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How to Keep and Store Soap Dough

Sorcery Soap Dough Puffy Hearts

Saponification and Curing

This question has been asked so many times it needs a clear answer. I have written two books on this subject, Soap Dough and Soap Molding. 

Soap dough is made from cold process soap which saponifies anywhere from 8-36 hours. After all the lye molecules have attached to the fat/oils, the soap is safe to touch. (For those who have purchased either of my two books, see “Fear and Danger: Lye Safety” section) AFTER saponification is complete, lye is no longer active. The process of soap and how ingredients make soap.

After you know the process of saponification the next step is a course of logic – curing. Curing is the evaporation of water used to activate and carry the lye (sodium hydroxide) to the fat/oils. It takes 4-6 weeks to cure soap – for all the water to be evaporated from cold process soap. Evaporation of cold process  soap is equivalent to curing.

The curing process does three things:

  1. Curing hardens the soap bar, because water softens the soap,
  2. Curing enables the soap to be correctly weighed, with the water fully evaporated, you are left with the weight of the actual soap,
  3. Curing shrinks and hardens the bar, so the soap can be correctly packaged. If you want to see how much your soap shrinks during curing, wrap a piece of paper around a freshly cut bar cold process soap as tight as possible and leave it for fully 8 weeks. You’ll see how much your soap shrinks, by how loose the band will be. Not accurate but this experiment will give you a visual of the curing process.

Now that you have a working definition of  “curing” you can see how the next step to maintaining your Sorcery Soap Dough is to keep your soap from evaporation.

How to Store Sorcery Soap Dough

By wrapping your soap dough in plastic wrap, placing it inside a plastic airtight bag or container, your soap dough will maintain its pliability.  So, keep air away from your soap dough and your soap dough will stay moldable for months. Even the best air tight containers will allow some air, and the soap will have a harder form, simply work the soap dough in your hands and your soap dough will soften. It softens from the heat of your hands along with breaking the structure of the soap.

Working this information backward, what keeps the soap pliable is water.

Recap:

  • Cold process soap is made with water,
  • Saponification takes 8-36 hours for the lye to be come inactive, touching soap after full saponification is perfectly safe,
  • Curing i.e. water evaporation takes approximately 6 weeks,
  • Maintaining water in cold process by wrapping in plastic, avoiding air exposure, keeps soap pliable and therefore “SOAP DOUGH”.
  • Sorcery Soap Dough is an ideal recipe I have cultivated that produces a smooth, pliable and moldable dough. 
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Seasonal Soaps

Seasonal Soaps

Although its only August, I’m releasing some new soaps for the colder seasons. Its, on average, 110 degrees here in the desert. I’m dreaming of winter, missing snow and looking forward to cooler temperatures here, at the very least.

A few made last month, (that’s how hot it is, I’ve been dreaming of winter for awhile):

Boo SoapBoo Soap: Each bar has a little Boo, or ghost hugging a candy corn, both cold process soap. A touch of “magic” which some call glitter and scented with a bright and effervescent Lemongrass essential oil. (Only 5 of these.)

 

Polar Bear SoapPolar Bear Soap: These little soaps each have hand molded polar bears, snow flakes and sugar coated snow balls, which are a gradient of white to blue.

 

White Knight SoapMain Players Set: This is not a full soap chess set, but they are the main players.

 

Thanks for reading!

Bee

Chess Soap Polar Bears Pinterest Boo Soap

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Show or Not to Show New Soaps

Show or Not To Show New Soaps

That’s my question.  Should I share my newest soaps before they fully cure?

Its been a dilemma, a marketing pain, deciding if I show soaps that won’t be available for 4-6 weeks from the time I make them.

I’ve been lucky with pre-orders. Customers trusting me with their soap, paying for them to secure the “golden ticket” since I don’t make many of each design. However, I’ve wondered if they would sell quicker if I waited to share the images, and offer the newest soaps for sale, when they are fully cured.

Why would I want them to sell quicker?

(I can read your mind.)

If I sell them I loosen up shelf space for new soaps AND I loosen up mental space to create new designs.

I realized the other day, after having cleaned off another flat surface (one of my super powers is to clutter all flat surfaces in minutes) that I also cleared my mind.

A friend of mine has a project we’re working on. Well, I’m working on it, but its for her. I made two pounds of medallions for her up coming convention. I stamped her company logo (a Texas Star, in part) on each medallion tuck it in a little plastic bag along with her business card and a little note of soap ingredients. She’ll hand these out at her conventions as a unique way to connect with her clients.

We give sugar so easily its no longer special. And its terrible for the body, so why would we continue this practice?

By giving hand made soap it says a lot about your level of self-awareness and environmental/social awareness.

Anyway, more to the point. When I cleared off another flat surface in my home, to make 600 or so medallions (which all have to dry flat) I was filled with creative ideas. Up until that day I was just a little stuck. I didn’t feel uncomfortable about not flowing with ideas, I was born an artist and know that’s how it works. I wanted to be inspired again. The kind of inspiration I’ve had for the last two years about soap, to wake up and get to work. I love that feeling… Can’t wait to go to bed, so I can wake up, coffee in hand, still in my pajamas and dig into a project.

The Question

The other aspect to consider is, is my excitement about sharing the newest creation. That can’t be fabricated or duplicated, its an authentic moment which I was taught by an English professor is worthing of taking a note and striving to capture it in words, while story telling.

I’m still not resolved on how to handle this show or not show situation, but I did make a video today, since I’m still making these little Black Bird Poison Pies I thought I’d take advantage of the process. I was inspired by the fragrance oil Poison Pie by Nature’s Garden.

This is only one of many I haven’t shown on my Sorcery Soap Facebook page.  So here’s the sneak peak.