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RobertBarnett

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Hello,

I have a couple of questions slash thoughts...

1. How long does soap cure for. What I mean is how long before it no longer changes with age?
2. If it continues to change and get better with age is it like wine then?


Just some of the things rattling around in my head!

Robert
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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1 - I think it does always get better, but the curve flattens out over time. A 1 week old soap verses a 4 week old soap is a huge difference, but a 47 week old soap and a 50 week old soap won't be as different from one another.

2 - it can be, in that not all wine is good for aging (dossy soaps) and that it needs to be stored correctly.

3- I removed. Please post business questions in the business section, if and when you qualify to do so
 

shunt2011

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I too believe soap is better with a longer cure. I prefer my soaps be at least 6 weeks old. I have some soaps a several years old and they are still good soap just lacking scent for the most part. I also prefer to cure my Salt Soaps 6 months. They are good at 3 but something happens over time where they are amazing with a longer cure. Just my personal thoughts on this.
 

songwind

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shunt2011 makes a good point - As far as aging and soap desirability, you have a point where the lack of scent can overcome the improvement due to aging. I know that a decent part of my enjoyment of handmade soaps are the unique fragrances, so losing those is a strike against it.
 

IrishLass

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If you ask me, soap is a lot like wine and cheese.......and even cement of all things, lol.... in that it benefits greatly from being cured.

Every soap formula is different, and so you'll have to experiment with your own soap formulas to discover when they have reached their peak according to your satisfaction in terms of these 4 aspects: firmness, mildness, lathering abilities and longevity.

For what its worth, though, the general consensus, which is based on countless handmade soap-makers through the years having tested their soap formulas at different intervals over a period of several weeks and months, is that 4 weeks time seems to be the absolute minimum cure time for most soaps to reach an acceptable peak in all 4 of those above-mentioned aspects^^^, but with other types of formulas benefitting from an even a longer minimum cure period for some folks (such as salt soaps and Castiles, for example).

After conducting tests on my own CP (gelled) formulas over a period of weeks and months, surprise, surprise, I found that 4 weeks was consistently the amount of time it took for them to reach what I felt was their "earliest best" in all 4 of those aforementioned aspects (even my salt soaps and Castile's). Of course, they all continued to improve beyond that 4 week time period, but now I knew that the absolute least amount of cure-time my (gelled) soaps needed in order for me not to be ashamed if I gave them away as gifts, was 4 weeks time. My un-gelled soaps, however, and also my HP, had a consistently longer minimum "earliest best" of 6 weeks.

I have a couple of boxes of 'vintage' bars that are 2 to 10 years old and I love to pull one out every so often to use because they are so awesome. Although most or all of the scent has disappeared, there are some FOs that have actually stood the test of time by about 3 years. The ones that come to mind are: OT's Green Irish Tweed, WSP's Sugared Spruce, SweetCake's Santa's Pipe, Daystar's Paradise, Salty Sailor and Mineral Waters Spa (although I should mention that Mineral Waters Spa is no longer available from Daystar.....but the other 2 are). They aren't as strong as they were at first, of course, but I can definitely still smell them when lathered up in the shower.

Here's a great post from our DeeAnna explaining some of what goes on behind the curtain, so to speak, as a soap cures:

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?p=548993


and here's another one:

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=35831


IrishLass :)
 

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