I 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
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