Craft: Making Soap In Less Than 1 Hour

Craft: making soap in your kitchen in less than one hour. Melt and Pour glycerin soap is easy to work with, is very good for your skin, and allows you the freedom to create your own colors and scents and shapes.

Making soap in your own kitchen is fast, easy and fun. Anyone over the age of 10 can make it and certainly anyone can and will use it. Soapmaking is an inexpensive hobby. It also allows you to make the scents and or colors of soap that you prefer. Glycerin soap, often called Melt and Pour soap, is what you'll be working with today. First, it's already made! You buy it in blocks or tubs and really all you do is melt it in either your microwave oven or a double boiler, add some color [optional] or scent [also optional], pour it into a mold and less than an hour later you have a batch of new soap that's ready to use.

Melt and Pour soap is glycerin soap which is made from vegetable oils and is safer for your skin than most commercial brands sold in supermarkets and drug stores.

Obtaining melt and pour soap over the Internet is easy: just type in the words "Ëśmelt and pour soapmaking' in any major search engine and you'll be surprised to discover just how many places sell this soap at reasonable rates.

Expect to pay an average of $3 per pound. Translucent glycerin and opaque are the most common types sold, especially for beginners. Opaque glycerin is white and is colored with the mineral titanium dioxide. You can also find Melt and Pour soap at many Wal-Mart stores. Also, you will be able to buy soapmaking kits which contain all the needed ingredients.

Unlike Cold Process soap, which involves using lye, wearing goggles and gloves, making Melt and Pour soap involves none of that, nor do you even need a thermometer to gauge the temperature of the soap. It's done when it's melted.

Once you've made your first batch, you can get more creative in your choices of colors, blending of scents, and even add dried flowers, herbs or soothing oils such as almond oil and cocoa butter. You'll discover the perfect way to make memorable Christmas and birthday gifts for family, friends and co-workers. And your newfound hobby may even turn into a new work-at-home business!

Equipment Needed:

Double boiler OR microwave

Flexible plastic containers for molds

Kitchen scale

Measuring spoons

Cutting board [preferably wood]

Large knife

Paring knife

Plastic bowls or containers [for storage]

Wax paper

Cling wrap

Wooden spoon

Paper towels


Soap Supplies:

Glycerin melt & pour soap -- 1.5 pounds

Coloring""cosmetic grade color nuggets, natural powders: cinnamon, paprika

Natural liquid: chlorophyll [alfalfa grass]

Fragrances [cosmetic grade ONLY]

Molds: These will come in various sizes and shapes but plastic is highly recommended. You can order soap molds online or find them at a crafts shop or candle supply store. You can use microwavable containers, food containers, candle molds or even drawer organizers. At many discount stores you can find the perfect mold, and for less than $4 in many cases. Using plastic means that you can reuse it and that it will make getting the soap out so much easier than a glass mold.

Caution: Don't ever use aluminum or metal molds.

Step 1:

On the cutting board you'll slice up the soap into cubes, approximately one to two inches. You'll then put these into a plastic container, first weighing the container and noting the weight, and putting the filled container onto the scale. You should have 36 ounces or 1 pound 4 ounces.

Step 2:

A. Using your double boiler, fill the bottom part with water a few inches deep.

B. For microwave users only""when you melt the soap, don't use the highest heat, watch the soap carefully and don't melt it all the way, allow a few chunks to remain. Don't worry, they'll melt.

Step 3:

For the double boiler method, put the soap in the top level and melt, stirring occasionally.

Add a piece of color, if using Color Nuggets, from the prepackaged colors you've bought. If using liquid chlorophyll, 1 tablespoon will be enough. It won't color it a dark green like in the bottle, but a medium olive shade. If using opaque glycerin soap, you'll get a sage color. Powdered colors aren't highly recommended for glycerin soap, as they're harder to mix. Liquid colors can be used but they must be COSMETIC GRADE.

Step 4:

Once the color is melted it's time to add the fragrance. Use 1 teaspoon and let your nose be your guide. Underscenting will cause your soap to be less aromatic after a few months. Slightly overscenting is okay, but the keyword is slightly. Citrus scents such as orange, lemon, lime, etc. are lighter scents and don't last as long as a heavier scent such as patchouli or lavender.

Step 5:

Time to pour your soap into the mold. For this recipe, a 6.5" [length] by 4.5" [width] by 2" [height] is recommended. What you want is a 4.5-cup capacity mold. When you pour you'll get bubbles. Pop these with the toothpick. Also, make sure no insects have landed in your soap!

Step 6:

You can let your soap harden at room temperature, or you can put it into the freezer for about 30-60 minutes. Freezing the soap quickens the hardening process and also allows the soap to pop out of the mold easier.

Step 7:

It's time to release your soap and see your first successful chunk of handmade Melt and Pour glycerin soap. You can tell it's ready when: the mold is cool and it easily pulls away from the soap. Release it onto a wax paper-covered surface. Admire it for a few seconds, and then cover it with more wax paper and a paper towel. You really should allow it to return to room temperature before using it. Ideally, you should let it sit for 24 hours for the fragrance oil to settle.

Step 8:

Cutting the soap can be done with a large knife. This recipe yields approximately 6 bars, depending on the thickness. First, you may want to plane the rough edges and traces of white filmy popped bubbles with a paring knife. These will be more noticeable on the darker colored soap. Then wrap the pieces with a cling wrap. The generic cling wrap is fine""it's better to use a less expensive cling wrap. This not only saves money, but is done to appreciate the scent of the soap. Expensive cling wraps don't allow the aroma to be smelled, as they're too thick. They protect the soap but the only smell you'll get is that of plastic!

Step 9:

Make a label for your soap if you'll be giving it to someone for a special occasion like Christmas, birthdays, a wedding or anniversary, a promotion, etc.

There you have it, 9 simple steps for making your own unique soap. Remember to store your new soap out of direct sunlight and keep the bars in a ridged soapdish so it makes no contact with water.

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