Thursday, October 10, 2013

How Things Work

So I have been soaping for almost 10 months now.  I have had to make some changes along the way.  I have also discovered a whole new world of creativity.  I thought that I would share my production process with you.  Not that I have a huge production or anything, but I thought I would share.

Soap cut into logs

Cutting bars with cheese slicer
To start with I have a bunch of recipes already worked up through the lye calculator on  I keep them in folders so that they are ready to go when I have time to make soap.  I even have them separated into categories since I make several different styles of soap, among them tea and bakery style soaps.  I write each date when a batch was made in a list on the bottom of the sheet.  This helps me keep track of which soaps were made when.

After I get a batch of soap made and it has hardened enough to un-mold, I let the soap sit for a couple of hours with the liner off of the soap.  This allows the outside of the soap to dry enough so that it is not so sticky to the touch.  If you have never made soap before, I assure you that this is normal as the soap still has a fair amount of water that still needs to evaporate.

"Icing" applied
When I have time to cut the soap, I start by cutting the soap down the length of the soap.  After I get the soap cut into 2 logs, I trim the ends and clean up the sides.  At this point, with my bread soaps, I use my homemade melt & pour (tinted with titanium dioxide) to pour over the top to look like icing.  After the "icing" sets up, or if there is not "icing", I use a cheese slicer to cut the soap into individual bars.  For those of you who follow my blog, no I am not using my soap cutter that I made.  I need to make some modifications to it.  In the meantime I have a cheese slicer with a blade that I am using to slice bars.
Bars sliced

 After the bars are cut, I trim the edges and add a slight bevel to them by hand with a paring knife.  Next I put them on the curing rack for a few days.  This allows the cut sides to dry enough for the soap stamp not to stick to the soap.  I usually try to allow between 3 and 5 days between cutting and stamping.  I have stamped up to a week and a half after cutting though.  After I stamp the soap it is returned to the curing rack for the remainder of the 4 weeks needed for curing.  Although I will admit that if I get busy it sometimes stays for a little longer.
Trimmed, stamped & ready
for curing rack

After the curing period is over, it is time to wrap the bars.  During the curing period I prepare all of my labels so that they are ready for me to use.  I also have a stack of paper cut and punched for wrapping.  As you can see from the picture at the top, I use a simple kraft paper to wrap my bars.  As you can see I have made little hanging tags from pieces of milk carton.  I use these to make the cure date on so that I don't forget.  Also I found a bow paper punch as someone recommended and I am now using it on my soap wrapper.
The curing rack

The bow detail on my wrapper

I have to send my laptop in for repairs and I don't know how long it will take to get it back.  So if I disappear for a while don't worry.  I will return.

I am linking with the following blogs:


  1. I love hearing about your soaps! Thank you for sharing these techniques! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  2. Your soaps always look so gorgeous! I am going to dive into my first soapmaking adventure this next weekend. Wish me luck!

  3. I ordered some soap making supplies they came in and now I am ready! So excited!
    Thanks for sharing your tips and experiences.

  4. Those are so cool!! The process is very time consuming I know, but the result is wonderful!
    Hope your laptop has a good appointment!!


Thank you so much for stopping by.