Pre-made melt and pour soap bases are a convenient way of making customized soaps. However, sometimes they turn out rubbery after heating or even, in some cases, leave your skin feeling greasy! Why this happens is what we’ve covered in this article.
Why is my melt and pour soap rubbery? The leading cause for a rubbery melt and pour soap is overheating. A little too much heat can make your melt and pour base too hot, or burn it and make it rubbery in texture. In this condition, you can’t mix other ingredients with it.
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Melt and pour soaps are ready to use from the moment you buy them. It is already saponification for you, and all that remains is adding your own personal touches like colors, essential oils, or fragrances! But as simple as it seems, this craft can be complex if not done correctly.
Why is my melt and pour soap rubbery?
The premade melt and pour base is very sensitive to heat, which can cause it to get damaged. Many people use a microwave for convenience but tend to forget that it causes this damage as well.
In a microwave, melt and pour soap quickly reaches high temperatures, which removes moisture and causes them In just 3 minutes to become rubbery in texture.
Converting a melt and pouring the base into liquid requires patience. If you are busy somewhere else or are getting distracted, better leave this work. You can’t simply place the M&P base in the microwave for a minute and attend something else.
Leaving the soap base in the microscope for more than 10 seconds in one go is the biggest mistake one can make. This is especially the case for those who never used this technique.
Similar can be said for double boilers. Even if you are melting in a double boiler, leaving the soap base on the heat for longer than required will make melt and pour soap lose its moisture and get a rubbery texture.
When a soap base gets rubbery, it does not pour well. Even if you are the most talented soap maker on earth, it’s doomed to fail. Secondly, you won’t mix the essential oils, colors, and other ingredients properly in a rubbery melt and pour soap.
So the next time you want to heat, melt and pour soap. Make sure you have all the ingredients ready in front of you. Measure the ingredients accurately before starting, incorporating all ingredients in the base as soon as it melts and is still hot enough.
Once a layer is formed on the molten soap base, you will find it difficult to mix the ingredients evenly. As soon as all ingredients are mixed, pour the soap into molds and set them aside.
What to do if your melt and pour soap is rubbery? Can you fix it?
There is no way to save melt and pour soap; however, it may still be usable, even dough it most likely will have a burnt smell.
First, let’s make sure that you have indeed overheated your M&P. You may be able to identify it by checking the following.
- The soap is giving an unpleasant smell.
- It becomes cloudy.
- It may become yellow or brownish.
- The burned melt and pour soap base will become thick, gloppy, and rubbery.
Once your soap is burnt and has a rubbery texture, you won’t be able to pour it smoothly into the molds. You might try, but the chances are that you’ll end up with a big mess. Nor would you be able to incorporate the essential oils and colors evenly in the melt and pour base in this condition.
You know what they say about burnt toast, right? Never try to save it because you can’t. The same is true with a burnt soap base. Unfortunately- the changes are irreversible, and there’s no saving it from being trash or, worse yet, throwing away your entire batch of hard work!
Some people would tell you to reheat and remold it – but who likes to use a discolored soap with a burnt smell?
How to avoid rubbery melt and pour soap?
You can prevent rubbery melt and pour soap by cutting the base into small equal pieces and melting it slowly in a double boiler. You can also use a microwave, but it’s not recommended as it may burn fairly quickly, especially with small pieces that melt very fast.
The best way to prevent your soap from getting rubbery is to cut the base into small pieces before melting. Just make sure you cut them evenly, the pieces that have different sizes will take longer to melt, and as a result, you may end up with a bowl of melt and pour base with un-melted chunks.
Secondly, you should prefer using a double boiler to melt the soap. Using a microwave is just too risky. You’ll only increase the chances for the melt and pour to get overheated and rubbery.
Some soap makers believe that microwaves are a more convenient and quick way to melt the base of their soaps. However, you need to be careful when using them! Don’t let it stay in for too long – 20 seconds at most, and again don’t forget to check every 10 seconds.
To make a double boiler, heat water in one saucepan. Place the bowl or another small saucepan containing your mixture in the bigger saucepot and set it to simmer on top of this pot. The melt and pour base must never be heated directly on a stove.
Stir occasionally for uniform heat distribution. Never let the soap base bubble or smoke. If this happens, it indicates that you have already ruined your base.
Take out after each interval and stir to melt the chunks. Then apply heat in intervals of 5-10 seconds and keep stirring in between. Don’t heat again once all the soap base is melted.
If you don’t stir in between, the heat will not distribute evenly, and the soap base may burn from the sides where the temperature has already reached 132.2 degrees Fahrenheit. If there are still some large chunks left, it’s better to melt them separately to avoid overheating the rest of the mixture.
If the amount of melt and pour soup is less than 5 ounces, you need to be still even more vigilant because smaller amounts of melt and pour base burn very quickly.
Industrial size warmers are also a good option if you have a large quantity to melt. They work like double boilers and are very convenient for those soap makers who sell melt and pour delicacies.
Using a microwave is not recommended, but if you can’t use any other alternative way of melting the melt and pour base, do it in intervals. You will need to stir constantly until the base melts completely. If you don’t overcook it, you can work with it easily. Otherwise, it will become too rubbery to handle.