When I started making soap, I (like many soap makers) made rectangle bars of soap and then explored different cavity molds. Tall bars, fat bars, moons, flowers, elephants, dragonflies, you name it, I explored it. And, while I still love the different shapes, sizes, and designs from various molds and stamps, I found the perfect shape and size in what is now the Alō Signature half-round soap.
The Perfect Shape for Bar Soap.
A Bar of Soap You Can Hang On To.
The biggest problem I found with using bar soaps was holding on to them when wet. Whether lathering up at the sink or in the shower, chunky rectangle bars of soap were too large for my hands (and I don’t have small dainty hands). Being soap, they are slippery when wet and took too much concentration to hang onto. It was not an experience to nourish the mind or spirit. It was rather frustrating. Skinny bars of soap were a bit better, but still so slippery with not much to hang onto. Round bars were the biggest slip offenders… but I had an inspiration when I grabbed one by the side.
When I made my first bar of half-round soap, I was determined to find a shape that would fit the human hands of all sizes. I tried different widths, diameters, and lengths. The 3-inch half round was the winner as the perfect size for human hands!
Our half-round bars are designed to fit the curve of your hand while you lather with the flat side. They are easy to grab, and since they nest in your palm, are far less likely to slip while using them. So, go ahead, take a shower with a half-round, you won’t be picking that bar up off the shower floor.
A Quick Drying Bar That Doesn’t “Melt” (or stick) on a Soap Dish.
Next on the list for my perfectly shaped bar of soap was the soap dish test. Soap needs to rest on a soap dish that will allow the bar to fully dry, without sitting in a puddle of water. However, most soaps stick to most soap dishes. The trick to keeping your soap from sticking (and to ensure it will dry quickly, thus last much longer) is to minimize the surface area of the bar that touches the soap dish. Half-rounds are perfect for this!
Put the curved side down on your soap dish. Your bar of soap will be smiling at you as just the tip of the curve touches the dish. This prevents the soap from gluing itself to the soap dish and allows the water to wick away from the soap, which helps your soap last longer.
The Perfect Size for Bar Soap
Once I found my perfect shape, I tried a few minor alterations to the bar to make sure it was the right size (in weight). Some soap makers create large 5- or 8-ounce bars of soap. In all our tests, the larger the bar, the more quickly it was used up (per ounce). For example, two 4-ounce bars of soap will last longer than one 8-ounce bar. Why? Because the larger bar is exposing more soap to water over time.
With the 4-ounce bar we found that the soap was large enough to be usable, small enough to fit on an average soap dish, and with our half-round shape, was extremely long-lasting (with the curved side down to the soap dish).
So, there you have it, the story and reasoning behind our half-round signature soaps. Order the Alō Signature Soapbox to get one of each of our body soaps, and a wooden soap deck. You can put them to the test in your kitchen, bathroom sink, shower, and even by the hose outside for those who garden. We’re sure you’ll love each one!
How Come Artisan Soaps Are Not Half-Rounds?
You got me, we do make soaps that aren’t half-rounds (even though they are the perfect shape and size for a usable bar of soap). You’ll find rectangles, flowers, tall and skinny bars, dragonflies, and more in our artisan soap collection. While the half-round bar of soap is perfect for the shower, it does limit the soap design. Each of soap in the artisan collection has a story and meditation to it. The shape and size of these bars reflect that meditation. You’ll find the most joy from these soaps when used at the sink or in the bath vs. a slippery shower.