- glycerin or other basic soap
- scent and/or color
- other additives if desired
- melting pot and foil to cover it
- another, wider pot
- stirrer (dowel, old wooden spoon)
Cover your work-space with newspaper.
It is best to melt soap in a double boiler, so that it cannot get too
hot. A melting pot set into a wider pot with at least 3-4 inches of
water works well. Itís a good idea to set the melting pot up on something,
so that water goes under it, as well as around. A warm, dry work-space
will add less moisture to your soap as it melts.
Cut soap into small pieces if you can and add one tablespoon of water
per pound of soap. Heat (in double boiler) gradually to 158°F. Watch
the temperature, if the soap heats to over 160°F, it will absorb
moisture from the air, which will cause finished soap to sweat. Covering
the pot will keep air out, and help prevent foaming.
(Or you can use a microwave. Place soap in appropriate microwavable
container. Microwave for about 45 seconds, then stir. Repeat for 15
seconds at a time till completely melted. Donít be tempted to run
microwave for longer periods without checking.
When the soap is completely liquid, add scent, color and/or other materials,
stirring gently to blend. Stirring too vigorously will make foam.
Now pour slowly into molds. Scrape filled molds with a flat knife blade
to remove bubbles from surface. If there are lots of bubbles, pour the
soap back into the melting pot, add 2 teaspoons of rubbing alcohol per
pound of soap, and re-pour.
Soap can be removed from molds after about 2 hours. If a mold has an
elaborate shape and the soap is reluctant to come out, try putting mold
and soap in the freezer till it is well chilled. Wrap finished soap
in plastic wrap, and store in a dry place.
Clean-up is easy — use warm water.
Add cocoanut oil, honey, beeswax, oatmeal, ground almonds or loofah
to your soap. If you add more than a tablespoon of liquid per pound,
balance it with an equal weight of a solid. For instance, an ounce of
honey and an ounce of beeswax.
Some additives (like oatmeal) are heavier than the soap, and is likely
to settle. Wait till the soap has started to cool and thicken before
Layer your soap. Pour about half an inch of one color into the mold,
wait fifteen minutes and pour another layer. Repeat till done. You can
prop the mold at different angles to get non-parallel layers.
Marble your soap. Add shavings of colored soap to melted un-colored
soap; do not stir.
Make soap on a rope. Tie the ends of an 8" to 10" piece of
rope together. Insert knot into liquid soap right after pouring and
hold in place for about 15 seconds.
Make small colored soap shapes, or save chunks of colored soap. Place
in larger molds and pour clear soap to fill. Or you can pour the clear
soap first, then insert the dyed shapes when a skin starts to form.
Be sure to leave enough room in the mold for the later additions.
Make your own molds. Find or make an object the shape you want the soap
to be. Simple shapes work best, and there will need to be a flat surface.
Paint your object with latex mold builder: several coats, with drying
time in between (follow the instructions on the container. A little
experimentation will show what will work best.
(With thanks to Pourette Manufacturing and ETI Soap
© Earth Guild (You may reproduce this if it is unaltered and our
name stays on it.)