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Problems With Melt & Pour Soap

Handcrafting melt-and-pour soaps offers opportunities for creativity, but frustration sometimes occurs when crafters encounter unexpected problems. Here's how to troubleshoot potential challenges.

Glycerin is the main ingredient in melt-and-pour soaps.

Handcrafting melt-and-pour soaps offers opportunities for creativity, but frustration sometimes occurs when crafters encounter unexpected problems.  Here's how to troubleshoot potential challenges.


Dirt and Debris

Remove any debris from melt-and-pour soap base by scooping it out with a spoon.  Protect your soap base from dirt by storing it inside a container with a tight lid.


Color Changes

Old melt-and-pour soap base can sometimes take a yellow hue, but the soap quality remains.  Use colorant (mica) to cover it.

Fragrance oils containing vanilla will cause soap to turn brown, but vanilla and color stabilizers are available. 


Dried, Crumbly Soap Base

High-quality glycerin soap shouldn't crumble, but over time it can dry out if not tightly sealed.  Soap base containing too much lye can cause crumbly soap, so purchase supplies from a respected supplier.


Bonding Layers

To get two soap layers to adhere, spray rubbing alcohol on the first--hardened--layer before pouring the next.  Rubbing alcohol bonds the layers.


Boosting Lather

If you want more bubbles from glycerin soap, add castor oil or tallow at no more than 35 percent. 


Air Bubbles

To remove air bubbles from glycerin soap after pouring into molds, spritz the layer with rubbing alcohol.  The bubbles will dissolve.

About the Author

Originally from Indiana but now based in upstate New York, Lisanne Jensen has written professionally since 1988. Her journalism career includes government and features reporting for several Indiana newspapers, book editing, and marketing/graphic design. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and French from Indiana University.

Photo Credits

  • Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Debbie
  • Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Debbie