In answer to the question “what size should handmade soap be?”, a poll of 388 users of homemade soap found a bar size of 3.85” x 3.25” x 1” thick to be the “family favorite”.
But there’s a lot more to the story – especially if you make homemade soap for sale.
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The Shape of Soap to Come
The ideal bar size changes depending on shape. Companies like Johnson and Johnson spend a fortune on focus groups to figure out the best soap bar size and shape. The three most popular shapes in bar soap are rectangular, hourglass, and oval.
Luckily for us soap makers, we can easily purchase silicone soap molds to give us intricate hourglass and oval soap shapes. However, the most common bar shape for homemade soap, from a loaf, is rectangular.
There are still fast and easy ways to adjust the shape of a rectangular bar of soap, however they are somewhat limited.
The most common method is to bevel or chamfer all straight edges. This simply means to slightly shave the sharp 90-degree angle sides down at a 45° angle. You can use a bevel or chamfer tool such as the one shown in the video below. You can also use a sharp knife blade with a little practice. Vegetable peelers are also a great way to do this quickly – if you have a steady hand.
Source Credit – Thank You to Good Earth Spa
A very easy way to get a round or oval bar shape is to use a vertical soap mold. This can be as simple as lining the inside of a Pringles potato chip tube with parchment paper. Of course, there are plenty of vertical soap molds available if you want to get original with shape.
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Cheap Soap Puck Vertical Molds Using Plastic Pipe
I went to a local hardware store and bought a ten foot length of 3″ plastic drainage pipe. I paid an extra $5.00 to have it cut into ten pieces at 12″ long each. Now I have ten perfect soap molds for (nearly) 3″ diameter soap pucks.Important Notes on Using Plastic Pipe as a Soap Mold:The inside of the pipe was not quite three full inches. The pipe size is named after its “nominal” measurement. This means the inside will usually be a little bit smaller.Although the tubes are each a foot long, I find that going more than 10″ deep of soap does not work well. For me, it gets too difficult to push out more than 10″ of soap.Be sure to line the insides of the pipe with parchment paper or a thin flexible plastic sheet. If the soap is in direct contact with the inside of the pipe it can be almost impossible to get out cleanly.Consider using a push stick to get your soap out… Do you remember “push ups” ice creams or “push pop” candy? It came in a tube with a stick on the bottom. The stick was connected to a disk inside the tube. The stick and disk acted as a plunger. When you wanted more ice cream or candy to come out of the tube, you just pushed the plunger.After the first time I made soap in a piece of plastic pipe, I struggled to get it out. Eventually I found a few 2.5″ wooden disk s left over from a craft project. I glued them together to make the disk stronger then attached it to the top of a long neck wine bottle (don’t judge me