3+ week cure?

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Green Mountain Farm

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I have a goat milk soap business and ran out of fresh milk. I have some in the freezer but it’s over a year old, so I was planning on waiting until my goat gives birth (in the next few weeks!) and then start making soap like crazy. BUT there is a festival on June 10-11 and I would love to go. If I were to use the “older” milk and make a bunch of soap in the next few days, would it be ok for the festival? It would be between 3 and 4 weeks cured. The recipe makes a hard bar anyways.
 
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Is your concern about using the older milk, or about the somewhat short cure time?

If the milk has been well frozen this whole time, there shouldn't be anything wrong with it. Many of us don't see or feel any difference between using fresh, frozen or powdered goat milk.

I personally don't like my soaps until they've been cured for six weeks or longer. But that's my recipe, and my preference. Your soap should definitely be safe to use after three weeks of curing, but will it be at its best? It would be a shame to lose long-term customers because you sold them soap that doesn't lather well, or that doesn't match up to how nice your fully-cured bars would feel.

In the end, it's up to you to decide whether that risk is worth it.
 
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Green Mountain Farm

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My concern was the cure time, not the milk. If I make soap today, it would be almost 4 weeks of cure time, I think it’s like 3 days short or something like that. It’s a hard decision!
 

TheGecko

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You are experienced enough to know when your soap "peaks". You might want to mention this to your customers: "It's cured but, for the best experience, wait a couple of weeks until it peaks before using it."
But are they going to listen...or remember? A regular customer might, but this is a festival when there will be lots of strangers visiting lots of vendors...if they buy multiple bars from GMF and/or buy soap from other vendors and then get home many hours later, are they going to remember which bar of soap it is that they aren't supposed to use right away?

And while as a soap maker I understand cure times, but as a customer, I'm going to question why you are selling something that I can't use right away because it's not "ready" or as you said, it hasn't peaked yet.
 

Zany_in_CO

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@TheGecko Your point is well taken. :thumbs:

I guess if t'were me I would take a shower with it to determine its viability as close to the sale date as possible. I have a feeling it will be just fine. (My ZNSC is ready to use/ship at 2 weeks.) But it's up to @Green Mountain Farm to decide whether to say something or not. It's up to the buyer then to use it right away or not. After all, how many of us actually buy soap and use it right away? From my experience, and this is just me, I'll use up the one I have going in the shower first. ;)

Which reminds me of another thing -- a sign that's good to put with the soap

TO MAKE YOUR SOAP LONGER LASTING
KEEP IT HIGH AND DRY!

I would buy a bunch of soap savers at the dollar store, place one bar on a soap saver for a demo and use it to prop up the sign, with a stack of soap savers for sale next to it.
 

Green Mountain Farm

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I decided to go for it! And as I was discussing it with my mom she made me realize that no one is really going to notice if the bar lasts a day or two less. Unless you are a soap maker, you just want something that has a nice lather and smell. And that’s what my soaps have. :)
Thank you for all the tips! And I should definitely put a sign about keeping it dry. So many people just keep their bars on the counter but it gets so mushy! Yuck!
 

WhittanyWho

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Many reputable soapmakers use a 3 week cure with hot processing, certain recipes, and using a water discount. I cannot tell a difference between my 2-3 week old HP soap and my 4+ week old HP soap. CP seems to be an entirely different ballgame. I know how MY soap performs and behaves at different curing times, and YOU know YOUR soap. I don't know your curing environment, processes, or anything else, but if you feel confident your soap will be good at 3 (nearly 4) weeks, go for it. I wouldn't do that with my CP soap, because I know how it performs, but I could consider doing that with my HP soap, because I know how it performs. However, I don't sell it before 4 weeks, because that is just the standard I set for myself even if I've tested enough soaps to know they're great already. You've got to use your best judgment.
 
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