Layered Soap Tutorial: Red White & Blue Soap


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I have loved soap making since I was a teenager. Unfortunately, like most moms, I gave up some of my hobbies while raising the kiddos. Fortunately, they're all teenagers now and want nothing to do with me so I can finally make my soaps in peace! Just kidding, kind of… they actually like making the soaps with me. Trying to talk them into doing some video tutorials! Anyway, this is a simple layered soap tutorial showing you how to make firecracker or red, white, and blue soaps. You can customize them however you'd like, and I'll talk about that a bit later.

Easy Melt and Pour Soap

Layered Soap Tutorial: Red White & Blue Soap

Layered soaps or textured soaps are my favorite kinds to make and to use. The focus of this post is to get you comfortable with layering soaps. If you're already comfortable with it, simply scroll to the bottom for the list of ingredients and instructions (if you need them). You can use any soap base, including shea butter or goat's milk, but remember if you want a white layer that you'll want to use a white soap base for at least that layer.

Tips for Scenting Melt and Pour Soap

What's a soap without some scent? I absolutely love a strongly scented soap, especially when making muscle rub soap bars etc. To keep the scent strong, I add the fragrance right before I pour.

Use this thermometer to ensure your soap is no hotter than 120*F before pouring onto your next layer. See more about getting your layers perfect below.

The best part about melt and pour soap is that if your layers come apart or you mess up, you can remelt it!

How to Get Soap Layers to Stick Together

If you're new to making layered soaps, you may come across some issues with the soap layers not sticking together. I wanted to write out a few quick tips to make sure your first time goes off without a hitch!

The main key to getting the soap layers to stick together while making melt and pour soaps is to spray each layer liberally with 91% (or higher %) alcohol before pouring the next. After the layer is a bit cooled (took about 10 minutes for mine) and before it's cooled too much, pour the next layer. If you pour the second layer too soon, it's going to pour through to the next layer because the top hasn't hardened enough. You want the first layer to solidify enough that you can pour hot soap over the top without worrying about the layers running. You want the second layer to be hot enough to just melt the surface of the first layer so that it all merges into one piece of soap.

Bonus: the rubbing alcohol helps get rid of bubbles that have formed on your soap. No more blow drying or poking each one with a toothpick!

Use the same soap source for each layer. What does this mean? Different manufacturers make soaps differently. I read about some people having issues with layered soaps sticking together if different manufacturers' soaps are used in the same bar. I've never personally dealt with this issue as I buy my supplies in bulk from the same supplier.

Hardness matters. If you add ingredients that make a softer layer and you try to layer it with a harder layer, it may not work out too well.

One last tip for making sure your layers stick together: don't unmold your soap until it's completely cooled.

Melt and Pour Soap Troubleshooting

I was reading up on issues with melt and pour soap and how to fix them, and found this gem on a message board:

If your soap is separating, you're either waiting too long for the first layer to cool, pouring the second layer too cool to stick, or both. Try pouring a layer, waiting between 30 minutes and an hour (gently poke the layer and if the top gives, wait some more), melt and prep the next layer quickly, spritz the first layer all over (should be visibly wet) and then pour the second layer immediately. If the first layer feels solid, it's firm enough to withstand having hot soap poured over it (assuming you aren't microwaving the next batch for over a minute and bringing it to a boil, which you shouldn't be anyway).

Then let the loaf sit undisturbed until it fully hardens (I let mine sit overnight). The bigger the soap you make, the longer it takes to harden into a bar, and anything made in a loaf mold takes a good long while (unlike the smaller bar-sized molds, which only take a couple of hours or less). Pulling it out of the loaf stresses the seams, so to speak.

I've used this method for a few years now and it's always worked well!

Layered Soap Tutorial

Melt and Pour Layered Soap Tutorial

Feel free to mix these colors up! If you're doing soaps for Christmas, do red, white, and green. Easter? Try some pastels!

To make the soaps how I did, you will need:

1 pound of Melt and Pour Soap Base {I ordered this 5 pound package for not even double the price of 2 pounds}
5 drops Blueberry Soap Colorant (use this colorant if you want brighter/bolder colors)
5 drops Cherry Soap Colorant
2 drops Cherry Soap Colorant for strips of soap
Glass measuring cup
Soap mold (or get this kit with molds and soap cutters)
Wooden crafts sticks for stirring
Spray bottle of rubbing alcohol
Soap cutter or knife

Don't want to worry about cutting the bars? Use these individual soap molds instead.

*If you're adding fragrances, do it right before you pour. Essential oils are perfect for adding fragrance to soaps.

This is how I made my melt and pour layered soaps. As you get used to making them, you may find a more efficient way for yourself and that's fine! This is all about experimenting so you can make them your own instead of a carbon copy of someone else's.

easy melt and pour soap tutorial

Cut soap into ½ inch – 1-inch cubes. Set 2 cubes aside. Divide the remainder into 3 equal piles.

Place the 2 cubes into measuring cup. Microwave on high for about 20 seconds. Add 2 drops of cherry soap colorant and stir well. Pour into mold. Let set for 30 minutes. Remove from mold and cut into small strips, about ⅛ inch.

melt and pour soap toppings

Roll each strip from one end to the other, creating the decorative top for the soap. Set aside.

Put one of the piles of soap cubes into the measuring cup and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir well. If not completely melted, put in for 10-second intervals until completely melted. Add 5 drops of Blueberry Soap Colorant. Stir well.

Pour into mold, spray with rubbing alcohol, and let set for about 40 minutes. Keep an eye on your soap. The temperature in your workspace, as well as the humidity, can affect the time it takes for your soap to harden. Remember, you don't want the layer completely hardened before you pour the next layer.

melt and pour soap toppings

Put the second set of soap cubes into the measuring cup and repeat the heating process from above. Pour into mold (on top of the blue), spray with rubbing alcohol to remove any bubbles, and let set for about the same amount you did for the first layer.

Put the remaining set of soap cubes into the measuring cup and repeat the process for the third and final time. Add 5 drops of Cherry Soap Colorant. Stir well. Pour into mold (on top of the white).

Note: The quickest way to make layered soap is to melt all of the soap, then separate it into bowls. However, if you use this method you must work quickly – which I'm not great at! I recommend doing the 30-second zaps in the microwave for a more relaxing process.

melt and pour layered soap

Gather the rolls for the decorative top and spread over the top of the red layer of soap while it's still in the cooling process. You want to make sure that each one has set slightly into the layer that is liquified, so that they will stick and not fall out once the soap is dry. Let set for about 45 minutes to cool completely.

melt and pour layered soap

Check to make sure soap is hardened, then remove from mold and cut into 1-2 inch bars.

I've found that it's easiest to get soap out of silicone molds. Plastic ones work, but wear out faster. To get the most bang for your buck, I recommend these soap molds.

Your Income Path the Smiley Way

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