Updated: May 4, 2020
Nowadays, many parents resort to technology in order to keep their kids entertained and occupied, completely forgetting the benefits of arts and crafts.
True, technology is very useful, and kids should be introduced to it, but it should never come at the expense of them playing and making things with their own hands. There are many benefits of arts and crafts for kids, from helping them socialise and express themselves to helping them develop other skills and think more critically. So, if you want your child to have fun and experience all these benefits, encourage them to take part in such activities – they are both fun and useful, and your kid will definitely enjoy exploring their own imagination.
When doing activities at home with kids we're always looking for the safest option. In terms of soap making this means 'melt & pour' soap bases. Making soaps is great activity to enjoy at home that will improve their coordination and fine motor skills, will develop their creativity skills as well as will help them express themselves while creating stronger bonds with their parents,
What is Melt & Pour Soap?
Melt & Pour Soap is a pre-made, manufactured base designed to be remelted. A good quality Melt & Pour Soap allows itself to be “played with”; and does not contain nasty chemicals on its compositions, what we're looking for is naturally derived ingredients.
Melt and Pour Soap is a “glycerine” soap base that is easily melted, coloured and moulded into stunning and creative soap. It is very gentle on essential oils, and you don’t need to use as much fragrance as with regular Cold Process Soap making. It is great way to start soaping, as it is easy to use, can be adapted to using everyday ingredients, and can evolve and become more creative as you become more confident with your soap crafting. It's ready to use right away, no curing required Melt & Pour Soap is very versatile, and the additives that you can incorporate are the same as for all; with creativity your soap can become art works!
What can be added to your hand crafted soaps?
Loads of things, many of which you may find in your kitchen pantry! Liquid honey, oatmeal, cornmeal or polenta, coconut milk powder (or buttermilk and soy milk powder), cocoa powder, various dried herbs, dried flower petals, dried orange peel, poppy seeds and more including loofah, loofah slices, ground pumice stone, clays, exfoliants, powders and more!
How to Melt the Soap
To melt the soap base you can use a microwave, double boiler, Bain Marie or LOW direct heat source (if using a cook top keep it VERY VERY LOW). Simply slice some soap base into small chunks, similar to diced potatoes, and gently heat until you reach the point where there is just one or two small pieces unmelted. If using a microwave, always have the setting on “low” or “medium low”. Remove from the heat and then gently stir to melt these last little pieces. If heating large quantities of soap (approx 500g or more), I recommend covering the heating vessel with a lid to avoid evaporation from the soap. Once melted, add colour, then fragrance, or other additives and stir to combine well and pour into the moulds! When using essential oils ensure you follow Essential Oil Safety Guidelines – the most important thing is not to exceed 2.5% essential oils in your soap and to check for contraindications. Always spot test first and read up on the essential oil for any contraindications/allergies.
Sweating! Why do my Soaps get water drops on them?
This moisture is known as “Sweating” or “Dew”. Natural Bases exhibit little sweating in comparison to surfactant based soaps, but it does still occur. This is exacerbated if the base is overheated or the weather is particularly damp and wet. When you see beads of moisture on Glycerin Soap, it is not actually “sweating”, the Soap is absorbing moisture FROM the atmosphere. If your soap does “sweat” it is purely aesthetic, and you can simply wipe it away – it’s still fine to use. Melt & Pour Soap contains Glycerine which is a humectant, this means it draws moisture to it and in turn to the skin. The best ways to avoid sweating are: Be careful not to over heat the base. The optimum melting temperature for our custom bases is 40-60° C. If you heat the soap above this; it may “sweat” badly and have a high degree of water loss, which affects its composition. That said, wrap your soap bars within a day or so, particularly in humid or damp weather, so the soap cannot attracts moisture. Avoid using cling film long term as this doesn’t age well with soap, try cello sheets, bags or wraps or shrink wrap if you have that available to you. the soap is barely liquid at 40, and we soap at 55 60°C. It is best not to put the soap in the freezer to speed up setting time as this will cause sweating. This also makes diminishes the life of the moulds making them brittle over time. And use silicon moulds for avoiding Soap getting S T U C K. You will always get slimy or mouldy soap if you add fresh rose petals, frangipani flowers to your MP Soap. That’s unfortunately the way it is. It is a moist environment and they are going to turn into compost! If you wish to experiment, ensure the botanical material is WELL DRIED and the pieces are very small or fine. Calendula petals are fine and look so nice in white soap and won’t cause you any problems with mould.
Get creative and start soaping!
Lavender & goats's milk
· Goats Milk Soap Base
· Lavender Oil
· Organic lavender flowers buds
· Goats Milk Soap Base
· 1/4 cup DRIED brewed coffee
· coffee grounds
· vanilla essential oil
· Shea Butter Soap Base
· Lemon Essential Oil
· Dried Lemon zest
Orange & Poppy seed
· Cocoa butter soap base
· Poppy seeds
· Dried orange zest
· Orange essential oil
· Marjoram essential oil
· Mandarin essential oil
· Clear soap base
· Dried mint leaves
· Dried lemon zest
· Peppermint essential oil
· Lemon essential oil
There is not an investment wiser than spending quality time with family. Your family should be a source of comfort and safety. Family is not always perfect but it is important to build family bonds that will get you through the tough times. When we spend time as family cooking, cleaning, shopping, or creating, we are teaching our children our family values and more importantly skills that will help them function better in life.
Enjoy the soap making