So, how does that soap taste?

Putting soap in a child’s mouth after they said bad words was the fear of many a child, and also made for some funny TV and movie moments. But experienced soapmakers often use their mouths to help them decide when soap has saponified fully and there is no more active lye in the soap.

No, I don’t put a bar of soap in my mouth, but I use what’s called the Zap Test. It’s simple, with no technical equipment needed. Just a bar of newly made soap and my tongue. All I do is touch the bar of soap to my tongue and see if I get a small zap from the soap (it’s been described as similar to touching your tongue to a 9 volt battery, but I’ve never done that and don’t recommend it to anyone).

If I feel the zap then I know that the soap isn’t ready to be used. If there is no zap that means that it’s safe, but can still benefit from some time curing to improve the bar.

Don’t worry, I don’t go around testing every bar, just a small slice from 1 of the bars (usually the smaller end piece), and I keep testing it until I don’t get zapped.

In case you were wondering…..yes, all the soaps taste different. No I don’t recommend tasting soap on a regular basis for flavor.


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