Heat shrink wrapping - complete seal or leave ends open? How much does it shrink?

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Aug 5, 2014
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I've seen soaps packaged many different ways, some are completely sealed in plastic, some put a "band" around the soap, leaving the ends and sides open and people also use a paper/cardboard band around them as well. I'm trying to figure out the best way to wrap them and I'm leaning toward heat shrink wrap with some kind of label being held in place by the plastic (or possibly printed on the plastic??).

I'm wondering if it is better to seal the entire bar or 95+% (maybe a slight opening on the very ends, or one end, depending on the shrink wrap type), or leave 2 ends open. I don't mind them drying out/curing as they sit, but I'm not crazy about the loss of scent that often happens in this process, especially if good essential oils are used, as they tend to be more volatile than fragrance oils. I do like that with an opening you can get a good smell of the soap, so that is a positive, and if the ends are open, can feel the texture if desired.

I'm wondering if anyone has used shrink wrap and how much it shrinks. I'm trying to figure out what size "wraps" I should order or if I should order a long roll that isn't cut to size, then I can cut to proper length, with 2 sides open, and shrink leaving the 2 sides exposed, or cut it a little longer and allow the plastic to wrap/seal around the sides.

My bars are about 3.75 x 2.85 x 1.25/1.3

I've seen that the the wrapper can shrink by 30-70% and it depends on the type you get I guess. I'm just wondering if it says "shrinks up to 40%" I'm not sure if it means it is reduced size by 40% or shrinks down to 40%, so if it was 10 inches, does it shrink down to 6" or down to 4". I'm guessing this would mean it would be 6", but I never know with the way people write sometimes or if they understand the question.. Anyone have experience with this?


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Moderator Emeritus
Apr 2, 2012
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I use shrink bands. I have never had an issue with it. I put one bar on top for smelling. I only do two day outside shows anymore and the scent draws customers in.

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