Technical Section

This section contains the MSDS sheets, Analysis sheets and more. Plus information about our products and the cosmetic world.

Why Does My Soap Sweat?

Why is it that when you leave a bar of soap made from a melt and pour base out in the open it ends up covered in water droplets?

This applies to all soap bases and tends to be more noticeable depending on the humidity in the atmosphere.

This is what is often referred to as "sweaty soap" and it can easily be avoided.

So firstly why does it happen?

One of the main ingredients in a melt and pour soap base is glycerine.  Glycerine is a humectant which means that it attracts moisture.  So when you have a cream or lotion that contains glycerine, that glycerine stops your skin getting dry as it attracts moisture.

When it's in a melt and pour bar of soap it will also attract moisture from the air.  So the droplets you see on the bar of soap are actually droplets of water.  If you leave a bar out overnight it will soon be covered in water.  This is more noticeable in the warmer summer months as there is more moisture in the air.

So how to avoid it?

This is the easy bit as you simply need to cover up the surface of the bar of soap.  As soon as your bar is set and hard, simply wrap it in cling film.  This will avoid the problem of "sweaty soap".

Does it mean there is anything wrong with the soap and can I still use it?

No - the soap is still perfectly usable. Simply wipe off the droplets and wrap your soap.

How much Soap Do I Need?

This is a question we are asked a lot - how much soap will this mould need?

With a pre made mould you should be given the weight of the finished bar.

If you are unsure, fill the cavity with water and then measure the water in a jug.

1ml of water is roughly 1g of soap so this will give you a good idea.

Remember to allow for wasteage when melting and pouring your soap base.


What You Need to Make Melt and Pour Soap

Are you completely new to using melt and pour soap?  Not sure what you need to make Melt and Pour Soap?

Read on...

You will need

  • Soap base
  • Fragrance
  • Colour - optional
  • A mould
  • Microwave/double boiler to melt it

Soap base - this is down to individual choice.  Are you looking to make a clear bar that you can see through, or an opaque bar.  

Fragrance - a matter of personal choice.  We would recommend adding 1-2% of fragrance to your melted soap (10-20ml per kg of soap base).

Colour - not all soap is coloured so this is entirely your choice.  Our colours are concentrated so only a very small amount is needed.  You will find that 1% (10ml per 1kg) will give a very good colour.   If you need to dilute your colours then we would suggest you use deionised water which can be obtained from a DIY store.  It is always easier to add more colour than take some away if you add too much.

A mould - you can use any plastic container for a mould or a specially designed soap mould with patterns and shapes.

Microwave/double boiler - you will need to melt the soap base and so a form of heat is required.

Take a look at our video to learn more.

What to use for a Soap Mould - M&P

Half the fun of making your soap (especially with Melt and Pour soap base) is the amazing number of different things you can use for a mould.

We'll concentrate on Melt and Pour as there are quite a few options.  Plastic is the best as it is flexible and you can get the soap out easily but don't restrict yourself.  Look around the kitchen and you will see butter tubs, the ice cube tray, cooking moulds, jelly moulds, small plastic tubs - the list goes on and on.

Of course we are still very happy for you to purchase a soap mould from us!

A quick explanation of the different types:

Bar mould - this makes a single bar of soap.

Tray mould - this makes a number of soap bars in one pour.  The Tray is usually scored so that you can cut the bars up easily.

Cavities - the number of "bars" you will be able to make from that one mould.  Most moulds will be 3 or 4 cavities.  Sometimes they are single meaning you can only make 1 bar at a time.

Loaf mould - this makes a solid brick of soap that you can cut up and use as slices or chunks.

How to get your soap out of the mould - once your soap has set, leave it for a few hours and it should come out of the mould easily.  It just needs a small air gap in order to get it out.


What is Rubbing Alcohol?

One of the most common questions we are asked is "What is Rubbing Alcohol?"  The phrase usually seen on websites and in books is to "spritz your melted soap with rubbing alcohol" to get rid of the bubbles.

You know the problem -  the soap base has melted and maybe you've over stirred it a bit and there are some bubbles that won't go away.  Or you've poured your molten soap into the mould and bubbles sit on the top.

In the UK, rubbing alcohol is known as Isopropyl Alcohol.  It is a clear liquid which you can purchase directly from us.

In the world of melt and pour soap, it is an invaluable tool for making the bubbles disappear by a quick spritz using a mist spray.

The Isopropyl Alcohol works by changing the surface tension of any bubbles so that they pop.  It is colourless and volatile so the slight odour evaporates extremely quickly.

BIG Warning  - it is highly flammable so needs to be treated with care.

Colours - pigments or dyes?

We sell both Water Based Dyes and Liquid Pigments and we are often asked which is the best to use.

Water based dyes are ideal for both melt and pour soap bases and bath bombs.  They are water soluble and work well in both clear and opaque bases.

However, they will bleed.  By this we mean if two different coloured soap bases are next to each other in stripes or layers for example, the colours will merge and mix over time.  If you are looking to make soap in layers then do consider the use of pigments instead.

We recommend that only dyes are used in bath products (salts, bombs) as this will avoid any staining of the bath.

Pigments are also suitable for melt and pour soap bases but are really only suitable for opaque bases.  If you use a pigment in a clear base the result will be hazy and give a grainy appearance.  Pigments are supplied in liquid form and so you should shake the bottle before use to ensure all the colour has not sunk to the bottom.  We do not recommend their use in bath products such as salts or bombs because the tiny bits of colour will stick in any scratches in the bath and possibly stain it.

Both are supplied in a concentrated form and can be further diluted with deionised water if required.   You can always add more colour but you cannot take it away!

Using colours in salts can also give varying results in that the colour may not be as expected.  Please do test first before launching any large scale manufacturing to ensure you will get the required end result.  Test test test and test again is always the best advice.

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Technical Info

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