Melt and Pour Soap Processing
There are 2 main methods used in melting the soap base i.e. ‘Double Boiler’ and ‘Microwave’ method. Either can be used and it is often a personal preference to which one is chosen.
We offer instructions both methods, for your convenience. Generally the following steps are necessary to sucessfully create you soaps
- Remove soap base from the container.
- Transfer to a suitable vessel for melting and stirring.
- Gently heat the product to the recommended melt temperature. DO NOT EXCEED this temperature.
- Add perfume, dye and other required additives.
- When fully mixed, stop stirring.
- Allow the material to stand for a few minutes (to remove air from the product).
- Pour through a fine mesh filter into suitable moulds.
- Allow product to solidify.
- Do not pack or hand stamp for 24 hours
With both these methods you need to be able to oversee the process at all times so ensure that you have no external distractions occurring (i.e. switch off the Mobile Phone).
Here is a list of items that you may want to have handy before starting
- Heater (Double Boiler or Microwave)
- Scale - weigh soap base
- Heat safe jug / bowl - Clear glass jugs are easiest to see what is happening
- M&P Soap Base
- Soap Colour(s) - ensure they are appropriately diluted and easy to access
- Fragrance oil; Essential Oil; perfume - Suitable for soap & bath products
- Preservative suitable for soaps
- Mould - any mould suitable for soap making or you can even try chocolate food moulds only your imagination can stop you here
- Cutting board - any universal cutting board will do, ensure it is able to withstand the cutting pressure.
- Knife or cutter - normally would prefer cutters to minimise knife injuries
- Stirrers, droppers - long handled stirrers will keep hands away from heat. (Don’t leave metallic items in the microwave!!!)
- Oven mittens, gloves – heat insulation and prevent possible staining of concentrated colours on your hands.
- Wrap - cling film ; cellophane bags
- Inserts - potpourri , lavender twigs, ground eucalyptus leaves, other embellishments
Double Boiler Method
You will need a saucepan & a pouring jug (the latter is useful when the soap is molten to minimise bubble formation)
Please note you need to oversee the heating soap at all times, as the soap will go from a molten state to boiling point in a very short time!!!. Make sure there are no outside distractions (ie: phone ringing, calling kids/partners) when you begin this, and that you are able to focus 100% on the task at hand.
Double Boiler Instructions:
- Cut the soap base into small cubes, approx. 2cm x 2cm for ease of melting.
- Place the soap into your heat safe bowl or jug and put it in the pan with a little water in it. (Make sure the water does not boil over into the soap). If you are using this method regularly, is might be a good idea to purchase a specially adapted double boiler. There is also available a great little device ‘Double Boiler tripod’ which eliminates the possibility of the water boiling into the bowl and keeps your pot/jug securely in place while the soap base melts.
- Stir slowly once the soap base begins to melt. Once the soap has melted, remove it carefully to a cooling cloth. Melting temperature of our soap bases are approx. 65-75 degrees Celsius or ( degrees Fahrenheit) and needs cooling before you add the next ingredients.
- Stir in your soap colour to reach your desired level or leave base natural. A good rule of thumb is to add a minimal amount (1-2 drops) at any one time and stir in between each. It is easier to add colour to your base, then accidentally add too much colour to your soap & have an undesired soap effect.
- Add your chosen soap fragrance oil or essential oil. A good rule of thumb is to add between 1-2% of fragrance of your total soap weight. For example: if your soap bar weighs 100g, you would only need 1ml-2mls of fragrance oil to add. Stir gently and thoroughly, make sure you stir for at least 30 seconds to a minute to allow your fragrance to blend in to your soap base.
- Pour your melted soap into your chosen soap mould and spray the top with rubbing alcohol. This eliminates all those soap bubbles which form when pouring into your mould.
- Let your soap cool and harden before popping them out of the moulds. Depending on your soap mould, this can take approx. 2-4 hours.
- Your soap is ready to use when it easily pops out of its mould. Now make sure you wrap your soap as soon as it's out of the mould.
- Cut the soap base into small cubes, approx. 2cm x 2cm for ease of melting. Place the cubes into your glass heat safe jug. Tip: cling wrap your jug, it helps to keep the moisture in the soap when heating it in the microwave.
- Place the jug with the soap base cubes in the centre of the microwave. Heat in short 10 - 30 second intervals and stir gently in between. All microwave power settings timings are different - but if you stick to 30 seconds intervals or less your soap base will be safe from reaching its boiling point and your soap base will melt evenly minimising the 'sweat' that can occur due to over-heating the base.
- Be careful in removing your jug to and from the microwave; it will be hot, so having a heat mitten or a cloth on hand will help minimise potential heat burns. Tip: use wrap to minimise spatter and water loss (reuse is fine).
- When the soap base molten, (melted stage: when it all is a liquid) you are ready to begin the next step.
- Note: if there is still a small amount of unmelted soap base left (smaller than 1cm), just stir the mix slowly until the soap has completely melted through, it will eventually melt completely into a liquid.
- Now stir into your soap the pre diluted colour to reach your desired colour level or you can leave the base natural. A good rule of thumb is to add a minimal amount (1-2 drops) at any one time and stir in between each. See the M&P Instructions.
- Add your chosen soap fragrance. Tip: a rule of thumb is to add between 1-2% of fragrance of your total soap weight. For example, in a 100g soap bar, you would only need 1ml-2mls of fragrance oil. See M&P instructions. Stir gently but thoroughly, to ensure that your fragrance is blended into the soap base you can also add the preservative at this stage if required.
- Pour your melted soap into your chosen mould and if needed you can spray the top with rubbing alcohol. (This eliminates all those little bubbles which can form when pouring into your mould.
- Let your soap cool and harden before popping them out of the molds. Depending on your soap mould, this can take approx. 2-24 hours.