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Vinny

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I’ve made a couple molds and have tried putting it in the oven as I have heard that it helps retain more of the colors vibrancy and makes it easier to remove the soap from its mold, however the results have made my smooth tops bubble up a bit (see pic) and doesn’t dry. I’m assuming that it’s because of the lack of airflow and a build up in humidity.

I live in California where the weather is pretty consistent. Are my assumptions are correct?

This was was a complete disaster stayed in the oven for almost 3 days before we gave up and removed it from its mold.

I have a feeling that if I would have let it rest outside of the oven that it could have been saved but it’s a little too late for that I guess…
 

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Vinny

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Oven Process:
Heat oven to 170°F (or lowest setting).
Stick soap mold in.
Close the door.
Turn off the heat.
Leave overnight.
Unmold in the morning.

TIP: I use black electrician's tape to make an "X" over the oven door so no one opens it while the soap is in there. :)
Those were the exact instructions I followed, the result is what you see above. When I don’t use the oven to cure it does not occur so I’m assuming it’s the trapped humidity or is it something else I’m doing wrong?
 

Zany_in_CO

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I have a feeling that if I would have let it rest outside of the oven that it could have been saved
:thumbs: If you followed the exact instructions then we need to see the Soap Calc print out of your recipe in order to troubleshoot further. I doubt humidity had anything to do with it but ya never know. :smallshrug:
 

earlene

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A couple of possibilities: How you are covering the soap before it goes into the oven may foster water collection and drippage onto the surface. Maybe look at what you are using to cover the top of the soap and how far above the suface you are placing it. Plastic wrap or something absorbant? Something absorbant like a length of cardboard may help prevent that.
Higher water content can lead to a lot of evaporation in high heat, which does collect on plastic wrap within the air pocket created when plastic wrap (or other non-absorbant cover) is enough distance above the soap to allow for conensation to fall back down.

I use a lower heat than 170°F. But it depends on the recipe and your particular oven if you can or should try a lower heat.

One thing I learned over the years is that ovens are not all equal and often things go awry in the thermostat or thermocouple, or whatever internal mechanisms exist inside the workings of ovens. I've had ovens repaired over some of these issues over the course of my lifetime, so it's not uncommon.

In any case, I use an oven thermometer to verify the internal temperature of my oven. My oven has a dial, not digital settings, so I can set it below the lowest setting & it heats to about 150°F, and that's when I put the soap inside the oven.

Another option is to switch to heating pads or simply insulate. While traveling, when I make soap and want to encourage gel, I often put the soap in a dresser drawer on top of a towel & cover with another towel. It depends on the recipe, of course, as some can heat up quite a lot more than others. There are other options as well. Some folks use insulated food/beverage containers (coolers/pizza carry bags/styrofoam). For smaller soap molds, I have used styrofoam coolers that my refrigerated medication arrives in when it is delivered to my door and that works quite well to encourage gel for smaller molds. Even an inverted cardboard box will help hold in the heat.
 

Vinny

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Here are the 2 recipes I used for the above pictured bars. @earlene I cover the mold with the plexiglass included then a towel wrapped several times around. @KiwiMoose I believe it was 25% @Zany_in_CO I've attached the 2 recipes. Thanks for helping guys this issue is consuming me lol
 

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I second what @Jersey Girl has said - you need to increase your lye concentration to at least 30%. Also don't wrap your soap to CPOP it - simply pop it in the oven in a covered mold. In the California heat I would hazard a guess that you might be better to wrap it well to insulate and don't bother CPOPping if you want your soap to gel. It is the gelling process that creates slightly stronger colours than non-gelling.
In addition, both recipes contain high amounts of OO which takes long to set up, so I would hazard a guess that It would take at least 3 days for them to be hard enough to unmold anyways.
 

Vinny

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@earlene @KiwiMoose @Obsidian @Jersey Girl Thank you all so much! Your collective advice makes all the more sense after having watched a few videos on the matter.

I guess this is one of the draw backs of using "Water as % of Oils" instead of" Lye concentration %" OR "water : lye ratio: You just don't know what lye concentration you are working with is, unless you take the small extra step to calculate it (which I didn't).

On another note my wife who knows what she's doing made another last night which un-molded fairly easy and is already hardened enough to handle. Pictured below
 

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