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CP Soap seems much more expensive to make than melt and pour?

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rpclarke

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Hi everyone,

I'm looking at the costs of making CP soap (which is my preferred option) but comparing it to melt and pour it seems far more expensive, is that right? For instance, assuming I did some bulk buying I can get organic coconut oil for around £7/l, and that's one of the cheaper oils it seems. To keep things simple let's say I make 1kg of a 100% coconut oil soap, the cost of the oil alone is therefore about £7, and then you've got the cost of the distilled water, lye and all the extras you want to add. All in all you're talking at the very least £10/kg for your finished soap, and that's doing it cheap. Some of the oils I want to use I can't find for less than £30/kg or even more!

Melt and pour soap, on the other hand, can be bought for around £3/kg with a bit of bulk buying, and even the ones containing the more expensive oils don't seem to be much more. So I'm just wondering, how on Earth do people manage to sell fairly priced CP soap when it seems so pricey? Have I got something very wrong here? I would have thought it would be cheaper than melt and pour.

Thanks,

Ryan
 

LilyJo

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You can't compare the two like for like, they are very different products and have very different appeal.

You don't really need fancy oils to create a good soap but its not something that's cheap either. You need to factor in oils, lye, water, fragrance, colour, your time as well as overheads inc all your legalities. In my experience a soap will sell in the £4-7 range sometimes less and sometimes more. It depends on what you do with it and where you sell.

That being said don't assume that m&p is some inferior cheap product, creating something in m&p can be harder in some ways but they usually sell for a similar pprice.You still need to factor in colour, frageance, alcohol, time, overheads and legalities.

Going with your assumption of £10 per kilo, depending on the weight of your soap thats a cost of around £1+(100g bar) there is plenty of scope to add the other factors.

But no, in this market its unlikely to make you rich!
 

shunt2011

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It's like comparing apples and oranges. Two different things. There's good MP and bad MP. You don't a whole lot of choices as to what's in the soap. With CP you choose what you put into it. You can make inexpensive CP soap that's good soap. I'm not a fan of MP though do use it for embeds once in a while. It's a personal choice.

It's not a cheap hobby regardless.
 

rpclarke

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I know the soaps are very different and there are pros and cons to both, but purely from a cost perspective, I was just surprised at how much cheaper melt and pour soap seems to be and thought I must have been doing something wrong or missing a trick. But it seems like they really are just much more expensive. Thank you for your help.
 

earlene

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I don't know that I agree with this. Although, our costs are probably not equal due to our different environments.

M&P base seems rather expensive to me. And I sure haven't stumbled upon a base that my skin really likes, anyway. Not that I searched for one all that much.

Have you made them side-by-side of the exact same size (bars equal in size) and costed them out? For me the cost is higher for a 150 gram bar of (IMO inferior) MP soap vs a 150 gram bar of nice, but simple CP soap. But of course, the fancier the CP soap is, the more expensive it is to make. And when counting time into it, it is more expensive still.

But, that is probably due to the prices where I live as opposed to the prices where you live.
 

GemstonePony

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I feel like comparing M&P vs CP is a little like comparing a pet dog vs a pet horse. Both very valid and rewarding pets, but with very different equipment requirements and knowledge requirements. Nobody expects to ride their dog or get their horse to guard them (only happens on film), so if people want pet dog results they get a dog, if they want pet horse results they get a horse.
Similarly, if you want CP soap results, you use CP equipment with CP knowledge base, and if you want M&P results you use M&P equipment with M&P knowledge base.
If you don't know what you want, get M&P soaps from some good M&P makers, and CP soaps from some good CP soap makers, and find out what you like before launching into making anything. It's a chunk of change to do it right either way.
 

LilianNoir

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Looking at my different batches and recipes, per bar, my MP cost more to make than CP.
Not always, it depends on what goes into it - expensive fragrance/essential oils, base oils, etc. But on average MP is more expensive.

Cheapest MP cost per bar: 1.22
Most expensive MP cost per bar: 1.92 (technically one was 4.55 per bar b/c I wound up buying small quantities of EO to use that were stupid expensive)

Cheapest CP cost per bar: 0.97
Most expensive CP cost per bar: 1.56


MP is inherently more expensive than the oils/lye because it's already been processed and is being re-sold.
 

DeeAnna

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"...organic coconut oil for around £7/l, and that's one of the cheaper oils it seems ..."

If price is such a concern, it would probably be more cost effective to use conventional ingredients.

Are the M&P bases you're pricing also made from comparable organic fats?
 

KimW

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I chime in with @LilianNoir and @DeeAnna. I can make a nice 4 ounce bar of soap my family loves for .68 cents (£ 0.53 ), and that includes all ingredients. I can make my own Melt & Pour soap base for .86 cents per 4 ounce bar, which is still less than I can buy M&P soap base that does not contain detergents. The only reason my M&P base is more expensive is because it requires vegetable glycerin, which I order in bulk online. However, that nice bar my family loves (and I sort of wish they didn't!) contains Vegetable shortening (hydrogenated oil), Coconut Oil (expeller pressed but not organic) and Corn Oil. Two of those oils are usually the cheapest oils one can buy in USA grocery stores. Are they fancy oils? Do they make a bar that someone would sell? Nope - but they do make a nice bar of soap. Perhaps you can take inventory of oils you can find locally that are inexpensive? Just because it's inexpensive or local doesn't mean it won't make good soap, and just because it's expensive and exotic (I'm looking at you Argan), doesn't mean it makes a bar of soap that's so much better.
 
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LilianNoir

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I chime in with @LilianNoir and @DeeAnna. I can make a nice 4 ounce bar of soap my family loves for .68 cents (£ 0.53 ), and that includes all ingredients. I can make my own Melt & Pour soap base for .86 cents per 4 ounce bar, which is still less than I can buy M&P soap base that does not contain detergents. The only reason my M&P base is more expensive is because it requires vegetable glycerin, which I order in bulk online. However, that nice bar my family loves (and I sort of wish they didn't!) contains Vegetable shortening (hydrogenated oil), Coconut Oil (expeller pressed but not organic) and Corn Oil. Two of those oils are usually the cheapest oils one can buy in USA grocery stores. Are they fancy oils? Do they make a bar that someone would sell? Nope - but they do make a nice bar of soap. Perhaps you can take inventory of oils you can find locally that are inexpensive? Just because it's inexpensive or local doesn't mean it won't make good soap, and just because it's expensive and exotic (I'm looking at you Argan), doesn't mean it makes a bar of soap that's so much better.
Yeah the prices I mentioned above are for the SFIC non-detergent MP bases so are a little pricier than others. Using some of the standard or craft-store detergent bases, the MP would be even cheaper!


Also I LOL'd at the Argan side eye. Agreed!

I must admit I just realized that the OP is pricing with organic coconut oil which, as already mentioned, doesn't really allow a comparison to MP since those certainly aren't using organic oils.
I'm curious why use organic oil for soap?
I can't see how it would make a difference for soap and it's just more expensive.
 

Arimara

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Yeah the prices I mentioned above are for the SFIC non-detergent MP bases so are a little pricier than others. Using some of the standard or craft-store detergent bases, the MP would be even cheaper!


Also I LOL'd at the Argan side eye. Agreed!

I must admit I just realized that the OP is pricing with organic coconut oil which, as already mentioned, doesn't really allow a comparison to MP since those certainly aren't using organic oils.
I'm curious why use organic oil for soap?
I can't see how it would make a difference for soap and it's just more expensive.
It doesn't. It's just label appeal at a higher price point that cleans no better than a soap where you get your coconut oil from Dollar Tree. Unless OP's cooking with that oil too or using it on skin (even then...), there's no real reason to spend more on organic oils.
 

Astro

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I would think the reason the melt and pour is far cheaper to make is because it is probably made industrially with chemicals and detergents rather than made with natural products like you can control in your own CP or HP. When I was in the UK I could buy dirt cheap M&P but there were more chemicals than in shop bought bar soap.
Here in South Africa the laws are different so I cannot even see what is in M&P base as there is no requirement for the ingredients to be displayed and the suppliers import it so it is obviously not my choice (besides the fact that I cant stand the feel of it as a soap lol).
Talking of laws, if you intend to sell in the UK make sure you are aware of all the legal requirements before you start putting them on the market. ;)
 

KimW

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Yeah the prices I mentioned above are for the SFIC non-detergent MP bases so are a little pricier than others. Using some of the standard or craft-store detergent bases, the MP would be even cheaper!


Also I LOL'd at the Argan side eye. Agreed!

I must admit I just realized that the OP is pricing with organic coconut oil which, as already mentioned, doesn't really allow a comparison to MP since those certainly aren't using organic oils.
I'm curious why use organic oil for soap?
I can't see how it would make a difference for soap and it's just more expensive.
Ohhhhh Argan. So nice in lotion, so useless in soap.

That said, I can see why someone would initially want to use organic oils in making soap. Initially, being the key word. Even though it's a wash-off product, most of us have experienced that soap made with certain oils can have negative effects on our skin. Same with detergents/syndet bars. The bar my family loves leaves my skin dry. A far cry from the contact dermatitis I get from detergents, but icky just the same. I wonder had I not done so much research and experimenting with oils when I started making lotion, if I might want to soap with organic oils too!
 

Serena

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I make soap because it costs less than buying the kind of soap I need. And I can avoid having fragrances, intended or otherwise, in the soaps. I can also control the superfatting.

I buy gallon of olive oil when it is on sale at the supermarket. I buy lard in large tubs at a Mexican market.
I render my own tallow. I buy castor oil when it is on sale. If I have kitchen oils I've tried and don't like, I add some sometimes to a recipe.

Lard soap is not expensive to make. I use that for household use.
I make olive and castor bars for myself. And dissolve a bar for shampoo. Vinegar rinse. Sweet almond oil or jojoba oil for managing hair.

I make an olive oil soap with 20% coconut for someone. For that person, I use organic, cold-pressed oils. And the soaps come out heavenly.

Cold process soaps at the local farmers' and craft markets are very expensive, and they all have absorbed fragrances that make me very ill.

I compare what I make with what it would cost me to buy what I am making.

I hope you can find a balance that works well for you. :)
 

TheGecko

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My Regular Soap recipe contains Olive, Coconut, Palm and Castor Oils, Cocoa and Shea Butters, plus Sodium Lactate and Kaolin Clay. 33% Lye Solution. Total batch weight is 50oz...makes 10-5oz. My cost per batch is $8.74 or $0.87 per bar.

10lbs of SFIC White Melt and Pour Soap Base is $33.00 at BrambleBerry + $11.22 for shipping. $44.22 / 160 oz = $0.28 oz x 50 oz (my batch size) = $13.82 or $1.38 per bar.

All my oils and butter are purchased locally. I have a Costco just 2 miles away when I purchase Olive, Coconut and Avocado Oils. I am very fortunate to have a local soap supplier for the rest of my ingredients. So even if we subtract of shipping, the M&P is still higher at $10.31 a batch or $1.03 a bar.

So I'm not sure where you are getting that M&P is cheaper that CP Soap unless you are getting some really cheap M&P.

And to be fair, I buy a bit in bulk. My Palm Oil comes from a 35lb bucket, I buy my butters 10lbs at a time, I get my Castor Oil and Sodium Lactate in gallon jugs...I even buy Sodium Hydroxide in 8lb tubs. The only thing I don't get in bulk is Distilled Water and it's like 80 cents a gallon.

Trying to compare CP (or HP) Soap and M&P is like trying to compare apples and onions. Yes, M&P soap is still soap, but it's a different kind of soap because of how it has to be made I don't do M&P myself...have no interest in it, but I have seen absolute artistry in making it.
 
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