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Cracked Soap: Cracking the Code

Have you ever wondered why most bars of soap crack after a few uses? Many people have opted to buy liquid soap because they don't like the look of unsightly cracks that absorb dirt. Many people also opt to have a bar of "display" soap that they don't use because it looks pretty until you use it.

Pineapple Home Apothecary soap does not crack. My soap is cold-process soap and it differs from the "triple-milled" or "French milled" soap that cracks after several uses or gets mushy on its underside.

Triple-milled soap is soap that is pushed three times through a milling machine three times to push glycerin into the soap and press water out of it. This produces a hard, long-lasting bar, but the caveat is that it cracks when it takes on moisture. These cracks develop quickly and cause the soap to look unsightly in a soap dish.

French-milled soap goes through the milling machine one time.

Cold-process soap does not go through a machine press. It is created by mixing sodium hydroxide (lye) with water and then oils, fragrance oils or essential oils, clays, mica, goat's milk, or in the cases of other companies, dyes or chemicals. Pineapple Home Apothecary soaps are all cold-process soaps that contain no dyes, synthetics or chemicals and become soap in 24 hours, and then cure for 6 weeks while the moisture evaporates to produce a harder, longer-lasting bar. The combination of oils is what makes my bars moisturizing and high in lather. The Castile soap cures for one year to produce an even harder bar.

Melt and Pour soap is the process of shaving or cutting pre-made soap, melting it and pouring it into a mold. This is not hand-crafted soap and offers little options for designs, swirling, or customization, but is something some crafters do instead of creating soap from scratch as no lye is needed because they are not creating soap.

What else can you do with cold-process soap?

-Keep a bar in your drawers to gently scent your clothing or lingerie. It will last for years. A bar of lavender soap or a soap with peppermint with help keep bugs out of closets and pantries.

-Grate Castile soap and follow directions on my website listing to create laundry soap or rub the bar directly onto a stain and rub in gently with an old toothbrush and launder in your washing machine. Many customers have had great luck with this Old World use for Castile soap.

Now that you know the differences between soap varieties, rest assured your bar of soap from Pineapple Home Apothecary will look beautiful until its last use and won't ever become unsightly or crack on your soap dish.

This new bar on the left cracked within one week. My soap has been used daily in the shower for 6 months and is still smooth.
Pre de Provence soap used 1 week on left, 6 month old Activated Charcoal Pineapple Home Apothecary soap.

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