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My Handmade Cold Process Soap Cracked during the Gel Phase and some suggestions to help the problem

Posted by Chris Greten on

My Handmade Cold Process Soap Cracked during the Gel Phase

My soaping started out so beautiful. I stick blended my soap until a light medium trace.   I added 2 Tablespoons of used coffee grounds to my standard recipe. I folded those in with a whisk as to not accelerate trace any further.  I poured the soap batter into my mold at a light to medium trace.

 Doesn't this look gorgeous???


I decided to make a cardboard tent for it since the soap was a little high in the mold and I was afraid if I covered it,

it would ruin the top of the soap. Ask me how I know this!!!


So my heart broke when I peeked and this is what I found a big ugly crack running  down the middle.


I had read somewhere online that you could put  a glove on (not only is it still hot, but it is toxic to touch), and smoosh it back together with your fingers. I did that and it was okay but I found something better that I will show you, but wait here is a picture of it smooshed  (the technical term!)  back together.

It looks okay and actually looked much better when it was cooled down and  dried it is still pretty hot in this picture.


But what I have discovered is, if you leave it alone and do not try to fix the crack it is much better.  I made another batch after this one and there was a big crack down the center.  You might be asking why all the cracks to begin with???  I live in the Midwest and it is really hard in the dead of winter when it is below zero outside to keep your home warmed evenly. The soap is cracking because it is unevenly heating up in the mold even though it is insulated and covered and toweled, it is still heating unevenly ( I have since added a heating pad under the insulated mold and that is helping the problem a lot now.)  The crack occurs to let the steam out from the underneath that is building up.


Another beautiful soap with a not so beautiful crack in it.


But this time I left the crack alone.


Here is the soap almost fully gelled and you can see that crack pretty much closed up on it's own. 


So if your soap does crack try not to panic and just leave it alone and hopefully it will close up on it's own. The crack is barely noticeable in this soap now.  I would also recommend trying to insulate your mold, try with a cover and without and the same with a towel covering, try it with a towel and without.  Like I mentioned earlier I have finally settled on insulating my silicone mold in a wood mold with a cover, covered over with a towel and placed on a heating pad until it fully gels. Just remember that many factors can affect your soap and it really is science. The more you test and research the better your batch will be each time! Happy Soaping!  I would love to hear your cracking/gel stories and solutions, so please feel free to leave a comment.

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