Whenever I go to a friend’s house for supper I always take flowers or chocolates, but recently a friend came to me with a little present that I thought was a great idea. She brought soap.
I was pinning things to the TMK Pinterest boards when I came across a recipe for soap, and I thought how hard can it be?
One of the main ingredients of soap is lye, which is pretty volatile stuff, and not really suitable for kids to use, so I set about looking for easy, lye free, recipes. The easiest way, I found, was to buy base soap on the internet, essential oils and interesting additions for colour and texture I found in town. I bought silicone baking moulds for shapes and then invited two bored teenagers, Emily and Melina, with ‘nothing to do’ over half term, to help. To my amazement they were really keen and when they found out how easy it is and how quickly you see your results they were sold!
The base soap (I used a clear glycerin one) melts very quickly in the microwave. Be careful as it becomes VERY hot very quickly (that’s the lye!). Because we wanted to try all sorts of ‘flavours’ and effects we poured the liquid into the cases and then added the essential oils, glitter, pink salt and lavender flowers etc. to each mould. Stirring while they set meant that the ingredients didn’t all sink straight to the bottom and a quick chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes saw the fruits of labours! Melina’s brother William didn’t want to be left out so I provided some joke flies and grapefruit oil for something a little more masculine…
After the soaps were turned out, admired and photographed William and the girls did some pretty robust testing for us and pronounced our Half Term Soap Factory a success (and went home very clean into the bargain!)