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Thin or thick trace pouring

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Todd Ziegler

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I have searched but have found little information on how thick or thin my soap should be when I pour it into a mold. I would really like to here from the seasoned soapers on this.
 

lsg

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I usually try to pour at thin trace.
 

shunt2011

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I prefer to pour at thin to medium traces. Just depends on what I'm doing. If I'm trying to do multi colored swirls I pour fairly thin as the soap thickens with time. If I'm just doing one or two colors a bit heavier trace is okay. I don't do much more than a 2-3 color swirl. I just don't like when my soap is glopping into the mold.
 

Todd Ziegler

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I appreciate the replies. I wanted to do some molds other than loaf style and it would require a thin batter. I also found it easier overall but I thought that a trace was bad. This really helps.

Pouring at a thinner trace would help fix some problems I was having.
 
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jcandleattic

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I have searched but have found little information on how thick or thin my soap should be when I pour it into a mold. I would really like to here from the seasoned soapers on this.
Totally depends on the look you are going for.
I (try to) do fairly intricate swirls, and always put my scent in my oils before adding the lye, so I try to split out and add the colors at emulsion, because my scents are almost always a blend of FO's I've mixed which almost always makes them fast movers, so the sooner I can incorporate the colors the better my swirls will be.
 

Todd Ziegler

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I have a quick question. I have 4 loafs of soap and 2 feel hard when I poke them but they have a little give also. They have been sitting for 48 hours and I didn't know if I should go ahead and cut them or wait another day or two? I am still not 100% confident in my ability to assess my soaps.

Totally depends on the look you are going for.
I (try to) do fairly intricate swirls, and always put my scent in my oils before adding the lye, so I try to split out and add the colors at emulsion, because my scents are almost always a blend of FO's I've mixed which almost always makes them fast movers, so the sooner I can incorporate the colors the better my swirls will be.
Right now the only look I'm going for is a quality soap. I have colored and added pumice to all my soaps, except for my very first batch. I am gaining confidence but not all the way there yet.
 
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DeeAnna

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I cut when the soap feels like colby or mild cheddar cheese. Yielding, but not soft. Parmesan firmness is too hard. Cream cheese texture is too soft.

If you cut a bar, evaluate the cut surface and think about how easy or hard it was to cut.

If it cuts reasonably easily and the cut surface is reasonably smooth without shattering (too hard) or smearing (too soft), then cut the rest of the bars.

If the soap seems too soft, then set the rest of the soap aside to firm up before cutting more bars.

If the soap seems too hard or brittle, the soap can be warmed to soften it so it can be cut. And, obviously, next time cut sooner.
edit --- The pumice particles are going to complicate matters a bit, so expect a little more difficulty cutting this type of soap.
 

Arimara

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I have a quick question. I have 4 loafs of soap and 2 feel hard when I poke them but they have a little give also. They have been sitting for 48 hours and I didn't know if I should go ahead and cut them or wait another day or two? I am still not 100% confident in my ability to assess my soaps.
You might want to unmold that about now-ish. There still is a risk of soap being too hard to cut- not fun to deal with.
 

Todd Ziegler

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I cut when the soap feels like colby or mild cheddar cheese. Yielding, but not soft. Parmesan firmness is too hard. Cream cheese texture is too soft.

If you cut a bar, evaluate the cut surface and think about how easy or hard it was to cut.

If it cuts reasonably easily and the cut surface is reasonably smooth without shattering (too hard) or smearing (too soft), then cut the rest of the bars.

If the soap seems too soft, then set the rest of the soap aside to firm up before cutting more bars.

If the soap seems too hard or brittle, the soap can be warmed to soften it so it can be cut. And, obviously, next time cut sooner.
edit --- The pumice particles are going to complicate matters a bit, so expect a little more difficulty cutting this type of soap.
That is an excellent anology because I happen to love cheese and I am very familiar with the different textures. You also confirmed some of the suspicions I already had. My research before I made my first CP batch has r
You might want to unmold that about now-ish. There still is a risk of soap being too hard to cut- not fun to deal with.
I did unmold it but I got called into work and didn't have time to cut it. Do you know what would cause the top edges to be creamy? I wiped the creamy part off and the rest is ok.

You'll get there. Before you know it, it'll all be like second nature. :)
Thanks. I am really surprised by how quickly my understanding has been. I truly believe that the research and reading I did before my first CP batch, along with doing MP first, has made everything better. As I said before, my questions are better and I understand the answers given.
 
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Kiti Williams

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I pour at thin trace, just a bit past total emulsion. Some EOs cause fast trace, so I try to keep it thin. It will harden enough to unmold, then it will give up the extra water during curing. I have a Dehumidifier going in my cure room.
 

Todd Ziegler

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I pour at thin trace, just a bit past total emulsion. Some EOs cause fast trace, so I try to keep it thin. It will harden enough to unmold, then it will give up the extra water during curing. I have a Dehumidifier going in my cure room.
A dehumidifier is an excellent idea. I had thought about building a drying cabinet. I was going to take an old armoire and install adjustable drying racks with an exhaust fan on top and a blowing fan on the bottom.
 

CatahoulaBubble

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That all depends on what you want to do. Sometimes I pour just at emulsion for more intricate swirling techniques, sometimes at light trace, sometimes it's "oh crap this accelerated faster than I expected pour it NOW!" and it's like thick oatmeal.
 

Arimara

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I did unmold it but I got called into work and didn't have time to cut it. Do you know what would cause the top edges to be creamy? I wiped the creamy part off and the rest is ok.
I don't know what it looks like. I'm assuming the soap developed a bit of soda ash.
 

TheGecko

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I have searched but have found little information on how thick or thin my soap should be when I pour it into a mold. I would really like to here from the seasoned soapers on this.
Depends on what kind of soap you making. If you’re doing swirls, or multi color designs you want a thin trace...if you want to do layers, you want a medium to thicker trace. If you’re pouring into cavity molds, thinner is better.

I do a lot of single color/scented and no color/scented soap and pour at a medium thick trace because I like to ‘emboss’ the tops with swirl.
 

Kiti Williams

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Todd Ziegler
My Curing room is in my basement, so there are 3 dehumidifiers going 24/7. One is in my curing/craft room. I have wonderful air circulation and things dry and get ready quite fast.
 

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