Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Oops of Soap Making: Sophie's Learning Curve

In my last couple of posts, I've mentioned my college employee, Sophie. She's been learning soaping basics while working at GoPlanet this summer. It's been a learning curve for her and, thankfully, she's allowed me to show you some of her "Ooops!" This is one of them. Sophie's goal was to pour a series of 4th of July soaps using various molds. This particular soap (the Mold Market Polka Dot mold) got her quite excited. She couldn't wait to fill each dot to make a multi-colored red, white and blue soap.

As you can see, there was a slight problem when the soap was released from the mold. Some of the dots stayed in the mold. Those stubborn little dots, how dare they defy Sophie! Here's my two-cents worth on what happened (OK, with inflation, it's a nickel's worth).

  1. This has nothing to do with the mold, it's all about you. And probably one of those times when you wished it wasn't all about you.
  2. The dots were perfect but Sophie allowed them to set up too long before pouring the red background.
  3. It's likely that she did not throughly dispersed the rubbing alcohol on the surface of the dots prior to pouring the red color pour. This is critical when pouring soap in layers. That isopropyl alcohol really does help that second pour to adhere to the first. If you miss areas when spraying, the first soap pour may not grab onto the second pour.
  4. When releasing the soap from the mold, allow air to get between the mold and the poured soap. If you don't, it's not uncommon to have layers that stick to the face of the mold (like the dots that were stuck in the mold).

I've been in this business for many years and know that there are those who claim rubbing alcohol is not needed when pouring soap in layers. I say, PISH-POSH!! Not only does it help when pouring layers, it also eliminates any air bubbles on the surface of the soap.

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