Cut the base into small cubes. Melt it in a double boiler. Add colorants and scent. Make a layered soap, a soap with inner flowers, or a soap that looks like a beach. This is exactly what you need to do to make soap by Melt and Pour: the term is English and it’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s also what makes this method so simple to use and therefore, so widespread around handmade soap makers, especially beginners. You don’t have to use lye in it, it was already done for you.
Melt and Pour can even be a fun DIY project for kids, with some adult supervision (as the soap base needs to melt and one needs to deal with heat sources).
In this article, I am going to walk you through some concepts and then use a recipe to learn how to make soap bars by Melt and Pour.
This is soap already made for you so that you only need melt and decorate as you wish. No need to fear the usage of lye as you don’t need to. But don’t be mistaken: soap bases ALWAYS use lye, no matter what method you choose.
Technically, there is no such thing as “soap without lye”. In this case, the lye was used previously by a manufacturing company, along with oils and other ingredients, to produce a pre-made soap base. Pretty much like a pre-made pie base you now only need to do the filling and decorate.
There are several options to choose from when selecting a base, including bases with additives like shea butter, goat milk, or aloe vera. But clear or white melt and pour are the best options to start.
You wish to learn how to do them yourself?
Needless to say that you also can learn in this blog how to make your own soap bases!! Check out the category How To Make Homemade Glycerin Soap Base, showing you tutorials on how to make natural, crystal clear or white glycerin soap bases, very good to use in “Melt and Pour”.
Colorants and Fragrances
Soap colorants and fragrances for cold process may also be used in Melt and Pour. As I prefer natural ingredients for soap, I am going to encourage to use essential oils as fragrance and natural colorants like clays or spices, or even the mineral cosmetic colorants (oxides and ultramarines). Nevertheless, you can use whatever fragrance or colorant you prefer, as long as it’s cosmetic grade and adequate for soap.
Oils and Extracts
You can add oils or plant extracts to Melt and Pour. Adding noble oils like jojoba, or argan oil, or butters like shea butter or cocoa butter, will enrich your soap and turn it from good to awesome, giving it extra conditioning properties (or even some extra ones such as anti-inflammatory).
Plant extracts, bought or handmade, also add plants’ medicinal properties, like anti-oxidants, anti-bacterial/anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, etc. to your soap. As the saponification has occurred at this point, there is no danger of chemically altering plants properties.
Silvana Liviero, a brazilian cosmetologist, has a wonderful toturial on how to make plant extracts at home and she was kind enough to allow me to publish her video on my blog. She also owns a YouTube channel.
If you already have equipment for soap making, you’re ready for this. Otherwise, you will be good to go with a heat resistant bowl, soap molds, a digital scale, a spoon and a spatula. A small electric stove, or a slow cooker, and a double boiler would be preffered to make melt and pour soap but they are not mandatory.
You don’t really need safety equipment, and the soap base should never be scalding hot to caus eserious burns, but it’s best if you use gloves to prevent getting burned. Better safe than sorry!