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Soap 101

From time to time our youngest customers would ask, “Is that a real butterfly?” The answer is and was “No”. The butterfly is a toy. A real butterfly would die locked-up in a bar of soap. As you use, our butterflies will eventually fall out of the bar of soap. So even though the soap is gone you still have the butterfly. Having your own butterfly makes everybody smile

Somewhat older customers would say, “How does the butterfly get inside the bar of soap?” And that is the topic of today’s blog. There are five steps to making butterfly soap.

First step: is gather the equipment and ingredients. You will need a mold and plastic butterflies or the creature of your choice. A heat proof cup. Pyrex cups works well here. We use wooden skewers to stir the soap. They don’t make the soap foam when adding the scent. You can use any clear liquid scent. We use lavender essential oil because it is soothing and parent approved. You need to weight out enough glycerin soap, sometimes referred to a Melt & Pour, to fill cavities in your mold. Unless your mold’s cavities are small, we recommend you plan on 5 ounces per cavity.

Second step: Melting the glycerin soap. You can do this in one of two ways. You can fill your heat proof cup and suspend in a pan of very hot, but not boiling, water or you can use a microwave oven. We use our trusty microwave. Heat the soap in small increments until it becomes liquid. Careful not to overheat, aka. burn it. The soap caramelizes and it have an odor you can’t forget. If a scent is being used, add approximately 9 drops of fragrance per bar of soap and stir. Pour enough soap to fill a third of each cavity. Let it cool.

Third step: Adding Toy. Spray each cavity with rubbing alcohol and wait 2-3 mins. Set your butterflies in their cavities. Pour a layer of soap to cover the butterfly completely. Let it cool until solid and the mold can be moved easily – no drips or spills. Place the mold in the freezer for 25 mins.

Fourth step: Extraction. Silicone molds can just be turned inside out. No fuss no muss. The following instructions are for a metal mold. Straight from the freezer place the mold in a pan or sink of very hot water. Let it sit until mold is hot. Turn the mold over onto a clean surface. Most of the bars, if not all, will drop out of the mold. However, if you a reluctant bar or two you can coax them out with a blow dryer or heat gun applied to the bottom of the mold. For any other mold just follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Fifth Step: Packaging. Your bars will be ready wrapping and gifting or if you prefer using.

Just an aside, don’t feel restricted to butterflies. You can use whatever will fit in the mold. Previously we have used pressed flower – beautiful but very labor intensive. Spread your wings and experiment.

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