I’m working up my courage to make lye-based goat milk soaps. In the meantime, while my freezer overflows with bags and jars of frozen goat milk, I decided to try my hand at melt-n-pour soaps instead. You know, playin’ it safe! 😉 The melt-n-pour soap was soooo simple that I think it actually did help my confidence! My first attempt (ever!) at soap making produced these gorgeous bars of dried herb soap filled with mint, chamomile and rosemary! Let’s just take a moment to adore these!
We had a fantastic herb harvest this year and I was itching to find a new and creative way to preserve our chamomile, mint and rosemary. While looking for ideas, I came across this post from Homespun with Love. In the post, they describe how olive oil melt-n-pour soap base suspends added ingredients within the bar, which is what makes these soaps so mesmerizing! ‘Nuff said – I was off to Hobby Lobby to buy supplies!
The dried herb soap turned out gorgeous, right?! Oh, and they smell incredible too! It lathers up really well and that fresh mint scent is released as you lather. As an added bonus, the crushed dried herbs create some pretty nice exfoliating action! It might only be August, but these would make excellent Christmas gifts! Make a batch now while fresh herbs are in supply and store them away for a gorgeous handmade gift!
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If you’re ready to make your own dried herb soap, here’s what you will need:
- Olive oil melt-n-pour soap base (I used this one)
- Soap molds (plastic or silicone)
- Dried herbs (about 2 cups – I used mint, chamomile and rosemary but you can use any combination you want)
- Essential oils (Optional, but they make it smell yummy! I used peppermint and rosemary oil)
- Glass measuring cup (you can use a glass bowl, but it will be harder to pour the mix into the molds)
How to Make Dried Herb Soap:
I would like to point out again that I have zero knowledge of soap making, so feel free to drop suggestions in the comment box. Now that we got the waiver out of the way, let’s talk about the totally non-scientific method that I used to make this dried herb soap. 🙂
Step 1: Gather all your supplies and lay your molds out on a flat surface.
Have your herbs and essential oils close by. You’ll need to incorporate them quickly and get everything into the molds before the soap base hardens.
Step 2: Cut the soap base into cubes and place in a glass bowl or measuring cup.
Step 3: Melt the soap.
I read about the “proper” way to melt soap base, which is apparently not in a microwave (even though that’s what the instructions on the soap base container say). No worries, I don’t have a microwave anyways. An alternative method that was mentioned quite a bit on the soap making forums was setting the soap in the sun to melt. I thought this would be perfect since it was about 101*F outside. After three hours in full sun, the soap looked exactly the same, except for the addition of some bugs! So, I tried a new approach: the toaster oven. I set it to 350* on the “bake” setting and watched it closely. I stirred it a couple times while it was melting. After about 20 minutes, it was completely melted and ready to go!
Step 4: Add dried herbs and essential oils into the soap base and stir gently to fully incorporate them. Avoid over-stirring as it can create bubbles.
You will need to work somewhat quickly to incorporate your oils and herbs, as you want to prevent the soap base from hardening until it’s poured in the molds. I honestly didn’t measure my herbs, but I would guess that I used around 2 cups of herbs total. I would only recommend using herbs that are completely dried as fresh herbs will release moisture that could make your soap become rancid. Blech! I added about 10 drops of peppermint and rosemary essential oils to add scent to my soap bars. You can buy soap scents at the craft store, but I opted to use pure essential oils rather than “fragrance” which may have less than pure ingredients.
Step 5: Pour soap into soap molds.
Gently pour the soap into the molds. Once filled, I gently tapped the molds against the table to release air bubbles and to level the soap mixture. Allow the soap to fully cool and set before removing the soap from the molds.
Store your soap in an airtight container in a cool, dark location. I used a kitchen tupperware and placed wax paper between the individual bars so that they don’t stick.
Viola! Gorgeous homemade soap, packed with dried summertime herbs from the garden that you can savor all year long!
If you like it, then you better put a pin on it!