Step By Step Pictures of Using Melt and Pour Soap to make Homemade Soap
My youngest daughter suffers from eczema and although it can be kept at bay by not eating dairy products; sometimes she makes the decision to eat dairy- knowing it's going to cause eczema break outs - usually in the bend of her arms, the back of her knees and on her upper arms. Sometimes her love of cheese is just worth it (she'll tell you with a grin).
Hemp oil is great for skin issues like eczema and now, it's easier than ever to whip up a batch of melt and pour hemp oil based soap for her. I started to make the easy-peasy "melt and pour" style soap about 15-16 years ago as a fun, crafty project to do with the kids when they were little. Although I usually make our homemade soap the more traditional 'real' way now (lye mixed with fats and oils) I like this one for her, and it's fun to do anyway.
I recently whipped up 3 versions; regular glycerin, honey oatmeal, and hemp oil soaps - and grabbed my cellphone to snap some pictures of the process to share. There are thousands of websites and blogs to go into the nitty gritty details of soap making - including the crafty and easy melt-and-pour style. This isn't one of them. I find making melt and pour soap is just too simple and quick to make a big dramatic deal over. Other sites can go into intricate details if you need them - but if you are like me and just want to see some pictures and general information about this little craft, here it is.
This is a clear, glycerin melt-and-pour base I ordered from Amazon. I use a couple different companies - I don't 'love' any one more than others. You can also buy this at any craft store, including Michaels. It usually comes in 1 lb. blocks already marked in cubes. You use a knife to cut through the soft soap base, as many as you like, and place them into a glass, microwavable container. I'm using a Pampered Chef one here. I like the handle, as it makes it easy to pour.
I melt in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes and then stir with a rubber spatula. Heat again if it's still in block form, about 30 seconds at a time. When it's about 75% melted and still has a few cubes left, stop heating and just stir.
It's like melting chocolate chips - as you stir, the heat melts the rest of the cubes and it's soon smooth as glass. Here you can see the shadow of a couple cubes (see through since they are clear - but you can still see them if you look). As I stirred a little more, the heat melted them. Do not over heat your mixture. Just melt until it's 50%-75% and stir until the rest melts.
After it melts you can add a fragrance made for soaps and cosmetics if you wish, or add some ground almonds or oatmeal if you want a little bit of a loofa effect in your bar, add a bit of color - or just use it as it is and don't add anything.
You can pour into almost any container. Below, you can see the clear, plastic mold I'm using (and didn't pre-spray or treat it in any way as the glycerin pops out pretty easy) The clear container you see in the background isn't a soap mold. It's actually just the package something came in, but when I opened the item, I threw away the cardboard and saved the plastic cover as it's the perfect size for a bar of soap!
If your mold is deep enough, you can add a little plastic ducky or other toy (like you see sold in stores and craft shows) or other bits of colored soap for a fun effect, or pour in layers of different colors or soap bases for a layered or rainbow effect. Play with it and use your imagination.
Glycerin soap starts to set up pretty quickly. This is already getting a skin on it after just a few minutes. Some people pop them into the refrigerator or freezer although I've never done that. I just let them sit on the counter or table for a couple hours and then come back and pop them out; finished and ready to use.
This is the hemp oil based soap. Simple and pure.
This one is the honey base that I added some oatmeal to. I was going to add ground almonds (which is what I usually do), but honestly? I was too lazy to get out the raw almonds and grind them up so I just grabbed the oatmeal instead. It's not as rough of a 'loofa' as the almonds are, but it's a nice texture and works.
Here is a close up of the honey oatmeal.
Related products available from Amazon;
Freshware 8-Cavity Oval Silicone Mold for Soap
2lb Clear Stephenson Melt and Pour Soap Base (Crystal ST)
1lb Cocoa Butter (all natural) Glycerin Melt and Pour Soap Base
Hemp Oil Gycerine Soap Base- 2lb
Honeysuckle Fragrance Oil - Premium Grade Scented Oil - 10ml
Coconut Cream Premium Grade Fragrance Oil - 10ml -Scented Oil
X-Haibei Flexible Rectangular Soap Silicone Mold