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BlackBoar

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I know I just posted but I'm really proud of this one.

lemongrass essential oil (plus a little left over oakmoss sandalwood) about 18 grams total for 400 grams oil

Coconut Oil: 25%
Olive Oil: 25%
Rice Bran: 25%
Shea:12%
Castor:8%
Cocoa Butter: 5%

water: Almost full, just took away maybe 5 grams when measuring for the heck of it

SF: 7%




Extra two drops of ROE added this time to see if that increases shelf life.

For this soap my oils and lye were about 120 again but I put the loaf in the preheated to 170 oven, then kept turning the oven on and off for like an hour. I kept checking the temperature and slowly brought the soap up to 130-140 degrees.

This is when it started to gel at the bottom and worked it's way up. I would not leave the oven on for more than a few seconds.

When it had gone through gel most of the way it read at 150-160 degrees and I started to let more air out of the oven.

I sprayed it with rubbing alcohol multiple times throughout this process. When it was finished gelling I took it out of the oven to let it cool. Still spraying with alcohol.

I then put it into my mini fridge to speed up the cool down process. When I took it out it was just starting to get the brain/bubbly texture on the top. Taking it out and cooling it down prevented this. The alcohol prevented soda ash.
 

Steve85569

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When I CPOP I use a mass (weight) in the oven to maintain the temperature so I don't need to babysit. I also cover the mold with some cling wrap to prevent ash.

That works for me. As long as what you are doing works continue enjoying making beautiful soaps!
 

penelopejane

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I know I just posted but I'm really proud of this one.



For this soap my oils and lye were about 120 again but I put the loaf in the preheated to 170 oven, then kept turning the oven on and off for like an hour. I kept checking the temperature and slowly brought the soap up to 130-140 degrees.



This is when it started to gel at the bottom and worked it's way up. I would not leave the oven on for more than a few seconds.


I really think you are cooking the soap. The soap looks a little spongy or shiny or waxy or something. Next time just try turning the oven to its lowest setting. If that is 170 then turn it off and allow it to drop to hand test about 100*F before you put the soap in. It is not very hot. It just keeps the temp stable. Wrap your soap. Put it in the cooled oven (if you have a thermometer check it using that) and do not open it for 12 hours. Do not peak. Just leave it.



If you use a pizza stone you will have to test the temp because they get HOT and retain heat for ages. It's ok if that temp is 110*F and holds but if it holds 175*F then you will have a disaster.



I think you will find a big difference in the end texture of the soap.



The colours are great and the swirls are great. I just think you need to get a method, stick to it and relax.
 
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penelopejane

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Should I just try a heating pad with my box and thick towel instead? A heating pad is cheaper than a pizza stone. It also means people can use the oven.
Is that good enough to ensure gel?
I haven't used a heating pad. A pizza stone just sits in the oven doesn't it and holds the heat? I would put the stone on the level below the soap.

What you are aiming for is to just hold the heat that is created in the soap for a long time. Not to make it fluctuate. Not to open it and check. Wool is good because it holds the heat. Sitting on the bench wrapped does not work for me.

If a heat pad is going to be turned on and emitting heat after the soap is put on it then no, I don't think that is ideal. But others use them.

All I know is that if you leave the soap in the oven heated to 100-110* F then turn it off when the soap is put in, in a cardboard box wrapped in a blanket and left undisturbed overnight you will have no problem at all.
 

navigator9

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I think your soap looks great, but you're definitely working too hard to insure gel. I've been soaping for close to ten years, and I gel almost every batch I make. Here's what works for me. Turn the oven on to it's lowest setting, which for my oven is 170 degrees. I use silicone molds, and I put them in the oven while I soap, to pre-warm them. They sit in there, getting all nice and toasty while I make the soap. When I'm ready to pour, I remove the mold, close the oven door, pour, return the mold to the oven, turn the oven off, and leave it til the following morning, when I take it out, remove the fully gelled soap from the mold, and cut it. Soap produces heat on it's own. It only needs a little extra "nudge" from a warm oven to make sure that it produces enough heat to make it gel all the way to the edges. Pre-warming the mold and the oven are all it takes to gel my soaps every time.
 

dixiedragon

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A heating pad would probably work fine. Another thing to try would be a box oven, which is a cardboard box lined with foil to reflect the heat back. We used to use a space blanket.
http://www.cabelas.com/product/the-original-space-174-brand-s-all-weather-blanket/713345.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dspace%252Bblanket%26x%3D10%26y%3D6%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%252BProducts&Ntt=space+blanket

Basically, it's a tarp lined with foil so it reflects heat back at the soap.
 

BlackBoar

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My thing is that, with my last soap I put it in the oven for a few minutes to warm up and then took it out, put it in a box and covered it with a blanket and left it and it still didn't gel at all :/ I put my hand on it a couple hours later (top of the box) and it was warm to the touch. Still didn't gel.

I feel like I lose too much heat while soaping because I'm new (and my glasses fog so I'm almost blind) and take so long. By the time it gets into the mold it's room temp. So prewarming the mold sounds like it'd help me a lot.

I can't soap near the oven so I think I will get the heating pad and line my box with foil and combine your advice, maybe prewarming the mold on the pad in the box and then using that to gel like Soap Queen suggests as well. I'll do that for my next soap! Off I go!
 

penelopejane

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My thing is that, with my last soap I put it in the oven for a few minutes to warm up and then took it out, put it in a box and covered it with a blanket and left it and it still didn't gel at all :/ I put my hand on it a couple hours later (top of the box) and it was warm to the touch. Still didn't gel.

I feel like I lose too much heat while soaping because I'm new (and my glasses fog so I'm almost blind) and take so long. By the time it gets into the mold it's room temp. So prewarming the mold sounds like it'd help me a lot.

I can't soap near the oven so I think I will get the heating pad and line my box with foil and combine your advice, maybe prewarming the mold on the pad in the box and then using that to gel like Soap Queen suggests as well. I'll do that for my next soap! Off I go!
It doesn't matter how long you take to make your soap. The saponification process will heat the soap from the inside and this starts a fair while after you've finished making your soap. When it starts to set. Heating it in the oven for 10 mins won't do anything. I have never had a soap gel on the bench top.

Wrapping it and keeping it warm in it's own heat in the oven for 12 hours unlooked at will do wonders. If heating the mold works for you go for it but I prefer simple. Don't try and complicate things by trying 5 different methods at once. Just try one and then the other. When you find one you are happy with and can reproduce over and over go for that one. Personally I would tell the family it is soaping night and you need the oven and it is salad for dinner.

I think the gurus on this forum have more experience and better advice than Soap Queen, honestly.
 
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