Talk to me about melt-and-pour soap - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-16-2002, 02:27 AM
 
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Wow, Tara, I want you to be my Secret Soap Santa next year! Those soaps sound yummy enough to eat!

Marisa, thanks for the heads-up on aging, I wouldn't have known that.

I bought some cellophane bags with twist ties to put my (hypothetical) soaps in....if I ever find time to hand off DS to DH to make them, that is!

Do you all use regular pots/pans to melt the stuff, or do you have a dedicated pan? What about using the microwave? Would that work?

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Old 12-16-2002, 02:27 AM - Thread Starter
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tara,
how much essential oils do you use?

You could buy colored Saran wrap--in red or green--for a more decorative wrap.

Also, if you spritz your embed with rubbing alcohol before pouring the other soap around it, then it will stay together better.
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Old 12-16-2002, 03:06 PM
 
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Jane: You know, the secret soap Santa idea is a good one! That would be fun! There's no time before Christmas this year, though, is there? Maybe we could all trade some of our leftovers in Jan? It would be fun to see what others are doing...

And, I just use the kitchen pans. The soap and stuff washes out just fine. I have used the microwave, too - in fact, I have used the microwave more than the stovetop, but I think I prefer the stovetop. It's actually faster, I think...

and, mamajulie, thanks for the rubbing alcohol tip! I knew I was missing something... It's a shame, because it looked really cool before I tried to slice it. But, one of the cool things about m&p is you can melt down what doesn't work and make something else out of it!

And, re: essential oils... I don't measure, really, I just keep adding until it smells good... But, I would guess that I end up using like 5 drops per bar or something like that?? Most of my batches were 4-bar size, and I think I used about 20 drops per batch. Sometimes more, sometimes less, of course.
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Old 12-18-2002, 08:44 PM
 
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Tara,

You can also spritz the layers with witch hazel, which is easier on skin than alcohol and does the same thing. Try not to wait until the layers are hard, though, because then they WILL fall apart, just til they are "set" and then the soap you are adding shouldn't be too hot (will melt through).

Also, whole lavender buds will turn an ugly brown So sad. So does the ground lavender, but not so bad. It smells nice, though. And don't use rose petals - they look like brown goopy boogers in soap!!!

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Old 12-19-2002, 04:02 PM
 
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Thanks for the witch hazel tip - I was going to ask about that, since I have a spray bottle of it already for making bath bombs.

On that topic, I have more bragging to do. I made lavender, rose and lemon/lime/coconut bath bombs. And I made 15 tubes of lavender/mint lip balm. And 6 little flower-shaped pots of solid perfume with body glitter in it for all the little glitter-loving girls in the family. And 7 spray bottles of lavender/mint mist (for freshening linens and rooms and faces, kwim??) I am so proud of myself!! Also, I solved the packaging dilemma - I looked for little celophane bags with twist ties but couldn't find any (where did you get yours, Jane??), but I found rolls of celophane. I wrapped bars in squares of cellophane, pulled together and tied with ribbon. And I bought these little paper tags on string (I think they are called 'mailing tags' at the office supply store) and I did rubber stamps on them and wrote the names of the soaps and such. Finally I am pleased!

How did I accomplish all this with a 12 month old in tow? Before you get too impressed, I had lots of help. One day my sister entertained him while I worked, another day a friend helped. And I stayed up way too late three days in a row (yawwwwwn). But, I have pretty presents! Yay me!
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Old 12-19-2002, 04:24 PM
 
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Tara - YOU ROCK! Go you! Yay you!

I got the cellophane bags at a place called The Container Store - I know it's a chain, just not sure how big a chain. I think it's their in-house brand. Not that I have anything to put in these bags yet....: maybe when my sitters -er, make that sisters - get here this Sunday!

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Old 12-23-2002, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow, our soap project turned out to be really fun! (My dh and I enjoyed working on it together).

We made the following kinds:

* Cucumber
* Sandalwood/Cinnamon (this was an experiment, LOL!)
* Lavender/Almond
* Pine
* Lemon Loofah (recipe to follow!)

Then we wrapped the soaps in pretty cellophane and tied them with a pretty ribbon! Our family better appreciate it!


Lemon Loofah soap: (great for feet!)

Melt 1 lb. clear glycerin in a double-boiler (make sure to melt at a low heat) I like glycerin from www.soapsaloon.com

Remove from heat when melted. (Then I usually transfer the glycerin to another bowl.)

Add 2 3/4 tsp. (almost a Tb) lemon essential oil

Add 1 Tb. luffa (powdered). I bought mine from www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com

Stir in the luffa until it's evenly distributed.

Pour into molds. Let set in molds at least one hour. Then wrap in plastic.

(This turns yellow without adding additional color!)
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Old 12-23-2002, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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LaLa, you mentioned soapcrafters.....do you buy their premium base, or their cheaper base?
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Old 12-23-2002, 10:52 AM
 
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I am really new to soap making ( Still reading up on it - but determined to try making some and soon)
These questions might seem really dumb -
1 question I have since I was going to try making it the conventional way with lye. When you melt & pour what exactly is the base you are melting?
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Old 12-23-2002, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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You are melting glycerin. (Think "Neutrogena" -type soap.) You can buy white or clear glycerin, or you can even buy specialty glycerins-- with things added ahead of time, like goat's milk, honey, aloe vera, etc.

If you want a base that's, well, more "soapy" (in the traditional sense), you can buy soap flakes, which you melt and use pretty much the same as glycerin.

Doing cold process (with lye) is probably a lot cheaper in the long run, though.
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