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Dibennett

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I have left my CP soaps all 60%+ base to cure for 4 weeks, can I package them up sooner or should I wait the 4 weeks? I have them drying on parchment paper on a wire storage rack.
 

shunt2011

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I’m not sure what you mean by 60% base. I don’t package my soap till I’m ready to give it away or have a show coming up. It will also depend on your recipes.
 

earlene

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Speaking about CP & HP soap, here:

Wrapping and labeling soap long before it leaves you, can lead to loose labels that fall off the soap, because soaps continue to shrink over their lifetime. If you shrink wrap, you can re-heat the wrap and get by, but the labels will still be too big & may fall off. If you wrap completely in paper, the soap can slide around inside the paper wrapping, and that can look a little tacky. If you put them into rigid boxes, it is less of a problem, though. So it may depend on what kind of packaging you use.

However, if you really want to know if your soap does not develop DOS or any other visual or odor problems, that would not be readily obvious in fully covered soaps. I tend to wait to wrap and label soap until it is fully cured and close to the time I am ready to give it away (I don't sell.) If doesn't leave me right away, I do check it before it does to make adjustments to the packaging if necessary, which is how I learned what I mentioned above about soap that got too small for its britches.

IMO, it's better to put the naked soap into cardboard boxes unwrapped, than to wrap and then box up, unless you just maybe add a cigar-band style label onto each bar. Then at least you are partially done with your labeling and you can periodically check on the soap for DOS development of odor changes that you want to monitor (how long the FO lasts, etc.) Of course the cigar band style will still be too loose, but that is an easy fix later.

I don't do a lot of MP, but it can act differently than CP/HP soap in terms of exposure to the open air, and that can vary with different types/brands of MP.
 

AlexanderMakesSoap

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I'm curious as to what the 60%+ base is as well...

+1 on not packaging till you have to. And, at least for my soaps, 4 weeks has not been long enough to maximize the soaps awesomeness.
 

TheGecko

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I have left my CP soaps all 60%+ base to cure for 4 weeks, can I package them up sooner or should I wait the 4 weeks? I have them drying on parchment paper on a wire storage rack.
Like others, not sure what the "all 60%+ base" means.

I personally do not package any of my soap until it is ready to be sold...that way I don't accidently sell a customer an inferior bar of soap. My preferred cure time is 8 weeks, but if I am low on space, I will package at 6 weeks and then they go on the very top "do not sell" shelf.

When I first started packaging my soap a year ago I used shrink wrap, then tissue paper and then wax paper. I kept back several bars of each along with some unwrapped soaps. All have shrunk (soap will continue to 'cure' throughout its lifetime until it is nothing but dust in the wind [a few decades]) and the packaged soaps are loose in their packaging. I don't like loose packaging...it looks sloppy and that's not an image I want to present to my customers. I also don't want to have to repackage my soap as that just increases my costs in terms of materials and labor. Right now I am using soap boxes. And once they are fully cured and ready for sale, I transfer the boxes to clear tubs without lids. It's not the system that I want, but it's what works for now. CV-19 played havoc on our plans this years and we weren't able to clear out the garage liked we hoped and put in additional shelving and cabinets.
 

Dibennett

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Speaking about CP & HP soap, here:

Wrapping and labeling soap long before it leaves you, can lead to loose labels that fall off the soap, because soaps continue to shrink over their lifetime. If you shrink wrap, you can re-heat the wrap and get by, but the labels will still be too big & may fall off. If you wrap completely in paper, the soap can slide around inside the paper wrapping, and that can look a little tacky. If you put them into rigid boxes, it is less of a problem, though. So it may depend on what kind of packaging you use.

However, if you really want to know if your soap does not develop DOS or any other visual or odor problems, that would not be readily obvious in fully covered soaps. I tend to wait to wrap and label soap until it is fully cured and close to the time I am ready to give it away (I don't sell.) If doesn't leave me right away, I do check it before it does to make adjustments to the packaging if necessary, which is how I learned what I mentioned above about soap that got too small for its britches.

IMO, it's better to put the naked soap into cardboard boxes unwrapped, than to wrap and then box up, unless you just maybe add a cigar-band style label onto each bar. Then at least you are partially done with your labeling and you can periodically check on the soap for DOS development of odor changes that you want to monitor (how long the FO lasts, etc.) Of course the cigar band style will still be too loose, but that is an easy fix later.

I don't do a lot of MP, but it can act differently than CP/HP soap in terms of exposure to the open air, and that can vary with different types/brands of MP.
If I put them into boxes, can I put various scents in the one box? Does the scent of one affect another? Do I need to layer them with parchment paper or something similar?

I'm curious as to what the 60%+ base is as well...

+1 on not packaging till you have to. And, at least for my soaps, 4 weeks has not been long enough to maximize the soaps awesomeness.
60% of the oil is OO

60% of the oil is OO. At the moment I am just making for Christmas gifts if we get to celebrate with family (here in Victoria Australia we are in tight lock down still) I have put like scented soaps on packages of 5 in clear sealed bags then put them into a plastic container. Some i have used small white paper bags. i am hoping my husband will make me a nice big drying rack like one I saw on a forum post yesterday!
My concern is transfer of scents from one to another as I have some that are more fragrant than others, so I just want to stop that from happening.
 

Misschief

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Oh, take them out of the sealed bags. They need to breathe or you'll end up with rancid soap.

I sell and I shrink wrap mine at about 4-5 weeks. After a while, the wrap gets a bit loose but hitting them with the heat gun shrinks the wrap back up. If I wasn't selling, I'd leave them unwrapped.
 

earlene

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If I put them into boxes, can I put various scents in the one box? Does the scent of one affect another? Do I need to layer them with parchment paper or something similar?
In my experience, a strong scent will overpower a weak scent, so I won't keep them together. Several folks here who describe how they box up their soaps, indicate that they use a separate box for each different scent. I don't know that all do that, however.

When I store soaps atop each other, I always put something uncolored without any design between for layering, such as parchment paper or even plain paper towels, even printer paper. Usually whatever I have on hand that is not colored and NOT tissue paper. I once wrapped a naked soap in colored tissue paper because that's all I had handy when I was travelling, and the soap absorbed the color. It was ugly. I once used parchment paper with a design to line a mold and the soap absorbed the design, but it just looked like the soap was dirty on that surface. It was also ugly.
 

michael732

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I have left my CP soaps all 60%+ base to cure for 4 weeks, can I package them up sooner or should I wait the 4 weeks? I have them drying on parchment paper on a wire storage rack.
I weigh my soap. When it stops losing weight, I think its done curing.
 

Misschief

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I weigh my soap. When it stops losing weight, I think its done curing.
That's a decent indicator; however, I would challenge you to shrink wrap a bar and put it aside for a month or more and see what happens. I have a few leftover soaps from last year's markets and they're loose in their wraps because soap continues to lose moisture as it ages (just like we do). ;) And, I would say with some certainty, those soaps are well cured.
 

michael732

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That's a decent indicator; however, I would challenge you to shrink wrap a bar and put it aside for a month or more and see what happens. I have a few leftover soaps from last year's markets and they're loose in their wraps because soap continues to lose moisture as it ages (just like we do). ;) And, I would say with some certainty, those soaps are well cured.
I believe you. I just recently came across a soap display in a consignment shop. They had been there for some time. And like you said, the shrink wrap was not fitting tight and looked sloppy.
 

shunt2011

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A soap with 60% OO will require quite a long cure to be a decent soap. I dislike all high OO soap regardless it’s age. I don’t like the slime and it dries my skin and makes it feel tight.
 

TheGecko

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I weigh my soap. When it stops losing weight, I think its done curing.
Soap doesn't stop curing...it will continue to lose weight until there is nothing left but dust. Last year I ran across a bar of Goat Milk Soap that I had bought some nine years ago. When I originally got it, it weighed 4.5 ounces and was tightly wrapped in tissue paper. When I found it, it rattled around in the paper and weighed just under 3.0 ounces. I was at my hair dressers last month and she showed me a bar of my soap that I had given to her last November that had fallen behind her dresser. The shrink wrap was loose...enough that I could move the label a good quarter inch in both directions. It's one thing for a bar of soap to be a bit loose in a soap box...you want the bar to slip out easily. But when packaging is loose when it's supposed to be tight...something is up. It's like buying a jar of mayo and not having it 'pop' when you turn the lid.
 

amd

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But when packaging is loose when it's supposed to be tight...something is up.
When shopping other people's soap stands, those are the soaps that I buy. I know they're older and more well cured. I also have a few customers who look for those things when shopping my booth. They understand that soap is like wine, a well made soap will get better as it ages.
 

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