There’s something truly indulgent about making a product in the home, for the home. I think it’s knowing how much care you put in to creating it that makes it all the more special to use.
Soap making is one of my favourites because it offers an alternative to what we often find in the supermarket. Not to mention you get to have fun while playing around with different scents, which can be hard to come by in the commercial market.
For the absolute beginners, you’re in luck. This guide to making, melting and pouring soap is extremely easy and won’t take up a lot of your time.
Later down the track, you can get really creative and add elements such as ground lavender buds, eucalyptus leaves, flower petals, coffee or oatmeal.
Why not package a couple of different soaps up – a luxurious creamy bar and a fresh exfoliant – for birthday gifts for family and friends.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
*To make 10 soap clamshells
900g melt and pour soap base
Soap-safe fragrances or essential oils (choose only from the soap-safe table of fragrances)
Rubbing alcohol spray (not compulsory, only used to disburse small air bubbles
10 soap clamshell mould
1 double boiler or 1L microwave-safe plastic jug (see different instructions below)
1 stainless steel stirring spoon
If using a double boiler:Add the melt and pour soap base in to your double boiler and heat until it starts to melt. Keep an eye on it and stir at intervals. While there is no set heat temperature, it should not be steaming and should remain slightly viscous. If using a microwave:Cut the melt and pour soap base in to small chunks, place in your microwave-safe plastic jug and cover with cling wrap to prevent moisture from evaporating. Microwave on high for one minute, then stir until the soap is no longer melting. Microwave again in 30-second increments, continuing to stir in each break until all soap pieces have disappeared.
Add your body safe fragrance or essential oil and continue stirring until fully blended and the soap is no longer cloudy. Feel free to use more or less than the recommended amount (as long as it is within the percentage advised), depending on your results.
Add your PC (personal care) dye. The depth of colour you want to achieve is a personal choice, so add in and stir until you are satisfied. Botanicals can also be used to achieve natural colouring.
Stir all ingredients thoroughly until well blended, then pour in to the mould.
(This step is optional and for aesthetic reasons only) Spray the tops of your soap with rubbing alcohol to disperse any bubbles that may form. Leave soap to dry for 2-3 hours.
Once dry, turn the mould over and gently apply pressure to different areas of the back of the mould until soap is released.
Storage:To avoid sweating, discolouring and loss of moisturising properties, store your soap appropriately. For short-term storage, wrap in cling film. For long-term storage, using shrink-wrap on your soap is advised.