Soap Making

How Masterbatching can Streamline Your Soapmaking Process

What is Masterbatching?


Masterbatching is the process of pre-mixing your oils and butters for soapmaking in a large quantity to use at a moments notice later.

Lye Solution can be masterbatched as well. I personally don’t masterbatch my lye solution because I have a baby, animal critters, and a husband getting into things in my kitchen soap lab, so I don’t want that kind of liquid hazard being stored. I just masterbatch my oils and mix up my lye solution when I’m ready to make the soap.

Why should you Masterbatch?

If you make several recipes with the same Oil blend, masterbatching will easily cut your production time in half!

Masterbatching your oils will allow you to quickly mix up a batch of soap without needing to set aside a full 3 hour block of time for heating, pouring, weighing, etc., each oil for each batch of soap.

How to Masterbatch

  1. Decide how much oil you want to put into your masterbatch and choose an appropriate sized container for all that oil. A 5 gallon bucket is a good choice.
  2. Multiply the amount of oil you need for one batch of soap by 5 and add that amount to the bucket. Repeat with each oil in the recipe. In this example you are essentially masterbatching enough oils to make 5 batches of soap but you can scale up or scale down to whatever amount your container will hold.
  3. When you are ready to make a batch of Soap, you simply take out the amount of oils you wish to use.

*It’s important to understand that oils in the masterbatch may not be the same consistency unless heated (solids vs liquids). You should ALWAYS make sure your masterbatch is thoroughly mixed before taking some out. To do this you will likely need a warmer of some sort.

Modified Masterbatching

After I became comfortable making the soaps in my core product line, I decided to start masterbatching my oils to speed up the process. It turns out, that’s not what I was doing at all. Fortunately, my made up style still sped up my soapmaking process and at the time is was really all I needed as a small time soap maker. If the thought of masterbatching your oils sounds daunting, try this modified masterbatch version instead.

  1. Set out containers for as many batches of soap you want to make ahead of time. I use 1 gallon plastic buckets; they are actually old coconut oil containers.
  2. Add the oils to each container, one at a time. For example, put coconut oil into all containers, then put olive oil in each container, then put sweet almond oil in each container, etc. It’s a very quick process if you complete all the containers with one oil before moving on to the next oil, like an assembly line.
  3. Label your containers if you made more than one type of masterbatch.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until you’re ready to make soap.

*Though not a true masterbatch, this can drastically speed up your soapmaking process!

Do you masterbatch your oils or lye solution? Has it helped streamline your soapmaking process? I would love to hear about your experience with it!

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