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10 Great Recipes for Homemade Soap

10 Great Recipes for Homemade Soap
Written by Oana Schneider

When it comes to hygiene, the number one thing that every home should not be without is soap. Whether it’s detergent for doing the laundry, hand soap, dishwashing detergent or bath soap, all these are needed to maintain a clean body and home. This is why a big portion of your household maintenance budget consists of detergents and soaps. If you have a household with a big number of family members, the bigger your budget would be.

The good news is that you do not necessarily have to pay an arm and a leg when buying these items. There are actually many easy-to-follow homemade soap recipes that you can follow.

Not only will they be easier on your budget, but the fact that you made the soaps yourself will give you a certain sense of accomplishment. Here, we will take a look at the top ten recipes that you can follow to create homemade soap, and the basic things that you need to learn when making them.             

Soap Making: The Basics 

For the past five years, here’s how much the average American household spends annually on soaps and detergents:

  • 2013 = $82.68
  • 2012 = $84.71
  • 2011 = $78.49
  • 2010 = $81.94
  • 2009 = $85.66

The figures are based on the statistics published at Statista.com. As mentioned earlier, the bigger your household is, the more you would have to spend on buying detergents and soaps. When it comes to the process of making soaps, it can actually be as complex or as simple as you’d like. As long as you are using well-chosen ingredients and you are carefully about measurements, you can get great results. You can even turn soap making into a business venture if you’d like.

The most important ingredient that you will use in soap making is lye, which should be only this without substitutes: 100% sodium hydroxide or lye in crystal form. When using lye to make soap, take the necessary precautionary measure because it can burn holes in fabric or cause burns on your skin. To protect you from any untoward accidents, always use protective gloves and a mask or some form of eye protection.

For the equipment, stainless steel, enamel or tempered glass can be used. Never use copper or aluminium bowls when mixing soap ingredients because the metal will react with lye. Soap molds can be bought from local craft stores while the additives can range from a variety of ingredients like essential oils, herbs or natural colors.

10 Great Recipes for Homemade Soap

Now, here are ten great recipes that you can follow when making homemade soap:

1. Basic Homemade Soap Recipe

For this, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 270 grams of Lye
  • 700 ml purified water
  • A mixture of oils (coconut oil, olive oil and grapeseed oil) adding to a total of 8 ½ cups

Directions:

In a large pyrex cup, melt the lye and allow it to cool to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm oils to about the same temperature, then slowly mix the two together. If you are using a manual whisking method, it will take some time and you can tell if the soap is done by checking if both the lye and oil containers have almost the same warmth to the touch.

During the tracing period, you can add 10 ml of cinnamon oil. This is when the soap can harden very quickly, at which point you can start pouring the solution into the mold. Wrap with heavy blankets and allow the soap to set. Cut into bars and turn over after two weeks. The soap should be ready to use after a month.   

2. Avocado Oil Soap Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 30% coconut oil, 30% comfrey-infused olive oil, 30% palm oil, 10% avocado oil
  • 11.5 oz. distilled water
  • 4.42 oz. lye
  • Patchouli, sweet orange, rose geranium, lemongrass, orris root powder essential oils – optional additives

Directions:

Use your preferred method of soap making and make a batch of homemade soap. After the white soap is done insulating, create soap curls to come up with the swirling patterns – then place the curls into soap molds. Next, you can prepare a comfrey infusion using olive oil and add the orris root once the soap reaches a light trace. Insulate the soap, cut it to maximize the look and make the embedded curls appear on the surface.

3. Four-Oil Soap Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6.5 oz. palm oil and coconut oil
  • 7.5 oz. olive oil
  • 1.3 oz. castor oil
  • 8 oz. water
  • 1 oz. of fragrance oil or essential oil

Directions:

Mix the lye solution first and set aside to let cool. Measure and heat solid oils until completely melted. Do the same thing for the liquid oils. Once the lye and oils have reached the 100-110 degree temperature, slowly pour the lye solution into the oils. Using a stick blender, alternate short blasts with the blender and stirring. Mix the soap until it reaches a light trace.

Add the fragrance oil, mix thoroughly and pour into soap molds. Let sit for 12 to 24 hours until the soap is hard enough to cut. Let cure for an additional two to four weeks, after which the soap is ready to use.

4. Goat’s Milk Soap Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 30% coconut oil, 35% olive oil, 20% palm oil, 10% shea butter, 5% castor oil
  • 7.58 oz. distilled water
  • 3.53 oz. goat’s milk
  • 4.5 oz. lye
  • Lavender essential oil, goat milk powder, white mica – optional additives

Directions:

Weigh out all the ingredients and break up any large bits of the hard oils into smaller chunks. Add the coconut milk or goat’s milk powder to the fresh goat’s milk and mix until no lumps remain. Dissolve the sodium hydroxide into the water until the lye has completely dissolved. Gently pour the lye solution over the hard oils, then allow the heat of the lye to melt the hard oils.

Whisk to mash the hard chunks of oil. The solution should be opaque after the hard oils have melted. Add the soft oils, then whisk until the soap batter reaches a light trace. Pour in the goat’s milk and scent. Blend until medium trace occurs. Pour the resulting mixture into soap molds and allow it to harden.

5. Grocery Store Soap Recipe

If it’s your first time making your own soap, you can go for this recipe which only uses oils found in local supermarkets or grocery stores.

Ingredients:

  • 30% olive oil, 30% lard, 25% coconut oil, 10% sunflower oil, 5% castor oil
  • 3.6 oz. lye
  • 8 oz. water
  • lavender essential oil

Directions:

Follow the directions of how to make a basic lye, then mix the soap using the basic cold soap making process. You can add natural or artificial colorants and your preferred scent. Once the lye is added to the oils, the trace time will happen in an average period and the soap will harden in 24 hours.

6. Lavender Soap Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 40% olive oil, 30% palm oil, 30% coconut oil
  • 11.5 oz. distilled water
  • 4.42 oz. lye
  • Grapefruit seed extract, lavender essential oil, rosemary extract – optional additives

Directions:

Since this is a recipe for lavender soap, you should incorporate essential oil additives in your recipe. You can add in the lavender essential oil at a thin trace. After thoroughly blending in the additives, gently pour the liquid soap in molds and insulate.

7. Olive Oil/Castille Soap Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz. olive oil
  • 2.5 oz. coconut oil
  • 2.5 oz. palm oil
  • 8 oz. cold water
  • 3.3 oz. lye crystals
  • 1 oz. fragrance or essential oil

Directions:

Use the cold process method to make the soap. Combine the oils and lye once the temperature reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the soap hardens, you can top it with herbs, mix in colors or cut it in unusual ways to make it more attractive.

8. Oatmeal Soap Recipe

If you want an easier way of making oatmeal soap, place eight cubes of Goat’s Milk Soap Suspension Formula in a microwave-safe bowl. Add about 40 drops of sweet almond oil extract for every cube of soap. Add ¼ cup of oatmeal which is lightly blended to make the grains smaller. Mix ingredients together then pour into soap molds. The roughness of the oatmeal makes this soap ideal for exfoliation.

9. Shea Butter-Coconut Milk Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 40% olive oil, 20% coconut oil, 15% shea butter, 15% palm oil, 10% castor oil
  • 7.05 oz. distilled water
  • 4.34 oz. lye
  • 1 teaspoon calendula flower petals – optional additive

Directions: 

Use your preferred method for soap making, but make sure not to mix the coconut milk in with the water and lye solution. Hold this back until the batter of the soap reaches a thin trace. Once a thin trace is achieved, add the slightly warmed coconut milk. Place the optional additive if you want, then use a spatula to swirl the soap into a marble pattern. Allow the soap to harden after pouring into molds, then use after four weeks.

10. Seagrass Soap Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 37% olive oil, 30% palm oil, 25% coconut oil, 5% apricot kernel oil, 3% castor oil
  • 11.45 oz. distilled water
  • 4.5 oz. lye
  • Rosemary, lemon eucalyptus, litsea cubeba, lemongrass, white mica, lavender essential oil – optional additives

Directions:

Use your preferred soap making method. Seagrass is a homemade soap which is a fresh, bright vibe to it because of the combination of herbal scents. You can make the soap in such a way that the colors of the ocean are in a swirling pattern on the surface. Pour in molds, insulate, harden and package as usual.

There are many other homemade soap recipes that you can follow. As long as you are familiar with the process, you have the right equipment and you use your imagination to create designs on the surface of the soap, you might even to turn soap making into a profitable business venture.

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10 Great Recipes for Homemade Soap

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for DontPayFull.com as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.

7 Comments

  • Homemade soaps are always so pretty. I guess I never realized that they were also budget friendly and a way to save money. I think I always thought that making your own soap would actually cost more than store bought. The avocado oil soap sounds really moisturizing. I bet it feels great. Very good ideas.

  • Another nice activity for my children. It helps that homemade soaps like this are just so colorful and easy to make. I feel like the lavender and avocado soaps are the best ones to make. It saves quite a bit of money too.

  • I have a friend who has been making homemade soaps for a number of years and I love them, because they always seem so much nicer than the soaps that we are able to buy in the shops. She enjoys doing it, and because of this she sells them at a price that she barely makes a profit out of, which I always say is a shame for her – but great news for us! Thank you for posting this article, because I now feel as though I could have a go at producing some products of my own and trying them out on my friends and family to see what they think about them. I love the fact that you can simply add your own scents depending on what you know your own likes and dislikes are, so I will experiment with a few of my favourite ones and then report back!

  • I have a relative that lives a very simple life. She has a garden, small farm and makes almost her own of anything including soaps. She sometimes gives us some as samples and their always nice. I have always personally just bought the 10 bar pack of Ivory because it doesn’t irritate me. The homemade soaps though always have a nicer smell I find.

  • GREAT! I am always looking for new recipes for making my own anything. I know how to drip your own lye too so that you don’t even have to buy that. You take wood ashes, oak, hickory and ash are the best…no pine. Pine does NOT make for good lye. It has to be straight wood ash too…no paper or anything else in the fire. After burning the wood to ash collect the ashes and put them in a large colander or funnel lined with white, undyed cloth. ( In the old days people used corn shucks to do this…and wood trough with a hole in one end.) Put your ashes into the cloth lined PLASTIC colander or funnel and using either a plastic or glass bowl or jars pour filtered or distilled water through the ashes and let the resulting liquid drip into the bowl or jar. This is your lye. Treat it with the same caution as store bought lye. 🙂

  • I have never made soap, but that looks a lot easier than I thought it would be. Now I just have to find a place that sells lye. Maybe a craft store? I’ve never seen it before. I have all the other ingredients for at least 2 or 3 of those soaps already, just need the lye to put it all together into soap.

  • I was also wondering where to buy the lye. I suppose some grocery or crafts stores sell it, and I’m sure a place like Amazon or maybe eBay will have supplies, as well as the other ingredients. I have eczema, so always look for shea butter soap and lotion, and the shea butter coconut milk and goats milk soaps sounds heavenly to me.

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