Handmade Soap How-To
About 6 months ago I discovered an amazing way to benefit from the use of essential oils. I had already started making the switch to healthier, more natural choices for our house, got rid of most of our medicines, and switched over to a more natural way to clean our home, when I stumbled upon soap-making. I grabbed up some supplies, made up a few bars, and I was hooked!
There are tons of recipes and different methods to make soap, I'll be sharing a few recipes for melt and pour soap. Here is a quick view of what you will need:
I used goats milk suspension soap that you can get from Hobby Lobby, and you just cut it up into cubes like I did here. You will need a glass pyrex measuring cup, something to stir with, some mix ins (which I'll cover in more detail later), soap molds which you can also get at Hobby Lobby or on Amazon, and most importantly you will need some essential oils. I only use and recommend Young Living!
First thing you'll do is grab your soap squares because they need to be melted down. Good rule of thumb is that 4 squares equal one bar for most of the molds I have used, it's just something you'll learn as you go and experiment with different molds. Place your soap in the pyrex and microwave for 25-30 seconds, remove and stir. You may need to put them back in for another 15 seconds or so, but it melts quickly, so just watch it doesn't foam over. This is what your soap will look like once it's melted:
Next I add in some sort of a carrier oil, which adds moisture to the bar of soap. Some that I use and love are Sunflower oil, Coconut oil, Sweet Almond oil, Jojoba oil, and often I will even use raw honey-it's got amazing benefits for your skin, including firming, and anti-aging. I don't measure this part, but I would guess it's about 1/2 tbsp that I end up adding.
Once I have stirred in my carrier, I love to add some mix-ins for exfoliation. I have used dried orange peel (found at Hobby Lobby), coffee grains, lavender pieces, dried rose petals, poppy seeds and raw oats. There are tons of options out there, so it comes down to personal preference. Check out www.brambleberry.com, they have amazing options for herbs you can order in bulk!
By this time the soap has cooled down enough that you can add in your essential oils, which is why I wait to do this step last. What oils you use are totally up to you! If you are wanting a bar that is more calming and relaxing, I say go for some Lavender and Stress Away. Need to wake up in the mornings? Try adding Lemon and Peppermint. Some of my favorite combos are Lavender & Orange. Stress Away & Lavender. Harmony & Peppermint. Thieves & Peppermint. Lime, Orange & Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood. The point is that the options are endless and you get to decide what your bar will smell like.
Once the oils are in, I stir and then pour the mix into the mold. Remember 4 blocks makes about 1 bar, so you can mix up and make different combos, or you can use the same mix and double the recipe if you wanted.
Once you have your soap in the mold you can either leave them on the counter top for about an hour, or place them in the fridge for 20 minutes or so until they set.
Once your soaps are set, just pop them out of the molds. The soaps will come out of the silicone molds easier than the plastic ones. Just pull the sides away from the soap to release it and it should pop out with a little force.
There you have it, easy peasy handmade soap without a ton of harsh chemicals or ingredients that you can't even pronounce in them. You can wrap these up and they make the perfect gift for so many occasions. I have added them to baby shower gifts, neighbor and teacher gifts, I've even added them to Father's Day and Mother's Day gifts. Have fun soaping it up!!