Monday, January 01, 2007

Handmade Soap How-To

Pure Glycerin Soap
Water based soap dye
Water or oil based Fragrance
molds or cake pan
cookie cutter
large lollipop stick or dowel
Glass measuring cup or microwave safe container
Microwave or stovetop
Kitchen thermometer
Wooden spoon
Paper towels
Toothpick or skewer
Rubbing alcohol
Spray Bottle

Step 1:
Choose molds.
Molds are easy to find on line, at your local hobby store or in your kitchen! ( I like to use my grandmother’s vintage tart molds)
Lay out paper towels on work surface and assemble your favorite molds.

Step 2:
Fill microwave safe measuring cup or container with glycerin and then heat according to instructions. Generally heat for no more than 30 seconds on high. Stir and then continue to heat in short intervals until soap is thoroughly melted. If heating on stovetop, melt on low heat in a saucepan or double boiler. Heat soap to 140-150 degrees F. (Be sure to follow the instructions given on whatever brand you purchase, some instructions may vary.)

Step 3:
Next, I like to add color giving the glycerin a moment to cool slightly before adding fragrance. Add dye and fragrance sparingly. (You can always add more to your liking.) For pale pink color I like to take a toothpick or a skewer and dip in the dye versus dropping it in from the bottle. You seem to have a little more control and less likely to overdye it. Stir and continue until you have reached your desired color.

Step 4:
Pour into molds. If using a cake pan, pour until it is about 3/4” thick. Take your Spray Bottle filled with rubbing alcohol and spritz the top of the glycerin soap to remove bubbles that form while pouring. Surface will be smooth.

Step 5:
Allow to cool completely. This takes about an hour. Carefully remove from molds. If you are having trouble removing them, put them in the freezer for a few minutes. This usually helps them pop right out! (I don’t leave them in longer than 5 min. if they start to freeze it has an adverse affect on the glycerin.) If you use a cake pan as a mold you may now use your cookie cutter to cut out your soap. If making the soap on a stick, carefully push your lollipop stick or dowel into the glycerin, note that your soap must be at least a 1/2” wider than the stick.

Step 6:
If you are giving your soap as a gift, it is a good idea to let your soap sit for 24 hours before packaging it. I like to put mine in clear cellophane bags and tie with colorful ribbon! It looks and smells great displayed in a dish or small cake stand! Not only does is smell terrific is wonderfully moisturizing and has a rich long lasting lather.

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