cure, is there ever an end?

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manny

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Just wondering yall's thoughts on cure. Do you think there is a point where soap is as good as it can possibly get? For example, I had a soap I hated everything about at 6 months cure. A year later, and it is fantastic.
 

topofmurrayhill

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Just wondering yall's thoughts on cure. Do you think there is a point where soap is as good as it can possibly get? For example, I had a soap I hated everything about at 6 months cure. A year later, and it is fantastic.
Sure. Soap doesn't last forever. At some point it will start to deteriorate in some way. But it can get better for a long time. It depends on the choice of materials, the use of stabilizers, and the conditions of storage. Ideally it could remain in good shape for several years and will get somewhat milder over time as it interacts with the atmosphere.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I think that the time/improvement curve flattens out, certainly - the improvement between a 1 week old and a 2 week old soap (double the cure time) will be more noticeable that with a 52 week and a 53 week soap. Even the difference between a 3 year and a 4 year old soap would most likely be less pronounced than the difference between a 3 week and a 4 week old soap.
 

shunt2011

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I agree with the others. I think the cure time and quality of a soap would certainly flatline at some point. I like a well cured bar of soap for sure.
 
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snappyllama

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This doesn't really address the OP question, but...

I might use scent retention as the yardstick to judge a batch's optimal cure time. Going past 18 months or so, I start noticing a significant scent loss even with my sticker-FOs. So even if the bar itself continues to improve in feel, my overall assessment of the batch goes down since scent is important to me.
 

IrishLass

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My thoughts (based on my own soaps) run much along the lines of what TOMH said- soap can get better and better for a loooong time, but as the good Gent said, there comes a time sooner or later where things flatten out and the improvements are less pronounced/noticeable and aren't much worth the longer wait.

Just exactly when that point of diminishing returns is reached will be different for each soap-maker and their soap, based on their individual formulas and their personal perceptions about them. For what it's worth, the point of diminishing returns for me and my own soaps varies from about 3 months to a year, depending on the formula.


Edited to add, I still have soaps from about 10 years go that are still in excellent condition, although the scent has faded. It's always a huge treat for me to pluck one out and use it.


IrishLass :)
 

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