We have been on a quest to make our house as chemical-free as possible for years now. Discontinuing the use of commercial shampoo, or going “poo-less” was a shocking eye-opener for us. We learned that our scalps had to heal from damage done by chemicals routinely used in commercial shampoos. I’ve hand-made my family’s shampoo for years now, and you couldn’t pay me to go back. But soap…soap had eluded me. Every recipe I read seemed complicated and time consuming. Until now. I hunted down a few simple supplies and had my first batch in about an hour.
Here are the supplies you’ll need:
Melt and Pour Soap Base (see below for where to buy this)
Essential or Fragrance Oil of your choice
A small, clean spray bottle
A 2-cup glass measuring cup
A clean wooden stick for stirring, such as a popsicle stick
A microwave oven
Make sure that your surfaces and equipment are clean before you begin. The soap can pick up little things like crumbs or cat hair that can become embedded in the soap when it hardens. In fact, the very first mistake I made was not putting our kitten in another room before I started soap-making. It’s easier to work without distraction. You do not need separate equipment for making soap. The equipment cleans up easily. It is soap after all!
- Cut the blocks of soap base into small squares and fill your measuring cup with them
- Place the measuring cup in the microwave
- Heat the soap cubes on high for no more than 30 seconds
- Remove the measuring cup and stir
- Return the cup to the microwave and heat for no more than 15 seconds
- Remove the cup and stir
- Continue heating and stirring at 15 second intervals until the soap cubes are completely melted
The soap cubes will not continue to melt after being removed from the microwave, so be sure to heat the soap base until it is entirely liquid. In my case, this took heating one cycle of 30 seconds and three cycles of 15 seconds. Soap bases are different, so timing may vary.
Important: Do not try to hurry this part of the process by heating longer than 15 second intervals. The mixture can get hot enough to shatter glass, if overheated.
Add between 5 and 10 drops essential or fragrance oil to the liquified soap base and stir well. Pour the soap into your molds. Spray each soap once, lightly, with rubbing alcohol to rid the surface of bubbles.
Two cups of soap cubes will melt down to about one liquid cup. I was able to pour three soaps from each batch. The soap mold I chose molds a dozen, so I repeated the process four times to fill them all.
Allow your soaps to sit for at least a half hour to harden. Put the molds in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Once you remove them, you should be able to unmold them easily. Your soap is ready to use!
Where To Get Supplies
You may find you have a local source for supplies. I always check that first. There are many online sources. Amazon has a respectable array of products. I bought my soap-making supplies online from www.brambleberry.com. They have a great selection of supplies, and I was able to buy larger quantities than I could find elsewhere.
If you are looking for chemical free soap, be sure to always read the ingredient lists. Not all soap bases are chemical free. I chose silicon soap molds which were a breeze to unmold and clean.
While our initial investment was about fifty dollars, the molds are reusable. I calculated that I will be making excellent quality, chemical-free soap for about sixty cents a bar, which is a huge savings when you take into account that we have paid up to five dollars a bar for premium soaps.
Feel free to leave a comment if you have questions, or want to share your own experience!