Double boiler vs Micowave

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ForTheDogs

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I've not used a microwave for any of the soaps (all melt and pour, obviously), but what are the benefits of a microwave over double-boiling, other than speed?

I'm open to suggestion, but I just don't see how a microwave can trump seeing, stirring, and checking your soaps the whole time.

Not looking for an argument, I genuinely would like to know. Should I invest in a microwave for my soaps?
 

allinalather

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I am a newbie to soap making. I am using very small quantities. The first time I used the microwave, yes it was fast but I probably was doing it wrong, the small quantity I used was setting almost immediately, I didn't like it at all.

My second attempt used a large aluminium pan of water. I used clear and opaque M&P (daring hey!) in two plastic jugs, the handles over the sides. I found this much, much easier to manage. Personally, I would not go to the expense of buying a microwave if you don't already have one, but the others are far more experienced than me, wait and see what they say.
 

KristaY

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If you don't own a microwave, definitely don't run out and buy one just for M&P soap. The double boiler method is just fine. I haven't made a lot of M&P but have done it both ways depending on what I felt like doing and either way turned out fine. When I used the double boiler method I just kept a close eye on the temp of the soap to make sure I didn't scorch it. So no worries doing what you're doing now! :)
 

ForTheDogs

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OK, that's good to know.

I'm very happy with what I've made so far and obviously, there's a learning curve that I'm happy to, well, learn.

The double boiling method I've been using so far isn't broken, so obviously, I'm not going to fix it. Maybe pay more attention to temperatures, colors, that kind of thing.

Thanks so much!
 

lisamaliga

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My second attempt used a large aluminium pan of water. I used clear and opaque M&P (daring hey!) in two plastic jugs, the handles over the sides. I found this much, much easier to manage. Personally, I would not go to the expense of buying a microwave if you don't already have one, but the others are far more experienced than me, wait and see what they say.
It's fun using both kinds of soap and seeing the patterns they can create.

However, I strongly recommend using a GLASS measuring jug. Here's a link to one: http://www.amazon.com/Pyrex-Prepware-2-Cup-Glass-Measuring/dp/B0002ITQHS

Hope this helps & Happy Soaping! :)
 
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Seawolfe

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I have used both microwave and double boiler - and double boiler has the advantage of temperature control and not cooling so fast for me, especially for small batches.
 

cmzaha

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My daughter makes a very large amount of m&p soaps throughout the year. (a pallet of m&p base per yr). She uses the microwave for small amounts and temperature controlled melters which hold a full block of m&p when she is pouring large amounts. When using m&p base you need to really know the melt point of your particular base as not to overheat it. The m&p base I make has a very low melt temp, so low I can barely get it melted and into the mold with no wrinkle. If you decide you want a microwave for melting check out the local Goodwill stores. I know you have a couple of big ones in your area. They usually have microwaves quite cheap
 

fionasfrightsoap

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Has anyone used a crock pot? I wonder if that would work for keeping the base melted for a longer period of time so you could use as needed to make your individual recipies.......
 

lisamaliga

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Excellent question.
I've used a crock pot in the past. It's slower than the double boiler method but is quite effective. I've melted both M&P and rebatch soap bases in a crock pot. It's been a while since using this method, but from what I remember, as long as you leave it on the lowest setting, and keep it covered, you should be fine.
Hope this helps!
 

captain

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Hi! First post other than my intro post, but at micheals the craft store in Canada (don't know if it is everywhere) I got a soap kettle on sale for 15 bucks, but it really just a crock pot. Melts from 1lbs to 5lbs of m&p base. And you can just leave the unused m&p to harden right in it and remelt as much until its empty. So a crock pot should work well.
 

whitewitchbeauty

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I like the microwave so i can seperate my m&p into sections for colors. It works for when you need to pour more than one color at a time. I just do 30 second bursts. I add my fragrance after the soaps melted.
 

tinatolle

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I have always used the microwave. I've done 12-4oz bars of soap. The microwave is quick and easy at 30 second bursts.
 

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