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Melt & pour soap, also referred to as glycerin soap or melt & mould soap, can be a good place to start out if you're new to soap making. Unlike cold process soap that uses lye water added to animal or vegetable fats (and therefore requires you to take careful safety precautions), melt & pour soap comes in many different types of ready-to-use bases.

As the name suggests, all you need to do is melt the base using either a double boiler or microwave, mix in your fragrance oils and other additives (slowly, so as to avoid creating too many bubbles), pour your mixture into a prepared mould and allow it to set. Once set (it normally takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of the mould) pop out of your mould and your soap is ready to use. It's really that simple.


The other main advantage of melt & pour is the speed with which you can experiment and try the results for yourself you really are limited only by your imagination!

Cucumber With Loofah

90g  Glycerin soap base
2 tsp. Powdered loofah or loofah pieces
12-15 Drops cucumber extract or fragrance oil
1 tsp Aloe vera gel
Chlorophyll (natural green colouring)
Mould


Cut your soap base into chunks (the finer the chunks, the faster they will melt) and put them in a double boiler. Place the double boiler over a MEDIUM heat and allow to melt slowly until it becomes liquid. It is important that you don't overheat the soap base or allow it to boil since this tends to make clear, opaque and natural soap bases go cloudy. You can also melt your soap base in the microwave which is considerably quicker but keep a careful eye on it as a few seconds can make the difference between melting your base perfectly and boiling it. For amounts under 100 grams run the microwave on high for 10-15 seconds then continue to melt for 2-3 second bursts until most of the lumps have melted. Once you have a few small lumps left, remove from the microwave and gently stir allowing the hot liquid to melt the remaining lumps.

Add the loofah powder or larger pieces for more exfoliation along with the cucumber extract or fragrance oil and aloe vera gel, stir in slowly until well mixed and pour into your mould. Your soap should be ready anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour or until cooled down and hard. If you wish to harden the soap faster you can place in the fridge for 10 minutes but never place your soap in the freezer. Remove from your mould and wrap finished soap in cellophane or grease proof paper and tie with ribbon or raffia to decorate.

Lemon & Lime Soap

90g  Glycerin Soap Base
8 Drops Lemon essential or fragrance oil
7 Drops of Lime essential or fragrance oil
1 tsp Granulated dried lemon peel
3 Drops of Jojoba oil
2 Drops of Castor oil

Cut your soap base into chunks (the finer the chunks, the faster they will melt) and put them in a double boiler. Place the double boiler over a MEDIUM heat and allow to melt slowly until it becomes liquid. It is important that you don't overheat the soap base or allow it to boil since this tends to make clear, opaque and natural soap bases go cloudy. You can also melt your soap base in the microwave which is considerably quicker but keep a careful eye on it as a few seconds can make the difference between melting your base perfectly and boiling it. For amounts under 100 grams run the microwave on high for 10-15 seconds then continue to melt for 2-3 second bursts until most of the lumps have melted. Once you have a few small lumps left, remove from the microwave and gently stir allowing the hot liquid to melt the remaining lumps.

Add the granulated lemon peel exfoliation along with the essential or fragrance oils and jojoba and castor oil and stir in slowly to make sure you don’t make bubbles (unless you want to!) and pour into your mould. Your soap should be ready after an hour or until cooled down and hard. Remove from your mould and wrap finished soap in cellophane or grease proof paper and tie with ribbon or raffia to decorate.

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