I started making my own soap when my kids kept getting dried out skin. I wanted something gentle that didn’t cost a fortune. On top of that I wanted something natural. Not overly processed with tons of chemicals. When I started researching how soap was made I found several different methods and it seemed very daunting. So let’s see if I can simplify things.
Starting off I recommend melt and pour soaps. This way you can learn how to effectively use a mold. There are so many different types of molds from silicone to wooden ones. Also melt and pour is relatively inexpensive and difficult to mess up. You can add dyes and scents even purées and dried flowers. It’s a great way to try out different methods before adding chemicals into the mix. It’s also something older kids can help with.
My first batch I used a goat’s milk base(Bulk apothecary soap base ). I added tea tree oil from Young Living and non gmo food dye. I poured it into little silicone candy molds (Hobby lobby candy mold) figuring it could be like little guest soaps and if the kids destroyed it at least I had a ton. Well none of my soaps came out well I didn’t take air bubbles into account. Lesson learned next time I used a pipette (Amazon pipettes). I learned to suck up some of the melted base and expel it slowly into the intricate parts of the mold first. When you get super skilled you can even use different colors. I also tried my hand at what is called cold process soap. We can discuss that later for now here is a simplified step by step:
Approximately 30 minutes (if not interrupted by multiple small interrogators wanting to know what you are doing)
- Melt and pour base of your choice (I love Bulk Apothecary and Bramble Berry)
- A mold of your choosing (there are many options at local craft stores and on Amazon)
- Essential Oil (I prefer young living but there are many other options)
- Colorant (you can use clays or micas also available at Bulk Apothecary or Bramble Berry)
- Heat safe container (I like my Pyrex measuring cup because it’s easy to heat soap in and pour from)
- A spoon (also heat safe)
Assemble all ingredients and read through instructions before starting. These are very vague instructions so that you can be creative. The melted soap you will be working with is very hot (like burn your face off hot) so please be cautious.
Melt your melt and pour base. You can do this in the microwave or you can use the stove. If you use the stove I would recommend a double boiler method.
You take a pot large enough for your Pyrex and fill it with water then put your Pyrex in then cut your soap base into 1 inch cubes so it melts easier. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn. This is a lot like melting chocolate except it takes longer to melt.Step three:
Once your soap base has melted remove from heat. You can add color and essential oils. Starting off add just a little at a time. You can always add more but it is nearly impossible to take away. Mix it all together with your trusty spoon. Don’t use a blender or anything like that it makes air bubbles and makes the soap start to set up and we don’t want that till its in our mold.
You can separate your melted soap into smaller containers and do different colors then experiment with layering or do other designs. For example, I have a dalek mold that I use and do different colors for his globes then the skirt and his plunger and gun stick should be a more metallic color.
Prepare to fill your mold. You can use a pipette for more intricate molds or just pour for a loaf style mold. For layers it’s best to spray a little rubbing alcohol between layers. Step five:
Let your soap cool. The nice thing about melt and pour soap is it is ready to use pretty quick. One of the major downfalls is it does not last as long as our next chapter: Cold- process soap.
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