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Melt and Pour Homemade Soap

Updated on January 15, 2013

Easy Soap Making

I love being crafty and trying my hand at a plethora of craft ideas. My most recent venture (and one I absolutely loved) was soap making! Not only is it fun, but getting to use your very own soap that you've customized for yourself is great.

Handmade soap is a nifty idea. When I first started making soap, I wanted to avoid using lye, worrying about how to properly mix, or taking extra safety measures. Therefore, I opted for soap casting, or "melt and pour" soap. It's relatively inexpensive, great for beginners, and safer if you're including your older children in your crafting. It's definitely a good way to get your feet wet before moving on to more advanced cold process soap making.

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Cold Process Vs. Melt and Pour

There are two basic ways of making homemade soap.

Cold Process - This style of soap making uses a chemical reaction called saponification to produce soap. The soap maker creates a mixture of lye (sodium hydroxide) and water with fatty acids (like tallow or oils). Once heated it produces trace which is poured into molds to create soap. Typically, the soap is then cured for several weeks before they can be used. There are many variations to this process but all require safety equipment and thorough knowledge of handling the chemicals used.

Melt and Pour / Soap Casting Process - This type of soap is used by taking a soap base, such as glycerin, melting it down and pouring it into molds to create soap. This type of homemade soap can be made unique by the color, fragrance, and ingredients added when it is in a melted state.

What Do You Think?

Which process of soap making do you prefer?

How To - Melt and Pour

This is intended to give a basic overview of how to make your very own melt and pour soap.

To make melt and pour soap you will first need to choose a soap base. These usually come in blocks that can be cut to the size you want.

1.) Using a double boiler, bring water to a boil. When I made soap I just filled a really big pot with enough water to touch the bottom of a large empty metal bowl placed inside. Once the water is boiling, place your soap base in the empty bowl or top of the double boiler.

2.) When your soap base has completely melted, you can then add your ingredients such as fragrance oils, essential oils, dried herbs, colorant, etc.

3.) Pour your soap mixture into molds. Allow to cool, usually 4-6 hours. Then pop out of your molds and they are ready to be used.

You now have your very own homemade soap, easy as 1 2 3!

Advanced Melt and Pour - Fun Techniques For Interesting Soaps

  • Layering

    Layering creates soaps that are made up of more than one solid portion of color. This can be done vertically or horizontally. Each layer of soap can possess its own qualities such as color, fragrance, and ingredients. This technique is done by pouring your first layer of soap into your mold. As it cools, a fine mist of rubbing alcohol is sprayed to prevent air bubbles. Then your next layer is poured on top of the previous. You can create as many or as few layers as will fit in your mold.

  • Swirling/Marbling

    This technique is used to blend two or more colors to soap to create a swirled or marbling effect. There are a few methods of doing this however, it is more difficult to do with melt and pour than cold process soap making. Temperature is key when adding colors. If your soaps are too hot this will cause bleeding of the colors. If they are too cold the colors will simply layer.

    This technique is usually done by pouring a clear melted soap base in your mold. Once it starts to cool, a second colored liquid soap is poured little by little. Using a small tool like a toothpick or bamboo skewer, the soap maker drags the second soap color across the first.

  • Embedding

    This technique is really great for making kids soaps or soaps you intend to give as a gift. Using the soap base of your choice (although clear or light colors will show the embedded object better), melt and pour into your soap mold about 1/2 way. Let it cool slightly so that it is still maleable but not completely liquid. Spray with rubbing alcohol to avoid air bubbles. Place your embedding object into your soap. Use your remaining melted soap and finish filling the soap mold.

Fun Soaping Examples

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Beautifully Layered Soap. You can read the review or purchase this soap at http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/handmade-soap-tropical-vacation--glycerin-soap-layered-soapGreat example of swirled soap. Check out photos of the Soap Queen's process at http://www.soapqueen.com/bramble-berry-news/sneak-peak-kbshimmer-on-soap-queen-tv-2/"What a neat idea! Glycerin soap with vinyl goldfish embedded inside. You can find this soap and others like it at http://home.comcast.net/~candlelytes/bath_body.htmlBeautiful, earthy, handmade soap. Find this soap and others like it at http://www.craftjuice.com/index.php?page=3&category=SoapsCosmeticsLovely embedded soap. You can find this hand made soap at http://www.etsy.com/listing/64635013/gold-kaleidoscope-soap-a-handcrafted
Beautifully Layered Soap. You can read the review or purchase this soap at http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/handmade-soap-tropical-vacation--glycerin-soap-layered-soap
Beautifully Layered Soap. You can read the review or purchase this soap at http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/handmade-soap-tropical-vacation--glycerin-soap-layered-soap
Great example of swirled soap. Check out photos of the Soap Queen's process at http://www.soapqueen.com/bramble-berry-news/sneak-peak-kbshimmer-on-soap-queen-tv-2/"
Great example of swirled soap. Check out photos of the Soap Queen's process at http://www.soapqueen.com/bramble-berry-news/sneak-peak-kbshimmer-on-soap-queen-tv-2/"
What a neat idea! Glycerin soap with vinyl goldfish embedded inside. You can find this soap and others like it at http://home.comcast.net/~candlelytes/bath_body.html
What a neat idea! Glycerin soap with vinyl goldfish embedded inside. You can find this soap and others like it at http://home.comcast.net/~candlelytes/bath_body.html
Beautiful, earthy, handmade soap. Find this soap and others like it at http://www.craftjuice.com/index.php?page=3&category=SoapsCosmetics
Beautiful, earthy, handmade soap. Find this soap and others like it at http://www.craftjuice.com/index.php?page=3&category=SoapsCosmetics
Lovely embedded soap. You can find this hand made soap at http://www.etsy.com/listing/64635013/gold-kaleidoscope-soap-a-handcrafted
Lovely embedded soap. You can find this hand made soap at http://www.etsy.com/listing/64635013/gold-kaleidoscope-soap-a-handcrafted

DIY Soap Recipes

Check below for fun and easy soap recipes to try. Or, leave a comment and share your own!

This is an easy recipe that creates a great soap.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. transparent soap base
  • 1 tbs oatmeal flakes
  • 1/4 tsp grated orange peel
  • orange colorant as desired
  • 2 vitamin e gel tablets
  • 1 tbs shea butter
  • 1/8 tsp sweet orange oil (for fragrance)
  • 5 drops grapefruit seed extract

Instructions

  1. Melt the transparent soap base. Add the vitamin e tablets and melt slowly. Once soap base and vitamin e are melted, add oatmeal, orange peel, and shea butter. Stir until evenly distributed. Add fragrance, grapefruit seed extract and colorant. Allow to cool slightly. Pour into molds and allow to cool 4-6 hours.
Cast your vote for Orange and Oatmeal Soap

Get Your Soap Making Started - Tools for Soap Making Available for Purchase

Got a melt and pour soap recipe you've tried or created and absolutely love? Share it with soap makers and others interested in testing them out.

Share Your Favorite Melt and Pour Recipes Here!

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