Prevent and Remove Soda Ash
One of the first and best things you can do is remove soda ash from your bars. Soda ash occurs naturally on your bars when the lye reacts with carbon dioxide in the air during
the natural process of saponification. The result is a thin white layer on the top of the soap. You are more likely to get soda ash if you use slab molds, as there is a larger surface are on the top of your bars.
Soda ash doesn’t affect the quality of your soap, but it does spoil the appearance of your bars. There are several ways to remove soda ash.
Steaming soap is one of the more effective ways to remove soda ash, especially when the soda ash is deep within the bar. You can use a regular household hand held steamer and quickly and easily remove the ash.
You can steam your soap before or after it has been cut. Simply hold the steamer directly over the top of the soap, and move the steamer around for several seconds. You can see the soda ash disappear before your eyes! The soap may become soft, so it’s best to place the soap on a hard surface while steaming and allow to dry before moving.
If you don’t have a steamer you can wash your soap. Use a paper towel or sponge and gentle scrub away the soda ash.
You can also use a pair of nylons. Wrap the fabric around your finger, and run your finger under cold water.
Washing your bars will be tricky if they have a textured top, so steaming would be much better in that case and the steamers are not expensive.
Bevelling Your Soap
You can create crisp smooth edges on your bars using a beveller. Simply slide the bar of soap across the blade in the centre of the beveller. This shaves off the corner, producing a small flat edge.
Soap cutters like these come with a cutter on the underneath side of them, giving you 2 tools in one. This one was not expensive. I got it from aliexpress.com
It is best to use the beveller after the soap has been cut and has cured for about a week. If the soap is too soft, the edges will not be clean. If the soap is extremely hard, running the soap across the blade smoothly becomes more difficult.
You can save your soap shavings to use in another project, like confetti soap.
Stamp Your Soap
You can stamp your soap to give it an extra special look. You can get stamps that say things like “handmade” or you can ge them made with your own logo on.
Wrap Your Soap
Packaging your soap is an easy way to create a professional look. There are countless ways to package your soap, and deciding on what method may depend on your own style/branding, the bar of soap, and how protective you’d like the packaging to be.
One option is to shrink wrap your soap. You can buy shrink wrap bands which have been pre-cut to fit a standard bar. They leave the ends of your bars open, which is crucial in cold process soap. They are easy to use – you just slide your bar inside the band, apply heat from a heat gun, and the bands shrink down to fit your soap. You can use a regular heat gun, or a craft one. Not only do they create a polished look, they protect your soap!
However, the bands do not fit all sizes or shapes. For the exceptions, you can use plastic wrap from the grocery store to shrink wrap soap.
Labelling and Packaging Your Soap
Packaging and labelling your soap can really give it a professional look. Adding a printed label to your soap not only lets the customer know all the lovely ingredients in your soap, it instantly makes a bar look professional and gift-worthy. You can use a cigar band style or hanging tags. There are numerous downloadable templates online for making labels for soap. Pinterest has many and a multitude of ideas. Avery also has templates for labels of various shapes and sizes.
For my labels I used plain white card and used a business card template. Rather than printing double sided, I used address labels and stuck them on them back.
Labelling your soap can be fun, because there are so many creative labeling possibilities. You can tie your labels on with ribbon, yarn, or twine. If you package your soaps in bags, you can put your label inside the bag.
You can also wrap your soaps in organza bags to make them extra special. If you use white ones, you can easily see your colours and designs through them.