Making soap at home is a cost-effective and creative hobby. The simplest way to make bar soap at home is through the melt and pour method, which uses a melted soap base instead of active lye. To start from scratch, mix water, oils, and additives with lye. No matter which way you choose, you can enjoy custom soap bars with few chemical additives after the batter cures.

[Edit]Lye-Free Pink Himalayan G****fruit Soap

  • goatís milk soap base
  • pink Himalayan salt
  • 20 drops g****fruit essential oil

[Edit]Basic Olive Oil Soap with Lye

  • pomace olive oil[1]
  • distilled water
  • sodium hydroxide


[Edit]Making Lye-Free Pink Himalayan G****fruit Soap Batter

  1. Cut a soap base into chunks that are easy to melt. Chop up about of soap or glycerine into cubes in size. These small pieces melt evenly so your finished batter is less likely to be chunky. Using small chunks also prevents the batter from burning while you stir it.[2]

    • You can also try shredding the soap with a grater or vegetable peelers.
    • Glycerine is a common base available online or at craft supply stores. It is made with lye like any bar of soap but doesnít have any active lye in it, so itís safe to touch.
    • Choose white and clear-colored soaps if you plan on adding coloring later. Darker soaps arenít as great for customizing, although you can still add fragrances and thickeners to them.

  2. Place the cut soap base into a heatproof pot or bowl. The container you need depends on how you plan on melting the soap. The easiest way to do it is on a stovetop. Simply place the soap in a stainless steel pot, crockpot, or double boiler. If the stove isnít an option, melt the soap in a microwave.[3]

    • If you use a microwave, choose a microwave-safe. Look for a label on the bottom of the container or on its packaging.

  3. Heat and stir the soap constantly until it melts. Heat the soap on a stovetop or in your microwave to about . Move the melting soap around with a rubber spatula to help it melt. Donít let it sit still for more than 30 seconds or else it may burn. Stir it until it reaches a smooth consistency.[4]

    • If the soap batter looks thick and dry, mix a little bit of water into it. Add water gradually, stirring the batter to keep it at a liquid consistency.
    • Many soap bases reach a good consistency within a couple of minutes. Depending on the base you use, you may need to keep stirring for 15 minutes or more to make the batter smooth.
    • If youíre using a microwave, heat the soap for 30 seconds at a time. Give it a good stir to distribute the heat.
    • Soap bases begin to burn around . Use a kitchen thermometer as needed to track the temperature.

  4. Add tea, salt, and other ingredients to color the soap. Fresh-brewed coffee and tea change the batterís color but donít often leave much of a smell in the finished product. Mix in some blended fruits or vegetables to give your soap a deep, vibrant color. Soap dyes are another option for unusual colors. Also, use colored salt and spices for additional variety.[5]

    • For example, add about of pink Himalayan sea salt to turn a batter pink, or mix in a little tumeric to give the batter an orange color.
    • Brew coffee and tea separately from the soap batter. Remove coffee grounds and tea bags before adding the liquid to the batter.

  5. Mix in essential oils and other ingredients to make your soap fragrant. Stir a few drops of any essential oil into your batter to customize it. Flowers and herbs are some alternatives to essential oils. Try using ingredients like powdered beet root or sandalwood. Ingredients like vanilla, honey, and brown sugar can also give your soap a pleasant quality that makes it difficult to put down.[6]

    • Whole flowers and herbs lose color over time and may discolor your soap. Try placing them on top of the batter after you pour it into the mold instead of mixing them in.

  6. Use oils and other ingredients to change the soapís texture. For softer soap bars, heat cooking oil in a separate pan, then mix it into the batter. Olive oil, coconut oil, and vegetable oil are a few good options for softer, silkier soap bars. Some people melt glycerine cubes to add to the batter. To thicken the batter, add a scoop of oatmeal, honey, or beeswax.

[Edit]Making Basic Olive Oil Soap with Lye Batter

  1. Choose vegetable oils to form a base for your soap. You can use all kinds of vegetable oil to create soap. The type of oil you choose determines the amount of other ingredients you need. For your first time making soap, keep it simple by sticking to 1 or 2 different types of oils. Pomace olive oil from a grocery store is a common base to start with. Measure out of oil on a kitchen scale by weight instead of volume.[7]

    • For a recipe that is a little fancier than a basic olive oil soap, try pure hemp seed or palm oil. Mix the oil with equal parts olive oil.
    • For a creamier soap with more lather, try mixing 1 part coconut oil, 1 part palm oil, and 1 part olive oil. Add some sweet almond oil to give the soap a pleasant scent.

  2. Use a lye calculator to determine how much lye you need to make soap. If you are following a specific soap recipe, use the amount of lye specified in the recipe. Otherwise, rely on a lye calculator. The amount of lye you need varies depending on the oil you use. Use the correct ratio of lye to oil to make solid bars of soap that donít sting your skin when you use them.[8]

  3. Pour the water into a heat-proof mixing bowl. For a basic olive oil soap, you need about of water. Measure out the water into a heat-safe glass or plastic measuring cup placed on a kitchen scale. Transfer the water into a stainless steel pot or glass bowl. Keep in mind that lye does corrode glass and plastic a little bit over time, so stainless steel is usually your best bet when mixing lye and water.[9]

    • If youíre making a different type of soap, use the amount of water specified by the recipe or lye calculator.
    • Tap water often has minerals that affect how your soap turns out. To avoid this, purchase distilled water from a grocery store.
    • If you halved a recipe to make a small batch of soap, remember to halve every ingredient accordingly.

  4. Measure out the lye into a separate container on a kitchen scale. Carefully pour about of lye into a heat-safe glass or plastic measuring cup. Weigh it on the scale. Make sure you have the amount specified by your recipe or lye calculator. Handle it with caution to avoid spills, and use stainless steel or glass containers you donít plan on cooking with in the future.[10]

    • Lye is available online or at most hardware stores.
    • Lye is very caustic, so handle it carefully. Cover yourself with protective goggles, rubber gloves, and long-sleeved clothing. If you get any on your skin, wash it off immediately with cold water.
    • The most common type of lye is sodium hydroxide (NaOH). Potassium hydroxide (KOH), or potash, is also available and used in soap making. Read the label to figure out which type you have. They are similar but need to be added in different amounts.

  5. Pour the lye into the water gradually while stirring it. Stir the ingredients together with a stainless steel or heat-safe plastic whisk. Let the mixture warm up and turn white before adding more lye. Continue stirring and pouring until you finish dissolving all of the lye. The mixture will be scalding hot.[11]

    • Never pour the water into the lye or dump all of the lye into the water at once. This can lead to a lye explosion splattering everything with dangerous chemicals.
    • Lye and water release heat and fumes when mixed together. Make sure youíre ready for this before continuing. Ventilate your area and consider wearing a dust mask.

  6. Test the lye water with a thermometer until it reaches . Set the container aside while you wait. After the lye begins cooling, stick a stainless steel thermometer in it to keep track of its temperature. Let it cool to a temperature between .[12]

    • Begin preparing your oils while you wait for the lye to cool. You will need the oils ready to mix into the lye.

  7. Mix and heat the base oils to about . The goal is to get the oils to the same temperature as the lye water. Weigh the oils using a kitchen scale, then melt solid oils over low heat. Stir in the liquid oils and heat them until they are between .[13]

    • Heat the oils to only if the recipe youíre using specifies that the mixture can handle the higher temperature.
    • Hot oil mixtures are called ďfixed oilsĒ in some recipes.

  8. Blend the oils with the lye water until the mixture thickens. Pour the hot oil into the lye water, stirring it with a stainless steel whisk or mixing spoon. Wooden spoons and stirrers also work but splinter with repeated uses. Stirring on average takes between 15 minutes to half an hour. You may need even more time to get the batter to the consistency of pudding or toothpaste.[14]

    • The finished mixture is called a trace. When it is done, the stirrer leaves lingering trace lines in it. If you lift the stirrer, the batter will stay clumped on it.
    • Use an electric hand mixer or stick blender to speed up the stirring process. Put the soap batter in a deep container to prevent splattering.
    • If you use a stick blender, fully submerge it in the batter before turning it on. Tap it against the side of the container to release air bubbles. Start on a low setting at first, then turn it to medium or high as the mixture thickens.

  9. Add fragrances or additives if you wish to customize your soap. Essential oils, herbs, and thickeners are a few ways to make your soap unique. Use different ingredients to color and scent your soap. After choosing your additives, stir them into the batter with a spoon, spatula, or whisk. Typically, a soap contains no more than 6% additives by volume.[15]

    • Research the benefits of herbs and essential oils. For example, add lavender to scent the soap and nourish your skin.
    • Oatmeal, coffee grounds, and honey are a few common thickeners that make soap coarser for exfoliation.

[Edit]Molding and Curing the Soap

  1. Clean and line your soap molds. Soap molds are basically boxes for the liquid batter to set in. Any dry plastic container works, or you can buy silicone molds specifically for soap. If you have a wooden container, cover the inside with a silicone liner or freezer paper.[16]

    • Soap molds are available online and at some general stores. If you need a liner, freezer papers are available at most supermarkets.

  2. Pour the soap batter into the mold. Fill each mold close to the top. Tap the mold against a hard surface a few times to break up air bubbles. Use a rubber spatula to sc**** out excess batter to pour into a different mold or throw away.[17]

    • Bump the mold against a hard surface a few times if it looks frothy. Try dropping it from a low height to knock out stubborn air bubbles.
    • Donít worry about breaking the soap into smaller bars yet. Wait until the soap solidifies for that.

  3. Wrap the mold inside cardboard and a clean towel. Tape a piece of cardboard over the mold to cover the soap. Then, wrap a towel around the entire mold to insulate it. Doing this helps the mold set properly, leading to better soap.[18]

    • If you donít have cardboard, place parchment paper over the mold.

  4. Wait 24 hours before cutting into bars. The saponification process takes at least a day to happen. When you remove the soap from the mold, it will be hard and ready for cutting. Use a sharp kitchen knife to break the soap down into smaller bars. To smooth out the sides, sc**** the soap with a vegetable peelers.[19]

    • Keep your soap at room temperature and out of the reach of children and pets. If you used fresh lye, the soap is still dangerous to touch at this point.
    • If your soap is too soft to cut, let it rest for an extra day. This happens most often in large, single molds.

  5. Dry the soap for several weeks before using it. Move the soap bars into a cool but well-ventilated area. Try placing them near a window in your basement or on a countertop. Put them on top of wax paper or another disposable material to prevent the oils from damaging the surface the soap is on. Soap takes about 4 weeks to finish curing.[20]Advertisement

    • Soap can take anywhere from 3 to 8 weeks to cure completely. The time it needs depends on the oils you used. Check your recipe for the recommended curing time.
    • Soap made using the melt and pour method typically solidifies within a few hours. At most, let it rest overnight before taking it out of the mold.


  • Almost any type of fat works well in a homemade bar of soap. Soap makers use palm oil, shea ****er, cocoa ****er, and even lard and shortening.
  • If you cannot find lye, check the label on drain cleaners. Some products are 100% lye and can be used to make soap.
  • Play around with different mixtures of oils and additives to create your own unique soap from scratch.
  • For more advice and recipes, read a soap making book or visit an online soap making community.
  • For safety, keep lye out of the reach of pets and small children. Separate your soap making gear from your kitchen equipment and let everyone in your home know how to avoid them.


  • Soap is still dangerous when it is fresh. Donít handle it until it has had at least a month to fully cure.
  • Lye is very dangerous when handled incorrectly. Always wear safety gear when making soap, including safety goggles and rubber gloves. Ventilate your area to eliminate lye fumes.
  • Soap made with too much lye can burn your skin. Always use a lye calculator to ensure you add the proper amount of lye for the oils you have.

[Edit]Things You'll Need

[Edit]Making Lye-Free Soap Batter

  • Pot or microwavable container
  • Measuring cup
  • Kitchen scale
  • Rubber spatula
  • Oven or microwave
  • Essential oils or other additives
  • Molds
  • Plastic wrap
  • Sharp knife

[Edit]Mixing Lye Soap Batter

  • Lye
  • Vegetable oils
  • Safety goggles
  • Long sleeve shirt or coveralls
  • Long pants
  • Rubber, plastic, or latex gloves
  • Stainless steel, glass, or plastic mixing containers
  • Measuring cups
  • Kitchen scale
  • Stainless steel, glass, plastic, or wooden mixing tools
  • Stainless steel thermometers
  • Stove
  • Pot or pan for heating oil
  • Silicone, plastic, or wooden soap molds
  • Cardboard
  • Towel
  • Sharp knife

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[Edit]Quick Summary