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wbocrafter

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As a newbie how do you know when your soap is cured & ready to use? I have a batch that has been curing for approximately 4 weeks. Is it too soon to try it yet? Thanks for all of your help>:)
 

MySoapyHeart

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As a newbie how do you know when your soap is cured & ready to use? I have a batch that has been curing for approximately 4 weeks. Is it too soon to try it yet? Thanks for all of your help>:)
Hi!

If your soap has cured 4 weeks, now is an excellent time to start testing it to see how you like it. Have you zap-tested it yet?

And regarding to your question about "knowing" when a soap has done curing is really a work in progress. By that I mean that you just need to test your recipes by making them over and over, and then testing them along the way to see how the soap changes during cure.
 

dibbles

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I start using my soap at about 4 weeks. This was especially true when I started. Now I have an endless supply of soap that has cured longer.

If you have zap tested it, go ahead and try it. If your skin feels tight or a little itchy after using it, let it sit for another week and try again. My skin isn't overly sensitive, so usually 4 weeks is good for me.
 

kchaystack

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Well, I would have to say depends on the recipe. If it is high in olive oil or one of the other oliec oils, it might need months to a year. Also most people say salt bars need 6 months. But 4 weeks is generally with most people feel is the minimum for a basic cure
 

dixiedragon

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It won't hurt you to start using it now, unless you have very sensitive skin. But it won't be at its best. I encourage you to try it now, make some notes, and try it again in a week and in two weeks.
 

Arimara

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I have soap that I feel needs extra cure time and I made that batch in July. It's fine but it the middle got a little mushy for my liking. Without the cure time being added, it would last me about 3 weeks or so, which isn't too bad.
 

cmzaha

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Arimara's soap above probably overheated a little which is why the middle is mushy, a soap like that can take 6 months or more to truly harden up. This is if there is no separation just mushy.
 

IrishLass

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You can try your soap out as soon as it doesn't zap, which may or may not be as little as a day old, but it won't be anywhere as nice to use when it's 4-weeks and up.

Here is a good testing procedure to figure out when your soap formula has cured to at least it's earliest best (i.e., when it lathers acceptably well enough for you and doesn't irritate your skin):

Once your soap doesn't zap anymore, take one bar out of the batch and use that same bar just once a week (only with hand-washing), and take notes each time you use it in regards to such things as the quantity and quality of the lather, how it makes your skin feel (i.e, dry or tight or nice), and how fast it melts, etc...

Once it has reached an acceptable level of performance for your hands, try it out in the shower. If it makes the rest of your skin feel too tight in the shower, try it out one week later, and repeat once weekly as often as necessary until you are satisfied with its performance (making sure to take notes along the way). Do this for every new formula you make.

If you are like me (and many others), you'll find that by 4 weeks things will usually have reached an acceptable earliest best, but as you continue with the once-a-week testing, you'll find the soap to get even better by the 6 to 8 week mark (or more, depending on the formula).


IrishLass :)
 

wbocrafter

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Curing Soap

Thanks everyone for all of your help. It's so nice to be part of such an experienced group that helps those of us who are newbies. I learn something new every time I ask a question. :wink:
 

Dahila

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I never use before 8 weeks cure, then they are rock hard and long lasting and very mild:)) 8 or more
 

Arimara

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Arimara's soap above probably overheated a little which is why the middle is mushy, a soap like that can take 6 months or more to truly harden up. This is if there is no separation just mushy.
You could be right, it was in a loaf mold but the mushiness didn't last long. There was also a bit of water in the soap dish when I inspected it. I got careless.
 

fuzz-juzz

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You could be right, it was in a loaf mold but the mushiness didn't last long. There was also a bit of water in the soap dish when I inspected it. I got careless.

Did it have that ring from overheating?

I cure most of my bars for at least 6 weeks before trying. At around 3 months they are perfect for use.
I also found that any bars cured for only 4 weeks will be mushy inside and have sort of uncured soap smell IYKWIM. :)
Like as they haven't cured all the way through the middle. I don't think it has anything to do with overheating as some of my soaps aren't even gelled.
Same as your soaps, they might just need few extra weeks of curing. ;)
 

Arimara

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Did it have that ring from overheating?

I cure most of my bars for at least 6 weeks before trying. At around 3 months they are perfect for use.
I also found that any bars cured for only 4 weeks will be mushy inside and have sort of uncured soap smell IYKWIM. :)
Like as they haven't cured all the way through the middle. I don't think it has anything to do with overheating as some of my soaps aren't even gelled.
Same as your soaps, they might just need few extra weeks of curing. ;)
No, no ring. I want to wait til November to try it out again. It would be fine in October but a longer has benefited most of my soaps save my 4th ever batch. I have two of those soaps left and they are the only bars I have that are oily feeling now. It might have been the superfat, which may be close to 7 or 8. :think:
 

Susie

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Experience will teach you when your soaps are cured. Try this batch now, try it in a week, try it a week after that. Makes notes. Make another batch. Try them, make more notes. Make another batch...keep repeating until you know which batch is best at what time frame. Then realize that the time frame depends on your recipe, and to some degree, the climate.
 

fuzz-juzz

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No, no ring. I want to wait til November to try it out again. It would be fine in October but a longer has benefited most of my soaps save my 4th ever batch. I have two of those soaps left and they are the only bars I have that are oily feeling now. It might have been the superfat, which may be close to 7 or 8. :think:

I keep mine as low as 1-2%. Soaps last way longer in the shower. :)
 

wearytraveler

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I usually prefer the soap I make to cure for a minimum of 6 weeks before I start passing out out to friend/family. I enjoy making my own soap so much that I have a closet full of soap sitting around curing. I'm at the point now where I've made so much that the oldest of my soaps are already 4.5 months old. By the time I get through what's left of that batch the next batch in line will be about 5+ months old and that same cycle will continue. Must... make... more... soap...
 

Arimara

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I keep mine as low as 1-2%. Soaps last way longer in the shower. :)
I might look more into that. I've since dropped my general supefats to about 3%, especially if I'm using a milk.

I usually prefer the soap I make to cure for a minimum of 6 weeks before I start passing out out to friend/family. I enjoy making my own soap so much that I have a closet full of soap sitting around curing. I'm at the point now where I've made so much that the oldest of my soaps are already 4.5 months old. By the time I get through what's left of that batch the next batch in line will be about 5+ months old and that same cycle will continue. Must... make... more... soap...
That's nice. You could just give away the older soaps to fam and friends to help you make space.
 

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