Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by bookreader451, Aug 17, 2019.
Looks like air bubbles to me - did you use a wire soap cutter - that's usually the culprit.
I don't know about lard. All soap hot for all my soaps (coconut, shea, OO etc) and they are all covered and insulated. I gel everything because I can't stand partial gel. I soap at the equivalent to about 32% lye concentration on soap calc. My salt bars go in individual molds and are covered and insulated winter and summer. I haven't had a volcano or cracking yet - fingers crossed. It might be your FO or EO? Not at all sure.
Yes, I did cut with a wire cutter. I am too spastic to use a knife and get it even.
Wire cutters are notorious for leaving air bubbles behind. You can plane your soaps or rinse them to get rid of the air bubble look.
Thanks for the tip! Did a hot process too, as my second batch, and that had drag marks from oatmeal.
If the oatmeal was on top (as a decoration), turn your soap on the side to slice it
Thanks, it was on top and in the soap. I will definitely turn it next time if I add a top
Isn't it funny when we hear something like that? We say (to ourselves), why didn't I think of that.
Easiest way to determine if they are wire cutter bubbles or stearic spots is to but a slice with a knife. If they are still there they are stearic spots.
@bookreader451 Congratulations on your first batch! Well done!
Looks to me like air bubbles from the wire cutter. If you rinse the soap with water and dry it. The spots should go away, if they’re air bubbles.
I will test that on the end piece I have. Thank again
Soap looks lovely @bookreader451! Congrats!
Hello, I hope it is ok for me to jump in here. My soap looks the same way. I have just started using a wire cutter. I tried washing it and they still have white spots. If it is stearic, what is the answer to avoid the white spots, and if it is wire cutter marks, how do we not get that? I can not cut straight so I was really interested in the wire cutter......but I hate the white spots. Thank you!
Long time lurker here, Bob from New Zealand.
I don't make soap, but I do make wire soap cutters - this is the first time I've heard of a wire cutter having a 'downside'.
I'm wondering if anyone has looked further into the problem, perhaps found out just how these air bubbles form and hopefully how to avoid it!
My cutters use a wire of 0.2" (0.508mm). Perhaps a smaller diameter wire would help?
(But that may mean more breakages, and probably more stretching of the wire)
None of the people who use my cutters have mentioned getting bubbles, but perhaps, like me, they haven't heard about it before.
If there is a problem that I can fix, it'd be great to do so before someone complains...
Cheers from Christchurch, Bob
Hi Roe, The best advice I have is if you are pretty sure it’s stearic spots to soap a little hotter. Hopefully that keeps the stearin from forming the little spots it likes. And by hotter, I mean quite a bit hotter. Stearic acid melts at 169 degrees Fahrenheit. I don’t think you have to soap quite that hot. Make sure your oils (hard butters) are completely melted and work with it at least 100 degrees. If it’s air bubbles from the wire cutter. You can rinse and dry your soap or you can plane and bevel it.
Hi Bob, Thanks for chiming in! As a soap maker of 6 years I have frequently encountered air bubbles not caused by a wire cutter exactly but more like the wire cutter seems to enhance air bubbles that are already there. I seldom have air bubbles anymore so I think it’s a problem that newer soapers encounter more often. When you pour your soap you have to bang it pretty forcefully to get the air bubbles out. I think new soapers are less likely to bang hard enough to get the bubbles out. That’s my theory anyway. I’d appreciate if any seasoned soapers could chime in here with their thoughts.
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