Soap making is a lot of fun, but in the end, how to store homemade soap for the long term gets a bit challenging. If you need some expert advice to store the hard work, you’ve come to the right place.
The ideal way to store homemade soap is by simply putting it in a place where proper ventilation is present. Homemade soap demands a cool and dry environment to spread out. The best equipment to prevent soap from spoiling is self-draining soap trays and dishes.
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The science behind homemade soap storage revolves around the process you choose to make it and how soon you wish to store the soap after it’s ready. Certain factors cannot be neglected in this critical process. So, read on to learn why proper storage of homemade soap is important and how you can store homemade soap for the best and longest results.
Why do we need to cure homemade soap?
In simple words, curing is a time-consuming process that allows the phenomenon called saponification to complete.
Curing takes about a month for cold-process soap but much shorter for hot-process soap. This is because the majority of the water needs significant time to evaporate.
Another important reason to cure handmade soap is that it allows the development of the crystalline structure in the soap. This development also takes a month or so.
How To Store Homemade Soaps
It is crucial to store your DIY bath and body soaps the right way.
Below we discussed some of the main types of homemade soaps and how you can store them the best way:
Melt and pour soap: When your melt and pour soap is fully hard and cool, it’s time to remove it from the mold. Next, you will wrap it tightly with the help of a plastic wrap. In case you live in an extremely humid area, get your hands on a heat gun in order to shrink the soap wrap on. This will make sure that no moisture gets in and spoil the soap.
Later on, you can easily wrap the soap in paper or even add some extra decorative elements mentioned below. Do not forget to store the bars in a dry, cool environment until you wish to enjoy them in your shower.
Important note: Avoid keeping melt and pour soap in the fridge as it can make the soap brittle and cause glycerin dew.
Cold process soap: When dealing with this type of soap, you just need to place the soap bars on a clean surface right after curing. You need to make sure that the soaps are turned once every week. In this way, each side will be easily exposed to the air.
Also, leave some space in between each of the soap so air can flow in between. So this means, securing the lid tightly is strictly prohibited as it can stop the airflow. Curing the soap properly before storage is critical to avoid any moisture trap. Opting for packaging like medium and large shrink wrap bands will also let proper ventilation happen.
Hot process soap: Hot Process (similar to the cold process) soaps also needs to be kept in an open-air environment, with lots of air. Avoid plastic wrap or air-tight packaging for this type of soap.
- Bath bombs: Bath bombs, as compared to other types, need a very dry environment. In case they interact with air mixture by any means, fizzing will start even before your plan to enjoy them. So, to avoid such mood spoilage always store bath bombs in a dry and cool area. Run a fan over them if the climate is humid or use a dehumidifier for the best results.
If you desire to make and use a long-lasting soap bar, avoid the following elements at any cost when storing:
- Sunlight (it can discolor your homemade soap)
- High heat (it can melt the soap)
High humidity (it might result in readed white spots, glycerine slime, etc.)
- Lack of ventilation (similar to high humidity issues)
How long can you store homemade soap?
The short answer to this is 6-12 months.
You can extend the shelf life of your homemade soap by storing it in a cool, dry place. It can be a closed container or an airtight jar with a lining to avoid excessive moisture entering it. About 15-30% humidity works well for the best storage results. But at the same time, there’s no guarantee for how long your homemade soaps will last prior to degrading.
Another way to extend the shelf-life is by simply using fewer fats (or not superfatting). Also, make sure the oil content is exactly measured.
If you’re ok with that, you could also go for better synthetic preservatives to make sure that your homemade soaps stay fresh for a much, much longer time. Unfortunately, this is the only most reliable way to make sure your soap stays longer in the bathroom.
What do you wrap homemade soap in?
To wrap the homemade soap in the best way, wrap the soap bars separately with the help of a plastic wrap. You can also put the soap in a sealed plastic container to prevent the formation of excess moisture and air exposure.
Wrapping the soap in plastic wrap will offer a better seal and extend its shelf life. The soap must be wrapped tightly to keep air and moisture away but not too tight.
For simple storage, plastic wraps generally work. But shrink-wrapping is the top best option for secure wrapping.
For best results, always wrap your soaps immediately right after unmolding, especially if you have no plan to store them in an airtight container.
How to store soap after use
Well, now you are fully acknowledged how to cure, store, and wrap your homemade soap, it is time to learn how to store soap after using it.
- A soap dish that comes with a drainage option will prevent your soap from turning mushy due to excess water.
- After every shower, try using a washcloth to wipe off excess moisture from the soap, as it gets very wet.
- Between every use, it is highly recommended to let your soap bar dry completely.
- Just when your soap bar becomes too small that you can no longer use it, do not throw it away! Instead, make a DIY loofah by storing soap slivers in a small cloth pouch.
- To make your favorite homemade soap last longer, cut it into tiny bits. In this way, the rest of the soap part won’t get wet and mushy.
- Last but not least, hot water plays a key role in reducing the quantity of soap mush faster than you expect. So use cold water if possible as a cool shower will aid in maintaining the shape of your bar, its consistency and, making more lather.
What happens if you don’t store your soap properly?
If you fail to store your homemade soap properly, bacteria might start to grow. As a result, even an organic homemade product becomes unusable.
Following are some important aspects you need to keep an eye on. They will indicate whether the soap was stored in the right manner or not.
Mold is the first and probably the worst that can happen to your soap. The main reason is the presence of organic material. But this is also depending on the type of soap you’re making. For example, mold occurs more with melt-and-pour more than cold process soaps.
This is another common problem; the scented oils you use in soap making may vanish in time. This also happens when the soap cures in the wrong environment-meaning, not in a dry place out of direct sunlight.
Sometimes you may start smelling something other than your beloved fragrance. This usually is something most novice soap makers don’t expect but, unfortunately, occurs quite often.
Lastly, is the most common yet most frustrating problem is sweating soap. You will begin to see small bubbles forming on the pops and other surfaces. This is due to the glycerine that comes as a byproduct when making soap that attracts moisture from the air and makes your soap “sweat.” One of the best ways to prevent this is by shrink-wrapping your soap.
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