Soapers Starter Kit Melt & Pour Soap Making Instructions
Soap Bases (Transparent & Shea Butter [white])
91% Rubbing Alcohol Colorants Spoon Fragrance (Optional) Botanicals/Herbs (Optional) Pipette(s) Soap Mold(s)
Double Boiler or Microwave | Large Measuring Cup | Spoon (Preferably Wooden) | Candy Thermometer (Optional)
| Kitchen Spoon | 3 Microwave Safe Dishes | Spray bottle (For Rubbing Alcohol) | Large Kitchen Knife
The starter kit provides you with a few key ingredients that soapers love to use in their melt and pour soaps, so we’re going to go through each one before we get started.
- Soap Bases
- Transparent (or Clear) Soap Base – This soap base allows for you to create clear soap and it works very well with all colorants (micas especially). A lot of soapers use transparent soap as the outer layer of their soap and inbed colored soap bases within, to have a “trapped in ice” effect.
- White Soap Base – Really no different than transparent soap bases, but it gives soap a good contrasting color when used. Colorants work well in white soap base, but you’ll get lighter tints when using certain colorants such as micas.
- There are a number of colorants for soapers to use and they all have their place. An important concept to understand with colorants is whether or not the colorant will “bleed” (i.e., colors will mix in with eachother, causing loss of the original color). This is very important when making soap, because if you’re going for a true swirl effect, you don’t want your colors to bleed in your soap. We provided you with two types of (non-bleeding) colorants:
- Liquid pigments – are a very stable colorant to use, meaning they will not morph or change color in the soap. Pigments can be tricky to use at times because they like to clump up. So be sure to give your bottle a good shake before use.
- Micas – These are the powdered tubs provided in your kit. Micas are all natural and provide rich and vibrant colors in your soap. The badside to micas is they can be quite costly to use.
- A lot of soapers like to use dried botanicals in their soap, because they provide a number of different properties to the soap. Botanicals can be used in soap as an exfoliant. Some soapers grind up their botanicals and use color as a natural colorant. Some even state that certain botanicals are therapeutic. In this kit, we provided you with lavender buds (a favorite among soapers). Lavender buds are used as a soft exfoliant and they add a nice aesthetic to the soap.
- Fragrance Oils
- These need no introduction, as everyone knows this is what makes the soap smell so good! However, you’ll learn that there are a lot of different types of fragrance oils out there and a lot of different terminology used to describe them. One of the big ones is “Flash Point”. This is the temperature at which the oil will begin to burn. So if you have a fragrance oil with a very low flash point, you need to make sure you don’t let the oil get too hot or it could burn and ruin the smell. This usually isn’t a concern, as melt and pour soaps start melting at 120 degrees Farenheight and most fragrance oils have a Flashpoint above 150. It’s something to keep in mind though. So don’t leave the soap melting unattended for too long!
- This kit provides you with two 1 lb. loaf molds that you will use to pour your soap into. If taken care of properly they will last close to forever. However, it is important that you take extra care when getting your soap out of plastic molds. Visit our website on instructions for taking care of your molds.
We also provided you with a catcher mold. You’ll always want to have an extra mold on standby incase all of your soap won’t fit in the first one. With the leftover soap you can do whatever you like with it. A lot of soapers collect excess soap to create blended soaps or dog soaps.
- Each pippete provided holds ¼ oz. A lot of soapers like to use these to add in their colors in order to get just the right color.
Now let’s get started!
Planning – Before you start the soaping process, it’s a good idea to think about how you want your soap to look and smell. Once your soap base melts, you have a lot to do in a short span of time, so it’s important to plan out your steps beforehand.
You have three non-bleeding colors, and two different soap bases, so you have a lot of room to get creative. You can follow along with us or if you prefer to explore your creative side, you can read through this tutorial first and understand the basic concepts of the soap making process and the two techniques and then apply what you learned to create your own design.
Preperation – In this step we’re just going to get all of our soap bases ready to pour into the loaf mold (Big mold). It’s very handy to have 3 microwave safe dishes to use during this process as you’re going to make different colors and it’s nice to be able to microwave them if they start to cool down. This isn’t necessary, but it makes it easier to separate the all of the soap bases by color and microwave them when needed.
- Start by cutting the transparent and white soap base into cubes ( ½ x ½ inch – this doesn’t have to be exact). This makes the soap bases easier to melt.
NOTE: Make sure to keep them separated.
- Melt both the transparent soap base. You can use a double boiler or a microwave, but for this tutorial we’ll be using a microwave. It’s easier to melt the whole pound together for reasons that will become obvious later. Place the soap base in a microwave safe dish (preferably clear) and heat for 15-30 second intervals. Keep an eye on it, we don’t want it to start bubbling.
- Once the transparent soap base has melted, you’re going to add your fragrance oil. Rule of thumb for melt and pour soap is to add .25oz per pound of melt and pour soap. Each bottle provided is half an ounce, so add as much as you like. We suggest going slowly at first though to find the right intensity.
- Now repeat steps 2 & 3, but with the white soap base. If you want to switch it up and add the other fragrance oil to the white soap base, you can. Some soapers split up soap by fragrance, while others blend fragrances together. However, blending fragrance oils can be tricky and can lead to a “burned” smell, so we don’t suggest you do try this at this time.
- With the melted transparent soap, pour equal amounts into two other microwave safe dish containers. Now you’ll have three containers with melted transparent soap in them.
- We’re now going to use the colorants to change the color of the soap base. Use one of each colorant type (1 micas and 1 liquid pigment) for the three different containers. For the micas and liquid pigment, we suggest adding just a little at a time so you get the right color intensity. You should only have to use half of the liquid pigment. If you want to see the difference the mica makes between the different soap bases, only use half of one of the micas on the transparent soap, we’ll use the other half for the white soap base.
Make sure to stir gently each container to make sure all of the colorant has dispersed. You’ll want to wash and dry your stirrer between each. The finished product will be 3 containers filled with colored transparent soap.
NOTE: Shake the liquid pigment first before adding to soap base.
Liquid pigment may require additional stirring prior to pouring.
Layering – We’re going to layer the first two layers of the loaf with colors of your choosing. Alright let’s start:
- Now take one of the containers (your pick) and gently pour into the soap mold. You’ll notice bubbles forming on the top layer after you pour it. We want to get rid of these by spraying the rubbing alcohol over the top. This is very important, as the rubbing alcohol removes bubbles and acts as a bonding agent between each layer.
- Wait for this layer to dry. You can tell if it’s dry by blowing on it. If you see ripples, it’s not dry.
- Once dry, give a few sprays of alcohol over the top layer one more time and then pour the second container (your pick) in. Depending on how quickly you do this, you may have to throw the transparent soap back into the microwave to get it back to a liquid form. Give it a few sprays of alcohol to get rid of the bubbles and you’re done with the layering! Now just let it dry and we’ll move on to swirling.
NOTE: If you see a thin film on top, stop and microwave it first.
Swirling – Now we’re going to go through the swirling techniques for the rest of the loaf. Along with your other materials, you’re going to need a spoon. Make sure to clean your microwave safe dish containers, as you’ll need them for this part.
- Repeat steps 5 & 6, but using the White soap base this time. Also, leave one of the white soap base conatiners colorant free. We want to keep the white in there to provide a nice contrast.
- If you saved some of the mica, you’ll notice that the mica gives the white soap base a softer, pastel like color.
- Now that you added your colorants to two of the three white soap bases, we’re ready to pour. You should have 3 colored soap bases (1 from the transparent soap and 2 from the white soap base) and one untouched soap base. You’ll have to move fairly fast when swirling, so get your spoon ready.
NOTE: for this tutorial we’re going to use a little bit of the white in between each layer to provide a nice contrast.
- Spray the alcohol over the most recent dried layer in the loaf mold. Then pour a little bit of your first colored soap base (your pick) in a diagonal line. This should be a very thin layer. Now with the white soap base (no colorant added), drizzle and “S” shape across the length of the mold. Now grab your spoon and dip it into your soap base and gently drag it across the length of the loaf. Now let this layer cool until you get a thin film over the top. You don’t want to use all of the white soap base one layer.
- Now let that layer cool and once it develops a thin film over the top you can do it again, but with different colors. The idea is to make 5-10 different layers just like this, but it’s up to you!
- (OPTIONAL) If you want used the dried lavender buds as a nice exfoliant in your soap, your last layer should be very thin (e.g., just enough to cover the entire surface area). But before you pour it, sprinkle your lavender buds across the top layer of the soap mold. It’s preferable to do this while the top layer has a thin film on it. Now pour your soap base over it and spray with alcohol (of course).
- You may have some extra soap base left, this can be saved in the container to be saved for later or you add it to your catcher mold. Excess soap is common when making soap, and you can either save it for next time in a Tupperware container or collect it for a blended batch later. There’s a lot you can do with blended soaps. Vist chelseassoapgarden.com for creative ways to use excess soap.
- Once you’re finished, give it 24 hours before trying to get the soap out of the mold. Plastic molds can be tricky, but one thing you don’t want to do is force it out. It will come out on it’s own. Here are some tips for getting it out.
- Put it in the freezer for 30 minutes before trying to get it out
- If it’s being stubborn turn it upside down and let it sit. It’ll usually fall out on it’s own.
Curing – Here’s the hardest part. Waiting. Rule of thumb states that you should give melt and pour soup 24-48 hours to dry, but this can varying depending on what oils you added to it. The longer you let the soap cure, the harder it will get and the longer it will last. So this one is up to you!
Thank you for purchasing our soap kit!
For more detailed instructions (with pictures and videos), please visit us at Chelsea's YouTube (Instructions & Recipes -> Soaper Starter Kit Instructions).