Soap workshop at Redhall Walled Gardens

My thanks to the 25 Sikh ladies and members of the Pentland Transition Group who made Saturday such a fun day. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. For those of you who have lost your worksheets, here are the basic instructions again. But please experiment – these taster days are just to get you started!

The soap base we used was a pre-made soap base which is safe to use at home when you have children around as it does not involve using caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). This soap base can be melted in the microwave or in a bowl heated in a saucepan of water (a bain-marie or double boiler). You can by a selection of these and other soap making equipment at good prices from The Soap Kitchen www.thesoapkitchenonline.co.uk or try one of their project packs. If you aren’t used to internet shopping you can phone them on 01805 622944 and you’ll find them very helpful.

MAKING SIMPLE SOAP USING A MELT AND POUR SOAP BASE

Ingredients
Soap base (100 grams per bar)
Soap moulds (Try empty margerine tubs)
Essential oil mix

Directions
Chop the soap into small pieces and place in a microwaveable dish or jug.

Microwave in short bursts until melted .(Don’t put it in for a long time or it will get too hot.) Alternatively melt in a double boiler or a bain marie. (This is a bowl inside a pan of hot water.)

Add essential oils (about 5-10 drops total per bar or 100 grms) and stir. (You can gently reheat if the soap starts to set to quickly – just 10-15 seconds!)

Pour into soap mould. Do not move the mould until cool.

Leave to cure. When the soap is cool and hard it will shrink away from the sides of the mould. (Putting the mould into a freezer also speeds this up!) Press it out and use it straightaway.

Experiment
If you are feeling creative you could add leaves inside the soap to decorate it. Put them into the mould before pouring the soap in. Don’t put anything too spiky in! You can put oat flakes, poppy seeds, and other things to exfoliate the skin as well.

What do you think?