The process of turning oils and lye into soap can be mysterious. For example, once a batch of soap is mixed and poured into a mold in the cold process method, it just goes on its merry way, turning itself into soap without any more help from anybody. It even gives off heat as it goes! Isn’t chemistry wonderful?
But every cold process soapmaker at some time will have the experience of a batch of soap getting VERY hot while it’s sitting in the mold. Sometimes it’s caused by the fragrance that is used. Sometimes it’s because the oils and lye started out pretty hot to begin with. And when the batch gets too, too hot, it can start to crack, just like a banana bread baking in the oven. It doesn’t hurt the soap per se, but it can make for an unattractive bar once it’s sliced.
If this ever happens to you, try out this technique demonstrated by Bonnie of the Good Earth Spa blog. Super easy, and it works! Thanks, Bonnie!
(Even if you don’t make soap yourself, check it out and see what soapmakers are willing to do to make our best soap possible!)