What do you do with your beginner batches?

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LoveOscar

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I'm not selling, and I'm not comfortable yet to just give them away. My first batch is finally usable, and I'm pleased with the result considering I didn't know what I would get. No eruptions, no burning, no DOS (yet), and the foam is silky, but a tiny bubbled lather. I'm unsure if I want to rebatch it for saddle soap, I'd rather use a pure castile for that. I don't know if it will make a decent laundry soap, I'm not ready to go there yet. So what do I do with it? :crazy:

What do you do with yours? Do you just store them long term and see how they act in 6 months to a year? Just wondering about everyones process.
 
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shunt2011

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I let them cure for quite awhile, then gave them to family members to use and asked for feedback as to if they liked them or not.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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At the start I made 500g batches, then 1kg. This meant that I was able to quickly use up my batches and move on to the next one. I also don't make soap until I need to do so, or I have something totally new to make - I wouldn't make more "normal" bath soap if I had a lot still, but might look at a Pine Tar or Salt Bar batch instead.
 

Krystalbee

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I tested my first few batches on myself after a 6 week cure. After after another 8 weeks (when I had finally gone through a couple bars of each) I gave them out to any family members who were interested. All they had to do was provide me with feedback;-). From those initial batches I have tweaked my recipes, and my family has become more demanding. I still test my soap on myself for a good 2-3 weeks, much to there chagrin :lol:
 

LoveOscar

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Dixie, they're just past their 6 week cure, and I have 9 small bars to play with. I have hand washed with one of them, but I haven't body tested them yet. The "what if no body likes them" monster is creeping in and says wait another batch or two before giving them away haha. It was a messy batch, one I made with what scraps I had, not having any true idea what to do in absence of palm oil, and lacking castor oil, it was a OO 63% CO 18%, JO 2% HO 2%, and oh wait I ran out of oil, throw some AO in there to make up the .04 oz difference because I didn't do any discounts and can't remember how much I superfatted the recipe (because I forgot to write it down!). Messy batch just to make a batch because it was an itch that needed to be scratched batch.

I feel better about my second batch which is a salt bar, but they just started curing. I'll be happy to give that one away haha. It had much better prep and I got opinions on the recipe before diving in. :oops::mrgreen:
 

TeaLeavesandTweed

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I tested mine at 4 weeks, used them for about a week to make sure there weren't any huge issues, and then started giving them away. Also, Boyfriend shares a shower with me, so it was tested on him and he has pretty sensitive skin. I just offered it to people who are close friends and usually help me test out lip balm. So far, I don't think anyone's actually used it, though.

I'm also using my first batch for felting practice, although the wool I have is entirely too pretty to waste on practice, but it was free from one of the aforementioned tester friends.
 

misskittygirl

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I always kept mine for at least 6 months to test hardeness and how it would cure... then I would give them away to family. :)
 

cmzaha

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Put one away to keep and see how long it last. I still have one of my first bars that is 5 yrs old and it is still in good shape although the fragrance is long gone
 

lsg

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I gave my beginner batches to family and friends.
 

IrishLass

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Once cured, if the soap is good at the sink and in the shower, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't give it away to family/friends for their opinions. But I would keep a bar or 2 for observational purposes.

I pretty much do the same as Carolyn. I keep at least 1 bar back from each batch and keep it on hold for at least 1 year. You'll be amazed the different kinds of changes that can happen to soap in a year's time. That's why we always encourage those new to the craft to hold off on selling before they have invested at least a year to test their formulas and see how they hold up over time.

After a year has gone by, I put them in a special, 'go ahead and use' box, and I must say that I really love using my older 'vintage' bars. I suppose it's something akin to drinking a vintage wine or eating a well-aged cheese. They are like precious bubbly treats to me. I still have a few bars in my box that were made 9 years ago and I'm almost loathe to use those particular bars because I colored them so pretty. lol The scent is long gone, though.

I don't have any trouble with any of my soap getting used up in my house. It's all I can do sometimes to keep my hubby and son in suds. lol


IrishLass :)
 

navigator9

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I've said it before, and I'll say it again....I think entirely too much importance is placed on the appearance of handmade soap. I doubt that anyone ever started making soap because what they found in the grocery store wasn't pretty enough. Sure, we like it to be pretty, but first and foremost, it has to be great soap. It has to feel wonderful on your skin. I think most of us make soap because we like to be in control of the ingredients, lots of good stuff and no junk. Many start making soap because of skin problems, and they know they can do better for their skin than with the store bought stuff. I honestly think it's mainly soapmakers who are obsessed with colors and swirls and glittered, wavy tops, because we look at so many pictures, and know what's possible. I'm not sure customers are nearly as concerned about how the soap looks as they are about how it feels, and what's in it. So be proud of your soap! :grin:
 

gigisiguenza

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I'm not selling, and I'm not comfortable yet to just give them away. My first batch is finally usable, and I'm pleased with the result considering I didn't know what I would get. No eruptions, no burning, no DOS (yet), and the foam is silky, but a tiny bubbled lather. I'm unsure if I want to rebatch it for saddle soap, I'd rather use a pure castile for that. I don't know if it will make a decent laundry soap, I'm not ready to go there yet. So what do I do with it? :crazy:

What do you do with yours? Do you just store them long term and see how they act in 6 months to a year? Just wondering about everyones process.
My first batch was very small, 1 pound, and only yielded me 6 very wonky shaped bars LOL. When it was cured, I took one bar to work and another in the bathroom, so I could do solid testing. When I decided it was good soap, I cut each remaining bar in half and gave a chunk to my roommate, my cousin, and a friend to test for me. These three have become my testers with every batch that comes to maturity, so I can get feedback on them.

I'm still using what's left of my first batch, and I have one small piece I am saving for reference. I'm not sure I would see the need to rebatch it into something else, unless it was butt ugly, like my second batch which is slated for grating to use in a rebatch sometime soon. Other than butt ugly, I would keep em for future use. It's still soap, even if it isn't perfect :)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again....I think entirely too much importance is placed on the appearance of handmade soap. I doubt that anyone ever started making soap because what they found in the grocery store wasn't pretty enough. Sure, we like it to be pretty, but first and foremost, it has to be great soap. It has to feel wonderful on your skin. I think most of us make soap because we like to be in control of the ingredients, lots of good stuff and no junk. Many start making soap because of skin problems, and they know they can do better for their skin than with the store bought stuff. I honestly think it's mainly soapmakers who are obsessed with colors and swirls and glittered, wavy tops, because we look at so many pictures, and know what's possible. I'm not sure customers are nearly as concerned about how the soap looks as they are about how it feels, and what's in it. So be proud of your soap! :grin:
Very true :)
 

notapantsday

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I'm in a similar boat. I want to experiment and try different recipes, but every experiment adds 700g of soap to my stock. It will probably take me months to use up one single batch. I'm sure my family will be happy to receive some soap every once in a while but I can't send them a pound of soap every week either.

And to be honest, most of my friends and family are perfectly happy with their regular bar of soap from the supermarket and don't spend much thought on it at all. I mean, it's not like the regular soap makes their skin fall off or anything.
 

LoveOscar

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I don't live close enough enough to my family to give them bars to test, but I plan on using the few friends and coworkers I have to do it. I'm not worried about my soap being ugly, it has no color or fragrance additives. It's just a narrow rectangular bar. Nothing special, just my first batch with an oops recipe and not enough notes to replicate. I could cut it down into smaller squares, but it wasn't something I planned on sharing from the start. Maybe I'll take it to my barn and use it as barn soap, don't care if t gets muddy as long as it takes the mud off...
 

lsg

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After your soap has cured and been tested by you, you might donate the extra to a homeless or battered woman's shelter.
 

LoveOscar

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After your soap has cured and been tested by you, you might donate the extra to a homeless or battered woman's shelter.
I had considered this, but not necessarily with my first few batches.
 

Arimara

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Some of my soaps I plan on making for Christmas and a late birthday present. My first batch is still curing but the worst of the bars are serving as guidelines for how done my soap is.
 
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