Recently, Lisa Maliga of Everything Shea Creates wrote to ask me if I'd be willing to review her e-book, The Joy of Melt and Pour Soap Crafting. I said yes, I'd be thrilled to. As some of you know, I'm a big fan of cold process and hot process soap, so why the interest in melt and pour? Because my best friend was just as adamant about glycerin soap as I was about the other kind and because it is a wonderful art form.
Glycerin soap, originally, was made using real soap, alcohol and sugar and a long cooking process. Some people still make it that way. Melt and pour glycerin soap is made using surfactant chemicals that behave like soap does in cleaning and foaming, along with alcohol and sugar. It has a high amount of glycerin in it, which is hydroscopic which means it attracts moisture, which makes it a non-drying option for people who have issues with soap drying their skin too much.
So, science and explanation out of the way, the e-book is very detailed about the process of melt and pour soap. The author cares a lot about the topic and wants to share that with you.
If you've seen the kits, it's some blocks of clear soap, sometimes some coloring and stuff to include in the soap, fragrance oil and short instructions which say to microwave the soap. Not very satisfying for crafty minds that want to create. This is a lot better.
The first half of the book is about the process of melt and pour soap. She explains what you can mix in, with lists of the attributes to different oils and herbs. She also includes some information about additives you might not think of, like tapioca pearls for a gently massaging soap. She explains how to use colorants, liquid, mica, mineral and natural. She also explains why using a double boiler or a crock pot is a better option than microwaving your soap.
A chapter of tips that she's learned to tell you things that won't work and things that work well, then you get to the recipes.
The recipes include a lot of techniques in themselves. How to do layered soaps,cake soaps,soap embeds and my favorite section, shampoo bars!
She finishes up with a lot of information about labeling and selling your finished soap products.
One of the best things in my opinion about melt and pour soap crafting is that it's a very friendly craft. You don't need to be a kitchen chemist. It's a craft that's ideal for parents to do with children as gifts or as the start of a home based business. Because of the nature of melt and pour soap, any thing that doesn't work out is still usable in your home.
My daughter was interested in this book because she's looking at ways to make extra money this summer and she loves crafting. I love the ideas in the book, but I prefer hand-milling soap and a lot of her tips and ideas can be used in hand-milled soap as well. I plan to try some shampoo bars both ways, using melt and pour and hand-milling.
A lot of great information in this book if you've ever had an interest in melt and pour soapmaking. If you go to the author's blog (linked above) , she has some free projects, recipes and articles there to read.
You can get the e-book in Kindle format on Amazon.com (affiliate link)
My reviews are always my personal and honest opinion. You can read more about my review policy here.