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Separating layers/gradients

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not_ally

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Hey guys,

Took a stab at a gradient soap last night, with poor results. I made one big batch, separated into different containers (equal amounts in each) and colored/fragranced each, then poured the layers. Recipe is below.

The result was softer than usual - as is my habit I CPOPed and used sodium lactate so that I generally unmold and cut the next morning, but this is still too mushy to cut without smushing. Also, one of the layers seems to be separating, although the whole thing was made from one batch.

A couple of factors which might come into play: I sprayed w/alcohol between layers b/c the batter was on the thin side and I though it might help it stiffen up.

Also, I added a lot of TD to the individual batchlets to try and get the shading right. I used oil soluble TD. Used pre-mixed TD from a squeeze bottle rather than using the oil from the batch, which I might have done if I'd realized how my TD I would add.

So my questions: any way to harden this up a bit rather than just waiting? Ie; is there some heretofore undiscovered method (additional/belated CPOPing/freezing/refrigeration/standing on my head :)) that I have not stumbed across? I have new soap stamps waiting to test! Also, is there something that I can do to make the layers adhere better at this point, or is it a lost cause?

[FONT=&quot]Water [/FONT][FONT=&quot]18.24[/FONT] oz (full water)
[FONT=&quot]Lye - NaOH[/FONT][FONT=&quot]6.5 oz
[FONT=&quot]S[FONT=&quot]uperfat: 7.5 %[/FONT][/FONT]
[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]1[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Coconut Oil, 76 deg[/FONT][FONT=&quot]22.00 [/FONT]%
[FONT=&quot]Lard, Pig Tallow Manteca[/FONT][FONT=&quot]43.00 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]% [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Olive Oil[/FONT][FONT=&quot]25.00 [/FONT]%
[FONT=&quot]Rice Bran Oil, refined[/FONT][FONT=&quot]10.00[/FONT] %
 

IrishLass

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Hi not_ally! :)

When doing CP, it is not necessary to spray the layers with alcohol as one would do in MP. They will stick together perfectly fine without it. What works best is making sure your soap goes through complete gel before unmolding and cutting.

From the sound of things ("The result was softer than usual'.... ' generally unmold and cut the next morning, but this is still too mushy to cut without smushing.'), it seems like your soap may not have gone through complete gel.

I've never tried a belated CPOP myself, but knowing my experimental self, it sounds like something I'd try just for the heck of it. lol If it were me, I'd either try that, or else I'd wait it out until things got a bit harder (but not too hard to cut). Hopefully more will chime in soon......... oh wait!.... I completely forgot!...There is a thread on our forum somewhere where someone was actually able to fix their soap with separating layers. I'll see if I can find it, and if I do, I'll post a link to it.


ETA: I found it: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?p=379507#post379507


IrishLass :)
 
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newbie

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It might be highly superfatted and that's why it's still soft. If you leave it, it will harden up. I made a 28% SF soap for a swap that was very squishy to start (it was gross, actually. Oil would squish out when I squeezed it.) but has hardened up a LOT with time. It's still softer than lower SF soaps but not ridiculously so, and it actually lathers, at least some, even with all the extra oil!
 

not_ally

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Thanks, you guys. IL, I might try popping it back in the oven and see if it was a gelling issue and maybe that will fix it. Newbie, I'm going to leave it for a few days w/o cutting it anyway, I figure there is no way that it will get worse! At this point I am kind of sick of its yucky blue gradiated self (the whole kitchen ended up covered with various shades of blue batter) and am tempted to throw it out.

Thanks for your insight, though!
 
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