, bring distilled water to a boil. Add the concentrate and stir to combine. Keep the mixture around 160° F and stir periodically until everything is fully incorporated. It usually takes a few hours depending on how much concentrate you’re diluting. When the soap is ready, let it cool and add fragrance and color if you like. We love using Lab Colors for a transparent tint. Then, pour the soap into bottles and enjoy.
Stephenson Organic Liquid Castile Soap, Stephenson Suspending Body Wash, and Natural Castile Liquid Soap Base don't need to be diluted. Just put the soap in a container, pour in additives, mix well, and transfer to bottles.
If you want to customize the consistency, you can thicken the bases with salt water. To make the solution, mix 0.5 ounces of plain table salt with 1.5 ounces of warm distilled water. Stir until the salt is fully dissolved. Pour your soap base into a mixing container. Add 1 mL of salt water and stir to combine. If you want the soap thicker, you can add more salt water in 1 mL increments.
It is possible to add too much salt water. The soap will get extremely thick - similar to the texture of jelly soap. Below, we added 10 mL of salt water to 4 ounces of soap.
For the sake of experimenting, we added all 1.5 ounces of salt water. It gave the soap an unpleasant milky consistency.
Another option is liquid crothix. It's easy to use - just add it to room temperature base and mix until the soap thickens. You can use it at 1-8% of the total weight of your recipe. Just like the salt water, start with 1% and add more from there.
Sometimes, you don’t need to thicken soap with salt water or crothix because your fragrance or essential oil does the work for you. Just like cold process, they can accelerate and thicken the soap. Fragrance and essential oils can also affect the clarity and color of the base. We recommend making a small test batch to see how they perform.
Below, we added 3 mL of lemongrass essential oil to 8 ounces of Stephenson Organic Liquid Castile Soap. As we stirred, the base become a little cloudy and immediately began to thicken. We didn't need to add any salt water. The next day, the soap looked nice and clear.