Over the years, these are the most common general questions that have been received at Wholesale Supplies Plus.
Is mp soap water or oil soluble?
MP Soap Base is water soluble
What is the pH of mp soap base?
pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. The typical pH of MP Soap Base is 8 to 10. You need this pH to attract dirt, clean the skin, and rinse away the soap.
What is the melt point of mp soap base?
The typical melt point for most mp soap bases on the market is 118º-125ºF.
Does mp soap base have an expiration date?
MP Soap Base does not have an expiration date because it will not go rancid. It does have a best used date. The best used date is important because mp soap base can lose water and dehydrate over time.
How do I melt mp soap base?
A double boiler is the preferred method for heating and melting small batches of mp soap base. A double boiler prevents overheating and water evaporation of the soap.
Although the microwave is a common method to heat mp soap base, it is not recommended because it overheats the base and can cause soap dehydration. This dehydration can cause the soap to sweat or bloom with white spots.
I highly recommend a water jacket melter for large batches of MP Soap Base. You can purchase these at www.waxmelters.com. When purchasing a melter such as this, make sure you get a water jacket melter with temperature dial.
How do I make mp soap base harder?
Add 1 Tablespoon of melted stearic acid per pound of soap base. This will harden the soap but it will slightly decrease the clarity of clear soap.
I overheated my base, should I throw it out?
No, do not throw it out. Be aware that the properties of the soap may have changed. These include:
1. A caramel to brown discoloration.
2. The soap may form white spots when left open to air. This is not mold. It is a dehydration process called soap bloom.
3. The soap may become brittle and have a foul odor.
Is there anything special that I need to know about choosing a soap mold?
When making mp soap, you should not use vegetable spray or any other coating on the inside of your molds. These coatings can affect the appearance of your soap and actually make the soap harder to unmold.
If your soap is difficult to unmold, place the soap and mold in a freezer for 15 minutes. Since MP Soap Base contains water, it will shrink slightly and pull away from the sides of the mold. If the soap does not easily unmold upon removing the soap from the freezer, quickly dip the back of the soap mold in hot water. This will cause the plastic to quickly and temporarily expand allowing the soap to unmold.
Once you use a mold to make soap, it is no longer considered food safe.
After pouring soap into a mold, spray the soap with a fine mist of rubbing alcohol. This will “pop” the air bubbles that have formed on the surface and improve the overall appearance of the soap.
I am confused, does the FDA consider soap a cosmetic?
Since MP Soap Base’s nonvolatile content is predominately comprised of fatty acids and alkalis, and it's primary purpose is to cleanse the body, it does not meet the requirements of a cosmetic as defined by the FDA. If the claim is made that the soap has special moisturizing properties or has specific benefits such as exfoliating, skin tightening, etc. then it falls into the FDA definition of a cosmetic and must be labeled as a cosmetic.
Since soap is not regulated by the FDA, can I do what I want to my bar?
When soap does not fall within the FDA definition of a cosmetic, it is regulated by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is an independent federal regulatory agency that is charged with protecting the public against unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products.
It is highly recommended that you only use cosmetic grade ingredients. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission states that you are responsible for creating a safe personal care product.
I like the look of soap wrapped in a cigar band. Can I wrap mp soap like this?
MP Soap Base should be wrapped with an airtight wrap. This prevents dehydration, shrinkage and bloom of the finished bar of soap. If you like the look of a cigar band, first wrap the bar in clear plastic wrap and then the cigar style band.
If my bar of soap does falls within the FDA definition of a cosmetic, what is required on the label?
You need to have the following information on the label.
1. Identifying Statement indicating word “Soap”
2. Net Weight
3. Name and Place of Business
4. Directions for Safe Use
5. Warning and Caution Statements
For additional details on labeling, you can go to the FDA website at http://www.cfsan.fda...ms/cos-toc.html
How do I list ingredients on my label?
The ingredients on a cosmetic label must be listed in order of predominance using correct INCI terminology. INCI stands for International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients. The INCI system allows the consumer to identify the ingredient content and reduce the risk of an allergic reaction to an ingredient. The FDA mandates that the INCI names are on the ingredient statement on all cosmetics and personal care products.
Color additives of any concentration are listed after the listing of the ingredients that are not color additives. Ingredients present at a concentration not exceeding 1% are listed in any order after the listing of the ingredients present at more than 1%.
Assuming you are using Crafter's Choice Soap Bases and a fragrance oil at 3%, you will list fragrance before Triethanolamine and Water.
What is an MSDS Sheet?
A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a form containing data regarding the properties of a particular substance. It is intended to provide workers and emergency personnel with procedures for handling or working with that substance in a safe manner. It includes information such as physical data, toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill handling procedures.
The exact format of an MSDS can vary from source to source. In the U.S., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that MSDS be available to employees for potentially harmful substances handled in the workplace under the Hazard Communication regulation.
An MSDS is also required to be made available to local fire departments and local and state emergency planning officials under Section 311 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
Business is great and I just rented my first real work space. Is there anything special I need to know about making soap in an industrial building?
You have done a grea job growing your business....congratulations!!! Whether you are in a home workspace or a warehouse, the same good manufacturing guildelines apply. They include:
1. Space is sanitary with proper cleaning and orderly storage.
2. Equipment and utensils are free of corrosion, buildup of material, dirt and/or cleaning agent.
3. Cleaned and sanitized utensils are stored in a manner that protects them from dust and/or contamination.
4. All personnel have the training to perform the assigned tasks.
5. All personnel must maintain personal cleanliness and wear appropriate outer garments, gloves, goggles and hair nets.
6. Food, drink, and use of tobacco are prohibited in manufacturing and storage areas.
7. Raw materials and packaging materials are handled in a manner which prevents mix-up, contamination, and/or decomposition from exposure to excessive heat, cold, sunlight and/or moisture.
8. Storage containers are closed. Bagged and boxed materials are stored off the floor.
9. Storage containers are labeled with identity and lot number.
10. Ingredient lot numbers are recorded.
11. During manufacturing of soap batches, documentation includes the identity, lot number and quantities of materials used as well as the lot number you assign to your finished product.
Where does WSP get all of their information?
After 10 years in the business, much of the information comes from chemists and researchers. Some is trial and error. Soap makers are great people. I find that they share what works...and what doesn't.
There are some great online resources that are well known by us "old timers". They include:
FDA Cosmetic Website
U.S. Product Safety Commission Website
Cosmetic, Toiletry & Fragrance Association (CTFA) Website
Soap and Detergent Association Website
US Department of Labor - Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Are there any books you can recommend for additional information?
I also highly recommend these books for additional reading. Note: I have included the book description from the Barnes & Nobel website.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy and Herbalism.
Author: Julia Lawless
Description: The most extensive and systematic reference guide available on the subject. Comprehensive A to Z presentation of over 160 oils.
Flavours and Fragrances: Chemistry, Bioprocessing and Sustainability
Author: Ralf Günter Berger
Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York, LLC
Description: This book is an introduction to the fascinating world of aroma chemicals, essential oils, fragrances and flavour compositions for the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry. The present state-of-the-art technology, the future use of resources and biotechnological approaches for the production of the respective chemical compounds are described. A large section is devoted to the description of the renewable resources of flavours: spice plants, fruits from moderate to tropical climates, vegetables, fermented and heated plants. Analytical methods, such as gas chromatography coupled to human or electronic noses or to a mass spectrometer, are outlined and consumer trends, legal and safety aspects are described. Novel renewable resources come from biotechnology. Enzymes, for example, bio-transform cheap substrates to produce flavours de novo; plant cells in culture may serve as a rich resource of genes coding for metabolic activities in transgenic producers. The book will be of great interest to scientists and engineers in the food, flavour, fragrance and pharmaceutical industries and all respective researchers in academia.
CTFA International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook, 11th ED (2006)
Author: Cosmetic, Toiletry, & Fragrance Association
Description: CTFA's 2006 International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook provides the most comprehensive listing of ingredients used in cosmetic and personal care products. The combined Dictionary/Handbook contains more than 13,000 International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI) labeling names for the United States, the European Union, and other countries. These are cross-referenced to nearly 60,000 trade and technical names and 3,000 suppliers from 91 countries. The 11th Edition contains nearly 1,500 new INCI names since the last edition! It also includes information on the chemical class, functions and product use categories as reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), when available. In addition, it provides information on CAS numbers, empirical formulas, EU Annexes, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, an index that cross references Latin and common English botanical names, a Japan index listing prohibited and restricted ingredients, and a listing of ingredients evaluated for safety by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR).
CTFA International Color Handbook, 3rd Ed.
Author: Cosmetic, Toiletry, & Fragrance Association
Description: The CTFA International Color Handbook is the only source on cosmetic color regulation in the world. This edition includes master lists of color additives used in cosmetic products all over the world, cross-referenced by their Colour Index numbers or INCI names, CAS numbers, Colour Index names, and their official names in the European Union, Japan, and United States; a summary of cosmetic color additive regulations for more than 100 countries. The Color Handbook also includes a list of approved color additives for each country with a positive list, use restrictions, and color additive labeling requirements, including national label nomenclature where available; and a summary of technical data and regulatory status for more than 200 color additives arranged by Colour Index number or INCI name.
CTFA Labeling Manual, 8th Ed.
Author: Cosmetic, Toiletry, & Fragrance Association
Description: The newly updated CTFA Labeling Manual: A Guide to Cosmetic and OTC Drug Labeling and Advertising, Eighth Edition, takes an in-depth look at U.S. regulations for labeling cosmetics, OTC drugs, and professional products. It includes the latest FDA enforcement priorities affecting cosmetic and cosmetic-drug companies. The “Import Law” chapter has been revised to reflect post-9/11 regulatory changes affecting imports, FDA, Customs, and the new Department of Homeland Security. The advertising law section updates government regulation of the Internet and e-commerce and recent Lanham Act actions; this section also tracks recent decisions of the industry self-regulatory group—the National Advertising Division (NAD).
Soap & Cosmetic Labeling, How to Follow the Rules and Regulations Explained in Plain English.
Author: Marie Gale
Description: This book explains, in plain English, how to follow product labeling rules and regulations from: Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, Fair Product and Labeling Act , Uniform Weights & Measures Law, Uniform Packaging and Labeling Regulations, State Laws. In addition, the appendixes include cosmetic color additives and their approved uses, INCI names for common ingredients, restricted and prohibited ingredients and metric conversion charts.
Are there websites you recommend for further information?
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