(Winter Haven, FL)
I made my very first batch of CP soap a week ago. I expected it to be ready to cut 2 days later. The PH came back at 9, but, the soap seemed too mushy to handle to cut. I let it stay a bit longer and was finally able to cut it today.
I'd like to know what happened so I can avoid this in future batches. I followed the recipe very carefully and used grams for the most exact measure.
I live in Florida and the soap was in my "sun room." Is it possible that the tropical storm and extreme humidity affected the hardening process? Answer:
Most certainly. Remember that the hardening process involves the evaporation of excess moisture. If the air is heavy with water then evaporation will likely take much longer.
The optimum condition for insulating the soap is a warm dry location and curing soap is cool dry. To help with excess moisture you could try using a dehumidifier. For a more economical solution you could try moisture absorbing gels/beads that are designed for use in campers and motorhomes for winter storage. They work like the silica gel packages you find when you purchase moisture sensitive products like sushi wraps. DampRid is one name brand and is available at Home Depot.
Another thought...while you are making the soap base, extreme humdity can effect the soap then as well. During times of exteme humidity, you may want to reduce the amount of water you are using in the recipe since the soap base will actually pull moisture from the air while you are making it. This will of course affect the setting up and drying time as well.