Best time for soap stamping?

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CarolynD

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I just ordered my first two acrylic soap stamps and I'm wondering, ballpark, when the best time is to stamp cold process soaps? I tried it out on a bar that's about 2.5 months old and it cracked, which I expected. The batch I just unmolded this morning is going to be a gift, so when I stamp it I want it to look nice. Should I stamp at the same time I slice, or should I let it age a little more? I know there are lots of factors, so the ideal time will vary from batch to batch, but just looking to get a general idea or best practice. Thanks!
 

CatQuirion

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There's usually a "waste piece" on my cuts that I use to test. With my formula, (soleseife, a bit hard to start with) stamping usually works from about 2 days after cut, having let the surfaces harden up a bit in the air. Put a piece of saran wrap over the soap and beneath the stamp, be very gentle (I tap with a rubber mallet) until you get the hang of it.
 

navigator9

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I usually wait a day or two before stamping. As Cat mentioned, the saran wrap is really the critical part in getting a nice, clean impression. Depending on your soap, and your stamp, you may be able to just press the stamp into the bar. One thing I have discovered, is that, for me anyway, milk soaps do not take stamps well. I thought it was actual milk, like goat or buttermilk, but I just found out that coconut milk soap doesn't do well, either. At least not for me. They're somehow "sticky". Even with the saran.
 

IrishLass

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I do the same kind of thing as Cat^^^. I test my stamp out on a bar of soap I've set aside as being 'mine'. More times that not, I can stamp my soap cleanly/nicely as soon as my bars are cut, but with some batches they do better the next day. I've found that with my formulas (I soap with a 33% lye concentration and I gel all my soaps), if I wait any longer than 2 days to stamp, it's too late (they are too hard). You'll just have to experiment with your formulas to see when the best time is. Much depends on how much water you use in the batch, and/or if your soap gelled or not. For what it's worth, I guestimate that if I used lots of water in my batch and my soap did not gel, I'd probably need to wait a week before I stamp.


IrishLass :)
 

KristaY

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I think it also has a lot to do with the size of the stamp. A larger, thicker stamp like an animal, might need to be done sooner when the soap is still soft. A smaller, thinner stamp like text needs to be done later. My normal wait is 2 weeks but I use only text. Not long ago I made several batches of soap then LOTS of life got in my way and I wasn't able to stamp them for a month. They turned out fine. Another thing that may make it easier for me to wait a bit is embossing. So maybe the mica helps? I don't have any data to back that up but it works well for me. :)
 

RobertBarnett

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I bought an acrylic stamp from Bramble Berry a few months ago. I just tested it on three day old dog soap It stamped perfectly. It looks really nice. I do suspect that the time to stamp will change based on the recipe. Fortunately when I cut my soap with my Essential Depot cutter I have a half bar left over and I can do my test stamping on it before doing it on a "good" bar. I will wait at least one day after cutting before stamping. I don't like the feeling of the soap when I cut it, it is a little sticky right out of the mold.

Robert
 

CarolynD

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Thank you everyone, this is really fantastic info! I had never heard of the plastic wrap tip, so I will be sure to try that. After I read these responses I remembered that I had a pile of edge slice discards for my own use from a 3-week-old batch, so I was able to do some practice stamping on those. The finer letters came out beautifully, but the thicker-lined butterfly stamp was not as good, so I will make sure to stamp that one sooner in the future. Thanks again for the help!
 

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