Gel Phase and a swirly appearance

by Fiona
(London, England)

I really make an effort to gel my soaps so that the swirls or patterns on the top are not disfigured by soda ash. So I soap at about 110 degrees, put the soap in the oven for about 2 mins at 250 degrees and insulate to ensure that it gels all the way through.

The problem is that the colours in my soap tend to look separated and mottled. The nice even look of the soap becomes glassy looking and uneven.

Why does this happen? How can I achieve complete gel and still get an even tone in my soap?

Please help


The only thing I can think of is that your soaps are getting too hot.

It's hard to diagnose the problem without a picture...sorry.

Does the top surface of the soap have a texture that could be describe as 'alien brains' on it? Are there cracks in the top soap surface? When you cut the soap does it have a crackle like look to it?

These are all symptoms of overheated soap. If this is what is happening, skip the oven step and unwrap the soap as soon as the majority of the soap has gelled and place a fan on it. The fan helps the soap cool down and stops ash from forming on top.

Another thing that can cause a tone on tone swirly effect is fragrance oil. The only thing to do there is use a different oil.

Hope these suggestions help,

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My soap gelled only in the middle
by: Cris

And from what I am reading here I can only guess that it happen because the middle of it was hotter than the sides.

It was my first batch ever so I used the Room Temp. method and then just poured it into an glass oven dish. Is the only thing heat resistant i could think of that would fit my batch.

3/4 in mold + 1/4 with 1 teasp paprika powder and of course lavender (10 ml of it) + 1TBS vanilla beans paste.

I put the mold in a cotton lined basket, a wood board over it and a blanket under and around it.

Waited for 24 h, peaked a bit, didn't know what i was suppose to see, pulled it out and the core is gelly and softish...and the sides white..a bit tricky to cut.

Three days later is hardish..kept the gelly look and is gradually fading. Happy i put in the paprika. the swirls and gelish part look all part of the design :P

Next time if i want it white i should "let it breath"a bit more...?

And if I want it more gellish texture should I warm the mold in advance a bit and insulate it with more than a blanket?

The moment I make a first sale I will make a donation to your wonderful website. Truly deserved.


Gelling Soap
by: Cathy


No it isn't necessary to gel your soap. To do so or not is a personal choice.

Some people prefer the look of ungelled soap while others like it gelled. Ungelled soap looks more opaque than gelled soap.

My soaps gel every time and I don't think I could stop it if I tried. Some people put their soap into the fridge to stop it from gelling.

Give each way a try and see what you like best.


Is it necessary to gel your soap?
by: Larry

Does CP soap have to gel to come out OK? If yes, does it have to gel all of the way through? Is there an advantage to gel, or to not gel?

Lafayette, LA

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