HOW TO CREATE HOMEMADE SOAP LIKE A PRO

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Updated in February 2020

Have you ever considered creating your own homemade soap, but thought the process was too difficult? Soap making is a skill and an art form that requires knowledge and dedication. If you read up on the soap making procedure and ingredients, not to mention the tools and safety equipment, it makes you want to run the other way.

Don’t worry, with this project you won’t be mixing up any potentially dangerous ingredients in a bucket outside.  Thankfully there are plenty of easy homemade soap recipes without having to use lye – no lie;)

I love to DIY personal care products. More often than not it just as simple to whip up amazing lip balm, lotions, scrubs, masks, and, soaps as it would be to buy them at the store. And making something you can use every day is just more fun. You might also save quite a bit of money in the process.

What I am about to show you is much easier than even the easiest cold process soap for beginners. It takes very little time and contains no more than three ingredients! No special tools or combat gear required. It is so simple as a matter of fact, that you might be creating your own recipes soon.

This process works for glycerin, Shea butter, and goat milk soap just to mention a few. You can also create your very own custom blend. Let your creativity run free!

 

Why use homemade soap bars instead of shower gel?

We prefer soap at our house over shower gel, because there are no potentially leaky plastic bottles to clog up a landfill later. It’s more economical and practical. With the use of a shower poof, you can achieve the same luxurious lather you are accustomed to with shower gel.  Soap is also easier for travel as it packs well in a soap caddy and won’t leak in your suitcase.

Why not just buy it at the store?

Good question! In a nutshell: regular store-bought soap often contains stuff I don’t want on my kid’s or my own skin. Since this is a product that is used on the entire body pretty much every single day, it’s just better to err on the side of caution, don’t you agree? Often, products at the store tout their all-natural ingredients. The problem is, you cannot really know how much of something they contain, nor the quality of the ingredient.

Sure, there is high-quality pre-made soap, but it often comes with a hefty price tag. We deserve the best, but we sure would love to spend the money on something more fun than that, right?

This soap is a snap to make and you can make a whole big batch at one time, enough to last you for a long while. Expecting overnight guests? Surprise them with their very own bar of homemade soap. Or create soaps in smaller sizes as guest soaps.

If you enjoy creating lovely homemade gifts, why not include some soap in a fun shape? Especially with these super cute molds.

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Are you ready to get started with homemade soap?

The ingredient that makes this process so simple is Melt and Pour soap base. In other words, you don’t have to know how to make soap from scratch, because someone was kind enough to do the hard work for you!

Melt and Pour soap base comes in blocks, usually 1, 2, or 5 lbs. A two-pound block is enough for eight 4 oz bars of soap. You can easily order the soap base on Amazon such as this glycerin soap, shea butter soap, or goat milk soap. For this time I opted for the Shea butter kind, but it’s really up to you. No matter which Melt and Pour soap base you choose, the process pretty much remains the same.

I have found a limited selection of soap base at craft stores like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Joann Fabrics. Be sure to use their 40% off coupons to get the best deal!

You will also need a mold in which to pour the soap. You can use a loaf pan lined with wax or parchment paper then cut the soap once it’s hardened. I prefer silicone molds like this one (shown here with the soap base I chose for this project)

shea butter melt and pour soap and silicone mold used to make homemade soap

 

It makes all bars a uniform size and is a snap to clean and reuse. I also use this same mold for other projects. They are not expensive and last a long time. You may even have some silicone molds on hand already.

Or the loaf pan – find an inexpensive one at a thrift shop.

glass loaf pan and silicone mold used for homemade soap

HERE IS THE LIST OF MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED:


Here are some of the add-in ingredients I happened to have on hand:
various dried herbs and add-ins for making homemade soap

And a selection of the essential oils I used.

Young living essential oils for homemade soap

Set up soap mold(s) on a protected level surface like a kitchen counter covered with newspaper or craft paper. Don’t move silicone molds until the soap is hard! If you need to use your work surface before the soap is hardened, be sure to set the molds on a sturdy tray to allow you to move them.

silicone mold and essential oils ready for homemade soap

Have essential oils and other add-ins ready to use. Suggestions for essential oil combos that work well are at the bottom of the post.

Cut soap blocks into 1″ cubes, place in a glass bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until soap is completely melted. Alternately place a glass bowl with soap over a pot with hot water (double boiler) and heat until melted while stirring regularly.

melt and pour soap cut into chunks for homemade soap

soap chunks in bowl, ready for melting in microwave or double boiler for homemade soap

Once the soap base is completely melted, carefully pour it into the molds. Work with one bar at a time, adding oils and add-ins after the soap is poured and cooled slightly. Stir soap with popsicle stick after adding oils. Be sure to use a separate popsicle stick for each soap if you’re making different scents. Heavier add-ins like oats may settle more towards the bottom of the bar, that is normal.

silicone mold partially filled with melted soap

Let the soap cool completely for at least two hours. Once the soap is cooled and the bars are completely set, gently push each one out of the mold. Wrap the finished bars in wax or parchment paper to store.

finished homemade soap, different varieties

Isn’t it pretty? I wish you could smell it! The lighter dried herbs like mint really distribute well throughout the soap bars.

One fun variation of this soap is adding a little plastic toy to the mold before you pour the soap. My kids used to love washing their hands to get to the little dinosaurs in the soap. This works best with translucent glycerin soap.

Now, wasn’t that easy? Creating your own easy homemade soap is something everyone can do. Don’t you love being able to personalize your own beauty and personal care products with essential oils and other real ingredients? Whip up a batch of soaps every now and then and you have one less item to drag home from the store!

a stack of homemade soap

Essential oil combos that work well:

  • Lemon/Peppermint
  • Cypress/Lemon
  • Lavender/Peppermint/Lemon
  • Cedarwood/Frankincense
  • Geranium/Bergamot
  • Teatree/Lemon

Use a total of 5 drops for each bar. Like: 3 lemon + 2 peppermint

Feel free to experiment with your own combinations and add-ins! The sky is the limit!

To store my lovely leftover ingredients I am using these handy little containers I found at the Dollar Store🙂

small plastic containers for homemade soap ingredients

Check out some of my other recipes using essential oils!

Natural Baking Soda Free Stick Deodorant

Easy Homemade Lip Balm

Homemade Cleaner Recipes

Now, I hope you go forth and create some of your very own homemade soap!

Come on over and share your results in our Facebook group. We’d love to see it!

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10 thoughts on “HOW TO CREATE HOMEMADE SOAP LIKE A PRO”

  1. I am a huge fan of make soap!! I’ve done the melt & pour, which really are so quick and easy to do for a quick gift! I also really enjoy making cold-process soaps from scratch too..but yes, that can be a little more intimidating for the novice soap maker 😉

    1. Thank you! Some day I hope to give cold process soap a try. But while life is as hectic as it is right now, I better stick to melt and pour. Would love to hear more about your experience with soap making!

  2. This is such a great help, thank you! So many times people shy away from making their own soap because they are afraid it is too hard. You made it so simple that anyone can do it!
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Do you find that the soaps are scented enough with the essential oils? I’ve never had good experiences making candles with essential oils, hoping soap is different.

    1. Heather, yes, I find that they are. Candles are different because the oils burn off. That doesn’t happen with soap. If the scent is not as strong as you’d like, you can easily adjust it with your next batch.

  4. Great article. Can I add grapeseed oil to the glycerin once I melt it? I’m thinking it will talk longer for therm to harden, but wanted to ask your opinion. Thanks much

    1. Kristen, I have not tried adding any oils other than essential ones, but a very small amount might be okay. Probably no more than a teaspoon. I would suggest trying it on a small batch and see how it turns out.

  5. Thank you very for the advice, as I think we have to try few times making soap and doing it continuously will make us pro at making soap and we can run our own soap business. Might check our homemade natural body soaps for ideas and recipe process.

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