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This is laundry soap? The dry powdered kind? Chances are this isn't soap but detergent. Soap comes from mixing lye and fat or oil. Detergents are chemicals that are designed not only to clean clothing but to dissolve in water quickly to make washing clothes easier.
Remove them from the mold after overnight, then put them in a cool dry place to cure. I use a cake rack on the top shelf of a closet so there's space for the air to circulate around the bars.Also, I like experimenting with different containers as molds. I've found a local store brand of yogurt, short with a wide mouth, makes an excellent mold. It holds about 4oz of soap and fits very well in my hand.
Apologies. I didn't get a notice that you had replied, and only by chance checked my account now. I don't know if it's too late for your project, but if you do a Google search on "water filter cotton sari" you'll find quite a few articles on the subject. I've also got some articles on making your own clay and sawdust water filters.
See my above reply to Nolene.Lambert. By melting the soap, mixing, and letting it cool, you're making a type of "French Milled Soap". DON'T set it in the fridge. Let it cool overnight on the counter or in a closet. After you take it out of the mold, let it air dry for a couple of weeks in a cool dark place. This is curing the soap, but not in the way soap you make with fat and lye have to cure. In that case, you're waiting for all the lye to react with all the fat and make soap. In this case, you're waiting for all the water that got added during the melting phase to evaporate out.You can get better results by using a double-boiler, or if you don't have one, put a smaller pot inside a larger pot. Fill the bottom pot with water, start heating, and make sure it doesn't boil dry. Put the soap pieces in the top pot with no more than a tablespoon or two of water. They don't need to be broken up but will melt faster if you do. Put the lid on the top part and wait, stirring the soap every once in a while. When all the soap is melted, turn off the heat and take off the lid to let the water evaporate out of the soap. After a few minutes, pour the soap into the molds and put in a cool dry space overnight to harden. Afterward, let it cure for a couple of weeks. You'll have homemade French Milled Soap, nice and hard that will last and last!
I'll bet that it crumbled because you tried to cut it as soon as you took it out of the mold. Instead, put it someplace cool and dry where air can circulate around it. I use the top shelf of a closet with soap on a cake rack. Leave it there for AT LEAST two weeks -- four is better. That gives the soap time to "cure" and become harder. Afterward, use your sharpest knife to cut, like a cleaver, or use something like an old electric guitar string to cut the soap. Because you let it cure and harden, it will last a lot longer.
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