Sweating soaps

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by meena.shah, Jul 14, 2019.

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  1. Jul 14, 2019 #1

    meena.shah

    meena.shah

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    Please can anyone help me as we have high humidity my soaps and and become mushy. Silica pouches are of no use. Please suggest what an I do.
     
  2. Jul 14, 2019 #2

    lsg

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    I would invest in a room dehumidifier for your storage area. I have a room dehumidifier in every room of our finished basement. You wouldn't believe the amount of water each one pulls out of the environment.
     
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  3. Jul 14, 2019 #3

    Dawni

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    Some days our humidity here goes up to 75% and while I've so far not had soap that turned extremely mushy, I have experienced excessive sweating. Also when it rains.

    I noticed that my soaps stored inside some sort of container (clean shoe box, plastic food containers, etc.), lined with paper didn't sweat at all, compared with the ones outside the boxes.

    I just transferred some of the ones that were outside into boxes with rice grains on the bottoms, under the paper lining. Let's see if those work better.

    I cannot afford a dehumidifier just yet..
     
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  4. Jul 15, 2019 #4

    earlene

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    I have also experienced the same thing, Dawni.

    I use paperboard or cardboard boxes to store my cured soaps. None of the soap inside the boxes have sweat.
    For comparison purposes, I kept out a bar of some batches while the rest are stored in boxes, and have identified which ones are more prone to sweating in high humidity. Even the ones prone to sweating in high humidity do not sweat inside the boxes.

    I fill the boxes with as much soap as will fit inside each box, but sometimes, the boxes are only half full if I have removed some to give to people. How many bars of soap are inside the boxes has not impact on how well they stay dry.

    My conclusion is that the cardboard or paperboard boxes provide sufficient barrier to the ambient moisture to keep what is inside from being affected. However, I feel it important to note that over time, if the humidity were to remain high year-round, the boxes would eventually absorb moisture themselves and at that point would stop providing a barrier.

    But in my situation, the humidity is only high in my house during the summer months. Were I to live in a rain forest, I may have to buy new boxes periodically.
     
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  5. Jul 15, 2019 #5

    Dawni

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    Yes earlene, I expect the boxes will need to be changed periodically, but since there isn't any sweating happening in there, it shouldn't be very often.

    I also now know which ones don't sweat much, interesting that they're the ones with lard at 25-35%. The 60% and above lard soaps did sweat but not as much as the soleseifes (doh lol) and also less than any soap with more than 3.5% salt (nother doh hehe). Is it the same for you, @earlene?

    I just realized, after you mentioned rain, that the most sweating I noticed happened when we had week long rains, while it was still technically summer. So hot n humid, not just hot.

    When the dams were reporting critically low levels aka no rain at all the soaps were fine. I have to keep an eye on them now that the monsoon season is officially starting. We get rains almost everyday for months while the weather cools down. Let's see how the soaps take that.
     
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  6. Jul 15, 2019 #6

    meena.shah

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    Thank you

    Do you line with tissues paper.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2019
  7. Jul 15, 2019 #7

    DeeAnna

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    Glycerin and table salt are hygroscopic, meaning they can absorb water from the air or any other source of water. Recipes with lower amounts of lye per pound or kilogram of finished soap, such as a lard soap, will contain a bit less glycerin than recipes with more, such as a soap high in coconut oil or palm kernel oil. That might explain the difference you're seeing, Dawni.
     
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  8. Jul 15, 2019 #8

    Dawni

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    Hope some of the above tips work for you :)

    No I don't use tissue. I use paper we'd otherwise throw away, blank on one side and maybe print or writing on the other. Blank side touching the soap of course hehehe... So far so good, no ink transfers as of now.

    Good to know, thank you.. I learned something new today :)
     
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  9. Jul 16, 2019 #9

    earlene

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    What I meant about having to replace the boxes wasn't about the moisture from the soaps inside, but about the moisture from the exterior (the humidity in the air).

    I don't make a lot of lard soaps, although I do make some for family, and only recently made soap with high lard (to use up what I had) and because I am away from home this month, I'm not there to even notice if they are sweating. But my salt soaps haven't sweat at all since I wrapped them in shrink wrap and then stored in boxes. I do still have 3 bars unwrapped and out in the open that I checked before leaving home and they were still dry. But not as smooth on the surface as the soaps wrapped and inside boxes, so I think they had sweat at some point and the water had evaporated. I did cover them with paper towels though, just in case. I don't have any soleseife bars, so no answer there.

    I still want to go back and determine the specific recipes I used that are more negatively affected by the humidity so I can determine if they are really worth continuing to make. I am leaning toward 'probably not' at this point.
     
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  10. Jul 17, 2019 #10

    meena.shah

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    Do you pack the each bars before packing in the box

    I lined with the paper but the papers are soaking oils from the soaps. I am so put off nothing is working and I have around 10 kgs bars.
     
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  11. Jul 17, 2019 #11

    Dawni

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    The soaps with majority high oleic fats are sweating more, especially the ones I tried with Zany's faux seawater. Like I said, least are the higher lard ones. Let us know what you find out after your lovely trip away from home :)
    I've had to change my paper liners periodically to prevent the soap from sticking. I'm afraid I have no other answers but to babysit them haha. Since noticing the sweat I check on em at least every evening, if not once in two days.

    Have you tried wiping the sweat off, and dunking the soaps in a tub of rice grains? The cured ones I mean..

    Or find a way to stabilize the temps and humidity. I noticed now that the weather isn't erratic, meaning it's stuck to cool rather than shuffling between cool n hot with rains either way, the sweating has lessened.
     
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  12. Jul 21, 2019 #12

    earlene

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    Yes, I shrink wrap and label each soap before putting into the storage boxes.

    That is interesting about the majority high oleic soaps being the ones that sweat more. I will update once I get into the research to determine which specific recipes are the least humidity tolerant.

    But for me, my Castile soaps have never have sweat as far as I recall. But then again, I may have not been looking for that in the first couple of years of soapmaking and may very well have missed it. (All my Castiles are made with only olive oil.)

    I have not tried Zany's faux seawater Castile, so I cannot comment on that, other than to say that the high salt soaps I have made, do tend to draw water to themselves when left out in the open air during high humidity times, but that was while under a year in age, and I am continuing experimenting with how a longer cure affects that phenomena. I brought two bars of salt soap I made over a year ago along on this trip and just this morning finally removed one from the shrink wrap. Both bars have been sitting out but un-wrapped and no humidity interaction has occured while wrapped and out in the open.

    So two bars are now unwrapped and out in the open on the lanai. Last year when I did this inside a unit with no AC, the bar of the same batch soap, began attracting the ambient water in the air here in Hawaii immediately. The water beaded up on the surface of the soap all day and every day while we were here. But the soap was also quite young (about 4 weeks at the time, if I recall correctly - I'll have to check.)

    The reason I have these bars on the lanai rather than in the bathroom is because last year we stayed in a resort that had no Air Conditioning, only ceiling fans and open windows to help us cool down. This year, we are in a different resort and have AC, so minimal indoor humidity. Therefore in order to simulate previous conditions, I put the soap on the lanai with the ceiling fan turned on. With one bar of soap, I washed my hands first wile leaving on unused. This way I can see if a dry bar behaves any differently than a used bar in the same humid conditions. Both bars are of course atop soap savers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2019
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  13. Jul 21, 2019 #13

    Kathymzr

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    Reading your thread with interest as heat and humidity have been a lifetime of problems. From Ohio, now in Hawaii. We always add rice to salt shakers. Try a layer of rice in the bottom of box. Works well. No cardboard in basement. Will soak up humidity. In Ohio winter is driest time—have to add humidity to air! Keep home air moving, sun facing side of house dark. Moisture absorber packs. Change out cardboard. It absorbs moisture. Keep fans on. With humidity you have to actively manage it every day—don’t just leave it to nature.
     
  14. Jul 21, 2019 #14

    earlene

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    I also found silica packets (desiccant packets) to be useless for keeping humidity-intolerant soaps from sweating.
    I tried them experimentally for several months with soaps selected primarily for their humidity intolerance. I might include them in a box for mailing, but won't be bother with them for storage in future because they did not help in the least in the humidity in my Illinois home. My goal going forward is to reduce the use of recipes I can identify as humidity intolerant.
     
  15. Jul 22, 2019 #15

    DeeAnna

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    Silica packets will only work in small, tightly closed containers such as a medicine bottle or a sealed plastic bag. If you try to use silica in a space too large for the amount of silica in the packet or if you use silica in a container that is not air tight, the silica will rapidly absorb water and become ineffective.

    It's similar deal to what you need to do to keep drinking water cold. A single cube of ice, warm water, and a large uninsulated mug are a recipe for failure. If you want the water to stay cold longer, start with cold water, put the water in an insulated mug, add plenty of ice, and keep the mug out of the sun.
     
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  16. Jul 22, 2019 #16

    earlene

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    Yes, and I gave some thought to buying a huge amount of them such as they sell to hang inside large containers, but just used a whole bunch of little ones instead. The expense of the larger ones just didn't seem a cost effective experiment.
     
  17. Jul 22, 2019 #17

    Mobjack Bay

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    Would using something like DRIERITE in a sealed container work? Buckets wouldn’t be the most convenient for storing soap, but what about boxes stored inside large plastic bags or doubled bags that are tightly sealed? DRIERITE can be reused and the kind we used in my lab changes color when it has stopped absorbing water. It can be “regenerated” in a regular home oven. Even in an AC’d house, some of my soaps seemed a little clammy today. It has been exceptionally hot and humid in Virginia over the past week. I don’t want to be losing any soap if this keeps up.
     
  18. Jul 22, 2019 #18

    DeeAnna

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    Yep, Dririte will work fine. And the stuff that has the little blue/pink granules is the only way to go.
     
  19. Jul 22, 2019 #19

    Kathymzr

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    Hi again. I too was not meaning tiny packets. We have a product called Damprid, that hangs inside closets, just as Mobjack Bay wrote about.
     
  20. Jul 22, 2019 #20

    DeeAnna

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    DampRid (calcium chloride, turns into a liquid, must be discarded) and DrieRite (calcium sulfate, stays solid, can be regenerated) are two entirely different products. But I get your drift.
     

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