Crackled Effect in Soap

by Melanie
(Bury, Lancashire, England)

My soap has a crackled effect.


I tried to make a CP batch with embedded soap chunks; I made a 100g tester first which came out perfect.

However, when I made the 900g batch (mixed at 100deg as usual) The outside was nice and smooth all round, but when I sliced the loaf there was a clear gel-like crackled effect running throughout and most of the soap chunks had the same gel-like halos around them.

I don't know whether my soaps go through gel stage - I never check; I just mould, insulate with blankets and leave for 24 hours, then remove blankets and leave for another 24 hours; and I have never had a problem before.
I forgot to take a photo (in a rush to rebatch)!
I really need some advise!

Answer:

Sounds like your soap definitely went through the gel phase but then got too hot.

Overheated soap can get this crackled effect that can actually look quite interesting sometimes. As long as the soap hasn't overheated too much and seperated or volcanoed then the soap is fine to use.

Halo's around the soap bits could be from them having a different temperature than the soap base or it's part of the overheating as well...I'm not exactly sure why this happens sometimes but I've never worried about the effect. I've found that sometimes it enhances the look.

If you visit my Soap Gallery page and scroll down to the Lavender Serentity soap (mauve, pink and white) you will notice that the mauve portion of the soap has some crackling going on and the pink soap has a white halo.

The one thing about soap making is that you're never quite sure what you're going to see when you open up that new batch you're trying for the first time. Even batches you've made over and over can surprise you at times.

To avoid the soap overheating, check on it periodically during the insulation period. If the soap looks vasaline like all the way through, you can remove the insulation and open the soap up to cool.

Hope that helps,
Cathy

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