CP gel phase...why? ...why not?

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Sandra@SS

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I have been trying to find info on the pro's and con's of gel phase.
Does it assist with hardness?
Does it speed the crystaline changes?
It alters soap colours, and texture, but how else will my soap be different with or without it having gel'ed.

I have tried the search function, but it doesnt like my queries.
Thanks
 

shunt2011

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Gelling allows you to unmold sooner, makes colors brighter saponification takes less time. Ungelled soap can take up tp a week to remove from the mold depending on your recipe.
 

dixiedragon

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I'm a geller, myself. The advantages of ungelled are it's less prone to glycerin rivers, so it tends to have a more even/creamy look. Some FOs tend to turn a bit off-white or tan, but if you don't gel, the soap will stay whiter.

Most people who really fight against gel are doing it b/c they are using ingredients like milk or honey and don't want the soap to overheat, and also they want to soap to be a paler tan or off-white, vs a medium tan.

There's not an absolute right or wrong answer - it depends on what your ingredients are and what your goal is.

For example, I think it's a requirement to gel confetti soap, otherwise the confetti bits don't bond with the new soap, so the soap is crumbly.
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
Ditto the above. Here is a discussion we had on the subject last year, complete with extra links included of past discussions we've had about it: https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/to-gel-or-not-to-gel.63399/

I myself prefer gelled over non-gelled. My gelled soaps rarely ever get ash, can be unmolded much quicker, and my colors turn out more brillian/vibrant.


IrishLass :)
 

Sandra@SS

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Thanks for the link IrishLass.

A few more of my questions answered, thank you everyone.

As I like a paler colour, creamier texture and am cool about how long it takes to un-mould or cure, not geling suits me quite well.

I can see though, how for those making logs, gel is harder to control and so perhaps it is a better option to encourage it.

I wonder if the gel hurries the 'cure reactions' through the heat retention, or causes some other effect.
also
So far I have only found one reference to soap longevity (in IrishLass' links) differences between gel'ed or not gel'ed
and
this may be the reason some people have said they use twice+ the FO/EO loading that I use. As I dont gel, I dont evap off/break up the fragrance.
 
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cmzaha

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^^^When I went through my times of non-gelling soaps, which was before I knew higher liquid would lend to overheating and rivers, I found no difference in the retention of fragrance. Some fo's hold well some do not. I may very well use twice or more the amount you use, but I sell and my customers want strong fragrance. No smelly no sell. Some may disagree with gelling making a difference but I just have not
 

Sandra@SS

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^^^When I went through my times of non-gelling soaps, which was before I knew higher liquid would lend to overheating and rivers, I found no difference in the retention of fragrance. Some fo's hold well some do not. I may very well use twice or more the amount you use, but I sell and my customers want strong fragrance. No smelly no sell. Some may disagree with gelling making a difference but I just have not
ahh, I see.

no offense intended
 

KristaY

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I'm also a gel gal, for exactly the same reasons IrishLass gave. Mostly, I like the look better. I also find it a huge PITA to try to discourage gel. My fridges and freezers are always too full of food to try to find room for soap!
 

penelopejane

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I hate partial gel and I find it a lot easier to encourage gel consistently than discourage it.

I also don’t have the time or patience to wait a week to unmold a soap when it can be done in 12-18 hours.
 

Kari

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I gel unless I'm using a lot of titanium dioxide.

I've done both in the same soap! I made a brightly colored loaf and wrapped it in a heating pad in a (turned off) oven. Left it overnight (the heating pad turns off after a few hours on it's own). Next morning I piped a white top and popped it in the fridge for the rest of the day.

I tend toward brightly colored over the top soaps, though.
 

David1pro

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I've done both in the same soap! I made a brightly colored loaf and wrapped it in a heating pad in a (turned off) oven. Left it overnight (the heating pad turns off after a few hours on it's own). Next morning I piped a white top and popped it in the fridge for the rest of the day.
Interesting. Do you have any issues with the two halves separating - not staying together as a single, solid bar?
 

Kari

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Interesting. Do you have any issues with the two halves separating - not staying together as a single, solid bar?
Not yet! I've only done it twice.

I read here that Katie from Royalty Soaps said you've got about 48 hours to add your piping. I've also seen other youtubers make a loaf, cut it the next day, and then pipe decorations onto the individual bars.

In the loaf I mention, I think it was 18 hours between when the loaf went into my oven and when I started piping. This weekend I made cupcake soaps and pretty sure I was pushing the 48 hours between pouring the bases and doing the piping. I'd made them early Thursday morning and didn't pipe them until Saturday evening. I didn't manhandle the soaps when I was unmolding them, but everything felt adhered.
 
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