Gelling vs no gelling

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AliOop

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I almost always like gelling better, too. That being said, I have had yellow go mustard on me after gelling. Fickle soap!

Pics below of my soaps, using the exact same recipe and colorants. The one on the right is non-gelled, and is actually way more pastel in real life (I'm just not a good photog).

fullsizeoutput_e8e.jpeg
 

Arimara

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@AliOop White Balance and light positioning are two of the basics you can easily do.For the most part, You can just concentrate on camera angles, if you wanna practice soap shots. your phone camera does most of the correcting anyway.
 

bookreader451

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The pic I have attached is shaving soap that was gelled and non gelled. you can see that they look very different in appearance. This is the same batch of soap.
194F0B99-5549-43D7-BCC8-CF857AD154DA.jpeg
 

Todd Ziegler

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I almost always like gelling better, too. That being said, I have had yellow go mustard on me after gelling. Fickle soap!

Pics below of my soaps, using the exact same recipe and colorants. The one on the right is non-gelled, and is actually way more pastel in real life (I'm just not a good photog).

View attachment 49207
I have never had a negative effect from gelling, not to say that it couldn't happen.
The pic I have attached is shaving soap that was gelled and non gelled. you can see that they look very different in appearance. This is the same batch of soap.
View attachment 49208
The picture I posted was also the same batch. I just thought it might be helpful to anyone who is just starting their soap addiction to see why gelling your soap can be a positive thing. Your picture is also a good demonstration of how gelling can help. I personally think that gelling is always a good thing. I think it helps my soap harden up a bit faster than without gelling.
 

LilianNoir

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I have never had a negative effect from gelling, not to say that it couldn't happen.

The picture I posted was also the same batch. I just thought it might be helpful to anyone who is just starting their soap addiction to see why gelling your soap can be a positive thing. Your picture is also a good demonstration of how gelling can help. I personally think that gelling is always a good thing. I think it helps my soap harden up a bit faster than without gelling.
I can imagine gel might be bad when using FO's that accelerate/overheat maybe? Would it contribute to cracking?
 

Todd Ziegler

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I have used FO's that accelerate but they never caused overheating. I use heating pads on top and bottom of my molds to increase the temperature of my soap and force them through the gel phase. I check the temperature about every 45 minutes and once the soap hits 125°F for 1 hour I shut the pads off, remove them and let the soap cool down to harden. Other people force gell in the oven (CPOP) I didn't like the results from cpop so I went with the heating pad. Oven temperatures go up and down to much. With the heating pads the heat is directly on the mold and the temperature stays constant. I usually achieve gelling in 1-1.5 hours. Whereas the oven takes 4 hours or longer with no guarantee that your soap won't look bad afterwards.

As far as cracking goes yes it can happen during force gelling but it is rare and I have never had a problem with it.
 

bluebirdwing

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Exactly the thread I needed. My question is if the room temperature is like 90+ degrees, would the soap go gelling without heating pad, with just towel insulation? And if I dont have a heating pad, would normal hot water pack work? And I also read if the recipe contains honey, no need to use extra heating or insulation, is this true?
 

Todd Ziegler

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Yes it is possible to achieve gelling with just towels. But a lot depends on the ingredients that you are using and the temperature that you start with. For example, the recipe that I use would probably never gell completely or I would get a partial gell in the middle if I didn't use an external heating source.

As far as the honey goes, yes it can cause the temperature of soap to rise but using ingredients like honey or a FO to generate heat on purpose, can have disastrous results. Even if you checked your soap every 15 minutes. It could still volcano within those 15 minutes and you won't like it when that happens.

The best way to do it, is start with a recipe that you are familiar with and know how it will behave. Then you can experiment with covering it with towels to get it hot enough to achieve a full gell.

I'm not exactly sure how hot it has to get in order to achieve full gell because each recipe will behave in its own unique way. I get my recipe up to a minimum of 150°F and depending on which FO I use, that can take between 1-3 hours.

I hope this doesn't confuse you but if you need clarification, just ask me and I will do my best to help you.
 

bluebirdwing

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Thank you @Todd Ziegler

As far as the honey goes, yes it can cause the temperature of soap to rise but using ingredients like honey or a FO to generate heat on purpose, can have disastrous results. Even if you checked your soap every 15 minutes. It could still volcano within those 15 minutes and you won't like it when that happens.
What I meant was, if I am making honey and milk soap, and I use heating and insulation will it overheat?

So, if the room temperature is high, will it affect gelling?
 

Todd Ziegler

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Thank you @Todd Ziegler


What I meant was, if I am making honey and milk soap, and I use heating and insulation will it overheat?

So, if the room temperature is high, will it affect gelling?
Sorry for the confusion.

Room temperature can be ok if you use towels or some other kind of insulation around your soap. Since you are using honey and or milk, you may not need the towels because it can get pretty hot on its own. You can cover it with a towel or two to start with and then check the temperature in about 15 minutes. Be watchful because honey and milk can cause overheating and you may need to put it in the refrigerator or freezer to keep it from going volcano on you.

For this very reason is why I use powdered milks and honey. They give you what you want from them in your soap without all the problems.
 
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