Question for heating pad users

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Guspuppy

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I have become very disenchanted with my oven reeking of FOs when I want to cook, so I bought myself a heating pad today with which to force gel. How do you use it? By which I mean, what temperature setting? (Mine is the cheapest one Walmart had and has low-med-high) For how long? Do you cover the soap mold while doing so? (My molds are generally filled right to the top so i never cover them. Would just a cardboard box over top be ok?) Did you leave the cloth cover on it or do you just have the plastic pad under your mold?
Help?
Thank you! ☺
 
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Here is a post where I described how I use a heating pad.
 
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I use a process similar to @Jersey Girl, but instead of a towel over the box, I use an insulated foil bag that came with a food delivery, covered by an insulated box that came with a food delivery. You can also use a cheap styrofoam cooler, which are readily available at Walmart starting in the spring and going through summer. Mine came with yet another food delivery, and I use the bottom portion of it turned upside down over the mold. I've also seen people put them inside their Rubbermaid or Coleman coolers, but that's awkward to me to get the mold down inside there without jiggling it.
 
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Literally as we speak, I have my heating pad on keeping my soap warm and cozy!! We are enjoying an incredibly balmy day in the 70s (YAYYYYYY!!!!!!) but our basement is quite cool. I put the heating pad on the highest setting and placed it on the counter. Then I put my loaf mold on it which is covered with saran wrap and cardboard. Then I bury everything in several towels. The heating pad automatically turns off after 2 hours and by then, natural gelling is happening.
 
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Here is my method which I have used for years and have posted several times in the forum. I use shallow crates that hold two of my molds. I put the heat pad under the crate on high, stretch a towel over the crate (do not let it sag, and touch your soap), I then put the lid on holding the towel tight, and cover with a blanket. If I do not know the fo and how it acts I peek for overheating periodically for full gel. Once my soap is in full gel I turn off the heat. Many times I would be stacking 3 crates so I would rotate the crates and use an additional heat blanket with the other blankets. I always had to force gel with my recipes and this method worked well for me, but in the beginning, I would watch it rather closely. The towel was to catch condensation preventing water collection between the soap and my paper lining. I also filled my molds to the very top so wood covers or any other cover was out of the question.
 
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I put my heating pad in my cupboard lay a towel over the heating pad turn it on high' put my soap on top of the heating pad & place folded towels all the way around the mold to insulate it' & cover the top w/ a towel & close the cupboard door. I'll check on it just to make sure its not getting to hot & to adjust the heating pad if need be.
 
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I use my heating pad on low. Just place the loafs right on top. I like to wrap the outside of the loaves with a towel. Cardboard cover works, I use poster board or a cutting mat used for sewing as a cover. If my soap is too tall for a flush cover I put an upside down Tupperware container over the top. Just to contain the heat. These are large Tupperware containers that are long and wide but not deep.

I let the heating pad auto time out (two hours). I don't unwrap anything until the next day when I want to cut the soap.

I do check the soap several times to make sure it's not overheating.
 

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