Soap cracking...

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carlatfalls

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Hello.
I made a few small batches of CP soap using different oils and butters and every time I slice them they crack at the bottom and some at the side making my bars quite useless. I left it to cure for different length of time: 24 hours, 72 hours and one of them made with softer oils for one week before cutting but they ALWAYS CRACK!
I have made a special cutter which is not too thick to avoid damage on soaps and even my cutter is not working!
Anyone has any idea how can I prevent it?
Just for a background idea I live in a very humid place, just in front of the sea shore - salty air - and constantly rainy...I'm not sure if it affects the soap or not.
Even when I follow a recipe from someone else and watch the videos their soaps slice beautifully...mine don't!
I need some help, please!
 

Hazel

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I'm not sure what would cause this if you've tested your soap and they haven't been lye heavy.

Some thoughts -

Are you using a lot of hard oils and a steep water discount?

Are you using hard water for the lye solution?

Have you tried cutting with stainless steel wire (like a guitar string) to reduce the pressure as you cut?

Hopefully someone will be able to give a definite answer.
 

three_little_fishes

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Hmmmm, not sure. I'm in a humid place (well, humid for the US...not sure where you are) and only about 200 yards from saltwater, but have never had the issue of cracking when cutting and I've made about 9 batches since moving here recently.

Are you using distilled water or tap water? Did you run through a lye calculator and are you sure your scale is accurate?

I wouldn't call them useless though. As long as they aren't lye heavy, you should still be able to use it yourself. :)
 

carlatfalls

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Hello. thank you so much for your reply.
Yes, I do use an accurate scale as I live in UK and by law I have to use a scale that is certified for trade with a stamp of the government, a certificate and calibration. I have a water distiller and distill all the water used in my recipes. The water here is not hard. We are even safe to drink from the tap, but I distill it anyway. Finally I use the soapcalc.net lye calculator as it is a condition to be able to sell the soaps in EU as a cosmetic assessment (license to make and sell cosmetics products, including soaps). The assessment says I have to use it so I don't calculate by myself. I'm also getting some recipes from internet and books - from reliable sources - so there isn't much hard oils in the recipes.It is very strange indeed! ....I will have a look about cutting it with a wire or guitar string. That might be a good idea....I will keep you posted! Thank you for the thoughts ...
 

new12soap

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You don't say how much of your recipe is hard oils/butters, but it sounds to me like you are waiting too long to cut. A thick knife can cause it, anything even slightly wedge shaped, but you said you are using a thin cutter. Try cutting your soap earlier and see if that helps.
 

carlatfalls

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You don't say how much of your recipe is hard oils/butters, but it sounds to me like you are waiting too long to cut. A thick knife can cause it, anything even slightly wedge shaped, but you said you are using a thin cutter. Try cutting your soap earlier and see if that helps.
Hi. I can quickly give an idea of one of my recipes: 30% coconut oil, 30% palm oil, 30% olive oil and 10% sweet almond oil.
My last few recipes I kept that range and just substitute the sweet almond oil for 5% avocado and 5% sweet almond or 5% mango butter etc.
Yes, I'm using a costume made thin cutter but I still need to try the wire idea. I was away and don't have any soap to cut at the moment. I usually try to cut 24 to 48 hours after making the soap.
 

shunt2011

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Are you running your recipes through soap calc whenyou change out oils? Also you are using quite a bit of hard oils so that may be part of your problem if you are waiting too long to cut them. You also state you are using recipes from the internet and books...hopefully you are using soap calc to check them as well...I would never rely on another sources recipe without checking as it is very easy to make mistakes in print.
 

Cherrydene soapy

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Hello. thank you so much for your reply.
Yes, I do use an accurate scale as I live in UK and by law I have to use a scale that is certified for trade with a stamp of the government, a certificate and calibration. I have a water distiller and distill all the water used in my recipes. The water here is not hard. We are even safe to drink from the tap, but I distill it anyway. Finally I use the soapcalc.net lye calculator as it is a condition to be able to sell the soaps in EU as a cosmetic assessment (license to make and sell cosmetics products, including soaps). The assessment says I have to use it so I don't calculate by myself. I'm also getting some recipes from internet and books - from reliable sources - so there isn't much hard oils in the recipes.It is very strange indeed! ....I will have a look about cutting it with a wire or guitar string. That might be a good idea....I will keep you posted! Thank you for the thoughts ...
Hi @carlarfalls I to am from UK and new to soap making, could you recommend any websites where you get your supplies from :) thank you
 

cmzaha

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Cherrydene, it would be better if you start a new thread. Carlatfalls has not been seen in a long time as this is a very old thread. We have several UK soapers in the forum so someone will see and help you I am sure. Many do not even look at old threads
 

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