Well, I always start a hobby–then I never finish it. I purchased goat’s milk, shea butter and aloe vera glycerin soap bases more than 5 months ago and they had been sitting in a box somewhere wasting away. Meanwhile, I would pin, pin, pin recipes on Pinterest for homemade soap.
Pinning is really great for browsing and shoveling away to-do lists. But not really great for getting anything done. It is really relaxing though!
One day, over a month ago, I did a trial run. It turned out gross. I added too much rose petal and let it sit in the base too long before adding it to the mold. Color leached out and the bars came out an icky murky brown. Not good for looking pretty!
It took me a while to decide to try again. The real reason I took the plunge: I hated having the soap bases lying around. I am an organizing fool!
Here is how it went this time around.
- Some additives (honey, lemon and orange peel, rose petals, essential oils, etc.)
- Soap base
- Big bowl for mixing
- Molds (I used cut plastic milk cartons, but cardboard ones work well too. So will anything that has a shape basically that you wouldn’t mind your soap looking like.)
- Additional item if you want/need: alcohol in a spray bottle to spray after you put the soap into the mold. It pops the bubbles.
I chopped the soap base with a saw. Man tools? Pshaw!
Always use a microwaveable bowl when using the microwave, kids. 😉 Also, I don’t mind using food bowls because it’s just soap. I use that on bowls all the time to clean them. So, duh. Microwave in 30 second intervals and stir between intervals. It needs to be completely melted.
Add in the fun stuff! Rose petals and hips (mine are from the co-op), local honey and any essential oils you like! I used Peace & Calming for its zen qualities, and lavender and frankincense for their skin-cleaning properties. Essential Oils Kit to get you started!
Then you just pour it into the base. Make sure to stir it extra well so nothing settles at the bottom!
I did mine in rounds: used one base type with an oil and some citrus, one with a different oil, blah, blah. I was able to layer them in the same mold because of the time delay between batches (5 minutes or so with chopping, microwaving and mixing).
For the amount of soap base purchased, it really doesn’t give you all that much, does it? If I do this again, I’m buying in bulk! (And going with the shea. It looks the best!)
Cut the mold off carefully if you didn’t grease it first with cooking spray.
More sawing! I cut them into halves after making the initial length cuts.
^ Top right two are aloe vera base, lemon peels, rose, and lavender bars.
^Shea base, orange peel, rose petals, lavender, and Peace & Calming bars.
^Goat’s milk, honey, rose, lemon, and frankincense bars.
Now, it’s time for packaging if you’re looking to give them away or to sell. New supplies list!
- Any form of wrapping (parchment, packing paper, etc.)
- Writing instrument
Now, those fancy pens I have pictured didn’t work on the parchment paper. Bummer. So I pulled out my handy chalkboard pencil! Finally! I knew I bought it for a reason.
You don’t want to put down the entire ingredient list, so just write down the major points based on what it looks like
So, there it is! A successful attempt at soap making–but not the crazy Fight Club way. The simple microwave way.
Anyone else try making soap before? Success? Waste of money for ROI? Cool recipes? Keep me in the loop.
If you’d rather buy local than make it yourself, check out The Mustard Seed’s awesome natural soaps. I did a spotlight on them a few months ago.