Monday, October 31, 2011

Melt and Pour Soap

I have often been asked the difference between cold process soap and melt and pour soap. Melt and pour soap is often called glycerin soap. I like to use the analogy of a cake. Scratch cake versus a boxed cake mix. Both are delicious, but, most people prefer a scratch cake. Cold process soap is essentially made from scratch, with the butters and oils of your choosing. Melt and pour soap is premade soap base. You melt it and add the fragrance and color of your choice, pour it into a mold and you are done. Once the soap hardens it is immediatley ready to use. Cold process soap has to go through a curing process, at least 4-6 weeks, preferably longer.
Melt and pour soap base is available in many different varities. Plain, honey, oatmeal, shea butter, clear, extra cleansing, olive oil, to name a few. Each is simply a plain soap base with additives.
The beauty of melt and pour soap is the endless creativity as far as shape, size, color, fragrance, etc. If you are making a project and the soap hardens, simply remelt and continue on. There IS a limit to the number of times you can remelt. Each time you melt, moisture is lost from the mixture. Glycerin soap naturally draws moisture to itself and if the moisture balance in the soap base is disrupted from repeat melting ( or heating too hot), it is more prone to developing "glycerin dew". Glycerin dew is tiny droplets of water which forms on the soap and appears like dew. It doesn't ruin the soap per se, however, looks unsightly and WILL soften the soap.

Here are some pictures of  melt and pour creations.

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