Soap making secrets: Why is handmade soap cured?

Why is handmade soap curedIn soap making, your patience is often tested. For me, waiting to cut into a batch of soap is the hardest part of the process. After making a batch of soap, I want to cut into it right away. It smells good, it’s pretty and I want to use it!

Melt and pour soap, like this Champagne soap, provides the instant gratification I’m looking for. As soon as the soap hardens in the mold, it’s ready to slice and use.

I can’t do that when I make soap from scratch using the cold process method.

Cold process soap is made with lye, water and oils. When the mixture of lye and water is added to the oils, a chemical reaction known as saponification occurs. (Want to know more about using lye in soap? Check out my earlier post discussing how lye is used in soap making.)

After a few days, the chemical reaction is complete and the soap can be removed from the mold and cut. You can use the soap at this point, but I guarantee you wouldn’t love your experience. Why, you ask? Because the soap is still soft and has a high moisture content (it was just oil and water a few days ago, after all), you’d feel like you’re washing with a nicely scented stick of butter. Curing cold process soap allows moisture to evaporate and creates a long-lasting bar of soap. The soap also has to saponify (I love that word) a bit more so it is as gentle as possible on your skin.

All of Emmet Street Creation’s soaps are cured for at least six weeks to ensure that they are long lasting and mild. Soaps that have a higher concentration of liquid oils, like our Crisp Apple Rose, get a little more time to rest before making an appearance in the store. While it’s difficult to wait such a long time, it’s worth it. Don’t take my word for it, check out our customer reviews!

Do you have a question about the soap making process? Ask it in the comments or on our Facebook page and I’ll do my best to answer it in a future post. 

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