When I started my soapmaking adventure, I dove in head first with cold process (CP). I wanted the ability to formulate my own recipes from scratch, choosing my own oils and butters, customizing my superfat, and calculating my lye. But what if you’re not quite ready for all that? Well, there’s a product that’s great for beginners that still allows you to customize your designs, colors and fragrances. Melt and pour (MP)!
MP soap bases are pre-made glycerine soap. They are sold in blocks ranging from 2 to fifty pounds, and they can be melted down over and over again. The beauty of MP is that you can color it and add fragrance much like you would CP soap, but you don’t have to stress about calculating or handling lye. Also, it’s ready to use immediately! There’s no lengthy curing time. MP comes in several varieties, too. The most common are a clear glycerine base and a white glycerine base. The white has titanium dioxide already mixed in to give it an opaque white color. You can get MP bases with things like shea butter or goat’s milk, as well.
Colors mix beautifully in MP soap. You can use micas, color blocks or lab colors. In clear bases, the color will be rich and translucent. In white bases, the color will be opaque and pastel. Micas are especially pretty in clear MP. Micas are naturally shimmery or metallic looking, but that shimmer is lost in CP soap. Due to the translucent quality of MP, which you can see in my video below. the shimmer is really stunning!
For my first MP project, I followed along with a Soap Queen tutorial. I’d seen this design on her blog, and I fell in love with the color combination. The fragrance and colors all came from Bramble Berry, which I’ll link to below. I also used my Bramble Berry 10″ silicone loaf mold. I purchased my MP bases, clear and white, from Soaper’s Choice. I plan to use MP for lots of embeds in the future, so I purchased 25 lb. blocks. Soaper’s Choice had the best price for that size when factoring in shipping costs and the fact that I was buying several other oils from them that day.
One final note about MP soap — be sure to package it right away. Glycerine-based soaps do have a tendency to sweat when left exposed to the air. Either wrap the soap immediately in plastic wrap or package in shrink wrap if selling your product.
I hope you enjoyed this introduction to MP! If you have any questions about the process or have suggestions for future projects, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!