Melt and Pour Soap Instructions
Melt and pour soap base
Double boiler with lid or saucepan with stainless steel bowl
that fits tightly in the pan or glass bowl
Fragrance oils or essential oils
Colourants of choice
Melt the soap- The best method of melting the
soap base is firstly to cut it up into smallish pieces. Place
the pieces in a double boiler (or equivalent) and melt it on
a low heat. It doesn't take very long to melt at all so keep
a very close eye on it. If you allow the base to get too hot
it will burn which causes it to smell really bad and loose its
transparency. This is why you use a double boiler and also why
some people don't like using microwaves- they lack the temperature
control needed. You can actually turn the heat off the double
boiler when the base is half melted and the remaining heat will
melt the rest. What I like to do is melt my soap over low temperatures
in the double boiler, and I often turn the heat off under the
pot before the soap is all the way melted. Also, try to keep
the double boiler covered as much as you can to stop moisture
escaping from the base. If the base loses moisture it will get
a dry layer on the surface. If you are melting the base in a
microwave then cut the base in chunks, put in a glass bowl,
cover if possible and then microwave at half power in 30 second
intervals until it's melted fully.
your scents- Once the soap has melted completely,
take if off the heat. Make sure the soap has cooled a little
before adding the fragrances or they may evaporate in the air
and disappear. The amount of scent added is pretty much up to
you. Just be careful that you don't use too much of something
that may irritate the skin in high concentrations. As far as
what to use to scent the soap- anything skin safe goes. You
can add your own perfumes, fragrance or essential oils or even
herbs and spices. One thing to note is that some scents may
cause colour changes in the soap base. The only thing you can
do about this- aside from just enjoying it- is to try and dye
over it with a colourant. The change in colour may not be noticeable
immediately but can take place after a number of weeks.
your colour- There are many types of colourings you
can use. Food colouring can be used but only to give light shades
as too much in the soap will stain whatever it come in contact
with. Food colours also tend to fade quite dramatically, especially
if they see too much sun. There are also proper soap dyes that
can be used that give a vast array of colour options. The best
of these soap dyes are those that are cosmetic grade and therefore
the safest for use on the skin. For a more natural colour you
can try spices from your cupboard like turmeric or paprika.
Be careful, as these will also add a fragrance to the soap that
you may not want. Add colour slowly as it can always be darkened
but cannot be lightened without melting more base. Try to swirl
the colour to blend it as stirring too much or too vigorously
will lead to bubbles in your soap.
other things- Now comes the really fun bit. The only
limit to the things you can add to your soap is whether or not
it will damage the skin or cause reactions. You can add small
amounts of almond oil, aloe vera or vitamin E oil. If you add
these oils you may want to add a small amount of a preservative
as they may cause the soap to become mouldy over time. Some
additives will also effect how clear the soap looks. Almond
oil and aloe vera will also decrease the amount of lather the
soap produces. Things such as oatmeal, cornmeal, poppy seeds,
sea salts, loofah (ground or whole) and pumice stone make great
exfoliating additives for a unique soap. Cosmetic grade glitters
create something sparkling and special. If you want to add water
based liquids be careful as to how it will effect the end result.
Liquids that are great to add are goat's milk, tea, coffee,
milk, cream or honey. How delicious.
meal- Consists of the finely ground kernels of blanched
almonds, acts to unclog skin pores and absorb excess oil from
Almond oil (sweet)- A debittered cosmetic oil derived
from almonds and contains protein and several vitamins. Well
known for its ability to soften the skin, this oil is used in
many cosmetics, soaps, and perfumes.
Aloe vera gel- A healing substance extracted from the
aloe plant, is used worldwide to heal burns and skin abrasions.
Apricots- Have been used for centuries in cosmetic preparations,
as they have skin-softening properties and are high in mineral
salts and vitamins. Fresh or dried apricots may be used in soaps.
Bran- Is the broken outer husk of any grain and acts
as a mild abrasive in facial soaps. You'll find bran at health
food or grocery stores.
Calendula flowers- Have a long history as skin softeners.
They are very soothing to sensitive and dry skins and are excellent
additions to facial soaps. Use the petals only, either fresh
or dried, first removing them from the heads and discarding
Carrots- High in vitamin A and many other vitamins, and
their essential oil also contains a good bit of vitamin E.
Clay- Also sold as French Clay or Facial Clay - is widely
used for cosmetic purposes because it draws out and absorbs
oil from the skin.
Coffee- Is used in soaps to absorb odours from the skin.
Use fresh unbrewed grounds.
Lemons- Can be incorporated as juice, grated peels, or
in the form of dried granules.
Pumice- A ground volcanic rock. It varies in colour from
white to almost black and is used in soap as an abrasive. Use
only pumice that has been finely ground.
embedments- You can actually mould solid objects
in your soap to create interesting effects. Children's toys
in their soap can make bath time a heap more fun. Don't use
sharp objects or those small enough to be swallowed by small
children. If the embedments are sinking to the bottom of the
mould try and pour the soap base when it is cooler. You can
even try adding a small amount of cold water to the soap just
before you pour it into the mould. If you are trying to embed
coloured soap chunks, try spritzing the chunks with rubbing
alcohol before pouring the soap base over them. It will help
them stick together.
into moulds- Almost any kind of container that will
withstand the heat of the soap base can be used as a mould.
You can use candy moulds, cookie cutters, tupperware containers
and other grocery containers, baking pans or tins and lots more.
You can also purchase professional soap or candle moulds which
not only work wonderfully but also tend to last quite well.
To make life easier you may want to stick with moulds that can
be flexed to help release the soap after it has set. If you
do have a mould that you love, but the soap tends to stick to
it, try coating the inside of the mould with petroleum jelly
before pouring in the soap base. Another way to help stubborn
soaps is to run hot water over the back of the mould until the
soap slides out. Once you've added everything you want to, pour
the soap into the moulds. You will often get a small amount
of air bubbles in the soap. You can deal with these either by
over filling the mould and then shaving the excess (and therefore
the bubbles) off, or spray a small amount of rubbing alcohol
onto the soap just after pouring.
Your melt and pour soap is ready to use as soon as it hardens.
No more having to wait for soap to cure for weeks before you
even get to see if you like the recipe. It's instant gratification.
or packaging- It's important to wrap and seal your soap
if you don't plan to use it immediately. This will stop it losing
moisture and will also help keep any fragrances fresh and strong.
If the soap isn't wrapped it will form a 'sweat' like appearance
on the surface which will dry into a tacky, white film. If this
happens, simply wipe the soap down and wrap properly.
Moisture control- The more control you have over
moisture loss the easier the soap base will be to use and the
milder the soap will end up. To keep moisture loss to a minimum:
store you soap base in plastic wrap; cover the base when you are
melting it; don't chuck it in the freezer to help the soap set;
and wrap the finished soap in cling wrap.
Changing the soap
base- Adding beeswax or other waxes will create a harder soap
while adding water will make a softer soap. If you add wax it
may reduce the clarity of the soap. If you want to make it clearer
you can add some alcohol (vodka is best) but be careful as it
may make the soap more drying and cause it to smell different.
You can even add more glycerin to make the soap softer, clearer,
and more gentle on the skin.
If you don't like a finished soap it is possible to remelt the
soap and start again. The more you remelt the soap, the more moisture
you will lose so consider adding a little water with each remelt.
There will be a limit to how many times you can remelt the soap
so test it out.
many bubbles- Try not to stir the soap too much. A better
spoon action is more of a swirl than a stir. Sometimes all it
takes is to nudge the chunks around with the spoon while it melts.
Melt and Pour Recipes
This recipe requires that you have two separate soap base colours
so you will need to melt two lots of base in separate bowls. Once
the soap base is melted add a bright yellow colour to one bowl
and a red colour to the other bowl (colours are up to you). Scent
both bowls with your choice of scent (both the same). Stir both
mixes quite well and set them aside to cool until a skin forms
on the surface. Once the skin forms, stir it back in. It is important
to cool the base enough or when you pour the bases they will mix
together and you will simply have an orange soap. What you want
is the soap coloured half and half with a wonderful swirly blend
in the middle. Once the base has cooled, put one bowl in each
hand. Put your hands at either end of the soap mould and pour
both colours into the mould at the same time. Once the soap is
poured then spray the surface with rubbing alcohol to clear away
any bubbles. Allow the soap to cool and then use as you wish.
Bath Buddy Soap
For this recipe you will need a fairly deep mould and a small
toy to embed in the mould. Melt the base as usual and add any
scent you want. You can colour it if you want but you run the
risk of not being able to see the toy if you colour too darkly.
Set the base aside and let it cool until a skin forms on the surface
then stir the skin back in. Pour the soap into the mould- allowing
room for the toy. Gently place the toy into the soap with the
top of the toy facing down. If the soap base is too hot the toy
will simply fall to the bottom. You can try leaving the soap for
a while once you've poured it into the mould and then gently peeling
off the skin that forms before putting the toy in. Either method
should do the job fine. All done.
Earth Clay Soap
450g glycerin soap base
1 tablespoon clay (you can use any sort you like)
colourant and scent
Melt the soap base
in a double boiler. Once it is melted, in a separate dish mix
a little of the base with the clay until it's a lovely smooth
paste. Mix this paste in with the original soap base. Add any
scent you want. You can also add colour if you wish but the clay
may be enough. Pour into moulds, allow to cool, and use as you
One of the easiest
soaps to create is a layered soap. When you are making soap always
have a simple mould set aside. Simply pour any leftover soap into
the mould, layer upon layer.
Tea Tree Antiseptic
This soap is great against bacteria, fungi, and yeasts. Also good
2 C glycerin soap base
2 T tea tree oil
Combine melted base
and essential oill. Stir until well blended, then pour into moulds
Camphor and Clary
Helps to reduce itches and swelling
2 C glycerin soap base
2 T camphor oil
1 t clary sage oil
Combine melted base
and oils. Stir until blended, then pour into moulds and cool.
Keep this soap wrapped or store in a cool, dark place. It will
remain fully effective for eighteen months.
Shea Butter Soap
2 C glycerin soap base
2 T shea butter, melted separately
several drops of your favourite essential oil (optional)