Crying over cracked soap

Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums

Help Support Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums:

JoannaM.

Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
30
Location
Washington
I was so excited to try this divine rose cold process recipe and used rose clay for the first time. I have never had a soap crack until now. Was it the clay? I followed the recipe exactly (except that I used fresh rose infused distilled water instead of just plain distilled) and have had beautiful successes with every recipe until now with this expensive one! 🤷‍♀️
I had planned enough ingredients to make this again, but I don’t know how to avoid this happening again. I read (too late!) about needing to disperse the clay in water maybe? I had just plopped the clay into the dish with the rose oil and then added it at medium trace like the recipe said. No special instructions were given for how to handle the clay, so I just used it like I use my more familiar micas. Newbie mistake and now I cry every time I see it toweled on the counter! Please help me not destroy the next batch!! Thanks!!
B83D728F-98DD-4DED-BAED-25333E40E5FA.jpeg
 

AliOop

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
4,219
Reaction score
6,997
Location
US
Cracking is from overheating, which is not likely to have been caused by the clay. What were the other ingredients, and what was your water:lye ratio, or lye percentage?

The good news is, cracks are purely cosmetic and do not ruin the soap. Even better, that crack looks perfectly fixable to me. If the soap is still soft, try unmolding it and then lightly pressing it back together from the sides, smoothing over the crack with a gloved finger. If it is already hard, try preheating your oven to its lowest setting, and putting the entire loaf (still in the mold) into the oven. Watch it closely to see when it softens again, then remove it from the oven and the mold, and carefully press it back together.

An even easier way to fix cracks is to take some of the trimmings from the edges, and gently press them into the crack and smooth them over - just like patching a small crack in your drywall. After patching the top of the uncut loaf, you can fix any remaining divots in the individually cut bars, too. Tree Marie (on YT) often uses soap scraps to patch small imperfections in her cut bars this way. :)
 

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,981
Reaction score
11,688
Location
Southern California
Cracks are not always cosmetics. It is overheating inside the soap, actually the beginning of a volcano which can cause separation, caverans, which are sometimes called alligators teeth inside the soap. Sadly you will not know what is going on inside until you cut this soap, if a lot of oil is leaking or if there are holes inside you may have to rebatch.

Cut this soap over something to catch any possible leaking oil to catch anything leaking and do not touch any leaking liquid, as it also can be quite caustic liquid at this point if anything is leaking, so cut with gloves on. This type of overheating is usually caused by a fragrance oil that heats up, which florals are notorious for and insulating the mold. Coconut fragrance oils are also big offenders of overheating, which is why you should read the reviews and descriptions of the fo you purchase.
 

JoannaM.

Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
30
Location
Washington
Cracks are not always cosmetics. It is overheating inside the soap, actually the beginning of a volcano which can cause separation, caverans, which are sometimes called alligators teeth inside the soap. Sadly you will not know what is going on inside until you cut this soap, if a lot of oil is leaking or if there are holes inside you may have to rebatch.

Cut this soap over something to catch any possible leaking oil to catch anything leaking and do not touch any leaking liquid, as it also can be quite caustic liquid at this point if anything is leaking, so cut with gloves on. This type of overheating is usually caused by a fragrance oil that heats up, which florals are notorious for and insulating the mold. Coconut fragrance oils are also big offenders of overheating, which is why you should read the reviews and descriptions of the fo you purchase.
Would you recommend just leaving the soap box open on counter after making instead of covering and toweling like I did? The recipe said to “insulate for 24 hours”, so I put the box lid on and towel on top like I do for my other recipes. Should I put it right into the refrigerator after making it like I do with my Goats milk soap? Thanks so much!

Cracking is from overheating, which is not likely to have been caused by the clay. What were the other ingredients, and what was your water:lye ratio, or lye percentage?

The good news is, cracks are purely cosmetic and do not ruin the soap. Even better, that crack looks perfectly fixable to me. If the soap is still soft, try unmolding it and then lightly pressing it back together from the sides, smoothing over the crack with a gloved finger. If it is already hard, try preheating your oven to its lowest setting, and putting the entire loaf (still in the mold) into the oven. Watch it closely to see when it softens again, then remove it from the oven and the mold, and carefully press it back together.

An even easier way to fix cracks is to take some of the trimmings from the edges, and gently press them into the crack and smooth them over - just like patching a small crack in your drywall. After patching the top of the uncut loaf, you can fix any remaining divots in the individually cut bars, too. Tree Marie (on YT) often uses soap scraps to patch small imperfections in her cut bars this way. :)
I tried a bit of a patch, will see what it looks like. I can’t unmold until very late tonight (24 hours) or probably better tomorrow. The anticipation is killing me. 😳
624D6CE9-152A-4B7B-B379-4895649D5812.jpeg
 

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,981
Reaction score
11,688
Location
Southern California
Would you recommend just leaving the soap box open on counter after making instead of covering and toweling like I did? The recipe said to “insulate for 24 hours”, so I put the box lid on and towel on top like I do for my other recipes. Should I put it right into the refrigerator after making it like I do with my Goats milk soap? Thanks so much!
It will depend on what is going on inside when you cut the soap, if all is fine inside just do not insulate your soap if you use the same fo again and possibly soap a little cooler next time. If it has overheated inside then adjustments will have to be made. Some fo's are super naughty and just have to be hp'ed, I have a beautiful CO fo that is almost impossible to cp because it overheats so severely.
 

JoannaM.

Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
30
Location
Washington
image.jpg

I’m pleased overall with how the cracked soap came out. Thank you everyone for helping me fix it. Now I also know that if I notice a crack and act quickly enough, it can be repaired. The pictures show that the crack was not internal, just on top, so I will make the same recipe again and just not insulate the recipe and try to not soap above 100 degrees.
 

Attachments

Basil

Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
407
Reaction score
745
Location
Arizona
Cracking is from overheating, which is not likely to have been caused by the clay. What were the other ingredients, and what was your water:lye ratio, or lye percentage?

The good news is, cracks are purely cosmetic and do not ruin the soap. Even better, that crack looks perfectly fixable to me. If the soap is still soft, try unmolding it and then lightly pressing it back together from the sides, smoothing over the crack with a gloved finger. If it is already hard, try preheating your oven to its lowest setting, and putting the entire loaf (still in the mold) into the oven. Watch it closely to see when it softens again, then remove it from the oven and the mold, and carefully press it back together.

An even easier way to fix cracks is to take some of the trimmings from the edges, and gently press them into the crack and smooth them over - just like patching a small crack in your drywall. After patching the top of the uncut loaf, you can fix any remaining divots in the individually cut bars, too. Tree Marie (on YT) often uses soap scraps to patch small imperfections in her cut bars this way. :)
I watched that video recently and it came in handy today since I had to plug air pockets in a soap that had traced super fast! Worked great!
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,512
Reaction score
19,531
Location
USA
I learned the hard way to never judge a soap before its cut. I've made a fair number of batches that didn't look good in the mold -- awful even! -- but looked nice when cut. Maybe they didn't look exactly like I was wanting ... but still plenty nice once I readjusted my expectations.

I've had a few batches that turned out awful (such as the soap that looked like raw meat), but I've been pleased more often than not.
 

AliOop

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
4,219
Reaction score
6,997
Location
US
Not happy with how my roses came out of the mold, will be asking a question in a separate post. :)
In case I don't see the other thread, I will recommend that you put the mold in the freezer for about an hour, or until they are very firm. Then let them sit on the counter for about three minutes, and they should release easily and cleanly. Quickly put them on the curing rack because they will get very soft again as they defrost, and you don't want to touch them till they are well into the cure, if possible. I had those same molds, and it was the only thing that worked for me.
 

ImpKit

Certified Ocelot
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
140
Reaction score
309
Location
Seattle
Ive found this happens with my Lemon Bar FO soap. It accelerates and heats like mad. I had a fan going the whole time today even and still I got a small crack on top and got some of it fixed then dusted some pearly mica over the top. I told my daughter now it's "rustic"🤣
Looks like a loaf of bread. I can haz slice for breakfast...? lol
 

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,981
Reaction score
11,688
Location
Southern California
Ive found this happens with my Lemon Bar FO soap. It accelerates and heats like mad. I had a fan going the whole time today even and still I got a small crack on top and got some of it fixed then dusted some pearly mica over the top. I told my daughter now it's "rustic"🤣
Try soaping really cool even to the point your batter will false trace and chill your mold well. This can help with severe overheating sometimes if you are dealing with an fo that heats up. Also putting your mold on a rack to elevate it so the fan can blow air all around it will help better than setting the mold flat on a surface.

Remember to not try to seal a crack too soon since this is the soap's way of releasing too much heat. Once the soap is cool enough, but not cold, to try to repair the crack, many times you can just wet a gloved finger with alcohol and smooth the soap back together.

I’m pleased overall with how the cracked soap came out. Thank you everyone for helping me fix it. Now I also know that if I notice a crack and act quickly enough, it can be repaired. The pictures show that the crack was not internal, just on top, so I will make the same recipe again and just not insulate the recipe and try to not soap above 100 degrees.
Actually, all cracks start internally due to overheating, you were just fortunate yours released enough heat and went through a normal gel. If you seal it up too soon it could actually volcano from the building heat of the gel. As I mentioned above you can seal a crack after the gel has cooled and the soap is still slightly warm and still pliable by massaging it back together.
 

AAShillito

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
165
Reaction score
250
Location
Parker, AZ
Try soaping really cool even to the point your batter will false trace and chill your mold well. This can help with severe overheating sometimes if you are dealing with an fo that heats up. Also putting your mold on a rack to elevate it so the fan can blow air all around it will help better than setting the mold flat on a surface.

Remember to not try to seal a crack too soon since this is the soap's way of releasing too much heat. Once the soap is cool enough, but not cold, to try to repair the crack, many times you can just wet a gloved finger with alcohol and smooth the soap back together.


Actually, all cracks start internally due to overheating, you were just fortunate yours released enough heat and went through a normal gel. If you seal it up too soon it could actually volcano from the building heat of the gel. As I mentioned above you can seal a crack after the gel has cooled and the soap is still slightly warm and still pliable by massaging it back together.
Thank you so much for all the advice! This soap newbie really appreciates it!
 

JoannaM.

Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
30
Location
Washington
Help! The second batch turned out way worse than the first cracked batch! The changes I made were changing the superfat from the original 12% recipe to a 8% superfat based on the bramble berry lye calculator. I also put this batch right into the fridge for 12 hours then on the countertop for about 2 days before unmolding and cutting. They looked great on top in the loaf, no crack, but then look aweful and discolored when cut. May be hard to see, but only around the edges is a pretty pink with ugly dark spots everywhere else. I have ordered all ingredient to try the recipe AGAIN, but don’t know what to fix. I changed to a different rose oil, hoping maybe the first was just poor quality, but other ingredients will all be the same.
3D0EFF18-DBFD-40AA-ACCC-8C3933A8F2C2.jpeg
434A5CFC-A492-4512-8BA6-8F38DEADAA0B.jpeg
B59B4B3A-6BE7-4097-B2E3-81F551F86C0C.jpeg
06BA0EBD-919F-423C-B7A1-AC61F443A505.jpeg
5963AF4E-09DA-4877-A85B-8E8CEA5E32BF.jpeg
 

Tara_H

Mad scientist
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
909
Reaction score
2,667
Location
Ireland
Help! The second batch turned out way worse than the first cracked batch! The changes I made were changing the superfat from the original 12% recipe to a 8% superfat based on the bramble berry lye calculator. I also put this batch right into the fridge for 12 hours then on the countertop for about 2 days before unmolding and cutting. They looked great on top in the loaf, no crack, but then look aweful and discolored when cut. May be hard to see, but only around the edges is a pretty pink with ugly dark spots everywhere else. I have ordered all ingredient to try the recipe AGAIN, but don’t know what to fix. I changed to a different rose oil, hoping maybe the first was just poor quality, but other ingredients will all be the same.View attachment 57118View attachment 57119View attachment 57120View attachment 57121View attachment 57122
What did you colour it with? The impression I get is that whatever it is, it's not heat safe, so when the soap gelled, the colour morphed. Except for the edges where it was presumably a bit cooler.
 

Latest posts

Top