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Melt and Pour Soap

Glycerin Soap

soapI make my own soap from scratch, but before that, I did melt and pour soap.  It’s taking a basic soap such as glycerin and adding oils, color and/or scent.  You can start with any soap that isn’t a deodorant or detergent (Ivory works, but it has its own scent.)  Unscented is best because then you can add your own scent or not.  I used Ivory in a few test batches and found the scent of that soap overwhelming–adding oils doesn’t take away the good old Ivory smell of it. 

Most people take the soap and shave it (grate it) and then add a little water and melt everything over a double boiler.  I use a crockpot.

Here’s my latest recipe:

2 lbs unscented, no color pure glycerin soap

1/8 cup milk (you can use water.  I like to add milk as it is very good for your skin.  Many people like goat’s milk in their soap.)

Using a crockpot on the lowest setting, add the milk and the soap.  I don’t bother to shave the glycerin into small pieces.  If you’re in a hurry, grate it or cut the block into small chunks.   I leave the crockpot covered for the first half hour as it warms, and then I will often leave it uncovered so that the melted portion of soap doesn’t get too hot.   Stir every so often (15 minutes at first and then more frequently as it melts).    When the glycerin is melted, add your scents and oils.  Do NOT let it boil or continue to warm after it is melted.  If it gets too hot, it will develop air bubbles that will stay in the soap.  This doesn’t harm the soap at all, but the bars won’t be as pretty.  They’ll have air gaps. 

At this stage I add:

1 to 10 drops mandarin red  essential oil (this will add an orange/red color) – you can substitute in any oil– Orange is another of my favorites!

1 to 10 drops lime essential oil (this adds a bit more green/yellow)

Stir after each addition.   The lime and manderin red give soap a wonderful, light citrus smell.  The aloe is for skin conditioning.  You don’t want to add too many oils because your soap will lose lather and the oils can “seep” out as the bar dries. I have used honey in soap and like adding it (it has great anti-fungal, antibiotic properties.)  Sesame oil gives soap a nice feel and scent, although I think of it as a guy scent more than a girl scent.  A little goes a long way. You don’t need more than a few drops.

Using a dipping spoon (like a soup ladle) pour the soap into individual soap molds.  Let dry AT LEAST overnight and then slip the soap out of the molds.  The more water or milk you used to help dissolve the soap, the longer the drying time.  After you take the soap out of the molds, place on waxed paper or a drying rack for a few days to let them cure (meaning, make sure all the excess moisture has dried off.)

Supplies – Molds,  Essential oils and Glycerin Soap

IMG_1834

My favorite molds are silicon molds and some of the cutest I’ve found are teddy bear molds.  They are extremely easy to work with because they peel right off the soap when it is time to remove them.  They are easy to wash, store and they last a long time.  Plastic molds can crack and become deformed after a several uses, although there are more of them available in soap-shapes.

You can use smaller molds (1/4 cup) for gift soap or travel.  I recommend at least 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup molds for regular bar soap.

Amazon has Smaller size: Clear Gycerine Soap Base and larger sizes: White Glycerine Soap- 5lbs There’s even: 10 LBS Clear Soap Base by Life of the Party in Resealable Bucket if you’re very sure you want to do a couple of batches!

Here’s a good soap book: Basic Soap Making: All the Skills and Tools You Need to Get Started by Elizabeth Letcavage, Patsy Buck, & Buck Alan Wycheck.

I do make my own soap from scratch, an olive oil/coconut oil bar and a sunflower/coconut oil bar. Comments are closed on this post because of too much spam, but if you have a question, there’s an email on the sidebar or you can leave a comment on a more current post (see the front page by clicking the bear at the top of the page)!!! If you’re looking for a dynamite home made soap, I make and sell a lavender bar for $5.00 a bar (shipped price if you order 3 or more). The bear soaps are $7 a bar because they are bigger and the hearts are $3.00 with a requirement of five bars for the free shipping. Contact me on the side bar if you’re interested! Some lead time required for large orders.

If you like potions and lotions and fiction characters who make them, you might like: Under Witch Moon

Health & Beauty Tip: Epsom Salts

In the heat of summer, it’s easy to run low on nutrients because you sweat them all out. So whether you exhaust yourself in the garden or at the beach (if you’re lucky!) or just sweat going to and from the car, here’s a quick way to rejuvenate your skin AND replenish your magnesium supply:

Rinse your face with cool water. Scoop up a couple tablespoons of espom salts and give your face and neck a nice scrub. You’ll want your face and hands damp so that the epsom salts partially dissolve and soak into your skin. The little salts will scrub away old skin while they cleanse and refresh. Leave the epsom salts on for a few minutes and then rinse off. You can do this trick before you shower to give the epsom salts a longer time on your skin. Just rinse your face off last. The epsom salts will leave your skin smooth and fresh.

This little scrub makes a great back scrub too–just keep the epsom salts mostly undissolved as you rub them around. For a back rub, put a couple tablespoons in a leak proof container. Hop in the shower and dampen your skin. Turn the water off and use the epsom salts for a nice back scrub–or give your whole body a nice scrub! Rinse and shower normally. Epson salts are are wonderful when used in a foot bath too (will soften your skin).

Magnesium is important for mood (relieves depression), proper sleep and proper nutrition absorption. So rub in a little bit of nutrition next time you wash your face!

Posted: June 23, 2016
Filed in Lotions and Potions, Melt and Pour Soap

Make Your Own Deodorant

As you know, I make my own lotions, soaps and shampoos. I haven’t found a good deodorant recipe yet. The key for the recipe that works for us is: Epsom Salts and baking soda and you’ll be good to go (other ingredients in my bar: beeswax (helps harden the bar), arrowroot, kaolin clay (thickener), coconut oil, and cetyl alcohol–to harden the bar.) Melt everything in a pan. You can use any essential oil, but don’t put it in until the mix is cooling. I prefer grapefruit or lavender/geranium.

Here is a recipe book today that has several recipes!

33 Easy DIY Deodorant Recipes

If you like potions and lotions and fiction characters who make them, you might like: Under Witch Moon.

Posted: October 25, 2015
Filed in Lotions, Melt and Pour Soap, Mineral Make-up, Shampoo
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Melt and Pour: Twenty-four Pounds

soapblockJust in case you wondered what a 24 pound block of soap looks like. Pretty tough to shower with this bar…

Also, I get asked a lot whether you can add milk to melt and pour–yes. I made most of my melt and pour using milk in place of the water component. Here is a recipe. Using the crockpot method in that recipe, it’s also possible to add no additional milk or water if you want the bars to dry faster.

I now make my own soap from scratch, but feel free to ask questions in the comments or send me an email (on the sidebar — scroll down).

Some good soap books, in case you want to make your own soap: Basic Soap Making: All the Skills and Tools You Need to Get Started by Elizabeth Letcavage, Patsy Buck, & Buck Alan Wycheck


Posted: September 8, 2009
Filed in Melt and Pour Soap

Soap and Soap Molds

Back when I started with soap, I did melt and pour, but now I do my own soaps from scratch. Margaret asked me which soap molds I own. I only use the silicone molds–easy to peel off the soap, easy to wash, easy, easy, easy. Here’s a picture of soap I made last week with my Easter shapes and teddy bear shapes. IMG_1834

Obviously I have other shapes and you can still buy a “log” type silicone mold and cut the bars–if you do buy the log type, make sure it’s one with reinforced sides or the sides bulge out and you end up with the soap that’s fat in the middle (it’s also hard to move around because the sides are shaky.) I have a couple of large square silicone molds that are not reinforced and the bars are always a bit distorted from those molds.

The above bars are a coconut oil, vegetable oil and castor oil blend, scented with Island Escape (Bramble Berry). It makes a nice, white, medium hard bar of soap!

Bargain Find: Here’s a great price on Geranium oil–makes a nice scent when mixed with lavender in lotion and deodorant!

If you like potions and lotions and fiction characters who make them, you might like: Under Witch Moon