Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to Make Your Own Melt and Pour Soap

Hi everyone, I have a special treat for you today! I first met Zacil through Facebook several months ago, and I’ve been admiring her soaps ever since. A couple of months ago, she shared on her Facebook page (Soap&Soap) that she had made her own melt and pour soap base. I was intrigued, because unlike most homemade melt and pour recipes I’ve seen, this one doesn’t use alcohol. I asked Zacil if she would be willing to do a guest post for us, on how to make your own melt and pour soap, and she kindly agreed! So, please welcome Zacil and enjoy her post below. Thank you Zacil! :)

Where do you start when you write a Blog post?. I’ve been asking myself that for a couple of weeks. Never done this before, so bare with me please?
Hi, my name is Zacil and I am a Soapaholic!.
I’ve been soaping since 1.5 years. The reason I started?, well… I love the personal care products from a certain shop ( L****) and buying them was leading me to bankruptcy. I started to inform myself about alternatives over the internet, home recipes and then… I discover a new world!. I found a new hobby where I have tons of fun, met wonderful people and where, in terms of creativity, sky is the limit!

On my information and inspirational journey – yes, we soapers call it inspiration, not copy catting – I found Cee and her wonderful blog. I cannot tell you how much I learned from her!. So thank you very much Cee!. Anyway, that’s how my journey started and how I met Cee.

A couple of months ago I posted in my Facebook page a recipe for self-made M&P. I saw a post on Soaping 101 about it and was intrigued because I am an "embed junkie". I’ve bought M&P bases, but was not quite satisfied with the quality and "feel" about them. They have this "synthetic" texture that has no comparison with selfmade soap. By no means I’m trying to criticize people who soap with M&P bases, I just like the idea of making my own and be sure of what I have in it.

I've adapted this recipe from the recipe I saw on Soaping 101, the process is pretty simple. You need to make an HP soap, and once it is ready, add 100 % Glycerin (from your oils weight). Then you cook the soap again, mixing now and then with the spoon until everything is melted down and it looks transparent.Once it has reached this point, pour it in your mould, let it set for 24 Hours and…. Voilá!... you have M&P:




To use it, just cut as much as you need, melt it on the microwave as you would any M&P.

The recipe I used:
Coconut 32 %
Palm 32 %
Castor 32 %
Stearic Acid 4 %
SF 3 %

It's so easy!


Notes from Cee: I followed Zacil’s instructions and just wanted to add my notes from making this (so I don't forget how I did it!). I used the following recipe, which filled just over my 2-pound mold: 

Castor Oil 144 grams
Coconut Oil 144 grams
Palm Oil 144 grams
Stearic Acid 18 grams

Distilled Water 160 grams
Lye 66.04 grams

After Cook: 450 grams Glycerin

I melted the oils in the microwave before putting them in the crock pot, then I added my lye solution (I used almost the full amount of water suggested by my lye calculator) and I used my whisk to stir. It came to trace almost immediately (pic 1), most likely due to the stearic acid. I stirred the soap every 15 minutes while it was cooking in the crock pot (on low). After 45 minutes, you could see the edges start to gel (applesauce stage) (pic 2).  I cooked the HP soap for a total of 1 hour, until it was at complete applesauce stage and had no zap (pic 3). I added the glycerin (pic 4) and then stirred all together (pic 5). I stirred it every 15 minutes for another 30 to 45 minutes on low, until everything was clear and melted, as per Zacil’s instructions (pic 6). 

Of course, these times would be variable, depending on your crock pot and how big your recipe was. These were just my individual results.

I really didn’t expect much with the lather, I thought that all of the added glycerin would really cut the lather, but that wasn’t the case at all! The lather was abundant and full, as you can see in the collage picture above.

I melted down some of the soap I made and added some mica for color, you can see that it works beautifully:


I can't wait to try making some embeds with this!

This was so easy, just as Zacil said - it’s exactly like making HP soap. Thank you Zacil for sharing your recipe and technique! :)

UPDATE: Zacil was actually able to track down the original blog post, so that we could link back to it! The blog is in Russian, but the translator on Google Chrome does a pretty good job of translating it and there is a very good picture tutorial on the blog too: http://magicsoap.ru/4443-mylnaya-osnova-svoimi-rukami-s-nulya-kak-sdelat-v-domashnih-usloviyah-recept-i-master-klass.html

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72 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing! I have been wanting to make an MP base, too, and I was daunted by how complicated I thought it would be.

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    1. Zacil makes it seem so simple, doesn't she? I thought it would be complicated too, but it was surprisingly easy!

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  2. THIS is a must-try for me! I love the satisfaction of making things from basic ingredients, and not having to rely on pre-made bases. I've been researching making my own glycerin soap and actually planned on making it in the very near future, but I think I'll be squeezing this in first. It's beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm with you Amy, I love it when I discover something I can make at home that I thought I could only buy in stores! For some reason, the glycerin version seemed less intimidating to me than the alcohol version, although I think the technique is very similar. Please share your results if you try this!

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  3. Wow!! How fun, my honey and I were just talking about this today, since I've been reading up on liquid soapmaking recently and my book seems to reference homemade MP soap a lot, that I should start making my own. I had no idea it was so simple!! I can't wait to give this a try!! I'm squee'ing so much inside right now!! Thank you, Zacil and Cee!! (more exclamation points for added emphasis of my excitement!!!!!!!)

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    1. I'm squeeing with you Laura! I was so excited to discover how easy it was, thanks to Zacil! I hope you guys get a chance to try this :D

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  4. This looks like a fun project :) I have never liked m&p because I have always thought that it is just bad synthetic stuff. Just have to go and buy some more glycerine...

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    1. I really like using MP soap for embeds, but I am so happy to have this version I can use as well. I need to find less expensive glycerin though, I think that and the castor oil were my biggest expense in this project :(

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    2. Kirppu took the words out of my mouth once again ;D But this is definitely something I must try, you don't need that much of M&P for embeds? Thanks Cee and Zacil for sharing this!

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    3. I hope you get a chance to try it Signe, I think you would really like it! :)

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  5. Thanks so much! I have made melt & pour with alcohol before and I find it very drying. I am very grateful to have another option that will still be usable. I make and sell my soap so I want to be as homemade as possible

    cabinofbows.blogspot.com.

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    1. I had wondered about that Lois, whether the alcohol would be drying. Thanks so much for sharing your insight!

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  6. This doesnt look so hard, Thank you to you both for sharing, I just may give this a try!

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    1. You could totally do this Stacie, it is just one simple step beyond HP soap! =)

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  7. What a fabulous valentine's treat! Thank you so much, Cee and Zacil! I will definitely have to give this a try!
    Is this the same as glycerin soap? Can we add fragrance and/or essential oil just like in CP and HP?

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    1. Hi Silvia, yes, this is a glycerin soap, just like the melt and pour soap that you buy. You can remelt it, fragrance it, color it and mold it, just as you do with MP soap!

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  8. Me parece maravilloso y un bonito trabajo.
    Gracias por enseñarlo.
    ♥♥♥

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    1. Hola Paulina, gracias! Espero que tengas un buen fin de semana!

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  9. This is amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing Zacil & Cee!!

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    1. Isn't it exciting Amy? I am so grateful to Zacil for agreeing to share her recipe and technique for us!

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  10. Is there any chance you could link back to the original recipe? I've never heard of using this technique to make transparent soap and would love to do some more research. I can't seem to find anything on my own. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

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    1. Hi Heather, I would have loved to have given credit to the original poster, but unfortunately the original post was on a very active and fast-moving Facebook page, so it would be very difficult to trace back to the original post. If you have any questions though, please feel free to post them here and we will try to help! :)

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  11. Wow, Cee, this is brilliant! Thanks for sharing with us, it will be useful!

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    1. Hi Nat, glad you liked the post...I hope you get a chance to try it!

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  12. Thanks for introducing us to Zacil, Cee. Being able to make your own MP soap is fantastic especially for those of you CP soapers who just want a little to make your embeds.

    Your finished product is beautiful, the colours are so bright and bold.

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    1. Zacil is definitely one to follow, I love her photography (and her soaps of course too!). I do prefer to use MP soap for my embeds, so this will be great for that. I am curious to see if this will sweat the same as our normal MP....I have a feeling this version might sweat more because of the high glycerin content, but I'll have to experiment and see :)

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  13. I like this easy going method, I'm joining those who will follow it! I've seen the a few videos on making your own m&p base, but it's always nice to know what works best for your friend and use their experience, right? Great post,Cee, I'm so looking forward to see where this all is going to finish to!

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    1. There was something about it, when Zacil first posted it, that really appealed to me about this method. I was really surprised that it could be made so easily with just glycerin, but it really does work! I hope you get a chance to try it too Maja!

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  14. Thank you for the post Cee. I like doing Melt and Pour and has just tackled cold press. Will see if I can get the courage to try hot process and eventually try making this.

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    1. I think you would really like making hot process soap, I love that it can be used almost immediately, that is a huge plus for me! If you have any questions about how to make hot process soap, please feel free to ask...it's quite easy to do!

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    2. Thank you Cee. It is great to find you guys and know how supportive of each other this community of soapers and bloggers are.

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  15. Can you substitute oils or add a small portion of another oil and still get a good creamy lathering soap, such as adding some avocado oil or changing out tallow or lard for the palm oil?

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    1. Hi Tima, Zacil had mentioned that she thought the original recipe used 50% olive oil and 50% castor oil, so I would think you could play around with the types of oils and still get good results. It would definitely be worth a try!

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    2. Thanks! I can't wait to play around with this. Your soaps are beautiful and inspiring. It's almost 1 am in Richmond, VA. Still watching soap making videos and reading blogs.

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  16. I love this! What an awesome blog and thanks to you and Zacil for sharing. Something else to add to my "to do for 2014!"

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    1. This type of soap would be great for your kiddos to be creative with, they could make their own soaps! ;)

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  17. Definitely must try for me! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

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    1. You are an HP pro...you could totally do this! :)

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  18. Thank you so much Cee and Zacil - I never even knew it was possible to make your own M&P! I've never used it, but have always thought it would be useful sometimes for embeds. Mind you, I've never tried HP either, so perhaps I should just go one step at a time!

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    1. I never was interested in trying it, because the recipes I saw called for propylene glycol or alcohol and kind of intimidated me. This version with glycerin seemed more my speed! You should try HP soap, I love making it. I love switching between MP, CP and HP soap...never a dull moment..lol

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  19. Oh, wow, how cool! Thank you, Zacil and Cee, for sharing this! I've never tried to make my own M&P, but I've read about other soapers trying it and I was intrigued. The micas look great in the homemade M&P!

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    1. Thanks Jenny, I hope you get a chance to try it...it was much easier than I thought it was going to be!

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  20. Hi,
    I'm new in the cold process and have found your website amazing, with
    plenty of recipes and new gr8 ideias. I'll share it in my blog. And please
    feel free to visit my online store of Soaps from Brazil at:
    http://loja.fabricadearomas.com.br

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    1. Thank you for the nice comments and for visiting!

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  21. Thank you for sharing! This is so interesting, and something I might like to try. I've made melt n pour using the aclohol method, but wasn't fond of it. This sounds much better, and yours turned out fantastic.

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    1. Thanks MFS, if you get a chance to try this one, let us know what you think! On the original blog post, she talks about reducing the glycerin so this sweats less, I might try that with my next batch.

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  22. I thought it's the alcohol/propylene glycol that ables the soap to be remelted. guess i was wrong, coz this one def doesn't have either of those two in it. very interesting.
    was wondering how much is the minimum amount of glycerin needed? not really a fond of glycerin coz it's very hot and humid where i live :(

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  23. forgot to ask, does this one makes a clear soap? i can't really see it from the pics. it looks like it was clear in the mold, but once it's set it was kinda opaque in color?

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    1. Hi NF! No, this soap isn't really clear...I would say it's translucent once it has cooled. In the link to the original blog post, she talks about using the glycerin from anywhere from 25% to 100%, so next time I am going to try reducing my glycerin to 75% and see how it compares to this one. I hope that helps! :)

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  24. Hi Cee, hope you don't mind me sharing this blog post at SMF (w/o asking you first that is). I'm Seven over there :)

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  25. Oh, I didn't put that together, hi Seven! No, I didn't mind you sharing at all, the more people that share and learn the better! :)

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  26. Hi Cee! First, thanks for the tutorial, I recently read about making M&P from K. Dunn's presentation (http://cavemanchemistry.com/HsmgTransMP2012.pdf). He also mentions how to make it from a CP soap - which I attempted (basically reheated grated CP in glycerine). I got translucent soap, BUT - the temperature of remelting it are very, very high. Above than 90°C and more to melt everything. Therefore once I get it out of the microwave, it starts to gel very fast and gains a very plastic consistency. I cannot imagine adding anything to it without it congealing in the bowl. The final soap is somehow plastic, too - you can work it with some effort to any shape. Your recipe differs in oils and in the difference of being made HP. I made M&P soap base following a recipe for transparent soap, substituting alcohol for propylene glycol. This was much better. So I wanted to ask - what is the melting temperature (or how easy it is to melt) and what is the final soap consistency (is it plastic)? Thanks! Evik

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    1. PS - I apologize if you got multiple replies to this message, I was trying to embed a picture and it didn't work!

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    2. Sorry Evik! I was sure I posted an answer to this the other day. Thanks so much for stopping by…I love your blog! Thanks for sharing Kevin Dunn’s presentation and your experience with trying it. I hadn’t seen this before, lots of great information. I have his Scientific Soapmaking book but haven’t had a chance to dive in yet.

      I would say the consistency of this soap is much like store-bought M&P, it’s definitely softer than CP and if you cut a thin piece it is flexible. You might find this video helpful in visualizing what the end result is like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOVPvbwfscI
      She follows this recipe and mentions that the melting point is around 175F? (I never measured the temp). I treated it just like I would my normal MP and microwaved it for the same bursts of time, but I am using very small amounts to make embeds. Because I work with smaller amounts, I haven’t had an issue with it setting up too fast; however, in the video, she does use a much larger amount and noticed that it started to set up quicker on her. I have fragranced this soap without an issue, but again, I am using small amounts of soap at a time. It does not sweat (in my climate) as much as the store-bought MP, the embeds did feel slightly tacky to touch the first few days, but that has now disappeared. It is not identical to store-bought MP, but for my uses it is an acceptable substitute. I don’t have any issues with store-bought MP, but I am a ‘from-scratcher’, and if I can make it myself, I will! :)

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  27. If you read Natali blog and comments in Russian you will find that it's not her idea. She wrote it couple times - this is K. Dunn's idea!!! He present it in 2012 at "Handcrafted soap & cosmetic guild" conference.

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  28. Hi Cee,
    Is this same as transparent soap?? I don't know enough, but don't they dissolve in ethanol?? wonderful and informative and inspirational blog- lata
    I

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    1. Hi Sreelatha, this soap isn't see-through transparent, it's more translucent. It's similar to the glycerin (melt and pour) soap that you buy in the store, which comes as clear or opaque soap. I'm not sure what you mean by dissolving in ethanol? Usually transparent homemade melt and pour soap is made with either propylene glycol or alcohol (ethanol); in this case, we are using glycerin. Does that help?

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  29. Brilliant! I can't wait to try this method! I have been fighting myself back and forth if I wanted to buy a M&P base, or of I wanted to make Teach's translucent soap...but I don't want to use high proof alcohol...too pricy!

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    1. Hi Liz! It would definitely be worth trying both to see what you prefer...there are most likely pros and cons to both methods. I wasn't sure if I could even get high proof alcohol easily in my area, so I hadn't really considered that option, but I do love Teach's recipes! =)

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  30. How would you adjust this recipe to get a more transparent soap? Add more glycerin?

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    1. Hi Capefox - in order to make a more transparent soap, you would need to use a recipe with high-proof alcohol and/or propylene glycol. Adding more glycerin to this recipe may make it cloudier, and it will most likely sweat more. Here is a good video from Soaping101 that shows to make a transparent soap using high-proof alcohol: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrCGSU3XHhA

      Also Evik (Curious Soapmaker) has a good tutorial here: http://curious-soapmaker.com/how-to-make-transparent-soap.html#Solvents

      This is a more advanced recipe, but looks promising too: http://www.thesoapkitchen.co.uk/recipe_meltandpour_soap.htm

      Hope that info helps!

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    2. Hi Cee- thanks for sharing this. I had great fun with it and I didn't mind the cloudiness to it at all. I tried another recipe of my own and ended up with a easy to rebatch soap that melts in the microwave. I thought it would be a total loss when my soap seized adding the glycerin, but I slapped it into a mold and the next day cut it up in cubes and it melts easily in the microwave. The bar rebatches smoothly into bars again unlike traditional rebatching.Thanks again- I love this soap!

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    3. I'm so glad you got to try it and that you love it! I saw your picture and it turned out so nice! There is definitely a lot of room for experimentation and tweaking with this recipe, I'm so glad you found something that works for you!

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  31. I wanted to know can i use Crisco oil instead because i dont have any pure palm oil but its in the Crisco oil?

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    1. Hi Taya, you can use Crisco oil to make soap but you cannot substitute it for palm oil without running your recipe through a lye calculator again because Crisco is not 100% palm oil. Here is a lye calculator that will calculate the use of Crisco: http://www.soapcalc.net/calc/soapcalcwp.asp

      Having said that, I have not tried this recipe with Crisco so could make no guarantees that it would work. If you don't have palm oil, the original version of this recipe was 50% coconut oil and 50% castor oil, so you could just use those 2 oils (again running it through the lye calculator to make sure you use the proper amount of lye). Let me know if you have any more questions :)

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  32. Thanks for the info. It is so helpful. There are very few M&P recipes available online. I have made every other type of soap for my business and I would like to make my own M&P, but it must be low sweat since we live in the south on the Gulf and it is very humid. I can only use low sweat. Do you know if this recipe is low sweat or what needs to be adjusted to make it low sweat? Thanks so much! Jo-Ann

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    1. Hi Jo-Ann, I think it would probably need to be adjusted for low sweat. I would try reducing the glycerin...maybe try using only 50% glycerin and see how that works?

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  33. Hi Cee Gee thanks for the info.
    Made my first batch of m&p soap from scratch. the recipe called for propylene glycol and sugar syrup with the glycerin. the soap turned out transparent but its very sticky. any idea why this is so and what can i do to save the batch.
    Thanks Roli

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    1. Hi Roli, unfortunately I haven't made MP soap with propylene glycol, so I am unfamiliar with how to resolve any issues that may arise with that type of MP soap. I would recommend checking out Evik's (The Curious Soapmaker) blog posts on this subject. It looks like she may have used a similar recipe and had similar problems - you can find her blog posts here: http://curious-soapmaker.com/how-to-make-melt-and-pour-soap-base.html and here: http://curious-soapmaker.com/how-to-make-transparent-soap.html Hopefully if you contact her, she will be able to help you better than I. Good luck!

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