Art by Rebecca Barkley
Making soap is one of those things I’ve wanted to try for a long time but the whole corrosive acid thing kinda scared me off.
But recently I started looking into it and it didn’t seem so scary afterall. What’s even better is you can start off with a simple melt and pour method where you melt a pre-made soap base so you avoid using the acid (lye) alltogether. They even come in ready to go starter kits! Excellent.
I still want to try out making soap from scratch but I thought I’d give this a go first. So I went online and ordered me a shit tin of samplers. (For those unfamiliar with Australian slang, a ‘shit tin’ means a lot)
Like a kid in a candy store..
I bought all this from Aussie Soap Supplies and the utensils were from the supermarket.
Pictured above is:
Melt and Pour soap making is just as the name suggests. You melt the soap base, add your scents and colours, then pour the mixture into a mould to set. It doesn’t even need curing, so it’s ready to use once it has hardened.
When I finally had a free afternoon and the kids were asleep and/or occupied I set out to make me some soap. First up was the Oatmeal soap kit.
Please note – The Oatmeal kit came with a fragrance oil which is not an essential oil. Both are different and therefore treated differently so be sure to do some research before using.
For this recipe I used a soap mould that had 5 x 50g sections. (250g total)
I chopped up and weighed 250g of Oatmeal and Shea soap base. Chopping it into little cubes makes it easire to melt. I melted it in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time (They say 30 seconds on low but I didn’t know how to change the settings on the microwave so I went with 10 seconds to be safe) in a glass measuring jug, stirring each time. The base melted faster than I expected but also hardened quickly so I had to work fast.
Once melted I added 1 tbls of honey and about 50 drops of Wildflower Honey fragrance oil. Then I spritzed each mould with alcohol and carefully poured the mixture into each 50g bee soap mould. After that I spritzed the soaps with alcohol again to pop the bubbles. I’m not entirely sure why you need to spray the moulds before pouring the soap but that’s what all the youtubers say so I’m going with it. Watch out for the fumes, they stiiink..
As a finishing touch I also sprinkled some oats onto the back of each soap.
I left the soaps for 24 hours before taking them out of their moulds and taking them on a photoshoot.
Ta da! How cool do they look? The smell is divine! The only thing I’d change about this recipe is that I’d prefer to use essential oils. But as a beginner I’m really happy with how these guys turned out.