As you probably already know most soaps that you buy in the store contain lye. While the amount used in soap is perfectly safe the truth is there is an alternative that is much better for your skin and will make a difference that you will notice immediately.
The coolest part of all is that you can make this at home. It’s a great hobby that won’t destroy your schedule and a fun way to spend some quality time with the kiddies. Natural homemade soaps are also a great conversation piece for visiting family and friends and make a very thoughtful gift for the holidays.
To get started you will need to buy something called glycerin blocks. Regular glycerin is clear and will produce clear soap. It can be bought in 32 ounce blocks that will make approximately 6 or 7 full size bars. You can get it at many home stores and also at your local Wal-Mart.
If you want to use small molds to make the soap (such as flowers or starfish or whatever you prefer) you will only need 1 cube of glycerin. Full size soap bars require about 6 cubes. The 32 ounce blocks that I’ve seen are packaged as 40 cubes so that should give you some idea as to how much you will need to use. Simply figure a “normal” size bar of soap to be about 4.8 ounces or so. It doesn’t really matter but this will provide you with a guide to get started.
All you need to do is melt the glycerin in the microwave (any glass container will do) and pour it into the molds! It’s better to melt most of it and then stir with a spoon to complete the process. You can also add any scent that you prefer. I think the vanilla is fantastic but you can pick your favorite! 5 – 10 drops for a full size bar should be adequate. Of course every microwave is different but a good estimate is about 1min. 20 secs. for 10 cubes or 2 full size bars. Just keep an eye on it and remove it when the glycerin is almost completely melted. You can also add food coloring to create an abundance of different colors.
BE CAREFUL when pouring the hot soap into the molds. It will be easier to remove the soap from the mold if you don’t fill it all the way to the top. The trick here is to pour the soap close to 160 degrees. Too hot can cause the mold to “wrinkle” and too cold will cause the soap to get a sort of opaque layer on the surface that won’t look quite right. It’s not really that complicated and you’ll get the hang of it after your first batch or two.
Depending on the size of the mold let the soap sit for between 5 – 30 minutes. You can simplify removing it from the mold by putting it into the freezer for 20 minutes or so. Be creative! Experiment with different herbs, your favorite scented oils and use different colors! Think of all that you can do. What about a little starfish in the center of an aqua blue soap or a little read heart in the middle of a clear bar? Wouldn’t it be fun to have little gingerbread soaps for the holiday party?
The possibilities are endless and remember; this soap is actually good for your skin and perfectly healthy to use.