Melt and Pour Soap
The soap melt and pour method is a nearly foolproof way to get started with soap-making. In melt and pour soap-making, the soap itself is already made; you simply melt it down, add the colors and fragrances that you want, and pour it into molds. A few hours later, you've got soap.
Advantages of Soap Melt and Pour Method
- No lye required! This removes the number one concern that most people have with soap-making.
- The soap is ready to use as soon as it cools. You have soap in hours, not weeks.
- It's hard to mess up melt and pour soap. The soap itself is already made, so you don't need to worry about lye calculations, superfatting, or recognizing trace. It may still take some trial and error to get the exact fragrance or color that you want, but you aren't going to end up with a globby mess of goo if you mess up. You'll have a stable, usable bar of soap. It just might not be the exact color or scent you had hoped for.
Disadvantages Soap Melt and Pour Method
There is just one major disadvantage, but for me, it's a deal-breaker.
You lose control of the soap itself. Because you are buying a pre-made soap base, you have no say in the ingredients. You can shop around and compare the ingredients used in different bases, however, I have found that NONE of the bases are really very natural or healthy!
I looked online for a good melt and pour soap base. Every one that I checked contained sodium laureth sulfate!
Sodium laureth sulfate is a known irritant. It's a cheap, harsh detergent that is found in almost all commercial soaps, shampoos, and toothpastes - it's what creates the "foaming" that we all love.
Most people learn to make their own soap to AVOID these kinds of chemicals! It can irritate your skin and eyes, but it also causes dry skin and itchiness by stripping away all oils from your skins. Some people believe that it is damaging to your skin, hair follicles, and liver.
Finding sodium laureth sulfate in the ingredients of melt and pour soaps surprised me, and stopped me dead in my tracks. If I want a harsh, drying bar of soap - I can easily buy that at any grocery store, why go through the work of making it myself? I thought, surely, there has to be a great, natural soap base out there. But, so far I haven't seen one. It's really disappointing!
If you really want the ease and convenience of melt and pour, take a look at rebatching. For this method, you'll melt down existing soap - but you can use any soap (not just a specially prepared soap base.) You could buy handmade soap that uses all natural ingredients, and use that as your base. The downside is, this method is a bit less foolproof than melt and pour. But, it's still quick and easy, and promises a higher quality soap in the end!