Class Handout: Transparent Soap Making (Melt & Pour Soap Base from Scratch)


Written By David Critchfield & Jen Grimes

This Class Handout is a digital download. Once purchased, you will find the link to access your document on your MY ACCOUNT page.

Are you drawn to the pretty, jewel-like see-through “Glycerin Soaps” on the shelf, as opposed to their to their opaque counterparts? Do you craft soap using “Melt & Pour Soap Base” and have ever wondered if you could make it yourself, rather than purchase it from a store or supplier? Do you make Cold Process or Hot Process Soap already, and want to take your soapmaking skills up to the next level? If you answered yes to any of those questions… get ready! You can now make your own transparent & meltable soaps, from scratch!

Handmade Soaps made from scratch, both Cold Process and Hot Process, are naturally opaque (i.e., not see-through), but with a few added ingredients, and some additional soapmaking knowledge (a good tested recipe & clear instructions), you can put a unique twist on your handmade soap that will set it apart from the rest and impress most of your soapmaker friends.

This instantly downloadable PDF document, created from our combined experience teaching classes on Making Transparent Soap, is for people who want create their own custom transparent, remeltable soap that is as “natural” as possible, but which employs some manmade solvents to achieve transparency. It is important to understand that by sticking with mostly “natural” or “naturally-sourced” ingredients, it’s impossible to achieve a very clear, hard bar of transparent soap. Natural-ingredient transparent soaps are always going to be more amber in color, slightly milky (as opposed to crystal clear), and a bit softer than their detergent-based, synthetic counterparts. This handout includes a discussion about the use of both natural and manmade ingredients in transparent soap and the trade-offs involved. For a list of typical solvents used in transparent soapmaking, as well as what else is covered page by page, please see the summary directly below.

Disclaimer: Making Transparent Soap is more difficult / involved than making bar soap. This is an intermediate or advanced soap making topic. It assumes that the reader has prior experience making soap from scratch. If you have never made soap from scratch using lye before (cold process or hot process), we suggest you first order Ruth’s Video eClass for Cold Process Soap Making 101, which includes our Class Handouts for Cold Process Soap 101.

Summary of what’s in this Digital Class Handout:

  • Cover Page: Title, Pics, & References
  • Page 1: An Enlightening Introduction to Transparent Soap
  • Page 2: Benefits & Drawbacks
  • Page 3: What Makes Melt & Pour Clear?
  • Page 4: Fatty Acid Composition of Common Edible Fats & Oils
  • Page 5: Solvents (List of commonly used ingredients to take your soap from opaque to transparent, like Ethyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Proplyene Glycol, Rosin, Sugar & Sorbitol. Includes pros & cons of each, and suggested usage rates).
  • Page 6: M&P Landscape (This page 8 lists popular commercially available formulas & their ingredients. Some are true soaps, some are a mix of soap & detergent, and some are all detergent based).
  • Page 7: Three Alternative Melt & Pour Soap Base Recipes
  • Page 8: Materials, Equipment, & Supplies
  • Page 9: Melt & Pour Recipe & Worksheet (with our recipe filled out)
  • Page 10: Instructions (Steps 1-10)
  • Page 11: Instructions Continued (Steps 11-19)
  • Page 12: Relevant Recommended Suppliers

Please read about the teachers & find more details in the “About Class Handouts” tab below before purchasing this handout.

A Class Handout is the digital PDF version of the handout for the in-person classes we taught at The Nova Studio. After ordering this PDF-format digital handout, you will be directed to a page that contains links to your instant downloads. You’ll have easy access to all your active Class Handout links in one easy place from your My Account page (downloads expire after 10 days & 5 downloads – so be sure to save the docs to your computer before then).

They will save you a ton of time & energy by giving you accurate, tested recipes & formulas, clear instructions, recommended sources for where to buy supplies relevant to each topic, and any background and/or supporting information. It’s the next best thing to being in a class!

When you buy the handouts, you also have permission to make the products exactly as is (with or without changing them) and you may market/sell them to your customers using our recipes. The only thing you cannot do is sell, post or distribute the information, directions, or recipes in our handouts since they are protected by copyright laws as part of our exclusive intellectual property.

Purchasing these handouts does not include any additional consulting or email support. If you have questions or need consulting, we offer private lessons & phone consultations. If you teach classes and want help creating your own class handouts, please contact us to set up a private consult and we would be happy to assist you. Purchasing our handouts does not give you permission or license to use them as teaching materials.


With Class Handouts, you are granted instant access as soon as your transaction is complete (download links can be found on your My Account page – simply open the files & save them to your computer and you will have access to them forever). Since this is a digital product that you cannot return, we have a no refund policy. That said, we want you to be happy. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, please Contact Us.


Jen headshotJen Grimes started her descent down the make-your-own cosmetic rabbit hole after stumbling over books with vintage cosmetic recipes in her local library. After picking up and putting down books on how to make soap (all those bizarre ingredients and safety measures!), she took the plunge, promptly became addicted, and was certified as a soapmaker through the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics Guild (HSCG). Today, Jen is a proud member of and volunteer for HSCG & owns and operates Loft Soap. She has a passion for hot-processed soap, loves funny-looking soap and can often be found communing with other soapmakers at The Nova Studio. Learn intermediate & advanced soap making topics from Jen.


david critchfield teacher picDavid Critchfield, veteran Soapmaker & founder of Mission Peak Soap Products began soap making in 1995 when his wife presented him with a beginning soap making book. From the early days of ugly soap and vanishing fragrances, David turned his hobby into a steady stream of income producing fine, aromatic, handcrafted soap for fund raisers, local health food stores and specialty retailers. He joined forces with Lori way back in 2005 to expand the variety of soap making classes at The Nova Studio. Even though he’s retired from teaching classes (after 10 great years), we’re thrilled to have the products of his years of expertise available for sale as instant PDF downloads. Learn how to make really big batches of soap (his specialty) as well as other intermediate/advanced soap making topics from David.


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