It is important to care for your soap properly to prolong its life.
As with most handmade soaps they must be kept free-draining in between use to prevent them from becoming too soft. We recommend using a soap deck or a soap dish which doesn’t let your soap sit in any water.
The glycerin in a natural soap is hygroscopic (attracts water). If you don’t intend on using your soap immediately, it is best to keep it in a cool and dry place, preferably able to breath.
How does soap work?
The fundamental purpose of soap is to improve the cleansing capability of the water you use. All soaps, by their definition, achieve this in the same way. There is a whole host of information available online, however to provide some context the cleaning action is described briefly below.
The soap molecule has two different ends: one end is ionic (positively charged) and is attracted to polar molecules like water (both positively and negatively charged); the other end is non-polar (no charge) and repels water but is attracted to other non-polar molecules such as oils and greases, for example, those that collect on your hands and skin.
When you try to wash away oil and dirt from your hands, pure water does a poor job. This is due to non-polar molecules like oil and grease being not readily miscible (do not mix) with strongly polar molecules like water.
So, the soap acts like a bridge between these two immiscible liquids: the non-polar ends pick up the grease from your skin, the ionic ends remain attracted to the water and the oil is lifted away to form an oil-soap-water emulsion, which you then wash down the plug hole.
Combining this soaping action with warm water lowers the viscosity of the oils and hence the attractive forces between them. This makes for a very effective way to get your hands squeaky clean.