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FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question?

Answers to many of our most frequently asked questions can be found right here. If you can't find the answer here, you can always ask us. We're happy to help!

How much soap base do I need?

To determine how many pounds of soap you need, add up the capacities [in ounces] of the soap molds you want to fill. Then divide the result by 16.

Eight 4-ounce soap molds = 32 ounces (8 x 4 = 32).
32 divided by 16 = 2.
You'll need 2 pounds of soap base to fill all eight molds.

Remember to cover your soap during the melting process to limit loss through evaporation.

How many bars of soap will one pound of base make?

The number of bars per pound of soap base depends on the capacity of your molds.

To determine how many bars of soap you'll get per pound of soap, multiply the number of pounds of base by 16 to find the total number of ounces. Then divide the result by the capacity [in ounces] of the soap mold you're using.

Two pounds of soap multiplied by 16 = 32 ounces.
32 divided by 4 (capacity in ounces of one mold) = 8 bars.
Two pounds of soap base will yield eight 4-ounce bars. (Four bars per pound)

Remember to cover your soap during the melting process to limit loss through evaporation.

How much fragrance should I use?

Strength of scent varies widely from one fragrance product to another, so the amount used will depend on both the fragrance itself and the intensity you want to achieve in your final product.

The industry suggests a range of one-half to one fluid ounce of fragrance per pound of melt-and-pour soap. That's a wide range. Our advice: 1. Start slow. 2. Use your nose.

There are no strict rules or absolutes regarding the quantities of ingredients that go into your soaps and lotions, and that's where the fun comes in: Experimentation and personal preference will help you decide.

Can I add oils and butters to melt-and-pour soap? How much?

As a rule of thumb, add no more than one ounce total of oils and/or butters -- such as shea, coconut, almond and avocado -- per pound of M&P soap base.

How much liquid can I add to my soap recipe?

The combined volume of liquids other than oils added to a glycerin soap recipe shouldn't exceed about one-quarter cup [two fluid ounces] per pound of M&P soap base.

This rule of thumb applies to water and any liquid composed of water, such as aloe vera juice, tea infusions, etc.

What's the difference between soap dye and soap pigment?

A dye dissolves and becomes inseparable from whatever it is added to -- water, alcohol, glycerine.

Dye colors are generally brighter than pigments and can change in response to extremes of temperature or pH. They are prone to 'bleeding', so they are better suited to single-color pours rather than embedded objects or multi-colored soaps.

A pigment does not dissolve, but rather consists of tiny particles which remain suspended in the finished product.

Depending on their physical properties, these particles may block light, making clear soaps less transparent--even opaque (white glycerine soap base is pigmented)--or they may reflect light, giving soap a spectral or opalescent appearance. Pigments will not bleed into surrounding areas, so they're ideal for embedded objects and layering.

Are TherapyGarden™ products safe to eat/drink?

All of our products are sold for external use only in the form of soaps, lotions, creams and balms.

We evaluate them exclusively for that purpose, never as food. We do not intend, nor can we recommend, that they be taken internally.

Is it okay to freeze soap molds?

Except for high-end silicone molds, freezing will shorten the life of your soapmaking molds somewhat, as they may become brittle over time.

Is TherapyGarden™ melt-and-pour soap base hypo-allergenic?

The US Food and Drug Administration defines hypoallergenic cosmetics as products that manufacturers claim produce fewer allergic reactions than other cosmetic products.

Here is what the FDA says: "There are no Federal standards or definitions that govern the use of the term 'hypoallergenic'. The term means whatever a particular company wants it to mean. Manufacturers of cosmetics labeled as hypoallergenic are not required to submit substantiation of their hypoallergenicity claims to FDA."

Given the absence of any standard definition, makes no claim regarding its products' 'hypoallergenicity'.

Should I embed bracelet charms in my soap?

We don't recommend it.

Soap melts away over time and, eventually, small objects embedded in it will emerge and become hazardous to children and other living things who like to taste everything.

One of the safest things you can embed in soap is more soap -- melt and pour your own 'charms'!

Should I use tap water in my soap and lotion recipes?

For predictable results, use only distilled water.

What is a carrier oil?

Carrier oils are skin-safe, moisturizing vegetable or nut oils -- such as jojoba, sweet almond, apricot kernel and evening primrose oils -- with little or no concentrated fragrance of their own.

They are used in massage oils, creams, lotions, soaps, perfumed body and bath oils to dilute essential oils and carry them onto the skin.

Do you offer samples of your fragrance oils?

Yes, we do offer fragrance samples.

In order to keep our costs and your prices low, we do not currently offer free samples. However, most of our fragrance oils and essential oils are available for purchase in a generous and reasonably priced, half-ounce sample size.

What are the ingredients in (product)?

The ingredients for some of our most popular products are listed here.

Does TherapyGarden™ soap base contain lye

The finished product does not contain lye, but lye is used in the soap making process.

All 'true' soaps are made with lye. Lye is necessary in order for the ingredient mixture to saponify and form soap.

Our melt-and-pour glycerin soap base appeals to soapcrafters who prefer not to work directly with lye because the lye step has already been done for them.

Are TherapyGarden™ products certified organic?

We are not certified by the FDA to make representations about whether a product is organic.

However, we are always happy to answer specific questions about how a particular product is produced. Contact us

Essential oils and fragrance oils -- What's the difference?

Essential oils are the aromatic oils of botanicals.

These oils are usually captured by distilling--that is, heating plant material (leaves, seeds, flowers, fruit, roots, bark, etc) in water to produce steam, then collecting and cooling the steam until it condenses back to a liquid. In another method, used commonly for citrus plants, the oils are extracted by cold-pressing the fruit rinds.

Essential oils are almost always more expensive to produce than fragrance oils.

Fragrance oils are aroma compounds, synthetically produced and blended to impart a particular fragrance.

Some fragrance oils may also contain essential oils. Because they can be blended in many different combinations and concentrations, the number of fragrance oils possible is virtually unlimited.

Why do my shipping options change sometimes while I shop?

Some products are federally regulated and may only be shipped via ground transportation.

But which ones?

Fortunately, as you shop, our cart keeps track of all that so you don't have to. If your order contains regulated items, your shipping options are automatically adjusted accordingly.

As a result, you may see a different selection of shipping methods at checkout.

Does have a minimum order?

No. There is no minimum for orders placed at However, to help defer our costs of accommodating small orders, a small-order fee will apply to orders totalling less than $25.

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