Differences for Florida CP vs less humid areas?

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SoapMoo

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Hi everyone! I am a cp soap maker in Virginia and have been lurking here for a few months. The info here is so good so thank you!

My family is thinking of moving to Florida from Virginia (we used to live there but had to move due to work). I am concerned about how the change of weather will change my recipes, processes, etc. I have created recipes for fast drying, hard bars with good lather that can be demolded within 24-36 hours from 3d molds.

If you moved to or from a humid area to a non-humid area (or vice versa), would you mind sharing your experience or share any advice you may have?

I know I'll have to deal with tons of humidity and I am concerned. I can't have soaps waiting all week to demold. I can't imagine how many humidity packets it would take to deal with several racks of soap curing (or the electricity bill for a bunch of dehumidifiers). : /

Anyhow, looking forward to reading what you guys have to say about this, thanks!
 

FragranceGuy

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I’m very interested to hear what tips you all have for high humidity environments. This will be my first summer season making soap and while it isn’t as consistently humid here in NC as say Florida, it does get pretty humid. I mean 100% humidity is 100% humidity no mater where you are 😆 (I know my fellow nerds, you’re like “but what about altitude!” 🤔 😂) As a newb, my first thought is using as little water as possible in a recipe and possibly keeping SF at 3% or lower. Also, curing soap in an “indoor” environment aka no open windows with central air running. If you’re air conditioning unit isn’t too large for your home it’ll probably lower your indoor humidity a little bit. In Florida it’ll probably be running constantly which might significantly lower humidity while simultaneously lowering the weight of your wallet! 😆
 

pennym

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My high humidity time is the winter. I have to run a dehumidifier or I end up with mold on my windows (and probably other places if I let it get too bad). So that's a win-win for me, especially for curing. Also, CPOP'ing helps with being able to get the soap out of the mold within a reasonable time. It's still longer than before (2-3 days vs. 24 hours before my move), but reasonable.
 

FragranceGuy

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My high humidity time is the winter. I have to run a dehumidifier or I end up with mold on my windows (and probably other places if I let it get too bad). So that's a win-win for me, especially for curing. Also, CPOP'ing helps with being able to get the soap out of the mold within a reasonable time. It's still longer than before (2-3 days vs. 24 hours before my move), but reasonable.
Where do you live? What part of Canada?
 

linne1gi

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I live in South Florida and also have no issues as long as I have AC. A while ago our AC broke and all my soaps started sweating, which continued until the AC was fixed. It was winter but that doesn’t matter here, even in winter our temperatures are in the high 70’s to 80’s. The AC controls the humidity quite a bit.
 

earlene

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It is very humid here where I live in the Summer, although not as much so as I have experienced in Florida. What @Rsapienza and @linne1gi said. However, not everyone who lives in a hot or humid climate has efficient AC throughout their homes, so take that into consideration. In my travels, I have stayed in highly humid conditions in the absence of AC and still made soap. IF you end up living in a home without adequate AC, make sure to get a de-humidifier for your curing area.

I also purchased a hygrometer to monitor the humidity at home and when I travel. It has been suggested that while making soap in highly humid conditions to use less water (a higher lye concentration or lower water to lye ratio) because humidity may also effect the soap while it is being made, in addition to while it is curing.

Some soaps are more humectant or hygroscopic than others, absorbing water from the air, so you may see more 'sweating' during cure or storage without good de-humidification. Soaps more likely to sweat include any with a high content of Salt, Added glycerin, Eggs, Aloe, Honey, Molasses, Sugar, many (but not all) Melt & Pour soaps.

Here is a picture of my Salt Soap sweating in Hawaii without AC after only a few hours out of its shrink wrapper before it was ever used (over a year after it was made):

 
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linne1gi

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It is very humid here where I live in the Summer, although not as much so as I have experienced in Florida. What @Rsapienza and @linne1gi said. However, not everyone who lives in a hot or humid climate has efficient AC throughout their homes, so take that into consideration. In my travels, I have stayed in highly humid conditions in the absence of AC and still made soap. IF you end up living in a home without adequate AC, make sure to get a de-humidifier for your curing area.

I also purchased a hydrometer to monitor the humidity at home and when I travel. It has been suggested that while making soap in highly humid conditions to use less water (a higher lye concentration or lower water to lye ratio) because humidity may also effect the soap while it is being made, in addition to while it is curing.

Some soaps are more humectant or hydroscopic than others, absorbing water from the air, so you may see more 'sweating' during cure or storage without good de-humidification. Soaps more likely to sweat include any with a high content of Salt, Added glycerin, Eggs, Aloe, Honey, Molasses, Sugar, many (but not all) Melt & Pour soaps.

Here is a picture of my Salt Soap sweating in Hawaii without AC after only a few hours out of its shrink wrapper before it was ever used (over a year after it was made):

I just wanted to point out that the word you are looking for is HYGROSCOPIC. Meaning it attracts water. Not hydroscopic. And the instrument you are describing is a HYGROMETER. Not a hydrometer. Meaning an instrument that measures humidity.
 

DeeAnna

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I wouldn't expect humidity to greatly affect the unmolding time -- at least that's been my experience. IMO humidity is going to have a larger effect on the rate of water evaporation rate during cure and also on how the soap performs at the sink/tub/shower.

My experience in humid coastal Belize and also in the humidity of an Iowa summer (no AC in either case) --

A bar of soap in the bath doesn't dry well between uses, so it tends to stay damp and softer and develop more mush. It's important to give the soap every chance to drain and dry as much as possible between uses.

Adjusting the fatty acids of the soap might be a bit helpful -- more palmitic and stearic acids and less polyunsaturated fatty acids and less lauric and myristic acids. But adjusting the fatty acids isn't going to be a perfect solution, since these changes will also reduce lather.

I wouldn't add any salts -- table salt, sodium lactate, etc. -- because salts tend to be hygroscopic.

Also the glycerin that naturally occurs in handcrafted soap is hygroscopic. The only way to reduce this glycerin is to salt-out the soap.
 

earlene

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I just wanted to point out that the word you are looking for is HYGROSCOPIC. Meaning it attracts water. Not hydroscopic. And the instrument you are describing is a HYGROMETER. Not a hydrometer. Meaning an instrument that measures humidity.
You are correct. Thankyou. Spell check had to learn some new words! 😻
 

RDak

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I wouldn't expect humidity to greatly affect the unmolding time -- at least that's been my experience. IMO humidity is going to have a larger effect on the rate of water evaporation rate during cure and also on how the soap performs at the sink/tub/shower.

My experience in humid coastal Belize and also in the humidity of an Iowa summer (no AC in either case) --

A bar of soap in the bath doesn't dry well between uses, so it tends to stay damp and softer and develop more mush. It's important to give the soap every chance to drain and dry as much as possible between uses.

Adjusting the fatty acids of the soap might be a bit helpful -- more palmitic and stearic acids and less polyunsaturated fatty acids and less lauric and myristic acids. But adjusting the fatty acids isn't going to be a perfect solution, since these changes will also reduce lather.

I wouldn't add any salts -- table salt, sodium lactate, etc. -- because salts tend to be hygroscopic.

Also the glycerin that naturally occurs in handcrafted soap is hygroscopic. The only way to reduce this glycerin is to salt-out the soap.
DeeAnna cetyl alcohol is a non humectant that I add a bit of to my soaps. Would that make the soap bars less able to absorb water from the air?

ETA: Oh, I add it mainly for increasing lather a bit, "slip" and moisturizing. Not sure if it decreases the tendency of sweating for people in high humid areas because I use it all the time and can't remember how my soaps acted without it (i.e., too long ago and I just don't remember).
 
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MLSB

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Living on the west coast of FL I had to adjust my recipes as well as learning to use SL which makes it possible to unmold my soaps after 24 hours. I have central air and don’t use a dehumidifier.
 
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