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Which Base is the Clearest?

I was recently asked which base is the clearest out of the Stephenson Crystal (Ultra) Clear Melt and Pour Soap Base and the Crafter’s Choice Extra Clear Melt and Pour Soap base.

I figured it was a common enough question to write a post on. The results are below, can you tell which is which?

I used some coloured paper from Kaisercraft that I cut out using their DIY cutting machine as embeds. I also wanted to use a fragrance to make the test realistic. I decided to use Lavender 38 oil which is a nature identical type of oil. It is extremely clear (0% vanillin), performs consistently and a little bit goes a long way so it’s perfect for this test. I like a strong scent so I used 3.5ml per 115g bar (roughly 3%).

I made one bar of each base (115g per bar). Here’s a breakdown of how they performed.

Melt Time: Each base was completely melted after 30 seconds in the microwave. Stephenson’s base has a melting point of 56C (you can find this info in their product matrix, here). The Crafter’s Choice base has a lower melting point of 50 degrees C (122F) and you can find this info within the product listing. This means that it stays fluid for longer (when heated to the same temperature), which is a huge selling point for me – especially when you need to do something a little tricky.

Inserting the Embeds: This was fairly easy with both bases. The only issue you may have is that the Stephenson base will solidify quicker than the Crafter’s Choice base and you will need to work more quickly.

Time to Unmould: The Stephenson base obviously won this race. It will however begin to sweat in a humid climate if you leave it unwrapped. The Crafter’s Choice base is low sweat so you won’t need to worry so much about wrapping this base in a hurry.

Unmoulding: Both bases came out easily with no finger dents. You do need to be careful that you don’t smudge the surface of both bases, as this will affect the clarity. You can always run it under some warm water for a few seconds and allow to re-dry, but this is time consuming and a little messy and nobody wants to over-handle soap that they want to sell.

Clarity: Whilst the bases were still liquid, the Crafter’s Choice base looked like it would win this comparison. However, once dry I was surprised to find that the Stephenson base was ever so slightly more clear. Not by much though and I wouldn’t hesitate to use either base for a project that required high clarity.

Scent throw: I wasn’t planning to write about this, but the Stephenson base, directly after unmoulding, had a noticeably better scent throw. After a few days of use, the fragrances have balanced out but the Stephenson base is still slightly stronger.

Lather and clean: The Crafter’s Choice base gives slightly bigger bubbles and tends to clean hands a bit better. If you have dry/sensitive skin this might not be a good thing for you.

WHICH IS WHICH: The mermaid on the left is the Crafter’s Choice Base. The Anchor on the right is the Stephenson base.

If you’d like me to compare any other bases, let me know! I could always use a good excuse to make soap 😉



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Stephenson Product Matrix

If you’re wondering which base from the Stephenson range is right for you, check out the quick-reference Stephenson Personal Care Product Specification Matrix

It contains details such as which bases are sulphate, paraben, MPG, preservative and PEG free.

You’ll also find melting points, foaming and transparency ratings and key features for each product. All very useful info when you’re looking for the perfect base for your project.

Product matrix

For more info on the clearest base, check out this article.

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Melt & Pour Soap Colour Blocks

If you’ve been lucky enough to receive a sample and you’re wondering how to use it… read on!

All Crafter’s Choice products  have comprehensive labelling, including INCI ingredients listings – it’s why we love selling Crafter’s Choice products. Each listing on our website also has comprehensive usage instructions.

There are also lots of recipes available on the website, for every Crafter’s Choice product.

Here is all of the information you need, to use your sample of the stained glass soap colour blocks – this information is generic across all stained glass colour blocks, but was taken from the Brilliant Lemon Lime listing!

Usage Instructions for the Stained Glass Brilliant Lemon Lime Blocks:

Clear brilliant yellow green powder color dispersed in mp soap base. This color will bleed or migrate in layered melt and pour soap bases. One bar is six cubes. One cube colors approximately five pounds of mp soap (depending on desired shade).

Country Of Origin: United States

FDA Approved Color Additive Applications:
Melt & Pour Soap – Yes General Cosmetics – No
Cosmetics for Eye – No
Lip – No

Performance Results:
Color: Produces a brilliant, clear “stain glass” color in clear soap bases. A pastel color is produced in opaque (white) soap bases.

Product pH: Color will change in products with a high pH.

Color Fading: This dye is light sensitive. A UV Inhibitor has been added to the color block to help prevent fading in soap.

Call our offices to mix and match different colors for 5 bar price break!

Color Migration: If product design has layered colors, this dye will migrate or “bleed” between layers.

Physical Form: Dark Orange Solid
Solubility: Soluble in Water
Country of Origin: United States

Storage: Room temperature. Air tight container.
Best Used By: One year from date of purchase.
Shelf Life Once Used in Manufacturing: One year from manufacturing date.

International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI):
Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Myristate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Water, Green 8.

Common Name Ingredient Listing (FDA Approved):
Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Myristate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Water, Green 8.


DIRECTIONS:  Cut desired amount from the color bar and melt into warm soap base at 130-140º F. To color your product, start with small amount of color and increase as desired.  Adding this color to white soap will produce a pastel colored bar. Adding this color to a clear base will produce a stain glass clear colored bar.

TIPS: Using too much color may cause staining. Test your final product to ensure optimal performance and no staining. Protect work areas and clothing when mixing.

STORAGE: Store in an airtight, cool, dark location. When stored properly, best used within 1 year from date of purchase.

CAUTION: Approved for melt and pour soap making only. Not approved for use with general cosmetics, eye and lip products. For external use only. Keep out of reach of children and pets.