Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Making Soap Step 3: Unmolding, Aging and Enjoying

You may have begun to feel like your soap would never get hard enough to unmold.  It can take 2-7 days of saponification before soap can be ready to unmold.  All vegetable oil soaps tend to take longer.

After about five days my soap was firm enough to release easily from the mold.  I had used a flexible plastic container which made it easy.  The soap just slipped out into my hand.  Then I broke it along the cut lines I had made on the day after making the soap.

If you use a rigid mold, loosen the soap with a dinner knife and try to remove the soap the same way you would serve cake.  Just like a cake it is easier once the first piece is removed.

New Bar Of Soap
After six weeks of aging this soap will be ready to use.  I stack the soap bars on a rack in an out of way place.

If the rough edges bother you they can be trimmed with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler.  Just so you know most soap that is sold at farmers markets and looks so pretty usually is put through a second process called rebatching.  Rebatching involves melting the soap in a small amount of water, adding fragrance and other additives, then remolding.  Then the soap maker trims and polishes the soap.

For my personal use I don't take these extra steps, but for gift giving it may be worth the extra effort.  Soap making is a fun creative process, but it is also science and an art.  Once you have used your own soap you may become like me and prefer it to store bought.

God bless,

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