Glycerin Dew on store-bought soap

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daan

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OK, first I hope I put this in the right forum area...
Before I discovered this great resource, and how fun it is making my own soap, I had bought a whole bunch of soaps. Probably more than I should have... Anyway I thought they'd store ok (the cheap, grocery store stuff never "went bad", so I never considered that these would...you know what they say about ASSsuming) These are the "CST" soaps in various styles usually found at Home Goods/TJ Max, if that matters. So I have them in a Rubbermaid tub, double bagged in trash bags, mostly so they don't get damp in my leaky storage area. I had checked on them the other day, and they're all damp and sweaty looking, even though they're in multiple layers of plastic, in super-dry Minnesota winter. I learned about Glycerin Dew on here (thank you for all the knowledge on here!)
Anyway what I was wondering, are these ruined? Can I "pat them dry" and keep using them, or does the Glycerin get rancid, or something, like oil does? I really don't want to just toss all of it if I don't have to. Thank you!
 

DeeAnna

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When you store soap, you have to balance keeping the outside environment out vs. allowing the soap to breathe. In your case, I think you're over packaging your soap stash especially at this time of year. Can you open the packaging up so excess water can evaporate? The "sweat" is water and what's dissolved in the water that is coming to the surface. Normally it doesn't cause trouble, but if the sweat has no where to go (humid conditions or air tight packaging), it will just sit on the surface of the soap.
 

earlene

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I used to gather up all the hotel soaps when traveling and take them home to make my DIY dry laundry powder. I had a huge stash of these soaps and kept them in their original packaging. Some of the cheaper hotels' soaps were packaged in air-tight plastic wrappers and some in paper wrappers. What I found was that some of the ones in plastic wrappers, and usually only from the cheaper hotels, over time would get wet inside the wrapper. I don't think it matters where they are stored. Mine were in a very dry area with no exposure to moisture.

When I discovered the wet-inside-the-wrapper ones, I was in the process of making dry-powder laundry soap and felt that these were not going to work for that purpose because they were obviously moist. I didn't think the odor was acceptable either. I just tossed them out.

But if your soaps don't smell 'off', then I would suggest finding a spot with good air flow and low moisture and place them on racks to dry out. Then if they smell okay, store them in perhaps with a layer of thick paper (like brown grocery bag paper, or brown wrapping paper used for mailing packages). Even tissue paper is better than plastic, but if it gets wet, it sticks to the soap. A paperboard shoe box or some other type of light cardboard type box would be fine to keep them in, too. That way the moisture is absorbed by the box and not the soap.
 

daan

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Thank you guys! I will open them up so they can breathe.
Oh, what if I put them in my garage, instead of in storage? It's freezing out, and won't warm up for a couple months... will they just freeze, or will the moisture dry out?
 

earlene

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Thank you guys! I will open them up so they can breathe.
Oh, what if I put them in my garage, instead of in storage? It's freezing out, and won't warm up for a couple months... will they just freeze, or will the moisture dry out?
I have not stored soap in my garage, but I get what you mean. Ours gets really cold in the wintertime, too. As far as will it still dry out? Yes, it just might take longer. Even if they freeze, the ice will still sublimate and evaporate off thus drying the soap.
 

cherrycoke216

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Can you open the packaging up so excess water can evaporate? The "sweat" is water and what's dissolved in the water that is coming to the surface. Normally it doesn't cause trouble, but if the sweat has no where to go (humid conditions or air tight packaging), it will just sit on the surface of the soap.

Ok, I have same question here. I'm in subtropical area and it's winter time with humidity around 70% in my room. Most of my soap have cured for at least 2-12+ months and naked sitting on magazine paper sheets.

And they are sweating like a P.I.G. now!!! If they are 12+months, why do they got so many glycerin dew? Or it's just "environmental water", not the water from within?
 

Susie

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daan-If you can get some of that plastic needlepoint mesh, you can build sort of a cage to put around open soaps. Then just lay a single sheet newspaper over the top to keep the dust off. Soaps in a humid environment sweat occasionally when the temperature swings. Don't worry. Just let them breathe. They are going to live in a humid environment in the bathroom, anyway.

cherrycoke216- It is water, not glycerin. Soaps in a humid environment sweat occasionally when the temperature swings, especially if they have salt in them. No worries. Just let them breathe. They are going to live in a humid environment in the bathroom, anyway.
 

DeeAnna

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"...the ice will still sublimate..."

Bear in mind it is not going to be simple water ice. It will be a concentrated syrup of water, glycerin, salts, sugars, dissolved soap, etc. along with a bit of water. The ingredients in this mixture will affect the behavior of the "dew" -- freezing point depression, boiling point elevation, and sublimation.

"...If they are 12+months, why do they got so many glycerin dew?..."

While a lot of the water evaporates over time, not ALL of it will, even if the soap is well cured and one lives in an arid (dry) climate. Probably what is more important, however, is the glycerin, any sugars, any salts, and other water soluble ingredients don't ever evaporate. These ingredients are all humectants, meaning they can attract water from the air as the humidity rises, then release it as the humidity falls.

What you may be experiencing with your older bars is this normal process related to the humidity in the air. That's a little different problem than the OP's situation, but the end result is roughly the same for both of you. To reduce your problem, you would want to reduce the humidity in the area where your soap is stored (or just accept the "dew" as normal as Susie suggested).

My soap bars here in Iowa are bone dry on the surface for maybe 10 months of the year. In humid July and August (80-100% humidity), some of my bars will be damp on the surface, even sample bars that I know are several years old. They all dry down again in September.
 
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