The Bottom Line
- Great beginner as well as more advanced recipes/projects
- Good tables and easily understood basic charts
- Comprehensive enough information to more than just get started
- Clear directions with good photos
- A few of the recipes incorporate too much extra oil or additives like vegetables (for my preference)
- A very good basic overview of melt and pour soap making -including color, fragrance, form & function
- Includes both the "how" and a lot of the "why" in melt and pour soap making
- Clear photos and instructions and a wide variety of great recipes/projects
Guide Review - Melt and Mold Soap Crafting by C. Kaila Westerman
C. Kaila Westerman must have been inspired by Cavitch when she wrote Melt and Mold Soap Crafting because it has much of the same wonderful feel.
She starts out with the basics...the very basics of different soap bases and the history of soap. Then she digests melt and pour soap making down into six steps - yes, just six steps.
- Melt the soap base
- Add color
- Add fragrances
- Mix in other additives
- Pour into molds
- Unmold, use, and enjoy!
The rest of the book is filled with dozens of recipes that take you beyond the basics including:
- Swirled soap - a white and clear base swirled together
- Stickable stackables - using a cookie cutter to layer shapes together
- An oatmeal loaf soap that incorporates chunks and solves the problem of oatmeal settling to the bottom in melt and pour soap
- Jelly roll - which embeds a "soap cane" or premade swirl into a bar of soap
Westerman has a couple of recipes that I disagree with, most notably her "Saving Face" soap. It incorporates mashed avocado, carrot juice, and other luxury oils in it. She does say they should be used within 3 months, but I just don't prefer the consistency of the soap base when you add a lot of extra oil and water-based additive to it. The recipe would make for a great lotion or cold process bar of soap, but I don't think it makes good melt and pour.
But that is just one recipe among dozens of other great recipes, wonderful tips, techniques, tables and photos.