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Feb 08

How To Make Soap The Easy Way: A Step-by-Step Guide

Handmade Bar Soap

Handmade Bar Soap

Making soap can be a fun craft project for all ages!  I make them for my own personal use because most commercially made soaps simply don’t hold a candle to good handmade soaps.  Also, I get to choose the base and fragrance combination to make my own perfectly customized bars of soap.  It’s also a great project to do with the kids!  Just be sure that an adult is supervising when handling hot soap for obvious reasons.

There are different ways to make soap: cold processed, hot processed, or melt & pour with the use of ready-made bases.  I prefer to use ready made bases because, frankly, I don’t like handling lye and acid, and these days there are a lot of good bases (and some poor quality ones to watch out for) on the market to choose from.

One item you will need is a good ready-made base.  Many craft stores sell soap bases and when I buy craft store bases, I like to use Life of the Party brand.  They have a lot of natural bases that turn out nice, smooth soaps.  Hobby Lobby usually carries this brand, and if you use their online %40 off coupon, it’s a pretty good deal!

Today I will be working with one of my favorite bases: Life of the Party’s Avocado Cucumber base.

You will also need a soap mold.  I bought a plastic one from a craft store and it works fine for me.  If you buy a wood one, you may need special soap lining so it does not stick to the wood.

Another optional supply is fragrance oil.  You can use any fragrance oil as long as it says “body safe.”  Personally, I haven’t found any of quality that I like at craft stores so I buy most of my fragrances online through CandleScience.com.  Most, but not all, of their fragrances are body safe, so be sure to check if you shop there for soap scents.

Many people simply enjoy a fresh clean bar without the scent.  That is fine, too!

Here is a full list of supplies used in making our soap today:

Supplies

  • Soap base
  • Pyrex measuring cup
  • Soap mold
  • Knife (to cut soap base)
  • Spoon (to stir the warm soap)
  • Fragrance (optional)
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Exfoliant additives (optional)

Directions

  1. Cut your soap base into an 8 oz block.  If you’re using Life of the Party soap, cut it into four equal pieces (each one will be 8 ounces).
  2. Place one 8 oz block into a clean Pyrex measuring cup.
  3. Microwave the soap base for about 45 seconds, then let it cool for about 5 minutes, then microwave again for about 30 seconds, then let cool for about 1 minute.  Ideally, you want it to be warm and pourable but not so hot that it melts the bases or boils over in the microwave.
  4. Stir the mixture, making sure no lumps are left.  Microwave longer if needed.
  5. Add fragrance oil now if you are making scented soap, and keep stirring.  I add one ounce of fragrance oil for every pound of soap.  If you’re using pure essential oils you will probably want to use less because they are usually stronger than fragrance oils.
  6. At this point you can also add food coloring if you like.  One to two drops should be plenty.  You can also wait until after you pour the soap into the base to try to make swirls.
  7. You can also add exfoliants at this point if you like.  Some popular exfoliants are sea salt, oatmeal, and jojoba.
  8. While it’s still warm, and once it’s all stirred, pour the soap into the molds.  This should be the perfect amount for two 4 ounce bars of soap.
  9. Let sit overnight.  In the morning, place the hardened soap in the freezer for about 5 to 10 minutes, then once you take it out, it will be easier to gently pop it out of the base.  Don’t leave it in the freezer for too long, though, or your soap might sweat once it starts thawing.

And that’s it!  You now have your very own homemade bars of soap!

 

 

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