Size of Soap?

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dixiedragon

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I don't think it's a matter of "should". But the "standard" (if you want to call it that) of a full-sized bar of soap seems to be between 4 and 5 ounces. On SMF, we often refer to smaller bars - under 3 ounces - as "guest size".

There are other factors too - I like a bar to fit comfortably in my hands. So I would like a large bar if it was rectangular and the width was skinny enough that it was comfortable in my hands. (about 3 inches). I would not a large bar that was a square and did not fit comfortably in my hand.
 

cgpeanut

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I made a cube for a facial soleseife and my customers complained it was not comfortable to hold. Never made soap in that mold again.
 

dixiedragon

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I made a cube for a facial soleseife and my customers complained it was not comfortable to hold. Never made soap in that mold again.
I don't like cubes either, or spheres. They're too small one way and too big the other way.

I once made a soap in a large pipe - 4" across. Too big for most women but men liked that size. so I cut some of the bars in half and left some whole. The 4" long, 2" wide half-circle was a pretty nice size.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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How much should an average bar of soap weigh?
It's a good point that weight is just a part of it - what shape are your bars? Regular rectangles or those little rounded 6 point flowers from the silicone moulds? Or even speciality moulds with details, like leaves and so on, that look like they have a wee frame? These sorts of things affect the size a great deal to get to a certain weight.
 

shunt2011

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Weight will also depend on the thickness you are cutting it if you are using a log. Soaps run anywhere from 2 oz to 7 oz from my experience. I prefer a soap that fits comfortable in my hand as well. But, I also have a half circle that feels good too.
 

BrewerGeorge

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When I got my first bars of handmade soap from a friend, they were big, 3" squares that were difficult to use. So I cut them in half and they ended up being relatively small, but at least usable. When planning to build my mold, I literally measured bars of Ivory and Zest and used that as the starting point. Somebody here (or possibly on another forum) said that the soap companies had probably spent good money doing studies to determine the most-preferred size for bar soap, and basing our soaps on them was just taking advantage of that research. I think that's a pretty good thought - though I can't take credit for having it before making mine.

Actually, the process of building the mold from lumber determined the size because it just so happens that 1x4 dimensional lumber is 3.5" wide and 0.75" thick. Putting the mold together with the least cuts makes a bar of length 3.5 inches with max width of 2.75 inches (depending on how much batter goes in, of course). That size fits within the "Ivory-Zest" range and makes a nice, usable bar of soap. (Another fortuitous accident is that makes the mold need exactly 9 inches of liner to cover its inner faces, which just so happens to be exactly half the width of the common 18" size of butcher paper.) I'm not sure how much they weigh.
 

commoncenz

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I've made 4 oz, 5 oz and 6 oz bars without complaint from the people I give them to. I actively seek feedback from those that I give soap to. Actually, I've found that many prefer the 6 oz bars as they say they come the closest to lasting a whole month for one bar. Although those ladies (and gentlemen, surprisingly) who have received my facial bars like the smaller size. So, I guess it comes down to personal preference and what the bar is used for.
 

galaxyMLP

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My brother made a great point to me the other day. He said he likes my rectangular 5 oz bar soap for showering/bathing but that it is difficult to use as a hand soap because they are a little large to hold and turn in his hands. I now plan on having smaller soaps to recommend as hand soaps.

He said the large flat part of a rectangular bar of soap is really great for washing your body since you can grasp it and rub it straight on to cover your body quickly and easily but with a hand soap he wants to be able to turn it and hold/manipulate it easier.
 

Yooper

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I don't sell, so this is a different ballgame for me. But I'm pretty small, with small hands, and I hate using a huge bar of soap. So my soaps are "my hand size"- that is, rectangular and fitting in my hand. Generally, a loaf pan about 1/2 full and cut about 1/2" or so think fits my small hands.

My husband doesn't care- he'll use the weird sizes from the edges, or the tiny leftovers, or whatever. But I like a soap that fits my hands, and I'm sort of weird about it so he just puts his soap in his own soap dish in the shower. :p
 

BeeButter

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Thank you everyone for all the great feedback! I appreciate you
taking the time to share your knowledge and experience with me :) Now for my soap molds my husband is going to make, it appears I have several different options to consider. ;)
 

paillo

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I hate huge bars of soap too, can't get my hand around them.

Weight is also determined by what's in the soap. For example, my salt bars weigh considerably more than soleseife, which weighs more than soap without salt, despite the fact that they are the same size.
 

BrewerGeorge

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Thank you everyone for all the great feedback! I appreciate you
taking the time to share your knowledge and experience with me :) Now for my soap molds my husband is going to make, it appears I have several different options to consider. ;)
If he's making it, like I said above, dimensional 1x4 just screwed together in a U shape with the sides outside the base (|__|)makes a pretty good mold. Mine was built with a removable base, but I've never had to use it when lining with butcher paper, so if I were making another I'd just screw it together and save the build time.
 

BeeButter

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If he's making it, like I said above, dimensional 1x4 just screwed together in a U shape with the sides outside the base (|__|)makes a pretty good mold. Mine was built with a removable base, but I've never had to use it when lining with butcher paper, so if I were making another I'd just screw it together and save the build time.
Do you have a picture?
 

BrewerGeorge

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Do you have a picture?
Not handy. I could get one, but it might not help much more than the description since it's all put together already. Essentially just using the width of the boards as they come and only cut to length, imagine laying a board flat on a table. Then stand two boards beside that to be the sides, but have them sitting on the table as well (not sitting on the base board). Make ends the same way and just screw and glue it all together.

I'll try to remember to get a pic tonight.
 

commoncenz

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That would be great George. I was thinking of using some 1x4 but putting the sideboards on top of the base board to make a tall and skinny. So I'd be interested in seeing what your set up looks like.
 

SplendorSoaps

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I've tested mine out between 3 - 6 oz, and as other's have mentioned, the soap fitting into the hand seems to be of more concern that the actual weight. I've settled on a weight around 4 - 4.5 oz or so, and that seems to be the sweet spot for me and my customers. That's just my experience, though.
 

amd

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Not handy. I could get one, but it might not help much more than the description since it's all put together already. Essentially just using the width of the boards as they come and only cut to length, imagine laying a board flat on a table. Then stand two boards beside that to be the sides, but have them sitting on the table as well (not sitting on the base board). Make ends the same way and just screw and glue it all together.

I'll try to remember to get a pic tonight.
That's what my homemade loaf mold is also. I calculated the inside length dimension of 12" to make 8 bars 1.5" thick from a 2lb batch. In hindsight the only change I would make is to make it longer (15") to be the same as my freezer paper width, so I don't have to trim my freezer paper, and just recalculate my batch to be slightly larger than 2lbs. (Note: I don't line the short ends of my mold. I greased them extensively with lard and castor oil before my first use and use a spackling tool to slide between the soap and the mold ends.)
 

vmakkers

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I think size of the bar really depends on the person using it. My BF prefers big thick chunky bars since he has bigger hands that usually weigh in over 5ozs. I prefer the little rectangle individual cavity size from BB. It seems that guys like the bigger bars cause it fits more easily in their hands and women prefer the smaller ones. I think how you are able to hold the bar is more important. The type of soap also plays a factor for me. I've made shampoo bars as normal rectangles and hockey pucks. I personally prefer the pringles can size cut around 1 1/8" for shampoo bars. I don't feel the rectangle bar rubs against my scalp as well and then you end up with a really thin center but a lot of soap left on the outer edges of the rectangle. For my body bars I prefer the 2x3 rectangle bars. I think how you use the soap is also another factor. Big bars are great for directly rubbing on your body but I feel the smaller hand size bars are easier to rub against a pouf and build lather. I actually used my giant chunky high top piped soap bar this morning and it just seemed cumbersome to rub such a large bar against my pouf. I'm pretty small though, only 5' so that's another reason I prefer smaller bars.
 

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