When to refrigerate soap

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Ugeauxgirl

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In all the soapmaking books I've read, it says to refrigerate your soap if it gets too hot, but none specifies how you'll know that unless your soap cracks. I just checked on my loaf mold and the temp was 154. That seems hot to me. I unwrapped it. Should I have left it alone? Does anyone know how hot is too hot?
 

Ford

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Hi. Depends on many things. It'll bulge before it cracks. That's indication it's getting hot. Are you going for gel?
 

Ugeauxgirl

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Yes. For my first few CP attempts I got partial gel. Then I tried cpop, and got full gel, but the top got a little bubbly- I assume it got too hot. The next cpop was perfect. Then I insulated one, and it came out right but didn't get that hot I think. I don't know how hot it needs to be to gel, and how hot right before it cracks. Is there a range?
 

Tara_H

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Not sure if this helps but I CPOP at about 45-50 C and leave the oven on (my oven is pretty stable at that temperature). I always get a full gel that way and have never had cracks, although none of the recipes I use are particularly prone to overheating. Still, it might give you a benchmark for the rough temp required to gel, so I presume temperatures much in excess of that are getting risky.
 

Ugeauxgirl

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Not sure if this helps but I CPOP at about 45-50 C and leave the oven on (my oven is pretty stable at that temperature). I always get a full gel that way and have never had cracks, although none of the recipes I use are particularly prone to overheating. Still, it might give you a benchmark for the rough temp required to gel, so I presume temperatures much in excess of that are getting risky.
That does help- thanks. I cut it today. I think it fully gelled. The design makes it hard to tell. It's pretty anyway!
 

The_Phoenix

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An alternative to CPOP, which is not practical for me because I use my oven pretty much daily, is to put it in a styrofoam cooler and put the lid on. Soap is exothermic so it develops it’s own heat. Keeping it in a closed container keeps that emitting heat in and perpetuates the process. It basically becomes an oven.

Only once have I had soap overheat and crack. I had used coconut milk and pumpkin purée AND honey. I simply took it out of my cooler and left it out until it had cooled off some. It settled down and was perfect the next day.

I’m suspicious of anyone who advises making a habit of putting soap in the fridge. First, all you’ll encounter is a frustrated refrigerator. 🤪 And possibly partially gelled soap.
 

KiwiMoose

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I've never refrigerated soap, but I'm a geller from way back. I once had a soap overheat and crack slightly on the top ( coconut milk in a PVC pipe) but it only affected the first slice - and that's always my kitchen sink tester anyway.
In the summer I usually cover with a folded over towel and pop it in the garage (uninsulated, so it get to about 32-36 degrees in the height of summer). In the winter I CPOP by pre-heating the oven to about 50 degrees, and then turning it off once the soap is in there. And letting it sit until the oven has cooled down (usually overnight). A couple of times it didn't look like it was going to gel so I turned the oven back on for about 15 minutes, and that did the trick.
 

AliOop

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For a loaf or slab mold, I insulate in a cooler or an insulated meat delivery box.

For cavity molds, I put them on a heating put inside an insulated food delivery bag. The heating pad works very well at keeping a consistent temp, doesn't tie up the oven, and doesn't transfer scents to the oven.
 

Mobjack Bay

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When I was testing recipes using high lye concentrations (38-40%) earlier this year, they wouldn’t gel until they got to 160F or higher. I haven’t had any problems with the soap going bad or noticed differences in scent retention (FOs and EOs).

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For cavity molds, I put them on a heating put inside an insulated food delivery bag.
Such a great idea! Thanks for sharing.
 

earlene

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For a loaf or slab mold, I insulate in a cooler or an insulated meat delivery box.

For cavity molds, I put them on a heating put inside an insulated food delivery bag. The heating pad works very well at keeping a consistent temp, doesn't tie up the oven, and doesn't transfer scents to the oven.
Where do you get insulated food delivery bags? The only ones I have ever seen are owned by the pizza place and they look like they'd work well for slab soap, but of course, the pizza place isn't going to give me them.

I actually have several small styrofoam containers (medication delivery), that are good for small one-pound soap molds, but my loaf molds won't fit inside them due to size and shape. On my next road trip, I plan to bring a couple of them along with some one-pound molds so I can make soap & have for insulation (after cold-storage of cat food is not longer needed.)
 

The_Phoenix

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Where do you get insulated food delivery bags? The only ones I have ever seen are owned by the pizza place and they look like they'd work well for slab soap, but of course, the pizza place isn't going to give me them.

I actually have several small styrofoam containers (medication delivery), that are good for small one-pound soap molds, but my loaf molds won't fit inside them due to size and shape. On my next road trip, I plan to bring a couple of them along with some one-pound molds so I can make soap & have for insulation (after cold-storage of cat food is not longer needed.)
I use an actual cooler, tipped on its side, lined with a towel to allow it to fit, for my slab mold.
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AliOop

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Where do you get insulated food delivery bags? The only ones I have ever seen are owned by the pizza place and they look like they'd work well for slab soap, but of course, the pizza place isn't going to give me them.

I actually have several small styrofoam containers (medication delivery), that are good for small one-pound soap molds, but my loaf molds won't fit inside them due to size and shape. On my next road trip, I plan to bring a couple of them along with some one-pound molds so I can make soap & have for insulation (after cold-storage of cat food is not longer needed.)
During the 2020 lockdown, we had our groceries delivered by Whole Foods (and still do at times - it is free and very convenient).

At that time, they used large, lightweight foil bags to keep cold things cold inside the paper bags. These insulated bags are not the heavy-duty cloth or vinyl bags like the pizza delivery folks use; I'm sure these are aluminum or something similar, with insulation layers in between. They are perhaps 30'x24"x5"? I do make sure to keep the soap covered and not in contact with the bag.

WF doesn't use that type of grocery insulation anymore, but I saved several of them since my molds fit into them perfectly. PM me if you'd like me to mail one to you.
 

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