What Do You Do With Unsolicited Bad Soap?

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BrewerGeorge

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Do you have people giving you bars of soap unsolicited? Soaps that are obviously suffering from dramatic flaws? If so, what do you do? Do you try to steer the person in the right direction, even if they might not have asked for feedback?
 
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reflection

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i wouldn't say anything as it might make things awkward between your wife and her coworker.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Maybe your wife can mention that you make soap? To be honest, if anyone even mentions soap or B&B my wife starts on about me making things so it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for your wife to mention it. Then feedback might well be asked for, but if not then okay too.
 

shunt2011

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I agree with TEG. I would have your wife mention in conversation that you make soap. Maybe she'll ask if she can pick your brain for feedback or assistance. However, I probably wouldn't approach her as it may make things uncomfortable for your wife having to work with her.
 

Arimara

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I'm confrontational, I guess. I'd first like to know if they were looking for feedback, which would be a plus. But I'd be honest with them and tell them how the soap felt and seemed or if you even used the soap. She's bound to ask you guys and it may be a bigger strain not to tell her. Even if your wife said that you make soap and you are saving the bar until your soap dwindles down, it's telling her something. It might give the said bar time to finish curing some more. Of course, it would be helpful if you have like 4 bars of soap in the bathroom.
 

Susie

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Life is too short to use bad soap.

If the lady asks how you liked the soap (I would if your wife did not say anything.), then she can bring up that you make soap and mention how many batches you made that were not perfect. Then she can offer a bar of yours to that person so she can try it. Then I would casually mention this forum, so she can learn better ways of making soap. I would then ask the admins to pull this thread down before she gets here.
 

Ruthie

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She may not see any flaws in her soap. I might have your wife mention that you make soap, too, and say the 2 of you may want to "talk soap." If she did, I would ask her about the process she uses. Then ask her if she ever heard of freezing the GM, etc. Use the "did you ever hear of" and the "I have done this" approach. Then you could offer advice as just an exchange of information instead of saying "you did it wrong."
 

dixiedragon

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Take a breath. Say it with me "It is okay to throw soap away. I have lots of good soap. I do not need to save or use this bad soap. It is okay to throw soap away." Repeat. ;)

I would definitely NOT offer advice. If they express disappointment with their soap, then you could say, "I do X and it works for me." Don't say "You should do X."

Honestly, I'd send them to SMF, rather than risk offending them.
 

makemineirish

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So what should I do? Should I offer this person some advice? Simply freezing the goats' milk and aging longer would make a big difference, along with making sure they're using a reliable calculator and not just a recipe found online. But should I offer that advice unsolicited? She didn't give it to me but my wife, remember. We're far enough apart in the building that she likely doesn't even know I make soap. So I'm going to be "Hi there," Person-Who-Doesn't-Really-Know-Me, "but this is what you should do to improve your soap."

Has this ever happened to you, and what did you do?
It has not happened to me, but I can tell you how I would handle things in your shoes.

The situation is a bit more complicated in that your wife is the one who would have to deal with any social ramifications or awkwardness that entailed from your unsolicited advice. I would try to see if it can be solicited.

Grab a bar of your own goat milk soap for your wife to gift in reciprocation. This seems not only natural, but polite to do so. I would have suggested it even if her soap had been phenomenal.

Your wife will likely be prompted into a conversation about the fact that it just so happens you make soap too, and have for YEARS. If your wife is anything like me (and I hope for your sake, she's not), it will probably be accompanied by a couple of eye-rolls and quips about your "mistress". (My SO's mistresses are a couple of cars that I named Jezebel and Jolene).

There is no need for your wife to offer advice or make say anything negative is she is uncomfortable being honest with this person. If the coworker prompts her for a review, your wife can politely extricate herself by either stating that she is waiting to use her current bar up before trying the gifted one...or joking that you have got her so spoiled, it would be impossible to appreciate anything else...or to jest that she would get in trouble with you for "stepping out" with other bath products.

The coworker will take the soap home and hopefully notice the differences in your soap and her own. Maybe she already knew it was crap and simply wanted to unload the inventory the way I have dumped sub-par baked goods on my neighbors' teenagers. Hopefully, she will realize that you could be a useful resource and avail herself of your help. If she does, your counsel is not unsolicited and should certainly be appreciated. If she doesn't, she may not have been willing to hear or heed your advice anyway...and you have not created an uncomfortable situation for your wife.
 
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Susie

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Can I add this to my signature? Because, seriously...SO TRUE.
Sure, as long as you don't attribute it to me. I just stated truth. Nothing earth shattering.

"Life's too short to..." has been my mantra for many years now. Basically, after working in Hospice Care for several years, I figured out that life is too short to be unhappy. You need to do what makes you happy and avoid, if possible, what makes you unhappy.

It has many applications:

Life's too short to eat bad food. (Said in New Orleans at a bad restaurant to the unfortunate manager that wanted to know why 10 people were leaving the food on the table. We did offer to pay half the bill if he tried our dishes. He declined.)

Life's too short to not grab happiness where you can. (Said when my hubby and I were discussing getting married at our ages.)

Life's too short to let a miserable toxic person determine my mood every day. (Said to aforementioned miserable toxic coworker when she asked why I was smiling as she was being ugly in a group of coworkers and, unfortunately for her, her boss.)

Life's too short to hold a grudge. Learn the lesson and move on. It is the best revenge. (Said to my child as she was being angry over someone doing her wrong.)

You get the idea.
 
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dixiedragon

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You could go in and delete or heavily edit your original post.

I've never seen milk soap be that dark from milk alone, though. Are you sure there was no FO? Maybe the FO just doesn't agree with you? And she may have been too excited to wait the recommended 6 weeks.
 

BrewerGeorge

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You could go in and delete or heavily edit your original post.

I've never seen milk soap be that dark from milk alone, though. Are you sure there was no FO? Maybe the FO just doesn't agree with you? And she may have been too excited to wait the recommended 6 weeks.
Oh, good call! I'm so used to being a Mod on my other forum that I didn't think of what to do without those godlike powers. ;)

Definitely no FO, unless somebody is making one called "Boy's Locker Room" that I haven't heard of. It was definitely very young. You know that horrid stench you get when you first add lye to milk? Some of that was still there, and added to the general funk from goat milk, it was not pleasant.

Comparing it to Hershey's was maybe a little bit of an exaggeration. More like Cadbury's Dairy Milk bars. Definitely burned.

However, I just got a spot of good news on the subject. My wife misunderstood her coworker; she didn't make it, a friend of hers did. Turns out that the coworker isn't that impressed with it either. Says it doesn't lather. (Not surprising because it seems to be newborn.) That led to my wife showing her pics of my soap online. I don't sell soap, so now I have to figure out what to do if she asks. :???::)
 

Arimara

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Oh, good call! I'm so used to being a Mod on my other forum that I didn't think of what to do without those godlike powers. ;)

Definitely no FO, unless somebody is making one called "Boy's Locker Room" that I haven't heard of. It was definitely very young. You know that horrid stench you get when you first add lye to milk? Some of that was still there, and added to the general funk from goat milk, it was not pleasant.

Comparing it to Hershey's was maybe a little bit of an exaggeration. More like Cadbury's Dairy Milk bars. Definitely burned.

However, I just got a spot of good news on the subject. My wife misunderstood her coworker; she didn't make it, a friend of hers did. Turns out that the coworker isn't that impressed with it either. Says it doesn't lather. (Not surprising because it seems to be newborn.) That led to my wife showing her pics of my soap online. I don't sell soap, so now I have to figure out what to do if she asks. :???::)
Make her a trade for giving her soap like a nice loaf of apple bread or coconut bread or NY Style cheesecake. Something nice like that. :lol:
 

dixiedragon

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I've never seen a milk soap lighter than tan. But I don't make a lot of milk soap - milk soap hates me - so maybe I just haven't burned it that bad!

It's weird - I've NEVER had a problem with honey soap, but milk soap and I are not friends. At all.
 

Cindy2428

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There is definitely a learning curve with milk soaps..... but so worth it. I have 1 recipe that does not use coconut milk and I'm going to have to change it. There are a bunch of additives that get airplay out there and when you do a blind test...... you find for the most part you can't tell the difference.

But not coco milk for me. I can always tell so it's worth the extra time. I've not tried just adding the powder to my oils and blending. My soaps have a general cleansing factor of 6 so they are very creamy and my goal is smooth soap. I'm afraid I'll have spots like stearic acid, but I won't know if I don't try!
 

Dahila

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Milks soaps especially goat are not white, thats for sure, I use tan color to swirl with something similar like brown with tan, CM are pretty white , buttermilk is kind of white for me, with some addition of TD. I am not even sure I like GM more than CO or buttermilk soap
 

dixiedragon

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Coconut milk soaps are pretty easy IMO. I should have specified dairy milk. Mind tends to smell like baby vomit, no matter what I do. But that could be my nose - I've sniffed GM soap at craft fairs and I often catch that sour milk / baby vomit smell.
 

Susie

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Coconut milk soaps are pretty easy IMO. I should have specified dairy milk. Mind tends to smell like baby vomit, no matter what I do. But that could be my nose - I've sniffed GM soap at craft fairs and I often catch that sour milk / baby vomit smell.
Me, too.
 

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