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Hopefully you've already discovered the amazing benefits of nourishing your skin with Goat Milk Soap. You've found the perfect soap and you want to enjoy the soap for as long as possible until it's down to the last soap sliver.
One question you may now have is how long your Goat Milk Soap will last. This is actually very difficult to predict because of all the factors that affect how long soap lasts.
At Goat Milk Stuff, we work hard to make long-lasting Goat Milk Soap. We carefully manage the factors we can control that can affect how long different Goat Milk Soaps will last.
So what affects how long it lasts?
We designed our Goat Milk Soap formula to produce soap that lasts a long time.
Back in 2006, when I started making all natural Goat Milk Soap, I did a lot of experimenting with my formula. I spent months testing the amount of each ingredient to get the perfect amount of goat milk goodness that our customers experience with our soaps today.
I tested the amount of goat milk in the formula. Too much milk, the Goat Milk Soap got mushy and didn’t last long. Not enough milk and the soap fell short of my “goat milk goodness” goal.
I tested the amount of coconut oil I used. Too much coconut oil and the soap became too drying. Too little coconut oil and the suds didn't quite lather up to par.
I tested the amount of hard fats I used. Too many hard fats and the soap was overly cleansing (which makes it perfect for natural laundry soap). Too little hard fats and the soap didn't last very long.
And so on.
As a former engineer I was determined to get every detail and benefit of the soap perfect. It took a some time, blood, sweat and tears. But it was worth it.
Finally, the perfect bar of Goat Milk Soap was born. We created a natural soap to promote skin health without harsh chemicals. And we used ingredients that promoted a long-lasting bar.
Many soapmakers claim that harder fats and oils will produce a soap that lasts longer than softer, liquid oils. This is true. Our Organic Castile and Calendula olive oil soaps do not last as long as our other soaps because they are primarily olive oil based.
But remember that all of the ingredients used play a role in how long the soap will actually last.
We cure our soaps so that they last a long time.
After our cold processed Goat Milk Soap is made, it sits in molds for 12-24 hours. It is then unmolded and cut. Once it is cut, it is placed on curing racks and allowed to sit.
Good curing racks will allow air flow so that air can circulate around all sides of the Goat Milk Soap. This airflow is essential to properly cured soap. We keep these curing racks in an open room under ceiling fans. They are also kept out of direct heat or sunlight.
Curing Goat Milk Soap accomplishes two main tasks.
First, the curing time allows the soap to dry out. Natural soap has a water content. As the Goat Milk Soap cures, some of this water content will evaporate. This produces a drier, harder bar of soap. Even though the Goat Milk Soap may lose some water weight, it will actually last longer because it is harder and drier.
Second, the curing period allows the soap to fully finish the saponification process so it is the mildest bar of soap possible.
At Goat Milk Stuff, we allow our scented soaps to cure for a full 6 weeks before it is bagged. And we usually cure the unscented soaps for at least 8 weeks.
Why the difference?
There is a trade-off between curing time and scent strength. The longer Goat Milk Soap is cured, the longer it will last. But the soap scent will start to fade around 9-12 months after the soap is made.
For some people, the strength of the scent is what matters the most. For other people, how long the soap lasts is most important.
So we cure our unscented soaps a bit longer before bagging them and making them available for sale. We guarantee that they are cured for a minimum of 6 weeks before being available for purchase.
"Great scent. Great lather. Long lasting bar. Worth every penny."
It may seem obvious that larger bars of Goat Milk Soap will last longer than smaller bars of soap.
And this is true. Sort of.
Let's say that we have two different Goat Milk Soaps. One weighs 4 oz and the other weighs 8 oz.
All else being equal, the 8 oz soap will last longer than the 4 oz soap. But will it last twice as long because it weighs twice as much?
It may take longer for the 8 oz soap to cure to the same dryness as the 4 oz soap. If it hasn't been given this extra curing time, the 8 oz soap may not last twice as long as the 4 oz soap.
Generally speaking, we know that if we took an 8 oz soap and cut it into pieces and used each piece one at a time, it will last longer than if we used the entire 8 oz soap all at once. But this can get confusing.
At Goat Milk Stuff, we've come to realize that the size of the soap is more about how comfortably it fits into your hand than how long it lasts. That's why we give you multiple sizes to choose from. So you can find which option works best for you.
You can also (carefully!) cut the soap yourself if you'd like to use smaller pieces of soap.
Long lasting ingredients, long curing times, and size options are the three main factors that we can control to help your Goat Milk Soap last longer.
But there are several factors that you can control.
The more thoroughly a Goat Milk Soap can dry out between uses, the longer it will last. You can take several actions to help your soap dry out between use.
Most important is that you do not allow your soap to sit in a puddle of water. Elevate your soap with a soap rest or allow it to hang and dry with a soap saver. But however you do it, make sure your soap can get airflow and dry out.
"These are amazing and help my awesome soap last longer and keep its shape. Plus it doesn't sit next to other soaps and get their residue on it. I love these."
You can also rotate the Goat Milk Soaps that you use. For example, if you have children using the soap in the bathtub, and they keep dropping the soap into the bath water, allow that soap to thoroughly dry out. Use a different soap on their next bath.
Rotating soaps will lengthen how long each individual soap will last.
Softer water usually makes your Goat Milk Soap last longer. This is for two reasons. Hard water contains more minerals which can use up more of your soap.
But more importantly, Goat Milk Soap will lather more quickly in soft water. This means that you don't have to rub it as much (and use up more of it) to produce your desired lather.
If you know that you have extremely hard water, investing in a water softener may be worth investigating.
This is also obvious, but large adults will use up Goat Milk Soap faster than small children. You can't change that, but it is something to consider when you are trying to figure out how long your soap will last.
"This soap is fabulous! It lathers up better than any goat milk soap I have used and lasts longer. It has eliminated the usual wintery dry skin that happens this time of year. Highly recommend!"
The amount of friction on the soap will also affect how long it lasts. This may seem rather personal, but for females, cleanly shaved legs should use less soap than soap covered in hair or stubble.
The use of a washcloth or soap saver can sometimes make the soap last longer and sometimes shorten the life of the soap depending on how much friction is applied to the soap.
And obviously, the number of people using the soap will affect how long it lasts. If each individual has their own soap, it will last longer (because it has more time to dry out between uses) than if multiple people are sharing the same soap.
As you can see, there are many factors that affect how long your Goat Milk Soap will last. If you'd like to extend the life of your soaps, there are several steps that you can try.
Step #1. Buy your Goat Milk Soap ahead of time. If you buy your soap ahead of time and keep a small stash of Goat Milk Soap, you can let it continue to cure at your home. As we've mentioned, the soap will actually get better as it ages. But remember, that the Goat Milk Soap scent will start to fade around 9 - 12 months after it was made. So you may need to balance out your need for super strong scents and a longer lasting soap.
Step #2. Use smaller Goat Milk Soaps. It's important that you enjoy how the soap fits in your hand. But if you are comfortable with smaller sizes, this may help lengthen how long your Goat Milk Soap will last. If you wish to cut your soap at home, do so carefully. We recommend you use a mitre box and putty knife to cut your soaps.
You can use a sharp kitchen knife but do so as soon as you receive your soap. The older your soap gets, the harder it is to cut. Taking smaller pieces of soap into the shower with you will allow only half of the bar to get wet at a time.
But don't get crazy with this. Using really small pieces will get to the point where you have too many soap slivers which are not very efficiently used.
Step #3. Let your soap dry out. This is the most important step you can take. Do whatever it takes to allow your soap to dry out between uses. You can use a soap saver or soap rest so that your Goat Milk Soap can dry out between uses.
Don't allow your soap to sit in a puddle of water or let the shower water pour down onto your Goat Milk Soap. And as was mentioned, if multiple people are sharing the same soap, it rarely has a chance to dry out. So use more than one soap if possible.
Step #4. Lower the heat (if you're willing). Hot water causes soap to dissolve more quickly than cooler water does. So keep that in mind when you're using your Goat Milk Soap.
When I first started making Goat Milk Soap for my family, the soap's lifespan under normal washing conditions was very important to me. We were living on a single income as a family of ten. Every penny mattered. And so I needed our soap to last a long time.
How long each bar of Goat Milk Soap lasts is critical to our formula and our production. It’s something I’ve always planned for.
And so when people ask how long they can keep Goat Milk Stuff soaps before they "go bad", I share with them this secret...
Goat Milk Soap doesn't go bad.
If you store your Goat Milk Soap in a non-humid area and out of direct sunlight, your soap will actually get better as it ages. And that’s not the only benefit of soap that ages under the right conditions.
Older soap will last longer under use. It will suds better for a healthy lather. And, older Goat Milk Soap will more gently cleanse day in and day out!
But there is a catch. As was previously mentioned, the Goat Milk Soap scent starts to fade around 9-12 months after the soap is made. Sometimes the scent may disappear entirely. But sometimes it just becomes more faint.
So don't worry about your Goat Milk Soap going bad. It won't. Just decide which is more important to you - how long your Goat Milk Soap lasts or how strong the scent is.
"This is one of my favorites! The wonderful smell lasts all the way through the bar. I think this is a great soap for men or women!"
And remember, the scent doesn't start to fade until around 9 months after the soap is made, so you've got lots of time to play with.
At Goat Milk Stuff, we let our soap cure for a minimum of 6 weeks before they are bagged and ready to ship out. But there is a wide variation to how old the bars are when they actually ship.
Some can be 6 weeks and some can be 3 months. And in the case of our purity (unscented) soap, it can even be 6 months! (We let the purity cure this long to help skin conditions such as eczema.)
So if you ever feel that a bar of our Goat Milk Soap didn't last as long as you expected, it's probably because you got a newer bar of soap.
As we've mentioned, we run a balancing act between the strength of the scent and how long the bar will last.
And so remember - if you want your soap to last longer, there are two main things you can do.
1. Age your soap as long as possible before using.
2. Make sure your soap completely dries out between uses.
At Goat Milk Stuff, it is important to us that our soap lasts a long time. We use ingredients that are designed to produce a hard bar and we cure the soap a minimum of six weeks.
Because of all the above mentioned variables involved, we don't give a specific time for how long our Goat Milk Soap will last you. We've shared some testimonials throughout this post on how long the soap has lasted for specific customers.
What about you? How long does your Goat Milk Soap last?
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