Today, we're going to tackle some myths about melt and pour soap. Melt and pour is the process of taking an already made glycerin base, melting it down and adding fragrances/oils and colors, and getting creative....there are some awesome bars of M&P out there from some incredibly talented people.I'll throw in some photos of a couple of my creations, just for reference (and, well, they're pretty neat.)
Here are some things that you'll find in tutorials that need to be debunked:
1. "Make your own soap at home with a bar of Ivory!"
Sweetheart, that's not making your own soap. It's taking a bar of detergent from the store, grating it up, and calling it soap. It doesn't quite work that way. While you may feel some huge sense of accomplishment, all I see is something so simple that my five year old could do it...and he wouldn't call it "soap".
2. "Add fresh or dried botanicals for a beautiful herbal bar!"
Go ahead. You can use all of the botanicals that you want and sure, they'll look gorgeous: UNTIL THEY TURN BROWN. And they will.
3. "You can use pretty much anything for a mold!"
Once again, this is technically true. However, don't come crying when you're banging your "mold" against the counter because the soap will not come out. I have seen people say to spray vegetable oil on the mold; my experience has been that all it does is pit the soap, and it still won't come out.
4. "Stick your soap in the freezer for a half hour."
No, no, no, no, no! Do you know what this does to glycerin soap? It makes it sweat...and get slimy, and nasty, and yes, you can stick it in front of a fan but it will never be the same. Glycerin has a very high water content...and what does water do when you put it in the freezer? Well, it freezes. What does it do when you take it out? It melts.
5. "Make soap without lye!"
This is really a no-brainer. All soap has lye in it, or it wouldn't be soap.
6."Make 100% natural glycerin soap!"
This one is laughable. Glycerin is plant-derived, so it would be a sticky substance without any cleansing or lathering ability whatsoever. Melt and pour base usually has about 20% glycerin, along with sugar, alcohol, propylene glycol, and sometimes sorbitol.
7. "Make a beautiful bar of (insert fruit or vegetable here) soap at home!"
Sure, it will probably be beautiful. In a couple of months when it starts to grow mold? Not so much.
8. Here's one from the other side of the fence: "Melt and pour isn't really soapmaking."
Not true...as mentioned above, there are some pretty talented folks out there...even though it's not "from scratch", it is still soapmaking...or "soapcreating", if you will.
I would love to see what others have to add to my list. I love soapmaking, and melt and pour is where I started, so I have a little place in my heart for it. I hope this helps some new soapmakers weed out the rotten advice on the web from the good.