Beginners tips

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First of all thanks to all those that gave advice on supplies. My daughter absolutely loved her present and plans to make her first soap this weekend. She's very excited and has been reading as much as she can to learn.

I was wondering if anyone had any tips for absolute beginners to make it easier for her? She will be using melt and pour only and is 13 years old so staying simple at the moment.
 

Dorymae

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Patience. M&P takes patience to create great designs. Learning to add one color - clean up the edges then pouring the next can be frustrating but the results can be marvelous.
 

snappyllama

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My big M&P tip is remembering to spritz with rubbing alcohol. It pops surface air bubbles after pouring. It also lets M&P adhere to itself (like when pouring another layer or adding an embed). Don't worry about the smell - it dissipates quickly.

Also, when melting your blocks - cut into small cubes so they melt faster. Leave one cube out and add it after everything is melted to help cool things down faster so you can add your fragrance. You can always reheat M&P if it starts to harden up in your pouring container before you've used it all. If using a microwave to melt, remember to zap it in short bursts, checking it every 10 seconds or so. Burnt M&P is icky.
 

galaxyMLP

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Also, if you happen to be impatient but, vigilant, the refrigerator/freezer can be your best MP soap buddy!

Tell her not to get discouraged if she gets layer "breakthrough" or if her layers separate after unmolding. It takes not only getting to know melt and pour techniques, but also getting to know your base to do it with reliability.
 

Jhonywalker4090

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For my molds I use petroleum jelly. I rub it on the molds that way it's easier to unmold the soap once it hardens.
 

rparrny

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Pouring is probably the most difficult for most, especially if the mold is smaller. Practicing pouring into the mold with some olive oil will help her get used to it. I also use a bamboo skewer (although anything thin will work) at the lip of the spout to help get a thinner stream for smaller molds. There's a video around here somewhere I think...
 

SudsSanity

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One of the hardest things I learned with M&P is: let the soap cool a bit after heating (just a bit) before pouring... Not so important if she's doing just 1color bar, but VERY important when working with multiple layers or embeds... (I think I melted every single embed I worked with... For the first month) until I learned -patience.

Also - some colors will "bleed" (move into the color next to it) - important to research every color she uses to see if it does bleed or not.

Also - some fragrances will discolor soap (vanilla based = brown soap). There are some ways to counteract this... Stabilizer, etc.
 
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