After writing and making the recipes for Kitchen Soap for Chefs: 4 Easy Melt & Pour Soap Recipes, I came up with yet another cool soap idea that I hadn’t published before. In fact, I used to sell it when I had my Everything Shea business, but it went by another name. I changed two of the ingredients, but it’s pretty similar and it’s now called Vanilla Bean soap. I have my almost year-long baking binge to thank for this recipe, too. So if you’re looking for a fun and easy soap recipe to make for the holidays or just because, here it is…
Vanilla Bean Melt & Pour Soap Recipe
Learn how easy it is to make this creamy melt and pour soap with natural vanilla beans. This type of soap is wonderful for all skin types and would make an excellent addition to any bath & body gift basket!
It’s almost a month until The Walking Dead returns for a seventh season. There are six seasons where no one’s seen Daryl bathe or shower. Of course, when we left him back in April in the episode “Last Day on Earth”, he wasn’t thinking about cleaning up. In fact, with the introduction of Neagan and Lucille, Daryl wasn’t looking too good.
While I’m looking forward to the return of the show on October 23, there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to know who Lucille’s going to meet up close and personal. Yes, I’ve read the rumors and have visited some sites that have leaked photos and other news. However, I’ve been too busy making soap [and French macarons] to do more than glance at the information. I’ll find out for sure next month. I’ve waited this long, what’s another four weeks?
I received a wonderful gift from a friend who’s also a fan of the show and of the Daryl Dixon character. I was so pleased with how appropriate it was that I used it in this photo:
As many chefs know, coffee removes strong odors such as onions, garlic, fish, and meat. It’d probably be great for a guy like Daryl after some run-ins with zombies…and maybe a few of Neagan’s unpleasant companions. People who probably don’t have access to hot and cold running water and soap. If they did, I have a hunch they’d all like some Espresso Coffee Kitchen Soap.
So, I’d like to introduce my latest soap crafting eBook. Naturally, I made all the soaps and took photos of them. I was running low on soap. Now, my soap dishes and soap cabinet are full again.
Kitchen Soap for Chefs: 4 Easy Melt & Pour Soap Recipes
It’s easy to create chef’s soap in your kitchen. Quickly cook up a batch of soap that will wash away strong kitchen odors. Now you can make excellent smelling and deodorizing soaps with four classic and carefully tested recipes.
For less than the price of a cup of coffee you’ll get:
I’ve got the blackberry macaron blues. I’ve tried twice and both times the shell color isn’t blue, isn’t purple, isn’t black. I wanted “Purple Rain” colored macarons. I love that color. I love that Prince was fond of royal purple. The bottle of gel colorant is that hue. But the results are quite different.
I got the purple buttercream that I wanted. However, by using a violet mica colorant, the shells aren’t purple. Mica colorants are used for soap crafting but the ingredients aren’t harmful as they’re derived from minerals. I was doing this as an experiment and there were no negative results — just a lack of purple!
The purple mica has a sheen to it—which is what makes the soap sparkle a bit but won’t do that to a macaron shell.
For my second attempt I used a purple gel colorant for the shells. After separating my egg whites and placing them on the counter to age overnight, I emptied out the piping bag with the purple buttercream filling into a mixing bowl. The blackberry jam tasted no different from the strawberry jam I used in my first buttercream. I figured adding fresh blackberries would change the taste. All I did was cook the blackberries in a tiny bit of water and mash up the berries. Then I strained them, poured the seedless remainders into the buttercream, and mixed it with a mixer for several minutes. It was loosely incorporated. But 24 hours later you can see how it’s separating. The resulting mess looks curdled but it’s not. This time the fresh blackberries can be tasted. But the macarons are messy to eat!
The above photo shows drops of blackberry juice. Maybe someone can use this idea for Halloween if you want a blood theme, just use fresh blackberries–or raspberries!
Next week I’ll test a fantastic new fruity macaron recipe and a brand new type of colorant!
This is my favorite soap to make as it’s so good for one’s skin and is gentle enough to use for a facial soap. the following recipe is from my eBook, THE JOY OF MELT AND POUR SOAP CRAFTING.
Oatmeal + Honey + Goat’s Milk Soap
16 ounces white soap base 1/4 cup ground oatmeal [rolled oats, not instant oatmeal] 1 teaspoon organic honey 1 teaspoon powdered goat’s milk 1 teaspoon vanilla fragrance
OR oatmeal, milk & honey fragrance [optional]
4 four-ounce molds
Slice up soap base into small cubes and melt. If not using goat’s milk base, add the powdered goat’s milk. Just before it’s fully melted add oatmeal and honey. Stir well. Add fragrance and remove from heat. When soap is just starting to form a layer, pour into molds. Spritz away any bubbles with rubbing alcohol. Allow soap to harden in fridge, freezer, or remain at room temperature. Remove from molds. Make sure soap is at room temperature before wrapping. Wrap in cling wrap and label.
Oatmeal Note: The above method will create a soap bar with oatmeal on one side only. To make Oatmeal+Honey+Goat’s Milk with the oatmeal suspended throughout the soap, you must stir in the oatmeal, turn off the crock pot OR double boiler, and stir occasionally for approximately 5-10 minutes while the soap mixture thickens.
I’ve heard and read the argument that any soap that’s made from scratch using oils, liquids and lye is handmade soap. I agree.
There’s the other side of the debate where soapers think that melt and pour soap isn’t handmade. I agree.
Some claim that it’s not handcrafted. I disagree.
I appreciate what made from scratch soap entails. Whether made for personal use or sold online or at crafts fairs, homemade soap is true soap. Those who are new to it may make some mistakes. Fragrances and colors morph, they’ll encounter science-fair worthy lye volcanoes, and they might inadvertently discover DOS [dreaded orange spots] that can appear days or even weeks later. Handmade soap can have a high learning curve for some people. That’s why melt and pour soap crafting is more appealing as crafters don’t have to work with lye and it’s generally considered easier. That may or may not be true as some melt and pour soap crafting techniques are more difficult to master, especially swirling and layering. Yes, even melt and pour soap crafting can be quite time consuming.
Melt and pour soap crafting is a legitimate craft. It’s not just slicing up soap, popping it into the microwave, and getting a perfect bar of soap each time. There are color and fragrance considerations. What, if any, skin-loving additives will you put in your batch? What type of mold will you use? How will you wrap and label your soap?
Nor is it buying a log of soap, cutting it up into a few bars, and wrapping and labeling them. 1. That would be an unscented and uncolored bar of soap. 2. It wouldn’t be handmade or handcrafted — it would be handcut!
Genuine melt and pour soap crafters use the best type of soap base available as they’ve learned what ingredients to look for – and what ingredients to avoid. As I’ve been hand crafting melt and pour soap since 1998, I’ve seen the two standard types of soap base [transparent and opaque] multiply into dozens of different bases such as: shea butter, honey, goat’s milk, avocado oil, yogurt, carrot oil, mango butter, SLS free, etc. I’ve also seen some highly talented crafters out there who make soap in a wide variety of colors and shapes. Handcrafting melt and pour soap has so many wonderful possibilities. Just go to Pinterest and type in the term “M&P” or “melt and pour soap”. You’ll be amazed – and inspired!
Let’s get visual. Here’s a photo of two different types of soap base, transparent and Castile. [Click to enlarge images].
A crafter will see this soap base as the raw material. How does it go from nicely wrapped blocks of soap to much smaller and more colorful [and fragrant] bars of soap?
There are several steps from slicing the soap base, melting it, adding colorant and fragrance and pouring the correct amount into a special soap mold.
Here’s the end result.
See how a raw base can be handcrafted into a dramatically colored and scented bar of soap?
Here’s a unique yet easy to make melt and pour soap recipe utilizing a mold you can find in most supermarkets. I found this in the frozen dessert section. This five-ounce plastic container recently held a very good key lime pie. Instead of using liquid yellow colorant, I opted for a very natural colorant – red palm oil.
Mini Birthday Cake Soap
5 ounces white soap base OR shea butter soap base
10 – 12 drops red palm oil
1/4 teaspoon lemon essential oil
5 ounce round mold
Slice the soap base into small cubes. Temperature should be MEDIUM. Cover your melting soap base.
Just before the soap is fully melted, add the palm oil and essential oil. Stir well. Slowly pour into the mold. Spritz away bubbles with rubbing alcohol. Allow soap to harden in fridge, freezer, or remain at room temperature. Remove from mold. Make sure soap is at room temperature before wrapping. Wrap in cling wrap and label.
As red palm oil is a heavier type of oil, as opposed to lighter weight oil such as grape seed, only a small amount is needed. Red palm oil colors well and if too much is added it won’t be fully mixed. If using a modest amount, the color remains in the soap and it will have white bubbles.
Red palm oil is a beneficial skincare ingredient. Not only does the color enhance the finished bar of soap, this African palm oil contains lots of skin-loving vitamin A and vitamin E. I also recommend the Alaffia brand of red palm oil because it doesn’t deprive Orangutans of food and shelter, and it comes from the place where the palm tree originated: West Africa.
To read more about making and presenting unique soaps for birthdays and any other holiday, check out the eBook “Happy Birthday Melt and Pour Soap Recipes.”
There are several eBooks on melt and pour soap crafting available online. This is wonderful news for those of you who wish to learn this rewarding hobby because you’ll be able to glean many helpful tips and recipes. I’ve written 11 titles, mainly concentrating on the basics that you’ll need to know, along with lots of additives that can customize your sudsy creations in many ways. Soap crafting was once a business for me, but now it’s a necessary hobby. I can’t be without soap!
I test each recipe and include photos of the process, along with the finished soap. So far, I’ve concentrated on recipes that contain a variety of additives, rather than on fancier soaps such as: swirled, 3D, stained glass, multiple layers and/or embeds. I’ve made these soaps in the past, and intend to do so again, but to effectively show such examples, that requires lots of photos. As I’m working on book #4 of the Yolanda’s Yummery series, I unfortunately don’t have time to make AND photograph any intermediate or advanced soap recipes.
Be creative! The best part about your soapy gift is that once it’s properly wrapped in cling wrap, you can decide how to present it to the birthday guy or gal. Since it’s not for sale, you don’t have to concern yourself with INCI terms and labels. You technically don’t even have to label it unless you want to. It’s up to you to list the ingredients as a courtesy so that if someone may be allergic to an ingredient they can regift your soap. To give you some ideas, I’m including the same soap with three different labels in the next section.
One of the simplest ways of presenting your soapy gift is to add it to a gift bag. Gift bags are easy to find in any discount store and they’re inexpensive. They come in such a variety of colors and sizes.
Ribbons also help make a lovely handcrafted creation stand out, whether wrapping the soap or a gift bag or box. If giving a gift bag of soap, you can line it with colorful crinkle cut shred or tissue paper—also available in a wide array of colors.
Say Happy Birthday with hand crafted soap! This unique book contains eight original recipes for all budgets along with melt and pour information and birthday soap presentation tips. Includes 30+ color photos.