Melt & Pour Soap is a quick, easy, and nearly fool proof project that you can whip up for your friends, families, and co-workers in mass quantities. Your charming, handmade soaps are sure to be a big hit when created with some of our fantastic molds and ingredients.
The Soap Base
Melt & Pour Soap Base is a transparent, glycerin soap, which has been specifically designed for melting and reshaping. Unfortunately, ordinary glycerin soaps will not behave this way, so you'll need to use soap that has been made specifically for this purpose. Sold on FromNatureWithLove.com in 2 lb. blocks, Melt & Pour Soap is available in many varieties. You can choose the most basic Clear or Opaque Soap Bases, or choose a specialty soap such as Goat's Milk Soap, Olive Oil Soap, or Aloe Vera Soap. Melt & Pour Soaps are also available in a wide range of pre-colored bases. These are great for crafters who only want to make a limited amount of soap, and don't want to invest in purchasing Color Additives. Click here to see our full range of Melt & Pour Soap Bases.
While there are many household objects that can be used as make-shift Melt & Pour Soap molds, you may want to invest in a high quality, plastic mold for making soaps. FromNatureWithLove.com carries a great line of soap molds.
You can also re-use containers such as potato chip cans, orange juice cartons, or milk cartons as melt & pour soap molds. Just make sure whatever you are using has been cleaned out very well. You can also use items such as silicone bakeware, or flexible ice cube trays to make melt & pour soap, but we wouldn't recommend using any of these items for food after you've used them for soap. Set these items aside just for soapmaking.
Coloring Melt & Pour Soap
There are several methods of adding color to Melt & Pour Soaps. Using pre-colored Melt & Pour Soap Base would definitely be the easiest way to do this, but you can also add color by hand. This allows you to be a little more creative and spontaneous during your soapmaking.
- FD&C Liquid Dyes - These water based, brightly colored, liquid dyes provide bright, easy to customize colors. These dyes are very easy to use and can be added directly to the soap base, drop by drop. FD&C Dyes can also be mixed and matched to produce new and unique shades of color. It should be noted, though, that FD&C colors can bleed into one another when used in layers.
- Oxides & Ultramarines - These dry, powdered colorants are mineral based. They provide deep, matte color and are a bit trickeier to use in Melt & Pour Soap than liquid dyes. In order to incorporate Oxides and Ultramarines into Melt & Pour Soap Base it must first be mixed with a small amount of oil. Add a very small amount of powder to a small mixing bowl or cup (starting at around 1/4 tsp for every pound of soap). Add a few drops of a Carrier Oil, such as Olive Oil or Sweet Almond Oil, and mix the powder into a slurry, adding additional drops of oil as needed. When the powder has formed a smooth paste you can add it to your soap base.
- Pearlecent Micas - Available in a very wide range of colors, Pearlescent Micas provide shimmering colors to Melt & Pour Soaps. These mineral based powders have been colored using a wide variety of additives, tints, and minerals to produce such a wide range of colors. Pearlescent Micas can be added directly to Melt & Pour Soap Base, but they tend to clump quite a bit when this is done. Like Ultramarines and Oxides, Pearlescent Micas disperse easier when they are first added to a small amount of oil. Add a very small amount of powder to a small mixing bowl or cup (starting at around 1/4 tsp for every pound of soap). Add a few drops of a Carrier Oil, such as Olive Oil or Sweet Almond Oil, and mix the powder into a slurry, adding additional drops of oil as needed. When the powder has formed a smooth paste you can add it to your soap base.
Scenting Melt & Pour Soap
Melt & Pour Soaps can be scented with natural ingredients such as Essential Oils or Absolutes, or they can be scented using synthetic Fragrance Oils. Which ingredient you choose depends on your personal preference, and the preferences of those you are giving the soaps to.
Essential Oils & Absolutes - Since Essential Oils and Absolutes contain active ingredients, they have the ability to add beneficial properties to your soaps. However, these same active ingredients can also make your soaps dangerous if used incorrectly, or by people with certain health conditions. Most skin safe Essential Oils can be used in Melt & Pour Soaps at about .5 oz. per pound of soap. However, it is very important that you research any Essential Oil thoroughly before adding it to your soaps. Many Essential Oils will have usage rates particular to that oil. Heed the expert advice that you find during your research and never take a guess when it comes to using these potent natural ingredients.
Fragrance Oils - While Fragrance Oils are not natural, they have been specifically designed for use in soaps, and skin care products. They are easy to use and come in a very wide range of scents. Fragrance Oils can be used at a rate of about .5 to 1 ounce per pound of soap. Add less Fragrance Oil when working with spicy scents such as Cinnamon. Fragrance Oils can still contain components that may irritate the skin.
How to Make Melt & Pour Soap
- Using a sharp kitchen knife, carefully chop the Melt & Pour Soap Base into cubes.
- Melt the cubes in a double boiler over medium to high heat. Make sure the soap is completely melted before moving on.
- Pour the soap from the double boiler into a small mixing bowl or pyrex dish. We've found that using a pre-warmed pyrex dish can be very helpful.
- Add the color to your melted soap base first. This will allow the soap to cool slightly before adding your Fragrance Oil or Essential Oil. Add the Color Additive of your choice using the directions above.
- Next, add your Fragrance Oil or Essential Oil and stir well. Don;t stir too quickly though, as that will cause bubbles to form in the soap.
- Carefully pour the melted soap base into a mold. Spritzing the surface of the soap with alcohol can help stop bubbles from forming on the top.
- Allow your soaps to cool completely before attempting to un-mold them. Trying to take them out too early can ruin your soaps. When they have cooled, simply turn the mold over and gently press on the outside of the mold to release the soaps. If you are having trouble, try putting the mold in the freezer for 1-2 minutes before trying again.
- Wrap your soaps in plastic wrap or tightly sealed Cello Bags as soon as they are fully cooled. Humidity in the air can cause the glycerin in your soaps to sweat, creating small beads of moisture on the soap's surface. Keep your soaps as dry as possible to avoid this happening. If your soaps do sweat, simply wipe them off with a warm, slightly damp paper towel. You can add a few drops of alcohol to the towel for a smooth finish.
- Make sure you label your soaps with all the ingredients they contain before giving them to friends and family. You should include the ingredients in the Melt & Pour Soap Base, and the ingredients you've added.
Melt & Pour Base: It takes roughly 4 ounces of Melt & Pour Soap Base to make 1 bar of soap. For every two pound block of Melt & Pour Soap you order, you'll get about 8 bars of soap. (If you are using a mold with very large cavities, you may need to fill them only 1/2 or 2/3 full in order to produce 4 ounce bars.)
Fragrance Oils: You can use .5 to 1 ounce of Fragrance Oil per pound of soap, so you should order 1 to 2 ounces of Fragrance Oil for every 2 lb. block of Melt & Pour Soap you order.
Essential Oils: Most Essential Oils should be used at about .5 oz. per pound of Soap Base. If you are using Essential Oils, order 1 ounce of Essential Oil per two pound block of Melt & Pour Soap you order.
Color Additives: Unless you are making huge quantities of soap you should do fine if you order the smallest sizes available of any colorants you'd like to use. For example, a 1 ounce bottle of FD&C Dye or a 1/2 ounce bag of Mica will be more than enough for a single project.
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