Getting full gel is so darn frustrating!!

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

Kerbear31

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
23
Reaction score
3
Location
Hawaii
762F353E-5FAD-42A7-8DF0-446FE3B6ED93.jpeg
Hello everyone.

I’m still trying to get this gel process thing right. I’ve been having some problems.

First of all, I live in the tropics, so that means my average temps are in the 80s.

I have been having problems getting a full gel soap. I get a lot of partial gel, but never full gel. Normally, I either stick in the fridge to avoid gel altogether. If I leave my soap out on the counter to saponify, I usually get partial gel. I really want to master full gel, but it’s not going good.

This last batch I made last weekend. It was 95% co, and 5% castor. 25 oz soap in the bb 4 in loaf mold. The FO was bamboo lotus from crafters choice, with black mica, beach sand and 1 tsp of TD. I used the heating pad on the bottom set on low and had a USPS box over the mold. After about 4 hours I checked on the soap, and I had the beginnings of a small soap volcano with some cracking, I immediately turned off the pad and took the box off the soap to let it just finish.

I unmolded it about 8 hours later (12 hours saponifying total) and when I cut it, I had partial gel. It was closer to full gel, but it hadn’t gone completely to the edge. I’m so frustrated!!!
Is it even possible to get a volcano and partial gel? The reasonings for them are so opposite, I don’t know how to adjust for this. I kept the recipe simple so as to not have other variables complicate things but it still didn’t turn out like I wanted. Close, but not really.

I’m making another test loaf tonight (temps are in the high 70’s) but I’m only putting the box on the top and maybe a towel or two. This recipe is much more complicated (more oils, sodium lactate and simple syrup) I want to see how this turns out, however I’m really at a loss as to what actions to take to get gel but avoid volcano in such a small mold.

Any suggestions on what I should try to get to that sweet spot? Ugh... so frustrating.

The attached pic is the soap. You can see that it’s almost there, but not really. The flecks are hawaiian beach sand. It’s an inside joke for a friends boyfriend who called poppy seed soap, “sand soap”. Was hoping that the CO + sand would make a good mechanics cleansing bar.

Thanks in advance for your help

Keri
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,470
Reaction score
19,382
Location
USA
Maybe the partial gel is more noticeable in real life? I'm not seeing anything in the photos that I'd be concerned about.

I get the impression you may be frustrated by a small portion of softer and lighter-colored soap at the very ends of the log at the top. If so, just cover each end with a light towel to hold in a bit more heat right where it's needed. Leave the rest uncovered if it's gelling nicely that way or even getting a bit too warm. When my house temp is around 80 F or higher, I seldom have to do more than this.

If you need to fix some of the bars, there is a rescue method that can help. Soapish has a video about it --
 

Hawksquill

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
102
Reaction score
145
Location
USA
Is it possible that the FO is causing it to overheat and volcano, perhaps before it has time to fully gel?

I agree with the others that it doesn't look like partial gel from the photo - it actually looks lovely!
 

Kerbear31

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
23
Reaction score
3
Location
Hawaii
It actually looks pretty good to me, but have you considered doing CPOP? I've never had trouble getting full gel that way.
Thanks for the advice everyone. I looked again today and the corners are now the same intensity in color as the middle. I am about to unmold the soap I made yesterday and had a question, is it possible to cpop sliced soaps? I’m hesitant to put this one in the oven whole and in the silicone mold because it has simple syrup in it. The last batch I had of this I had to toss because it was a leaching liquid nightmare. I tossed that one because something leached out of it, and I wasn’t sure what it was, but I’m guessing it was the sugar. I want to avoid anything like that, so I’m going to slice it first to see if this new soap needs it.

Is it possible?
 

TheDragonGirl

Professional Geek
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
1,052
Reaction score
924
Location
Kingston, Georgia, USA
Thanks for the advice everyone. I looked again today and the corners are now the same intensity in color as the middle. I am about to unmold the soap I made yesterday and had a question, is it possible to cpop sliced soaps? I’m hesitant to put this one in the oven whole and in the silicone mold because it has simple syrup in it. The last batch I had of this I had to toss because it was a leaching liquid nightmare. I tossed that one because something leached out of it, and I wasn’t sure what it was, but I’m guessing it was the sugar. I want to avoid anything like that, so I’m going to slice it first to see if this new soap needs it.

Is it possible?
It is possible! IIRC you might want to put them back into loaf form to do it but you definitely can.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,470
Reaction score
19,382
Location
USA
Did you watch Soapish's video? That's basically what she's doing -- a modified CPOP method. I'd suggest you follow her lead, and it should work fine.
 

KathyW

Member
Joined
May 7, 2019
Messages
13
Reaction score
3
Location
Newfoundland
Cold process oven process. You put your just made soap in a warm oven to force gel phase.
 

Kerbear31

Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
23
Reaction score
3
Location
Hawaii
image.jpg
I just did it with the other soap, before I cut it. Here’s what it turned out to look like. I think I got it! The small egg one didn’t gel but I kind of expected that.... now, to try it with the big mold!

Thanks for all your help, and the video suggestion!
 

Latest posts

Top