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Aug 23, 2018
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Hi there everyone: ) I too, am new to the MP soap making world. I made my 3rd batch today , and finally didnt burn some of the soap ‍. I have a few burning questions that have been current soap making issues of mine. Sorry for the novel ahead, but i didnt want to make multiple posts. I really appreciate the feedback in advance.

1. If a general rule of thumb is add .3oz of essential oil or fragrance oil to MP soap... does that mean .3oz of one or the other in the entire batch, or could you use .3 oz of both? (Just an example). I feel like I'm stressing myself out with all the math/percentages. I keep reading and getting more frustrated (more of visual learner).

Or if I use the brambleberry fragrance calculator and want to use say, 3 oils... if all 3 oils at .5oz each are the max for a "medium" scent, do I combine all 3 for a total of .5oz, or .5 oz of each. Sorry if that is a dumb question

2. I am having trouble using my double boiler, but find the microwave is giving me the jello texture (i got one batch correct today so I'm getting better). If I'm using glass measuring cup inside the pot, am I filling a 1/4 of the pot w water, let it boil, then put it to a lower temp and add the glass container w soap in it till it melts? Any tips?

3. Is it difficult to start out with cold process soap? Just not sure how great at it I would be considering everything is such an exact measurement or percentage. I get overwhelmed by the thought of it, but would love to make my own soap

4. Lastly, if you have any great videos for adding exfoliants/things you want to suspend (without suspension base), or swirling that you can shoot my way, I'd appreciate it

So excited for all the support I've gotten so far from family and friends, I'm excited to get them to use more natural products than commercial soap. Just need to get the melting soap process down to a science.

Pic is of my first non burnt soap batch that smelled really good!

I do have to say. I'm surprised by some of the folks that think there isn't much to MP soaps. I definitely do not just melt, put FO or EOs in and let it cure... just today I added my oils of course, some extra jojoba oil, coffee grounds, oatmeal and cinnamon to my honey mp base. I am absolutely interested in CP soaps, but too intimidated to try yet.


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Hi Bee_Rose, your soap looks great! Love the colours and swirls

I'm reasonably new to MP too and make organic soaps for the most part. Here's my two cents :)

1. Essential oils - I try and follow a similar rule but I'm too lazy for measurements so I go with around 6-8 drops of oil per soap (100-150 gm) - in total, so if I use 2 oils I'd do 3 drops each for example and not 6 of each. that might apply to your soap as well. I prefer less than more personally as I find some EOs quite strong and harsh for my skin. I don't use fragrance oils at all so no idea about that.
2. Double boiler - I prefer stove top and use a large steel dish of water that I get to the boil first then reduce the flame and start melting my soap in a saucepan with a handle. this way I can control the dish of soap flakes and I can lift it up when needed to lower the temperature and add EOs before pouring it out into moulds.
3. Ditto! I've never dared so far but would love to give it a try someday.
4. I don't have any links saved but will add them here when I come across good ones

good luck!
Hi! I dont do melt and pour so I cant really help you with that, but i want to encourage you to try cold process. It really does look intimidating but it really is not that hard, specially with the loads of information from this site. If you want to try it, do it! Watch some videos and read about the process. I think that something that really helped me with my first few batches was that I had already watched a ton of videos and spend quite a while on here. That and to not try to be super fancy on your first tries: meaning no colors and no fragrance. Just so you can a feel pf how it is. A lot of people here have shared some very basic but tried and true recipes with oils that you either already have or that are easy to obtain. Since you already are making m&p you already know that it involves melting and mixing so you would be adding another step: measuring the oils and mixing the lye (it wont explode! Nor it will kill you of you look at it funny!) as long as you keep your precautions it will be fine.

Anyway, making soap either way is tons of fun and you will get hooked. Congrats on your batch!
First of all, your soap is beautiful.
I really encourage you to use your microwave. It is so much easier. Stick your soap base in a pyrex measuring cup. If your cup is full to 16 ozs, give it a zap at 20 seconds. Stir. zap at 10 seconds. Stir. Continue at 10 second bursts until soap is melted. At 16 ozs, start fragrance oils at 1 Tbs. Stir. Smell. Add more if desired. Each FO is different.
I just did mp for several years. But always reading the directions for CP. Over and over again. Do a dry run. Pretend like you are making it so you know what all you need to have ready. It is not so hard. Just do wear protective eye gear, mask, gloves, long sleeves and shoes. Just in case....And when you do actually make a batch, just prepare to work fast. It really does not take much time for the soap to come to trace. Esp. if you are using a stick blender.
Good luck and be prepared to have many enjoyable years of soap making.
Hey, Bee_Rose!
I just started MP making recently, so my techniques might not be the best, but I do have some advice!
1) I'm going to be honest here- I've never once used the fragrance calculator or anything of the kind haha. I usually just do a couple drops, smell, do a couple more drops, smell, and so on until it's how I like it. Just remember that the scent might fade a bit after it sets!
2) I strongly, strongly recommend you use a double boiler. I'm happy to give you the link to the one I use! It's aluminum and holds quite a lot of soap. It's also universal! Just try and get your water boiling in a separate pot first, then put the double boiler over it and turn the heat down to medium. Then just keep stirring! But do whatever you feel most comfortable with, really.
3) No clue! Haven't tried yet!
4) I don't have any specific videos, but I'll recommend the youtube channel Dean Wilson!
I usually don't go over .75 oz per pound of soap base. Most FO and EOs have a maximum percent usage rate that is included in the description of the supplier. Rely on percentage rate, not volume. If you cover your container with plastic wrap and use 30 sec bursts, that might improve texture when using the microwave.
I do a lot of melt and pour. The microwave is the way to go IMHO. I have yet to burn a batch using the microwave.
When you use the fragrance calculator and it says .3 ounce, it is assuming that is the ONLY fragrance you are using.
If you want to make a blend of fragrance or essential oils, then the total of all scents will be the .3 ounce.

The texture of your soap will change if you are adding extra oils to your M & P bases.
I see a lot of ppl saying that they boil the water and then put their bowl of soap in the water and turn it down. I was taught to put my bowl in the pot with water and let both bowls heat up together. I start cutting my soap and put it in the bowl while I am cutting the others up and add them to the bowl.
If you don't have an infrared thermometer invest in one. It is the most useful tool you can have when making soap. As for using a double boiler or microwave I use both depending on what I am making and the quantity of base I need.

Make sure you are microwaving and stirring, don't wait for the whole thing to melt. Take it out stir and then hit it with another 30 second blast. Stir and repeat. Take the temp. You don't really want the heat to go over 160 at the most ......stir stir stir.

Instead of a double boiler try using a pot with a few inches of water and a stainless mixing bowl Do what you do with boiling then turning down...........again stir stir stir and take temperature readings.

Check the melt point of you base. They all differ so keep that in mind. I find that Stephenson's has a much higher melting point than other bases.

No videos but I add poppy seeds to all the soap I make for my hubby and the trick is to let it cool before adding the seeds. mix well and they should suspend instead of sinking. I use hemp for his and find it suspends beautifully. Same goes for oatmeal, jojoba beads etc. You need the soap cool as possible to get good suspension.

As for fragrance, buy disposable pipets from Amazon and add until you get the level you want. Some fragrance is going to be light no matter what you do. If you use essential oils be very careful of not adding too much. Some can irritate.

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