So you've mastered the melt and pour technique—now it's time to really soup up your soap with everything from festive colors to fruit seeds.
: Some people's skin is sensitive to certain dyes, oils, or exfoliates—research your choices first before using them.
Step 1: Cut base into cubes Cut your base into 1-inch cubes to allow for easier melting. You can approximate the amount to melt by seeing how many chunks fit into each mold. In general, a pound of soap base will make about 3 medium-sized bars of soap, or numerous smaller ones.
Step 2: Heat soap Place your soap base into the glass bowl or measuring cup, cover the top with plastic wrap, and heat it in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. If the base isn't completely melted, remove it, stir it with a whisk, and re-heat it at 10-second intervals, stirring in between, until it is. Don't forget to replace the plastic wrap each time.
Step 3: Gently stir Remove the melted base from the microwave and gently stir it with the whisk.
Step 4: Stir in dye To add color, stir the soap dye or colorant of your choice into the melted soap base.
TIP: Synthetic soap dyes create the brightest colors, but natural ingredients—like curry or cocoa powder, pureed pumpkin, spinach, carrots, or beets—offer subtler shades.
Step 5: Add scent To add scent, stir a few drops of scented oil into the melted soap base. Popular scent choices include everything from almond or vanilla, to green tea or watermelon.
Step 6: Add texture To add texture, stir in an exfoliating ingredient. Popular choices include dried strawberry seeds, thick coffee grinds, or oatmeal.
TIP: Heavier exfoliants may sink to the bottom of your mix. To avoid this, let your soap base cool a little before stirring them in.
Step 7: Pour into molds Pour your soap base into the soap molds.
Step 8: Spray alcohol Spray the top of each mold with rubbing alcohol to get rid of any excess bubbles.
Step 9: Let molds sit Let the molds sit for several hours at room temperature—or in the refrigerator for about one hour.
Step 10: Remove & enjoy Remove the soap from the molds, and enjoy.
FACT: The human body creates about 1.5 million dead skin cells per hour—so exfoliating soap can help slough off old skin to reveal the newer, softer you underneath.