I love cold processed soap, but sometimes I don’t have time to wait for soap to cure and that’s when I turn to melt and pour. I know, it seems like making cake out of a box, but it’s easy and allows for a few options that don’t work as well in cold process. Specifically, adding botanicals.
In cold process, the lye and/or the heat can do crazy things to colors and additives. With melt and pour (and re-batch) the reaction has already occurred so we are free to add things and get real creative.
Melt and pour comes in different varieties and purists may argue it is not very natural. However, read the ingredient labels and you can usually find one that is pretty close to the ingredients of cold process. I used this Goat’s Milk one from Voyageur Soap. The couple extra ingredients in there are to lower the melting point of the soap.
Lemon poppyseed muffins are delicious and that was my inspiration for this soap bar. Lemon essential oil can lose it’s aroma fairly quickly so I added a touch of lemongrass to add some depth to the lemonyness, and some litsea cubeba as a base note to help fix the scent.
What you will need
A soap mold (empty yogurt or sour cream containers will work if you don’t have one)
Heat proof container for melting soap in
Microwave or stove
Spoon to stir in additives
Droppers and small glass mixing container (like a shot glass, or a small amber essential oil bottle) to make your blend.
1 tsp. poppy seeds
8 oz. melt and pour soap base
6 drops lemongrass essential oil
8 drops litsea cubeba essential oil (also known as may chang)
26 drops of lemon essential oil
- Make your essential oil blend. In a small bottle or shot glass add the lemongrass, litsea cubeba, and lemon essential oils and set aside in a safe place.
- Chop up your soap block into roughly 1 inch cubes and place in your melting container
- Microwave for 30 seconds, and then continue to microwave in 30 sec bursts until the soap is partially melted. At this point I start melting at 50% power for 30 second bursts. Watch closely and stop the microwave when the cubes are mostly melted (if there are a few small pieces, the heat from the mixture will usually melt these the rest of the way).
- Stir in the 1 tsp. of poppyseeds and essential oil blend.
- Pour into molds and allow to set for a couple hours.
- Unmold and they are ready to use.
Q & A
Can I make these with just lemon essential oil?
Of course! I am a big fan of using what you have on hand. Just know that the lemon scent may fade a little quicker. Use about 40 drops of essential oil (about 2 ml).
My poppy seeds mostly sank to the bottom?
Yes, so did mine! I used up that side first and considered it an exfoliating bar for the first couple of days 🙂 One way to avoid this is to use a suspension melt and pour base (which is designed for just this sort of thing) or to allow your melted soap to cool a little before adding the poppy seeds (not 100% effective, but it helps).
How much does this make?
8 oz. of base (half a block) made 3 guest sized soap bars for me (about 2 x 3 x 1 inches). You can always double or triple all of the ingredients to make more.