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How to Make Glycerin Soap

Most commercial soaps contain dyes, artificial fragrances, preservatives, and other chemicals, including pesticides. These chemicals can cause inflammation of the skin that produces redness, rashes scaling, itching, and tiny fluid-filled blisters. That's why many people want to control the ingredients in their soap by making their own organic glycerin soap.

Making soap may seem intimidating to some, especially if you are thinking of a version which requires handling lye, but working with glycerin melt-and-pour soap does not take a lot of time. You can create decorative and functional glycerin soap in your spare time to use at home or package and give as gifts to family and friends. Read on to learn a basic soap making method and a few fun variations.

Making Basic Glycerin Soap

Buy supplies

Craft stores sell glycerin, which is a soap base, in solid, meltable blocks. If you're feeling ambitious, you can make your own glycerin, but it's easier to buy blocks of clear glycerin, white glycerin, or a different color. Clear glycerin soap always looks a little transparent, no matter what color you choose. In addition to glycerin, you'll need the following supplies:

Essential oils. Craft stores sell essential oils meant for use in glycerin soap. You'll only need a few drops to scent an entire batch of soap, so you can buy a small bottle. Choose lemon verbena oil, rose oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, or another oil you'd like to use to scent your soap.

Soap molds. Craft stores sell many different types of molds, ranging from very small to very large in size. Be sure to get a type of mold that is usable for glycerin soap, which will pop right out of the mold as soon as it has set.

Rubbing alcohol. If you don't already have some in your medicine cabinet, pick up a bottle at the drugstore. Pour some into a clean spray bottle; you'll need it to remove bubbles from the glycerin before it sets.

Melt the glycerin in a double boiler

Melting and Pouring soap can get very hot - gloves, clothing that covers exposed skin and eye protection should be worn. Children should be well supervised.

Cut off as much glycerin as you need to fill the soap molds you bought, then slice it into small pieces that will be easier to melt. Place the glycerin pieces in a double boiler, fill the boiler with water, and place it over medium heat. Continue heating the glycerin until it is completely melted.

If you don't have a double boiler, you can make one. Find two pots, a large one and a smaller one that fits inside. Fill the larger pot with a few inches of water. Set the smaller pot inside the larger pot so that it floats on the water. Place the pots on a burner over medium heat. Put the glycerin chunks into the dry, smaller pot and allow them to melt.

You can also melt the glycerin in the microwave. Place the chunks in a microwave safe bowl and heat them in 30 second increments until they are entirely melted.

You can melt the entire block of glycerin or just cut off a little at a time until you've melted an amount that seems suitable for your soap-making project. The finished soaps will have the same mass and volume as the glycerin chunks, they'll just be reformed into pretty shapes.

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