Are you one of the many people that, while mindlessly scrolling down your Instagram or Pinterest account, find yourself admiring the plethora of beautiful, fragrant and colorful soap that these creative individuals have managed to make on their own? Well, maybe it’s about time for you to become one of those creative individuals! Not only will you have gotten your creative juices flowing in the comfort of your own home, but you’ll also actually end up saving money in the long run as the ingredients are generally cheaper than buying your average store-bought soap. Although this pursuit might sound daunting, crafting your own handmade soap isn’t as hard as it seems- there are four primary methods that range in difficulty, but today, we’ll just focus on the easiest method for beginners to follow, the melt and pour soap process.
Essentially, by adopting this process, you won’t have to worry about the chemical compounds needed to create soap and the ways in which they bind and react to one another; this is the best option for those of you who are inexperienced and relatively time poor. In order to do this, you’ll need to acquire a soap base- these are readily available online. For beginners, it’s ideal to choose a clear soap base to ensure that your final product is colored in the way that you first envisioned it. Next, you’ll need to pick a fragrance oil. You can find these in most candle or aromatherapy shops, but quite like the soap bases, there are plenty to choose from online: some popular choices include lavender, cinnamon, honey, and lilac but don’t be afraid to get inventive about it! You’ll also need to pick up a product called glycerin, this is readily available at your local grocers and is an imperative ingredient in the melt and pour process- glycerin naturally cleans and moisturizes the skin, so make sure that you don’t skip this step! Last, but perhaps most importantly, you’ll need something to color your soap! You can either buy color blocks online or in local stores that specialize in candles or color your soap naturally by using ingredients such as ground coffee, crushed berries, cocoa powder, beetroot powder or even melted chocolate. Be wary about what you end up choosing in order to successfully color your soap as you don’t want to either irritate or dry out your skin.
Now that you have all of your ingredients together, and an afternoon free of any nagging obligations, you can start creating your own handmade soap! First, you will need to gather a large bowl and a chopping board- slice your soap base into cubes that are roughly one inch in both height and width. Afterward, you will need to melt the cubes by using your microwave. Place the cubes into a medium-sized bowl, ensuring that the bowl is safe to use inside your microwave. Heat them for thirty seconds at a time on the medium setting, stirring the contents at each interval. Continue doing this until the soap base is completely melted, smooth and free of chunks. When this is achieved, leave it to cool down for only a few minutes.
You’ve finally reached the most fun part- coloring your very own, handmade soap! If you’re using color blocks, melt them by using the aforementioned method- your microwave. Slowly stir in the now melted blocks until you’re happy with the contrast and density of your chosen color scheme. If you’ve decided to buy two or three colors that look beautiful together, be sure to stir in a little bit of each as you go in order to avoid overusing one particular color and inadvertently nullifying the others. On the other hand, if you’ve decided to use natural colorization, stir these in for a longer period of time to guarantee that they combine and spread through your mixture thoroughly. Finally, grab whichever fragrance oil that you’ve decided to use and add roughly a tablespoon of oil per 500 grams of soap, lightly stirring the oil into your mixture.
Now that you’ve successfully made your own mixture of soap, slowly pour it into a baking tray of your choosing and let it cool for twelve to twenty-four hours. After it has both hardened and dried, carefully remove it from the tray and cut it into whichever creative shapes and sizes that your heart desires!
Congratulations, you’ve made your first batch of soap with your own two hands! If you found this experience to be rewarding and creatively stimulating, you might be interested in moving onto more difficult methods such as re-batching or the cold process. But, for now, enjoy your creation! Have a well-deserved bath, gift some to your friends and family members or post some pictures of it onto Instagram- who knows, now you could be the person that inspires somebody else to make their very first batch of soap from scratch!