Bumpy Soap?


Sometimes my lovingly created handmade soaps have bumps on the cut surface. There is nothing wrong with the soap, it just is bumpy. Let’s address the issue, or non-issue as one might say. It is simply a cosmetic issue.

The bumps are simply a result from one of two factors. The first is air bubbles. Sometimes the immersion blender gets bubbles into the soap as I am mixing it. If I am not careful, I can get a lot of bubbles. That is why you will see soap makers pick the soap loaf up and drop it on the cupboard. Like a cake, we are trying to get the air bubbles out.

I believe that my bumpy soap is due to a temperature and fat combination. From The Nerdy Farmwife Blog, she has put it best. Reason: Hard fats such as palm, tallow, lard, butters, etc contain solid fatty acids (like stearic acid & palmitic acid) that need a higher temperature to melt, while other components of the fat melt more easily.” So the solution would be to soap at a warmer temperature, especially since I use Shea Butter and Kokum Butter. But the solution creates another problem. If I soap at a higher temperature, then the soap tends to thicken quickly and I can’t get some of those lovely swirls. In addition, I use a wire cutter to get consistent bars from the loaves. And that fits with the harder butters as the theory is that the wire floats over slightly harder lumps of soap as it passes through the loaf and the bumps pop out immediately after the wire passes by.

Again, it is simply cosmetic. Some makers will wash the soap to get a perfectly smooth bar. I do not. I don’t wash the tops to make them shine and I leave the bars alone after I cut them. I will scrape the crumbs off, clean them up a bit and send them out to you. But I do not believe that you should pay extra for me to wash your soap. It almost sounds silly. Within a couple of uses from you, the soap will be smooth and shiny!

Till next time

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