Best Before date / Use By .....

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by WillZ, May 15, 2018.

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  1. May 15, 2018 #1

    WillZ

    WillZ

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    I seem to have read in a couple of places, that the 'Use by date' is determined by the UBD of the oils that are used to make the soap. (No, I don't remember where - I'm an old man!)

    But doesn't the saponification process change the oils into something different?

    I note that soaps are made with all sorts of liquids e.g. milk. Which should mean that the soap is unusable after a couple of days, even before it's turned into soap.

    The reason I bring this up is because my youngest daughter looked at all my bars of soap, that I've packed in shrink bags with a label attached stating what the ingrediants the soap contains. She said "Dad, you have to write the expiration date on there as well. People who are interested in natural products will want to know!" And I am thinking "How long will it take for beef tallow or coconut milk to turn into something unspeakable?" A bar of soap should be at least a couple og months old before being used.

    Right??
     
  2. May 15, 2018 #2

    shunt2011

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    Personally soap doesn't have an expiration date. I've got some really old soaps from when I first started and they are perfectly good soap (scents faded). The only time I pull a soap is if the soap has been beaten up or the scent has totally gone away. I've only had a handful of soaps get DOS and those hit the trash. I use milks in almost all my soaps and they don't go bad. But then, I don't consider soap natural either nor do I market it as such.

    I cure my soaps 6-8 weeks or longer. Exception is Castille (1 year), salt bars at least 6 months for retailing.
     
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  3. May 15, 2018 #3

    ItsForrest

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    I don't have a definitive answer but keep in mind that the chemical reactions between the lye and other ingredients change the game. The lye kind of pickles everything organic in the mix.
     
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  4. May 15, 2018 #4

    lsg

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    I have found 2 year-old bars of soap in a drawer. In my mind, it lasted longer and had better lather. As far as I am concerned, there is no expiration date for soap. However,someone more knowledgeable may come up with a different answer.
     
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  5. May 15, 2018 #5

    DeeAnna

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    I don't think expiration dates are valid for soap. It's not something one eats, and it's not a cosmetic or drug (at least if you follow US FDA rules).

    I suppose a use-by date might be appropriate if you'd like to encourage people to use the soap while the scent is still strong, but that's more a matter of aesthetics than anything else.

    Look at commercial soaps (real soap, not syndet or syndet-soap blends) in stores. Do they have a use-by date?
     
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  6. May 15, 2018 #6

    WillZ

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    Guys - I get the message. Thank you all.
     
  7. May 15, 2018 #7

    David1pro

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    Not only for soap, but for MANY things, manufacturers put on a use by date for the simple purpose of encouraging you, the buyer, to throw away the old item and buy a replacement. The concept is driven by nothing more than money and encouraging unnecessary sales.

    As a good, but random example, I recently used up a box of barley that had been purchased in the 1990s. It was perfectly fine, but LONG expired.
     
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  8. May 16, 2018 #8

    MKLonestar

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  9. May 20, 2018 at 11:26 AM #9

    earlene

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    WillZ, here is an opportunity for you to educate your daughter on the regulations and practices about 'expiration' and 'use by'
    dates. Surprisingly many people don't really understand what these mean and why they are used in some products and not others. If you are in the US, here are a couple of links you can read and share with your daughter:

    https://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/Labeling/ExpirationDating/default.htm

    http://www.stilltasty.com/articles/view/5

    https://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-...-bath-products-ingredients-rancidity-vs-mold/

    Other countries may have regulations different from the US. The EU comes to mind, but I don't know their requirements on this issue.

    Basically, if you test your formulas over time, keeping at least one bar from each batch for extended lengths of time, you will get a feel for how long your soap can last and still be good to use. So far, the only thing that I have found that made me want to throw out soap was if it developed DOS. All good soaps I made from the start are still good soaps, but even better than before. So what I learned to pay attention to was how to prevent DOS, as that was the only factor that I have found that makes me feel a soap has gone 'bad' and feel compelled to toss it out.
     
  10. May 22, 2018 at 11:52 PM #10

    lyschelw

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    I have some great soaps from Abba Earth soaps from 20 years ago from my old store that I still keep finding packed away in storage. I swear they just get better and better. But then I found a bar from some hotel that we stayed at (yes I am that person that doesn't want to waste the soap) and it had totally gone rancid after only about 2 years.
     

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