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John Harris

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Right now I am looking at three forty-bar racks of drying/curing soap: patchouli, lavender, and eucalyptus. They all came out well, and, due to a heavy hand on the EO bottles, they smell divine - even from a short distance. I keep picking them up and squeezing them between my thumb and middle finger. They are all less than 2 weeks old.

I keep thinking, "Do I really have to wait 6 - 8 weeks?" I'm wondering what is the shortest time you waited to try out a new soap. Do you cheat often, or do you grit your teeth and bear it?
 

Mobjack Bay

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I tested a soap that was only 2-3 days old (not zappy) last week and I’m still here to tell you about it :) I usually start judging how I like my soaps after letting them cure for 6-8 weeks, but I often try end pieces much earlier. That gives me a better sense of how they change over time.
 

Dawni

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I HP, so I get to try my soaps hours after I make em. Minutes even, if you count the crumbs stuck to my pot hehehe

That being said, I cure for 2mos minimum. Sometimes I forget or don't have time to test in between, especially if I don't have pieces left from when I tidy up the bars.

I do however, make myself mini soaps for testing or samples, with leftover batter. Those I try when I remember them lol sometimes a few days after, or weekly or whatever.
 

bookreader451

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I have a paper towel with slivers from different formulas by the kitchen sink. I keep trying them as they age and to see what combination of oils I like the best. So far the HP lard and my original CP recipe are winning. I am liking the CP lard too, but it only a week old.

Running through the different recipes and seeing/feeling the comparison has been helpful. I have only been making soap since August so nothing is really ready to give to friends and family for feedback yet.
 

DeeAnna

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As long as there's no zap, sure, go ahead and play with your young soap. No one, including me, is saying young soap can't be used. What we are saying is there are downsides -- shorter life, less lather, sometimes less mild to the skin -- so if you are wanting a reputation as a quality soap maker, it's not a good idea to sell or give young soap to others. But there's nothing wrong with trying it out.

I remember hovering over the first few batches of my newly made soap -- testing, touching, feeling, and smelling it, sticking a sample in the shower or at the sink to use, and all that. Did that for the first year or two. I enjoyed this "hovering" because I learned a lot about what recipes I preferred and how soap changes during cure. And I just plain had fun playing with my soap. Nothing wrong with that.

Nowadays, I can quite happily put a batch away to cure and never touch the soap again until it's time to get the bars labeled and packaged. I get more enjoyment now from using a bar of well-cured soap, so I'd rather be patient and "play" with soap that's performing at its best. ;)
 

John Harris

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Nowadays, I can quite happily put a batch away to cure and never touch the soap again until it's time to get the bars labeled and packaged. I get more enjoyment now from using a bar of well-cured soap, so I'd rather be patient and "play" with soap that's performing at its best.
That's because you HAVE bars of well-cured soap! My well-cured bar of soap larder is bare! :(
 

dibbles

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I know it is hard to wait - go ahead and use a bar. As long as it doesn't zap it is safe to use but, as DeeAnna said, it will be better after it cures. You have a lot of soap on the curing shelves, so it will be well cured soon enough. I would wait until it is cured before I gave any away though. And don't make any judgements about the soap until it has cured.
 

TheGecko

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I keep thinking, "Do I really have to wait 6 - 8 weeks?" I'm wondering what is the shortest time you waited to try out a new soap. Do you cheat often, or do you grit your teeth and bear it?
That depends on how you like your whiskey. I'm not a big fan of Moonshine myself (fresh from the still), I prefer 10-year blended Pendleton or better yet, 30-year single-malt The Glenlivet.

One thing I do is make some 'me' soap. I bought a 16-pack of small individual molds from Amazon ($8.99), then add a couple of ounces to my batter to fill a few, and then I can 'test' them at two, four and six weeks. Six weeks is when I send a new soap to my testers; a 'new' soap is the first time I use a new scent or additive. If I get positive results, then I make a larger batch and let it cure for eight weeks before I sell.

And I get 'play' time. Because I am drying my soap on lined cookie sheets, I turn them them every few days and I have found it best to wait at least a week (or two) before I trim them.
 

dixiedragon

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Give it a try! But withhold judgment until 6-8 weeks. it's probably not going to lather as well as you'd like,and also leave your hands kind of dry and chapped feeling.

Ever so often I stumble across a bar that's 5+ years old...it's amazing how nice it is. I think that one day, well-aged soap will absolutely be a "thing".
 

jcandleattic

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I think that one day, well-aged soap will absolutely be a "thing".
For me, it already is.
I have so much soap, and have been soaping so long that I just won't use a soap that is not at least 2+ years old, sometimes, even older. I love a well aged bar of soap. :) Most of the time I won't take a bar to market that hasn't cured for at least 6-9 months, but I realize that's not always possible for most folks.
 

Dawni

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I have been working with soap that is over a year old--it is fugly but oh my it is the best soap--so glad it didn't get rid of it. and the scent is still strong
I have a couple of those lol fugly as sin but lovely on my skin.

Hey that rhymes!

I use em only once in a while so I don't run out haha
 

CatahoulaBubble

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I've found aiming a fan at my drying racks really helps them cure faster. The lye is pretty much done doing it's thing within 72 hours. It's the moisture in the bar that you need to evaporate to get that hard bar that lasts in the shower. Adding airflow to your curing racks helps that evaporation.
 

Dawni

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I've found aiming a fan at my drying racks really helps them cure faster. The lye is pretty much done doing it's thing within 72 hours. It's the moisture in the bar that you need to evaporate to get that hard bar that lasts in the shower. Adding airflow to your curing racks helps that evaporation.
It helps with the evaporating and sweating, but curing involves a lot more than water loss. It's the reason, once cured, the soaps are a bit lighter in weight, the lather definitely gets better.

The water loss stops after some time, or at least slows down considerably, but the lather goodness just keeps going n going....
 

TheGecko

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Ever so often I stumble across a bar that's 5+ years old...it's amazing how nice it is. I think that one day, well-aged soap will absolutely be a "thing".
While packing for my Ogden trip earlier this month, I ran across a bar of Black Raspberry Vanilla GMS that I had stashed about as it about 8+ years again. The gal who made it was retiring and I bought what she had...about 8 bars; one obviously got lost in the back of the drawer in my bathroom. The bar was now loosely wrapped, proof that it continues to lose moisture content, but it was finite (I should have weighed it, probably still can since I only used it twice). There was still a hint of the BRV, but it was a bit 'off'...not sour smelling, but kind of...musty? The bar was solid, no cracks, just a slightly smaller version of its former soap and the design more defined. It lathered, cleaned nicely and dried quickly.
 

Steve85569

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I use slivers from most batches to "test".
Most soap cures for at least 6 weeks here. Salt bars go 6 months. When I make castille it cures for a year.

That said I need to get cracking on the Christmas soap.
 

honor435

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Right now I am looking at three forty-bar racks of drying/curing soap: patchouli, lavender, and eucalyptus. They all came out well, and, due to a heavy hand on the EO bottles, they smell divine - even from a short distance. I keep picking them up and squeezing them between my thumb and middle finger. They are all less than 2 weeks old.

I keep thinking, "Do I really have to wait 6 - 8 weeks?" I'm wondering what is the shortest time you waited to try out a new soap. Do you cheat often, or do you grit your teeth and bear it?
I cure my soap for 4 weeks, no need to wait 6 weeks if they are done. Use less water, they should be hard in a matter of days, then wait for no zap. I also do hp in a crockpot. Try it.
 
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