And another thing!

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One of the members asked me if I was new to soaping. I didn't answer, but I guess, in a way, I am. I was an avid soaper from 1999 thru 2003 - 5 years. The thing is, I always did the same stuff over and over. I did oils, scents, botanicals, MMS's lye calculator, and that's about it. Coming to this forum, I have learned a ton already. and I am making mistakes! In my 5 previous years of soaping, I never had one mistake - and I made a LOT of soap. (Ok, ok. There was that one batch that tried to seize on me when I added the EO, but in the end I won.)

So, here is another mistake and a noob question.

I laid a piece of cardboard on my 9 cavity silicone mold. Some of it must have been touching the soap because the soap had slight signs of the cardboard's corrugation and the soap was brown where it was touching the cardboard. More ugliness to add to the corners that didn't get filled with batter.

So, my question... Does the soap have to be covered and insulated to do its thing? Would it still become soap if I just left the mold out in the open? Would it still go to gel? Does it HAVE to go to gel to become soap? My slab molds were easy cuz they have dedicated covers. These silicone molds are new to me.
 

Obsidian

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I leave my moulds uncovered, on the table. Gel or not gel or partial gel, I just let it do whatever it wants. It still all becomes soap :)

Thats exactly what I do. Soap doesn't have to gel in order to saponify, gel just help it do it faster.
I never cover mine because I'm just too lazy and I really don't care what the soap does or if it gets ash.
 

dibbles

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If I don't cover, insulate and place on a heating pad, soap in individual cavity molds just will not gel for me. If it doesn't gel, I get a thick layer of ash on the exposed side, which I hate. So I always place an inverted cardboard box over my mold, insulate and set on a heating pad. I tend to soap on the cool side, so I don't have much of anything going in the way of heat when the soap is poured. But, as Primrose and Obsidian have already said, it will become soap if it doesn't gel.
 
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I went through a whole process to gel my soaps in cavity molds. I'd have an empty container, place the mold on an old heating pad and covered with the top. I'll still use the container but I just cover the soap with some plastic film, wrap it in a towel and let it harden. The heating pad was thrown out after it gave my mom a serious 3rd degree burn she somehow did not feel (she was in a lot of pain and had stage 4 cancer).
 

Primrose

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90% of the time my soap will ash and often it looks fine with the design, sometimes it enhances it, on the odd occasion it messes with the aesthetic it's easy to get rid of
 

TheGecko

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So, my question... Does the soap have to be covered and insulated to do its thing? Would it still become soap if I just left the mold out in the open? Would it still go to gel? Does it HAVE to go to gel to become soap?

No. I put my GMS on the top shelf in the refrigerator and it comes out soap.

Yes. But you run the good chance of soda ash unless you spray it with a high percentage of alcohol.

Maybe. I soap cooler to begin with and with the much cooler weather, my soap wasn’t gelling and it was taking forever to unmold and then cut. I increased my lye concentration from 30% to 35% and that has helped with unmolding and cutting, but still no gel. Now I’m heating my oven to 170F and sticking my soap in there, but I don’t know...I think it's still to cool in the house.

No. It just needs to saponify.
 
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LilyJo

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Have never covered mine, just let it do its thing - I dont get ash etc. Think it prob depends on recipe and temp more than anything.
 

shunt2011

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I cover my individual molds with plastic wrap or press and seal. I then cover with a towel and put them in a warm oven. I want my soaps to gel so I can get them out of the molds sooner. I keep them covered even once I take them out for a day or two to avoid ash. I should also mention that I spray the tops well with alcohol before covering. You don't have to gel the soap as others have stated. It just takes longer to get out of the mold and more likely get ash. At least in my experience.
 

jcandleattic

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So, my question... Does the soap have to be covered and insulated to do its thing? Would it still become soap if I just left the mold out in the open? Would it still go to gel? Does it HAVE to go to gel to become soap?
No, soap does not have to be covered, but possibly could develop ash if left uncovered, and probably would not go into gel, depending on several factors, such as ingredients, ambient temp, how hot you soaped, etc., Soap does not have to gel to become soap, but it does have to saponify. All gel does is speed that reaction. Ungelled soap can take up to 72 hours to saponify, where as gelled soap can take as little as 8-24 hours to saponify.
 

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