Basics of Soap Making and What Goes Into It

People have been making soap for centuries, and for much of human history, the only soap you could get was organic soap made at home. Today there is a large commercial market for soaps but there are many negative effects of these chemical-ridden soaps. An alternative is organic homemade soaps. When it comes to making organic soaps at home, there are two main processes you can choose from and a great variety of ingredients you can use!

Hot and Cold Process

These basic process for soap making work by combining water or a water base,  lye, and natural oils to create a chemical reaction that results in organic soap. The main difference in hot and cold process is how long it takes. Cold process involves mixing your water, oils, and lye together and then putting the mix into the molds you want your soaps to be shaped in. The soap mix sits in the mold for 3-4 weeks before it’s hardened and ready to be used. Hot process is good for people who do not or can not wait that long for their soap. This method starts the same by mixing your ingredients together, but instead of pouring into molds you cook the mix for 30-60 minutes in a crock pot. When it reaches a thick pudding like consistency it is then packed into the molds and allowed to harden. Hot process soap can be ready to use in as little as 3-4 days instead of weeks.

Oils to Use

oilsOne of the benefits to making organic soap at home is the freedom to choose what goes into your soap. You can select from a wide range of oils that offer certain benefits that you can enjoy- moisturizing cleansing, bubbly, and many other amazing qualities. Common oils used in soap making include coconut, hemp, canola, almond, safflower, castor, palm, coffee, peanut, soybean, corn, sunflower, olive, and grape seed, among many others. Custom bars can be made by adding colors, fragrances, and dried herbs to the mix before you pour it into the molds.

Trial and Error

manysoaps (1)Playing with the oil mixes to develop bar that is just right for you is part of the joy that comes from making organic soap at home. Certain oils will bring certain effects to your soap when it is finished curing. Castor oil and lard makes a very lathery and bubbly soap with a lot of suds. Olive oil makes a softer bar where tallow makes a hard bar. Some oils and ingredients change the color of the bar- goats milk soap is usually a caramel brown color when it is ready to use. Certain oil and ingredient combinations can yield different bars- hard and bubbly, cleaning and sudsy, soft and mild, coconut oil is great for moisturizing, anything you want can be achieved if you are willing to play around with the recipe and are willing to make some mistakes and learn from them!

For a listing of the soaps we have check out our

etsy shop:

square shop:

or comment below with the soaps you would like to see!

8 thoughts on “Basics of Soap Making and What Goes Into It

  1. Very detailed article on soap making and its process. I will surely try to mix different oils to create homemade soap. I will go for castor oil, coconut oil and olive oil because I want my final soap to be bubbly and moisturizing. And it should also be soft. I also checkout your collection on square shop, you have very nice soaps!

  2. I think you have a good post here about what it takes to make soap. One of the more popular ways to do something custom that can be sold for good money. Great work!

  3. Making soap can be very fun. If you can make custom soap and MONEY on the side, then you are very lucky. You have a good post here with plenty of information to get started!

  4. This was a very detailed and informative post that I definitely loved reading. I remember my grandmother used to make her own soap when I was little instead of buying one from any shop in our vicinity. Whenever I asked her, she would tell me her version was much better than anything I could find, even at a pharmacy. I would love to try my hand one day at making an actual usable soap and not just for a chemistry experiment.

  5. An interesting post. I’ve been interested in making my own soaps, as my skin tends to react poorly to many of the factory made, chemical ridden “soaps” that are currently available. I must say I didn’t know about the variation in the making process, and if I do decide to try out making my own soaps I will be sure to refer to this post. Unfortunately, I’ve never been particularly successful with making things myself, so it might take quite a few attempts to make a successful bar!

  6. Thank you for sharing this interesting tutorial. I have been wanting to try to make organic soaps for a long time, especially since my body starts to react with chemical made soap. I just haven’t had the courage to put out the initial investment. Thanks for making the decision a little easier.

  7. Wow, that sounds great. What are the bad things in store soaps, I’d like to know. Some of those soaps in the picture look delicious, like expensive fudge, and I’m afraid that my kids…or myself… might eat them. Hey, times are tough.

  8. Oh wow this is so cool! I have always wondered what goes into making homemade soaps. There are so many different colors and fragrances and best of all they don’t have the chemicals that damage the skin. Are there certain things that do better in soaps as opposed to others? Are there certain things you should not put in your homemade soaps?

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