Melt n Pour Soap

Let's look at 4 different soaps.

Melt and pour soap bases have changed the game with what we can make easily at home. Although creating soap from scratch is extremely satisfying, if you are wanting to just dip you toes into soap making, then melt and pour is definitely your first step.


In the February craft box we have created 4 different soaps to choose from:

  1. Strawberries and Cream - a soap to appeal to all age groups, this is a basic soap with mica colour and scent to add.

  2. Black soap- Activated Charcoal helps to clean pores for the younger teenage skin (and my husband loves it as a shaving soap).

  3. Gardeners soap - The honey and turmeric in this mix helps to remove dirt and smells.

  4. Workers soap - Scrub away grease and grime naturally with poppyseeds.


THE SOAP BASE

It took a bit of searching to find a soap base that was economical, NZ made and free of palm oil. But we did. NZ Soap and Candle tick all the boxes. They have a good range of soap bases and although they are a fraction dearer than some other companies, there is no palm oil in their products.

The soap base that comes in the craft box is their basic melt and pour white soap base.


THE FRAGRANCE

For these soaps I have used fragrance oils. From our supplier:

Our concentrated fragrance oils are International Fragrance Association (IFRA), compliant and certified. They are made from natural, naturally derived, and synthetic ingredients. They are non-toxic and vegan. Fragrance oils have no therapeutic benefits. They DO NOT contain UV inhibitors, phthalates nor paraffin, mineral or palm oil. Suitable for cosmetics, soaps, candles, diffusers and bath bombs. Skin safe at 2-3%.


You can use essential oils for these as well. The debate is open as to what to use.


THE SOAPS


Strawberries and Cream

We layered this soap for the creamy effect on top.

  1. Melt 450g soap base in the microwave in 30 second bursts. Do not over heat.

  2. Add 5ml strawberries and cream fragrance oil. Stir until fully incorporated.

  3. Carefully pour 2-3mm of soap into the base of your moulds. This will become the top.

  4. Add 2-5g pink mica to your remaining soap. Stir until fully incorporated. This make take a bit of stirring.

  5. When your white layer has formed a skin on top, very carefully pour the pink soap over the back of a spoon into your mould.

A few things I learned making this soap:

  1. If you pour the second layer on too soon or too quick it will mix in with the white, giving a swirl effect. This also looks lovely.

  2. Do not remove soap from the mould for 24 hours otherwise your layers may separate.


Black soap

Activated charcoal soap is made by processing a high-carbon material at a high temperature and then “activating” it with hot air or steam. Its large surface area allows it to absorb toxins, which is why activated charcoal in soap theoretically binds to dirt and oil on the skin and helps clear out pores. And the glossy black on this soap looks amazing.

  1. Melt 450g soap base in the microwave in 30 second bursts. Do not over heat.

  2. Add 5ml of essential oil or fragrance oil of your choice.

  3. Carefully, and I mean carefully, add your charcoal. The more you add the blacker it becomes. 1 tablespoon per 450g will give you a full black soap.

  4. Mix this all together then pour into your moulds.

  5. Leave to set for 24 hours.

A few things I learned making this soap:

  1. Whatever you do, don't spill the charcoal! Just like glitter or a dot of food colouring, this will just keep spreading!

  2. You can use any scent in this soap.


Gardeners soap

I first added turmeric to this soap to try and give it a honey colour, but just 5g creates this beautiful terracotta colouring. I was pleasantly surprised at how the turmeric removed odours from my hands (I used it just after chopping garlic and onions).

The honey adds moisture back into your skin, leaving your hands feel smooth and clean. It didn't give the soap a honey scent like I was hoping, so i simply added the scent myself.

  1. Melt 450g soap base in the microwave in 30 second bursts. Do not over heat.

  2. Add a tablespoon of honey and 5-10g turmeric. Mix thoroughly. If your honey is firm you may need to mix for a while.

  3. I added 5ml honey fragrance oil, but you can change this for essential oil if you prefer.

  4. Pour into your moulds and let set for 24 hours.

A few things I learned making this soap:

  1. This is my favourite soap of all time.

  2. Turmeric does weird things to colours.

  3. If you press in a piece of bubble wrap to the top of your soap and let it set it will look like honeycomb when you remove it.

  4. You can add a tablespoon or 2 of rolled oats for a soft abrasive (see notes below re poppyseeds)


Workers soap

Poppyseed is a fantastic natural abrasive. It easily removes grease and grime.

  1. Melt 450g soap base in the microwave in 30 second bursts. Do not over heat.

  2. Add 5ml of essential oil or fragrance oil of your choice.

  3. Let the soap cool to 40 C or less, then add a tablespoon of poppyseeds.

  4. Pour into your moulds and let set for 24 hours. If your poppyseeds sink to the bottom it is because your mix was still too warm. You can reheat, remix, cool and pour again at a lower temperature.

A few things I learned making this soap:

  1. Suspending ingredients in soap can be hard. You can leave your soap mix until it is nearly set before pouring, but this does become a little difficult. Or you can layer your soap like the strawberries and cream.

  2. I have also added charcoal to this soap which makes for an amazing cleansing soap. Just don't scrub too hard with it.

 

Check out the Melt N Pour craft box here.


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