Why do handmade soap and shampoo bars need to cure?

 

Years ago Paul Masson wineries advertised their slogan,
"we'll sell no wine before it's time."
At Chagrin Valley Soap "we'll sell no soap before it's time."

 


We use fresh plant oils and butters gently warmed and then slowly mixed with an alkaline solution. The percentages of oils used are extremely important to produce a mild and gentle soap. Once the oils and alkali (base) have been mixed, we do not add additional heat to hurry the chemical reaction along--we allow the natural process to take its course.

The liquid soap batter that is poured into the molds has only partially saponified. The molds are covered with towels and after a 24-48 hour warm insulation period most of the saponification process is complete.
 
Insulating Soap

 

 

Chocolate Orange Soap The soap is removed from the mold and cut into bars.

Cold Process soap needs to slowly "cure" over time. We allow our soaps to naturally air cure for eight to nine weeks and our shampoo bars for nine to ten weeks. During the first two weeks of curing, the saponification process is completed. As the soap continues to cure, most of the water used in the recipe evaporates. The curing process insures a milder, harder, longer lasting bar, with a very rich lather.

 

 

What if you order a bar that is still "curing"?

A number of years ago, a customer asked if a "curing" bar could please sit at her house and cure. It seemed that every time she wanted to place an order, something was always curing and if she waited until it was ready, something else was sold out. At that point we began shipping bars that were still "curing." If you order soaps or shampoo bars that are not ready to use and are still curing--just leave them in their little paper bags, which allow them to breathe, and store them on a shelf, or in a linen closet, and wait until the READY DATES listed on our website to use them.
 

What if you accidentally use a bar that is still "curing"?

No need to worry--nothing will harm you. We use our bars after only two weeks of curing. If the soap is really good after two weeks--it will be fabulous after six or eight weeks. But, our soaps and shampoos are best after fully curing. The lather is richer, the bars last longer, and they become milder with age! So for the best results, please wait until the READY DATES listed on our website to use them.