How to Make DIY Melt and Pour Soap

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Have you ever thought about making your own soap at home? It’s a fun craft, and there are four ways to do it, and the melt and pour method is one of the easiest.

You may think soap making always involves lye, which is hard to work with, but that’s not true. There are several different methods to make DIY soap.

Bars of light blue homemade soap on wooden table against a basket

Melt and pour is safe enough for kids to help with some supervision, depending on age. It’s a great way to let them get creative and make something of their own!

The Melt and Pour Soap Making Method

With this method, you don’t need any lye. Just as you would guess from the name, you’re going to melt and pour something.

That something is a soap base, or melt and pour base. It’s a base that’s already made for you, usually out of simple ingredients. You can buy them on Amazon or at Michael’s.

There are many different types of bases to choose from. Shea butter, olive oil, goat’s milk, glycerine (for translucent soap), oatmeal and even honey (which, if you look at ingredients, is actually mostly coconut oil).

Pick whatever you want. You’ll probably want to go by whatever your skin needs, unless you want to make translucent soap. For example:

Shea butter, olive oil and cocoa butter: all great for moisturizing and softening skin.

Oatmeal: soothes skin and reduces irritation, and has a mild exfoliating effect which is ideal for most skin but can be rough for very sensitive skin

Goat’s milk: good cleansing with a creamy lather that doesn’t strip the natural oil. Tends to be safe for most sensitive skin.

Aloe vera: healing for dry, irritated skin, with natural antibacterial properties

Glycerine or olive oil: if you’re making a soap to look translucent, you have to pick a translucent base

Coconut oil: Some people say it’s moisturizing, others say it can promote acne… this is an ingredient that your skin probably either loves or hates, and you have to try it to know.

Once you’ve chosen a soap base, you can get started getting your materials together.

What You’ll Need

You might also want some disposable gloves in case of splashing. The base gets hot when you melt it. If you color your hair, the gloves that come with those kits are perfect.

Step 1: Cut the Base

Figure out how much of the base you’ll need to fit into your molds. You can usually eyeball this by cutting chunks, seeing how much of the base they fill, and then cutting more until you’ve got about the right amount.

For this you’ll need a good sharp knife and a cutting board.

Step 2: Melt

Put your chunks of soap into a microwave safe dish and put it in the microwave. Cook it on high for about 30 seconds and then check to see how much it’s melted.

If it’s barely melted, give it another minute or so. Depending what bass you use and how much of it, it could take up to several minutes for all of it to melt.

When you’re ready to take it out, be aware it’s hot! Handle with care.

Step 3: Add Fragrance and Color

Hands adding blue color to a bucket of soap mixture

You can get these measured and ready to pour while the soap is melting in the microwave. For essential oil, you probably want to use about a third of an ounce per every pound of soap you’re making. Go lighter or stronger if you prefer.

Once the soap base is out of the microwave, pour in your fragrance and begin to stir it slowly (a whisk is great for getting it mixed up quickly).

Now add your colorant a few drops at a time while stirring. About 10-20 drops is often all you need, so don’t overdo it. You can mix colors as you see fit.

To get a swirly effect, don’t stir the color in completely. Leave it swirly.

Step 4: Pour into the Mold

Soap mixture poured into molds

Gently pour the melted soap into the mold(s). Put it in the refrigerator for an hour or two to cool and harden.

Step 5: Unmold and Optionally Cut

Once the soap has cooled and hardened, gently pop it out of the mold. This is usually pretty easy if you use a silicone mold. If you have any trouble, tap the back of the mold with a spoon a few times to loosen it.

If you got a mold that makes one giant block or “loaf” of soap instead of one that makes several individual bars, now’s the time to cut it. For this, I recommend a soap cutting kit.

And you’re done! Enjoy using or gifting your homemade soap!

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Last Updated:

June 20, 2024