Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Storing your hand made soap.

I'm feeling guilty as I haven't blogged forever. My health had been suffering due to TMJ joint problems causing chronic headaches. I gave up and had surgery in early May which has a very long recovery time. It's worked very well so far and I can't wait until the recovery process is over (6 months was the time frame I was given). I'm feeling better than I have in years.

Anyway I thought I might as well answer some of the most common questions I get asked at markets in some of my blog posts.

One is "How do I get my soap to last the longest?"

In use the simple answer is to store it on a draining soap dish so it's not sitting in a pool of water. If it's sitting in water then if will soften and dissolve over time.
Many of the modern sinks don't actually have a good spot for this. So buying an inexpensive draining soap dish is a good idea.

Something like this works well.

Another thing is if you use your soap in the shower to make sure it doesn't sit under the shower spray when not in use. Depending on your shower you may be better storing it out of the shower anyway. Some showers stay quite humid and the soap doesn't dry out between use. I find this is particularly a problem in hot weather.

If you buy multiple bars then the ideal spot to store them is somewhere cool, dark and dry. So all those soaps being used to scent underwear drawers and linen closets are in the perfect spot.

Why cool, dark and dry? The scent and colours will last longer. Heat causes fragrances to evaporate. Many colours are light sensitive and fade over time. Also like the oils they are made from soap can oxidise. Especially if the soap has lots of short shelf life oils like canola, soy or hemp. Light, heat and moisture can accelerate this process. How do you know if your soap is oxidised? It will smell off and may develop soft orange spots. I'd suggest if you find soap like this you throw it out. I tend to avoid using these oils in the soap as I make I prefer to use longer lasting oils like olive oil and coconut oil.

The soap that has been used to scent a cupboard and faded pull it out to use. It will be very dry and last for ages in use. It's quite likely the once you start using it and wash off the outer layer that there will be some scent left in the centre.

Remember that myself and any other soap makers would love to make you more. After all a cup of coffee costs around $3.50 - 4.50 and is gone in 15 minutes. A bar of $6 soap can give a month or more of pleasure.

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