Soap Concentrates

Soap Concentrates are available in barrel quantities from the very large Soap Manufacturers? - but smaller companies also have soap products that could be suitable for Bubble Tech and this level of the supply chain is the Soap Formulators? who package and distribute Soap Products under various labels. Then there are Soap Wholesale suppliers and distributors that deliver to the retail, industrial and commercial end-users. The consummer, buying soap from the retailer is on the tail end of this chain of supply.

I would be pleased to see a level of cooperation here where our community would build on the work that has been done. It is certainly worth while to give the formula that Ross Elliot has developed a try. Sodium Laurel Sulfates and others in the same family of chemicals are quite complex - for example the formula of the one from Stepan Inc? that I was using is:

Sodium methyl-2 sulfo C12-C18 ester and Disodium 2-sulfo C12 -C16 fatty acid This the Stepan Product No. ALPHA-STEP MC-48, which has this description from their product sheet:

Appearance @25C Clear yellow liquid
Color, Gardner 4 Max.
Total Actives, % 36-39
Solids, % by Wt. 40-42
Pour Point, C (F) -5 (23)
Freeze Point, C(F) -8(18)
Cloud Point, C(F) 5(41)
pH, 10 aqueous 5 - 7
Flash Point (SETA), C(F) 66(151)
Density, g/ml (lbs/US gal) 1.06 (8.8)
Viscosity, @ 25C cps 50
RVOC, US EPA, % (methanol) 3
Critical Micelle Concentration, mg/l 599

What does that last number mean - I don't have any idea. I have received some concentrate that was practically solid at room temperature. I have also seen the stuff precipitate when mixed with another type of soap - so these products are not all compatible. I know that a low cloud point temperature such as the one above means that the soap will remain in solution even if the dilute soap solution gets quite cold.

There is also the issue of the stability of the bubbles in the cavity. Good formulations will have some additives that are compatible that will extend the life of bubbles. I have used Cocamide DEA for this purpose. I do not have the knowledge of the bubble chemistry. It would be fantastic if among our members we might have some individuals professors or industry people) who do have this knowledge and could help to illuminate some of these questions - perhaps there are some students who could make this a topic of study or thesis work. - Rick

Summary, 10.18.04: Rick has used Stepan Product No. ALPHA-STEP MC-48 with good success - ' I would dilute this ten times and also I would use two parts of this surfactant with one part of Cocamide DEA which is a stabilizer (found in most shampoos) and extends the life of the bubbles.' - Marcin