Melt and Pour Recipes

 Note! You are advised to double-check the formulation of all recipes before making any of them. Recipes using sodium or potassium hydroxide should be run through a lye calculator before use.

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        M&P stands for melt and pour. It's also known as the soap easy enough for anyone to make. All you need to have is some purchased melt and pour base, a double boiler (you can also use a microwave, but this will melt it from the inside out and is hard to keep it at the right temperatures), some additives such as fragrance oils, essential oils, herbs, coloring and molds.

        M&P is also known as glycerin soap or casting soap. Some craft stores may carry the base, but you can also order from many reputable sites on the web. Certain chain stores glycerin bases may contain ingredients that may not be the best all around product. These ingredients can cause smelly, slimy bars, so you may want to check out our suppliers page to find good sources to buy your supplies from. Below are the basic steps to get you started. These recipes are only a beginning. You will find m&p soaps addicting and want to create your own signature styles and types.

        Step 1: Cut and weigh out your base and place into the top half of a double boiler;(don't worry if you don't have a double boiler, you can substitute two pots and create your own). Keep it covered as it's melting so as not lose moisture. Melt over low heat, you don't want to let it get too hot, try not to let it get over 160 degrees or you will get cloudy bars. A good tip is to let half of the base melt, then remove from the heat and leave it in the water until it melts the rest of the way. Try not to stir it as it's melting, if you have to, just gently nudge the soap around or you will create air bubbles which won't make very appealing bars.

        Step 2: Add your colorant. Many people use food coloring, but they can fade and bleed. You can purchase color nuggets, micas or pigments to help achieve a better color. Stir your coloring in gently.

        Step 3: Add any additives such as herbs when your base has cooled and started to thicken to help suspend them in the base. You can also add other ingredients at this time such as aloe vera gel, vitamin E, beeswax, cocoa butter, shea butter, etc. Melt your solids such as cocoa butter and beeswax before adding to the base. You can use 1 Tablespoon per pound of base.

        Step 4: Add fragrance. This is up to your own preferences, you may use fragrance oils or essential oils, just make sure the fragrances are safe for soapmaking and use on the skin. Fragrance is added at anywhere from 1 tsp. up to 1 Tbs. per pound depending on how strong you want it to smell.

        Step 5: Pour into molds. This is where you can be very creative too! You can use just about anything as a mold. Some ideas are candy molds, pringles cans, pvc pipe, rubbermaid containers, yogurt containers, cat food cans (washed and dried, of course) be careful of any sharp edges.....some cat food cans don't have this edge.

        Step 6: Unmold after hardened and enjoy. M&P can be used right away!

        Tips: if you have trouble unmolding your soap, stick it in the refrigerator for a few minutes and try again.
        Keep your soaps wrapped in plastic wrap, such as cling wrap or saran wrap to protect your bars from moisture.
        When your cooling your base to suspend herbs, gently keep stirring like with a bamboo chopstick just enough to keep a skin from forming.
                             Now on to the recipes!

        Lavender Beeswax Soap
        4 oz. Unscented glycerin soap
        10 drops lavender perfume oil
        1 drop violet food coloring
        1 tsp. Grated beeswax
        Purchased soap mold: or empty, clean tuna can or milk carton.  Melt the soap over low heat until liquefied. Add the grated beeswax and stir until melted.
        Remove from heat and add the perfume oil and the coloring. Stir until well blended. Pour the mixture into a mold and let set for three hours or until hardened.Kelly Reno


        Citrus & Calendula Soap
        by Jan Teaford

        1 #  M & P transparent soap base
        A handful of calendula petals (dried) , about 1/4 cup
        15  drops of  yellow food coloring  ( I used the Wal-Mart soap color)
        3/4 tsp. grapefruit  EO
        1/2 tsp. tangerine  EO
        1  TBSP melted shea butter ..melted separately

        Melt the soap base... at the same time melt the shea butter in a custard cup placed in a pan of boiling water or in the microwave.   Add calendula petals to the melted base, a few drops of yellow food coloring..... the EO and then the melted shea butter..... try to have this the same temp as the melt and pour. Keep stirring the soap/ shea butter mixture.As it starts to set up spoon  into Pourette heart molds. ( By spooning you have more control how many of the calendula leaves  go into each mold) I like to let my molds set at room temp until them are skimmed over fairly firm.... they I chill them in the freezer for about a half hour before removing them from the mold.....  and place them on a rack to finish drying completely.

        ***** By stirring the soap/ shea butter mixture as it cools.....  the butter will not float to the top and make little circles of butter... which might look like mold to those that don't know.


        Orange Julius Soap
        by Sue Traudt

        2 cups transparent M&P, melted
        2 tsps honey
        1 tsp Almond Oil
        1 tsp French white clay powder
        1/4-1/2 tsp Orange FO or EO  (I tried both, found I needed more FO also,
        I like
        my soap more on the lightly scented side)
        1/4-1/2 Vanilla FO

        While the M&P was melting, I mixed the French clay, the Almond oil & the honey together in a small bowl.  When the M&P had fully melted, I mixed in the clay/honey/oil mixture and my scent. I also didn't add any coloring to the soap as it seemed to have enough on its own.


        Dog Soap Bar
        Cheryl Keeley

        4 oz. melt and pour base
        1 tablespoon herbal shampoo(I use Aubrey Organics Camomile from the
        food store because I like the ingredients in it)
        400 IU vitamin E (My vet says this is great for the dogs coat)
        1/4 teaspoon liquid glycerin
        essential oils of tea tree, peppermint or lavender
        (I wasn't great at measuring and recording when I made the last batch,
        so use your judgment)

        I use tea tree oil for it's antiseptic quality and peppermint since fleas don't like the smell of it.  For my sister who is allergic to peppermint I use lavender with the tea tree oil.  Lavender is supposed to have antiseptic qualities also and fleas aren't drawn to it. Melt the base and then add the rest of the ingredients.  This is better than liquid soap for dogs because it is easier to use on them.  No holding them in the tub with one hand and trying to balance and open a bottle with the other. Just rub the bar around on the wet dog.  I have a keeshond and it leaves his coat beautiful.


        Fisherman's Soap
        Lynda Agen   Alaskan Nights Soap Company

        1 lb.  M & P base
        1/2 TB. anise EO
        15 drops blue color
        little fish (candy molds, ten to a sheet)
        these I put one in each cavity of Pourette's oval mold, as I pour the clear M&P, which is 1#  M&P and 1/2 Tbls anise EO. This makes a great soap according to my dad, who "Fishes to Live!"
        Anise EO has been shown to attract fish.
        ***Use anise EO with caution, it can be harmful. Avoid during pregnancy.


        Natural Sunflower Seed Soap
        *From Sandy Maine's book, "Soothing Soaps For Healthy Skin".

        oil = emollient
        ground seed = exfoliant & nourishment for skin
        Sunflower Tea = golden radiance & warmth
        To make tea : place 1C sunflower petals in clean jar add 1cup of  cool water, place in sunny place for few hours, strain, discard petals

        For each  2 cups of soap base add:

        4 TB. Sunflower Tea
        2 TB. sunflower Oil
        2 TB. sunflower seeds  (unsalted, raw, hulled & pulverized)
        1 tsp. heli-carrot oil (for golden color-optional)


        Iced Tea Soap
        Cathy Loper

        I made some orange and lemon slices in the ice cube mold Walmart had awhile back; then suspended them in clear M&P with the brewed (regular orange or black pekoe) tea as a coloring.  It looked and even smelled (faintly)like iced tea.  Now the regular teabags (i,.e., Lipton,
        etc.)may not be the 'golden' brown you want, but I bet there's an herbal tea out there that would brew up just right, color-wise.  The tea did not 'cloud' the clear base as I thought it might, but I only used just enough to get the translucent brown I wanted.


        Lemon Tea Soap
        Karyn Cox

        I made some lemongrass/clary sage soap. I tried to swirl it...but messed it up. My daughter  smelled it & kept saying it smelled like lemon tea to her. I remelted all of it & made it brownish to look like tea, then put it in some squares of plain-clear base, let it cool cut it & you can
        see the 'tea' & the 'ice cubes'!


        Lynn Woosley
        Home Delights Soaps & Sundries

        1 pound melt & pour soap base
        lilac and blue mica - I use TKB's hilite colors, and add 1-2 sections of each color from one of Kaila's color nuggets
        1 tablespoon Oceania fragrance oil
        1 teaspoon dried apple mint
        1 teaspoon dried lemon or lime balm
        2 vitamin E capsules (optional)
        1 teaspoon castor oil (optional)

        In a double boiler, heat soap base and colorants until about half of the base is melted.  Remove from heat and cover until base is fully melted. Stir in FO, finely ground herbs, Vitamin E, and castor oil.  Gently stir until colorants are evenly distributed and base begins to cool and thicken.  Pour into molds.

        I like to use opaque base with this recipe.  The white base and the ground herbs make this look like an old-fashioned herbal soap, and the mica adds just a touch of sparkle.  The herbs also add a top note to the Oceania FO.  If a tablespoon of FO is used, this will be fairly heavily scented.


        Earth Clay Soap
        by Susan Weiss

        1 lb. glycerin soap
        2 Tablespoons Jojoba Oil
        1 Tablespoon Earth Clay
        1/4 cup distilled water
        colorant and scent


        Facial soap/good for all skin types
        makes six 2 oz. bars
        Iris Emily

        13 oz opaque m&p
        3 tsp lavender flower infused oil - olive, jojoba, almond, etc
        1 tsp. Lavender EO
        1 tsp. Vitamin E
        1 tsp. honey
        1/2 tsp. pink clay
        1/2 tsp. finely ground lavender flowers (You can grind your own or buy
        lavender flowers in powdered form)
        slight tint for color (optional)

        Gently melt m&p, add oil, vit e, honey until mixed, then add eo, flowers, clay, and tint


        Special fragrance oil bars
        Makes nine 3oz bars
        Iris Emily

        30 oz opaque m&p
        2 tbs herb infused olive oil or whatever you like
        1 tsp vit e
        1 tsp aloe vera gel
        1 tsp rose or white clay
        3 to 4 TB. fragrance oil
        tint or color

        This is great for those scents that are too delicate for cp soap or won't hold.  With the additional ingredients it makes a lovely skin soap as well...not drying like m&p by itself.  These should give you some ideas...go with what you like or what sounds good and have fun.


        MP Facial Soap
        Iris Emily

        8 oz opaque m&p
        1 oz elderflower infused olive oil
        1/4 oz jojoba oil
        1 teaspoon honey
        1 oz milk (room temp) - Maybe a little less
        *2 teaspoons "finely" ground oatmeal
        1 tablespoon vit e
        fo (your choice)

        I put a shelf life on this one.  I made it Jan 26 of this year.  I tested, leaving it unwrapped, (shrink wrapped, and of course by my sink)  No problems so far with the milk.  May want to add a little white clay as this doesn't lather well, but then you can educate people that a small lather doesn't mean a good soap.  Jan 

        Gent's Canadian Balsam Fir/Basil Soap

        3 1/2 lbs opaque MP
        2 tsp. beeswax (melt wax alone and add to melted MP)
        2 tsp. cocoa butter
        4 Vitamin E capsules pierced and contents squeezed into melted MP
        About 1 1/2 droppers of Canadian Balsam Fir eo/fo
        A good sprinkling of dried ground basil leaves
        Coloring of choice (I like the woodsy greens or light browns)

        *Melt MP base and cocoa butter in double boiler (do not let base get any hotter than 160)
        *When base is completely melted, add MELTED beeswax, vitamin E and coloring
        *Take portion of double boiler containing base off and set to cool some *When first small traces of skin start forming, add eo/fo *Gently stir to cool base some more, then gently stir in basil *Pour base into desired mold...the cooler your base, the more suspended your basil will be.


        My favorite recipe for a great lathering, creamy, harder, long lasting bar of M&P is this:

        Per 2 pound batch of melted opaque base add:*

        2 T. Goatsmilk or Buttermilk powder whisked with 1/4 cup cold water
             *(add this liquid milk to your base as your melting it and it
              won't clump)

        1 T. Emu Oil (fantastic oil) melted with 1 tsp. of stearic acid flakes

        2 T. Fragrance Oil or 1 T. Essential Oils

        Also add your color.  Blend well and pour into molds.

        You can also add 2 T. ground oatmeal, calendula petals, etc. etc.  If
        you want your additions to stay suspended in the base cover the base
        with saran wrap so a skin doesn't form.  Come back to it every few
        minutes and stir.  As soon as it gets thicker and your oatmeal (or
        whatever) stays suspended in the base then its time to quickly pour
        into your molds.

        You can add the emu oil and stearic acid to a clear base with a very
        little pinch of borax and it will stay clear, and still make a nice
        bar.  Don't add milk a clear base it looks murky and yucky.
        Stacy B.

 Randa's Honey Oatmeal Soapcakes

4 oz. white melt & pour base

l/2 tsp. honey fragrance oil

l tsp. dark brown honey.

Cut soap into l" chunks and melt in a double boiler over medium heat.Stir in honey and fragrance oil.Pour about l/4" layer into the bottom of molds. Second layer

8 oz. white melt & pour soap base

l tsp. honey fragrance oil

2 tsp. dark brown honey

2 tsp unsulphured molasses

3 Tbsp. finely ground oatmeal

Cut soap into l" chunks and melt as directed above.Stir in fragrance oil, honey, molasses,then oatmeal.  Spritz first layer with alcohol.Pour or spoon second layer over it into the molds.If you desire a harder bar, beeswax may be added.I love this soap made inthe MWM acorn slab mold.(OF course you have to make a bigger batch.Randa Black


Randa's Mint Leaf Soap

l small leaf mold(I used Deltas)

l oval scalloped mold

White melt & pour soap base,small amount for leaves, mint fragrance oil,green soap color tabs,sparkling accents glitter(Delta)

3 oz. transparent melt & pour for second layer Leaves

Melt white soap,add l-2 drops green soap coloring or a few color tabs tomake a very pale green.  Add mint fragrance oil and sparkling accents glitter. Pour soap into small leaf molds. Glitter may also be sprinkled in the bottom of each mold before pouring.Let leaves set up.Unmold.Place leaves in freezer for l0-15 minutes before adding them as embedds to following soap.

Melt transparent melt & pour, add green coloring to make a medium green,then fragrance oil.Let soap cool slightly.  Remove leaves from freezer and place one in each mold face-down.  Carefully pour soap over leaf to fill the mold.

        Gardeners Soap
        by Rachel Smith
        1 lb M&P honey base (aloe vera or goatsmilk are nice too)
        1 - 2 Tablespoons white cornmeal
        1 1/2 Tablespoons fine pumice (you can substitue coffee grounds if
        you don't have pumice on hand)
        1/2 - 1 Tablespoon bentonite clay
        1 Tablespoon of shea or mango butter (for moisturizing)
        2 - 3 teaspoons of a citrus essential oil (orange, lemon, etc.)or
        one of each. Be creative! Lemongrass is a nice scent to add as well.
        But Orange cuts the grime.

        Melt base
        Stir to Allow it to cool a bit
        Add scent
        Refrigerate for 10-20 minutes depending on how hot your base is by
        this stage
        Stir in cornmeal, pumice, & clay continually until it gets to the
        point where it will stay suspended in the soap.  Pour into molds.

        Another alternative is too put the cornmeal in a fine layer along
        the bottom of your mold and pour over the top. This leaves one side
        scrubby and the other smoother.

        Edited 5/10/03
        You may want to make up the scrubby portion and be creative. Do it
        in equal parts. And then add 1-2 tablespoons of that mixture per
        pound. That way it is consistant and not TOO abrasive. :)