Questions, book recommendations, and more

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

SudsyJurn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
63
Reaction score
47
Location
USA
Hello everyone,
So I have a bunch of random soaping questions and figured I'd just ask them all at once.

1. I recently made 2 batches of soap. It was my first time using EO's, micas, and soaping in the summer heat/humidity. I did CPOP and let them in the oven overnight. I unmolded after about 30 hours and cut.
I put them in the soap drying room, which is just a spare room with a ceiling fan and drying racks. The drying racks are plastic with freezer paper on them.
3 days later I went to trim the edges and the soap kept sort of sweating on to my finger. I've never had this happen before and I've made about 4 other batches with this recipe.
Is it because of the EO's, mica, humidity, heat, or maybe a combo of some sort?
The recipe is as follows
6% castor
18% CO, 75 degree
25% Olive oil, pomace
38% Tallow
9% Shea butter
4% Mango butter
33% lye conc.
2% SF

2. I use a regular vegatable peeler to bevel and trim the edges of soap. Does it take time and experience or is there a trick to trimming and beveling soap? I feel as though I always end making mistakes and not having nice clean edges or corners.

3. Are there any recommendations for books or info that has the chemistry/science of oils, soap making, and those sorts of things.

Thank you!
 

artemis

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Feb 27, 2016
Messages
1,826
Reaction score
2,621
Location
Sol system, Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Beveling: I feel like you have to do it in one Swift motion. If you go too slow or hesitate, it gets wonky.

Having said that, I have switched to using a chopstick or the back of a knife and I run it down the edge of the soap. I don't care for a deep bevel, and this way it ends up straighter that with a peeler.

Books: did you try searching the forum for books? I never used any. I just looked up information here.
 

Relle

Administrator & Bunny Fanatic
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
11,267
Reaction score
3,774
Hello everyone,
So I have a bunch of random soaping questions and figured I'd just ask them all at once.

1. I recently made 2 batches of soap. It was my first time using EO's, micas, and soaping in the summer heat/humidity. I did CPOP and let them in the oven overnight. I unmolded after about 30 hours and cut.
I put them in the soap drying room, which is just a spare room with a ceiling fan and drying racks. The drying racks are plastic with freezer paper on them.
3 days later I went to trim the edges and the soap kept sort of sweating on to my finger. I've never had this happen before and I've made about 4 other batches with this recipe.
Is it because of the EO's, mica, humidity, heat, or maybe a combo of some sort?
The recipe is as follows
6% castor
18% CO, 75 degree
25% Olive oil, pomace
38% Tallow
9% Shea butter
4% Mango butter
33% lye conc.
2% SF

2. I use a regular vegatable peeler to bevel and trim the edges of soap. Does it take time and experience or is there a trick to trimming and beveling soap? I feel as though I always end making mistakes and not having nice clean edges or corners.

3. Are there any recommendations for books or info that has the chemistry/science of oils, soap making, and those sorts of things.

Thank you!
We have a forum of Soapmaking Book Reviews
 

SudsyJurn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
63
Reaction score
47
Location
USA
Beveling: I feel like you have to do it in one Swift motion. If you go too slow or hesitate, it gets wonky.

Having said that, I have switched to using a chopstick or the back of a knife and I run it down the edge of the soap. I don't care for a deep bevel, and this way it ends up straighter that with a peeler.

Books: did you try searching the forum for books? I never used any. I just looked up information here.
Thank you, I will try the knife idea.

We have a forum of Soapmaking Book Reviews
Thank you!
 

shunt2011

Staff member
Admin
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
14,921
Reaction score
9,075
Location
Michigan
Sweating isn't uncommon if it's extremely humid. I use a vegetable peeler to bevel. It most certainly has a learning curve but I just take off the slightest amount to soften the edges.
 

atiz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2018
Messages
791
Reaction score
698
Location
Bloomington, IN
Vegetable peeler is definitely a learning curve. My first ones were a mess, so much that I got a real beveler. And then you kind of learn how to do it -- don't hesitate, just one nice movement -- and then I hadn't used my fancy beveler for a long time and eventually got rid of it.
As others mentioned, there is a book review forum. If you want to learn more about the science behind the process, Kevin Dunn's Scientific Soapmaking is hard to beat.
 

SPowers

Supporting Member
Joined
May 1, 2020
Messages
426
Reaction score
424
Location
Windsor
I had to invest in a beveler (they're cheap enough) - I couldn't do the peeler with any precision.
 

SudsyJurn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
63
Reaction score
47
Location
USA
Sweating isn't uncommon if it's extremely humid. I use a vegetable peeler to bevel. It most certainly has a learning curve but I just take off the slightest amount to soften the edges.
Is there a way to stop the sweating? Should I adjust my recipe at all? Or is it going to happen regardless and I need more fast on it?

About how long do you wait to bevel and trim?

Vegetable peeler is definitely a learning curve. My first ones were a mess, so much that I got a real beveler. And then you kind of learn how to do it -- don't hesitate, just one nice movement -- and then I hadn't used my fancy beveler for a long time and eventually got rid of it.
As others mentioned, there is a book review forum. If you want to learn more about the science behind the process, Kevin Dunn's Scientific Soapmaking is hard to beat.
I will try one clean swipe. I think I'm over thinking it too much. I end up doing little bits at a time and it looks so rough.
I have his book ordered! I'm super excited to read it. Does his book, or is there another book that explains all of the types of acids in the oils and how the give you certain properties is that just from research and studying?

I had to invest in a beveler (they're cheap enough) - I couldn't do the peeler with any precision.
Where/what kind of beveler did you get?
 

shunt2011

Staff member
Admin
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
14,921
Reaction score
9,075
Location
Michigan
@SudsyJurn you could put a fan on it. It will help circulate the air. I generally bevel when the soaps a bit hard. After curing a week or so. Though I do give the loaf top a quick run with the peeler before cutting.
 

AliOop

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
947
Reaction score
998
Location
US
Agreed with all of the above re: beveling. I recently bought a beveler-planer and am slowly improving the final outcome with practice.

For an inexpensive ebook with good info about the properties of fatty acids, check out the Ultimate Guide to Cold Process Soap. The author also wrote one for HP and another for liquid soapmaking. Her goal is to teach you how to formulate good recipes on your own, to troubleshoot problems that arise, and make soap easily and economically.
 

SudsyJurn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
63
Reaction score
47
Location
USA
Agreed with all of the above re: beveling. I recently bought a beveler-planer and am slowly improving the final outcome with practice.

For an inexpensive ebook with good info about the properties of fatty acids, check out the Ultimate Guide to Cold Process Soap. The author also wrote one for HP and another for liquid soapmaking. Her goal is to teach you how to formulate good recipes on your own, to troubleshoot problems that arise, and make soap easily and economically.
Thank you! I will be adding that book to my order!
 

penelopejane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
5,368
Reaction score
4,073
Location
Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
Hello everyone,
So I have a bunch of random soaping questions and figured I'd just ask them all at once.

1. I recently made 2 batches of soap. It was my first time using EO's, micas, and soaping in the summer heat/humidity. I did CPOP and let them in the oven overnight. I unmolded after about 30 hours and cut.
I put them in the soap drying room, which is just a spare room with a ceiling fan and drying racks. The drying racks are plastic with freezer paper on them.
3 days later I went to trim the edges and the soap kept sort of sweating on to my finger. I've never had this happen before and I've made about 4 other batches with this recipe.
Is it because of the EO's, mica, humidity, heat, or maybe a combo of some sort?
The recipe is as follows
6% castor
18% CO, 75 degree
25% Olive oil, pomace
38% Tallow
9% Shea butter
4% Mango butter
33% lye conc.
2% SF

2. I use a regular vegatable peeler to bevel and trim the edges of soap. Does it take time and experience or is there a trick to trimming and beveling soap? I feel as though I always end making mistakes and not having nice clean edges or corners.

3. Are there any recommendations for books or info that has the chemistry/science of oils, soap making, and those sorts of things.

Thank you!
A dehumidifier removes sweat from soap. I only need it on really humid days. Very effective and cheap solution. A fan didn’t work for me.

Best soaping info is in this forum - read it. Check DeeAnna’s website. Watch soaping 101 videos on YouTube.
 

SudsyJurn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
63
Reaction score
47
Location
USA
A dehumidifier removes sweat from soap. I only need it on really humid days. Very effective and cheap solution. A fan didn’t work for me.
I was wondering about a dehumidifier but wasn't sure of it would work or not, thank you for your post. I will definitely be getting one. It has been so humid here for the past couple of summers and it seems to only be getting worse.
 

penelopejane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
5,368
Reaction score
4,073
Location
Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
I was wondering about a dehumidifier but wasn't sure of it would work or not, thank you for your post. I will definitely be getting one. It has been so humid here for the past couple of summers and it seems to only be getting worse.
I thought I only needed mine in summer but we’ve had a week of heavy rain so needed it then too. I bought a $99 one and it works well in my laundry which is about 2m x3.6m.
I got this one. I got mine on special but the prices might have gone up a bit too. You can compare the specs for one you can buy. The 2L refers to how much it can take out of the air not the size of the liquid holder. It was almost the cheapest I could find and I was worried it wouldn’t work but it’s fabulous.

 
Last edited:
Top