Happy New Year!! I hope you are all ready for a great one, I know I am. I get so excited about creating things and sharing those creations with others, and hope it will inspire you to create, and to share with others the things you have created. So, lets get to the sharing!!
In my last blog, , I made an easy handmade soap, and told you that you didn’t have to know all there was to know about soap making to get started, but would learn along the way. Well, today, I am going to tell you a few of those things so you will have a better understanding of the process and ingredients and maybe venture out to make a soap of your own.
I think we should start with a few different soap basis, the ones I use most often, such as coconut oil, goats milk, shea butter, and vegetable glycerin.
Coconut oil is known to have many health benefits, but, for this purpose, we will discuss those benefits as they relate to soap making. Coconut oil is a great moisturizer, firms the skin, and helps fight against acne. Coconut oil also has antimicrobial agents which help fight against those pesky germs that can cause a number of illnesses.
Goats Milk helps to sooth dry sensitive skin, it is a very creamy soap base.
Shea butter is a great moisturizer, so, it help soothe dry skin, it helps with inflammation, and has anti-aging properties.
And, as I mentioned in my previous blog (soapapalooza), these are all suspension soaps, which means, when you add ingredients to the melted soap base, it will float throughout the soap and not settle in the bottom of the soap mold.
These soap basis are all called melt and pour soap basis, which means exactly what you think it does, melt and pour. I love this easy method. You buy the soap base you want (most come in blocks), you cut them into cubes (which are usually already scored for you) and you melt in 30 min increments in the microwave stirring in between increments until the soap base is completely melted. My usual rule of thumb is about 4 cubes per bar of soap. So, if you want 4 bars, then about 16 cubes. If you buy the soap base by the bucket which is usually several pounds, it is most often already cut into cubes.
After the soap is melted, let cool a little, then you can add your ingredients, colorants, scents. Such as: fragrance and other oils, oatmeal, flower buds, seeds and nuts, sugars, soap colorants ect. Each ingredient lends its own unique quality to the soap.
After all the ingredients are in the melted soap, pour them into your molds and let set for atleast an hour. There are a number of things you can use as molds. As you can see by the feature picture in this blog, I used a muffin tin and the cute little muffin liners as a mold.
You can buy special soap molds, use a loaf pan and then slice the soap when it is dry (I use wax papaer in the loaf pan to make it easy to remove the soap when it dries, which also gives the soap a bit of a texture on the top of the soap that is pretty). Be creative. Just remember to use something that you can get the soap out of.
How is melt and pour soap made you ask?? It is done through the cold press soap making method of combining oils or fats with lye to form soap. This is called saponification with literally mean to make soap. The lye is an ingredient in the cold process method, but is not present in the finished product due to the saponification process.
There are folks that do the cold press method themselves, I, however, choose to let someone else do that for me. I don’t like the thought of working with lye, although if you follow instructions and use the proper safety measures, you may like that process.
I know this seems like a lot of information to absorb, but, like I said earlier, you don’t have to learn it all in the begining, it’s a learn as you go. You may try different things through out your soap making journey that work and some may not, but, oh boy is it a lot of fun. I always try new things in small batches so as not to waste alot of product.
Now, on your mark, get set, go make some soap!!! So, when you are ready to get a start, my next post is a complete how to and has a wonderful key lime, coconut, poppy seed melt and pour soap. You can check it out here: https://ohsnapitshandmade.com/2019/01/13/sopapalooza-3/
As always, feel free to leave a comment. If you are making soap for the forst time or if you have been making it for a while and you have something to share, please do!! I love to hear how things turn out and see what you are all up too!!!