Drag marks coffee grinds

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No matter what I do I keep getting drag marks on my nice coffee soap I have even tried waiting 3 days to cut more of it thinking if it hardens it won't do that I have made coffee soap before and it didn't do that last time. Also the bottom edge keeps cracking off when I cut it. I've tried wetting the blade too. I don't know what to do.
 

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I don't have advice to offer, but wanted to say your soap is absolutely lovely! Mmmmmmm.... I can smell it from here!

I've been reveling in the glory of soap steaming lately and have found it helps remove minor drag marks like you have. I bet with coffee grinds interspersed throughout, its going to be near impossible to avoid them.

I also get the bottom cracking off like yours when I cut using the miter box for a guide. It seems the cutting blade doesn't go completely through to the very bottom. I've resigned to cutting by hand on a cutting board for now. I suspect a fancy cutter thingie may be in my future.
 
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Nice soap. As for the drag marks, they’re really minor and you may be able to polish them off using a microfiber cloth once the soap firms up a little. Or try running your finger across the surface to see if you can gently smooth out one of the drag lines. I sometime use a palette knife to remove slight surface imperfections. If I hold the blade flat on the surface, I can remove a little raised area without gouging into the body of the soap.
 

Carly B

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Are you cutting with a blade or a wire? I've found that I get drag marks when using a blade, but not when using a wire.

However, to address the other issue, when I use a wire instead of a blade (and by blade I mean a bench scraper type thing, not a knife) in the miter box, the wire gives me a bottom edge like that. I just make sure to bevel soaps that do that.
 

DeeAnna

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Drag marks happen when a solid particle hangs up on the edge of the blade or wire and is pushed through the soap. There is no way to avoid this if there are particles in the soap, like ground coffee, pumice, dried herbs or petals, etc. If the solids were only on the top of the soap, you could cut the loaf from side to side to minimize the drag marks, but even then there will be some marks.

As far as the bottom of the soap breaking off, there are two things to look into. One is perhaps you're waiting too long to cut and the soap is getting a bit more brittle as time goes by. You might cut a little sooner when the soap is more pliable. This issue might also be related to the blend of fats you're using -- for example a soap high in lard is usually fairly pliable so it's pretty tolerant of when it is cut, but a soap high in coconut or tallow tends to be more brittle and needs to be cut fairly soon.

Another is perhaps you're pouring the soap when it is very thin. If you are, it may be that the soap becomes a tiny bit more lye heavy on the bottom when it's sitting quietly in the mold in a very liquid state. This issue almost always disappears during cure, but it can make the very bottom a wee bit more brittle than the rest of the loaf.
 
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Your coffee soap looks scrumptious! Agree with @DeeAnna that any added solid element in soap can cause drag marks. If you haven’t had them before in your coffee soap and you are cutting with a knife may want to check the blade for knicks. Or perhaps try cutting from the side instead of the top. That soap is still gorgeous.
 
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Thank you every body! The soap cutter I use is like a Guillotine it has a very sharp blade on it and I can change the blade to a crimpy one it's a Uncle Andy's soap cutter. I do use 25 % coconut oil and 25% Palm oil for my hard oils and olive oil and castor oil for my soft oils so maybe I should lower the hard oils abit to stop the bottom of my soap from cracking It could be that I didn't push the blade all the way down. In the future I might invest in a wire cutter.
 

DeeAnna

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Honestly, I wouldn't change your recipe just because you have a bit of cracking at the very bottom.

It might be plenty good to (1) cut a bit sooner and (2) perhaps to also pour when the soap is a bit thicker to minimize differences in composition from top to bottom. Tweak #2 is just a guess on my part that the soap stayed liquidy for some time after you poured it into the mold.
 
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Honestly, I wouldn't change your recipe just because you have a bit of cracking at the very bottom.

It might be plenty good to (1) cut a bit sooner and (2) perhaps to also pour when the soap is a bit thicker to minimize differences in composition from top to bottom. Tweak #2 is just a guess on my part that the soap stayed liquidy for some time after you poured it into the mold.
I would say it was a medium trace when I poured and I had just enough time to pour my soap before it was getting to thick. I might not change my recipe just experiment a little my recipe does turn out very well with other soaps I have made. Im going to try cutting it again tonight it will be 3 days and I started trying to cut it after 18 hours I've never tried cutting earlier then that but I could try cutting it sooner next time I do use SL.
 

thetoe

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No matter what I do I keep getting drag marks on my nice coffee soap I have even tried waiting 3 days to cut more of it thinking if it hardens it won't do that I have made coffee soap before and it didn't do that last time. Also the bottom edge keeps cracking off when I cut it. I've tried wetting the blade too. I don't know what to do.
Cutting with a knife will cause this. The surface area on the face of the blade is dragging across the soap when you cut. I used to get them as well. I switched to a wire cutter and it became a non issue.

Edit: Nevermind, saw you were using a cutter. Is the blade clean? Smooth on the cutting side? It looks like something on the face of the blade is causing that. I'd run you finger along the cutting side (not the edge) and see if there is anything stuck to it or rough in anyway. Or switch to a wire cutter.
 
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What kind of grind is your coffee? If it's the standard coffee machine type of grind, maybe switch to an espresso or Turkish grind. I use espresso in mine & cut after 2-3 days w/out a problem.
 
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This morning I tried spraying the blade with alcohol and it seemed to help still some drag marks though just not as bad. Well my coffee soap is completely cut now so I won't be able to try anything else but I was thinking if a wire cutter works better I wonder if a cheep cheese cutter would work they have some at Walmart.
 

TheGecko

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I used a cheese slicer my first year of soap making. I did modify it a little...I sanded a dowel down to it was most flat, then sanded off part of the finish off the slicer and glued (wood glue) the dowel down. It helped to keep the soap from slipping to get more even cuts.

You don't have to wait until your soap is fully saponified (24-to48 hours) before you cut it, t just needs to be around the firmness of cheddar cheese. Of course you want to exercise care...wear gloves and handle the loaf/bars lightly
 
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