Talk It Out Tuesday: Melt and Pour Soap

Welcome to Talk It Out Tuesday!! Today, we’re going to explore some frequently asked questions regarding melt and pour. Most of these questions are specific to the melt and pour bases that Bramble Berry carries, but some are universal. Check out these answers to the most common questions we get about melt and pour soap making. And, feel free to ask your questions below – we will get to them in a future Talk It Out Tuesday.

What’s the difference between your bulk 25 pound bases and the Bramble Berry Bases?

Melt and pour soap bases from Bramble Berry

Our Bramble Berry bases, often referred to as our “house” or “premium” bases, are our most natural melt and pour bases.  They come in many varieties with natural additives such as real goat milk, shea butter or honey. They have a rich lather, and are high in kosher vegetable glycerin. We sell these in 1, 10, and 50 pound quantities, and offer an additional 25 pound size called “premium bases” in white, clear and goat milk. These bases have a crafting point of around 125 for embeds.

The other soap bases we offer are referred to as our “Bulk” bases.  These bulk bases come in 25 pound blocks only, and are available in white, clear, and goat milk. The main differences between the bulk bases and the house bases are ingredients and cost; the bulk bases contain a synthetic lathering agent (sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS) to create a rich creamy lather, and are at a more economic price point than our house bases. This base has a crafting point of around 135 for embeds.

 Are the ingredients in your Bramble Berry melt and pour soap bases all natural?

“Natural” is not a term that is regulated by the FDA. People that sell bases with the same ingredients as our house base may claim they are all natural.

The standard ingredients in our house melt and pour bases are Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Safflower Oil, Glycerin (kosher, of vegetable origin), Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide (saponifying agent), Sorbitol (moisturizer), Sorbitan oleate (emulsifier), and Soy bean protein (conditioner). While the sorbian oleate is naturally derived, in staying true to the spirit of the word we don’t consider this ingredient all natural. However, it’s in the soap at less than 1% and our melt and pour bases are far more natural than most (detergent based) soap that you’ll buy in a grocery store.

If you’re wondering about the lye: lye is an ingredient in the base and while it is not present in the final soap (because of the saponification process), it is necessary to list it in the ingredients.

What is the shelf life of melt and pour soap?

We recommend using our soap bases within one year of purchase. The fresher the soap the better. However, the base will never go “bad”; they will never grow mold or go rancid. Over time they will start to lose moisture…over the years they will lose so much moisture that they may appear crumbly. Although the soap will not look as good, it will still be 100% safe to use. We’ve seen 5 year old melt and pour soap that looked great! If you do come across an old and crumbly soap base, try adding a little liquid glycerin at 10% – this should bring it back to life.

How should I store melt and pour? How do I wrap it after I make it?

You should always store and wrap your melt and pour in an air-tight container. I like to use plastic storage bins for storing the melt and pour, since they are available in a wide range of sizes and easily available at the store. For wrapping, I recommend plastic food wrap and a little bit of heat from a heat gun. You can check out this Soap Queen TV episode on melt and pour packaging here.

Can I add fixed oils and butters  to melt and pour soap?

Yes, you can add fixed oils or butters to the melt and pour base and many do. However, I don’t recommend adding much, if any. The bases are already made with luxurious oils and butters. The more you add to the base, the more the consistency will change. The lather will start to decrease or you could end up with a softer bar of soap. Because of this, I don’t usually add more than 1 teaspoon of extra oils per pound of soap base.

 Can I add wax to melt and pour to make it harder?

Beeswax makes cold process harder. It won’t work the same for Melt and Pour. Adding beeswax actually makes melt and pour softer. Eeps! I would put a fan over the melt and pour soap to harden it up or try the LCP base. It’s a little harder than the regular bases. And here’s an experiment that I did with beeswax and melt and pour back when this blog was brand new.You can see it didn’t work out very well.

How many cups of melt and pour are in a pound?

You can get just under 2 cups of melt and pour per pound. The exact break down is this: 1 cup white melt and pour = 8.7 ounces weight, 1 cup clear melt and pour = 8.5 ounces weight.

Are your melt and pour bases suspension bases?

While our melt and pour bases aren’t technically called suspension bases, that doesn’t mean that you can’t suspend additives in our bases! The key is pouring at a lower temperature, around 120 degrees F, to increase the viscosity of the soap. This combined with continual stirring as you pour will allow for great suspension in our melt and pour bases.

How do I layer melt and pour?

Layering melt and pour is a function of two things: temperature and timing. How long to wait, or ‘timing,’ is the key. The rule of thumb is this: the layer over which you are pouring should be firm but fresh. “Fresh” means poured the same hour, ideally within 10 minutes or so. Generally speaking the key is the temperature of the soap you are pouring over an existing layer. If it is too hot, it will melt the layer below. Visually speaking, the soap you are pouring will have a slight gelatinous look to it. It should be noticeably thicker. Finally, it is important to spray the existing layer of soap with rubbing alcohol just before pouring the next layer. Spray liberally; you really can’t use too much! Check out this Soap Queen TV episode all about layering melt and pour.

Check out the watermelon tutorial!

Are any of Bramble Berry’s products tested on animals?

Bramble Berry’s products are not tested on animals. You can find out more about Bramble Berry’s dedication to environmentally sound business methods on our Social Responsibility page here.

Fragrance oils are a combination of natural and synthetic ingredients. At one point or another in the last hundred years every single one of those ingredients has been tested on animals for safety. However, Bramble Berry does not currently use animal testing on any of our products. We love our pets just as much as you do.

Are you ready to get your melt and pour soapmaking groove on? Yeah! Here are some resources to get you started:

Find the entire line of Bramble Berry Melt and Pour Soap Bases here.

Find all of the Soap Queen blog recipes using Melt and Pour here.

Find the Soap Queen projects in an easy-to-follow PDF versions here and here or all the SoapyLove Melt and Pour E-Zines here.

 

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116 Comments

    • says

      It’s the point that you can put an embed soap in without having it melt – that way, the soap won’t set up (too cold) but isn’t so hot that it melts everything =)

  1. Christina Mondy says

    Oh wow, I never knew you could heat plastic wrap from the grocery store with a heat gun! That is so amazing and so simple and cheap.

    Here I’ve been trying to figure out what shrink wrap system to get and they start at $200+ for the sealer and all the bags/film etc. I have a heat gun and now I can buy a giant costco size thing of plastic wrap and save so much money and time.

    Thank you so much for sharing Anne-Marie, you and your Brambleberry team are the greatest! :)

    Cheers,
    Christina

    • Anne-Marie says

      Isn’t that awesome?! Saves so much money AND you can sniff through the plastic wrap (as opposed to most shrink wrap systems). It is such a great trick =)

  2. Mary says

    I love your blogs and tutorials but the link is missing from the “here” above for your M & P recipes :(

  3. says

    This blog stresses about SLS being a synthetic ingredients for bubbling- ” the bulk bases contain a synthetic lathering agent (sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS) to create a rich creamy lather”. Tom of Maine website states thatSodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a foaming agent naturally derived from coconut and/or palm kernel oil.-http://www.tomsofmaine.com/research/ingredients/ingredient-detail/sodium-lauryl-sulfate
    I feel that this blog forgot to mention one of the non natural ingredients, Triethanolamine. Triethanolamine is a strongly alkaline substance used as surfactant and pH adjusting chemical – http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient.php?ingred06=706639. Wouldn’t it be better to talk about no natural ingredient rather naturally derived ingredients to better explain the base?

    Thanks

    • says

      “Natural” is such an confusing term. Since the FDA doesn’t regulate it at all, you could technically say anything was natural and not be breaking any laws.

      Interestingly enough, Triethanolamine is a considered a natural ingredient. Triethanolamine is produced from the reaction of ethylene oxide with ammonia.

      Some may consider SLS to be naturally derived. I’m not one of those people. I don’t believe SLS is harmful but I also don’t consider it a natural ingredient.

      However, since the term ‘natural’ is so widely discussed and is an intensely personal perspective, I am happy to take a step back to consider any perspectives on SLS. =)

      • says

        Thank you, Anne-Marie for taking times to answer my questions. I would say that I am more confused than what you can see. I have read several sites and reading materials and as you have stated, there are many different opinions regarding what is truly a “NATURAL”. Some considered Triethanolamine as non natural addtives while others considered SLS as non natural additives. However what I do know is that I will be buying your premium bases from now on instead of bulk base. :) and I believe that I should give a try to to LCP. Thanks again! Soyoung

      • J says

        Hi, Im still a little confused about the FDA regulations for labeling soap. I understand you cant make any claims as to what the soap does, even though certain oils are known for having certain properties. But the oils that have actually been studied and have FACTUAL properties (anti-aging, moisturizing etc), can soaps containing those be labeled “Anti-Aging” or whatever effect it has on your skin? If there is factual evidence that an oil is moisturizing, wouldnt it be ok to say your soap is moisturizing, or contains moisturizing ingredients?

        • Anne-Marie says

          Technically, to fall within the letter of the law, no, you still could not make any claims.

          Do people make claims frequently? Or skirt the law and say “Shea Butter Soap – Shea is reported to assist with moisturizing and angi-aging”? Yes, you’ll frequently see claims like that.

          Technically, to really be 100% consistent with what the current law is, you would want to shy away from that.

          A good example of this in action is walnuts – walnuts have been proven to be heart healthy and all kinds of good for you. But this company tried to put that on the label, and the FDA warned them about making claims (warning letter here): http://www.fda.gov/iceci/enforcementactions/warningletters/ucm202825.htm

  4. anna says

    You people are soooo fantastic! You can even read my vibes to answer THE big questions of the day too? I think your company should have some kind of National Customer Service Award!!! I have a $500.00 order sitting in the basket and it includes 100# of M&P base. I actually was wondering all of the above!!! The only question you did not answer was the one I have about SHIPPING. If I already have a large order would I save by NOT using the flat rate OR NOT??? It sure would be nice if there was a shipping calculater right there that would tell me how much my shipping total is going to be on this order. I live in Central Michigan. (the lower part)

    • says

      Anything over about 250-300 pounds is usually cheaper to do Fed Ex Freight – versus flat rate – but we can help you out to double check rates if you email us (info at bramble berry dot com) or call us 1-87-SOAP-STUFF.

      Thank you for your order – that is SO awesome! =)

      • anna says

        You’re right! But would you believe it was only $7.05 less than flat rate. Thank you so much Anne-Marie! I’m so impressed with your company and I’m so glad you didn’t go work for the FBI. I’m all the way across the US from you and still couldn’t beat your price, quality, and may I rave again about your CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!

        • says

          Aw thanks!

          Only $7.05 cheaper than the post office? Wow! I’m betting with the post office losing so much money that their bulk rates will be rising sooner rather than later.

          Thank you for being a customer. I really appreciate your support. =)

  5. says

    Thank you for such interesting and helpful information.

    An aside your social responsibility page link goes to 404 page not found.

  6. says

    I’ve actually used a bit of beeswax in MP salt bars, and they turned out wonderfully :)

    1 lb. base, 1/4c sea salt, 1/2 tbsp. of epsom or kosher or table salt, 1 tbsp. of fragrance oil, and 1/2 tbsp. of beeswax

    • Anne-Marie says

      Just made that to test and so far, so good – it’s not soft. I wonder if the salt somehow counteracts the beeswax? I can’t wait to test it out in the shower =)

      • Anne-Marie says

        I showered with it – very interesting – absolutely zero lather. Are you pre-mixing the salt with water? Mine was a bit chunky (painful) in the shower but in hindsight, I’m thinking you pre-mixed yours?

  7. says

    has anyone ever tried /experiemented with products like hydrovance or other non glycerin emollients in a Melt and pour?

    There are some things I’d like to try that work very well in my liquid glycerin soap. I’ve also noticed some of the newer hair products , Giovanni’s 50-50
    shampoo is exactly that…half shampoo and half conditioner. I can’t help but wonder if adding melted pastilles to MP soap or ingredients typically reserved for liquid soaps would work in small amounts in Melt and pour so that once one rinses a soft feel to the skin would be the out come without compromise to the soap. I know that if I over do it I can add extra lather to fix it. But I’m one of those ‘out of the box thinkers’ and believe we’ve yet to see the best of what MP can do.

    • Anne-Marie says

      I have not tried it but I love the way you think! How interesting. You could definitely try that idea – it’s just soap, after all =)

  8. Dina says

    I had a question on your melt and pour timing since I am new. You say within 10 minutes? Is that within 10 minutes of pouring the first layer to then pour a 2nd layer? Or is that 50 minutes (as in 10 minutes from 1 hour).

    I’m new, not making anything fancy, just layering some soaps to make a striped bar with melt and pour. I love reading your posts and ideas, they are super helpful!

    • says

      Yes, pour the first layer and let it cool, which should take about 10-15 minutes. As soon as it’s hard enough to support another layer, spritz with alcohol and pour the second layer (making sure that it has cooled to 130 degrees).

      I hope that helps and good luck with your layers.

      Courtney from Bramble Berry

  9. says

    I’m so glad to have found this site. I have formulated a technique of using both cp and mp and thankfully have a friend who is an atty and the concept is notarized as mine blah blah. I LOVE MP. I LOVE handmilled bars, cp bars and liquid…..all of it. To have a place to muse out loud without annoying anyone is so refreshing. I got the idea from using some simple conditioning pastilles added to a small bath of soap. It did leave the skin feeling nice. But nice is never enough for me…I want ‘SUPER AND GENIUS’ LOL….and that wont happen I assure you. But I do believe we’ve yet to see the best of MP and I thank you Anne Marie for a board where people are inspired and where no question is a bad question. I’ll post on my experiments. It seems I entered the wrong number of one type of soap so I do have enough to play with. I’ve gone thru my ‘brown ‘ period in color and now am slowing using others, mostly dabs of micas. I also appreciate that we arent attacked because we do choose to use MP. Some people want glycerin soap. Why deny them? I look forward to all of your teaching . I wonder if you knew just how many people you’ve inspired to reach higher and further than they would have had you not been available and constantly teaching.

  10. says

    Yay – I’m so glad to make your acquaintance. I’m obsessed with soap so totally ‘get’ your addiction too. =) It’s nice to have friends to talk about it with, isn’t it?

    As for colors, you’re in a brown phase. I’m in a gray phase. Grays and yellows are making me really happy lately. =)

    Thanks for letting me know how much you like the blog. I really appreciate the support.

  11. Ines says

    Hi, I have one problem. When I make soaps , in general, after I use they they start getting lumpy/bubbly on top… Why is that? Is it maybe because I don’t spray alcohol? And if I do have to spray alcohol, Is it 60 degrees or what?
    thank you xo

        • says

          Here are a few tips that can help prevent glycerin dew (or sweating):

          *Make yourself a drying container. Get an airtight container and put silica beads (silica comes in vitamins, or new shoes) into the airtight container. Then, place your soap in the container for up to 2 hours, checking on the soap every 30 minutes. This will keep your soap drier on the outside. Don’t leave the soap in the drying container too long however, or else you will find yourself with a shrunken, unattractive bar of soap because all the moisture will be sucked out of it!

          * Buy a dehumidifier and use it in your soaping room. Ideally, the soaping room should be as airtight as possible for this option to work. While it is a fairly expensive way to go, it does work and it gives you the freedom to make larger batches of soap without fear of glycerin dew.

          *Run a fan over the soap continually after the soap is popped out of the molds. This may not work in some more humid environments but it works in some less extreme cases so try it with some smaller batches before you go crazy with this way of dealing with soap sweat.

          *Make sure you do not put your soap in the freezer or refrigerator after making it. Let it harden in a normal, room temperature.

          You can also try our LCP bases, it has less glycerin in the recipe and it is less likely to sweat!
          http://www.brambleberry.com/LCP-White-Melt-And-Pour-Soap-P3190.aspx
          http://www.brambleberry.com/LCP-Clear-Melt-And-Pour-Soap-P4383.aspx
          -Becky with Bramble Berry

        • says

          Spraying alcohol won’t help with the “sweating” but wrapping the soap right away will. Spraying with rubbing alcohol gets rid of those pesky air bubbles when you pour your soap.

          Courtney with Bramble Berry

  12. Shirley says

    I so appreciate you and all the help you give us newbies…
    I have trouble trying to do the mp swirl. How long do I wait between colors and doing the swirl with my spoon? ? ?

    Thanks for all your good advice. I love this talk it out Tuesday. I just found it when I got my order today . Its great!

  13. andrea says

    hi,
    I have been making melt and pour soaps with your bases for a few months now, and I noticed that while the freshly made soaps lather right up, when I open a package of soap I made several months back and wash with it, it doesn’t want to absorb water…its almost as if it has a water repellant layer on the outside. Once I scrape a bit off it works better but I was wondering if there is anything I can add to the base to keep it from doing this? I have been selling my soaps locally and am concerned that someone might get an old bar and decide my soaps are not any good! Am I doing something wrong? Each soap is individually packaged in a plastic bag and tied off at the top so I am surprised they can evaporate through the bag that much. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi Andrea!

      From your description, it sounds like your soaps are drying out a little faster then you expected them to. You can avoid this by individually shrink-wrapping your soaps to prevent the evaporation in your soaps.

      An easy and affordable way to do this is to get some plastic wrap from your local grocery store and apply a little heat with a heat-gun. Anne-Marie actually did an excellent video tutorial on this if you want to check it out.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD4bJgtaHMg

      I hope this helps!

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  14. Kim says

    Anne-Marie,

    I need to know.. do you plan on carrying your products on a Canadian Site? Somewhere in Canada?? It should definitely be an option to look into because I can tell you right now, I’d be your number one customer and once more people know of your products, it’ll be a big hit!! Or do you have products already through another Canadian site?? I love ALL of your stuff. Heck, I’d even work at the company in Canada that would carry your stuff! lol I love the choices, the micas, the glitters, the toys, your soap bases (although I haven’t bought them because I’m worried about Customs) but I wanted to spend so much. I’ll definitely be buying your toys and what I can’t find, but I would have loved to make your company my only buying place. But I don’t want to have to charge others because I have to pay customs and shipping.

    I love your site, I love your youtube videos, I love everything about what you have to offer. I WANT to buy your M&P base… maybe you’ll have some good news for me and already be a step ahead with a site that carries your products for Canadians? :) Thank you so much for all your guidance and tricks.

    • says

      Hi Kim!

      We do have a gal in Canada who sells some of our products, mostly fragrance oils, but she does have a great selection of other items.
      http://soapcraft.ca/

      Right now, we do not have anyone in Canada that sells our M&P bases, but we are always looking.
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  15. Celeste Bankes says

    I have never made soap before, and I am excited to get started. I bought a rebatch soap kit from Bramble Berry, and it came with directions but I am clueless. I also bought some olive oil pomace and essential oils. So my question is how and when do I add the olive oil pomace? As far s the directions go, it seems easy enough but Im still a bit confused. Thanks! :)

    • says

      Hi Celeste!

      Welcome to the Soaping World! You are going to love how rebatch soap turns out, it has a very rustic-chic look to it, and it is one of my favorite kinds of soaping (visually).

      If you have never rebatched soap before, we have a great video that can get you started and answer a lot of your questions.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YcCV0AWutw

      When adding fragrances (or colorants and oils), you add it in after the rebatch has melted and reached a mashed potato consistency. Then you mix, mix, mix it all in!
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  16. Nichelle says

    when can you begin using your soap? Is there a cure time after your MP has hardened?

    • says

      There is no cure time for melt and pour soap (oh the beauty of instant gratification). As soon as the soap has hardened and you can get it out of the mold it’s ready to use (sell or give away)!

      Courtney with Bramble Berry

    • says

      91% Ispropryl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol) is going to be the best way to layer and burst those air bubbles in your soaps. It actually evaporates so the smell is no longer there when you are ready to use your fabulous bar of soap! =)
      ~Becky with Bramble Berry

  17. Joan Thomas says

    Hi, I am new to soaping, I wanted to know what are the specific ingredient am I suppose to put on my label of melt and pour soaps. help please. Thanks in advance.

    • Anne-Marie says

      That’s a great question.

      True soap (which is made by combining fats and lye) has a soap exemption so you do not need to list ingredients. Not all melt and pour soap falls under this category. Some melt and pour bases are not ‘true soaps’ as defined by the FDA. All of the BrambleBerry.com bases (as of July 20, 2012) fall under this soap exemption.

      That said, labeling ingredients on your soap is always a good idea so customers have a good understanding of what they are buying.

      All of Brambleberry.com bases have ingredient listings provided for us by our soap base manufacturer on each individual item description.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions. Welcome to a super fun craft!

  18. Teri Wilmarth says

    Can I use any of the M&P bases to make shaving soap? Is it simply the addition of clay and vitamin E, or do I need to use the specific M&P shaving soap?

    • says

      Hi Teri!

      You could use any of the bases as a shaving soap, but we have found the M&P Shaving Base to be the best in terms of make a specific shaving soap. But, if you wanted to add clays and a small amount of Vitamin E to another M&P base, that would also make a great shaving soap. It all really depends on what you want to make and how you want it to lather. :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  19. Hanna says

    Hello Anne-Marie:

    I love soaping with melt and pour and I think I am addicted to your videos. However, I have very sensitive skin, my skin tends to dry out and I wanted to know if there is anything I can add to your premium clear and white base to make it even more moisturizing? I’ve tried so many different melt and pour bases from different companies, yours is by far the best! I would love to make my own soap from melt and pour that would be really really moisturizing. Can I add some more glycerin or sorbitol, or oils, or something else and how much?

    Thank you in advance!
    Hanna.

  20. Hanna says

    Becky,

    Thank you so much for your quick response. I can’t wait to try your suggestions.

    Much appreciated,
    Hanna.

  21. kim says

    Hi, I’m new to melt and pour and I can’t get my soap embeds from melting when I put them in my mold. It’s driving me nuts!!! At what tempdo you suggest the soap be before I embed?

  22. Denise says

    Hello, I’m new to all of this haha my problem is my soaps are gone after one or two uses what is best to make them harder, to better explain lol I made my son cupcake size and he took a 20 min bath and it disappeared after calming him down we decided to ask you he says he knows you can help haha thank you

    • Anne-Marie says

      Is it melt and pour soap? If so, did you have any additives in it?

      If you put soap into the bathtub and allow it to submerged, the water does absorb into the melt and pour soap. It’s important to keep melt and pour soap dry since it is softer than a lot of store-bought soaps.

      You can use the Like Cold Process (low sweat) melt and pour. It lasts longer: http://www.brambleberry.com/Bramble-Berry-Bases-C11.aspx Or you can make the soap and let it sit under a fan for 3-4 days to help it ‘cure’ and harden up some before using. That will also help expand the life of the soap.

  23. Mel says

    I am attempting to source SLS-free ingredients for a solid bath bar. Would M&P work with baking soda and then perhaps some glucoside to combat any potential effect of the M&P lathering?

    • says

      Good morning, Mel!

      That sounds like a super intriguing project, could you tell us more about your solid bath bars? We’ve never tried it, but if you do end up trying it, I’d do it in small test batch to make sure the consistency works for you! :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  24. aami k says

    i make decorative melt and pour soaps and was wondering for labels… would i basically just use the brambleberry ingredient list for the m&p bulk base, then add on coloring and fragrance..because thats all im adding to the soap..i want to sell them but want to make sure theyre labeled properly

    • says

      Good morning, Aami!

      That is a great question. With current FDA standards, you don’t actually have to label your soap, but we highly suggest you do because most of your customers like to know what is in your soap.

      When you list the ingredients, you list them by amount of what is in your product. So, in this case, it would be the melt and pour base, the colorants and the fragrance and would look something like this:

      Example for Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour Base with Holiday Candy Fragrance Oil and Coral Mica:

      Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Safflower Oil, Glycerin, Goat’s Milk, Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Sorbitol, Sorbitan oleate, Soy bean protein , Titanium Dioxide, Fragrance, Mica, FD&C Red 40 Lake, Hydrogenated Polysobutene, Palmitic Acid.

      I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. :)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      P.S. If you want to refer to how cold process soaps (similar to M&P) are labeled, here is a quick reference guide:

      How to Label Cold Process Soap: http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/how-to-label-cold-process-soap/

  25. Wansada says

    Hi,

    I was wondering after I am making melt&pour soap how long should I will be able to warping and selling the product.

    by the way, I would like to know after I wrap my soaps and how long Should be in stock.

    Thank you very much!

    • says

      Good morning, Wansada!

      We are so excited that you are making soap, it is just so much fun. :) When you are making M&P soap, we suggest waiting until it has hardened (about 4-6 hours) and then wrapping it up fully with plastic or shrink wrap so that your soap doesn’t sweat. As soon as your soap has hardened and been packaged, you can sell it (that’s the beauty of M&P soap, it’s so easy). If you start looking into cold process, you will have a cure time of 4-6 weeks. You can keep your M&P soaps in stock as long as you feel comfortable, but we have found that about after a year they do start losing a bit of moisture and can get a little dry or crumbly. I hope this helps!

      Happy Soaping!
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      • wansada says

        Thank you very much for quick respond!
        I have another question about clay I would like to know if I would like to put in Melt and pour soap if possible because I read : they are just stable in CP. it’s correct?

        Thank you again

  26. MONICA says

    TRYING TO MAKE EMBEDDED SOAP, A MAPLE LEAF, THEN IN A ROUND SOAP MOLD. TRYED IT A FEW DIFFERENT WAYS, AND IT TAKES DETAIL OUT OF MAPLE LEAF? TEMP WAS LOW TOO. IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN ADD TO THE CLEAR GLYCERIN MELT AND POUR SOAP LEAF SO THE DETAIL DOES NOT COME OUT? THANKS

  27. Art says

    Can you mix different types of melt and pour soap? Like the shea butter and goat’s milk, etc.

    Thanks!

  28. Monica says

    Can I add anything to melt and pour soap (clear glycerin) to make it lather better and creamier consistancy? thanks

    • says

      Hi Sam!

      Thanks for the great question. That is sort of the nature of soap at the end of it’s life. But the best way to keep it less “slimy” is to make sure it isn’t sitting in standing water. This will help it to feel a little less slimy.

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      P.S. We’ve found that a draining soap dish can also be super helpful to keep the soap from getting too slimy.

    • says

      Hi Sam!

      At the end of their lives, M&P soaps can get a little mushy (or soft) if left in standing water. If you want your M&P soap bars to stay super hard to the end of it’s soap ‘life’. Typically, we don’t add anything to our M&P bases because it can change the consistency and lather of the final product. But, if you want you can add in a little bit of Stearic Acid to try and harden it up. We don’t suggest going over more than 1 tablespoon per pound of M&P base. I’d also suggest trying out a small test batch first to make sure you like how it works. To use it, you will need to melt the Stearic Acid and add it to your soap base that is around 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

      Stearic Acid: http://www.brambleberry.com/Stearic-Acid-oz-P4210.aspx

      There really isn’t anything you can do to make melt and pour soaps super hard, and in your case, a soap dish (draining) is really going to be the best to help your soap from getting too mushy.

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  29. Art says

    This relates to my earlier question. Is there any disadvantage to replacing white mp soap with shea and/or goat milk mp soap for all your recipes (as long as they are the same brand)?

    Second question, could I melt, say, one pound of goat’s milk and one pound of shea butter and mold it and keep it for future use? This way I don’t have to cut a little bit of both soaps each time I’m working on a recipe.

    Thanks.

  30. Rachael says

    Can I add a form of silica to my melt and pour base to give it suspension?
    I would really like to have a natural or organic base with suspension.

    • says

      Good morning, Rachael!

      While our M&P bases aren’t technically a suspension base, it doesn’t mean you can’t suspend additives in our bases. The best way to do that is pouring at a lower temperature (about 120F) to increase to viscosity of your soap base. This, in addition to continually stirring your soap will let it suspend.

      We don’t typically suggest adding other oils or ingredients (other than extracts, colorant and fragrance) to the melt and pour bases because it can change the lather and consistency of your final soap. But, if you want to try it out, I’d suggest making a super small batch an adding 1 tablespoon of silica (make sure it is skin-safe) per pound of M&P base.

      I hope this helps! =)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  31. Melissa says

    My question is on the white melt & pour base what would be suggested on adding shea butter to it so you could make your own shea soap & save a little. Would it be the 5% thats in shea???

  32. Nik Fauzi says

    Hi
    I love your tips and info. In my country , its difficult to get the MP base with shea butter, goat milk etc. We only have the plain MP soap base. If i want to add additives, how much and how many types of additives can I add into one batch?
    Example – can i add shea butter, olive oil and goat milk together and at what percentage?
    Thanks

  33. says

    Hi Becky
    Messaging from the UK.
    We recently bought melt and pour soap base which advertised itself as SLS free but the ingredient list with it says: Ingredients:

    Aqua, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Sodium Sterate, Sodium Laurate, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Sodium Chloride, Stearic Acid, Lauric Acid, Titanium Dioxide,Pentasodium Pentetate, Tetrasodium Etidronate.

    I have been looking online but isnt Sodium Laureth Sulphate SLS? I know there is Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. I am kind of confused.

    Hope to hear from you!
    Lesley
    Bath Bomb Creations, UK

  34. Diana says

    Hi,

    Can I put my melt and pour soap in a cello bag without wrapping it in plastic wrap? Would not wrapping it in plastic dry it out? The shape of this soap is odd and it does not present well with the plastic wrap. Looks great in a cello bag with ribbon.

    Thanks,
    Diana

    • says

      Good morning, Diana!

      You can package our soap in a cello bag, but over time, the soap can make little ‘skid marks’ on the bag. It really depends on how long you need it to be in the wrap.

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  35. says

    I love your soap bases. I am new to soapmaking and since I don’t own my own home I don’t feel safe using lye so melt and pour will have to do for now. I am having so much fun making soap. I ordered about $400 of stuff to start off with. Does anyone have any advice about selling in a farmer’s market where people generally go to get good deals. How do I make people see that glycerin soap is healthier than the store bought soap. Any advice would be appreciated. I am making a lovely poster showing the benefits of glycerin soap.

  36. Hope Gonzales says

    Hello! I have yet to purchase any melt and pour soap, but I was curious about something for when I do purchase some…I would love to add an exfoliant to my bars, maybe some jojoba bead or walnut shells or something similar. What is the best way to add these items to melt and pour? Thanks!

  37. Calie says

    I have a quick Q On Melt n Pour soap – I have read that to make a coffee and cream soap from the melt and pour you can add “a tablespoon of cream to every pound of soap”. I understand that if you use cream during CP or HP soap it preserves itself through those processes but what about MP base? I am a little nervous about adding cream because I would think it would go bad with out a preservative? If I do need a preservative what do I use? Also I would like to add infused oil and maybe some butter to the goats milk soap what % formula can I use? Thanks so much!
    Calie

    • says

      Good morning, Calie!

      Thanks for stopping by with the question. While you can typically get away with adding a small amount of additional skin-loving oils or butters to your MP, perishable liquids like cream or juice are not recommended. Using oils and butters in your M&P soap will simply change change the consistency and lather of the soap, but perishable liquids will actually go rancid and you wouldn’t want that to happen to your soap!

      There are a variety of different MP bases with unique and special ingredients already included in them if you want to try one of those out or for total control over every single ingredient in your soap (and more flexibility in using creams and juices), try CP.

      If you are wanting a M&P that is super soft on the skin,I would suggest using the Goat’s Milk M&P, it’s one of my favorites!

      Goat’s Milk M&P: http://www.brambleberry.com/Goat-Milk-Melt-And-Pour-P3184.aspx

      If you are wanting to add things like milk to your soaps, I’d would suggest sticking with CP. If you are going to add an additional oil to your M&P, we don’t suggest going any higher than 1 teaspoon per pound of base. I hope this helps!

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

      P.S. Here is a great book on milk soaps if you are interested:

      E-Book: Making Milk Soap from Scratch: http://www.brambleberry.com/E-Book-Making-Milk-Soap-from-Scratch-P5257.aspx

  38. Nik Fauzi says

    Hi
    I did a MP soap by adding 5% goat milk powder to the soap base. After a few weeks the soap turn from white to pastel brown.
    1. Why does it turned brown? was it because of the temperature of the soap base when i added the milk powder was too high?
    2. is the soap still in good condition?

    thanks
    Nik

    • says

      Hi Nik!

      There is a good chance that your soap might have actually turned rancid (and you wouldn’t want to use it) because of the goat milk powder. We’ve never found a successful way to add any milk powders to our M&P bases.

      If you are looking for a milk M&P base, I’d try out our Goat’s Milk base that is super creamy and one of my favorites. You can find it here:

      Goat Milk Melt And Pour: http://www.brambleberry.com/Goat-Milk-Melt-And-Pour-P3184.aspx

      I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  39. Erin says

    I am doing my first craft show. How far in advance could I store my soap, if I wrap it and store it in an air tight container?

    • says

      Good morning, Erin!

      You can make your M&P soaps anytime before your craft show, but the longer you have them sitting, the drier they will get. Typically, we suggest making sure they are ready to go within a month of your event. Make sure they are kept in a dry and cool area and are wrapped in airtight packaging. I hope this helps. =)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  40. Tess says

    I want to add Himalayan salt to M&P. Is there a ratio formula I should use between the base and salt? Also, should the salt be stirred into the M&P, or fill the mold and then pour the M&P over the salt and treat as an embed? Thanks for your help!

  41. Lisa says

    I know you have answered this question in a variety of ways, but could you be a little more specific for me :)
    After the M&P has hardened and you “unmold”, should you let it air dry a bit before shrink wrapping it, or do it immediately?
    Thanks. Love the video tutorials, the website and the products.

    • says

      Good morning, Lisa!

      Once your melt & pour soap has hardened completely, you are going to want to wrap it as soon as possible so that you can prevent your soap from sweating. I hope this helps! =)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  42. Christina says

    I was just wondering if a M&P base free of Sorbital or sorbitan oleate even exists? I understand that, for probably the majority of formulas it has to be there for good reasons, but is M&P soap possible without it? I am concerned about using products which contain it since there have been several studies (with rats) in which in-vitro testing yielded mutagenic results (i.e cancer)…any thoughts on matter would be greatly appreciated :-)

  43. Karen says

    I keep hearing using rubbing alcohol, would something like vodka work as well. would any food grade alcohol work

    • says

      Hi Karen!
      Are you referring to spraying alcohol on the top and between layers? We have not tried using vodka before, so I can’t say for sure. We have lots of experience spraying isopropyl alcohol on top and between layers of our soap and have had great success! I would recommend using isopropyl. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

      You may want to head over to the Teach Soap Forum and see if anybody there has tried that before.

      http://www.teachsoap.com/forum/

      Hope this helps!

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  44. Erin says

    What should I tell my customers about the sweating or dew? Should I warn them? How should I word it. And how should I tell them to store the soaps after they are purchased for the best results? Should they leave them in the plastic wrap or take them out and display them on the the. Counter with out them being wrapped. Is there any advice I can give them about the dew or how to fix it/prevent it once they have received the soap in the mail.. I made some melt and pour soaps up and wrapped them right away and I then placed them in zip lock gallon size bags and looked today and they are all sweaty.. I don’t want to make soaps then mail them out to the customers and have them open the package and see sweaty gooey soaps..

    • says

      Hi Erin!

      Good question. I would tell your customers to help keep their soap fresher longer, keep the soap wrapped in the plastic wrap until they are ready to use it. If they really prefer to display it on their counter outside of the wrap, at that point bring up the sweating or dew. I would emphasize that the sweating is a natural process, and a sign of all the skin loving ingredients in the soap!

      Do you live in a particularly hot or humid place? Normally we recommend wrapping up your soap in plastic wrap, and store it in a dark, cool place so I’m a little surprised to hear you had that much sweating. Did you add anything extra to the base? I would love to help you with this problem!

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  45. Shawna Rogers says

    Hi I am wondering how many bars can you get out of a 25 pound container of melt and pour and does the melt and pour come with instructions on temps and layering? I am new to soap making so just thought I would check in!

  46. says

    Hi Shawna!

    Welcome to the world of soaping! :). How many bars of soap will depend on the mold you are using. But regardless…it makes quite a lot of soap! You can see an example of how the 25 pounds of soap and how to cut it down in this blog post.

    The Soap Monster: http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/tips-and-tricks/the-soap-monster/

    The soap does not come with instructions on layering or temperatures, but we have a huge amount of tutorials, tips and tricks on this blog!

    Melt and Pour Soap:
    http://www.soapqueen.com/category/bath-and-body-tutorials/melt-and-pour-soap/

    You might also enjoy our Melt and Pour video series!

    The Basics of Melt and Pour Soapmaking: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL05E2F1EF0838281A

    I hope this gives you some inspiration! I would also recommend checking out our Facebook page, it’s a huge community of soapmakers who are always sharing their latest creations. It’s a great source for ideas :)

    https://www.facebook.com/BrambleBerry

    Happy Soaping!

    -Amanda with Bramble Berry

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