A few soap questions

Discussion in 'Soap Making' started by JN, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. JN

    JN New Member

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    Good morning . I have a few questions please...

    - I recently purchased a Hisense dehumidifier from Lowes. I have it with my soaps in my walk in closet. The lowest humidity level it will go to is 30%. Is that going to be enough to dry my soap more quickly? It is drawing a good amount of water from the air. I'm happy to see that. It does make my closet pretty warm though. Is that normal?

    - I have been soaping (cold method) for a few years now with good results. Been selling soap for some time. Happy customers. :) Recently I have noticed my soap turning back to liquid after I have poured it up in my molds. This used to not happen. I haven't changed anything?? What causes this? I made a couple batches this week that did this. The first batch I split and made half a batch of plain milk bars and the other half Oatmeal. After I poured these up I made another batch and split it as well. 1/2 Spearmint Eucalyptus and 1/2 my Kitchen Sink Bars. All of them turned to liquid although the Spearmint Eucalyptus turned to liquid far later than my others? I thought it wasn't going to because the others did so much sooner. Even the Kitchen Sink Bars which were from the same batch. When I cut them I noticed the plain had darker spots inside. The oatmeal didn't and it was from the same batch so I found that strange. I have never had the darker spots before. What causes this and will they go away as the soap cures??

    Thanks for any help/advice you can offer. :) Be blessed!
     
  2. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

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    I don't think my dehumidifier goes any lower either. If it's pulling water out of the air then it's doing its job. It does heat things up and I'm wondering what effect that might have in a closed closet and is there some way to vent the heat out. I soap in a basement and my curing area is a framed in room with just 2 layers of plastic instead of drywall so it's not air-tight. The room is a bit warmer than the rest of the basement it's not overly so.

    No idea with the soap turning to liquid. So.....it turned to liquid then hardened back up? Was it really liquid or just gelling? Mine will gel hot this time of year and I can press on the top and feel it give a little like the middle is liquidy. But that's normal.

    What kind of darker spots? Like a lot of small dark spots all over or?
     

  3. JN

    JN New Member

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    I'm guessing this is what people call gelling?? Not sure. It sounds like what you are describing. As for the spots...When I sliced the soap you could see a large spot in the middle of the bar. Like it ran through the center of the soap all the way through. It's darker than the rest of the soap but the same color if that makes sense?? Kind of like a water spot in a leaky ceiling. A few bars had two smaller spots instead of one large spot. I'm assuming it was caused by it "gelling"?? The spot seems a little softer than the rest of the bar. (I just cut them this morning so they are all still soft.) If this is gelling what causes it sometimes and not all the time? And should those spots dry normally and fade? Thanks for your help.
     
  4. hsmomof4

    hsmomof4 New Member

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    Soap will sometimes gel (and I wouldn't really call it liquid...more like, well, a gel, and it resembles vaseline) and sometimes not. It can depend on a number of things, such as how warm your oils and/or lye were when you were soaping, how warm the room is, the size, shape, and material of the mold, or if you used any ingredients that heat things up (such as milk, sugars, beer, etc). Warmer means more likely to gel. If you get a partial gel, the soap gels only in the center and not on the outside (the center is going to be warmer because of the mass of the soap; the edges are cooler because the room is cooler than the soap is). If that happens, you can get a circle of slightly darker soap in the middle of the bar, with the end bars having smaller circles (or even none) and the bars in the middle of a log having larger circles. They will always be darker than the rest of the soap. Sometimes they will seem softer at first because they are warmer when you cut the soap.
     
  5. JN

    JN New Member

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    This sounds exactly like what is happening. Funny that I used to not have this problem. Maybe it is the temp of my house. Thanks so much for all of your help ladies. :)
     
  6. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

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    Yep....sounds like partial gel. If you insulate your mold that should keep it warm enough to gel to the edges. Temp in the house has a lot to do with it. This time of year I don't need to insulate....even in the basement. But then I make large batches so it heats up more than a smaller batch. In the winter I insulate.
     
  7. JN

    JN New Member

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    So gelling is a good thing then??
     
  8. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

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    Some people have a preference. I don't notice a diff. one way or the other. Some will go to extremes (putting soap into the fridge or freezer) to prevent gel. My soap gels without any help from me so I may as well make sure it gels all the way so there's no funny ring. Not so noticeable in my slabs but definitely noticeable in single logs.