Melt and Pour part 2
Many kinds of soap base can be purchased in large blocks to be melted down, colored and fragranced molds (or used to make loaves of soap to be sliced). This type of soap is called “Melt and Pour” and the artistry of melt and pour is called “Soap Casting.” Melt and Pour is gaining in popularity because of its ease of use. There are no significant safety measures (other than basic common sense – don’t put your hand in the hot soap, don’t cut your finger off with the knife, etc…) needed for soapcasting. Children can do it. It’s a great outlet for creative types.
Hi! I’m Rita and I’ve been making soap for years. Most of us are aware that most commercially produced soaps are filled with chemicals. And I found that many of the offerings in the health food stores were often too expensive to use on a regular basis.
So I turned to making my own soaps and bath and beauty products at a fraction of the cost. I’m not a control freak–but it’s lovely being able to control what goes onto your body!
So which is better? Cold or hot process soap made from scratch or melt and pour bases? Most people agree that made from scratch soap is best. I’ve never made hot process, but do make cold process. But sometimes I’m busy and sometimes I don’t like dealing with the lye even though with proper precautions it is safe.
In my opinion melt and pour bases are a decent alternative when it’s not practical to make soap from scratch. BUT I was disheartened when I went to several craft stores, natural product web sites and other places to find a more natural M & P soap base.
Recently I discovered a local manufacturer of melt and pour soap bases. I was allowed to tour the small facility and ask questions. I had no idea that there are only a handful of melt and pour soap manufacturers in the USA.
According to the soap facility owner, most melt and pour is imported. And I was appalled to find that many of the bases contain sodium laureth sulfate–a harsh detergent that some consider unhealthy.The place I toured refuses to use SLS and uses organic ingredients when possible.
If you’re like me you use melt and pour because of the relative ease and versitility–but you also want the natural benefits. I suggest you read the ingredients of every M & P soap base you are considering using. None of them will be totally organic or natural due to the ability to melt and pour. But not all M & P’s are created equal.
Look for ones that contain organic and/or wildcrafted ingredients. That’s hard to find. But I think it’s worth the search. I want even my M & P soap to be as natural and organic as possible whether I’m using it for me and my own family or selling soap to others. And the great thing is–the base I found it actually less costly than going to the craft store and buying the imported, chemical-laden stuff!
Join me in the following months as I share my journey of making natural soap and bath and beauty products. I’ll be discussing ways to color soap naturally and some fun and easy recipes to whip up at home.
I’ll also caution you to be aware of the chemicals in a lot of the natural products even produced by home business people.
I’m not a chemist, but I have spent considerable time researching and experimenting on the ways the get the convenient products we all enjoy with a minimum of harmful additives and chemicals.
I started on my journey not only because I wanted the healthiest products possible at reasonable prices–but also because I have a few chemical sensitivities to fragrances in particular. Yes! I mainly blend and sell perfume oils on Ebay and local fairs. How do I do that? I’ll get into that in a later guide.
And while I am not totally vegan in practice, I agree with the principles and carry that into most of my products. I do use beeswax and goat milk, but stay away from animal oils.
Feel free to share your best tips for incorporating the most natural bath and beauty products into your life with minimal time and investment.
We all learn from each other. And the best way to learn is to know what is in the product. If a seller doesn’t reveal what’s in their products, I’d steer clear. I have my proprietary or “secret” blends and recipes. But I am always willing to reveal what ingredients are being used. And many soap manufacturers and other producers of “natural” products are banking on the fact you don’t know what some of the terms mean.
Recently I was browsing a large web site dedicated to hand crafted and “natural” products and was surprised at the chemicals being used. I suspect most folks who run bath and beauty products businesses at home don’t quite realize what some of these chemicals are. I didn’t really at first. But that’s a subject for another guide–when I reveal my trials and errors over creating some pretty scary “natural” products!
(PS I attempted to contact Rita, she no longer makes soap… This is a Repost from years ago, )