Curing Question

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Active Member
Nov 10, 2016
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Missouri, USA
Do you line the shelf you put your soap on to cure?

Can you use aluminum sheet pans for curing if you line the pan? I ask because I have found a reasonably priced bakers rack and thought that would be a great thing for curing soaps on.

Stay away from aluminum. Far away.
Also copper, pot metal metal cookie racks etc. All metals should be avoided unless you are trying to culture DOS. Some are worse than others.

I use plastic coated racks for curing. I also have a tile area that I use lined with parchment or freezer paper when I get a little carried away making soap faster than it cures.

I have had a very disappointing experience with a batch of castille and a painted metal rack.
Better to line than to have Orange Spots.
I have to agree with Steve. Some people use plastic coated metal racks, but I wouldn't use a plain metal rack. Metals can accelerate DOS, as Steve said. You could cover the racks with lint free cloth -- old tee shirts for example -- or something like that. Some people use the plastic mesh that is sold for needle work (counted cross stitch). Lots of ideas out there -- but it's just not a good idea to put soap directly on plain metal.
Thanks for your input. Basically no metal unless it is in someway covered.

I might try to pick up something similar to the picture below as long as it is made of a plastic that is soap friendly. From my reading, the best plastic to find would be #5. Would you agree?

nope, but I have used freezer paper in the past to line a white wire shelf for stability to keep the bars from shifting/slipping and getting marred up. Now, I'm using plastic letter trays from the Dollar Tree. they are holding up ok - and no marks on my soap.
Regarding your concern is about storing/curing finished bars of soap, I agree with The Gent. By the time your soap is fully saponified, pretty much any plastic is going to be fine as long as it's sturdy enough. The bakery tray in the pic is most likely HDPE (recycle code 5) and obviously built like a tank, so it's good on all accounts.

Discussion on best plastics for lye storage:

...From my reading, the best plastic to find would be #5....
I use 5 shelf stainless steel racks with the selves lined with Grease Resistant 12x12" Sandwich Wrap sheets. I tried needlepoint canvas on a shelf to test it out. While it worked I had to wash them periodically and I just don't have much extra time anymore to get anything extra, so I stayed with the sandwich wrap and just throw away when the sheets get bad. For me these sheets are indispensable since they are handy for wrapping sandwiches using while making soap for laying down my soaping utensils etc. They also come in other sizes and work well for wrapping soap. I also use them under the lids of my lotion buckets to stop any condensation from getting into my lotion. Multi tasking supplies are great!!
Thanks for all the replies. Now I have some options to look for.

It is also good to know that the saponification process should be completed by the time I'm cutting the soap.
Unless you've made a mistake (or if you're making salt bars which need to be cut early while they're still soft enough to cut), saponification should be 99% complete by the time your soap is ready to cut. A zap test with a no-zap result is a good way to know for sure.
I use the cardboard fruit and vegetable trays from Costco that interlock...and then I line them with the paper often used as packing material from the soap supply boxes...