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Salt soap cure time

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Guspuppy

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I've made salt bars before, but just left them in the basement on a table for the full cure time. Then I got mice eating my soaps on that table so put them in plastic bins. That was in 2016 when I started making soap, and haven't made salt bars since, until this year. So, I know they need a long cure. My question is, how long do they need to cure in open air before I put them away in plastic bins for the long term? I tried looking this up on here last night and didn't really find the answer, just general curing times.
Thank you!
 

Catscankim

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Thank you for the question AND for the answer! Given the long aging on salt bars, i have been making them at least once a month so i always have a supply, but they are starting to build up lol.

Just got a few pairs of new sneakers for work, so i now i can repurpose the boxes (other than giving them to the cat lol)
 

jcandleattic

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Yeah, I agree, you can move them (even use them) after the initial 4-6 week cure, but like other soaps, and especially a castille, the longer they cure, the better they will be. I personally won't use a salt bar until it is AT LEAST 2 years old. I also don't sell them because of this, and only make for personal use. At that age they last FOREVER, so when I have about 4-6 bars left from the previous batch, that's when I make my new batch.
I only use a salt bar 1-2 times a week, so that prolongs the life even further.
 

Guspuppy

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Haha! I started using one at 2 months and LOVE IT! I stopped again after a week bc I can't stand the smell but eagerly awaiting the next batch to be at least a few months old. I keep making more so that hopefully some will last longer than a year! 😂
 

SoapDaddy70

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I am in a Facebook group and someone asked why salt bars get better with age and I did not have an answer. Just by rote I have spit out what I have read that people don't use them for 6 months to a year. I googled stuff for a good hour and could not come up with any concrete information of why to wait such a long time to use them. They are hard as a rock within a few weeks. What's the point of waiting 6 months to a year? I am still a newb so I do not have testing data like using a salt bar at 4 months versus 6 months versus a year so just wondering if the characteristics of the bar really change that much by waiting so long?
 

AliOop

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Apparently, debates are ranging around the issue of whether curing is really needed beyond the date that the soap stops losing water weight. One of the claims is that there is no "proof" that the longer cure does anything for the soap.

Well, my experience may be subjective, and I may not be able to provide a scientific answer that supports my experience, but my soaps become infinitely better with a longer cure. Perhaps that is recipe-dependent, as I am generally a low-to-no OO or PO soaper. My recipes are also fairly low CO except for my salt bars. So I'm soaping with a lot of lard and tallow, with smaller amounts of butters, CO, AO, and castor.

IMO, the long-cure rule is especially true for my salt bars, which change tremendously over time. The lather becomes softer, denser, and less stripping. After using a lightly-aged salt bar, my skin is dry. After using a fully-aged salt bar, my skin feels very clean, with no residue - but not dry at all. My blind testers (family and friends) confirm that the longer-cured bars are less stripping and have a nicer lather feel, too.

My high-lard bars also change a lot over the cure, but in a different way. They don't lather as well for the first four months. Somewhere between 6-8 months, the lather improves greatly, not so much in amount, but in the creamy feel. At 10 months, they feel so nice that I keep lathering and washing my hands long after they are clean.
 

shunt2011

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I do the same as dibbles I cure them 4-6 weeks then put them in raspberry flats from Costco or Baseball card boxes to finish curing. I put them away for about a year.
 

jcandleattic

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One of the claims is that there is no "proof" that the longer cure does anything for the soap.
For me, the proof is in the pudding, so to speak, yeah as you said, there may not be any scientific proof, but I know what I feel and I definitely feel a difference in my bars from 4 weeks, to 6 moths, to a year to 2 year. After the 2 year mark, I don't feel a significant difference, but there is a definite difference in the feel between these time periods and that is proof enough for me.
 
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