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Friday, September 11, 2015

How to Make Homemade Soap

Are you interested in learning about how to make homemade soap? There are a wide variety of ingredients available to make homemade soap. The list ranges from the basic ingredients of water, lye, and oil to optional ingredients such as oatmeal and even glitter. The type of soap you want to use determines the ingredients you will need when making your own soap. Some people who make homemade soap stick to the basics and simply add fragrant oils to put some scent into their soaps, while others add abrasive materials such as oatmeal for exfoliating purposes. Here is a list of some common supplies and ingredients used in making soap and what characteristic they can provide your soap:

Basic Ingredients to Make Homemade Soap

Carrier Oils

The type of soap you will make determines the base soap you need to use. Do you want your homemade soap to be hard? Soft? Sudsy? You can start finding out about the different base oils by reading the labels of commercial soaps you use regularly. You can also sign on to mailing lists and join soap making groups online; most of the people who know how to make homemade soap are very willing to share information with others.

Carrier oils impart the primary physical characteristics of the soaps. Hard and long lasting soaps can be made from palm oils; soaps that give a good lather can be made using coconut oil and castor oil; olive oil, canola oil or soybean oil may be used to make moisturizing and conditioning soaps; and luxury soaps can be made using cocoa butter, hemp oil, and almond oil among other things. Oils such as almond and avocado oil provide a skin softening characteristic to your soaps. Different oils mean different soaps. Once you become familiar with the properties each oil imparts, you will begin to recognize what kind of bar a particular recipe will produce.


Lye is the most important ingredient in making soap if you are using the cold or hot processes. Sodium hydroxide or lye is a very strong chemical and handling it requires serious caution. You also need to choose your utensils carefully when dealing with lye - use only wooden and plastic spoons for stirring and bowls made of enamel, plastic or glass for mixing. Only cold water should be used with lye, and always remember to pour the lye into the water.

You cannot make homemade soap bars from scratch without using lye. If, however, you do want to skip using lye, you can try using the melt and pour method with pre-made glycerin soap bases.


Another main ingredient in soap making, water is essential to the process. For the best results, use distilled water for creating your lye solution. You can also use de-mineralized water in soap making.

Other Ingredients

Other ingredients you can include once you have learned how to make homemade soap are herbs, flower petals, glitter, colorants, essential oils, and fragrant oils.

Herbs and flower petals can add scent to your soap, but you should remember that these can be burned when added to hot processed soap. Some other herbs do not look at all appealing when used in soaps. If you want to use herbs in your homemade soap, do your research and find out what herbs can are good for use in making soap.

Colorants come in different forms - liquids, powders and glycerin based colorants are common. Use these to add color to your soap, however, you should also remember that all other ingredients can affect the final outcome of your soap color.

Glitter can be used to add a certain punch to your homemade soaps. Use cosmetic grade glitter; these come in ultrafine and fine sizes and in a wide variety of colors. Do not use glitter made for use in craft projects as they are not meant to be used on your skin.

Essential oils and fragrance oils can be added to your soaps to give it a therapeutic effect. Some essential oils such as chamomile can be rather expensive. It really is up to you if you want to add essential oils to your soap. If you want to simply add a scent without a therapeutic effect, you can opt to use fragrance oils instead.

Knowledge of ingredients as well as creativity and imagination is required once you know how to make homemade soap in order to create something that is truly unique. When making your own soap, do your research and do not be afraid to try out new things.

J. Martin is the webmaster of Soap Making Fun. For more information on the cold process, check out his video on how to make soap.


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