Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Liquid Soap is cloudy

  • Liquid Soap is cloudy

    Posted by Anonymous on February 18, 2014 at 12:08 pm


    I made liquid hand soap with coconut oil, safflower oil, palm kernal oil and potassium hydroxide.  I did 10% additional KOH and then neutralized with boric acid.  I thickened it with sodium chloride and added grapefruit extract for scent.  I sequestered for 2 weeks and now it is cloudy and has a “white cloud” on the bottom that won’t mix in.  Is this due to the grapefruit extract?  I have made this same soap and scented with orange essential oil and the soap was clear.  Any suggestions to fix would be great!!


    Bobzchemist replied 9 years, 9 months ago 3 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Bobzchemist

    February 18, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    It could be microbial contamination. What was the final pH? Have you run a plate count?

  • chemicalmatt

    February 18, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Compounder, when you lowered the pH, then added salt, you salted out the saponified coconut/palm higher fractions (C18 +).  Leave the pH at 9.0 plus, and don’t add salt.  As long as your total solids are less than 25%, you should be OK.  If not, just decant the water off and re-tag it as shaving cream. No problemo!

  • Anonymous

    February 18, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    The pH is currently 9.  I have made several other batches and used salt to thicken it.  I have never had that happen.  Do you think its the grapefruit essential oil cauing the cloudiness?

    Bobzchemist: The pH is currently 9.  I don’t think its microbial contamination.

  • the_microbiologist

    February 18, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    It could still be microbial contamination at pH 9 in my opinion.  To quote my Ph.D. advisor Charles Gerba, “Germs never give up, they always find a way!”

    pH 10 or above would be the alkalinity at which I would not anticipate much microbial growth.

    The problem with germs is that they’re invisible so it’s tough to tell without lab testing.

  • Bobzchemist

    February 19, 2014 at 9:12 am

    We’ve seen microbial/fungul growth in our liquid soaps up to pH 11…

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