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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I finally made a batch of soap! Now is where I'm confused! lol I've seen suggestions of anywhere from 8 hours to an entire week to wait to unmold my soap, but none of the suggestions tell me how to tell when. Is it something about the texture? The dryness? The hardness? The temperature? The smell? lol I need something to use as a way to judge. Also, I've seen significant ranges in time to cure/dry it after it's unmolded, how do I know when it's done? And yes, I will post pics when I unmold it, even though I know it won't be pretty. ;)
 

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As far as unmolding soap, it sometimes depends upon the soap itself, and what type of mold you used. I usually use a long bar type mold, and most of my soaps I can take out in about 12-18 hours. I have one bar that tends to be softer, so I usually let it sit at least 24 hours. If you poured in the little shaped molds, it can take quite a bit longer to get them out. The above is all for cold processed soap.

Hot processed soap is a different story, it can usually be unmolded as soon as it cools, in almost any type of mold.

As far as cure times, most people recommend 3-6 weeks for cold process, depending somewhat upon the soap recipe and the amount of water you used. In cold process you are also waiting for the saponification (the chemical reaction between lye and oil) to complete. I usually wait at least 4 weeks, and usually use about the midpoint of the water amount recommended. The catch is determining when to cut your soap so that it is not too soft, but also not too hard. I have to cut my pine tar soap fairly quickly as it will get too hard to cut if I wait too long. Most of my other soaps I can let sit a few days and they will still cut fairly easily.

For hot process, the chemical reaction is mostly complete by the time you pour, and it can be used fairly quickly. Letting it sit though will allow the bars to become harder as a little more of the water evaporates. The only hot process soap I regularly make (about once a year) I add Rum just before pouring, so I do let mine sit a few weeks to let it evaporate.

Dawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So do I just guess at it? I mean, when you look at your soap to see if it's ready to come out, do you just try it and see what happens, then wait longer if it doesn't pop right out? I did CP and I used 16oz Olive oil, 16oz Coconut oil, and 16oz Soybean oil with 16oz milk. Do I just keep trying to pop it out and waiting longer if it doesn't? Sorry to sound so dumb lol.
 

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What type of mold did you use? I've never had anything but hot process 'just pop out'. I line my molds with parchment paper, and use that to pull the soap out. Some soap molds are made so that you can take a side or two off, and get the soap out that way.

Dawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I used a rubbermaid tupperware type container, a little bigger than shoebox sized. The parchment paper sounds like a good idea, I'll use it next time lol. Thanks for your help by the way, I really appreciate it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I will do my best to post pics some time today. Been buzzing around like a hummingbird these past few days... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So here's a bar of my first batch of soap. There was a little bit of "ash" on top, but I thought it looked neat, so I left it. :)

 
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