For many years now I have been buying the big 600g bars of olive oil soap from Wingham, but I only used them grated.. whenever I tried to cut a chunk off to use they just crack and crumble. Which was a pain 'cos it's useful having a hand sized piece. But it was a bit on the pricey side for me though to buy small bars of olive soap.. the big bars are much better value, just not so convenient. So I just used vegetable soap from the supermarket. Which was fine, but I'd of preferred to use Olive soap
WELL. A little while back I was reading a listing for this soap on ethicalsuperstore.com and they actually had cutting advice from the manufacturer in their listing! Brilliant! I'd also read about using a hot knife to cut soap so I decided to combine the 2.. tried it out and it works like a charm :)
|Oliva brand soap - 600g bar|
You need a pretty big knife, I found that I needed to push on the point end too to go through the soap evenly, so it needs to be plenty long enough.
Fill a bowl/jug with very hot water and stand the blade of the knife in it to warm up.
Unwrap the soap and stand the block on a microwave safe plate. Pop it in the microwave and heat it up a little. The instructions I read said to heat it for approx 20 seconds... I found that it still cracked and crumbled after 20, so I popped it back in for another couple of 15 second bouts (I did it in 2 go's so I could check it wasn't heating up too much).
Dry the blade of the knife, and cut straight downwards through the soap (being careful of your fingers!) If it still crumbled I popped it back in for a few seconds, being careful not to go too far - Google 'soap in microwave' to see what happens if you do there are loads of videos.
Working swiftly so the soap & blade don't cool down cut your big block into smaller bars.
|approx 100g per bar|
|New olive oil soap.. moist and creamy with |
an even olive green colour right the way through
|Old dry olive soap.. you can see the difference in texture and colour,|
it's only the very centre that is still the usual green, the outside
is more of a pale brown
The old one was no good for cutting up, but as it's still fine for grating at least it shan't be wasted.
I was so happy to of found this tip, now I have lots of bars of olive oil handsoap :) Perfect for felting with. I'm sure there are many felters who have known to do this for years.. but I didn't and wanted to pass it on incase any of you don't.