You can microwave soap up to 1 pound on a medium-high setting. Use a microwaveable safe plastic as other types might break down or even melt. If your microwave does not have a turntable, watch that you do not heat one side for too long as the product will heat on one side only with a chance you can melt the container. (even if it is microwave safe). Read bulk pouring below for tips paying particular attention to steps 9 & 10.
Items you will require for bulk pouring:
Pots or a double boiler, thermometer, ladle, rubber spatula for stirring, glass or plastic pitcher and a scale (optional), isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle (optional).
Find two pots where one will fit inside the other (about a 1.5 gallon or larger, plus a lid), if you have a large double boiler...even better.
Fill the bottom pot with water till the inner pot starts to float.
Cut the glycerin slab into pieces, about 8-12 chunks.
Place chunks into the pot and set your burner to medium.
Soap will melt in about 1 hour, if you have a thermometer, check temperature, it should be around 65-70c / 140-160f. Microwaving will just require a weighed piece.
Add colors. You can make them naturally (although these tend to fade quickly) or order either our Liquid Gel Colors or the Pigment Set. Test colors by pouring some colored soap in a clear plastic container, then recommend you wait for it to set for 20-30 minutes as the colors tend to lighten. You can remelt this sample again, so its not wasted.
Once you are satisfied with the color (and the method is documented) add fragrance or essential oils, using 2oz and up per slab or 1 teaspoon for 4-4oz bars. Strength will vary on the type of scent, for example, citrus types require more as the scent burns off a little when added to the hot soap. If you need fragrance, we have many available, or a pharmacy or craft store will help.
Now you have your color and scent, you have molds ready to go and a scale to weigh. There are a number of ways to pour the soap. Ladle it out, although this is a little bit messy. Use a glass or plastic pitcher, if the soap sets after a while on the inside, you can microwave for a minute or longer and it will liquefy, or once done, you can dig it out and melt later.
We have a great secret, its cheap, works and is a simply fabulous idea, use a coffee urn!! Get a clean 50 cup coffee urn (it doesn't¹t even have to work!) and run hot, hot tap water through it. Open the spigot as you run the water and let it flow for a while, this is the part that will seize up if the soap cools. When it is all warmed up, pour the soap into it. Now you can pour individual bars easily. We recommend you don¹t plug it in. Make sure you are not disturbed during the pouring. If the phone rings and you wait 5 minutes, the spigot will start to solidify. You can try to free it up, but in all likelihood, you will have to dump it back in the pot and start over, wasting product in the process.
Bubbles and blemishes on the surface are common on most soaps. If this is not appealing to you, try misting a little alcohol right after you pour EACH soap. The bubbles disappear immediately along with the alcohol. which it burned off on contact.
After setting, if you have trouble releasing soap from molds, dip them in hot water.
All soaps shrink about 8-12%, allow for this shrinkage if you indicate the weight.
Many people have their special techniques to bottle products, some use a funnel, heat it slightly, or use some sort of pump. After much trial and error, we offer an alternative. No need for funnels, bowls, mixers, microwave or pots of boiling water.
You will need: Plastic container, scale (optional), plastic “zip-lock” or freezer bags, spoon, fragrance and color (these last two are optional).
With various sizes of zip-lock and freezer bags on the market, buy bags that will be about twice the size of what you intend to mix. Don't mix product with previously used bags due to hygiene and cross contamination.
Procedure: Add Base, color, and fragrance.
Stand the zip-lock bag inside a plastic container. If you use a freezer bag, roll the edges over the side of the container. Careful! Avoid allowing fingers to touch parts of the bag that will come into contact with the product.
Place the container with the bag on a scale and "zero" the measuring indicator. Pour pre-determined amount of base into open bag. Do not fill bag more than half way. If your scale is accurate, add .75% - 1% fragrance. Without a scale, calculate a teaspoon being 1/6 oz. or 5ml. This 1 teaspoon (1/6 oz/5ml.) will fragrance 20 oz. of lotion or cream.
Blend: Massage Base, colur, and fragrance together.
Zip lock or twist tie the bag and double check that it's sealed. Pull the bag out of the container and with your fingers, massage the colour and fragrance together. You can see through this bag while mixing, so you will notice when it is fully blended.
Pour: Cut corner of bag and pour blend into bottles.
Once mixed and ready to pour into a bottle, cut a small corner off the bag with sanitized scissors and fill. Use the entire product in the bag, because the open end makes it difficult to store if there is product remaining. Try to fill all your bottles at once, without putting the bag down. If you need to put the bag down, watch the tip; as contamination could occur from surface contact.
Gel and clear bath products react differently to various fragrances or essential oils. Some will go cloudy or thin out, another might build viscosity, then others are fine. Each will react differently.
The fragrance companies don’t have to disclose what the liquid is that they use, saying its “proprietary information”. It could be butylene, propylene glycol, glycerine, carrier oils, hexane or combined solvents.
There are three possible variables that will happen when adding fragrance or essential oil to a gel:
Situation: The product remains cloudy when stirred into the gel, and it's not created by bubbles.
Resolution: This fragrance needs to be blended with a Solubilizer before adding to the gel, especially with heavier fragrance loads.
Situation: The product goes watery after stirring in the fragrance.
Resolution: Table salt can assist in building up viscosity, but wait overnight to judge. If you add too much, it will break again. Simply add some water to push down the salt content if this happens. We also have a Gel Thickener if all else fails.
Situation: The gel builds up too much and is like jelly.
Resolution: Wait overnight as the fragrance might change the consistency, if its still jelly-like, add some distilled water.
Before Starting Tests:
Disinfect all utensils, container or objects that will come in contact with the product. Either a mild bleach solution rinse when you wash, or a mist bottle with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) from any pharmacy.
Items you will need:
Plastic container, scale (optional), spoons, stirring utensils, plastic zip-lock or freezer bags (optional, as this can be poured), fragrance, colur (optional) and solubilizer (test to see if its needed beforehand).
Place container on a scale and ”zero” the measuring indicator. If you don’t have a scale, use a graduated cup.
Pour a pre-determined amount of base into the container. Try a quantity that easy to measure, like 8oz.
Step 3: Combine scent at 0.5% to start. 1/2 teaspoon will scent 8oz of gel. Stir slowly as to not add bubbles. See results. If you want a stronger scent, add another 1/3 teaspoon to see if further changes occur.
Step 4: If all appears well, add some colour (if required) and let it sit overnight to see if it remains the same consistency.
Step 5: If product becomes really cloudy and doesn’t clear overnight, you will have to start over.
Step 6: You need a Solubilizer to keep your product from clouding and separating. A solubilizer breaks down oils into smaller droplets, so it will disperse evenly. Blend 1 part essential oil/fragrance to 1 part solubilizer in a separate container. Start by adding 1/2 teaspoon of fragrance to 1/2 teaspoon of solubilizer and mix well. Add this mixture to the gel to see if this clears the cloudiness. If all seems ok and you want a higher fragrance load at this point, try an additional 1/3 teaspoon of scent to 1/3 teaspoon of solubilizer. Watch for viscosity changes on top of cloudiness.
Step 7: As you stir, if you feel the viscosity reduce, you will have to add salt. On 8 oz, start with 1/4 teaspoon of table salt and stir slowly till dissolved. If little changes occur, add another 1/4 teaspoon. If it looks good, don’t bottle right away, just wait overnight. If too much is added, the viscosity will be watery. Add distilled water to reduce the salt content if this occurs. If its still problematic and watery, we have a Gel Thickener available.
Step 8: Pour contents into a zip-lock or freezer bag, cut the tip off and fill your bottles. Alternately, as this is fairly liquid, you can fill directly from the container.
Foaming Bath Salt is more complicated to mix because of the dust factor. However, when its mixed, dust isn’t an issue.
The salt can be mixed in the bag or transferred to a larger bag or a bucket with a lid. The contents are not dangerous, but pour slowly.
Make sure that if this product is transferred to another container or shaken to mix color or fragrance, it should be done in a well-ventilated area or preferably outside.
Step 1: Open the package by removing the label and unfolding.
Step 2: Mixing in the bag requires standing it up. Wait a minute till the next step.
Step 3: With scissors or a blade, open the bag.
Step 4: If you want color, add powdered pigments or liquid colors to the bag, using a teaspoon of either. Include fragrance to the bag, which at 0.25% or 1/2oz would be a good starting point. Adding anything over 0.5% or 1oz. will make the product wet, settle and clump.
Step 5: Without shaking, seal the bag or bucket. Ensure its well sealed because of the dust, then go somewhere well ventilated or outside. Shake well and roll contents around. In a few minutes it should be mixed.
Step 6: Let the contents sit for a minute before opening. If you want to add more scent or color, open the bag and repeat step #5.
Tips and Tricks
What container you put your product in has to be considered. Essential oils can interact with plastic and will soften the package over time. Pick a PET or PET-G plastic for clear products. Keep your eye on frosted bottles made with HDPE plastics. Your manufacturer or distributor can help you select the proper type. Fragrances are not known to have any adverse effect on plastics.
Colored salts can be tricky with clear containers. UV light can “bleach” or fade colors, with reds and blues being more pronounced. (UVA and UVB are red and blue light spectrums). Pigments work slightly better than FD&C colors, but still subject to fade a bit. If unsure,
use colors without red or blue.
keep out of direct light
add additional color, then expose to sunlight to pre-fade them.
minimize area of exposure with wrap around or frosted label
add no color to salts and use color on your labels instead
Test and determine how much color to add for product stability. Like most things, don’t rush into something without a little trial and error.
To mix this product, it is best to have it in a bowl or a mixer and have the product moving while adding scent and color. You do not have the machine too high, just enough that the scent or color will fold in on itself. In time, the whole batch will come out scented and the same tone.
This product can accept 1% of fragrance and still flow. Adding higher quantities or additional oils or botanicals will make it a little wet and over time might clump. Its more appearance related and won't affect performance.
The following are not dire consequences, just tips to make you aware of some problems that might occur.
What package you put your product in has to be considered. Essential oils, especially the rosin-based products, interacts with plastic and will soften the package. Pick a PET-G plastic for clear products and keep your eye on frosted bottles to see if there is any effect. Your manufacturer or distributor can help you select the proper type. Fragrances are not known to have any adverse effects on plastics.
Color can be tricky in salt within clear containers. UV light reacts quickly and can "bleach" the color if exposed continuously. The actual color you select is also of concern, red and blue have a more difficult time. Pigments work better than FD&C for these colors. If unsure, pick frosted if you don't want to worry that much, or use colors without red or blue. Occasionally, you might find a container with a UV inhibitor already in the plastic, these however, are not easy to find. Testing and determining how much color to add for product stability is up to you. Like most things, don't rush into something without a little trial and error.
Although a double boiler works well and is more controllable, you can microwave up to 1 pound on a medium-high setting. Use only microwave safe plastic as other types might break down or even melt. If your microwave does not have a turntable, watch that you do not heat one side for too long as the product will heat on one side with a chance you can melt the container. (even if it is microwave safe). Do not leave unattended or within reach of children!
Remember if you want color, use the oil soluble lakes, as water based will not work.
Before you Start
Pots or a double boiler, thermometer, ladle, rubber spatula for stirring, glass or plastic pitcher and a scale (optional), pots, jars or molds
Find two pots where one will fit inside the other (about a 1/2 gallon or larger, plus a lid).
Fill the bottom pot with water till the inner pot starts to float.
Place Lip Balm, Lip Gloss or Solid Lotion into the pot and set your burner to medium.
Items will melt in less than 1 hour, if you have a thermometer, check temperature, it should be around 65-70C / 140-160F.
Use Lake Colors mixed separately for these oil based products. Add your colors and mix thoroughly. Pour a small amount in a clear container and wait for it to set for 20-30 minutes. You will notice the colors tend to lighten as the product goes opaque.
Only add flavoring for the Lip Balm and Lip Gloss, for the Solid Lotion, you can use fragrance or essential oils, 2 teaspoons for each 32oz container. Strength will vary on the type of scent.
Pour into your choice of containers.
Tip: If product is poured too hot, you will notice when cooling a well or dip in the center of the product. On solid lotion, it might even look cracked at the top.