Calamine lotion is helpful when it comes to soothing dry, itchy skin. Sometimes it’s not enough, however, and your skin needs a little more care. Instead of continuously applying calamine lotion, why not try washing yourself with calamine soap? Melt-and-pour soap is a safe and easy way to make a small batch for yourself. If you are an experienced soap maker, you could try making a larger batch using the cold process method.
EditMaking Melt-and-Pour Soap
- Cut or break apart 12 ounces (340.2 grams) of goats milk melt-and-pour soap base. Cut the soap base into ½ to 1 inch (1.27 to 2.54 centimeter) pieces. This will help the soap melt faster and more evenly. Some types of melt-and-pour soap bases have cutting guidelines, which you can use. Make sure that you are using the melt-and-pour type of soap base, as regular bars of soap from the store won’t melt. You can find melt-and-pour soap bases in the craft store and online.
- You can also use 12 ounces (340.2 grams) of white glycerin melt-and-pour soap base instead.
- Melt-and-pour soap is a great way to get started in soap making because you won’t be working with lye, which can be dangerous.
- Melt the soap in a double-boiler or in the microwave. There are two ways you can do this: in a double-boiler on the stove or in a glass container the microwave. Choose the method that works the best for you, then remove the soap from heat. Keep it in the container you melted it in.
- Stove: Assemble a double-boiler. turn the heat on to low. Add the soap to the top bowl. Allow the soap to melt most of the way, stirring occasionally. Take the pot off the stove, then let the soap finish melting.
- Microwave: heat the soap for 30 seconds. Give it a stir, then heat it for 10 seconds. Stir it once more, then continue heating and stirring at 5 second intervals until the soap has melted.
- Stir 2 tablespoons of calamine lotion into the melted soap. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir. This will help keep things from settling on the bottom.
- Break apart 5 vitamin E oil capsules and add them to the soap. This is not absolutely necessary, but it will help make the soap more nourishing.
- Add 2 drops of red soap making dye, if desired. Stir them in with a spoon until the color of the soap is consistent and no streaks remain. You don’t have to add the dye in, but it will help make your soap more pink and reminiscent of calamine lotion. You can also leave out the dye if you prefer.
- Make sure that you are using soap making dye. Candle dye and fabric dye are not skin safe, and food coloring can stain.
- Add 0.25 to 0.5 ounce (7.5 to 14.8 grams) of fragrance oil, if desired. Once again, you don’t have to do this, but it can make the soap smell nicer. Use a calming fragrance, such as rose or lavender. If this is for a kid, try something associated with the color pink, such as bubblegum or cotton candy.
- Make sure that fragrance oils meant for soap making. The kind used for making candles are not considered to be skin-safe.
- You can try using essential oil instead of fragrance oil. Make sure that it is skin-safe as not all essential oils are.
- Pour the soap into a soap making mold. You can use a round or square PVC mold. You can also use individual soap molds as well. If you use a round or square mold, you will need to slice the soap into smaller bars after it dries.
- Allow the soap to cool and dry. This will take 30 minutes if you are using several small molds. It may take up to several hours if you are using one big mold.
- De-mold the soap. Simply turn the mold over, and pop the soap out. You may have to wiggle the sides to loosen the soap. If you used a large mold, such as a round or square PVC mold, you will need to slice the soap into smaller bars. You should be able to make 3 to 4 bars. Once you pop the soap out of the molds, it is ready to use!
- If you used plastic water bottles as molds, you’ll need to cut the bottles apart with a craft blade, then slide the soap out.
EditMaking Cold Process Soap
- Protect yourself and your work surface. You will be working with lye, which can be dangerous if not handled properly. Put on a pair of goggles, a mask, rubber gloves, and along sleeved shirt. Have an accurate, digital scale ready. Your measurements must be precise, or they may not saponify properly.
- Prepare the water and lye solution. Measure and pour 38 ounces (1123.79 grams) of cool water into a large pitcher first. Next, measure out 15 ounces (425.25 grams) of lye and sprinkle it into the water. Let it heat to 200°F (94°C), then stir with spoon for 30 seconds to dissolve the lye.
- Set the lye solution aside so that it can cool down. Cover the pitcher with lid, then place it some place where it won’t tip over. Let the solution cool down to 100 and 125°F (38 to 52°C). This can take 30 min to 2 hours.
- Melt the oils and butters. You will need: 2 pounds (907.2 grams) coconut oil, 2 pounds (907.2 grams) olive oil, 1 pound 6 ounces (623.7 grams) soybean oil, 1 pound 2 ounces (510.3 grams) palm oil, 0.8 ounces (22.68 grams) coco butter, and 0.4 ounces (11.34 grams) shea butter. You can do this in a large pot or in a double-boiler, if you can find one big enough. Heat them up to somewhere 100 and 125°F (38 to 52°C).
- Stir the cooled lye solution into the oil and butter mixture. Wait for the oil and butter mixture to cool down to at least 125°F (52°C), then pour in the cooled lye solution. Mix everything together using a stick blender set to low speed. Keep the blender near the bottom of the pot.
- Be careful so that the mixture doesn’t splash. It hasn’t saponified yet, so it is still caustic and can cause burns.
- Wait for the mixture to trace. Trace happens after 3 to 5 minutes. It will turn runny and pudding like. If the blender leaves marks on the surface when you pull it out, you’re at trace. Be prepared to work quickly during the next few steps as the mixture will start to harden.
- Add the prepared dye to the mixture. Mix about 1 teaspoon of red iron oxide dye with ½ tablespoon of glycerin or olive oil. Stir it into the soap mixture until it is almost the same color as calamine lotion. Don’t worry if the mixture looks a little dark. The zinc oxide in the next step will help lighten it up.
- You may not end up using all of your prepared dye.
- Stir in the zinc oxide. You will need between ½ and ¾ cups (663.28 and 994.91 grams). Keep adding the zinc oxide until the mixture is the same color as calamine lotion. Combined with the iron oxide, the zinc oxide will help make your skin less itchy. Both zinc oxide and iron oxide are important ingredients in calamine lotion.
- Stir in the essential oils. You will need 4 ounces (113.4 grams) total. You can use any fragrance or combination of fragrances you what. A combination of chamomile, lavender, and tea tree would work especially well.
- Pour the mixture into an 8-pound (3.6-kilogram) soap making mold. You can also use several smaller molds instead. Some molds will need to be lined with parchment paper or plastic wrap first. Other molds, usually those made from silicone, do not need to be prepared.
- Tap bottom of mold against counter to release any bubbles.
- Some people like to leave the top of the soap bumpy. If you want it smoother, run a spoon over it.
- Cover the soap with plastic wrap and blankets, then wait 24 hours. Wrap some plastic wrap over the mold(s) first, then cover them with blankets and quilts. This will keep the soap insulated while it hardens and saponifies.
- you can take a peek every now and then. If you see a crack forming on the soap, it’s getting too hot. Remove the blankets.
- De-mold, cut, and cure the soap. Remove the soap from the mold(s) first, then cut it into bars. Spread the bars out on a baking sheet. Place them some place where they won’t be disturbed. Let them cure for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, the soap will have saponified. It’s ready to be used!
- You can find soap making dyes and fragrance oils online and in craft shops.
- Soaps made using calamine lotion won’t be as effective as calamine lotion applied straight to the skin. This is because the lotion gets diluted in the soap.
- Use an accurate digital scale to measure all of your ingredients, including the liquid ones.
- Always wear goggles, gloves, long sleeves, and a mask when working with lye soap. The mixture will be caustic until it saponifies.
- Never pour water into lye. Always add lye to the water.
- Even though the melt-and-pour method is safer than the traditional lye method, you will still be handling ingredients that reach 120F. Be careful!
EditThings You’ll Need
EditMaking Melt-and-Pour Soap
- 12 ounces (340.2 grams) goats milk melt-and-pour soap base
- 2 tablespoons calamine lotion
- 5 Vitamin E capsules
- 2 drops red dye for soap making (optional)
- 0.25 to 0.5 ounce (7.5 to 14.8 grams) soap making fragrance oil (optional)
- Soap making mold
- Double-boiler or microwave-safe container
EditMaking Cold Process Soap
- 38 ounces (1123.79 grams) water
- 15 ounces (425.25 grams) lye
- 2 pounds (907.2 grams) coconut oil
- 2 pounds (907.2 grams) olive oil
- 1 pound 6 ounces (623.7 grams) soybean oil
- 1 pound 2 ounces (510.3 grams) palm oil
- 0.8 ounces (22.68 grams) coco butter
- 0.4 ounces (11.34 grams) shea butter
- 4 ounces (113.4 grams) essential oils
- ½ to ¾ cups (663.28 and 994.91 grams) zinc oxide
- 1 teaspoon red iron oxide
- ½ tablespoon liquid glycerine or olive oil.
- Rubber gloves
- Dust mask
- Long-sleeved shirt
- Hand-held beater
- Soap making mold