Trying to decide on the size and shape of each bar of soap has been a back and forth process for me. I initially wanted a tall, wide bar with a slightly textured top. I recently changed my mind. I think the tall bars are harder to hold. So I’m now cutting fatter bars that are all at least 4 ounces in weight after curing.
After my soap has gone through the gel phase and returned to room temperature (about 18 hours), I remove the soap from my silicone molds and prepare to cut, bevel, and test the batch. I also stamp any bars with my logo that do not contain botanicals (like peppermint leaves, etc). I took some photos today while cutting my Rosemary Mint and Plain-Unscented soaps and thought I’d talk about each step just a bit.
I use a single wire soap cutter that I found on Etsy (Bud Haffner – Bud’s Woodshop). I really like this soap cutter and the ability to adjust for size. Especially since my tops are not uniform, I usually vary the thickness of each bar to keep the weight over 5 ounces. As long as I keep the wire really tight and don’t have a lot of air bubbles from my hand mixer, I get a nice smooth cut. It’s easy to clean and very easy to replace the wires.
After each bar is cut, I bevel every side with a plain old vegetable peeler. I even bevel the edges on the contoured tops (I really hate sharp edges on my soap).
At this point, I go ahead and do a quick pH test on several bars. I use two different kinds of pH strips (both strips measure between 1 and 14).
The last thing I do before putting the bars on the curing rack is stamp them with my logo.
I had a beautiful stamp made by Lasercutz in England (for a really good price, too). My logo is fairly dainty, so I had no idea how it would look stamped into the soap. I couldn’t be happier. The stamp itself is very easy to use. I’ve tried stamping at different phases of the 3 to 4 week cure, but right after the bars are cut seems to be the best time for me. I get a nice deep impression with no soap lifting or sticking to the stamp.
Thanks again to my Mom for painting such a beautiful and unique logo for my soap company. I love how it looks stamped into my soaps.
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