Melt and Pour Soap is more or less the name given to soap bases that have already undergone the usual soap-making process – in which particular oils are combined with an alkaline solution to create a reaction known as saponification.
These soaps are ready to use; you just have to simply melt the base, then pour into a mould, and allow it to set. Simply put, Melt and Pour soap is pre-saponified soap that can be used with or without further chemical processing or customization.
Have it in mind that the specific type of fat that was used to make the soap is the fat after which that particular Melt and Pour soap base will be named. To explain, a soap base that is produced with a substantial quantity of Shea Butter or Goat’s Milk will be named Shea Butter Melt and Pour Soap and Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour Soap, respectively.
Since Melt and Pour soap has been made through the saponification process with a combination of ingredients that are also used in traditional soaps, it is always considered a true soap. And since the ingredients used in making the soap include natural oils as well as lye, Melt and Pour soap does not need to have lye added to it, as doing so would be an unneeded extra step that would cause the soap base to potentially burn the skin.
However, additional Glycerine is added to the Melt and Pour soaps, offering more soothing and hydrating properties to the skin. It also helps produce clear soaps that can be easily coloured and shaped and that are gentle on the skin, making Melt and Pour soap very wonderful for use on sensitive skin types.
Even though Melt and Pour soap incorporates synthetic substances, which may range from foaming agents and alcohol-based emulsifiers to solvents, these chemical elements enable Melt and Pour soap to liquefy in order that it may be formed into the preferred design.
The primary benefit of using Melt and Pour soap bases is that the user does not have to deal with the caustic substance known as Lye, as it has already been incorporated into the soap base in advance.
The user-friendly nature of Melt and Pour soap is another benefit of these bases, as this method makes it uncomplicated to quickly achieve professional-quality soap bars with luxurious appearances, scents, and textures, all of which can be customized with a wide variety of artistic possibilities.
Unlike cold-processed soaps, the final product does not require a curing period, that is to say there is no days – or weeks – long stretch of time during which the soap must be left untouched in order for the lye to be neutralized and for the saponification process to be completed.
Have it in mind that once Melt and Pour soaps have been removed from their moulds, they are ready to use immediately. The longer the soap sits, the harder and milder it will become.
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Various Ways to Store Melt and Pour Soaps
The manner in which melt and pour soaps should be stored tend to be a confusing topic in the industry. Melt and pour soaps or transparent soaps are made with a high concentration of solvents which are very soluble in water and can be water-attracting in nature.
For instance, glycerine is one of the most commonly used ingredients in melt and pour soap making and it is an alcohol, is water soluble and a humectant, which means that it attracts water. Note that if there is any moisture in the air, glycerine will attract the water and your soap may develop little beads of water on the surface, often called “glycerine dew” or “sweating.”
Ideally, soaps should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry environment. If there are free fats (super fats or added oils) in the recipe, exposure to heat, humidity, and light can all increase the risk of oxidation and rancidity. Below are the best ways to store melt and pour soaps.
Plastic Food Wrap
Plastic food wrap is a wonderful way to package and store Melt and Pour soaps. You can tightly wrap your soap to keep out moisture. It is believed that cheaper plastic wrap works best as it seems to be stretchier than name brands. To wrap:
- Lay a piece of plastic wrap flat on a table.
- Place your soap on the plastic wrap face/front down.
- Pull tightly as you grab each side of wrap and fold onto the back of the soap.
- The front should be nice and tight and the back will have the gathered excess wrap.
Cello bags are also another great way to package and store melt and pour soap such as MP soap cupcakes. The only drawback to using cello bags is that when they are handled, the soap can leave soap residue marks on the bags. Use a small bag to prevent the soap from sliding around and streaking the bag.
- Insert a piece of paper upright and inside the bag.
- Place your soap in the cello bag (the paper will protect the cello bag from streaks as you are sliding the soap into the bag).
- Remove the piece of paper from the bag.
- Tie the bag closed with ribbon or raffia.
Shrink Wrap Bags
Note that shrink wrap bags work well for oddly shaped soap such as soaps with rubber ducks or other toys on top. You may notice little holes in shrink wrap bags; these holes allow air to escape as the bag shrinks to fit the soap.
- Place soap in a shrink wrap bag
- Use a hair dryer to carefully shrink the bag (Be sure to move the hair dryer back and forth as you shrink. Heating one area too long may melt the soap).
In summary, a two-pound block of Melt and Pour soap base can easily yield between 10 – 20 soap bars, depending on the desired size of the finished soap bars. However, melt and Pour soaps will last approximately 4 – 6 weeks, depending on how often they are used and whether they are treated with the recommended suggestions for proper care; they should not remain exposed to air, as this will cause the water in the soap bar to continue evaporating, resulting in a shrunken or dissolving soap bar.