How to Make Homemade Soap - Recipes & Precautions

How to Make Soap at Home – 6 Recipes to Make Your Own Natural Soap

Skin care regimens of this era largely rely on chemical products that are neither good for your skin nor the environment. With many more pronounced disadvantages under its belt, it is no surprise that many people are opting to switch from cosmetic soaps to natural ones.

Now, making natural soaps at home may sound like a cumbersome project, but that isn’t true. Soap is created when fats and oil mix with an alkali like lye. Soap can be made in 4 different processes, including melt and pour, cold process, hot process, and re-batching.

Melt and pour is quite simple as you melt pre-made bars of naturals soap and add the fragrance you want to it. Cold process is the process of making soap from scratch using oils and lye. Hot process is also a make-from-scratch process which involves cooking the ingredients in a pot. Re-batching is as simple are grinding up bars of soap and re-blending them with milk or water.

If you are a little patient and can invest some time for the benefit of your health, it can grow on your pretty quick.

Why is It Beneficial to Use Homemade Soaps?

Homemade soaps are, no doubt, laden with benefits that cosmetic soaps simply cannot provide. If you are still apprehensive on whether you should take the plunge and make your own soaps, here are some benefits that may sway you to the natural side.

1. No Harmful Chemicals

The ingredients used in making natural soaps are not harmful to your body, unlike the parabens, petrochemicals, etc., used in the cosmetic ones. As per the study by the Environmental Working Group, triclosan used in over-the-counter soaps has been proven to adversely affect hormones and the reproductive system.

2. Safer for the Planet

Toxic chemicals in cosmetic soaps can wreak havoc to the planet as they reach our oceans and get absorbed by the soil. On the other hand, natural soaps are made of ingredients that are environmentally friendly and hence the best alternative.

3. No Animal Testing

The cosmetic industry is ripe with accusations of animal testing of chemical products and for a good reason. Natural soaps don’t need to be tested on animals and will do away with this cruel process.

4. Pure Essential Oils

Natural soaps are made with essentials oils that not only have a strong, soothing aroma but also carry anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties making it a healthy choice.

5. No Waste

All of us know that soaps are often wrapped in plastic and other packaging materials that are not biodegradable. Imagine the number of soaps used around the world and the waste that it adds on to. Homemade soaps don’t need to be wrapped up in harmful plastic and thus, reduce waste.

Zero waste

6. Natural Aromas

As you use natural, pure essentials oils for the soap, you are gifted with natural fragrances that are pleasant, as opposed to the chemically coated, fragrance oil smell of the cosmetic soaps.

7. Better for Your Skin

The pH levels of natural soaps are usually around 9 or 10 which is well within the alkaline range, making it safer for your skin. It also enhances the cleansing properties of the soap.

8. Glycerin Goodness

Natural soap has glycerin in it which is a natural byproduct of the process of soap making and a great moisturizer. This retains the natural oils in your skin, leaving it smoother and softer.

9. Single Product for Hydration

Over-the-counter soaps are stripped of glycerin during the process of soap making which leaves your skin dry and irritated. Naturally, you use other products like moisturizers and lotions to keep your skin hydrated. Natural soaps, as you know, have glycerin that is created as part of the soap making process, which leaves your skin hydrated, without the need for extra products.

10. Unique Soaps

With natural soaps, you’ll have plenty of options to customize and not give into an assembly-line-identical product. The soap you make is unique, which has its own constituents and temperature and the likes, and there is no other soap that can be exactly like yours.

Easy Homemade Soap Recipes

If you’re convinced of the ample benefits that homemade soaps can give you, here are a few simple recipes that explain exactly how to make homemade soap bars for beginners.You can customize these recipes to suit your purpose or try your hand at a different aroma to get another distinct fragrance.

If you’re not up to handling lye, there are also recipes that involve making soap at home without using lye directly. Instead, you can use melt and pour bases, that have already gone through the saponification process, so that you don’t have to handle lye.

1. Smoky Vetiver Soap

This soap with an earthy fragrance is a great option to start off with your cold process soap making.

What You Will Need 

  • Three containers – heat resistant
  • Stick blender
  • Digital scale
  • An empty can of Pringles (or a similar long can)
  • Tape
  • Freezer paper
  • Spatula
  • Whisk
  • Lye – 84 g
  • Distilled water – 137 g
  • Canola oil – 150 g
  • Kokum butter – 84 g
  • Coconut oil – 180 g
  • Castor oil – 36 g
  • Shea butter – 120 g
  • Sesame oil – 30 g
  • Lime essential oil – 7 g
  • Vetiver essential oil – 8 g
  • Cedarwood essential oil – 8 g
  • Kaolin clay – 1 tbsp
  • Activated charcoal – ½ tbsp

How to Make 

  • Cut the freezer paper into a 7 by 9 inches size.
  • Take the can and cut the bottom off, leaving it 7 inches tall.
  • Carefully tape the bottom of the can to prevent any soap batter from leaking out.
  • Line the freezer paper in the can with the plastic side facing inside.
  • Make the lye solution by pouring sodium hydroxide in distilled water slowly and stirring carefully (take care to wear protective gloves and goggles while handling lye).
  • Melt shea butter, coconut oil and kokum butter on low heat.
  • Add caster, canola and sesame oil to the mix.
  • Once the solution is at room temperature, use 1 tbsp of this base and dissolve the Kaolin clay in it.
  • Add the essential oils.
  • Combine the lye solution, the butter and oil solution using the blender.
  • Take one-third of this batter and add the activated charcoal to it.
  • Mix the kaolin clay with the remaining batter.
  • Ensure there are no lumps in both the batters.
  • Pour the black batter into the white one in a pot at three different spots. Run a spatula through the spots in a circle once to create a swirl pattern.
  • Pour the batter in the mould and tap down to get rid of air bubbles.
  • Insulate this mould with a towel.
  • Wait for 24 hours before cutting into bars and let it cure for 4 weeks.

Making Smokey Vetiver Soap

2. Aloe Vera Soap

This aloe vera soap recipe is a gentle mix that is perfect for your face and is sensitive on the skin.

What You Will Need

  • Fresh aloe extract – 57 g
  • Sodium Hydroxide – 55 g
  • Distilled water – 71 g
  • Olive oil – 170 g
  • Coconut oil – 85 g
  • Sunflower oil – 57 g
  • Shear butter – 57 g
  • Castor oil – 28 g

How to Make 

  • Wear your gloves and goggles and sprinkle the lye in the distilled water. Stir well.
  • Cool the lye solution to room temperature.
  • Melt the shea butter and coconut oil and combine them with the remaining oils.
  • Blend the aloe extract with the oils in an immersion blender.
  • Pour the soap batter into the mould.
  • Cover this firmly with a sheet of wax paper and insulate with a towel.
  • Leave for a day or two in the mould and cure it in open air for 4 weeks.

Aloe Vera soap

3. Goat’s Milk Citrus Soap

This simple melt and pour base recipe is perfect for beginners.

What You Will Need

  • Goat’s milk melt and pour base
  • Citrus essential oil
  • Dried citrus slices
  • Silicone soap moulds

How to Make 

  • To dry your citrus slices, preheat the oven to 200 degrees and place the citrus slices on a wire rack in the oven for about 2 to 3 hours. Once dried, allow the slices to cool.
  • Break up the soap base and microwave it, ensuring to stir every 30 seconds. Mix in the essential oil with the melted base.
  • Place the citrus in the mould and pour the melted base into the moulds.
  • Let it cool before taking it out.

Goat's Milk Soap

4. Lavender Soap

This unique blend of lavender is as aromatic as you can desire it to be.

What You Will Need

  • Palm oil – 193 g
  • Coconut oil – 289 g
  • Cocoa butter – 48 g
  • Castor oil – 48 g
  • Olive oil – 289 g
  • Sunflower oil – 96 g
  • Lye – 139 g
  • Distilled water – 320 g
  • Ground lavender buds – 2tbsp
  • Orange essential oil – 11 g
  • Lavender essential oil – 22 g
  • Patchouli essential oil – 11 g

How to Make 

  • Make your lye solution using the usual way.
  • Melt the oils and the butter and mix the essential oils and the lavender buds in it.
  • Stir this well and pour into a mould.
  • Slice the soap once its firm and let it cure for 4 weeks.

Lavender Soap

5. Loofah Rose Soap

This colourful bar of soap is fragrance and exfoliation all in one.

What You Will Need

  • Soap base of your choice – 455 g
  • Natural loofah
  • Rose essential oil – 15 drops
  • Pink pigment powder – ½ tsp

How to Make 

  • Cut the natural loofah into sizes that fit into your mould.
  • Cut the soap base and melt it in the microwave, ensuring to stir every 30 seconds.
  • Mix in the essential oils and the pigment powder.
  • Place the loofah pieces in the mould and pour the melted base into the mould.
  • Let it cool.

Smokey Vetiver Soap

6. Milk and Honey Soap

This simple soap has all the goodness of milk and honey and can be made to look like a honeycomb.

What You Will Need

  • Goat’s milk soap base – 455 g
  • Silicone honeycomb mould
  • Raw, organic honey – 3 tbsp
  • Yellow and red soap colourants

How to Make 

  • Cut the soap base and melt it in a microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.
  • Add the raw honey and 3 drops of yellow colourant and one drop of red colourant to the melted base.
  • Pour the base into moulds and let it cool.

Milk and honey soap

Precautionary Tips While Making Your Own Soaps

Making herbal soaps at home is indeed a crafty undertaking. But it is important that you remain cautious all the same. Here are some precautions that you need to take during the process.

  • Measure your ingredients properly to get good quality soap.
  • Wear safety goggles and gloves while you are handling lye and throughout the process.
  • Wear long-sleeved clothes to avoid exposure to the skin.
  • Undertake the process in an open, well-ventilated area.
  • If you have spills, ensure you have absorbents ready to handle any spills of oils or chemicals. Vinegar is a great option to neutralize lye in case you have any lye solution spills.
  • Note down the number and measurement of ingredients at each step to help you with the next batch.

Making homemade soaps is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint on the environment and reap the benefit of natural ingredients for your skin and body. Once you get accustomed to the process of soap-making, you may never want to buy over the counter soaps again.

Also Read: How to Make Hair Dyes at Home
How to Make Homemade Face Pack for Glowing Skin
DIY Bleaching Face Packs for Lightening Your Skin

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