I love making life easy. And I love free 2 day shipping. Thus I love shopping on Amazon and I’m a loyal Amazon Prime member! So you would think that buying soap making kits on Amazon would be a brilliant idea. Well, not so much. Here’s the truth…
Now I also love making soap. But the not-so-fun part about a soap making hobby (besides cleaning up) is buying ingredients. Ok maybe I take that back. I do enjoy looking through all the bases. colorants, additives, and essential oils. I KNOW I’ve wasted more than a few hours browsing soap supply websites. How about you?
So I turned to Amazon to look for a solution and I found that there are several melt and pour soap making kits available there!
I started out with the intention of writing an article outlining the best kits available. After about 30 minutes of looking through the results I realized that most of these kits probably suck. Which is really disappointing and really confusing given the great 4 and 5 star reviews! So let me explain why I think you should avoid buying a soap kit from Amazon…
Heads up – to add on to my Amazon addiction, I became an affiliate. That gives me the opportunity to earn a small commission to support my blog when you make a purchase using links on my website. Some links in this post are affiliate links. Learn more about affiliate links here.
Why make soap from a kit?
You can definitely find plenty of tutorials for homemade melt and pour soap projects floating around the web (hello Pinterest!) Not to mention I’ve posted a handful of tutorials right here on my blog. Then you can go shop for all the ingredients you need, but you might find that some supply stores sells some – but not all of the items you need. Plus you will probably need to buy more than you need just for your project too.
This is where homemade soap kits come in handy!
Easy and Convenient – Kits have everything you need and you can make your purchase quickly and efficiently. No need to scour the web for the ingredients you need from multiple suppliers. Everything you need (in exactly the right quantity) is in 1 shipment.
Good for Beginners – Kits also typically come with instructions and since you have everything you need and the instructions, Kits are great for beginners. My very first melt and pour soap project was from a kit I bought at Michael’s craft store!
Variety of Supplies – Kits are fun because they offer a variety of supplies in sample-size portions. You don’t need to buy large quantities of ingredients which is great when you’re experimenting with new bases, additives, scents, or colorants.
What’s Wrong with a Soap Making Kit from Amazon?
I’ve gotten kits from the craft store and while that kit made a fun craft project, I can tell you that the ingredients were lacking the quality I have come to expect. I love to buy the best ingredients for soap making. That’s why now I prefer to use high quality soap bases and all natural essential oils in my melt and pour projects.
Why take a chance on ingredients when it comes to personal care items? What you put on your body gets absorbed into your skin and ends up IN your body. So when it comes to ingredients, I go with the best.
As I mentioned before I love shopping on Amazon – for so many reasons. Many soap making ingredients are just not available locally in stores near me, so that means I have to shop online. Amazon is great because they ship worldwide and usually shipping is very fast and often free if you have Amazon Prime. Plus their customer service is good if you need to make a return or if you have an issue. So that’s why I tried looking there.
But I was incredibly disappointed with the soap making kits on Amazon!
I couldn’t even find 1 kit that had all natural ingredients (like actually natural, not just a marketing label). So let’s go over what I found disappointing about these kits.
Low Quality Soap Bases
Most kits come with pretty generic (and probably low quality) soap bases. I prefer SLS / detergent-free soap bases for my soaps and typically stick with my favorite brand of soap base manufactured by SFIC. It didn’t look like any of these kits had really high quality soap bases. Using low quality base can result in dry skin, but is probably fine if you are just making a hand soap.
Most kits came with fragrance oils. There is a lot of research about the hormone-disrupting effects of fragrances. Lots of people are allergic or sensitive to fragrances. And often times fragrances can actually irritate the skin. That’s why I recommend using all natural essential oils. (PSA don’t use essential oils on your skin without diluting them!)
Dyes & Colorants
To add insult to injury, almost every kit contained little bottles of liquid lab-made colorant! If you hadn’t already guessed, I like coloring my soap with natural colorants or even leaving the soap without color, as essential oils and some botanical additives like oat powder leave a nice natural color as-is.
Some kits did have some botanical additives, but then I noticed in the customer reviews that some buyers reported the flower petals or natural botanicals turning their soap brown. And I must confess that it does happen. I remember the first time I used lavender buds in my soap and was upset they turned brown!
Cheap Plastic Molds
And to top it all off, even the soap molds were pretty disappointing. The clear plastic molds are very common. I prefer silicon molds now because I got tired of wrestling soap out of the stiff plastic molds. Sometimes freezing the soap in the mold helps, but then you risk cracking the mold or experiencing glycerin dew / soap sweat on your bars.
I remember the first soaps I ever made were from a kit just like I’ve described above. It’s a miracle that I actually enjoyed my finished product enough to continue my research and my soap making hobby. I really just liked the creativity and the process of making. Luckily I have resilient skin, almost no allergies, and back then I didn’t know anything about essential oils or fragrance oils.
But throughout the years I’ve become a bit of a soap snob and I love using the best ingredients whether I’m making melt and pour or cold process soap.
Quality Soap Making Kits & Ingredients
I anticipate doing some follow up posts to this one with more insights on soap making kits. During my research for this article I even got a spark of an idea to offer high quality kits on my site or via Amazon myself! But last thing I need right now is another business venture! haha.
I checked over at Bulk Apothecary for some kits, since that is one of my favorite suppliers. And I did see 1 kit that looked pretty good – the Citrus Blend Soap Recipe Kit. The base is not SLS free, but the kit comes with a silicone mold, essential oils, and granulated orange peel for a natural exfoliation and speckled look. Find it by going to “Make it” on the main menu and then clicking on “Soap Making Kits”
Bramble Berry is another great soap supplier. I don’t shop there as often as I’d like because the shipping costs a lot since they are located on the complete opposite side of the country from me. If you live on the west coast, I assume the shipping is better. I mean this is the motherload of soap kits. There are 108 M&P soap kits on Bramble Berry at the time of writing this post.
If you want to go the Amazon route, there are plenty of great ingredients, bases, and tools available, but you’ll have to purchase items separately.
Soon I’ll have to do a BYOK blog post – “Build Your Own Kit” 😉