Recent soap batch and a wonky air conditioner.

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MissTorrie

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Hello from South Carolina!

I just made my 10th batch of cold process soap, including experiments with buttermilk and herbal tea in place of water. I have been incredibly lucky and haven't had to deal with any major disasters, and my cured soaps are being enjoyed thoroughly by family and friends.


I just finished a Rosemary Mint batch. I used what I now believe to be too large a percentage of soft oils: olive, sunflower, and safflower, with shea butter and coconut oil. I like gel stage and wanted the spurlina-colored green to be a tad more vibrant, so I insulated thoroughly with wax paper, and three blankets, which I now think may have been a mistake with so many soft oils. I un-insulated after 24 hours to find they were still very soft, so I left them in the molds for another 3 days, for a total of 4 days in the mold. When I un-molded they were in good solid shape, if a bit gooey, so I stood the bars up so air could hit all sides of the soap. I rotate once a day.

Now my air conditioner is freezing up, so it's not cooling efficiently. We have to periodically leave it off for 1-2 hrs to let it defrost and start cooling again. We clearly have a clog somewhere and we'll be having an HVAC guy coming in in the next couple of days. Until then, I regularly have temperatures of close to 80 degrees in the curing room.

So now the problem is my soft oil soap, which was hardening up nicely, is getting gooey and very soft again. When I went with gloved hands to turn them over just now, I was leaving indents with my fingers. If I wanted to squeeze them, they'd become completely deformed (I'm not doing that :) )

So what can I do to mitigate the high temperature in the mean time? Can I use a fan? I'm worried that will kick up particulate that could embed in the soft soap, but I might be overthinking that. I had my buttermilk bars in the fridge for two days, and that resulted in a good hard bar that I think is the best I've ever made. Can I put these in the fridge in the meantime or will the back and forth extremes in temperature mess with the process? What about my already cured and curing soap without the texture issues?

I'm a newbie, and this is my first post on this forum. The other threads and posts I've been reading have been really helpful so I appreciate the time anyone spends on this question in advance.
 

Susie

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Hi! And Welcome!

Having experienced exactly what you are describing (except it was 95 outside with 90%+ humidity), I can only tell you my solution. I stopped rotating those bars until the AC got fixed, and they firmed back up. Just let them be. They will be OK as long as they do not break. I learned to use more hard oils (or a bit of salt if not), also. It helps tremendously.
 

earlene

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Hi, MissTorrie. I'm fairly new to the board, too as well as soaping for only a year.

I cure my soaps in an upstairs room where our AC doesn't really reach very effectively. But we also have ceiling fans in most rooms and I keep the fans on when the temperature & humidity is high. Last summer, I also set up a heavy duty fan in the curing room, pointing it not toward the soaps, though. It was just for better air circulation. I noticed it seemed to really help with the drying out process. I did not see any particulate matter landing/sticking to the surfaces of my soaps, so I think you're okay to turn on a fan in the room.
 

MissTorrie

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Thanks for the tips! I put a fan on the soaps and otherwise left them alone, and they're hardening back up nicely. That's the last time I use that much sunflower oil without swapping out some of the olive oil. I've made some pink sea salt soaps yesterday and they're doing great too.

Thank you both!
 

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