Ideal Bar size

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redhead1226

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I starting to use a slab mold and Im getting a new slab cutter. I usually use many different loaf molds which you know vary in width size. But with the new cutter and a slab mold I would like to make the bars 3 3/8 wide. Looking for opinions. Dont customers care that a soap fits comfortably in their hands? I see many huge bars and Im thinking that size matters! lol
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
Being a small-handed person, size definitely matters to me.... as well as shape (I hate using round soaps, for example).

For what it's worth, the majority of my bars are 2.5" tall x 3.5" wide x 1.25" thick (sometimes slightly thicker), which happens to be my 'sweet spot/one-size-fits-all' size.

I make other sizes of bars, too, such as my tall and skinny bars, which my hands do perfectly fine with, but if they were any bigger than they are, they might be too uncomfortable/unwieldy for my hands to use.


IrishLass :)
 

dibbles

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Me too - 2.5 tall x 3.5 wide x 1.25 thick. I wouldn't want them much, if any, bigger. When I use my tall an skinny mold, which is 2.5 wide, I just make my batch to fill the mold 3.5 tall, even though it would hold more.
 

doriettefarm

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I agree with IL on pretty much everything except the round soaps . . . those are okay in my book. I also have small hands so prefer soaps made in a smaller loaf mold like IL described or my 2.5 lb tall/skinny mold from Nurture. I have the larger version of their tall skinny mold (4.5lb) and those bars are just too big for my baby hands (unless I fill it only 2/3). I also have the 5lb and 7lb loaf molds. The 7lb mold produces what I consider a honking man-sized square bar and the 5lb mold yields a more normal sized rectangular bar if that helps you at all.
 
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BattleGnome

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All I can add is that I aim to have my bars 1" thick (but I'm really bad at cutting). I use 8" loaf molds from crafters choice and usually fill them. I want to say they're 3.5" at their biggest but am not at home to measure anything
 

Susie

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All I can add is that I aim to have my bars 1" thick (but I'm really bad at cutting). I use 8" loaf molds from crafters choice and usually fill them. I want to say they're 3.5" at their biggest but am not at home to measure anything
I use the same mold, just ordered another one, as a matter of fact. Cured bar size is 3 5/16" wide x 2.25" high (I do not overfill the mold) x the 1" I cut mine at. I use a cheap miter box with a wavy or flat cutter. This is my perfect bar size. The bars don't last forever, which allows me to move onto another soap in a timely fashion.

That mold holds a 2 lb of oil recipe (so 3lb soap, roughly) perfectly without mounding the top. This is a comfortable batch size for the equipment I have. It makes enough soap to share with all my testers, but not so much I am stuck with that one batch too long.
 
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redhead1226

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EG - Im not a beginner, Ive been making soap for many years, close to 7. Just having a slab cutter custom made and when I was trying to decide on the width I wasnt really sure what was best since I have always gone with whatever the width of the mold was - as you know loaf molds are many different widths depending on where you get them. I was always at the mercy of the mold. Now that I can decide the width and the cutter is expensive - I had asked for opinions. I had mulled it over for a few days and thought I would come here. Additionally I am new to this forum in the last few months and do not know how to post a new thread other then in the beginners section.

Hi Susie - I tried to take into consideration the mold size versus the cured size allowing for shrinkage - your saying 3 5/16 (width) cured size but what size are they coming out of the mold before the cure? Frankly I have never measured my bars until I wanted to buy this slab cutter.
 

Susie

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Hi Susie - I tried to take into consideration the mold size versus the cured size allowing for shrinkage - your saying 3 5/16 (width) cured size but what size are they coming out of the mold before the cure? Frankly I have never measured my bars until I wanted to buy this slab cutter.
The mold is 3 3/8" wide.
 

earlene

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As a consumer for many years, I became used to soap sizes of the most common brands of soap one buys in the Supermarket and I am guessing that is what the majority of people have become accustomed to as well.

However, one day I bought or was given a bar of Rose-scented soap that was about twice the size of normal store bought soaps. I used that large size soap in the upstairs bathroom only, so not very often, but I came to really like the larger soap bar much better. None of the regular commercial soaps come in that larger size, so until I discovered that I could make soap any size I chose I was at the mercy of the commercial manufacturers.

Hand soap, however, I prefer to be what we call guest sized soap, or what I have always called hotel sized soap.

Now that I make my own soap, I make a variety of sizes depending on a variety of factors, the purppose, who it is for, the mold, my whim, etc. My granddaughter's facial bar is quite small, less than 2 ounces in weight, because at first it was experimental, and because the mold is dainty and girlish. She seems to like that size for her facial bar.

When I use a slab mold, which for me is still a cardboard boot box, I cut the soaps to a larger size. But like you I haven't really concerned myself with exact measurements so much as to attempt uniformity within the bars coming from each specific mold.

I make small bars and I make large bars. For my brother's and my husband I like giving them the large bars. For my DIL & SILs I like giving them more dainty looking bars, and although that is not always small, it often is on the smaller side.

Perhaps that gives you no specific guidance as you were seeking, but I believe it just demonstrates that customers are already used to a certain size and that tastes also vary, as well as the purpose of the soap contributes to desired size.
 
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