PenFed - Grow Your Dough

Soaps and Suds for Mom!


On Mom’s special day, there’s no better way to show your love and appreciation than with a homemade gift from the heart. Using a few items found in every pantry or spice rack, you can make the mom in your life scented, natural bath soaps. Throw in a couple of purchased spa-like products, and your mother will be well on her way to some much needed relaxation!

Soap-Making Basics:

Melting Glycerin:
To determine how much glycerin you need, fill your mold with water, then pour the water into a liquid-measuring cup. Chop glycerin into 1/2-inch chunks. Microwave in a bowl or glass measuring cup covered with a paper towel on medium for 30-second intervals until melted but not boiling (you can also use a double boiler). Stir until smooth. Skim off bubbles with a spoon and then mix in additives.


  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Microwaveable bowl
  • Glycerin (a humectant that gently softens the skin)
  • Honey
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground clove
  • Oatmeal
  • Chamomile tea
  • Yogurt cups, 1 1/4 inches deep, or cottage cheese containers


(For each cup of glycerin)

Honey Ginger – add 1 teaspoon honey and 2 pinches ginger
Cinnamon Clove – 2 pinches cinnamon and 2 pinches ground clove
Oatmeal Honey – add 1 teaspoon honey, 2 pinches ginger, and 2 teaspoons oatmeal (use only clear glycerin for this soap)
Chamomile – add ¼ teaspoon chamomile tea

Use common household items for your molds, such as one inch deep yogurt cups, muffin tins or Jell-O molds.

To begin, coat mold with vegetable-oil spray or petroleum jelly; wipe out excess. Pour melted soap into a prepared mold and then spray the surface with rubbing alcohol to eliminate any bubbles on the top of soap. Let harden for two hours.

Release from mold: For tin molds and pans, freeze for 20 minutes; invert mold, prying soap away from sides and pressing on bottom of mold. Trim edges with a paring knife.

Don’t stop with just the soap! By adding a few extras, such as a scented votive candle, neck pillow, exfoliating body glove, lotion and a lush towel to a basket, you’ve created a spa package for the mother in your life to enjoy!


See the original recipe from Martha Stewart here.

Homemade Soap from

About Heather Addis

Heather joined the Family and MWR Marketing team in 2009. As the Marketing Director, she dabbles in all things marketing - from campaigns to media purchasing to research and development. Heather is enjoying having a retired husband after 17 years of Army life, is a mother of five (one human and four dogs!) and is a pop culture junkie.

"I have the best job in the world. I get to do what I love while giving back to our men and women in uniform. I could not imagine having a job that did not allow me to have daily interaction with our Service Members. Being married to a retired Soldier, I am able to understand the hardships our military face and strive to help create programs and events to make their time at Fort Gordon memorable."

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