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mp soap vs. cp soap


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Hi, I'm new to soap making and have been reading on this forum for awhile. You have given me the confidence that I can do this. I haven't bought anything yet. I've also read some other websites on soaping too. I've heard good things about both these types of soaps. From what I understand, the cp soap is natural. So does that mean the mp is not? If it's not, what's in it that's not. (I'm certainly not trying to start any controversy like soy vs. paraffin.) I would like to sell soap eventually, but need to know what to tell someone who asks the difference. I see you can buy many types of nice bases for mp soap that already have good ingred. in them. Is it that they just did all the work for you so it's more expensive to make soap that way? I tried to do a search on here with this title but came up empty. I want to start soaping soon and will probably do both. But I can't for the life of me get that nagging question out of my mind. I appreciate any help to understand I can get. Thanks.


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M&P soap- this is a base where the soap is already made. You cut it up, melt it, add whatever you want to add, color if you wish, add fragrance oil/ essential oil, pour it, let it dry.


1) You can sell it immediately. No drying time. (after testing, of course)

2) You do not have to mess with lye.

3) You usually use less fragrance oil compared to CP soap.

4) It is very user friendly.

5) If you mess up or do not like it you can remelt it.

Possible downfalls:

1) The ingredients in the M&P (base) you have no control over.

2) There are chemicals that are added to allow you to melt and pour it.

CP Soap- This is soap that is made from scratch. No bases used. You are making soap because you choose your oils, fats, or butters, and find out how much lye and water you need to turn your oils into soap.


1) You have complete control of what your soap has in it.

2) You are making something from scratch- a lot of people like the feeling that has.

Possible downfalls:

1) Can be very tricky. Since it is a chemical reaction with your lye/water and oils sometimes things go wrong.

2) CP soap needs to cure for 4-6 weeks before you sell it.

3) IMO- there is more testing because there are a lot more factors to ensuring that it is safe.

4) A lot more safety issues with lye and protective gear.

5) Can be difficult for some to find ingredients.

6) Not all body safe fragrance oil can be used.

It is basically a preference and you making a decision on what kind of soap that you want to make. If you will be selling at some point look at your market.



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I've made both kinds. A couple more differences I found.

Some M&P bases have synthetic detergents in them, whereas handmade soap generally doesn't. Nothing wrong with detergents; I use them all the time on my dishes & laundry. But some folks' skin takes issue w/ syndets.

In my experience, CP bars last longer in the shower. M&P tends to be softer sometimes; it *has* to be softer so you can melt it and pour it. LOL :grin2:

That's all I can think of to add to the comments about the differences. Even though I make cold and hot process soaps from scratch, I still think the creativity you can achieve with M&P is really cool. :)

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I'll toss in a few things to think about since you are just starting and open minded :D

Remember that if you use Fragrance oils to scent your soap- no matter what kind it is, I don't think you can call it 'all natural' But you can misleadingly (imo...now don't be mad at me for saying that everyone, lol... i'm generally cynical of all advertising claims even though I realize they are based in truth in some form or other) call it 'made with natural ingredients'... just leave out the word 'all'. Of course, if you choose to make cp and use Essential Oils... you absolutely have yourself an all natural soap.

There ARE organic bases of M&P... but since some of the ingredients used to make it are not yet available in organic form, they are not '100% Organic'. But there are those people who do appreciate that you go 'as natural as you can get', and still not be 100%. So for those who love using MP but want something closer to natural, this is a good choice. But it's not as readilly avialable yet as the other bases. You can harden MP with different additives. But personally, because I like to try different soaps all the time, I don't want mine to last so long. I'm not partial to CP for that reason actually, and it doesn't feel as 'user friendly' (to me) as M&P. (perhaps because most are made with hard edges and in square and rectangular form?) But having said that- I also wouldn't buy a fru fru M&P soap (the kind people say are too pretty to use, lol, made in cutesy molds with no additives, that is just the base melted, scented, colored and molded)... it has to DO something for me via scruby ingredients, moisturizing oils, healing oils, etc.

So this is just another set of opinions for ya. :D

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I used to do M & P exclusively before I fell in love with the challenge of making CP.

There's nothing wrong with doing MP and you can get pretty creative with it and make some beautiful soaps with it, but for me, it got to the point that I felt I could only go so far with it before I adversly started affecting the ingredients already in the base. For instance, if I added too much of this or that, it would greaty reduce the bubbly lather, and so on.

Also- I found it to be very difficult if not darn near impossible to swirl in it.

I was really beginning to feel too limited by MP to make it exclusively anymore. The mad scientist in me felt like I needed more of a challenge. :grin2:

I still do MP, but only for certain soaps, like aquarium soap, for instance (my nephew loves those).

With CP, I feel like the possibilities are endless, and I like how I have so much more control over the ingredients, and also how I want each different batch of soap to feel like and behave as compared to MP.

If you're new to soaping, I'd start out with MP to get the feel of things, and then go aheadwith CP. There's no reasn why you can't have fun doing both. :)


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