Melt and pour soap bases are a great way to begin making soap at home, without the hard work. Here are all the steps you need to make your own handmade chocolate soap at home using a melt & pour base and cacao powder.
They make perfect little Easter gifts and can be set into any silicone mould (or even chocolate moulds) you already have.
What You Will Need
Melt & Pour Soap Base
Cacao Powder and a teaspoon
Chopping board and kitchen knife (to cut the soap)
A Pot to melt the soap
Something to stir it with
(You can get a chocolate fragrance to add if you want a longer lasting aroma. I skipped it because I have a reaction to so many fragrances and you will still have a chocolate scent without it)
My soap base is a simple oatmeal & shea and a solid white colour from Stephenson Soaps. Do check at your local soap supply stores and bulk shops to see if they stock melt and pour soap bases. Many are palm oil free (or contain certifiably sustainable palm oil) and have no fragrance.
If you can't find a melt & pour base, you can totally use soap bars you already have. So this can be a fun way to melt down slivers of soap you have been saving up. Personally, I wouldn't gift those but would keep the repurposed soap for my own use.
How To Make Chocolate Soap
>Get all ingredients and equipment out on the bench and make sure you have enough space to work - the last thing you want to do is spill hot soap
>Cut the soap base with a kitchen knife and chop into squares so it melts easily
>Place the chopped soap into your mould to estimate the amount you will need to melt and add a little extra. (I completely underestimated this time as you'll see further down)
>Place the soap cubes into a pot and heat on the stove top, stir continuously.
I always do mine on the lowest setting to start with. Make sure you check your melt & pour soap instructions for the melting point - this will indicate how much you should heat it. I don't bother with a thermometer, it's not necessary when using a base.
>Once the soap has begun to melt and is at least 50% liquid, it's time to add your cacao powder. I added 5 teaspoons to mine for a rich chocolate look but this may be too much or too little depending on your base and the amount of soap you're melting.
>Once the soap is completely melted and the cacao mixed through (this takes a few minutes), take it off the stove and give it 5 minutes to cool down a little.
>If you are adding fragrance, or essential oils this is the time do it. Heat can destroy fragrances, so never add them while your soap is on the stove. Another thing to note is that traces of fragrances may stay in the mould, so you may not be able to use it for food again.
>Now it's time to pour it into a mould.
My pot is designed for pouring so I can tip it straight in. If yours isn't, then make sure you use a heat proof jug or a ladle to get it into the mould. Hot soap is really HOT and can burn, so always be cautious.
If you have extra melted soap, pour it into a container to set so you can melt it again next time.
>Leave it to cool completely before popping out of the mould.
With small shapes like these bunny ears, it only took about 45 minutes for them to be firm enough to remove and start using. Larger moulds make take a few hours.
You can also use firm plastic as a mould, like the outer packaging of oreo and kinder surprise eggs to make Easter egg soaps.
You can see above, I really misjudged the quantity needed this time. I just melted the extra soap separately so we ended up with white and brown chocolate bunnies.
Once set, these are super easy to remove from the moulds. Silicone is my favourite, as it is so flexible and the soap can be removed without breaking off any bits, like the ears.
We are loving using our chocolate bunny soaps and have already gifted a few to friends, family and my daughter's teacher.
Using a melt and pour base takes the hard work out of soap making and makes it a fun, easy project you can do at home. I have a couple of chocolate moulds at home, so next time, I plan to creating a block of chocolate soap.
I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and feel inspired to try making your own soaps at home. Let me know if you have any questions, and if you try it, I definitely want to hear how it went.
If you're looking for ways to make your Easter greener, check out this article on 10 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Easter
Want to try some other DIYs? head to the Crafts & Projects page and Eco Body and Beauty