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Soap making help please

(6 Posts)
Dillytante Thu 10-Oct-13 13:31:49

Thinking of making soaps for Christmas, can someone tell me everything I need to know?! I was just planning on doing melt and pour. Specific questions I have are:

Can I add natural ingredients like citrus zest, lavender etc.? Will that give me enough fragrance or will I have to use an essence too?
Can I just use any old silicone mold? And where can I get good ones, thinking mainly for kids?
Any other things I should know?
What are the best value suppliers?

firesidechat Thu 10-Oct-13 17:03:54

I don't think that dried lavender or citrus zest would give anywhere near enough fragrance. If you are just starting out I would buy fragrance oils that are designed to go in soaps. These have been tested so that they won't irritate the skin or spontaneously combust in melted soap.

You can use natural oils, but it's worth doing a lot of research first. For instance you have to be careful with citrus oils in lip balm because they are photo sensitive and can make the effects of the sun much worse ie burn the skin. Only buy oils which have been tested on the skin.

There are lots of soap ingredient suppliers on the internet. I think I used Soaposh when I was making lip balm and bath melts for my daughter's hen do. Lots of these suppliers sell moulds, but a standard silicone mould would be fine.

firesidechat Thu 10-Oct-13 17:15:20

Just wanted to say that dried botanicals such as lavender, zest and herbs look lovely in soaps and can be added.

m0nkeynuts Sat 12-Oct-13 17:12:28

There's a good melt and pour guide here.

As firesidechat said, you do need to make sure you're using cosmetic grade fragrances etc. so would suggest getting the bits & bobs from a proper soap supplier. I used to make and sell soaps and used The Soap Kitchen, Just A Soap and Gracefruit. They all sell big blocks of the m&p base too, so you can just chop it up as you need it!

There are plenty of moulds available from those suppliers, but also lots available on Ebay. I got some from a chocolatier supplier too.

Also, you need to familiarise yourself with the correct quantities of colour, fragrance etc. to add per soap bar (adding too much could cause skin irritation) - 2% is usually the max concentration, but it needs to be less for certain essential oils.

Dillytante Sun 20-Oct-13 19:10:44

Thanks for all the replies, apologies for not replying sooner, been unwell. Will read through now smile

plipplops Mon 21-Oct-13 23:36:45

I made some last year with a bit of loofah in a round plastic bowl (a bit bigger than the slice of loofah), then added honey and oats to some and peppermint to some others. Then once they'd set I got them out by pouring hot water over the outside of the moulds.

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