The Back Story: About 12 years go I experimented with making a bath soap jelly (the recipe is here) using carrageenan, which is a vegan friendly gellant made from seaweed. It worked quite nicely mixing it with Melt and Pour Soap Base. I didn’t go down the gelatine route because it is an animal bi-product and apart from milks, yoghurt and beeswax, we prefer to avoid animal derived ingredients. Gelatine is out for vegetarians and vegans, learn more about it on this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatin.
A while back, Lush® introduced their Jelly Soap. It had more clarity than mine early efforts, and Stephenson Personal Care launched their Jelly Soap a couple of years ago. We took a while to gauge if there was enough customer interest in it before deciding to stock it. It’s vegetable based, it does not contain SLS but does contain SLeS and has no animal derived ingredients, so the choice is yours.☺ (That's what I love about making my own products, I get to choose what I put on my skin). As well as this tutorial, you can download Stephenson's PDF on processing Jelly Soap here.
I feel fun and fruity fragrances are a good place to start with the jelly soaps. At first I used a small blade knife to dice the base, which was quite effective, but I changed to scissors for smaller batches under 1kg. Scissors are especially good if you are dicing the finished soap and putting it into tubs.
I use various moulds I have to hand, especially if I am cutting the soap into cubes, but I do love the convenience for selling and gifting of using Disc Mould Packs or even the slightly larger Rectangle Clamshell Mould.
- The biggest tip to take note of is: when melting this base is that patience is key!
- The second last image on this page shows the difference between hurrying with a microwave melt, and a slower microwave melt, not my preferred melt methods
- The best, smoothest jelly soap is achieved by very slow, double boiler melt. I put my bath jelly (double boiler style as pictured below) on a very low heat on the
cooktop, covered, and just let it slowly melt for an hour or so over the hot water. I go and do some other soaping whilst it melts
- For large batches or If you are making jellies for sale, a small crockpot is the way to go - on low, covered and check every 30 minutes or so
- Fun fruity fragrances are a good place to start with the jelly soaps
- Use a small blade knife, or scissors to dice or cut the soap
- There is no need for Isopropyl Alcohol to spray away bubbles, it often doesn't work for Jelly Soap!
- If you are new to using colourants with soap, Liquid Lakes are dyes, and dyes "migrate", so if mixing colours (ie the yellow batch and green batch) don't combine the finished product in your packaging until ready to gift or sell. Jelly Soap behaves just as Melt and Pour Soap does with regards bleeding colours.
What you need:
Dice or cut the required amount of Jelly Soap into 1 - 2 cm cubes
Place in double boiler or crockpot, cover and melt as described above
This double boiler melt method makes the best texture for small batches of jelly soap, crystal clear and no bubbles from over stirring.
However for 1kg batches a small crock pot works more efficiently time-wise
Use a pot mitt to remove the hot jug from the heat source.
Once removed from the heat stir to ensure all the jelly soap is melted and then
add 5 drops Sunflower Yellow Liquid Lake, and 2g/ml Pineapple Papaya Fragrance
Stir gently and thoroughly to mix the colour and fragrance until well combined
Pour the soap carefully from low to the bench - close to the rim of the mould; this avoids introducing bubbles
Done! Now repeat for the Apple Sage and Grass Green Liquid Lake cavities if making two colours.
Usage Tips for wiggly, jiggly Jelly Soap
- Don’t take the whole soap out into the shower at once, pinch or cut off a small cube to take into the shower
- You can use a scrub mitt, or towelling covered sponge (I get mine from K-Mart) or folded face cloth (wash cloth) to work the soap into a foamy lather.
- You’ll need to have water to hand too, like shampoo, it needs a generous slosh of water in order for the lather to be created with the friction of your hands
- Then apply to the body using circular motions
You can see ways to use left over Jelly Soap on this page
Included in the trolley items are Pineapple Papaya Fragrance and Sunflower Yellow Liquid Colourant and the Flexible Mould - 6 Half Cylinder
Not included in the torlley items are: Apple Sage Fragrance and Grass Green Liquid Colourant and Disc Mould Packs with lids.