I’ve been wanting to try making homemade soap for what feels like forever. I’ve read countless books and researched all sorts of different kinds. But when my kids got some simple melt-and-pour glycerin soap as a gift at a birthday party I knew I had found the most fun soap ever. (As it turns out – it’s the easiest soap ever too!)
It felt kinda like cheating though…because it’s not really soap making – but more soap melting. Still – you’re taking something and making it more personal. I think it still counts as homemade. And my kids are going to flip when they see these soaps!
I’m not gonna lie. These homemade soaps are definitely not the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. But they were so easy and they’ll be so much fun to use that it just doesn’t matter. I’m looking at it as fun imperfections.
I opted for a kit with everything inside for this first go-round. The reason being that if you add up all the things you need to get started – it gets expensive. Now I have the basics (a mold, soap colorants, stir sticks) and I can make more just by adding some more melt-and-pour soap. The kit was $19.99, but I added in a coupon to reduce that amount by $8. The quantity with the kit was enough for 8 bars of soap – bringing the cost per bar to $1.50.
Here’s a shot of the kit I used:
Homemade Soap Instructions – Step by Step
Step 1 – Cut Up the Soap
Chop the soap into 1 inch cubes (give or take – it doesn’t have to be perfect.)
Step 2 – Melt the Soap
Put a handful of cubes into a glass (or other microwave safe dish). According to the directions that came with the kit I used – you start with 30 seconds in the microwave, then stir, then continue on in 10 second increment (stirring after each) until the soap is all the way melted.
If you overheat the soap a bit (it’s bubbling), that’s okay – just wait until the bubbling stops before you move on to the next step.
This is a shot after one round of bars were made…you can see that some will stick to the sides of your dish. The good news is that the clean up is a snap since it’s soap!
Step 3 – Add Color and/or Essential Oils
Once the heating up is done, you can choose to add soap colorant (not food coloring) and essential oils. You don’t need much soap colorant – only about 1 or 2 drops. As far as the essential oil – same deal – just a little bit goes a long way – I used 15 drops. I did one batch with color but no fragrance. I did another batch with both color and fragrance. Some great choices of essential oils are peppermint, sweet orange, vanilla, and/or clary sage.
Step 4 – Pour the Soap Into the Molds
Place your mold onto a heat resistant surface (a wooden cutting board works great) and pour your melted soap in. To add cute little critters (which this kit came with – but any cute little plastic critters are fun) – fill the mold to about 2/3 full, add the critter, then finish filling the mold up all the way.
It’s easy to overflow the molds…just saying. The dolphin is covered with red soap from a failed attempt initially. I was too lazy to wash it off – figured it would add more color to the final product. Unfortunately, it sort of looks like it’s covered in weird red gelatin.
I am a fantastic mess maker…see my overflow? Doesn’t matter in the end though!
Step 5 – Pop the Soap Out of the Molds
I’m not going to lie – this was sort of a pain. The trick is to make sure the soap is good and cooled off. The directions in the kit said to wait 30 minutes and then try, and if it was difficult to wait 10 more. I tried after 30…WAY too hard. Waited 10 more minutes, still no luck. Ultimately I waited until the following day, then it was much easier.
Here’s my finished product along with the package of what it could look like…LOL! I still really dig what I ended up with though.
So my homemade soap turned out just a little bit ugly…but you know what helped immensely? Packaging! Check them out after the addition of some super cute super cheap ($1 for 8) bags.