Cost of Making Base from Scratch vs. Melt & Pour

sameboatMarch 26, 2011

I am new to soap-making and have only used the melt and pour purchased from a craft store. Is there much difference in quality between the product purchased for melt and pour crafts vs. a home-made CP recipe? There are many different options for the purchased melt and pour (olive oil, transparent glycerin, avocado, etc.). Is the home-made CP worth the time and money for all of the ingredients if I plan to sell it? Can I add things like oatmeal to my purchased melt and pour? I really enjoy the immediate gratification of the MP soap base...

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I have no experience with CP soap, but plenty with MP. So I can tell you that you can add oatmeal to MP, because I have done it. The important thing is to let it get fairly cool and thick, before adding the oatmeal. Stir it a lot and only pour it when it has gotten so cool that you absolutely have to. Otherwise,all the oatmeal will sink to the bottom.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 8:24AM
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Thank you sara_s. Do you use the "cooks in one minute" Quaker oats? Or something different? Doesn't it go bad in the soap?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 6:07PM
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Yes I do. I chop it up a bit, in the food processor first, to get smaller pieces. I haven't had a spoilage problem.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 9:03PM
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Thank you! I will be trying this soon.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 9:29PM
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The most exspensive part of any kind of soap making is the cost of scent. How much depends on the kind of scent; IE, EO/Fo citrus or spice.

For CP soap, you need to grind the oatmeal really fine, or it'll be too scratchy, and add it at a good/thick trace.

And, yes you can add too much oatmeal.

You may add lots of special ingredients, just read carefully about each (especially in CP soap making), namely, milk and honey readily come to mind.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 12:05AM
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I make CP soap and it's not cheap. The price of sodium hydroxide keeps rising as the price of oils and butters. I can still make good soap using 'grocery' store oils--lard, olive oil, coconut oil, coco butter to keep the costs down. The fragrances are expensive, the essential oils are very expensive--it pays to price shop and compare and check for 'specials'. I use baby oatmeal in my soap, I get the benefit of oatmeal, with out grinding or making my soap scrubby. Good Luck!!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 6:43PM
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I've found melt and pour in bulk for as low as $0.11 per ounce. But the SHIPPING is what makes it so expensive. I do think maybe in the summer I will try making my own soap from scratch but for now, with windows closed, I will stick to melt and pour. I've been reading up about CP and I'm interested in trying it out. The lye scares me though.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 8:24AM
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Lye is always a hurdle for new soap makers. Safety first!

If you want to sell your soap, then make sure that you can avoid shipping the ingredients to your soap making place, this will cut way down on costs, especially the sodium hydroxide (there are hazardous handleing and shipping considerations involved).

If you have any questions, ask away (ask first, buy later)!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 4:12PM
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Thank you!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 12:54PM
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I've been making CP soap now and LOVE it! My favorite is just a plain white/beige soap with olive oil, coconut oil and shortening, ground oatmeal and oatmeal milk and honey fragrance. It is heavenly!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 10:56PM
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I'm glad to hear that you like making your own soap.

There can be lots of experimentation in making your own soap, like water discounting super fatting, different oils, different cosmetic looks and additives.

Have fun with it.

What scale are you using? And what other equipment are you using? How about the forms that you use to shape your soap?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 3:28PM
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I use a digital scale that weighs ounces and grams. I superfat at 5%, using the amounts Brambleberry's calculator suggests. I have a mold with 12 squares in it. They come out perfectly square. I've tried the pretty shaped molds, but for CP they seem to not come out so nicely. I use them mostly for melt and pour soaps. This is fun.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 1:20PM
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When using those molds for CP, after 2 or 3 days, try putting the molds (with the soap in it) into the freezer for 20 minutes, they might come out a little easier for ya.

When I started making soap, I used to use a lot of different containers for a mold, but I did use drawer organizers for my molds, that was a huge pain! One recipe I never did get the soap out successfully! lol!

I use a triple beam scale for weighing my fats and oils, it'll measure down to the .1 of a gram, but I find that I only require to measure down to the single gram.
I always have a drink coaster on the scale plate, so the containers won't slip while measuring. When I tare the scale this coaster is included.
I measure my scent by the fluid ounce though.

Have fun!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 12:07AM
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Thank you for the tips! I didn't leave the soap in the molds long enough I guess. I will try CP in the pretty molds once again and leave it in there for a few days! I was trying to remove it after only one day...

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 6:44PM
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Taking out the soap out of the molds, really depends on a few things.
Water discount; type of oils/fats and how long the raw soap has been in the molds, as well as the design and how flexible the molds are.
If there's a hole in the back of the molds with a piece of plastic covering the bottom of each bar mold, all the better to push out the soap.
Experimentation is the word of the day (or year).

Place your finger on/into the soap, if it gives easily, then wait another day or 2; you do not want it to be like cheese cake, you want it more like a sharp cheddar; the harder the soap, the less damage will occur.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 12:52PM
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Melt and pour is pretty expensive to purchase. Making your own melt and pour glycerin soap is a lot cheaper and it's the same process as hot soap making. There are a few other ingredients that you add, but you can avoid SLS and other detergents by making your own.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 7:26PM
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