Making Glycerine (Melt & Pour) Soap – Easy to Follow Instructions Part 1
There are no hard and fast rules in this type of soap making except to take care with the l temperature of your melted soap and the obvious safety precautions.
The basics of soap making are very straight forward. Once you know the rules and you have gained confidence in handling the hot soap and your timing is right you can let your imagination run wild.
You can make some very imaginative and stunning soaps.
Step To Good Soap Making
The M&P Soap should be cut into small pieces so it’ll melt easily. It cuts like cheese and melts like butter.
Melt the soap in either a double boiler or in a microwave. Using a microwave will be faster,but the double boiler gives you more control of the temperature. If you are doing larger quantities the double boiler will be more convenient. The soap has a melting point of 60 C, overheating it will result in the soap losing its clarity and if it gets hot enough will smell bad.
If you are using a double boiler, heat the water to boiling, sit your pan with soap in it and stir. The heat of the water will melt your soap base. If you do need to reheat make sure you have it over a very slow heat.
Use a souvlaki skewer to move your soap around to minimise the amount of bubbles.
Keeping the lid on the pan will reduce water loss. If you decide to remelt your soap it is a good idea to add a little extra water.
If you are using the microwave method, you will need to pour off the melted soap, return the soap base to the microwave and continue heating. This will prevent over heating.
Colours for your soap can be obtained from a number of suppliers, but whoever you buy from ensure that you are using colours that are for soap making. The secret to colouring your soap is to remember that these colours are very concentrated and you should start with a lighter shade and then deepen the colour. It is almost impossible to lighten a dark colour.
Dyes can be either water soluble or oil soluble. Whichever you use, dissolve your dyes before adding them to your melted soap. It is very difficult to get them into solution if you add them as a powder.
Any oil can be used to dissolve your oil-soluble dyes. Almond oil, soya bean, apricot, emu oil or olive oil are all suitable.
All herbs and botanicals should be well dried before being used. Others are best used if the soap intends to be used within a short time. Leaving them for any length of time will cause the flowers to go brown. Lavender and roses are perfect examples.
What you add to your soap is entirely up to you once you learn the basics. The addition of these ingredients can add exfoliating qualities to the soap, will change its appearance or add healing properties. The additives listed below are just a few that you may consider adding either singularly or in combination.
Adding ingredients such as beeswax will harden your soap, but will make it lather less. To compensate you add exfoliants to the soap to add extra lathering. By using a mixture of
ingredients the soap can be made to your requirements.
Any additives such as oils and botanicals should be added once the soap is melted. The oils themselves should be warmed before they are added and if you are also adding cocoa butter, shea butter or beeswax these should be melted into the oils. Adding cold additives will cool your soap to the degree that it will start to harden.
Some of the additives I have used include: emu oil , almond, wheatgerm, evening primrose, rosehip, carrot
See tips for extra info.
The most important safety issue to remember when using essential oils for your soap is that you should not exceed the recommended percentages. In this case more is definitely NOT better. Your total essential oil content should not exceed 1 %. When considering fragrance oils, it is important to use fragrances that are approved for use in soaps and are not candle fragrances. Candle fragrances do not have to be approved for use on skin. These oils can be a combination of up 3000 different ingredients, many of which may be irritants.
The total oil percentage should not exceed 5%. This will include the oil you use to dissolve your oil soluble colours. Any oil such as olive oil, almond or soya bean can be used. Exceeding the recommended amount will make your final product appear cloudy and will cause it to crumble.
You may also find that the oil will form a layer on top of your soap. If this happens you have two alternatives. Either remelt your soap and add more base to it or wrap it in absorbent paper to remove the excess oil.
Anything that has a smooth surface, is flexible and can withstand a temperature of 60 C can be used as a mould. The flexibility is important for getting the soap out when it is has hardened.
One litre milk containers, lunch boxes, flexible baking containers, jelly moulds and chocolate moulds can all be used.
Depending on the size of your mould your soap may take anything from 15 minutes
( for chocolate moulds) to several hours ( for cake size moulds).
Rubber latex moulds are perfect because they allow the soap to mold perfectly and are the easiest to remove.
To remove your soap from the mould it should be left for 24 hours at room temperature. This will make removing it very easy. Flexing the sides of the mold should pop the soap out.
Once removed it should be wrapped in cling-wrap or placed in a air-tight container to avoid water absorption.
M & P soap has a very high glycerine content and as a result will attract water. In humid conditions or even cold conditions the soap will develop beads of moisture making it slippery. This doesn’t affect the quality of the soap, but does make it less appealing if you are considering giving it as a gift. Wrapping avoids this problem.