Soapmaking Finish

This is Part 4 of 4 in A Beginner’s Guide to Soapmaking.

Previously: Process

When we last saw the soap, it was poured into the mold, and then covered up.

13 - Soap 0933PM

16. After 30 minutes, I checked on it. What is that big crack in the middle? I think it was too warm. But no problem, I just press the edges back down with my fingers, and fix it right up.

The soap is dark and shiny in the middle, and light and opaque on the edges. The dark, shiny part indicates it is going through the “gel” stage.

16 - Soap 1009PM

17. After 10 more minutes, the gel stage has spread to the edges. Keep the soap inside the cardboard box so it will remain insulated.

17 - Soap 1019PM

18. An hour after it was poured, the soap is starting to harden.

18 - Soap 1041PM

19. I keep the soap in the cardboard box overnight.

19 - Soap 1112PM

20. The next morning, the soap is hard and opaque. It’s ready to cut, but I don’t have time, so I’ll do it the next day.

20 - Soap 1058AM

21. When it’s ready to be cut, lift the soap out of the mold, and peel off the freezer paper. Use a knife to score the soap where you plan to cut it.

21 - Soap 0806AM

22. The knife smoothly cuts the soap into bars. Some people will then use a potato peeler to bevel the edges, but I don’t mind the natural cut edges of the soap.

22 - Soap 0840AM

23. Line the bars of soap in rows in the cardboard box so they can dry and age. The box keeps the soap away from drafts, but it shouldn’t be air tight.

23 - Soap 0850AM

24. The soap feels nice and smooth, but it needs to age for at least 4 weeks before it can be used.

24 - Soap 0851AM

25. Four weeks later: I was very excited to try my soap. It turned out great! It has a nice, silky texture. It lathers well, and rinses well. It makes my skin feel soft and clean, but not dry. Perfect!

25 - Finished Soap

This is Part 4 of 4 in A Beginner’s Guide to Soapmaking.

Previously: Process