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Soap making 101: How to cure and store your home made soaps

Soap making 101: How to cure and store your home made soaps

After all the fun of soap making is over, it’s time to cure and store those carefully hand crafted soaps, and complete the final step in preparing them for use. When I formulate a soap recipe I usually discount the water a bit. Typically I use 33% of my oil weight in water.  For a recipe that calls for 60 ounces in oil I would use 20 ounces of water. This will make your soap harden up a little faster and cure out earlier.

 

Once I make a batch of soap, I unmold it after 24 hours. Depending on how firm it is, I will go ahead and slice it into one inch thick bars. If it is still soft and sticky, I will wait another day or two before slicing.

 

Place your soaps in an out-of-the-way place to cure. Depending on the space you have to work with, you can use a bookshelf, utility shelf, bakers rack, or whatever you have that will fit your space. Place your soaps on the shelf. I lay mine up on their side so that more surface area has air exposure.

 

It will usually take 3 or 4 weeks for soap to cure. I turn my bars over several times during curing, so that all four sides get air contact. Once you have your soaps on the shelf, lightly place a sheet over them to keep dust and dirt out.

 

In four weeks gather up your soaps, place them loosely into a cardboard box or plastic container and store them in a closet or cabinet. To preserve the fragrance integrity, I only put one scent per box.

 

 

 

Fragrance oils will usually hold their scent a year or more, depending on the oil.  Essential oils are a little tricky. Sometimes the scent will only last a short while, especially if you used a top note like lavender 40/42, or any of the citrus family. Top notes tend to degrade quickly and will lose their fragrance after only a couple of months, so I suggest making those only in small batches that you will use up quickly.

 

Happy Soaping!
Debbie Shivvers is the owner of Plott Hollow Farm, dedicated to preserving endangered breeds of livestock and poultry. She is an experienced soap maker and member of The Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild. Find her farm and products at www.plotthollowfarm.com

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