Looking for a specific soap base, can you help me?

Soapmaking Forum

Help Support Soapmaking Forum:

Dalton

New Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Location
Colorado
Hello, I'm looking for a soap base that will remain soft at first but then dries out and becomes crunchy/flaky when left out for awhile. Does anyone know of any soap bases that would result in something like that? The reason I ask is because I wanted to make my own soap for crunchy soap sensory videos instead of buying soap from the store.
Here is an example of how I would like the soap to turn out after drying.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
2,223
Reaction score
2,179
Location
Australia
I have seen more and more ASMR videos ... they really do make me curious, who watches these, and more importantly, why are these video's popular?

Anyway, to your question, are you looking to modify a melt and pour base, or make your own soap from lye from scratch?

If you are making your soap from scratch, then you might have some luck using stearic acid to make a hot process soap (using a crockpot or large pot). Using stearic acid to make the soap would avoid having the lovely glycerin in it, and that would give you that pure crunch. The downside is that you won't get a clear soap, like you could from melt and pour.

There are also ways to remove the glycerin, and/or make an ordinary homemade soap more brittle, if you want to try making it that way.
 
Last edited:

IrishLass

Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
17,932
Reaction score
11,707
Location
Right here, silly!
Hi Dalton- from my own experience, any soap, whether an M&P (melt and pour) base or homemade lye-based will become brittle enough for crunching the longer you leave it out to dry. Not that I'm into soap crunching, mind you, since I only just heard about it for the first time in this here thread, but I've made soap curls out of M&P and also out of my homemade lye-based soap and set them aside for decorative use in future batches of soap (but only to be forgotten until found again after a while) and they had become quite brittle like what your linked video shows.

Below is another video made by the same person as the one you linked to. In this one, she gives a tutorial for making your own soap curls for crunching, complete with suggestions for which type of soap to use, and even how to re-make/re-use the soap once crushed. She says the best soaps to use are those with glycerin being listed within the first 4 to 5 ingredients (which is pretty much standard of every melt & pour base on the market). You can buy melt and pour soap base at any craft store such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby, as well as from any of the soap supply vendors online:




IrishLass :)
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
10,822
Reaction score
9,273
Location
Idaho, USA
If you didn't need a large amount, I wonder if it would be easier/cheaper just to buy a few bars at the dollar store.

I like the soap crunching. I may have to try making my own curls.
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
1,836
Reaction score
4,323
Location
Farmland
I have seen more and more ASMR videos ... they really do make me curious, who watches these, and more importantly, why are these video's popular?

They mentioned sensory so I imagine this would be beneficial for someone who is tactile defensive. Sort of like a brushing program for autistic individuals. That or a possible stimming activity.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
2,223
Reaction score
2,179
Location
Australia
They mentioned sensory so I imagine this would be beneficial for someone who is tactile defensive. Sort of like a brushing program for autistic individuals. That or a possible stimming activity.

Thanks - it seems there's more of these that there used to be. A curious trend - thanks for the explanation - like a visual/auditory fidget spinner! :D

... She says the best soaps to use are those with glycerin being listed within the first 4 to 5 ingredients (which is pretty much standard of every melt & pour base on the market)

I wonder if there are some Melt and Pour bases out there that are too stiff or rubbery to peel? Or is that just a M&P quality check (obviously I'm NOT a M&P expert!)?

I've made soap curls out of M&P and also out of my homemade lye-based soap and set them aside for decorative use in future batches of soap (but only to be forgotten until found again after a while) and they had become quite brittle like what your linked video shows.
... from my own experience, any soap, whether an M&P (melt and pour) base or homemade lye-based will become brittle enough for crunching the longer you leave it out to dry ...
I agree in general, drying most types of soap curls will result in a crunchy soap, but it can take a while.

While this would be true for most recipes, I do not believe that any soap will become brittle enough for crunching (sorry to be disagreeable IL).

I have 10 year old soaps (facial recipe soaps) that can still be dinted with a little firm pressure.
At the other end of the scale, I have a bag of castile samples that snap loudly when broken (and are almost dangerously sharp at the corners).

Personally I think that there are many variables that can affect brittleness in soap (and therefore many ways to increase the brittleness in soap). Making a recipe without the natural byproduct of soapmaking (glycerin, a solvent), was a suggestion made to give a very short lead time from making the soap to using the crunchy curls (it would not need much drying/curing time at all), but there are many possible alternatives.

@Dalton, when you said you wanted to make your own soap, were you meaning from scratch, or from a Melt and Pour base?

(Just a thought: the translucent curls will be much easier in M&P, even if you do end up making your own soap from scratch).

Good luck! :)
 

Attachments

  • upload_2018-9-15_11-16-15.png
    upload_2018-9-15_11-16-15.png
    269.1 KB · Views: 18
  • upload_2018-9-15_11-16-53.png
    upload_2018-9-15_11-16-53.png
    269.1 KB · Views: 16

IrishLass

Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
17,932
Reaction score
11,707
Location
Right here, silly!
I wonder if there are some Melt and Pour bases out there that are too stiff or rubbery to peel? Or is that just a M&P quality check (obviously I'm NOT a M&P expert!)?

There might be....maybe some of the specialty M&P that's advertised as being more CP-like, but I don't know. For what its worth, all of the normal/regular M&P I've ever used to date has always been easy to peel into good, smooth curls.

Here's a video by Essentials by Catalina that shows making soap curls with their M&P soap. They also demonstrate in the video that the best curls come from using soap that's soft/pliable as opposed to hard or seized soap. If trying to make curls from the latter, the curls will break as you are shaving them (which they show in the video). I'm sure that's what the ASMR lady found out the hard way and why she instructs that the curls be made out of soap that lists glycerin within the first 4 to 5 ingredients.


For what it's worth, on the Essentials by Catalina blog, they make mention that their melt and pour will make crunchable soap after it has been left out to dry for a sufficient amount of time: https://essentialsbycatalina.com/wp/learning-library/making-using-soap-curls/ (scroll down to the bottom of the blog entry).

While this would be true for most recipes, I do not believe that any soap will become brittle enough for crunching (sorry to be disagreeable IL).

I have 10 year old soaps (facial recipe soaps) that can still be dinted with a little firm pressure.
At the other end of the scale, I have a bag of castile samples that snap loudly when broken (and are almost dangerously sharp at the corners).

You make a very good point, Salted Fig. I had forgotten about the experimental CP batch I made with 8 tbsp. of sugar ppo..... it remained soft/dentable for quite a long time...over 2 years and probably would have been soft/dentable for even longer than that, but I'll never know because I eventually used all my bars up from that batch (it had the most glorious lather and I couldn't help myself!). My regular formulas in comparison get pretty hard in a matter of weeks.


IrishLass :)
 

Dalton

New Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Location
Colorado
Thank you all so much for being so helpful! I have never made soap before so this would be a completely new experience for me, I have made a lot of candles but that's not the same thing. I was hoping I could just find a soap base that I could melt down and color myself. I don't mind if its not clear as long as it can still be colored. I've watched her soap curls tutorial video, the problem I run into with buying soaps from the store is that you never know what color the actual soap bar will be when you take it out of the package and the soap bars tend to be oddly shaped. It can be strawberry scented and be a white bar of soap, I would like to be able to make my own soap bars that are perfectly shaped for curling and the exact colors I want. Then I can remelt them and use them over and over as well. I'll read that Essentials by Catalina article and watch the video.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
2,223
Reaction score
2,179
Location
Australia
They also demonstrate in the video that the best curls come from using soap that's soft/pliable as opposed to hard or seized soap. If trying to make curls from the latter, the curls will break as you are shaving them

Absolutely - it would need both (soft at the start, hard at the end). In the same way the window for peeling would be proportionally shorter the quicker the soap became brittle, for a CP soap. I think making a brittle CP soap and storing it immediately it's cooled in a sealed bag might work, to have a stock of soaps for later peelings (intriguing - I might try that :)).

You make a very good point, Salted Fig. I had forgotten about the experimental CP batch I made with 8 tbsp. of sugar ppo..... it remained soft/dentable for quite a long time...over 2 years and probably would have been soft/dentable for even longer than that, but I'll never know because I eventually used all my bars up from that batch (it had the most glorious lather and I couldn't help myself!). My regular formulas in comparison get pretty hard in a matter of weeks.
Yes - I keep looking at that soap, because I KNOW it will be awesome, but it's in permanent storage - I can't throw it out until it DOS's (historical recording stuff). It is a sugar free recipe, but it's high in herb-infused soft oils. And maybe I might change the rule ... :D

Thank you all so much for being so helpful! I have never made soap before so this would be a completely new experience for me, I have made a lot of candles but that's not the same thing. I was hoping I could just find a soap base that I could melt down and color myself. I don't mind if its not clear as long as it can still be colored. I've watched her soap curls tutorial video, the problem I run into with buying soaps from the store is that you never know what color the actual soap bar will be when you take it out of the package and the soap bars tend to be oddly shaped. It can be strawberry scented and be a white bar of soap, I would like to be able to make my own soap bars that are perfectly shaped for curling and the exact colors I want. Then I can remelt them and use them over and over as well. I'll read that Essentials by Catalina article and watch the video.

Melt and Pour it is :)
What a fun project!
I really like your idea of being able to make, crush and remake the curls :)

I've found this beginner's guide to Melt and Pour, which has scenting and colouring tips (it's got a sales bias, but it's good information).

Good luck :)
 
Last edited:

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
10,822
Reaction score
9,273
Location
Idaho, USA
You can get melt and pour at michels or hobby lobby. Not the greatest for washing with but it should do for crunching. I believe it comes in 2 lb blocks. You can also get m&p colorants/scents at the hobby stores.
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Messages
95
Reaction score
44
Location
Portland, Texas
You can get melt and pour at michels or hobby lobby. Not the greatest for washing with but it should do for crunching. I believe it comes in 2 lb blocks. You can also get m&p colorants/scents at the hobby stores.

If the hobby stores don't have the colors or scents you want, then most of the soap supply places will have colorants that work in MP soap to get the colors you want. It is crucial when buying colorants that they say they can be used in MP soap bases. If you are wanting to use FO's, the same holds true there. Just because a FO says it is "soap safe", you need to make sure it works in MP. (The very first "soap" I ever did was a MP and almost immediately after adding the FO, I had "soap on a stick" and could only plop the 3 colors in the mold, so ended up with a camouflage looking soap that smells great and my husband loves). Just be sure and read before using.
 
Top