Often, new soapmakers will be dissatisfied with their melt and pour base – believing it to be too soft or not as long lasting as commercial (detergent based) bars of soap. Adding additional waxes makes intuitive sense. After all, waxes are hard! You would think that extra waxes in your melt and pour soap would make your soap extra hard. This is not the case.
In the photo above, you can see that the beeswax does not want to mix in easily. In fact, the wax is pooling at the tops of my little experimental bars.
Once the bar is popped out, it’s a matted, dull color. It is not shiny and appears to be pitted.
I made this mess with a gentle press of my finger. Ick! The beeswax not only softened my soap but it also made it dull looking with pock marks. To add insult to injury, the soap lathers badly – perhaps because beeswax is not a natural lathering agent.
The moral of this story? Beeswax is not an effective hardening agent in soap. A better solution is to pop your soap out of the molds and leave them under a fan for a few days to help wick off excess moisture and speed the drying-out process of the soap. This will produce a much harder bar than adding beeswax.