Melting a bar of soap allows you to add essential oils to create new scents, add decorative mix-ins such as herbs or flowers, create scrub bars with oats and pour the soap into molds to make different shapes. A bar of soap can be melted over a double boiler or in the microwave. Be sure to handle melted soap with care as it can burn you until it's fully cooled.
- Bar(s) of soap or leftover soap pieces
- Silicone molds
- Cheese grater or sharp knife
- Large pot and glass or metal bowl that fits on top of the pot, if using the double-boiler method
- Microwave safe bowl and plastic wrap, if using microwave method
Optional Essential oils Rolled oats Dried herbs or flowers Rubbing alcohol in spray bottle
Melting Soap with a Double Boiler
Use a cheese grater to grate the bar soap or use a knife to chop it into 1/2 inch or smaller pieces for easier melting. Slivers of soap do not need to be cut or grated.
To melt the soap using a double boiler, fill a large pot with just enough water so that when you place the glass or metal bowl on top of it, the water does not touch the bowl. Over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil.
Put the grated or chopped soap pieces into the bowl and cover, stirring occasionally, until fully melted. Once melted, carefully remove the bowl from the pot.
Melting Soap in the Microwave
Grate the bar soap or use your knife to chop it into 1/2 inch or smaller pieces and place them in a microwave-safe dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap to help keep moisture in and avoid any splatter getting on the interior of your microwave. Microwave on high in 20-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the soap is fully melted.
Be especially careful with the microwave method—the soap can get too hot and burn. When the soap is almost fully melted, reduce intervals to five to 10 seconds, stirring well between each interval.
Adding Mix-ins and Molding the Soap
Once your soap is melted, stir in one drop to 1 teaspoon of essential oil, if desired. The amount depends on how strong you would like the scent and how much soap you melted. You can also add any decorative dried herbs or flowers, roughly 1/8 to 1/4 cup per bar of soap. If you'd like to make a scrub bar, place 1/4 to 3/4 cup of rolled oats into a blender and pulse a few times, then stir into the melted soap.
Pour the melted soap into silicone molds in your desired shape to set. If your soap is bubbly, you can spray rubbing alcohol on it to reduce the bubbles. Let it sit a few hours to overnight until it's fully hardened. When hardened, remove the soap from the mold and it's ready to use.