Learn the best practices to store your handmade soap. Storing soap depends on the process you have used to make it.
Previously in this Soap Making series: Why Does Soap Need To Cure?
Storing handmade soap
If you are producing your soap by hot process or cold process, your soap will only be ready to be used after it has fully cured. Then, you’re able to use, gift, or even sell your bars (once you have setup a small business, and beware of legal obligations).
The best place to store handmade soap is in the open air. One idea is storing them in a wooden box that also serves as a farmer’s market display. Simply leaving them on the curing rack until they’re needed is also common.
You can also store your soap in a sealed container, if you’re worried about the natural scent fading, but you need to be very careful with your soap catching trapped moisture inside the container. The bars should be cured in the open for 6-8 weeks and be bone dry before you put them in.
Next, you must put a few silica gel packets in the container to absorb any moisture. Just know that keeping them stored like this can become an issue if any moisture makes its way into the box.
Wrapping melt and pour soap
Melt and pour soap tends to form glycerin dew, or sweat, in contact with air humidity, especially in higher humidity places. This is due to the added glycerin content in the soap formula (comparing it to cold process or hot process): a layer of glycerin at the surface of the soap attracts humidity from the air. See all about melt and pour soap sweating and how to avoid it. This may also happen with cold process/hot process soap, but much less frequently.
When you’re making your melt and pour soaps, the soap base has been already made and cured, so it doesn’t need to cure or dry from excess of water. To prevent glycerin dew, a cosmetic issue, it is a best practice to wrap the soaps in shrink-wrap paper immediately after it gets solid in the mold and you popped it out. Plastic film also works, but doesn’t fully prevent soap sweating unless it is in full contact with the soap surface.
Wrapping cold/hot process soap
You can wrap soap in paper packages. But wrapping them in plastic is a bad idea though for two reasons. First of all, single-use plastic isn’t good for the planet. Secondly, if there’s even the tiniest amount of moisture still in the bars it won’t be able to escape. That means that excess moisture could cause your bars to get Dreaded Orange Spots, literally orange spots on the bars. The spots can get icky and have an unpleasant odor.
Shelf-life of handmade soap
Finally, the subject about handmade soap shelf-life. This can be easily obtained by looking at all the labels of all the ingredients you used to make soap. The closest best-by date is the best-by date of your new batch of soap.
Making soap doesn’t prolong the life of oil, especially oil about to go off. Using old oil can also cause the Dreaded Orange Spots mentioned before. Rancid oil in soap has an odd and unpleasant scent and though it will clean, it’s not something you really want to use on your skin. It pays to invest in fresh ingredients when you make handmade soap.
Hope you have enjoyed this article and found it useful! If you still have a question or want to make a suggestion, please leave a comment below.
You are now ready to try making soap at home! Please, take a look at these Beginners Recipes:
- Homemade Castile Soap Recipe
- Homemade Coconut Oil Soap Recipe
- Homemade Lard Soap Recipe
- How To Make Soap by Melt and Pour
Aslso, check out All Natural Cold Process Soap Recipes.