Once you’ve cut your soap loaves into slices, they might need a bit of cleaning up! This is certainly a matter of preference. I know some soapmakers who do clean up the edges a bit, and some that do not!
Here are some soap bars that are freshly cut. As you can see, the edges are simply a little sharp and have little pieces of soap hanging on. Not a big deal, but if you want to refine a bit, you can!
If you’re wanting to clean up your edges and surfaces, here are some options and tools.
My favorite tool to use is simply a vegetable peeler. I’ve used a vegetable peeler FOR YEARS before trying anything else. It is so simple to run the peeler over the sharp edges to bevel and clean them up. And a vegetable peeler is cheap! Here is one from Amazon that I like, but you can find one at your local store.
To use a vegetable peeler, you simply run it over all of the sharp edges to bevel down a bit. The only draw back to using a vegetable peeler is that, depending on how hard you press, you might take off different amounts of soap from your edges and they might not be even. This isn’t a big deal to me, but it might matter to you! Below I’ve used a peeler to bevel every sharp edge.
If you want to step up your soap cleanup game, I highly recommend a soap beveler and planer! I’m a big fan of this soap beveler from CDASoapworks on Etsy. And other’s agree! It was highly recommend on a posting that I did in Saponification Nation. You can use it to bevel edges, but also use it to plane off surfaces.
Below I’m using it to bevel the sharp edges.
I also like to use it plane off surfaces if I have a soap that is a bit rough on the surface. Here’s an example, before and after planing.
You can see the surface is nice and smooth now!
I also like to use it to plane off the tops of bars that might have a bit of ash to really make the colors pop! Here’s an example.
Here is how some of our members in Saponification Nation like to cleanup their soap.
“I adore my lilu soap tools planer and beveler! It’s the Best.” – Whit Ennelynne Ney
“I do like them “cleaned up” because it’s uncomfortable to have the sharp edges rub against my body. I really enjoy the cleaning up of soap bars! I have the exact planer in the picture, here. I’ve tried using a potato peeler, but it takes too much off.” – Gwendolyn Webster
“I used to bevel all my soaps when I made rectangular shaped ones. A couple of years ago I switched to round shaped soaps, and I wipe the edges with a clean towel as I take them off the wire cutter to remove the “crumbles.” Since I use a water discount now I never have problems with ash anymore, so other than turning the soaps every couple of days during curing, that’s all I do until time to wrap them.” – Kathy Davenport Gray
“I bevel the edges so the corners don’t rip my shrink bags.” – Carl Jasinto
If you’d like to read more responses, check out this link to the group.
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I use the vegetable peeler and it works great for me. I even purchased a planer but it just sits on a shelf.
Sadly it seems they have closed their shop in Etsy (CDA soap works). Great article though as there are many other brands out there
I use a vegetable mandolein and it’s adjustable—-you can take off a little or a lot, depending on what you need. You can also plane the edges freehand (no guide) but it works really well and I just wash it with soap and water like regular kitchen utensils.
I sometimes use a piece of tulle to clean up my soaps. Especially if I have filled a whole and I want to smooth it out a little. Also I bought a tray at the Dollar store that my planner just fits in. It contains all the scraps and keeps my work area clean.