Many beginner soap makers have come up to us, asking about which method is the best for melting soap bases (also known as melt & pour soap). So, we’ve decided to write this little post with the pros and cons of each method and also which would be best for complete beginners, etc.
Melt & Pour Soap is the easiest form of soap making any beginner can do. It involves melting soap bases (also called glycerin soaps due to their high glycerin content which is brilliant for keeping your skin nourished and moisturized) to customize their shape, scent and color. Though, these soap bases can also be readily used on their own.
Method 1 : Double Boiling
- Double boiling is a much slower and more gentle process for melting soap. You won’t need to constantly keep your attention on the soap as it melts, making it the easiest and best way for a beginner soap maker to melt soap bases.
- Involves submerging a pot (heat safe ceramic, glass or stainless steel) within an outer pot of boiling water—similar in concept to the bain-marie, and allows for a more even melting of the soap base.
- You can make a double boiler with any pot or pan (as the outer pot) and a heat safe ceramic, glass or stainless steel bowl/mug. Add some water to your pot/pan and place it on your stove. Turn on the heat to let the water boil before setting the heat safe ceramic/glass/stainless steel bowl or mug inside the pot/pan as pictured.
Method 2 : Direct Heat
- Direct heat is a quicker method that requires constant attention to prevent the accidental burning of soap bases. This method can also cause the glycerin in the soap base to evaporate faster so constant vigilance is a must.
- The heat source is strongest at the bottom of your pot/pan so you will need to stir the soap every so often in order to ensure even melting. Best for melting smaller batches of soap (500g or less) as the topmost layer of soap tends to harden while the lower layer of soap melts.
- Involves placing a pan, pot or stainless steel mug directly on the heat source to melt the soap base inside the pan/pot/stainless steel mug. An induction cooker, electric stove or electric skillet can be used for this purpose.
Method 3 : Microwave
- Using a microwave is even faster than direct heating, but as with direct heating, this method requires constant attention to prevent the over-heating of soap bases (and thus, a very messy microwave that needs to be cleaned after the soap base bubbles over).
- The entire process can take from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on how much soap base you’d like to melt.
- Involves placing a heat safe bowl/mug of soap base into the microwave to melt it. Do this in 10-20 second bursts and stir each time to ensure even melting.
Which method to use?
We’d recommend using the double boiling method first, before moving on to direct heating or using the microwave. If you’re in a hurry, a microwave is great but make sure to keep an eye on the soap!
Want to know more about making your own soaps at home? Check out these posts of ours!
For Melt & Pour Soap
👉 Commercial Soaps VS Melt & Pour Soaps
👉 Why you shouldn’t add breast milk (or any fresh ingredient) to Melt and Pour Soap Bases
👉 Four Butters You Can Add to Your Melt & Pour Soap
👉 Soap Sweat and How to Fix It
👉 Guide for Adding Honey to Melt and Pour Soap
👉 Why You Should Use Honey Soap Base for Super Easy and Beneficial Honey Soaps
Some Recipes for Melt & Pour Soap
👉 DIY Chamomile and Green Tea Organic Melt and Pour Soap
👉 DIY Melt and Pour Anti-Acne African Black Body Soap
👉 DIY Cool Peppermint Aloe Vera Soap
👉 Make Shower Time Great Again with Jelly Soap
👉 DIY Soothing, Nourishing and Moisturizing Solid Shampoo Bar for Hair Growth
We hope this helps you and that it answers your questions! ❤️️