I’ve always liked experimenting with and making new things. Finding some wood, wanting to make something out of it, collecting stones and pebbles to create wind chimes. Even if I didn’t end up making things, I always appreciate things made by hand. They’re more thoughtful, more suited to your need, and so much fun! And that is exactly what I felt when I heard about soap making. I’d been going through this whole phase of eliminating plastic from our lives, so wanting to switch to soap bars felt just right.
The curious cat in me went ahead and researched on the internet. There was so much information about handmade soaps and so many choices online. Almost all the soaps talked about ‘sodium hydroxide’ or ‘lye’ and how dangerous it was to use. But it turns out it is an important ingredient to make soaps….unless you go the ‘melt and pour’ way. Now that’s when I knew I wanted to make soaps at home.
Melt and Pour soaps are safer as making them doesn’t involve working with harsh chemicals. This isn’t to say making cold/ hot process soaps with ‘lye’ is difficult. It just, to me, seemed stress-free and something to begin my soap-making journey with.
Things You Would Need:
1. A Melt And Pour Soap Base
Melt and Pour soap bases are just basic blocks of soap that have been saponified using ‘lye’ and distilled water/oils. There are a few basic kinds of bases, to begin with. There’s goat’s milk, honey, shea butter, cocoa butter, to name a few. With Melt and Pour since the base is already ready, all you gotta do is ‘melt and pour,’ quite literally.
2. A Bit Of An Additive Oil
For this I like to use coconut oil. But you could use any oil that you like, whether it’s Vitamin E oil or even castor oil.
3. 99% Isopropyl Alcohol In A Spray Bottle
Now, this sounds all fancy but isn’t something to worry about. It comes in handy to make sure there aren’t any bubbles on the surface. So you spray out the bubbles that the liquid seems to form, and you spray them away.
4. Silicone Mould
You would need a silicone mould for the soap to set in. There are some really nice designs and patterns out on the internet. Choose some beautiful ones and make yourself a lovely soap! (:
5. A Measuring Scale
You will only need this if you like to be very precise. I sometimes wing it for the Melt and Pour soaps. For cold/hot process soaps, though, this is super mandatory
6. Your Creative Hat On
Now here’s the fun thing about Melt and Pour soaps…since the base is ready, you get to make this fun for yourself. Well, not just fun, but I mean, you can play around with ingredients. Add in things that are good for the skin. I like to add turmeric and coconut milk and a bit of sandalwood essential to a honey soap base…. and I got to say, my skin loves it!
Step 1 – Cut Tiny Cubes Out Of The Soap Base
So begin by taking the soap base and cutting tiny cubes. In the beginning, I was all too worried to have them of the same size, but don’t let that stress you out. Roughly about the same size would do since it will all melt into a liquid.
Step 2 – Melt Them
Place the cubes into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave them for 30 seconds, to begin with. Do so till the cubes all melt. Keep stirring after every 15 seconds.
Step 3 – Add In The Additives
Add in your desired additives. That could be honey, oil, and some oatmeal. Or you could add in some essential oils to give it a nice fragrance. There’s like a gazillion recipes to help you get started, and over time you know you would find your way around it. In fact, if you like creating, you would even come up with some fun things yourself. Once you’re done, stir and pour into the silicone mould, spray the Isopropyl on top to remove bubbles, and let it sit for 1-2 hours.
Step 4 – Pour Into Moulds
Once you’re done, stir and pour into the silicone mould. Now at this point, you would notice tiny bubbles are forming on the surface. To tackle that, spray the Isopropyl on top. Now, let it sit for 1-2 hours.
Step 5 – Pop The Soaps Out And Have Fun Bathing!
And that is pretty much it. Pop the soaps out. By now, they would have definitely hardened, and that makes them ready to use.
See, it was easy, wasn’t it? And you got a nice scented, good for your skin soap. There’s a lot of nice recipes out there to experiment with. Be creative, be careful but really have fun with it. And if you’re like me, you will switch to making cold process soaps…..but, more on that later because for now, enjoy this!
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