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Rosemary and mint soap

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 1 hr
Yields: 600 g of soap
Mould: small square 4″ silicon mould

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I love these rustic looking natural soaps, which contain gentle exfoliating green and yellow clays and a blend of essential oils that is herbaceous, yet also fresh and uplifting. Rosemary and mint stand out, but not overpowering due to the refreshing citrus scent from the lemongrass essential oil. The fragrance is well-liked by both men and women, and great for the morning shower to wake you up and energise for the day!

The recipe is calculated for the small 4″ silicon mould, that holds roughly 600 ml of soap, but can easily be doubled to fit a standard loaf mould, such as the 10″ silicon mould. Both moulds are available from Pure Nature.


Before starting, please read the safety and precautions post, especially since this tutorial requires the handling of caustic soda!

If you have never soap before, I strongly recommend you check out the basic cold process soap tutorial first, and make several other easier soaps before continuing.

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ONE: First prepare your lye by weighing out the caustic soda and water. And then, carefully, add the caustic soda to the water (NEVER THE OTHER WAY ROUND!), and stir until the lye water is clear. Set aside to cool down.

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TWO: In the meantime, weigh out the coconut oil in a heat proof jug and melt in the microwave.

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THREE: Weigh out and add the olive oil, sunflower oil and castor oil to the now-liquid coconut oil, and give the oils a quick stir. Set aside.

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FOUR: While you are waiting, prepare the essential oil blend and the clays. Add 1 teaspoon each of green clay and yellow clay into a separate container. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of water to each and stir to a slurry.

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FIVE: Once the lye has cooled down to room temperature, and making sure you are still wearing your goggles and gloves, carefully add lye to the oils and then, using a stick blender, pulse and stir until the oil/lye mixture has emulsified (does not separate).

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SIX: Add the blend of essential oils to the emulsified soap mixture and give it a quick stir.

The essential oils that I am using is an fresh, herbaceous blend of rosemary, mint and lemongrass. I purchase my essential oils from Pure Nature in 250 ml bottles, which makes it a lot more economical than buying small amounts.

SEVEN: Separate the soap into roughly two equal portions and add the clays. Using your stick blender, mix each pot until the soap has thickened to a medium trace.

EIGHT: Pour the green soap first and sprinkle with poppy seeds. We’re creating a thin pencil line of poppy seeds between the two layers. And then pour the yellow soap over the top. To decorate the top, pull a fork from side to middle along the length of the mould. Repeat for the other side, and then sprinkle poppy seeds on the peak in the centre.

Place the soap somewhere warm and dry to set and cure.

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NINE: The following day, check if the soap has hardened and isn’t sticky and soft anymore. Carefully unmold, and cut it into bars. The bars of soap will need a further 6-8 weeks to cure before they are ready for use.

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Rosemary and mint soap

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print
Before starting, make sure you wear protective goggles and gloves and work in a well-ventilated area, free from any distractions!

Ingredients

  • 300 g olive oil
  • 100 g coconut oil
  • 75 g sunflower oil
  • 25 g castor oil
  • 68 g caustic soda
  • 150 g water
  • 1 teaspoon green clay
  • 1 teaspoon yellow clay
  • 10 ml lemongrass essential oil
  • 5 ml rosemary essential oil
  • 5 ml peppermint essential oil
  • poppy seeds

Directions

  1. Measure out 150 g of water into a heat proof Pyrex jug. Weigh out the caustic soda and carefully add it to the water, avoiding any splashes. Gently stir until all the caustic soda has dissolved and the lye solution is clear. Set aside to cool down.
  2. Weigh out the coconut oil and melt in the microwave or stove top.
  3. Add the olive oil, sunflower oil and castor oil to the now-liquid coconut oil and give the oils a quick stir. Set aside.
  4. Prepare your essential oil blend. Set aside.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of yellow clay to one container and 1 teaspoon of green clay to another. Mix each colour with 1 tablespoon of water to a slurry. Set aside.
  6. Once the lye has cooled down to room temperature, and making sure you are still wearing protective goggles and gloves, carefully add the lye to the oils.
  7. Using a stick blender, pulse and stir until the oil/lye mixture has emulsified.
  8. Add the essential oils and give it another quick mix with the stick blender.
  9. Divide the soap into roughly two equal portions and colour each portion with one of the clays. Stick blend until you have medium trace.
  10. Pour the green soap into the soap mould, and sprinkle some poppy seeds over the surface of the layer.
  11. Carefully pour or scoop the yellow soap over the poppy seed layer, and then using a fork, form a peak by pulling the fork from side to centre for both sides. Sprinkle some poppy seeds along the peak in the centre.
  12. Place the soap in a warm, dry area to cure.
  13. The following day, check if the soap is firm enough to unmold. Remove from mold and cut into bars. The bars will need further curing for about 6-8 weeks until ready for use.

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Nacho Ordinary Soap

Difficulty: Beginners
Time: 1 hr
Yields: 9 little soaps

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Desert, cactus, flamingo and mojitos seem to be everywhere at the moment. It’s been the theme in fashion, home decorations, and I even have nail wraps in this desert-theme. When I came across the little cactus and flamingo candles at Kmart, and found the matching cactus ice cube mold, I knew I wanted to make a soap to this theme! The only problem I had was finding the right name for it, so I held a little naming competition on Facebook for it and you guys had no problems coming up with some very creative and great names! It was really hard to choose just one. Here are some other of my favourites: Desert Dream, Don’t Desert Me Now, Desert Mojito, Prickly Clean. But the one that stood out from all the rest and I loved the most is “Nacho Ordinary Soap“! Thanks Kathryn Gage for coming up with this clever moniker!

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To make these you’ll need little cactus ice cube molds. I bought these from Kmart the other day for $2 each. As you can see, they also have some other cute molds, like the pineapple and unicorns!

The other material you need is clear and white melt and pour base, non bleeding yellow soap dye, green fruit mica and mint mojito fragrance, as well as a cube cavity soap mold. You can get all these from Pure Nature. I used the low sweat white melt and pour soap base and the crystal clear melt and pour soap base for this project.

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ONE: Cut the clear melt and pour soap base into small cubes and add them to a heat proof Pyrex jug. Heat on high in the microwave in 10 second bursts until the soap has melted.

You’ll have to eyeball the amounts. If you end up with a little left over, pour it into a separate container and you can use it for another project. The good thing about melt and pour soap bases is that you can re-melt it again.

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TWO: Add about 1/2 a teaspoon of green fruit mica and stir well until it has completely dispersed into the soap and there are no more clumps of mica on the surface. If you struggle mixing it in, spray a little alcohol on the surface and that will help with dispersing.

The reason we’re using clear melt and pour soap base here is so that the colour of the soap becomes a rich deep green. White melt and pour soap base will only give you pastel colours due to the white base colour!

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THREE: Once. you’ve mixed in the colour, pour the soap into the cavities of the cactus mold and spray them with alcohol to get rid of any bubbles on the surface.

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FOUR: While you’re waiting for the cacti to set, cut up the white soap base and melt it the same way in the microwave. Again, you’re going to have to eyeball the amount of soap you need.

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FIVE: Add a few drops of yellow soap dye. Make sure it is non-bleeding, because you don’t want it to bleed into clear soap. Start with a couple of drops first and keep adding 1-2 drops at a time until you’ve reached the colour you want. Remember, you can always add more colour but you can’t take it out again!

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SIX: Next, add your fragrance. The usage rate is about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per cup of melted soap base. If you add too much, you will end up with fragrance on the surface of the soap after setting. If that does happen, you can just wipe it away with a paper towel. I had about 2 cups of soap base, so I added about 2 teaspoons. Stir well to mix it into the soap.

I didn’t add any fragrance to the cactus embeds and won’t be adding any fragrance to the clear layer of soap either, because the amounts of soap are only small and the yellow soap will easily mask it with its fragrance, so you won’t notice that they don’t actually have any scent!

SEVEN: Once you’ve added the colour and fragrance, pour the soap into the cube mold, filling each cavity to about 1 centimetre. Immediately spray with alcohol after pouring to remove any unsightly bubbles. Let the soap set before continuing.

For the next part, the yellow soap needs to have set so that when you pour the hot clear soap on top, it doesn’t break through the surface of the yellow soap. If you have left it to cool down completely, spray the surface with a little alcohol again, to make sure that the clear layer will adhere to it. Also remove the cactus embeds to have them ready.

EIGHT: Melt a little clear melt and pour base. I used the crystal clear melt and pour soap base for this to avoid any cloudiness in this layer. Also avoid adding fragrance, because that can make your soap cloudy as well.

NINE: Pour a small amount on top of the yellow soap, no more than half a centimetre, and immediately press a cactus into the middle of the soap and spray the whole surface with alcohol. Repeat for each soap.

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TEN: Let the soaps harden and cool down completely before removing them carefully from the mold. I left mine overnight before unmolding.

Make sure you wrap the soaps in cling foil to avoid condensation forming on the surface. Melt and pour soaps contain a lot of glycerin, which attracts moisture and hence, the ‘sweating’ effect on these kinds of soap.

As you can see in the picture, I made two different styles of soap. One has the embed sticking out and in the other, the clear layer covers the whole embed. I wasn’t sure which I would like better so I did both. But after setting, I decided I like the one where the cactus pops out more!

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Nacho ordinary soap

  • Difficulty: Beginners
  • Print

Ingredients

  • white melt and pour base
  • clear melt and pour soap base
  • yellow non-bleeding soap dye
  • green fruit mica
  • mint mojito fragrance from Candlescience
  • cactus ice cubes mold
  • square cavity mold
  • 99% isopropyl alcohol

Directions

PART 1

  1. Cut the clear melt and pour soap base into small cubes and place in a heat proof Pyrex jug.
  2. Heat the soap base in the microwave on high in 10 second bursts until melted.
  3. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of green mica and stir until dispersed.
  4. Pour the soap into the cavities of the cactus mold and spray with alcohol.
  5. Leave to cool down and set completely.

PART 2

  1. Cut the white melt and pour soap base into small cubes and place in a heat proof Pyrex jug.
  2. Heat the soap base in the microwave on high in 10-20 second bursts until melted.
  3. Add a few drops of yellow soap dye and stir. Add more dye, a couple of drops at a time until you’ve reached the desired colour.
  4. Add the mint mojito fragrance at 1/2 teaspoon per cup of melted soap, and stir well.
  5. Pour into the cavities of the cube mold to a height of about 1 centimetre.
  6. Spray with alcohol and let set.

PART 3

  1. Once the cactus have set, remove them from the mold.
  2. Cut a little clear melt and pour soap base into small cubes and place in a heat proof Pyrex jug.
  3. Heat the soap base in the microwave in 10 second bursts until melted.
  4. Pour a little of the clear soap base over the top of the yellow soap in the cube mold. You only want to pour to a maximum of half a centimetre.
  5. Spray the surface with alcohol and press a little cactus into the middle of the mold.
  6. Spray again with alcohol and leave the soaps to set completely before removing from the mold.

Remember to wrap the soaps in cling foil to avoid condensation forming on the surface.

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Cucumber mint soap

Difficulty: Advanced
Time: 1 hr
Yields: 1200 g soap

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I was given a cucumber mint fragrance sample from Candlescience (available from Pure Nature) and I totally fell in love with the fresh green scent! The fragrance is very subtle and pleasant, and not overpowering at all, infused with citrus and floral notes and a light minty finish. I knew immediately that it would go beautiful in a soap or body lotion. Maybe it’s because it’s the end of summer and the weather is getting muggy and heavy, that I’m drawn to fresh and light fragrances at the moment, but I strongly suspect that this might end up being one of my favourite shower soaps all year round!

For those of you who are wanting a pure natural soap, you can replace the fragrance with peppermint essential oil or one of Pure Nature’s  specially formulated essential oil blends.

The recipe uses fresh cucumber, which consists mostly of water, so we’ll be using it to partly substitute the water in the lye. Cucumber is great for your skin for it’s cooling and soothing properties, due to the ascorbic (vitamin C) and caffeic acids, which help reduce inflammation and swelling. Combined with the antioxidants and silica and the high water content in cucumber, makes it a wonderful additive to skin products. In soap, cucumber adds a freshness and a soothing, cooling quality to your soap. And by adding pureed, unstrained cucumber, the fibre not only adds a very gentle exfoliating effect, but your skin will also get the full benefits of the minerals and vitamins it contains.

This soap uses water substituting, which is an advanced technique. If you have never made cold-process soap before, I strongly suggest you check out the basic cold process soap tutorial first and do a few ‘normal’ batches before moving on to these kind of soaps.

Before starting, please read the safety and precautions post, especially since this tutorial requires the handling of caustic soda!

To prepare the cucumber, use a stick blender or a blender, blitz until the cucumber is a smooth pureed semi-liquid.

The water substitution we are using in this recipe is 1:1, which means we are using 100 ml less water to make the lye solution, which will make up for the water contained in the 100 ml pureed cucumber. A water discount of 100 ml (40%) results in a very strong lye solution, which will cause the soap to accelerate quickly, so you will need to work very fast. Make sure you have everything prepared and ready before you start making your soap!

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ONE: Prepare your lye as usual and leave to cool down to room temperature. Again, because of the strong lye solution we are using and the expected acceleration of the soap, it is important to make sure you soap at low temperatures.

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TWO: Weigh out the coconut oil and melt in the microwave.

Side note: I’m using an empty 2L ice cream container as my soap pot because hubby ‘stole’ all my Pyrex jugs for his alcohol distillation! I was not impressed!

THREE: Add your liquid oils (olive oil, rice bran oil, castor oil) and give it a quick stir to blend them together. Set aside until cooled down to room temperature.

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FOUR: If you haven’t already, prepare your cucumber as outlined above. Measure out 100 ml. Set aside your fragrance, so you’ll have everything ready when putting the soap together.

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FROM THIS POINT ON YOU WILL HAVE TO WORK VERY QUICKLY!

FIVE: Once both your oils and lye have cooled down to room temperature, add the lye to the oils, and using ONLY a whisk, mix together until emulsified (light trace).  You’ll notice the oil/lye mixture starting to thicken immediately. WORK QUICKLY!

MAKE SURE YOU ARE WEARING PROTECTIVE GOGGLES AND GLOVES!

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SIX: Add the cucumber puree, and give it a quick stir with your whisk.

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SEVEN: Add the fragrance or essential oils and using your stick blender now, mix until the cucumber and fragrance has been thoroughly incorporated into the soap. Your soap will thicken very fast now.

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EIGTH: Pour or scoop the soap into your mold and even out the surface with a spatula. You can see from the image above that my soap thickened very quickly and I had to scoop it into the mold. Let the soap harden in your mold for a few days before removing, and then leave it to cure for another 1-2 days before cutting it into bars. The bars of soap will need a further 6-8 weeks of curing before they are ready to use.

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Cucumber mint soap

  • Difficulty: advanced
  • Print
Before starting, make sure you wear protective goggles and gloves and work in a well-ventilated area, free from any distractions!

Ingredients

  • 600 g olive oil
  • 250 g coconut oil
  • 100 g rice bran oil
  • 50 g castor oil
  • 135 g caustic soda
  • 150 g water
  • 100 ml fresh cucumber puree
  • 30 ml cucumber mint fragrance from Candlescience
    or 20 ml peppermint essential oil

Directions

  1. Prepare you lye. Set aside to cool down.
  2. Prepare your oils and let cool down.
  3. While you are waiting for the oils and lye to cool down, prepare your cucumber puree. Blitz about 1/4 cucumber with peel on with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth. Measure out 100 ml of the pureed cucumber and set aside.
  4. Measure out your fragrance or essential oil and set aside.
  5. Once the lye and oils have cooled down to room temperature, pour the lye into the oil and using only a whisk, mix until emulsified (light trace). WORK QUICKLY!
  6. Add 100 ml of pureed cucumber and give it a quick stir.
  7. Add the fragrance or essential oil.
  8. Working very quickly, use a stick blender to mix all the ingredients thoroughly into the soap.
  9. Scoop or pour the soap into the soap mold. Even out the surface with a spatula.
  10. Let the soap cure in the mold for a few days before removing and then leave the loaf to harden for another couple of days before cutting into bars.
  11. The bars will need a further 6-8 weeks of curing before ready to use.

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Northern lights soap

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 1 1/2 hrs
Yields: 1200 g soap or 10 bars

Northern Lights

One thing I do miss from living in Europe is the dark, cold, clear winter nights. I was never lucky enough to be far enough up north to see the northern lights, the one time I did go was in summer, but I can imagine what an astonishing sight it must be.

This soap uses a variety of colourants to recreate the Northern Lights. I’m using activated charcoal for the black background, blue and yellow soap pigments for the green and blue light, and blue glow in the dark pigment for the light glow. And the soap really does glow in the dark with a beautiful blue glow! The glow in the dark pigments from Pure Nature are classed as skin-safe and are as such safe to use in soaps, and work both in melt and pour soap bases as well as cold process soap making. The soap mold I’m using for this soap is the silicon loaf mold with wooden support box available from Pure Nature.

The colour technique I’m using in this soap is a simple layering technique, where you scoop the coloured soap alternating into the mold in a random fashion.

If you have never made cold-process soap before, I strongly suggest you check out the basic cold process soap tutorial first.

Before starting, please read the safety and precautions post, especially since this tutorial requires the handling of caustic soda!

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COLOUR PREPARATION

Prepare the blue and yellow granulated soap pigments as outlined here. I like having my three main colours (red, yellow, blue) already pre-mixed and I keep them in the fridge for storage, so that when I need them, they’re already prepared and ready for use.

In a small container, mix 1 teaspoon of blue glow in the dark pigment with 1 teaspoon of water.

Set the colours, glow in the dark mixture and the activated charcoal aside, ready for use later.

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ONE: To prepare the lye, first measure out the water in a heat proof Pyrex jug. Then, in a separate container (I use a little plastic cup for this), weigh out the caustic soda. Make sure you are wearing protective goggles and gloves. Carefully, add the caustic soda to the water (NEVER THE OTHER WAY ROUND!), and avoiding any splashes, stir until the lye water is clear. Add two teaspoons of sodium lactate, which will help harden the soap and set aside to cool.

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TWO: In a separate large Pyrex jug or pot, weigh out the coconut oil, and heat in the microwave on high for 1 minute or until it has completely melted.

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THREE: Weigh out the olive oil, rice bran oil and castor oil to the now-liquid coconut oil , and give it a quick stir. Set aside until the lye has cooled down to room temperature. You will want to make sure that you are soaping at no more than 30 degrees, so that you can slow down the thickening of the soap while you are putting the soap together.

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FOUR: Make sure you are still wearing your goggles and gloves. Once the lye has cooled down to room temperature, carefully add it to the oils and then using a stick blender, pulse and stir until the oil/lye mixture has emulsified (does not separate).

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FIVE: Add the fragrance and using a stick blender, give it another quick pulse to mix the fragrance into the soap, but make sure you keep the soap at light trace (fluid consistency). Because we’re doing colour work, you want to prevent the soap from thickening too soon.

The fragrance I’m using is called Garden Mint from Candlescience Fragrances. It’s a beautiful fresh, clear fragrance but with a rounded, slightly floral base to it. I think it matches Northern Lights perfectly! 30 ml (1 oz) of fragrance is sufficient for this soap, because mints can quickly become too overpowering, and I wanted a subtle fragrance in this soap.

SIX: Next, pour about 1 cup each into three different containers (I’m using my small Pyrex jugs for this), leaving approximately 3 cups in the main soap pot.

To the main pot with about 3 cups of soap in it, add 1 tablespoon of activated charcoal and 1 tablespoon of water, and give it a good stir until the charcoal and water is well incorporated into the soap. The reason we also add a tablespoon of water to this soap is to off-set the extra water the other 3 parts will have added to it, and prevent an unequal water balance in the soap. This will help avoid glycerin rivers.

To one of the remaining containers or jugs with 1 cup of soap, add 1 teaspoon of blue soap pigment solution. To the other container, add approximately 3/4 yellow soap pigment solution and 1/2 teaspoon blue soap pigment solution. And to the last container, add the pre-mixed glow in the dark and water mixture. Give all three containers a good stir to blend in the colour.

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SEVEN: You should now have 4 colours, approximately

  • 3 cups of black soap
  • 1 cup of blue soap
  • 1 cup of green soap
  • 1 cup of glow in the dark soap

EIGHT: First, pour or scoop a layer of black soap into your soap mold and then start putting your soap together, by alternately scooping the different coloured soap into your mold. Layer the colours both over each other and next to each other, in a random fashion, making sure you buffer sufficient black soaps between the coloured layers. Keep scooping until you have used up all the soap.

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NINE: Drizzle the last few bits of soap over the surface, and then using a chop stick swirl the surface of the soap. Spritz with 99% isopropyl alcohol to prevent soda ash from forming on the surface. Place the soap somewhere warm and dry, but out of direct sunlight, to cure. I like using the hot water cupboard to cure my soap, which is the driest spot in our house. But when the weather warms up in summer and becomes terribly humid (especially January and February), I move my soaps into our hallway with a dehumidifier right next to them. Even cold process soaps can sweat in extreme humid weather!

TEN: After 2 or 3 days, check if the soap has hardened and isn’t sticky and soft anymore. Carefully unmold, and leave to dry out for another couple of days before cutting it into bars. The bars of soap will need a further 8 weeks to cure before they are ready for use.

Northern lights

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print
Before starting, make sure you wear protective goggles and gloves and work in a well-ventilated area, free from any distractions!

Ingredients

  • 500g olive oil
  • 250g coconut oil
  • 200g rice bran oil
  • 50g castor oil
  • 136g caustic soda
  • 250 ml water
  • 2 teaspoons sodium lactate
  • 30 ml garden mint fragrance from Candlescience Fragrances
  • 1 tablespoon activated charcoal
  • blue and yellow granulated soap pigment
  • 1 teaspoon blue glow in the dark soap pigment

Directions

COLOUR PREPARATION

Prepare the blue and yellow granulated soap pigments as outlined here. Mix 1 teaspoon of blue glow in the dark pigment with 1 teaspoon of water. Set colours and activated charcoal aside, ready for use later.

  1. Measure out 250 ml of water into a heat proof Pyrex jug. Weigh out the caustic soda and carefully add it to the water, avoiding any splashes. Gently stir until all the caustic soda has dissolved and the lye water is clear.
  2. Add 2 teaspoon of sodium lactate to the lye water. Set the lye aside to cool down.
  3. In a large heat proof Pyrex jug or pot, weigh out the coconut oil. Heat in microwave (if Pyrex jug) or stove (if pot) until all the oil has completely melted.
  4. Add the olive oil, rice bran oil and castor oil to the now-liquid coconut oil, and give it a quick stir.
  5. Once the lye has cooled down to room temperature, and making sure you are still wearing protective goggles and gloves, carefully add the lye to the oils.
  6. Using a stick blender, pulse and stir until the oil/lye mixture has emulsified.
  7. Add the fragrance and give it another quick pulse with the stick blender to mix in the fragrance. Make sure the soap remains fairly fluid (at thin trace)!
  8. Pour approximately 1 cup of soap into three separate containers, leaving roughly 3 cups of soap in the main pot. You should have 4 containers with soap in total!
  9. To the main pot with 3 cups of soap, add 1 tablespoon of activated charcoal and 1 tablespoon of water and stir well to incorporate the charcoal evenly into the soap.
  10. To the three containers containing 1 cup of soap each, add colourants as follows, and stir each pot until the colour is evenly distributed throughout the soap:
    1. 1 teaspoon of blue pigment solution
    2. 3/4 teaspoon of yellow and 1/2 teaspoon of blue pigment solution
    3. all of the prepared glow in the dark mixture
  11. Pour or scoop a layer of black soap into the soap mold.
  12. Then alternating colours, scoop the soap into the mold, layering them over each other and next to each other in random fashion, until all the soap has been used up.
  13. Drizzle the last remaining soap on the surface, and using a chopstick swirl the surface of the soap, and spritz with 99% isopropyl alcohol.
  14. Leave the soap to cure for several days.
  15. After 2-3 days, check if the soap is firm enough to unmold. Remove from mold and leave to dry for another couple of days, before cutting into bars. The bars will need further curing for about 8 weeks until ready for use.

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Candy cane swirl melt and pour

Difficulty: Beginners
Time: 30 mins
Yields: approximately 500 g of soap or 4 bars of soap

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The consistency of melt and pour soap bases doesn’t allow for the same swirling techniques you can use in cold process soaps. Still, it is possible to get some really cool swirling effects using both white and clear melt and pour soap bases. The trick behind the swirling technique used in this soap is using both clear and white soap bases and pouring them at different temperatures. As the white and clear soaps cool, they will have a different consistencies, allowing for a swirling effect. The temperature difference is important, because is we were to pour both the white and clear soaps at the same temperature (= consistency), the clear and white soaps would just blend into each other and the result would be one solid pastel pink colour, instead of swirls.

The mold I’m using is the small square silicon mold from Pure Nature, which is ideal for melt and pour projects like this. It holds about 500 g, giving you 4 bars of soap.

Pure Nature also stocks several types of melt and pour soap bases. For this project I used the normal white base and clear base. If you wish to leave your soap unwrapped, I recommend using the low-sweat white base and low-sweat clear base.

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ONE: Cut up approximately 250 g of white melt and pour soap base into cubes and add it to a heat proof glass Pyrex jug. Heat on high in the microwave in 20 second bursts until the soap has melted. Make sure you don’t bring the soap to boil.

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TWO: Add 1 teaspoon peppermint essential oil and give it a good stir.

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THREE: Pour a layer of about 1 cm of white soap into your soap mold.

FOUR: Cut up approximately 250 g of the clear melt and pour soap and add it to a separate heat proof glass Pyrex jug and again, heat on high in the microwave in 20 second bursts until melted.

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FIVE: Add 1 teaspoon of peppermint essential oil and 2-3 drops of red food colouring. Give the soap a good stir until you have an even colour throughout the soap.

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SIX: Pour about a third of the red soap into the mold from a height of about 20-30 cm, making sure you break through the surface of the white soap.

SEVEN: Using a spoon, give it a little swirl.

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EIGHT: Wait a few minutes, and then pour in some of the white soap and give it another quick swirl. Wait again for a few minutes. Keep repeating this, alternating between pouring red and white soap until you have used up all the soap.

If the soap should set in the jugs, heat them up briefly in the microwave to melt again.

There are no set rules for swirling melt and pour soap, so feel free to play around. Try pouring from different heights, or pouring different consistencies of soap, some a bit thicker and some more fluid. Swirl when the soap is a bit thicker, or don’t swirl at all and let the soap do the movement for you. You can even plop in a few unmelted blocks of soap.

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NINE: Once you’ve poured all the soap and you’re happy with the swirling, sprinkle some gold bio-glitter on the surface.

TEN: Let the soap cool down and harden completely before unmolding. I usually leave it overnight, and unmold the next morning. Cut the soap into 4 bars and wrap in glad wrap or place them in cello bags. The soaps contain a high amount of glycerin, which draws moisture to its surface, especially in a humid climate like we have in New Zealand. To prevent this, we wrap the soaps.

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Candy cane swirl melt and pour

  • Difficulty: beginners
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 250g white melt and pour soap base
  • 250g clear melt and pour soap base
  • 10 ml peppermint essential oil
  • red food colouring
  • gold bio-glitter
  • small square soap mold

Directions

  1. Cut 250 g of white melt and pour soap base into cubes and add it to a heat proof Pyrex jug and heat on high in the microwave in 20 second bursts or until melted.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of peppermint essential oil.
  3. Pour approximately a layer of 1 cm into the soap mold.
  4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the clear melt and pour soap base.
  5. Add 2-3 drops of red food colouring to the clear melt and pour soap base and stir until the colour has evenly dispersed throughout the soap.
  6. From a height of about 20-30 cm, pour about a third of the red soap into the mold, making sure you break through the surface of the white soap.
  7. Using a spoon, give the soap a swirl.
  8. Wait a few minutes, then pour some of the white soap into the soap mold. Give it another swirl, and wait for a few minutes. Keep repeating this, alternating between the red and white soap, until you have used up all the soap.
  9. Give the soap a final swirl.
  10. Sprinkle a little gold glitter over the surface.
  11. Leave the soap to cool down and harden completely (or overnight).
  12. The next day, carefully unmold the soap and cut into 4 bars.
  13. Wrap the soap into glad wrap or in cello bags.