I’ve been soaping again! I know, no real shock. It was the first homemade thing I ever made, and the passion for making soap hasn’t waned over the years. Nevertheless, I realized that I haven’t actually worked with embeds that often. So, I set out to get some more experience, starting with something quite simple and easy to sink my teeth into.
I came across these cute column silicon soap molds on amazon the other day and couldn’t wait to try them out. As this is going to be a real girly soap I wanted a bright pink heart to stand out boldly amongst the beige color of a natural soap. So, I’ve chosen to use an MP soap base for the heart embed as this holds the color much better than cold processed.
But of course, this coconut and shea butter soap doesn’t just look good as its super cleansing, super moisturizing and totally natural (minus the imbed). You absolutely could use CP soap for the embed if you prefer. Something to keep in mind.
For The Melt And Pour Embed
The Coconut And Shea Butter Soap Batter
- Lye 127g
- Distilled Water 255g
- Olive Oil 455g
- Coconut Oil (solid) 285g
- Shea Butter 170g
- Peppermint Essential Oil 35g
Step 1: Chop the Melt and pour soap base into small pieces and place into a heatproof container. Melt the cubes in the microwave using 20-second blasts.
Step 2: When the soap is fully melted you will need to add your chosen color. If you are using a liquid color this can be added straight to the soap, powder is best mixed with a little water first.
Step 3: Once you are happy with the soap color, pour it into the column mold and set aside to harden.
This will take a few hours and will need to be propped up with something I’ve just used a couple of glasses. Once hard remove from the mold.
Making the Cold Processed soap
If You’ve Not Made Soap Before…
Start by watching the short video on soap making below or take a look at the full tutorial here.
Step 1: Wearing your gloves and goggles add the lye to the water and stir until dissolved, as I don’t want to inhale the fumes from the caustic soda I always turn my head away whilst stirring, but of course this can also be done by wearing a mask. Set aside in a safe and well-ventilated area to cool.
Step 2: Melt the coconut oil and shea butter, this can be done in the microwave or a bain-marie (this is basically a saucepan containing hot water with a heatproof container on the top). Once melted add the olive oil.
Use a thermometer to check the temperatures of the oils and lye, you want them both to reach between 110f to 130f. Once this has been reached its time to add the lye to the oils.
Step 3: For the first couple of minutes when adding the lye, I like to manually combine them with a spatula before changing to a handheld electric blender. Please remember to give the blender a quick 2-second blast to release any comprised air that may be trapped in the blender before using.
Step 4: Using 10 to 15-second blasts, blend the mixture until it starts to thicken and reach a light trace.
Once you’ve reached a light trace, add the essential oil. As the essential oils can accelerate trace I prefer to go back to using the spatula to blend it in rather than the electric blender.
Combining The Two Parts
Step 1: Next you need to separate the batter into 2 halves. You can just take a guess and pour half into a separate container or for a more accurate measure you can place the empty container on the scales, press the tare button and weigh out 641g.
Step 2: Take one half of the batter and mix it to a heavy trace then pour or spoon into the mold. Give the mold a good tap and shake if need to so that you have a nice level surface.
Step 3: Place the melt and pour a heart-shaped tube onto the center of the batter in the mold point side up. When you are happy that is central, gently push it down so that a third is submerged into the batter.
Step 4: Spoon or pour the remaining half into the mold, taking care not to push the embedment any deeper but being forceful enough not to leave any possible holes or gaps in the soap. Give the mold a few quick taps then Level the soap out if need be.
Step 5: Cover the soap with a lid or piece of card then place a lightweight towel over it to keep it warm for 24 hrs or until the soap has hardened.
Once the soap is hard enough to remove from the mold and trim any unwanted edges. Cut your coconut and shea butter soap into around 12 slices. Stand the soaps upright on a piece of baking parchment or cooling tray and leave to cure for 3 to 4 weeks.
Programmed to quickly calculate the necessary lye (Sodium Hydroxide or Potassium Hydroxide) in order to produce a batch of soap.