This all-natural soap is a fun craft project and great for your dog’s skin. It also makes a perfect gift for a dog owner. The process is so easy that you’ll soon be able to personalize this recipe, adding your own special touches.
We use the melt-and-pour method of soapmaking, which is the least time consuming and can be done in the microwave. Consult with the expert at a natural foods store when selecting your essential oils. Some oils can irritate the skin; citronella, tea tree, and/or lemongrass essential oils will help repel fleas and ticks.
All-natural, unscented, 100% olive oil (castile) soap (see the appendix for sources)
Essential oil(s) of your choice
Exfoliants (optional), such as citrus peel or steel-cut oatmeal—anything that is all natural, nontoxic, and not sharp
Clean soap molds (generally available from soap suppliers in standard or fun shapes, or use your own plastic containers)
Microwaveable container, such as a large glass measuring cup
1. Chop the soap into chunks and place in the microwaveable container.
2. Melt the soap in the microwave. Each microwave behaves differently, so start at half power and heat for 2–4 minutes at a time, stirring between stages. You do not want to overheat or burn the soap, so check often until you know how quickly it melts. The soap base should be completely melted and at a temperature between 155 and 165°F (68-74°C). Once you have reached this temperature, stir it again slowly to make sure it is uniform, then let it sit for a few moments, allowing any air bubbles to rise to the top.
3. Add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance and stir slowly, avoiding creating more air bubbles.
4. Add exfoliants, if desired. Again, stir slowly to avoid introducing air bubbles. It is recommended that all your additives, including essential oils and exfoliants, not exceed 2% of the entire soap solution.
5. Pour the soap into the molds. Best results will be obtained if the soap is poured into molds at approximately 150–155°F (66–68°C). Pour very slowly to avoid creating air bubbles. Once poured, the soap bars should be handled carefully and left to cool completely, about 24 hours.
6. Remove the bars from the molds and wrap them immediately to retain an attractive appearance. The soap bars should be stored at temperatures between 40 and 86°F (4–30°C).
Custom Dog Character Soaps
Clear soaps can be personalized with a photograph of the recipient dog. Cover the photograph with plastic coating, such as cling wrap, packing tape, or laminating sheets. Fill the soap mold halfway and allow it to set. Place the photograph on the soap, then fill the mold with more melted soap.
You can also make soap on a rope so that when you are washing your dog you never have to worry about losing the soap or a bottle falling over. Just drill a hole in the finished bar, thread onto a rope, and tie a knot.