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Why Is My Soap Lighter Around the Edges and Darker in the Middle?

I recently got this question from one of my students about discolored cold process soap. It's a great question about a problem I also had during my initial soap making years.

"We made some honey oatmeal soap yesterday that looks great on the outside. It really looked good until we started to slice it. It's lavender on the outside, but wet and brownish inside. Were we just over eager and sliced too soon or is something else likely wrong. If we let it sit a couple days before we slice the rest will it be better? Or did we just mess up this batch?"

Thanks, Rich, for the question and the photo! As you can see, each bar has a darker oval spot in the center with a lighter color around the edges.

The first time I cut into a batch of soap that looked like this was disconcerting. I remember thinking, Did I do something wrong? Is this soap still safe to use?

What happens when soap turns out dark in the middle and lighter around the edges?

The soap went through an incomplete g…

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