Monday, 25 May 2015

Do I need thermometer in soap making?

Another one question from a reader: Do I need to take temperature in soap making? 
Now this depends. Which method for soap making are you utilizing? Hot process? Cold process? Melt & pour? If you don't know the difference between these three methods, click here to our first post for begginers in soap making.

Now back to the question. Do we need to take temperature? Well let's put it this way, I would say temperature taking is the most crucial in cold process soap making IF you are replacing your lye solution (water) with something else. You making goats milk soap or juice or even coffee soap (anything that's easily burnt-basically everything except water) you need to make sure the temperature doesn't go higher than 37 degrees c. Why? Coz anything more it might burn and stink up your soap! So thats why you need thermometer. But is it really crucial? that depends. If you are someone who needs to have a guide then yes you need it, but if you are someone who have been cooking for a long time and know roughly how room temperature feels like by just touching the bottom of the pot, then no you don't need it. 
Another part of cp soap making that requires the usage of thermometer is just before adding the lye solution into oil mixture. Actually if you are making soap for yourself, I wouldn't really bother because again, I'm lazy😝 and the heat from lye solution actually helps me to speed up trace. But after sometime you will notice your soap will have transparent patches here and there. This is when some part of your soap would have 'gelled- translucent like patches, while the other parts will still be opaque. It doesn't really matter because your soap can still be used but aestheticly it's not very nice looking. So how to prevent this? Simple: make sure your oil and lye temperature is almost the same when you are mixing it so that the lye doesn't over heat the oil mixture. you can also use the agar-agak method here if you don't have a thermometer. Also, to prevent further gelling, you can actually put this soap in cooler area-some to a point of putting it into the fridge to cure (never tried it before so no comment). If you feel like you want the gelling stage in your whole soap (it gives you a really nice vibrant colour) put the soap into an oven and heat it for 20 mins. This will turn the whole soap into gel like transparent bar of soap. 
So anyway, back to thermometer, do you need it? It all depends on you. If you can agak-agak, then no, but if you want to make your life easier, get one:) 

hope this helps..

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