Thursday, 24 August 2017

Soap this, Soap that: Glycerine Dew


I have decided to introduce this new segment to help troubleshoot the more common soap making roadblocks and issues many soap makers stumble across. I named the segment "Soap this, Soap that" because when I first started soap making I was like a child with a new toy. It seemed like all I did was make soap and sleep; and eventually my family would tease that everything out of my mouth was either "soap this or soap that". So there you go, a little back story to go with the segment. :)

This week we will be looking at "glycerine dew".

This picture shows a classic example of glycerine dew in these Cold process soap bars with Melt & Pour toppers.

 What exactly is glycerine dew?

Glycerine dew (also called glycerine tears or glycerine sweat) is a phenomena seen in glycerine (or Melt and Pour) soaps. It appears as little drops on the surface of soap due to the high amounts of glycerine contained within.

Glycerine is a humectant, and attracts moisture from the atmosphere to itself. You can understand how this will be very good for the skin. This can help keep the skin constantly hydrated and prevent dry, crackling skin especially during the harmattan season. From a soap maker's point, however, this could be a bother. Glycerine soap tends to sweat more in specific conditions and one of those is high humidity. Now according to my atmospheric temperature reading the humidity in Nigeria has been at an average of 70 over the last couple of weeks. That is absolutely horrible for my glycerine soaps as you can see.

So, how to get rid of/handle glycerine dews:
1. Invest in a dehumidifier (which i haven't done yet but this episode just might hasten my plans).
2. Don't put glycerine soap in the freezer. (You might be tempted to for easy unmoulding - DON'T!!)
3. Use Low Sweat Melt and Pour. (I haven't used it yet but i've heard good things).
4. Wrap glycerine soap in heat shrink immediately after unmoulding. (This will help a lot!!)
5. Ignore it - it's harmless. Wipe it off gently after cure when used as topper for CP soap.

I hope this helps.
Have you experienced glycerine dew before? How did you handle it? Leave a comment below to share your experience.

Happy Soaping.