Though melt and pour soaps are considered one of the easiest ways to make soap, it doesn’t mean you can’t make mistakes. If they have a sticky texture or they leave a sticky feel after washing, you probably need to do something about your ingredients.
Why is my melt and pour sticky? Adding extra liquid or oil to your melt and pour base may make your soup sticky. The extra addition of oil makes it leak and create beads on the surface. Too many additives may also cause it to become sticky. It is also possible that a pre-made soap base may already have stickiness; it will not go away when you melt it and add other ingredients to it.
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Melt and pour soaps are often the first method of soap making that most beginners start with. However, it is also because this method is so easy that carelessness is quite common. Small mistakes can actually ruin it, or if you have a business unfit for selling.
Why is my melt and pour soap sticky?
Melt and pour soaps have a high glycerin content as compared with other soaps. Glycerin is known to attract moisture as it is a humectant.
If you leave your soap uncovered without a dehumidifier, it may absorb extra moisture, which causes your melt and pour to sweat all over the surface.
These tiny droplets of atmospheric moisture also appear as dewdrops. That’s why your soap may get a sticky feel to it. Using a dehumidifier is therefore unavoidable for those who live in a humid environment.
Also, adding any liquids such as water or goat milk in an amount that is higher than what the recipe requires will also make your soap sticky.
In another scenario, some people melt their melt and pour base but keep the lid covered. When you keep your pot covered, steam will get trapped inside and eventually get absorbed back into the soap mixture, and because of it, it won’t incorporate well in the oily ingredients.
When the moisture level is higher than fat or oil, your soap will most likely leave a sticky feel on your skin. The soap is entirely usable, even if it’s sticky. This sticky feeling will fade away once your skin has dried, so no worries, but it’s you won’t be able to sell it, I am afraid.
Sometimes adding an excessive amount of oil in melt and pour soap may also cause a sticky feel on the soap’s surface. The type of oil you add is also important, as many people noticed that melt and pour soaps become sticky when they added castor oil to it.
How do you make melt and pour soap less sticky?
Request a new soap base from the manufacturer if it’s sticky, to begin with. Once you open your soap base, do not leave it unwrapped as it will attract moisture from the air due to the glycerin with the base. Don’t add too many additives, as it will mess up the ratios in your recipe. You can also place your soap in a room with a dehumidifier and let it run till your soap feels less sticky.
Even though sticky melt and pour is not such a bad thing, it’s still much more enjoyable to have one that does not. Also, such soap is usually not appreciated by customers.
So, if you’re struggling with sticky melt and pour, here are some tips and tricks that will help you reduce the stickiness.
As previously mentioned, some bases may come that already has a little stickiness to them. So, check it as soon as you receive it. If the base gives a sticky touch to your hands, it is better to contact the manufacturer and ask for a replacement.
The chances are very high that a sticky base will produce a sticky end product, and that’s definitely not the best thing for your business.
If the base turns out to be ok, but it somehow became sticky when adding additives, you most likely messed up the moisture and oil proportion.
In this case, you can place the melt and pour soap in a room with a dehumidifier run and let it cure. It will harden the soap and reduce stickiness.
Some people may tell you to freeze it. Please don’t. Frozen melt and pour soap will actually cause it to retain more moisture. Melt and pour soaps have a relatively higher glycerin content and tend to absorb moisture, making them extra sticky.
Adding a little bit of grape-seed oil or olive oil can help balance their oil to moisture ratio.
TIP: Once you open the melt and pour base packaging, never leave it unwrapped as it will attract unnecessary moisture to become sticky.
How to fix sticky melt and pour soap?
You can fix a sticky melt and pour soap by adding extra vegetable oil if it has free moisture. 1-2 tsp. per pound should suffice.
You will end up with a sticky melt and pour soap if the base you are using is sticky. If you have just unwrapped a new melt and pour base and think that it’s giving a sticky feeling in your hands, you should try with some other base that does not feel sticky.
A sticky base is less likely to get a different texture after you make the melt and pour. If you are making melt and pour for your customers, they won’t be very happy to wash their hands with a sticky soap.
If you think that the melt and pour soap you are making has a bit of free moisture that is not emulsified in oils, you can add a few vegetable oils or vegetable butter to the mixture. It will neutralize the moisture and make the soap nourishing for the skin. Adding 1-2 tsp. of oils per pound of soap is sufficient. Here you need to be careful while adjusting the ratio of oil to moisture.
What causes a Melt and Pour base to become Sticky:
When you are making cold process soap, a fragrance oil added to it may cause acceleration – a process in which the soap batter thickens too quickly and becomes difficult to handle. It may also ‘seize,’ which is the next stage of acceleration. In this condition, the soap takes the consistency of a play-dough or clay and becomes useless.
Similarly, if some base soap manufacturers make some mistakes, the melt and pour batch will become sticky. If you manage to work with a soap that has a sticky texture, it will be sticky when used.
Adding castor oil to a soap base makes it sticky or draggy. The soap remains soft when it is made from most of the liquid oils.
When working with melt and pour soap, you should not go beyond one teaspoon of oil per pound of soap. It will make the soap sticky and prevent it from producing lather.