Home Cosmetic Science Talk Cosmetic Industry Resources Scaling up liquid soap production - do I really need a machine?

Tagged: , ,

  • mikethair

    Member
    February 22, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    @stephanm: We find the Waring Blender a bit more versatile, and being more manouverable better able to break up the bigs clumps of soap gel during dilution. I do not think this would work as well as an overhead stirrer, but we have never tried.

    We produce the batches of saponified oils and then store in jerrycans for at least two weeks, then check the pH. When you say “mix the saponified oil(s) with the rest of the ingredients” I’m not sure what you mean here. In our case, we just mix with essential oils in the appropraite batch size for the order of face wash, body wash, or shampoo (all different recipes of saponified oils), and usually this is done using a large spoon or paddle.

  • bobzchemist

    Member
    February 22, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    I find that the food industry is usually a great place to source small to medium-sized pilot equipment, especially if you don’t worry too much about expensive scale-up.

    This 2-gallon blender, for example:

    Scales up to this 6.5 gallon one fairly well:

    But going much past that costs significant amounts of money to get the same ratio of power to batch size.
  • bobzchemist

    Member
    February 22, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Also, as @mikethair describes, you don’t really need an overhead stirrer, although your batch does need to be stirred. 

    What you’re doing with an overhead stirrer is actually automating a manual process. Soap was made for centuries by folks with paddles stirring kettles - using the overhead stirrer just means that you can use it to stir instead of having a human do it - freeing up that human to do something else (mostly, anyway - you still need to check your batch occasionally)
  • stephanm

    Member
    February 22, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    @mikethair - By ‘mix in the remaining ingredients’ I meant all the stuff on top of the saponified oil base. In our case it’s things like essential oils, jojoba oil, guar gum/vegetable glycerine.

  • belassi

    Member
    February 22, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    How do you get the pH to a reasonable level? Borax?

  • stephanm

    Member
    February 22, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    @Belassi - she’s using citric acid.

  • stephanm

    Member
    February 26, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    @mikethair: might I ask which “20 Gal (160 lbs) Water Jacketed Melter/Heater” you are using in your process? Thanks-

  • mikethair

    Member
    March 4, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    @stephanm   the 20 Gal (160 lbs) Water Jacketed Melter/Heater”we are using was purchased from http://www.soapequipment.com

    See:  http://www.soapequipment.com/Tanks/

  • belassi

    Member
    March 4, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Looks like it would be good for hot process shampoo too using an overhead paddle stirrer.

  • david08848

    Member
    March 8, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Belassi picked up on it when he said “If you use fatty acids (e.g. oleic acid) it takes seconds
    rather than minutes. Three hours is ridiculous.”

    You could also use an oil that is high in a particular fatty acid such as olive oil which is typically 80-82% Oleic Acid… hint, hint…

    Also, your lye solution is probably too weak!   So many of the books, articles call for relatively weak lye solutions because so many homecrafters are afraid of working with a stronger solution hence the three hours (they say cooking!,,Ugh!) processing time!  hint, hint…

    Dilution of paste goes pretty quickly in hot water! hint, hint…

    Why the heck do you need a mixer?  I big paddle from a restaurant supply place will do the trick and it is cheap!  Pretty much all of what I use in my 800 sq. ft. workspace is restaurant equipment from a restaurant supply place!  I bought the heater from soapequipment.com and it sits on a stainless steel table unused…

    Best of luck!

  • bobzchemist

    Member
    March 8, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    We use a 50% lye solution here. You do need to be very careful with it.

    There are high-oleic versions of sunflower, safflower, and soybean oil that might also be worth looking into.
  • belassi

    Member
    March 9, 2016 at 4:51 am

    If I were making liquid soap in large quantity, I would be looking at buying palmitic acid, oleic acid, and coconut oil as the majority components and adding minority oils as required eg avocado oil, shea butter, etc.

  • Dilfre

    Member
    October 7, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Hi Bob, this scale is still too artesanal, what about industry level , do you have some info about equipment manufacturers at masive comsumption level?

  • bobzchemist

    Member
    October 7, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Now that’s a fun question. I don’t usually get to play with equipment at that level.

    Yes, I have info about all size levels. How large are we talking about?

    (When I first started working, I worked for Unilever. I used to joke about buying one of their surplus soap tanks to live in - it was larger than my house).

  • Dilfre

    Member
    October 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks for your fast and nice repply. We are talking about 300 Kg to saponify once a day. Also, Unilever style is exactly what I looking for, because the product what I’m talking about is solid soap. Sure it is not apartment size but still is greater than arthesanal size. Regards
    Note: how to avoid in tank solidification is also a great subject to cover for me. I know the greater the tank the a greater the risk.

  • Anonymous

    Guest
    April 29, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    Hi All

    This is quite a old post but based on your great responses would it be great to get your thoughts on the following video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpkr4KSf0hA

    It is only showing a small part of the process and maybe that is why it appears as it does. What some of you maybe know is if it is possible to make castile liquid soap in a process where it always stays liquid as it appears in that video.

    Looking forward to hear your thoughts

  • david08848

    Member
    April 30, 2018 at 3:42 am

    Of course it is… if you are making castile which is often very high in Olive Oil or made totally of Olive Oil.  As I said before, it is about 81-82% Oleic Acid which makes a very water soluble soap but Castor is even better in that respect.  The question is how long does saponification take with such a liquid product?  Quite a while, I would think!  The more “paste” type of method happens much more quickly…

  • Anonymous

    Guest
    May 1, 2018 at 1:09 am

    @David08848 Thanks for your input.
    I tried to make it like that in a crock pot with a mixer slowly running but after 2 days it still was cloudy so I though to get some outside input. One thing I could retry is adding only enough water to make it liquid so it stays closer to “paste”. 

    By the way, beautiful place you got and nice website. If you should not be aware do I believe your link to your contact page are not working correctly.

    Thanks again

Page 2 of 2

Log in to reply.