Hardening Soap for Carving

Category Sculpture
Beautiful flowers and animals can be carved out of an ordinary bar of hand soap. This is a page about hardening soap for carving.


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March 17, 2017

I have a lot of soap shavings left over and want to remelt and allow students to carve another piece. I'm hoping to add something to make it a bit harder, more carvable. The soap scraps are Ivory soap.


March 17, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

You need to use oils that dry hard. Olive and castor oil are two good choices.

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March 18, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

I just add regular Olive Oil to make my bars hard again but it takes experimenting to find out how much to add and I did not write my amount down. It takes more than you would think and will be a little "soft" when first made but does harden slowly. Letting soap cure takes longer with oil - may take 2 -3 weeks.


I still have some nice carvings made from Ivory soap that were given to me over 20 years ago.

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March 17, 20170 found this helpful

Try beeswax if you can get some but use less than 10 percent of it in your entire mix ratio.

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March 17, 20170 found this helpful

you could also use glycerin, which is used in making soap to begin with, and is available at many stores

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