Make Your Own Melt and Pour Soap
Melt and Pour soap is a very useful product usually bought pre-manufactured. However, for those of you that would feel better if you made your own version and find the thought of making clear glycerine soaps in the traditional way at home a little daunting, this recipe reproduces quite closely the typical mass-produced versions available today and can be easily made using simple utensils you'd have in your kitchen at home. These quantities make a little under 5Kg of soap base.
1) A saucepan large enough to hold all ingredients (recommend considerably larger than 5Lt in order to have room to stir etc.)
2) Heat-proof glass or plastic jug
3) Suitable mould/s (flexible plastic or silicone are ideal)
4) Kitchen scales
6) Suitable safety gear (gloves/goggles). Always wear safety goggles and protective gloves when handling lye (sodium hydroxide in solution)
Lye Phase/Phase 1
135g clean tap water (or use deionised water if preferred)
135g Sodium Hydroxide (pearl)
845g Propylene Glycol (Mono propylene glycol) 325g Vegetable Glycerine 887g Sorbitol Solution (70%) 1350g Sodium C14/C16 Olefin Sulphonate (Liquid)
590g Stearic acid 275g Myristic acid
45g Myristic Acid 118g Triethanolamine
Weigh the sodium hydroxide into a suitable container (plastic or stainless steel advised). Weigh the water into a suitable heat-resistant vessel such as a pyrex or plastic measuring jug, then add the sodium hydroxide to the water (never the other way round). This concentration of lye is close to the maximum the water can dissolve so care should be taken to ensure all the sodium hydroxide has dissolved and that none has crystalised on the inner surface of the jug.
Set this lye solution aside for use in phase 4
Weigh all the phase 2 ingredients into a suitably large pan and heat while mixing until it reaches a temperature of 140 °F (60 °C)
- When at 140 °F (60 °C) add the phase 3 ingredients and mix, slowly increasing the temperature to 165 °F (74 °C)
- Once the temperature has reached 165 °F (74 °C) slowly add the lye solution (prepared and put aside in phase 1). Add it in a thin slow stream and mix constantly until fully combined, after which you may mix intermittently (every 2-3 minutes) for a total of around 20 minutes (the base should now look transparent).
- Discontinue mixing and leave the mixture on the heat at a constant 165 °F (74 °C) for 1 hour. Do Not Overheat.
- Gently stir in phase 4 ingredients until fully incorporated and cool slightly to around 150 °F (65 °C) before pouring into a suitable mould to cool and set.
- TIP: to improve surface appearance and reduce surface bubbles after pouring spritz the surface with a mist of denatured alcohol immediately after pouring. If you can't obtain this a rubbing alcohol available from chemists will work.
- Leave to fully cool.
- Press out of the moulds and it's ready to use.
- There! You've made melt and pour soap. Wasn't that easy!... Now all you need to do is re-melt, adding your favourite colours and fragrances.
- To Make White melt & pour soap base simply re-melt, adding titanium dioxide (in suspension is the best version to avoid spotting).