Tips on how to cure handmade soap and how best to store it until you use it. Curing is the process of allowing saponification to complete and for the soap to fully dry.
Handmade soap needs to cure before you can use it. I hope to answer any questions in this blog and to provide guidance on exactly how to cure soap.
Why the need to Cure Handmade Soap?
Even though it looks good to go there are reasons why you need to cure freshly made soap. There’s no hurrying up this process and it takes about a month to complete. More on what this means further below.
The Cure Time Dries your Soap Out
The main reason we cure soap is to let the water content evaporate out of the bars, and for them to dry out. Water/liquid that is still in your bars when you take them out of the mold. If you don't allow them to cure and dry then your bars will not last once to start using them. They can also have impaired lather
The cure time will reduce the amount of water in your soap over a period of 4 weeks. By the end of that time, your bars can lose over half of the water they originally contained.
How to cure handmade soap
There are many places where you can cure your soap but the premise is all the same. It needs an airy place out of direct sunlight. You can use a bookshelf, cardboard boxes or even make towers of soap. Stacking soap during curing is perfectly fine and if you live in a warm and arid place, you could even cure your soap outside. That’s how it’s been traditionally cured in the Mediterranean and middle east.
Even though your bars are firm at this time, they still contain moisture that can react with surfaces. That’s why we sit them on grease-proof or baking paper to protect both your soap and the units you’re using to cure it on/in. Then space your bars out so that there is plenty of airflow around them. Again, feel free to stack them, as long as there’s plenty of air that can circulate.
Curing lets the water content of the soap evaporate out leaving you with harder longer lasting bars.