If you’ve recently purchased a bar of my soap, you might be wondering what that red code is on the bottom right of the front panel on the label. Previously, it included only the style number which I figured might be useful one day. I opted not to include the date stamp on previous batches, because not a lot of people are familiar with the curing process and the benefit that time has on a bar of soap. I wanted to leave that to the soapers and retailers who stock their shelves with my soap.

BUT one day when I was making homebrew beer, I happened upon the methodology for batch coding Guinness beer and thought it was brilliant. So, I made a formula to reconcile specific batches with formulations, without giving away the date too easily. BUT, if you’ve come this far, you’ll already know that the date is not always an indicator of “Best By” or that freshest is best. Often, several months of curing can lend itself to making a bar of soap harder and quicker to lather, ultimately helping the bather to use less and soap last longer. HOWEVER, much of the herbal benefits and essential oils will fade over time, so one can’t wait too long. I think the sweet spot for most of my formulations is 1-6 months. Of course, you don’t need to know this for any specific reason unless years from now you find a bar of soap stashed in your sock drawer and knowing the date might help you know who gave it to you and you can have warm, fuzzy feels.

Here’s how to decode that label:

Logic: All letters and numbers are swapped for their counterpart. First letter of month, last two of the year. Since there are more numbers to any given month than the alphabet, the exceptions include A=1 to 5, and Z=30 to 31.
Order: Day Month Year
Date: 16-May-17
Code: L17M
THEN: Add the exact product number to it.
Thus, a Super Simple Soap (#001) bar made on May 16th, 2017 will have a batch code of L17M001

Have fun learning more about the journey of your bar of soap!