It's been a couple of days since I poured my soap up. I usually give the soap two days to set before cutting it into bars. If we're in the midst of the dry, hot summer I may only have to wait one day.
After removing the soap from the molds (which easily come apart) it's time to cut the large "loaf" of soap into bars. I have a soap cutter which was bought online. This makes cutting the bars so much easier. One batch of soap makes 28 good bars and 4 ugly end bars.
Being handmade, hand poured, and hand cut means that no two bars are exactly alike. They each have little cracks, rough spots or some kind of flaw. That's the beauty of a handcrafted product. They have character unlike commercially made products.
My dad picked me up some old coke crates which make great drying racks. I stand the bars up on end and line them up in the crate. Standing them up on end keeps them from warping as they dry. The soap needs at least two weeks to cure. The longer you let them cure the harder the bar will be and the longer they will last in the shower without quickly dissolving. A one month old bar is nicely cured.
I hope you give soap making a try!
"There are four things a child needs: plenty of love, nourishing food, regular sleep, and lots of soap and water." - Ivy Baker Priest