Simple Glycerin Specialty Soaps
If you?re a regular follower of this blog, then I ?m sure you?re well versed in DIY products and projects- or you have an interest in being (and who wouldn?t?! Keep on reading and we?ll bring you over to the dark side!). So- I?m sure you already know just how easy it is to make your own soap with various bases, colors, scents, and techniques. The possibilities are endless and the benefits far outweigh the convenience of picking up a bar of the store bought stuff.
Today I?m going to focus on glycerin soap.
Just like all of our melt and pour soap bases, glycerin soap is easy to work with and the end product is completely customizable and beautiful. If you?re not familiar with exactly what kind of soap glycerin is, think of all of the pretty, fancy wrapped bars in little specialty boutiques- the bars with several colors incorporated and different designs within the bar. I know, I know, it sounds complex and maybe a little harder than a melt-mix-pour recipe, but trust me- it really is easy to do. And aside from being pretty, glycerin soap is gentle – wonderfully suited for babies, children and people with more sensitive skin.
Still with me? Okay- let?s make some beautiful soaps!
First you need a plan- I would start by choosing two colors (or more if you?re an overachiever?), and deciding if you want them to be transparent or opaque. Then decide what design you would like to make: a solid block with swirls of the second color, small colored cubed or slices within the base color, or a simple layered block (pouring one layer and allowing to cool, then layering a second color and allowing to cool, and repeating the steps for as many layers as you?d like).
Following the basic steps of melt and pour soap making, chop your soap base into small, uniformed cubes. Melt the first color by using a double boiler (or 30 second increments in the microwave) and slowly melting the soap base and one cube (or more if you desire an intense color) of the soap color. If you?re adding a fragrance or essential oil, add it last, before pouring the mixture into the mold. Depending on your choice of design- this is where the steps change.
-If you want a bar with different colored pieces within the base, allow the first color to cool in a basic loaf pan. Once cooled, cut slivers with a knife, curls with a vegetable peeler, or simple cubes. Follow the same steps listed above to prepare the base color. Place the design pieces in a loaf pan and pour the second color (that will be the base) over the design pieces. Allow to cool completely, unmold the soap from the pan, and cut into bars.
-If you want to do a layered bar, simply follow the basic melt and pour steps for each color you?re using, pouring one layer at a time and allowing it to cool before pouring the next layer on top. Do as many layers and colors as you?d like! Allow the entire block to cool completely, unmold from the pan, and cut into bars.
Pretty darn easy right? And they?re SO pretty! People will be so impressed with your domestic skills after you show off a batch of these beauties?.
Here are some helpful tips to make this process fool proof:
1. Glycerin soap needs to be wrapped once finished– if left to the open air it will begin to sweat. Don?t make these pretty little soaps and then gift someone with a sweaty bar?
2. Spray the top of the finished block of soap with Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol. This will eliminate any bubbles that may have formed.
3. Spray each layer of soap with Witch Hazel to help bond them together and prevent separation after they are cooled. Also spray your solid design pieces so that they don’t cause the soap to chip away once the block has cooled.
Glycerin Melt and Pour Soap base
Soap Color Bar (in at least two colors)
Fragrance or Essential Oil of your choice
Basic loaf style pan
Isopropyl Alcohol in a spray top bottle
Witch Hazel in a spray top bottle
Clear plastic wrap
Knife and/or vegetable peeler