melting down old soap to make new? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I had a few remainders of old bars of soap, melted them slowly with a cup of water, thinking I could make liquid soap. I was wrong: now I have three jamjars full of gelatinous soap sludge. Any way I can alter it further to make liquid soap?

How DO they make liquid soap, anyway?

-- brooklynsheep (, September 28, 2001


a diferent lye is used and castor oil has to be in the receipe. I tried to rebatch the same way with the same luck. You got me how people "french mill" their soaps. I just get globs of soap. Do not put the pot in the diswasher unless you want to wash your entire kitchen floor!

-- Debbie (, September 28, 2001.

the sludge you made,, IS home made liquid soap. The stuff you buy at the store,,isnt made to harden,, unlike the bar stuff. You can use the sludge like liquid soap,, that how I make it from lye soap, just let it sit in some water for awhile

-- stan (, September 28, 2001.

Don't worry, I washed out the melting pot by hand afterwards -- and it sure is clean now!

I put some of the sluge in half of an old travel soap dish, the square plastic type with a base and lid. Then I put my nylon nailbrush on top, brush-side down, and it sank a little into the sludge. Now my nailbrush is pre-soaped for the next use. I guess I'll use up the sludge that way, although that means I'll be living with my mistake for a year or two.

-- brooklynsheep (, September 28, 2001.

Hi!! That "sludge" might make a good laundry detergent. I just grate my old bars of soap and throw in a handful of the gratings. (I'm assuming you're melting old handmade soap...if it's commercial soap, just ignore this post!)

Liquid soap is made using potassium hydroxide instead of sodium hydroxide. The process is a little more involved, and unless it's kept in the fridge, I've heard most people recommend adding a preservative (My sludge, made like yours, grew mold). Personally, I'll stick with bars!!

I like your idea for the nail brush...if you're letting it sit out in the open, you might find that the water will all evaporate, and you'll get hard soap again. Just a guess, though.

I like talking soap:>) I make and sell goat milk soap...the ultimate in homemade soap!

-- Sharon/WI (, September 28, 2001.

I grate and use my slivers of commercial personal soap along with grated laundry soap - works well, and I've never found that the cheaper (harder, more economical) personal laundry soap slivers can be successfully "grafted on" to a new bar. You could also, as said above, use your "sludge" as laundry detergent before it gets mouldy - should work grate - sorry, great.

-- Don Armstrong (, September 29, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ