Essentially, Soap Base is pre-made plain soap ready to be melted and poured. (Remember the article about What is soap?) Soap Base is created by combining fat (such as tallow, oils, etc.) with a strong alkaline solution (like lye). This leads to a chemical reaction called saponification. That’s the base.
Melt and pour soap bases are usually named and identified by the type of fat or oil that was used to create it or by a distinguishing ingredient. For example, olive oil soap base is derived from olive oil and other oils. Goat’s milk soap was made using a significant amount of goat’s milk.
Soap bases are made with a variety of ingredients for their unique characteristics and properties. The different fats/oils and ingredients that make up the bases have different characteristics after the saponification process.
Why use Melt and Pour Soap Bases?
The main benefit of using Melt and Pour is that you don’t have to handle lye. When making hot or cold process soap, you need to carefully handle, measure, and combine lye into your soap. Some people are concerned about lye because it’s caustic and dangerous. If you’re new to soap making or afraid of messing up lye measurements, Melt and Pour is a great option for you.
Another benefit is that there is no curing time! Once your soap is cool and hardened you can pop it out and use it right away. So for all you who are impatient and chomping at the bit to make your soap and use it, go with Melt and Pour!
Choosing a High Quality Melt and Pour Soap Base
Not all soap bases are the equal. If you just grab the first soap base off the shelf at your local craft store, you are likely getting a soap base full of chemicals, detergents, and lathering agents. One of the greatest benefits of making your own soap is that you get to choose the ingredients! Your soap base is the largest component when you learn how to make homemade soap. Your melt and pour soap is only as good as the soap base you choose. Choose one that is completely natural and free of synthetic ingredients and chemicals. (See also my Detergent free soap base post) I personally like SFIC brand bases and you can find them at numerous online retailers such as Bramble Berry, Soap Goods, or Bulk Apothecary. If you are buying in bulk you can buy from SFIC directly.
Melt and Pour Soap Base Options
Here are some common soap base options for melt and pour soap. This chart contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link. You can also explore other soap base options and soap making supplies throughout BB or Amazon - there are lots of great ingredients and materials to be found!
White Soap Base
Benefits: Robust lather, Very moisturizing, Plain soap
Appearance: Opaque White
Olive Oil Soap Base
Benefits: Gentle, Creamy lather, Very moisturizing
Appearance: Translucent & slightly Olive, may darken over time
Scent: Slight olive oil scent
Goats Milk Base
Benefits: Delicate creamy lather, Softens skin
Appearance: Opaque Creamy Off-White
Scent: Has a slight scent
Hemp Seed Oil Base
Benefits: Abundant lather, Squeaky clean feel, Crowd-pleaser
Appearance: Somewhat translucent, olive green color
Scent: Slightly nutty scent
Aloe Vera Soap Base
Benefits: Soothing, Healing
Appearance: Clear with Slight Green Tint
Scent: Slight pleasant aloe scent
Shea Butter Soap Base
Benefits: Easy to use, Moisturizing
Appearance: Opaque Ivory/White
Honey Soap Base
Benefits: Soothing, Moisturizing
Appearance: Translucent Amber, color varies
Scent: Slight honey scent
Try 7 Soap Bases – 7 lb SFIC Sampler
If you want to get a great deal and try several different SFIC soap bases, you can pick up this Sample back of 7 different soap bases, 1 lb of each! Bramble Berry Melt and Pour Sample Kit
– Goat Milk