Good things come to those who wait.....

I recently saw a social media post from a local brick and mortar soap maker excitedly stating that they can turn out their soaps for use in 24 hours, in order to capture the full "essence and benefits" of their natural bars.  As a longtime certified soapmaker, I was really disturbed by this claim.  Is it possible? It IS possible when a maker uses a pre-made, detergent based melt and pour product, but not for genuinely handcrafted, small batch, artisan cold process soap.  Telling customers that soap can be spun out in 24 hours (and the touted benefits) is not only a marketing ploy to move product off shelves, it is reckless as a business owner.  Additionally, any additives that they claim to be beneficial when a bar is used right away, would have to survive the thermogenic chemical process of saponification. Even at the maximum lye concentration of 50%, soap needs a MINIMUM 48-72 saponification time. 

However, what's even more important to understand is that this is not the same as "cure".  Curing bars means that the remaining moisture in a bar has had enough time to completely evaporate.  So while the bar may be safe to use in 48-72 hours, the customer is not purchasing a quality product.  Uncured bars will always have an inferior lather, will melt extremely quickly, and will not last in the bath (hmmmmm, maybe making you buy more bars?).  This is a ploy to move product off shelves - nothing else.  There is no benefit to you as the consumer. None. The only way to determine if a bar is ready to use is to weigh the bars.  In approximately 6-8 weeks, a bar should be fully cured - meaning there is no more water weight to be lost.  This is the science.  A fully cured bar may sacrifice some fragrance load, but will be a safe, luxurious, foamy bar.  

There are some things you just cannot rush.  A fine wine, a great cheese, for example.  They get better with age and time. An artisan bar of soap is the same.  The bar will be far more mellow and gentle and will last for weeks, even with daily use if kept out of standing water.  Most importantly, your skin with thank you.  

It's more than just a business to us.  It's a science.



1 comment

  • Dianne

    Thanks for a relatively layperson explanation. I’m a huge fan of your soaps – and so is my family – and we love the way they clean without drying or leaving a residue.
    We’ll stick with honest, cured soap. We wait for our wine, we’ll wait for our soaps too.

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