Melt and pour soap base makes creating your own customized soap bars an extremely easy task. If you’ve never made bar soap before, melt and pour is a great way to get started without having to deal with all of the hazards associated with lye. Since melt and pour soap has already been through the saponification process (the chemical reaction that makes lye safe for skin) it cures in hours instead of 4-6 weeks. With melt and pour soap, all of the hard work is already done for you. You literally melt it and pour it into a mold. That said, there are still recommendations and steps to follow to make sure that your soap bars come out as planned. Here are my recommendations for melt and pour soap making for beginners.
How to make bar soap using melt and pour soap base
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Step 1. Choose a melt and pour soap base
There are a variety of melt and pour soap base options available. Goat’s milk is my favorite because I love the way it lathers and moisturizes. I also like to use the Clear Glycerin because it makes a transparent soap which can look very cool.
Here are some popular melt and pour soap base options:
Step 2. Choose a Soap Mold
When it comes to a soap mold, the two most important things to keep in mind are that it can withstand the heat of the melted soap base and it’s flexible so that the soap can be removed without damage once cured. Silicone molds are perfect for soap making. There are a variety of options to choose from.
*Emerging Green provided me with a soap making kit however all opinions are 100% my own
Rectangular loaf molds like the one shown below are great for making multiple soap bars that you can cut to any size. Many kits come with a soap cutter that will ensure that each bar is the same size but if you only have a rectangular loaf mold you can always just cut it with a knife.
Individual bar soap molds:
There are also a variety of silicone molds that are designed to make a specific size and shape of soap bar. I often use the one shown below which makes a simple rectangular bar of soap.
There are also countless fun designs like the bee and hive pattern which is one of my favorites (shown below).
Step 3. Melt the melt and pour soap base
First, be sure to cut your soap base into smaller chunks before you microwave it. It will help the soap base to melt more evenly and quickly.
While it ultimately depends on the product that you are using and your microwave, I typically microwave mine for 90 seconds to 120 seconds in 30 second intervals. After each 30 seconds I stir the soap base and check to see if there are still chunks. it’s possible to burn the melt and pour base if it is heated too long so as soon as the soap base chunks are completely melted stop microwaving!
Step 4. Add fragrance
You can customize your melt and pour soap after it is melted base by adding fragrance oils or essential oils. Keep in mind that the fragrance must be skin safe! If you aren’t sure how much fragrance to add to your soap base, a good rule of thumb is 0.3 oz of fragrance per pound of melt and pour soap base.
Step 5. Add Colorant
Similar to the fragrance, once he soap base is melted, you can add color.
My favorite part of soap making is experimenting with different colors. Since soap is used on the skin it’s important to choose a skin safe colorant. Micas and skin safe liquid coloring are both great options.
A white soap base such as goat’s milk will create more of a pastel color when you add a colorant. A clear soap base like glycerin will allow for brighter colors. I recommend to start small and add very little powder or liquid dye. Stir it into the melted soap base and if it isn’t as vibrant as you want just add a little more!
If you are using a mold with individual soap compartments, you can really play around with different colors.
When you use a rectangular loaf mold you can make a solid color bar soap or layer multiple colors as your pour to get a striped effect. Just be sure to allow each layer to properly set before pouring the next layer. It is also recommended that you spray isopropyl alcohol between layers.
Below is a brick of soap that I made using three mica powder colors. I purposely did not let each layer set before pouring the next so that I could get a slight swirl in each bar after I cut the soap.
How long does it take for melt and pour soap to cure?
Melt and pour soap has already gone through the curing process so you won’t need to handle lye. It will be ready to remove from the mold once it is cool and hard which typically only takes about 2-4 hours.
Check out some melt and pour soap projects:
I hope that you are inspired to make your own soap bars. I love to give mine as gifts and of course use them daily in my home as well.
Happy soap making!