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Tutorial: Lavender Melt and Pour Soap with Embedded Cubes

soap recipes and tutorials
bars of lavender soap with white embedds

This post comes to you courtesy of Ariane.

Today, I decided to show you the process of making this long time bestseller in my shop: melt and pour soap with embeds! It’s a purple lavender and chamomile melt and pour soap, but you can choose other scents and color combinations, if you wish. The result will be the same design of solid cube embeds in clear soap.

 Ariane & Her Finished Melt and Pour Soap with Embedded Cubes!

I used my 24 inch stainless steel molds from Soap Equipment, which can hold 135 ounces of soap. Silicone loaf molds will work just as well! I also like Nurture Soap Supply's molds - they have great choices of tall & skinny molds as well as the traditional wide loaves.

You'll want to adjust this recipe to fit your molds. You can resize this recipe by using a calculator for whichever mold works for you. (If you aren't sure how much soap your mold holds, you can find out with this guide to resizing your soap recipes to fit your mold.)

For this melt and pour soap tutorial, I am making four loaves of approximately 135 ounces each (a total of 540 ounces). If your mold holds a different amount of soap, the white soap that is used to make the cube shaped embeds represents about 25% of the total melt and pour soap base, while the clear soap base is the remaining 75% of the total melt and pour soap base.

Melt and Pour Soap Recipe

  • 130 ounces (3685 grams or 24.15%) of white goat's milk melt and pour soap base
  • 400 ounces (11340 grams or 74.30%) of clear melt and pour soap base
  • 1 tablespoon (0.10%) of dried lavender flowers (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon (0.10%) of dried chamomile flowers (optional)
  • 1.35 ounces (38 grams or 0.25%) of shea butter
  • 6 ounces (170 grams or 1.11%) of lavender essential oil

You can buy melt and pour soap base, essential oils and other additives from Bramble Berry, Wholesale Supplies Plus, New Directions Aromatics, or your favorite supplier.

Colorants Used

Other Tools Used

  • Spray Bottle of Rubbing Alcohol (Find it at the drugstore.)
  • Scale, Molds, Thermometer, Soaping Utensils.
  • A long knife with a non-serrated blade. (I use a double handled cheese knife.)

PREP WORK: First, chop up and weigh your white goat's milk melt and pour soap base. Melt it slowly over low heat in a large stainless steel stock pot, always keeping an eye on it so it doesn't overheat or boil. You could also do this in a melting tank, if you have one! Depending on the soap base you are using, melting temperature may vary, so check with your supplier! (The bases that I am using work best between 130° and 150° F.)

Once the soap is cool enough, but workable, pour into one mold and let it set completely for 6 to 8 hours. This can be done a day ahead!

 Slice the white melt and pour soap base, lengthwise.

Once the white soap has cooled completely, unmold it and cut it lengthwise to form the cube embeds of approximately ½ inch. The size of your cubes will vary and that’s okay!

I didn’t color or scent the white melt and pour, as I will scent the clear melt and pour soap base later.

 Slice each wide section of white melt and pour soap base into long sticks, approximately ½ inch square.

GET STARTED: Now that the melt and pour embeds are ready, it's time to prep the clear melt and pour soap base! Chop up and weigh your clear melt and pour soap in a large stock pot. Melt it slowly over low heat. Always keep a watchful eye as you never want to boil melt and pour soap! (It will make a terrible mess, plus ruin your soap and could even catch fire!)

STICK IT: Once the clear base is melted, you can use it as glue to keep your embeds in place! Line up your molds on your worktable and one by one, dip both end of each embeds into the clear MP. Then, place them into the bottom of your molds quickly, before the soaps sets. Repeat for about half of your embeds.

 Dip the white melt and pour soap embeds in the melted clear melt and pour soap to place them in your mold.

The other half of the embeds can simply be added on top! White goat's milk melt and pour soap base usually floats in clear melt and pour soap.

COLOR IT: Now, add the colorants to the clear melt and pour soap. Stir the colorants into the soap with a spoon or stick blender until all the mica is dispersed. Using a couple spritz of rubbing alcohol will help to disperse the mica!

I like to divide my recipe into two IKEA stainless steel stockpots. They work great for me and are reasonably priced. Of course, any stainless steel stockpot big enough to hold this recipe will work. But the bigger it is, the harder it will be on your back!

 Add the colorants to the clear melt and pour soap base and mix it in!

FINISH IT UP: Add the shea butter, dried flowers and essential oil once the temperature of the clear soap is below 150° F (65° C). You don't want to melt your white embeds, so be sure to allow the clear soap to cool down!

 Adding the shea butter to the clear melt and pour soap after the colorants are mixed in.

POUR IT! Check the temperature of the clear soap. It should be around 120° to 130° F (48° to 54° C), depending on the brand of melt and pour soap base you are using.

Spray the cube embeds inside the mold with rubbing alcohol to allow the melt and pour soaps to bind. Then, pour the clear soap to fill up each mold.

 Pouring the clear melt and pour soap into the mold.

I like to add a little of white soap on top of my loaves. By adding a couple spoons of melted white melt and pour soap, it will create a cloudy effect.

 Adding white melt and pour soap on the top for a cloudy effect.

Allow the soaps to harden and cool completely before removing from molds. Usually, with such big batches, I wait until the next day.

UNMOLDING & CUTTING: When using Soap Equipment’s stainless steel molds, I have to remove the bungee cords and each end of the mold before gently pulling each side. Then, I flip the mold over to release the soap.

 It's time to unmold the melt and pour soap with cube embeds!

 Cleaning up the edges of the loaves of melt and pour soap will make for a nice presentation.

My 24 inch soap loaves are pretty long, so I like to cut them in 12 inch loaves. The small loaves will need to be wrapped in plastic film for storage. They can be stored away from sunlight this way for a couple of weeks.

Or you can immediately cut the loaves into bars using a miter box and a non-serrated knife! I like to cut my bars at 1 inch thick and wrap them individually using the National Shrink Wrap System.

Label accordingly and use good manufacturing practices, if you intend to sell your soaps!

 Finished melt and pour soap loaves with cube embeds![/caption]

Voilà - beautiful soap with embedded cubes! Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

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