How to Increase Lather in Melt and Pour Soap?


Melt and Pour soaps are easy, fun, and convenient for beginner soap-makers. However, because you can’t alter the soap base’s properties, some aspects can be challenging. For example, it can be very frustrating for those who enjoy more sumptuous lather and can’t get their M and P soap to comply.

Lather in melt and pour soap can be increased by adding oils that contribute to a bubbly lather such as palm, coconut, or almond oil. Adding additives, or adding sugar or wine also helps increase lather in melt and pour soap. If your soap is already set, using a loofah or shower pouf would also work. 

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This article will go through the in-depth process of choosing lather encouraging ingredients for the best results. We will also cover a few precautions to keep in mind when working with M and P soaps. 

Why Is My Soap Not Lathering Enough?

There can be several reasons for your soap not to lather enough. One can be because of the type of oil you used in your recipe. Some oils can even reduce the amount of lather created by your soap. One such oil is olive oil. While it works effectively as a secondary oil in combination with coconut oil, it discourages lather on its own. 

If your soap has an olive oil base, or if it’s added for moisturizing purposes, lather formation might be impeded.  

Another one could be caused by decreasing the superfat of the oils. 

It also might be because of your water. Hard water tends to have a lot of calcium, magnesium, which does not allow for a good lather.

You might not have a good ratio in your recipe, and this needs to be fixed. You can fix this by using a soap calculator to know if your formula is balanced. 

And lastly, it might be possible you did not mix your soap well enough, so the saponification did not complete.  

How to Do Lather Testing With M&P Soap?

The first step is to prepare your melt and pour soaps with different bases and additional ingredients. These samples will be ready for lather testing. You will have to note your observations for each sample to fine-tune your next batch. 

Lather testing will involve using lukewarm water to test the soap. Get your hands wet and rub the soap to see how much and what kind of lather forms. You should note whether the soap retains its firmness. 

It is also important to observe the lather’s nature, whether it is creamy, sticky, or fluffy. Lastly, you should check if the lather is sustained or disappears quickly. 

How Do You Increase Lather on Your Melt and Pour Soap?

Well, based on the answer above as to what causes your soap to not lather, I think by now you probably have a good idea of what to do. 

But there are other ways to increase lather on your soap.

You can add certain oils to your M and P soap in small amounts to increase lather. You can add them after you melt the soap base while being careful not to overheat it. 

For the best result, ensure that you melt solid fats and butter before adding them to the soap base. 

The following type of oil and ingredients are effective for increasing the amount of lather. While some are good for creating lather, others enhance, yet others are meant to sustain lather.

Beef Tallow 

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Tallow has a similar composition to palm oil; it’s a harder kind of animal fat that creates a great lather. You can use it in smaller quantities to try out the best ratio for your M and P soaps. 

Some types of oils and sugar help to create lather due to their natural properties. If your soap does not have enough lather encouraging soaps, it may not perform as effectively.

We will start with some oils and go further down to other ingredients. 

Palm Kernel Oil Pure Cold Pressed Organic 32 Oz / 1 Quart

Palm Oil

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Given that palm oil is solid at room temperature, it needs to be melted for adding to soaps. It creates lather naturally and in adequate quantities. 

NOW Solutions, Sweet Almond Oil, 100% Pure Moisturizing Oil, Promotes Healthy-Looking Skin, Unscented Oil, 16-Ounce

Almond Oil

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Almond oil is not one of the harder oils. It is nonetheless good for creating lather when used moderately. 

Nutiva Organic, Steam Refined Coconut Oil from non-GMO, Sustainably Farmed Coconuts, 128 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)

Coconut Oil 

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Coconut oil works wonders to create lather and can be used in combination with other oils. You should be careful, however, since it can have a tightening effect on the skin. Be sure to add some moisturizing oils if you are using coconut oil to counteract this phenomenon.

Life-Flo Pure Sunflower Oil, Organic | Complexion & Body Moisturizer & Massage Oil | Cold Pressed & No Hexane | 16 Fl Oz

Sunflower Oil

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Why do my candles sink in the middl...
Why do my candles sink in the middle?

Creating a lather is only one part of the process. Sustaining lather on your skin is also crucial. Sunflower oil does not increase the amount of lather, but it does add to the sustenance factor. It maintains the thin film formed by soap and water to increase the longevity of bubbles. 

Home Health Original Castor Oil - 32 Fl Oz - Promotes Healthy Hair & Skin, Natural Skin Moisturizer - Pure, Cold Pressed, Non-GMO, Hexane-Free, Solvent-Free, Paraben-Free, Vegan

Castor Oil

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Castor oil needs to be used in combination with lather creating oils to enhance lather. It is best used along with coconut oil and in small amounts. Adding too much castor oil can be disadvantageous and might make your soap sticky. 

Butters

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If you want a creamy lather, use small amounts of butter. Using shea or cocoa butter can be useful but only in very small amounts. 

Butter is a little trickier to use since too much can reduce the natural lather, creating soaps’ ability. They prevent air from filling up and thus reduce bubble formation. There is greater creaminess because bubbles are smaller in size, but the lather appears to be lesser as a result.

Sugar 

Sugar is not an ingredient you might expect to add to your soap, but it is a great lather enhancer. Moreover, it is a natural exfoliant that helps remove dead skin when you use it. However, since you won’t be making a scrub, limit the amount of sugar you add.

About ½ teaspoon of sugar in a soap bar of 4 ounces is a good measurement. For a whole loaf of soap, use about 1 tablespoon of sugar. 

Extra Glycerin 

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Chances are you already use glycerin in your M and P soaps since this is a common procedure. However, you can try adding a little extra to sustain lather for longer. 

Clay

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Clay is a good way to increase friction when you rub the soap. The friction between water and soap is what enhances lather, and clay adds to this. Keep in mind that you don’t overdo the clay in your soap. Only use about 1 or 2 teaspoons per pound of oil that you have used. 

How Do You Increase Lather Even After The M&P Is Already Made?

Once you have made the M and P soap, no new ingredients can be added for lathering. However, you can still enhance the lather by increasing the amount of friction. 

One way to enhance lather is to use a loofah or shower pouf. This is meant to increase the lather of the soap without needing to add anything to it. Similarly, you can use a towel or washcloth for the same purpose. 

The hardness of water can also reduce the lathering ability of soaps. To increase lather, try checking the water you are using and opt for softer options. 

Endnotes

The lather is a visual pleasure more than anything, and it isn’t something that soap-makers want to compromise on. Whether you are an amateur soap-maker or experienced, these techniques can help you out. You can try out a few combinations and keep experimenting with the optimum soap solution. 

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