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Trials for a Melt Pour Solid Scrub Bar Recipe

After seeing solid sugar scrub bars for sale on Etsy that had been made from a melt pour soap base, I wanted to see if I could recreate the product myself. The only recipe I could find online was for single use solid scrub cubes, but these all had extra oils added to them, and were meant to melt away with one use. I was looking for something that would last a little longer than that. So I started experimenting, using both sugar and salt. Here were my results:

mp solid scrub bars - salt

Recipe 1:  Melt Pour Solid Scrub Bar with Large Grain Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

I used Soap Queen’s instructions for adding my salt to this – I just dumped it into my melted & scented base, and after stirring, scooped out the grains from the bottom with a spoon. It sets up really fast, so two scoops was all that was needed, and then I poured the rest over the top.

Results: While this bar is very pretty, I don’t care for the feel of the larger grain salt. Sure, it dissolves as you use the soap, but you still have some sharp edges scratching you. I don’t think that creating microscopic tears on the skin is very good for it, so I don’t plan on making this one again. As for the lather? It was noticeably reduced.

Recipe 2: Melt Pour Solid Scrub Bar with Fine Grain Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

I meant to use 2:1 as my ratio, but I quickly ran out of soap using a different method of incorporating the salt. This time, instead of stirring the salt into my melted base, I poured a little soap into my mold, then sprinkled salt on top (thanks for the tip, Genny of Naughty Soaper). I alternated these two steps until I ran out of soap.

Results: This was much better. I’m glad I didn’t use more salt than I did, because even with the extra fine grain salt I used, it is still far more coarse than the sugar scrub bars below. I would make this one again, because I know that a lot of people prefer a rougher scrub than I do. And the lather was still pretty decent, because the salt doesn’t make up so much of the bar.

MP solid sugar scrub bars

Recipe 3: Melt Pour Solid Scrub Bar with Sugar

I just stirred my sugar into my base and poured. That was it. This one was the easiest to make and it was also my favorite bar of the bunch (even though I forgot to add my fragrance, haha).

Results: It has just the right amount of scrub – not too hard, not too soft. Sugar is supposed to be lather-increasing, so I paid particular attention to what happened with the lather in these bars; it turned out very lotion-like and creamy. I might continue to experiment with this one, but overall, it’s a solid recipe.

Recipe 4: Melt Pour Solid Scrub Bar with Sugar (Dissolved)

This time I attempted to dissolve as much of my sugar as possible in the soap. Only some of it would, though. In the photo above, both bars look the same, since some of the sugar sunk to the bottom; but if you flip them over, you can see the difference (photo at right).

Results: This one was less scrubby than #3, obviously, but there was a noticeable difference in the later, too. It had big bubbles instead of the creaminess.  It looks like maybe the sugar has to be dissolved in the soap for it to increase the lather. I still preferred #3, despite the lack of large bubbles. This bar is meant to be a solid scrub – exfoliation is more important than cleansing.

coconut-sugar-scrub-barRecipe 5: Melt Pour Solid Scrub Bar with Coconut Sugar and Poppy Seeds

I had some coconut sugar laying around, and since it’s a bit coarser grain and looks different than the white sugar, I thought I would test it, too. And I added poppy seeds just for the heck of it. I basically just wanted to see what they would look like.

Results: This one turned out much the same as #3. I won’t use poppy seeds in these again, because I think they are painful. But the coconut sugar feels about the same on the skin as the smaller grain sugar does. I like that it retained the brown color, so I think I will use the coconut sugar with fragrances that tend to turn brown.

And that’s it! In my experiments I learned that it IS possible to make a salt bar out of glycerin soap (I wasn’t sure, since people seem to always use cold process for them). And I learned that it’s really not hard at all to make a solid sugar scrub using melt pour soap.

Have you ever tried these? Any other variations I should test out?

6 thoughts on “Trials for a Melt Pour Solid Scrub Bar Recipe

  1. I have been adding a little sugar to my 2 recent recipes. 1 Tbsp per 1lb soap base. Definitely not enough to make a sugar scrub bar, but I did it because I thought I read once somewhere it would make the soap harder/last longer. Welp I can’t find that info so maybe I imagined it!? But I really like your sugar/salt experiments here! I recently did a coconut cream soap and I didn’t even think to use coconut Sugar!! (DUH!) So I think I will remelt 1 bar, add coconut sugar and see what happens! Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

    1. Hi Becca, the rules for what you were trying to achieve are like this:

      • 1 tsp sugar per lb of oils in cold or hot process (dissolved into lye water before adding lye) will increase lather in your bars. I think you can dissolve it into melted melt pour soap for the same effect, but I would just add a tsp of castor oil per lb of base instead.
      • 1 tsp salt per lb of oils in cold or hot process (dissolved into lye water before adding lye) will increase soap hardness. You have to make sure it’s fully dissolved, though, or you will get speckled soap. I prefer to use sodium lactate for hardness. I don’t know if this works in melt pour soap, though.

      Happy soaping!

  2. I followed the Soap Queen recipe and ended up with a hard mess of clumpy soap. $15 in product later I have nothing to show for my work. I loved your layering idea- wished I had thought of it. So, I will try again tomorrow.

    1. Good luck, Stephanie! 🙂

  3. I can’t get one to lather or feel any exfoliating benefits. I don’t understand the % rate yet but I wa t a bar to be foaming and exfoliating while moisturizing at the sane time. What do you suggest

    1. Hi Karen, if your bars aren’t exfoliating, are you maybe adding the sugar/salt while the base is too hot? You don’t want it to dissolve, you want it to be suspended in the base. The salt reduced the lather for me, but the sugar bars still had a creamy lather. If you use 2 parts base to 1 part sugar for a 4 oz bar, you would use 2.65 oz base and 1.35 oz sugar.

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