Free Beginner’s Guide to Melt and Pour Soap Making
Melt and pour soap making is fantastic for beginners and the method we mainly use for the majority of our products. The simplistic method consists of melting, adding fragrance, colourant and botanicals. Every product can differ and we use specific pouring temperatures ect which we will explain in this blog.
For melting the base we usually chop up into smaller pieces to help the melting process to speed up a little bit. We use a large stainless steel pan for the melting process as this is for large quantities. The bases we use are Goat’s milk, opaque (white plain base) and a clear base. The goat’s milk range is more moisturising and gives a great lather, where as the opaque base is used for our vegan friendly range but with added extras such as shea butter and coconut oil for the nourishment on hair and skin. Soap base tends to start melting at around 50oc and we pour once all the soap is melted and cooled to around 58oc.
There is such a wide variety of shapes and sizes for soap moulds out there on the internet that it can be hard to pick. We would suggest for a beginner to start out a simple, small moulds in rectangular bar shape or love hearts. We have custom made moulds for our soap loafs and various shaped moulds for our other products. The material they are made out of is a cooking grade silicone which is quite thick, this is because of the temperature of the soap when pouring is still very hot. Also with a silicone based mould once the soap base has set the flexibility allows for an easier release of the soap bar / soap loaf.
Experimenting and scenting your soap bars is one of the most enjoyable parts of soap making in my opinion, however this can also be a little bit daunting at the same time. There are so many fragrances out there to choose from it can be a bit overwhelming. We suggest starting simple and choosing single fragrances or choosing a fragrance that is pre mixed. Once you get to grips with the making process you can then start experimenting with mixing fragrances yourself and making some fantastic concoctions. We suggest using around 0.3 oz per pound of soap. Or simply try a fragrance calculator online with a simple search. All of our fragrances are skin safe and it’s vital that you check that any fragrance you buy is also or it can cause rashes. Our products are sold as a business so every single one of our soaps are safety assessed, so if you’re thinking of progressing into a business you’ll have to look into this with more detail further down the line. We add our fragrance when the soap is around 65oc but off the heat.
Colouring soap bars is also another fun part of the making process, this is where you get to experiment with a wide range of colours to match the fragrance you have chosen. We use pigment based colourant for our goats milk and opaque bars to make them bright and bold, however when colouring clear base you will need to use a water based colourant. You have to make sure that the colourants you are using are skin safe. We don’t recommend the use of food colourants because they haven’t been approved for use in soaps unless otherwise stated. Colourant can be added at any time but we normally do it around the same time as the fragrance which is 65oc.
Once you’ve got to grips with the making process you can start to look at adding botanicals, we add these to a lot of our products which is a nice extra touch and they work as a great exfoliants.
This includes things such and dried orange peel, rose petals, dried lavender, ground peach stone and much more. Take our lemon poppy seed soap bar, we make this through the method above adding fragrance and colourant, then add the poppy seeds.
The clean up:
We have separate utensils for all our soap making, rather than using the same cooking utensils you would find in the kitchen. This is simply because colourants and fragrances can effect items by leaving them stained or with a funny taste. We recommend buying extra measuring jugs, mixing bowls and utensils for soap making. Generally when it comes to the clean up soap washes off most items fairly easily just by scrubbing with hot water.
View our range of goat's milk melt and pour range here.
Safety tips for making:
- We always make our products with something on top of our worktops such as a wipe able vinyl layer just encase on spillages which can stain some materials.
- Use heat resistant gloves when moving pans off the burner.
- Use gloves when adding colourant and fragrance so it doesn’t stain the skin.
- Always check advice on the products you buy.
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