Handmade soap requires more special care than a bulk box of the supermarket variety. Sure you can chuck it in your linen cupboard to make your towels smell nice but the real deal demands better treatment.
Here are four easy soap hacks because you deserve to have the same beautifully coloured and scented bar of soap by the time you get to use it.
Store in the original packaging
Your soap will come in either biodegradable, plastic-free film or in a genuine cellophane bag, depending on the size and shape of your bar.
We recommend storing your soap in that packaging until you're ready to use it, protecting it from dust and moisture while retaining all of its glorious fragrance.
Keep away from moisture
You'd be well aware that water makes soap bubble and melt but many people assume it's only actual water, like the shower or hand basin volume that can affect soap. Not so. Humidity is a big problem for some kinds of soap, especially glycerin based soaps.
Glycerin is a humectant which attracts moisture and that can lead to harmless but unsightly "beading" on the surface of the bar. While wet, it can be wiped off with some paper towel and it'll look like very thin jelly on the paper. Your bar can then dry and go back to normal.
If you find your bar has become rough, that means it has beaded but beading dried on the bar, rather than by being wiped off, it the texture will be like that of dried bubbles.
Only take it out of the wrapping if you intend to use it right away or you can risk the moisture beads.
Avoid direct sunlight
Treat your soap as if it's a Vampire.
Many soap colourants, especially natural colourants and dyes are sensitive to the light and can fade over time in the bright sun. If they were to receive too much light, you may notice the colour fades, changes to an entirely different shade (strange but true) or becomes patchy.
Direct sunlight, especially in Summer and even more so in hot climates (like Australia!) can be brutal. The heat from direct sunlight can easily melt the soap, particularly glycerin soap as it's already a little soft. Store away from extreme heat.
I'll never forget the time I left a bar of soap on top of my shower screen during a heat wave and came home to a very messy, soapy puddle on the glass and floor. It's a pain to clean up, trust me. And I missed my lovely soap!
Allow a little ventilation (but not too much)
Soap needs air to breathe (so to speak) but not so much the scent will disappear or let in too much moisture.
Cold Process soaps are pretty forgiving. I keep mine in old shoe boxes in the hall cupboard outside of my bathroom. Nothing fancy and it does the trick. But remember, if you store different scents together, that's even more reason to keep them in their original packaging so their fragrance doesn't mingle and get weird.
Glycerin soaps are better kept sealed up in a plastic tub because as we learned before, they're sworn enemies of humidity and moisture. I use an old Tupperware container and store them alongside my Cold Process soaps.
Getting the best life span out of your handmade soaps doesn't have to be difficult or fancy. Just follow these simple guidelines and you'll be enjoying your beautiful for many months and years to come.