There are two ways you can make soap and I like to compare them to making a cake. You can either bake the cake from scratch or buy the boxed mix where you just add in the eggs and water. Translation to soap making: you can either make the soap from scratch with the highly-chemical Lye and intimidating process, or you can buy the pre-made melt-and-pour soap bars that you can add your own flavors and colorants to. I’m still opting to the melt-and-pour version because I live in a tiny apartment and don’t yet have the capacity or equipment for the real-deal soap making. Someday I would love to own a few goats and/or sheep and use their milk to make my own soaps. That is the dream. For now I’ve just been learning the basics – It’s still a lot of fun though :)
I’ve been buying my melt-and-pour soaps at bulkapothecary.com – they also offer a wide variety of colorants, essential oils and natural textures. Once you have the soap, it’s pretty easy to do,
- Cut your melt and pour soap base into 1" chunks
- Melt the soap base in the microwave on 30 second bursts (stirring between bursts, until the base has fully melted). You can alternatively slowly melt the soap on the stovetop, either way, just don't over cook it or it will smell!
- Add any colorants/essential oils/botanicals into the soap base and mix well
- Pour your soap into your molds
- If bubbles foam up on the surface of the soap, spraying alcohol over the surface will remove these.
- Allow the soap to harden over a few hours, then viola! Your soap is done!
Let me know if you try out soapmaking and if you have any tips or tricks yourself!