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  • Jess Panetta

Homemade soap or delicious desserts?

Looking for a new at-home hobby? Tired of running out of soap? Then you should give homemade soap-making a try. Warning: they may look yummy enough to eat and cause cravings for desserts!

With the weather getting colder and COVID restrictions requiring us to stay home, I have recently picked up a new hobby: soap-making. I have been wanting to make my own products for a while, and with the current situation and the holidays just a few months away, I figured now would be the perfect time to give soap-making a try.


You can purchase most of the ingredients at your local bulk store, craft store or Amazon. To support local businesses, I purchased my ingredients at the Coop Coco in Montreal, and even found most of the ingredients already in my kitchen. Here are some recipes I made, but feel free to adjust them as you like. Enjoy!

Lavender-citrus honey soap

Makes about 5-6 standard bars in a 3.8 oz bar mold


Ingredients

· 1 lb shea glycerin melt-and-pour soap base

· 2 tablespoons of dried lavender buds, plus more for decoration

· 1 tablespoon dried citrus (Some recipes call for citrus zest, but since your soap might be sitting out for some time, it is best to use dried citrus to prevent it from going bad. You can buy some from your local bulk store or even make your own)

· 2 tablespoons of honey

· 15 drops of lavender essential oil

· 6 drops of lemon essential oil

· Purple liquid colorant (optional)

· Bowl or measuring cup for melting soap base

· Silicone mold

· Moveable surface (like a cutting board or tray)

· Rubbing alcohol (I prefer it in a spray bottle)


Instructions

1) Start by cutting your soap block into small 1-inch cubes. Place all cubes in a large microwaveable bowl or measuring cup, then heat in the microwave in 30-second intervals. Stir in between intervals and heat until the soap is melted.

2) Stir in the dried lavender, citrus, honey, oils and liquid colorant (if using). Mix well and keep adjusting ingredients until desired scent and color is reached.

3) Place silicone mold on a moveable surface, like a cutting board or cooking tray. Pour soap mix into the silicone mold, sprinkle with extra lavender and spray with rubbing alcohol to prevent bubbles from forming.

4) Let sit for 1-2 hours, or until the soap hardens. If you are short on time (or molds), move the tray of soap into the fridge for 30-45 minutes. When base of the mold is no longer warm, gently pop the soap bars out and enjoy!


Vanilla Coffee Soap Recipe

Makes about 5-6 standard bars in a 3.8 oz bar mold


Ingredients

· 1 lb shea glycerin melt and pour soap base

· ¼ cup used coffee grounds

· 3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

· Bowl or measuring cup for melting soap base

· Silicone mold

· Moveable surface (like a cutting board or tray)

· Rubbing alcohol


Instructions

1) Start by cutting your soap block into small 1-inch cubes. Place all cubes in a large microwaveable bowl or measuring cup, then heat in the microwave in 30-second intervals. Stir in between intervals and heat until the soap is melted.

2) Stir in the coffee grounds and vanilla extract. Mix well and keep adjusting ingredients until desired scent is reached.

3) Place silicone mold on a moveable surface, like a cutting board or cooking tray. Pour soap mix into the silicone mold, sprinkle with extra coffee and spray with rubbing alcohol to prevent bubbles from forming. The coffee will sink to the bottom of the mold to give it that two-color effect!

4) Let sit for 1-2 hours, or until the soap hardens. If you are short on time (or molds), move the tray of soap into the fridge for 30-45 minutes. When base of the mold is no longer warm, gently pop the soap bars out and enjoy!


Tips:

· Mix different essential oils and soap fragrances to create your own scents

· Use additional ingredients (coffee, dried flowers, oatmeal) to add texture, scent and double as an exfoliate! Just make sure they are shredded small enough to avoid clogging the drain

· If you make smaller soaps first (like these mini hearts), pop them in the freezer for a few minutes. Place them at the center of a larger mold and pour a different colored soap mixture around that smaller soap to create cool shapes and effects

· Using a clear glycerin soap base helps the colorant come out more

· Get creative and have fun! Happy soap-making!

Jess is currently pursuing her Masters in Sustainable Development and Management at HEC Montreal and works part-time in a company’s sustainability department. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking with friends, playing the ukulele and now, soap-making. Follow her adventures on Instagram @panettajess










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