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Topic: How do I cut cured soap?  (Read 454 times)
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JadedMoonlight
« on: January 20, 2009 08:43:03 PM »

Haha, I know that sounds like a silly question, but I've been buying handmade soaps like maddd recently, for a wide variety of reasons. There's a couple that I told myself I'd split in half and give part to a friend/family member, just so I could buy bigger bars (and be surrounded by even more soap, really. I swear this is a disease.)

However, the normal knives won't cut them well, just sort of grate away, and my mom refuses to let me use her big butcher knife, haha. What do you guys do to keep a variety of soaps in the shower without seeming like a nutjob?
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MareMare
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2009 12:06:24 AM »

Hmm, I've cut very very hard handmade soap with a butcher knife, however, I've tried to cut Clinique facial soap and it kind of splinters apart, is that what you mean?.  Grin  I like this kind of cutter for both cured and raw soap~ http://cgi.ebay.com/Vegetable-Cutter-Scraper-New-every-kitchen-needs-one_W0QQitemZ390024738585QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item390024738585&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318%7C301%3A0%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50
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JadedMoonlight
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2009 12:22:14 AM »

Oh ooh! That looks it'll do the job perfectly, thanks MareMare!
And yeah, it's just 2 bars of castile soap that are just... absolutely flaking to bits while I try to cut it. I wonder what makes it so splintery looking? Thanks again!
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2009 12:30:08 AM »

My guess is that because castile takes so darn long to cure and dry out, it's just extra extra hard? I was really bummed when it happened to my face soap! Also, if it seems to be splintering "along the grain" you might want to try cutting it along the grain. Like the face soap was splintering long ways when I tried to cut it in half sideways, so cutting it long ways (even though that wasn't really the shape I wanted) worked better.
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2009 06:39:35 AM »

I use a wide piece of metal VERY similar to what MareMare linked. Have you ever cut a LARGE, solid block of baker's chocolate? I do a very similar method: run the blade under VERY hot water (I turn my tap on the hot and leave it while I do this). Dry the blade so that you don't get a soggy mess and then set it on the soap (on the grain as Mare Mare said) and gently press down on it with firm, even pressure. Once you feel resistance and you need more muscle to cut, stop and repeat the process. This works on most soaps I've tried to cut post-curing. Though admittedly, I've not tried it on castile soap.

The other, quick & dirty method is to get a VERY sharp butcher knife (am I suggesting that you do this on the fly when your mom is not home? Maaaaaaaaaaaybe...  Wink) and set it on the soap so that the blade completely touches the soap. Press down with even, firm pressure in a VERY quick gesture. You will lose some soap (splintering, as you called it) but it's definitely quicker!
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JadedMoonlight
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2009 02:32:13 PM »

HAHA thanks Nymeria. I know exactly what you mean with the baker's chocolate too, I always end up just covering it in a cloth wrap thingy and smashing it to bits with a hammer. Haha.
Anddd, my mom just left the house. xD

Thanks for the tip, MareMare. It's longways for this soap too, and I'm going to hurry up and chop up all my soaps before they dry out any more than they are now, haha.
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