Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Oops, I Overheated the Soap

Here's a sampling of some of the soaps being displayed at the 2012 Soap Guild Conference. Mold Market has two vendor table at the event and my assistant, Kristy, has been pouring soap samples for their table display.

There was one soap mold in particular I wanted her to use. It's our best seller Tray Mold #079. Her intent was to use small chunks of colored soap and then over pour with clear soap. She got a little anxious (bet you've never done that :) and the over pour was too hot and melted the embeds. Her final soap looked like this:

Instead of colorful embedded soap chunks, she ended up with a melted tye-dye look. The extreme heat caused three things to happen.

  1. The intense heat scorched the soap and affected the opacity. Overheating melt and pour soap (especially clear) will cause the soap to have a yellowish tint.
  2. Overheating soap will also burn off the fragrance. The intensity and aroma of the scent dissipates under extreme heat.
  3. Pouring hot soap will warp a plastic mold. That's what happened in this case. The mold was discarded because it bowed under the extreme heat.
I point out this faux pas because those new to soap making often overheat MP soap. The excessive heat warps the mold and they believe the mold to be defective (or question why the soap is no longer clear).

It was a lesson learned for Kristy. Unfortunately, it cost us 2 pounds of soap, fragrance, colorant and a mold. A new or small business can't afford these costly errors. I know because I've been there. The soap is usable, but certainly not saleable quality.

Melt and pour soap should be heated to no more than 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If doing an over pour, I recommend 132 to 135 degrees. No thermometer? Then do a pinkie test. Dip your pinkie finger in the melted soap. If it's too hot to keep your finger in the soap, then it's too hot to pour.


john petter said...

Such a nice review.
Kiss My Face Soap

heavy hedonist said...

Sad loss, but it did turn out pretty! I dig the tie-dye look of it. Thanks for the tips, BTW. I like to make some of my own beauty products, and gifts too, now and then.

Peace, Mari