CP Batch Not Heating Up - Will It Gel?

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Elle2014

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Hello again everyone :)

I've been looking forward to trying a swirl for SO long, and I finally attempted it this evening. I got to a light trace (I'm relatively new at this, but I'm pretty sure), added my essential oils, separated into containers to add colorants, molded it up (5 lb wooden log) and did my swirl.

It looks great in the mold, but it's totally cold. It's firming up considerably, so I'm not worried (yet) about a ruined batch, but it's not heating up like all my other batches have, and I don't see any sign of a gel. Now, I did start this batch off cool - room temperature. As soon as I put it in the mold I stuck it in the oven for a few minutes on warm, just to try to get it started. Should I put it back in there? Does it have to heat in order to saponify? If I just leave it will it harden but never gel and still be ok?

I used a recipe I've used multiple times - 17.2 oz coconut, 17.2 oz palm, 17.2 oz olive, 2.1 oz castor - so I'm not worried about the recipe working. I dissolved the colors in grapeseed oil, but only a minimal amount.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

2014-09-28 21.15.20.jpg
 
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IrishLass

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Don't worry, Elle- gel is not necessary for saponification. :) Your soap will saponify just fine with or without it having gelled. It'll just take a longer time to saponify if it doesn't gel.

You can put it back in the oven if you want, but you don't really need to. It's all up to you. If it were my soap and I wanted to encourage it to gel, I would turn my oven on to no more than 160F, then stick my soap in it and immediately turn the oven off, and then let the soap just sit there overnight.

HTH!
IrishLass :)
 

katsntx

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I had a stubborn batch like that once. Started out cold and in the middle of the night, it totally gelled. I think that means your soap will have lots of personality. ;)

Most of the time I gel and sometimes I don't. Doesn't matter to soponification. But one thing I don't like is partial gel!
 

Elle2014

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Thanks to both of your for your feedback :)

I made two different batches last night, both swirls, both tried and true recipes but much, much cooler than I've ever soaped before. So far, both have hardened, but they're only slightly warm (even super insulated) and there's still no sign of a gel.

About how much longer should I wait to unmold if they never go through a gel phase? Can I still cut them at 24-48 hours as long as they're firm, or should I wait longer? Also, I did use colorants - oxides and a mica - can colorants ever obsure gel? Maybe I'm just used to looking at my uncolored batches.

And I totally agree, katsntx - I'd much rather have no gel than a partial.
 

shunt2011

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I soap at room temp for both oils and lye mixture. Sometime my soaps take 2-3 hours before gel starts. I just put the lids on my molds, cover with a towel or two and leave it along. If it does not gel at all I would wait 48-72 hours if they are firm enough. Non-gelled soaps can be quite a bit softer than gelled.
 

Elle2014

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I soap at room temp for both oils and lye mixture. Sometime my soaps take 2-3 hours before gel starts. I just put the lids on my molds, cover with a towel or two and leave it along. If it does not gel at all I would wait 48-72 hours if they are firm enough. Non-gelled soaps can be quite a bit softer than gelled.

Do the bars continue to be softer throughout the curing process as well? I'm wondering if it would help to let them cure longer than the 4-6 weeks so they'll last longer when used.

It occurred to me, also, that it's been super humid here lately. I wonder if the lack of dry air could have prevented gel.
 

shunt2011

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It probably won't affect the curing process. I would just let them cure 4-6 week then give one a try. However, the humidity may play a small part in the curing so just check them out. Not sure how it would affect the gel process as I run the air when it's humid out so it's usually cold and fairly dry in the house.
 

Elle2014

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It probably won't affect the curing process. I would just let them cure 4-6 week then give one a try. However, the humidity may play a small part in the curing so just check them out. Not sure how it would affect the gel process as I run the air when it's humid out so it's usually cold and fairly dry in the house.

Sounds like a plan! I run the air as well, but I'm in south Florida and we've had torrential rain for days; it's like a sauna even with the air.

I should maybe have waited and soaped next week...but I'm an addict. :roll:
 

Elle2014

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It appears to have turned out "ok" in the end - it's cut and it's not zappy and it's pretty inside :D

Thanks so much for reassuring me; I was pretty frantic.

2014-09-29 21.54.46.jpg
 

katsntx

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Looks great! I know how you feel... I can't help worrying over my lil soap babies either.
 
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