When I say, “Castile,” I’m referring to 100% olive oil soap, not any vegetable-based soap. 100% olive oil Castile soap is made of olive oil, water, lye, and whatever additives the soaper chooses (oatmeal, clay, scents, etc.) This soap tends to be in a league of its own. It’s not my favorite for hand washing, because it doesn’t dry out as well between uses since I wash my hands much more frequently than I shower. It really needs to dry well between uses to be its best. I recommend using it for face or body washing 1-2 times per day. You could also rotate bars of castile soap for handwashing so the bar doesn’t get used more than a couple of times per day and can dry well between uses. Use a well-draining soap dish or soap lift, let it air dry well between uses, and you will probably love your Castile soap and increase its longevity drastically. These tips could be applied to other 100% oil soaps as well.
Blended Oil Soaps
Many handmade soaps are a blend of various oils, fats, and butters. I’ve found my blended oil soaps are much less finicky to work with. They still need to be kept in a well-draining soap dish or soap lift, and they still work better when they can dry between uses. I keep one in the bathroom at work where many people use my soap. It does not get to dry between uses, and it performs well and lasts a good while. I keep it on a soap lift, or soap saver pad, and it does pretty well. My favorite thing to do is cut a bar of my soap into halves or thirds and leave one piece by the sink at a time. The smaller bars seem to dry a bit better between uses, and I can rotate pieces if I feel like the soap needs a break to dry a bit. I don’t usually rotate pieces, but it’s an option that I think some would prefer.
Main takeaway: Don’t let your soap sit in liquid. It will get slimy, and it will decrease its longevity.