Cover soap with Blanket?

by Wing
(Columbia, MD)

I watched a video about soap making the other day and the soap maker cover the soap with a heated blanket for 24 hours after the soap has been made. Is it necessary? Does it make any difference?


Answer:

Blankets are used to keep in the heat generated by the chemical reaction (saponification process). This helps to jumpstart the gel phase.

A heated blanket would only be used if you plan to gel the soap and live in a cold climate. I live in British Columbia, Canada and find that in the winter I only need a few wool blankets.

Every soapmaker has to experiment at the beginning to figure out just how much insulation they need to properly gel their soap. Since climates and homes differ, so do the amounts of insulation needed.

Cathy

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over heating
by: Anonymous

I live in CT, US. I use one mexican blanket folded over a couple of times and then wrapped around the mold. This has resulted in overheating a couple of times; I know this because of the cracks in my soap. So I would be heasitent to rely on or use a heated blanket unless the gelling area is less then regular room temperature, like central air keeping the house at 65 degrees. Good luck!

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gelly like soap cp
by: roselyn

Ithink that over heating your newly made soap is wrong if you live in the tropic a towel is enought of course if you live in a cold climate and donot have a heater in the room you store your soap then its ok

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I live in warm climate...
by: J. Harris

Cold Process

I live in San Diego... the last three days (in October) have been near or over 100 degrees. Honestly, I have never covered a batch with anything. I store them in the garage. I have yet to do my soap batches during cold months (it gets down right cold enough to snow here in the city, we just lack the moisture needed).... so I may eat these words later in January and February... BUT...

In just about every CP soap recipe I've seen online, it has stated: place molds in a cool, dark place - but then often contradicts itself and tells you to cover it and keep it warm. I personally have no reason to think my soap needs help warming or saponifying... additionally, I test all my soap on myself after 48 hours (via scraps left over after cutting the log) and have yet to see a bar of soap not properly saponify. I am no expert, but 5 out of 5 batches in the past month, I have yet to see my soap not gel and phase properly. But again - I live in a warm environment, so I leave this advice for others who might, as well. We tend to forget it's hot here and snowing next door...

Additionally, I have noticed that some soaps heat up a lot more than others because of the amount of fluids I used, and/or the oils propertoes themselves... to say all of my soaps will need insulation for first 24 hours is absurd based on the variances from batch to batch (I believe someone else mentioned that just a blanket overheated their batch once or twice - these could be reasons for that). Soaps that come to trace faster will be hotter, too.... soaps that take longer to trace will have more time to cool down, and may or may not need wrapping.

The bottom line: soap making is trial and error. Honestly, for me, a towel or blanket does nothing more than keep the dust off my product during actual cure time.... ;) That is the curse here... dry and hot = very dusty... you have to dust here every other day to keep up! But I risk dust over towel or blanket fibers or animal hair any day!

In no way am I saying dont wrap soaps, just consider if you HAVE TO and consider trial and error, too.

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Covering Soap
by: Anonymous

Brand new soap maker here, made 6 batches, some double batches, did not cover a single one and the soap looks beautiful. I sliced them and are curing them now in a cool area in my Wendy, storage space limited in the home. My batches were cold processed and the soaps turned out lovely (from cutting and washing utensils afterwards). Must say I was happy to read your comments. I live in South Africa.

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