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Curing and Storage Question

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KristaMarie

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Before you all roll your eyes lol, I know this topic has been covered x a thousand. I haven't come across this specific question though (if it exists and I missed it, please direct me!)

Does the water evaporation part of curing differ vastly between recipes? I know that overall cure time can, ie. a castile can take 6+ months, whereas a more balanced recipe is great after 4-6 weeks. But I'm specifically curious about the water evaporation. I don't know why the recipe would make a difference, but that doesn't mean it doesn't.

I ask because I noticed that a castile that is about four months old, lost all of it's scent and the loss probably could have been diminished had the soap been stored instead of left on curing racks.

So, in your experience, does the entire cure need to take place in open air or just the first four weeks or so? The remaining time would just be spent in loosely closing cardboard boxes
 

Susie

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KristaMarie, I have often found that I MUST try some things for myself to KNOW the answer. This sounds like one of those situations. If I were you, I would make one batch, store half on open air racks for the full 12 months. Then store the other half in those boxes after the first month. Test both batches monthly and compare scent, feel, lather, how quickly it melts, etc. Take really good notes. Then let us know what you found out.
 

zolveria

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Sometimes it is the scent. You can add some clay to allow for the absorption of the oils.

Have you resurfaced the soap. Sometime all they need is a little resurfacing.
I have notice that High Humidity will hurt a soaps scent.
 

galaxyMLP

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I've pretty much done this experiment for you! Lol.

I had a Castile salt bar (I know, weird) and the ones that I packaged at about 2 months still have all their fragrance (and some natural color) but the ones that stayed out dont.

I also did this with another Castile recipe. Fragrance also stayed in the packaged one.

Unfortunately, the packaged ones were not as hard/good as the ones that had been left out and on a recipe that had alot of water from the get go, the soap visibly shrank more in the one that stayed out. All of those Castile are now 7+ months old.

I would have them cure about 6 months or until they stop loosing water month to month and then package them (even if it means they loose more scent)

My soaps were HP and had ~40% water. I really got to see a difference. I love my Castile though!

Let me go find pictures!
 

KristaMarie

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Thanks guys! I'm definitely gonna do a test with my next batch.

Zolveria, I actually started using the soap and still nothing. That counts as resurfacing, right? Lol

Galaxy, I can't believe the soaps were still losing that much water after two months! After 4 months, I hate my castile. What is your secret!? And yes, of course pictures!
 

galaxyMLP

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The one on the left was out of the packaging and the one on the right was in the packaging. The top of my packaging allows air to flow so I would've thought they should be the same. I'll check the lather now. I be they lather different.

You can see how warped the soap is b/c it had such a high water content.

Eta: yup, as expected the "drier" one lathers better. Oops! It is also alot less slimy! Oh my hands are so soft now!!

uploadfromtaptalk1437616761555.jpg
 
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dillsandwitch

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KristaMarie, I have often found that I MUST try some things for myself to KNOW the answer. This sounds like one of those situations. If I were you, I would make one batch, store half on open air racks for the full 12 months. Then store the other half in those boxes after the first month. Test both batches monthly and compare scent, feel, lather, how quickly it melts, etc. Take really good notes. Then let us know what you found out.

This reminds me of good old Doctor Karl and his science show. If you do the experiment you get a fun pack. hahahahahaha
 

MorpheusPA

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I make a lot of high olive soap (and the occasional Castile), and do find that storage slows the curing process. In my case, I cigar band, so the coverage is minimal, and store in plastic racks in a not quite closed bureau drawer (we're fortunate to have four bureaus and only really need 2).

I tend to keep them out in the air as long as possible, plus I discount water more the higher the amount of olive. Castiles stay out at least 2 months. Bastiles six weeks or so.

Even so, by month 8 (for Bastile) or month 12 (Castile) it's very good, hard soap.
 

galaxyMLP

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Yes, I've decided I'm going to do a lower water amount and CP when I can for the castiles (So I can water discount w/o super crumbly soap!) Although one of my recipes is so nice the way it is with HP that I dont want to touch that one.
 
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MorpheusPA

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For HP, I wouldn't discount the water since you're steaming some of it off during cooking anyway! For CP, I find you can go down to close to a 1:1 water:lye ratio without too many problems, although I tend to prefer to stay in the 1.6:1 range.
 

galaxyMLP

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Morpheus, I meant that for the CP soaps I'm going to discount heavily. I know from experience that you cant discount the HP soap water amount. I tried it at first. I actually add extra water after the cook (to bring it to 40%). I find that helps with smoothness. I still love my HP soaps though for some reason...
 

MorpheusPA

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There's nothing wrong with an HP soap, and a great deal that's right! I always think the lather is a little better with HP, but that may just be the fact that I always overcook and it ends up lumpy, so the water can penetrate to more soap at once.

It's great for finicky, accelerating fragrances or scents that simply won't tolerate the lye.
 

not_ally

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I just broke down and ordered a zillion baseball card boxes for storage, after much searching it just doesn't make sense to order smaller amounts b/c shipping is always so expensive unless you do the seller's minimum, and I know I will use them all eventually. I hope the scent doesn't fade too much in them, though.
 

shunt2011

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You will love the baseball boxes. I also use them for toting soap to my market and shows. I can 3 scent pans 4 of each which fit on my display shelves perfectly. I can fit 10 boxes in a large plastic storage container. My extra stock goes in other storage containers I can keep handy.
 

not_ally

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I am already imagining my soaps neatly arranged/packaged in those boxes, Shunt :) Actually, it was not a zillion, rather 190. But I realized I have probably made 100ish batches over the last 7 months, so although it seems crazy for a hobbyist at first, it really isn't.
 
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kumudini

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I am already imagining my soaps neatly arranged/packaged in those boxes, Shunt :) Actually, it was not a zillion, rather 190. But I realized I have probably made 100ish batches over the last 7 months, so although it seems crazy for a hobbyist at first, it really isn't.
I think we started about the same time and feel that I made way too much soap and given away too much but 100 batches is crazy. what do you do with all the soap? Hopefully you are making small batches unlike me, my first proper mold/s are the custom made HDPE 4.5-5 lb ones, I used them quite a bit until I got my silicone loaf mold from WSP.
 

not_ally

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K, I love those WSP silicone loaf molds and use them quite a bit. My batches do tend to be smaller, b/w 1.5 and 3 lbs of oils (use the ED silicone molds for the bigger ones.) But I still have a HUGE amount of soap. I justify it by saying, heck, it is sort of expensive and kind of weird, but I could have a gambling habit or something. Ok, that is not a v. good rationale :)

ETA: part of it is just generally being OCD w/everything, if I do anything I want to explore all aspects of it as fully as I can. You will appreciate this, I am a good Indian over-achiever :)

Most of those soaps are basically one basic oil recipe w/ additive tweaks, but if I do (eg) a salt soap, I will make four or five of them, w/different amts of salt, so when they are cured I can tell the differences after the cure. I think the need to cure (I have come to like an 8 wk one for "regular" ones, ie, not the ones like bastille or salt) has been a factor in making so much ...
 
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kumudini

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can you believe, I just searched amazon for baseball boxes, I think they are kinda neat and organized but how will you cure soaps in them? If they allow air circulation around soap, I think I would want to buy them as well. may I ask where you bought yours? these look pretty nifty.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004FH8WOU/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

the soaping addiction is just that, an addiction, hard to find any rationale and with the latest challenge and the swap coming up my addiction is reaching new heights. Also I have been pouring all my funds into this, may be I will start selling sometime to have some makeup money for myself.
 
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not_ally

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I ordered from here: http://www.columbiasportscard.com/

I got the 800 card boxes (they worked out to 53 cents each with the $100 shipping minimum, I know that is high, but if you use them it makes sense over time) b/c I wanted to store separate (smaller) batches separately for fear of fragrance co-mingling/general organization purposes. I did wonder about air circulation, but thought I could poke holes in the sides of the boxes if necessary since I will be stacking them on top of each other.

I think selling makes sense in terms of recovering costs, but it takes so much time/work, and for me I do not know if it would be cost-effective. I want to spend non-income generating time playing with my dogs and doing Netflix marathons :)
 
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commoncenz

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Ok, I need names for the best suppliers of the baseball storage boxes. I am running out of shoe boxes. lol

Edit: I was called away from the computer for a couple of minutes and it seems my question was answered before I posted it.
 
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