Question about embeds and breakage

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Sep 27, 2022
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Hey all! Several weeks ago, I was playing around with embeds — inside the loaf, not on top.

I cut up a loaf made the day previous into 1/8" diameter sticks and plopped them down into the middle as I poured a new loaf. It went nicely, and the bar turned out very pretty.

I've been using one of those bars for my hands daily to test it out. When the bar became significantly smaller, the embeds became exposed on the sides and the bar eventually broke in half, right where the greatest concentration of embeds was.

I want to try more embeds, but I want a bar that will stay together until its final day. Would a sticky dough embed fuse better? Or is this the inherent peril of embeds? The embedded bits and poured loaf soap were the same batter recipe, and I CPOP everything.

I was planning some complicated designs, but I want to ensure the structural safety of my bars too 😂 😂 😂 Thanks for any advice!
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I know what you mean, and it is a challenge - here’s what I have found:
The embeds don’t have to be sticky (and would be tricky to manipulate) but fresher is better. Older soap dough, or older poured embeds, won’t have as much water and will shrink at a different rate, and won’t adhere to the poured soap.
Gelling helps the embed to fuse to the poured soap. Because the embed has already saponified you might need added heat to get everything to gel. ETA you said you CPOP - can you tell if it is all gelling? Sometimes you can get sort of an ungelled aura around the embed.
I don’t think it’s terrible if it falls apart at the end of its useful life. All good things must come to an end. 😊
I know others will have more helpful advice.
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@Vicki C Excellent advice, thank you so much. I'm assuming I'm gelling due to lack of aura or rings, color is smooth and even throughout. Interesting about the water though, my recipe is "30% % Liquid as a percent of oils", and the only dough I've made has just been my recipe and kept air tight. I wonder if I make a small batch with a higher water content if that would help. Rings from different water amounts would actually be welcomed in this design.

Thank you!
I don’t gel my embeds, and I immediately wrap them in cling-wrap after unmolding as soon as possible. They stay wrapped until just before I place them into the soap. The soap + embed then goes on the heating pad to force gel. I haven’t had any come apart when I do that.

Perhaps some of the success at fusing the embed to the soap might be recipe-dependent?
@AliOop Thank you! I am questioning my recipe if it's good for this sort of thing. I've finally struck upon a formula (with help from you all!) that I love, and my skin loves, but design-wise, it might be limiting.
I wouldn't rule out your recipe just yet! I've played around with a few and my embeds have always stayed put. My embed recipe is always the same (ish?) as my main soap.

I would try using soap dough next time to make sure the water content of your embeds is more equal to your main soap. Pour at emulsion or light trace, if you have small air bubbles around your embeds this will certainly make them loose

I always cpop my end soap, in my head this helps it all "stick" together.

And lastly, and most annoyingly, make sure you're soap has a good long cure.