Caring for Handmade Soap
Now that you’ve decided on your favorite scent (or scents!), here are a few tips to getting the most enjoyment from your new handmade soap.
Handmade soaps naturally have a high glycerin content, which is great for your skin – but it also means the soap requires a place to dry out between uses. The glycerin attracts water and if left in standing water, the soap will break down quickly. To prolong the lifespan of your soap, do not allow it to sit in a dish or container that is bowl-shaped, or that allows water to pool in the bottom. Also, beware of those indentations built into some showers as “soap dishes”; they rarely drain properly.
Instead, be sure to store your soap in a dry place out of the stream of water, and on a draining soap dish. A slatted wood or bamboo soap dish is ideal because it wicks water away from the soap, allowing the soap to dry properly. Alternatively, a “soap saver” (an oval disk with raised nubs) placed in the bottom of your favorite soap dish should keep it high and dry.
Unused soaps need to be stored in a cool, dry place – preferably, NOT the bathroom. A linen closet is great (plus, the soap will make your linens smell good!). If you need to transport the soap and are concerned about the scent migrating to other items (such as food), wrap the soap snugly in waxed paper to block the scent transfer.
Precautions: As with any soap, keep it out of your eyes or it will sting (rinse thoroughly with plain water if this occurs), and discontinue using if irritation develops. Be sure to check the ingredients if you have allergies. Be aware that some soaps have ingredients that may bother sensitive skin (cinnamon, citrus, mint, etc.), and that exfoliants can be scratchy. Soap is slippery when wet, so take care not to step on a wet bar while in the shower. And finally, we know the soaps smell really good, but please do not eat the soap.