Melt and Pour

I didn’t realize until I YouTubed soap making that there was this whole science behind it. It was waaaaay more than what I wanted to commit to for this particular project, although maybe one day I can learn the art of it. This project is perfect for a quick gift if you wish to have the ingredients on hand. During my search I discovered Bramble Berry. They had everything you need for soap making – soap bases, molds, coloring, tutorials – I wanted everything and wanted to learn everything. This is where I discovered Melt and Pour base soaps, as it’s named you literally melt and pour into your mold. From their website I chose the Aloe Vera Base, the Oatmeal Base and whilst I was at it I bought some coloring (there’s instructions on how to use these and of course I didn’t read it and my colors looked a little insane, lol). I have dozens of essential oils already in my arsenal, to add a little scent to my soap, I’m not much into sweet smelling scents like Cookie Dough or Cotton Candy so I stick with my neutral scents.

I happened to be gifted a couple of loofahs from El Salvador. Of course I new what a loofah was and what it was used for but I’m not sure I knew where they come from. Luffa sponges don’t come from the ocean. And they’re not from manmade materials. Rough-textured exfoliators originate from luffa: dried fiber from the vegetable of the same name. Luffa or loofah (botanically Luffa aegyptiaca) is a vine-grown member of the pumpkin, squash and gourd family. Once the extracted fiber dries, use it for bathing and scrubbing.

I sliced the loofah into 1 inch slices. Added a thick cotton string through the natural holes (from my macrame supplies but yarn will do the trick). Placed them into a cupcake tray (I didn’t have silicone molds and I wasn’t about to buy one). I melted my soap at 30 second intervals carefully not to over heat them but enough to melt. I stirred until the soap base was fully dissolved. Added my color and essential oils. Stir again until the color was consistent and I was happy with the scent combination. I sprinkled some dried organic flowers before and after I poured the melted soap on a couple of them …. violá, soap on a rope with a little loofah!

I made: Rosemary and Lemongrass (yes the crazy green looking one) I have used these in the kitchen; perfect for after gardening when I have dirt on my hands and my cuticles. The loofah helps! This is with the aloe base. The others were with the oatmeal base; one lavender and the other rose.

The experts say to use a rubbery silicon mold for easy release, as mentioned I used a cupcake tray which is not so flexible. I’m not gonna lie, I fought to get out my soaps by tugging on the rope to pull them out of the mold. I fought and got rope burn on my fingers until … alas! My brain switched on and put the butt of the cup cake pan in a tray of .5 inch warm water for about 15 seconds. I pulled on the ropes and it easily released from the mold. A little happy dance later, I had some nice soaps that I would be happy to give away as gifts! Super cute!

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