Make-Your-Own Soap

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I just discovered Hobby Lobby last week...I'm familiar with Michael's, and I've been to A.C. Moore a couple of times, but Hobby Lobby seems to have soooo much more selection...

Anyway, I've been wanting to try make-your-own glycerin soap - it's also called melt and pour soap. I'm not really interested in making the soap that requires lye (what some people refer to as *real* soap) because you have to be super-exact in making it, and it is dangerous if you're not careful. I like the idea of using glycerin soap because it seems very easy to work with and because you can still do really fun things with it like add colors, fragrances, exfoliants, and other things that you might want to suspend in the soap.

Hobby Lobby had this bag (below) of pure glycerin soap in a 32oz. size for a little under $6. I got one bag and a tiny bottle of fragrance (I used honey almond).

All you do is put a few of the glycerin blocks into a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 30 seconds, then 15 or 20 second intervals until it's all melted:
Make Your Own Glycerin Soap 1

I try to keep some chopsticks around so that I can use them for things like this (stirring) and just throw them away later...this is the part of the process that I put in the fragrance (just a few drops per ounce of soap that was melted):
Make Your Own Glycerin Soap 2

Once the soap was all melted, I opened up an empty, thoroughly cleaned container of eggnog (yum!), because I figured this was the perfect size to cut bars of soap from.
Make Your Own Glycerin Soap 3

I just poured the melted soap into the carton, then waited about two hours:
Make Your Own Glycerin Soap 4

...I stripped the carton away from the now-solid soap:
Make Your Own Glycerin Soap 5

...and cut the molded soap into bars. I just used a regular chef's knife and cut the block into about four bars (very easy to slice through). They smell and look great, and I think they'll make nice presents for friends (I'm making several small things to combine). I'll just need to wrap each bar in some cellophane, and I think they'll be a big hit!

Now that I've got the hang of this, I think next time I might try adding some ground outmeal, or some lavender, or some....hmmmm......
Make Your Own Glycerin Soap 6
There are several, several really neat websites I've found about making soap:

The Soap Goat
The Chemistry Store
Teach Soap
Bramble Berry

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