Soap curing + Fireplace

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Bigun

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Tis' the time of year to start using my fireplace/wood furnace. When I use it, it dries out the air in the house to near extreme levels.

Gave me a thought, can curing soap cure better/faster in really dry air (on the mantle for instance)?
 

dixiedragon

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I firmly believe that dry air is best for soap curing. I cure in a room with a dehumidifier and I get very very little soda ash and DOS. My only concern with it being on the mantle is that it might absorb a smokey smell? Put a few bars up there and then have somebody else sniff them.
 

Bigun

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I firmly believe that dry air is best for soap curing. I cure in a room with a dehumidifier and I get very very little soda ash and DOS. My only concern with it being on the mantle is that it might absorb a smokey smell? Put a few bars up there and then have somebody else sniff them.
I'm curing some sandlewood scented soap, I may try that, a smokey smell wouldn't hurt them.
 

kchaystack

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But it won't make them cure faster. It would make them dry out faster - and that could cause warping of the bars if the drying out happens unevenly.

Curing is more than just water loss. It also has to do with other changes to mildness, pH and such.
 

Bigun

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But it won't make them cure faster. It would make them dry out faster - and that could cause warping of the bars if the drying out happens unevenly.

Curing is more than just water loss. It also has to do with other changes to mildness, pH and such.
Thank you, I was wondering if the only think happening during curing was water related.
 

shunt2011

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It's not the only thing happening, and before someone else asks, no, a dehydrator will not cure them faster. It will warp your bars.

But, but, but, theres a facebook group that says it works great...you mean it doesn't? :evil: JK


Don't use a dehydratior. It does nothing for the soap.
 

cmzaha

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Dehydrators can also melt and /or soften the soap, since most dehydrators use heated air for drying.
 

topofmurrayhill

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Gave me a thought, can curing soap cure better/faster in really dry air (on the mantle for instance)?
Don't bother replacing your family photos and mantle top decorations with soap. In a cold winter, ALL the air is very dry in a heated house or room, so putting soap on the mantle would represent diminishing returns. It might even be counterproductive because optimal curing conditions would be a dry environment without excessive heat.

The heating season will certainly help with curing, but if you have a specific interest in shortening the drying time of the soap, using less water in the first place would also be a significant factor. That means using a more concentrated lye -- more than the 28% or so that's considered "full water". Most lye calculators can be set to a specific percentage (33% is popular), or at least have a lower water option.
 

Bigun

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aww you mean I can't go and make HP soap and jam it in a dehydrator for a day and then sell it so the unsuspecting public a day before Christmas and make heaps of money? hahahaha :p
You know, I started this as a hobby, and after doing it for a while, I'm starting to wonder what kind of process is involved with store bought soap. You know there isn't a 6 week curing process involved there.
 

Susie

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From what I understand is that they make "soap", grind it up, salt it out to remove the glycerin, then color, scent, form, and wrap. But they add detergents and chelating agents.
 

DeeAnna

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Generally speaking, commercially made soap is saponified in large kettles, turned into chips, flakes, or noodles, and artificially dried. The chips are mixed with fragrance and other additives, pressed into a solid mass, extruded into a long rod or rope form, and cut or formed into bars. Not really at all the same as handcrafted CP or HP soap.
 

Steve85569

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Tis' the time of year to start using my fireplace/wood furnace. When I use it, it dries out the air in the house to near extreme levels.

Gave me a thought, can curing soap cure better/faster in really dry air (on the mantle for instance)?
Nope.
I cure my soap year round in our basement. In the cooler months we have a wood stove on the far end and circulate air through the lower half with a fan. Still takes 6 weeks / months depending on the recipe for cure.

I do love, love love the warmth of the wood fire though ( insert sound of purring cat here).
 
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