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How long to wait until you can test a bar?

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I used to believe you needed to wait at least 4 weeks before you can find out how your soap turned out. However, I heard somewhere that you don't really need to wait that long, and in some cases you can test it within 1-2 days if you want.

I understand that you should let it age 4 weeks so that the soap can dry out and harden up so that it can be expected to have a long life when it's used. I decided that if it wasn't still alkaline you could try out a test bar as soon as you like. I gave a bar the tongue zap test and all I tasted was soap, no zap, so I tried the bar and it was fine. It washed my hands nicely and it didn't make my skin red or anything. Since then I've tested all three of my batches and all of them made within less than one week, and no sign of negative side effects.

So what do you think? Is there any hazard in doing this other than your test bar getting used up quickly because it's soft? Or is it okay to waste a fresh bar testing it and no harm done other than wasting the bar?

I'm sure glad I didn't have to wait a month! :)

Greg
 

Dana

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To me, waiting for cure is the worst part of soapmaking. I can hardly stand it. :cry:
However, I don't feel like I get a good feel of how the soap is doing until after a good cure (at least a month) and for some, like castile, considerably longer.
Of course I have not been making soap very long so I have yet to try the much adored "old soap".
I read a lot that people try the bars earlier, like you have. :)
I'm just not sure if it would be representative of what the bar is actually like after curing, if your soap turned out like you had hoped.
I'm sure more experienced soapers will chime in shortly with more profound input lol
dana
 

Missjulesdid

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if you test it too soon on your hands, say after around 12 hours you will burn your hands and they will get very raw, and red and look swolen, and everyone will call you "lobster hands" and it's painful...

but after two days, I've never had a problem.. I've never been accused of being patient.. I use 1 bar out of each batch right away.. lather is not perfec, but it's still good soap
 
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If my soap gels - I test it right away. When using a new recipe - I like to test as soon as there is no zap, then again a few weeks into cure and then 1 month and so on. I keep notes to see how much has changed during cure. It's pretty interesting to see the changes month to month.
 
G

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Missjulesdid said:
if you test it too soon on your hands, say after around 12 hours you will burn your hands and they will get very raw, and red and look swolen, and everyone will call you "lobster hands" and it's painful...
Well yes, of course if it has too much lye it will lobster out your hands. But I tongue tested my soap and there was no zap at all, just a soapy taste. Isn't that the indication that all the lye has reacted?

That's not to say I might not get lobster tongue! ;) (Ouch!!!) :)

And I understand the qualities will change as the soap dries, but heck I want to try it out even if I know it's going to change. Like I could tell right away that my first batch (Castile) was underscented, and you know the scent won't develop over time. My second batch was overscented (dammit!) and that could improve over time but I'm pretty sure right now that it will remain overscented. I'll probably have to rebatch it with some unscented to fix it.

Actually I want to try it out just because I can't wait 4 weeks! I don't care if it changes or not. I'm Mr. Impatient and I want it NOW!!!!! :) :) :)

Of course I'll age my soap for 4+ weeks before I let anybody else use it.
 

IanT

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lol I think the most ive waited to try it was 30 hrs...sooo impatient ! lol
 

Soapmaker Man

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I'm like Marr, I make sure all my soaps gel, and I usually test an end piece within 24 to 36 hours after cutting. I generally cut within 12 to 24 hours. I wait at least 4 to 5 weeks before selling. Since I use aloe vera juice and goats milk, the GM helps lower the PH of my soap, naturally making it milder than without GM at this age verses non GM soap.

The log I made Saturday at the TN soap social, I cut today. Tongue tested great. I used a piece tonight and got great bubbles this early. That is how I know what the batch will end up like after a good cure.

Paul :wink:
 

IanT

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dude and that goats milk soap is way harder (the bar you gave me) than all the recipes Ive been doing...like i did a push my finger in it test in the shower today and I couldnt even dent your bar lol...
 
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Soapmaker Man said:
I'm like Marr, I make sure all my soaps gel, and I usually test an end piece within 24 to 36 hours after cutting. I generally cut within 12 to 24 hours. I wait at least 4 to 5 weeks before selling.
LOL, you guys! Well I see I'm not alone. In fact in the spirit of this thread as I was reading it a minute ago, I went ahead and tested my batch that I cooked yesterday (CP) and unmolded this morning, a classic pure EVOO Castile that I wanted to make just once to see how EVOO does on its own, and in spite of the bars being very soft this morning my test bar was very nice and surprisingly harder than I expected, and the soap was mild as expected. I liked it and I'm glad I spent the little more than a liter of EVOO and a bit of drain cleaner on the batch. :)

I expect to age 95 percent of my stuff for the 4 weeks they call for, but I'm going to continue to test one bar out of each new batch, or at least each new recipe I've never done before. Thanks all for sharing your experience. :)
 

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