Okay, I did an experiment last night and I have the results to show you today. Long term we’ll have to do a check in BUT I would definitely consider this a success as of now. LIQUID SOAP. It’s a controversial topic in the melt and pour community.
I love it, and I use it just as much as my soap bars (if not a little less now that i’m actually making my own). However, I have a friend that utterly refuses to use anything but liquid, and she’s been nagging me to buy a liquid soap base for months. Well, I ain’t about to do that if I can make it myself, I’ve got 50 lbs of goats milk melt and pour to use!
So I did a little digging, and all of the “make bar soap into liquid soap” articles are about premade commercial bars of soap grated up. Soooo… I winged it. Just did a small batch, but it ballooned into a great big amount very quickly. It’s truly just as easy as M&P, if not easier if you don’t include waiting time. So here we go, here’s how I made liquid soap from M&P.
You will need:
– 4 oz [115 grams] Melt & Pour Soap Base (I used Goat’s Milk, but I imagine a clear base would make gorgeous transparent / translucent soaps!)
– 2 cups /16 fl oz [475 mls] Water (I used purified and distilled).
– 2-3 tablespoons [30-45 mls] Nourishing, Liquid at Room Temp, Oil (I always add sweet almond, jojoba and vitamin E to my M&P, but olive works as well).
– Preservatives like Optiphen at a 1% usage rate is an optional addition for those who want to sell a liquid soap like this. Because of the high water concentration, many are more secure in using them in home formulations as well. I don’t personally because I don’t sell my soaps, and we go through soap very quickly here. The choice is up to you!
– 5 ml Fragrance or Essential Oil (I based this on the 1% rule, 20 oz liquid = ~590 mls. You could up the FO to as much as 8-10 mls for this amount, but I wanted to be safe for my first round).
– Soap Colorants. I find liquid dyes work best for this unless you’re going to color with mica right at the beginning when melting the M&P. If not, stick to liquid. About 20 drops of combined purple, red, and blue made for a nice deep yet still pastel purple. Liquid dyes will show up more densely in a clear soap base, while white bases will almost always end up pastel.
1. Set your measured water on to boil. I used my electric kettle (which I think every American household should have, but I digress). A pot on the stove should be just as well. Must be at a barely rolling boil, and you should synchronize this with your melt and pour.
2. Microwave your melt and pour in 30 second bursts in a microwave safe container (Pyrex measuring cups 4 lyfe) until well melted. Mine was full melted in 30 seconds for this amount, but just barely, so I heated it for another twenty to get a bit of heat unto it. DO NOT OVERHEAT YOUR MELT AND POUR. Especially goats milk M&P. It smells gross, it looks gross, it is gross. And I don’t care what anyone says, you cannot salvage burnt melt and pour. If you’re using mica colorants, now is the time to add them, just mix your mica with some rubbing alcohol before incorporating.
3. Add your nourishing oils to your M&P and stir to well incorporated. I’d imagine if you’re making a large batch of this, you may need to reheat after adding a large amount of room temp oils. I didn’t need to!
4. Get yourself ready, and temper a small amount (half a cup ish) of your just boiling water into your M&P. You want to be pretty much continuously stirring. I just using a large kitchen eating spoon, anything apart from a whisk will work. Once it is incorporated you can continue adding in your water. Fully incorporate your water. I cannot emphasize this enough, the gel will not form if there are pockets of unincorporated oil or M&P.
5. Leave to cool for about 20 minutes. Stir once more before leaving overnight (or 6-8 hours). Don’t touch it, don’t stir it, don’t move it. This can be so tempting so I suggest you do this project in the evening and let sit to gel overnight. You can cover with cling film with a few small holes poked in it if you’re concerned. There needs to be some spaces in the film for a bit of the water to evaporate.
6. In the morning, you should notice that your soap has gelled into a pudding / gelatin like consistency. Don’t be alarmed! I was laughing the first time I experienced this (“Did someone replace my soap with Vanilla pudding??”). But no, all is not lost! Bring in a traditional kitchen whisk (after playing with it a while, because it’s hella fun omg), and it will become a nice liquid soap texture. The more you whisk, the foamier it will be. If you prefer a foaming hand soap, continue whisking as you would an egg white to create foam for meringues. Stop when you want to. The texture is truly up to you! I created a foamed version and a minimally mixed one and it both turned out fine in terms of texture. The minimally mixed made bigger bubbles when in use, but the foamy one turned into a nice foam lather. Both nice, it depends on what you’re into!
7. As you’re whisking, now’s the time to add in your liquid soap dye and fragrance! Like mentioned above, I added some blue, red, and straight purple to make a nice well rounded purple. For fragrance, I used Luna from Maple Street Candle. Amazing scent that I’ve loved for years, I’m so happy that Maple Street carries it, as I love their company and their $8 shipping on FOs and dye (not sponsored but I’m hyped about my new oils so I had to).
8. Pour into your bottle of choice! I had to refill one of our soap dispensers anyways, so I used that, and I had a whole 16 oz leftover for whatever I want to do with it (aka I had to sacrifice an old water bottle to the soap gods because I had no where to put the rest bc i wasn’t prepared for how much this makes tbh!!). Will be getting some pump bottles asap, as well as a new oil percentage so I can transform this from a hand soap to a body soap. There’s nothing wrong with this, you can totally use it as body wash, I just prefer something a bit more specifically creamy and moisturizing… Hmmm, further formulations are already whirring in my head.
– This soap is only as good as your own M&P, so invest in a nice Melt and Pour base and it will make for an awesome soap!
– The one thing I wish I had on hand was a fine mica shimmer. It would look gorgeous in a hand soap like this, but I don’t think my rugged farmer / automechanic type father would appreciate shimmer in his hand soap. Masculinity y’all. But it’d be gorgeous!
– If your soap doesn’t gel with 8-10 hours (I haven’t had this happen, but I figure if your amounts are off, or you’re using a particularly odd M&P base it might), you can try tossing it in the microwave to heat it up to a pure liquid. Melt a bit more M&P, and reincorporate. This whole process reminds me a bit of jam making, but much much more forgiving in the end. Keep working with it until you can get it to gel.
– I do recommend making a small 4 oz test batch with your particular M&P base before making a large amount. I find these amounts pretty reliable for a nice test batch for the house or for a gift.
$5.95 per 2 lbs Premium Goats Milk Soap Base. $2.98 per 16 oz pound, or 74 cents per batch of liquid soap.
(I paid $48.95 per 24 lbs Premium Goats Milk Soap Base. $2.04 per 16 oz pound divided by 4 oz = 51 cents per batch.)
Fragrance oils are from the 20 1 oz sampler for $26 at MSCC, or $1.30 per piece. I used 5 ml, or 1/6th of a bottle, as 1 oz = 30 ml. Cost: 22 cents.
Colorant is priceless in my case because I only used about 20 drops and I didn’t make any sort of dent in any of my colorant samples. I recommend the Stained Glass sampler from Wholesale Supplies Plus. $4.95 for what seems like a sea of colors, with enough to make plenty of soapy fun?? Worth it. Toss it in your cart at WSP, you won’t regret it!
I’m not gonna be pricing oils, because I always have olive oil on hand for cooking, and that makes just as good of a soap product. In collecting things for soap making, over time you end up with lots of difference oils. You can experiment with the formula, but you definitely don’t have to if you don’t want to.
I paid under $1 to make over 24 ounces of liquid soap. The same amount of JR Watkins hand soap is nearly $5 at my local grocer, and that amount of Bath and Body Works gentle foaming hand soap would be $18 and 5o cents. It’s worth it, especially when it’s a craft I love making!
If you are already into Melt and Pour Soap making, I implore you to try a recipe like this one. It’s so fun to try new things, I’m kinda surviving off of the “Try New Things!” mentality right now! It was super fun, and made an awesome result. That’s all I can ask for! ❤