how to make soap at home: tips and simple recipes

Making soap yourself
Soap can be made in-house in a variety of ways. For beginners, the so-called cold process is particularly well suited.

Instructions for how to make soap at home
Soap The primary substance for soaps are oils and fats. If you want to produce unusually mild variants, vegetable fats are recommended. But also animal fats are suitable. The respective fatty acids such as linoleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid or oleic acid decide on the properties of the soap.

Methods of how to make soap at home

Soaps are the salts contained in the fatty acids. These can be boiled out of the fatty acids with a sodium or potassium lye. The reason for this is that traditionally the soap glue is cooked in a pot. Much gentler and suitable for beginners, however, is the cold process. Here the lye does not boil, the products are milder, but the process takes longer. Temperatures also rise to 85 degrees Celsius in this process. There are four ways to make soap: the core soap process, the cold process, the hot process, and the reflow process.

how to make soap at home
Soap can be made in-house in a variety of ways. For beginners, the so-called cold process is particularly well suited.

Raw materials for handmade soap

For the production, you use either vegetable oils, and fats like coconut fat, rapeseed, sunflower or olive oil or you mix these oils with tallow or lard. If you use palm oil, make sure it’s from sustainable sources: palm oil plantations are the # 1 rainforest killer, and palm oil for which primary or secondary forests are felled the opposite of producing your soap, which should also be environmentally safe.

The different oils differ in how hard they become, how much foam they form and how stable they are so that the mixture determines the properties of the final product.

They mix the fats and oils with caustic soda (NaOH). This requires a sure instinct. The oil needs so much lye that the soap is not too basic, but not too oily. It gets too oily if you use too little lye.


They heat the fats and the lye to about 50 to 60 degrees Celsius and mix both with a hand blender. It takes about half an hour.

In fats and oils, fatty acid molecules are attached to the glycerol molecules. By saponifying the fat molecules split, the fatty acid combines with lye, the glycerin remains.

For industrially manufactured products, glycerin is used elsewhere. The cold process, however, preserves the glycerin, which softens the soap.

Nourishing oils

We add care oils while the mass is saponified, so it gets consistency of jelly. The first time this is probably wrong because here you need flair. Add the care oils too early to saponify the base oils. If you come too late, smudged chunks instead of supple soap, it throws bubbles and does not creamy.

Suitable care oils are jojoba oil, shea butter, wheat germ oil, castor oil, coconut oil or avocado oil.

Rose oil ensures that the handmade soap smells good.











how to Make the soap smell

You want your soap to feel good? For this, you add fragrances. It also has medical benefits: smells affect our mood, and we want to smell good when we wash. However, the finished product hardly feels like the perfume they mix in it. You should refrain from using commercially available fragrances that contain alcohol. The shows namely in the finished product as streaks.

You will not get around experimenting and learning by doing. General quantities, how much of which perfume you should give, are of little help. Fragrance oils such as lavender oil, bergamot oil or rose oil are suitable for beginners. Instead of rose oil, you can also add rose water – which is much cheaper, but also less concentrated.

aromatic plants

If you even want a little exfoliation, you can also put the crushed herbs and plant parts themselves dried in the soap: rosemary, lavender, sage, mint, lemon balm, grated lemon, peach, such as orange peel, ginger powder or dried and grated flowers of Roses, cornflowers, cowslips, hollyhocks, jasmine, lilac, apple, almonds or cherries.

Depending on which fragrance you want to achieve, all plant parts come as a powder or heavily crushed and dried in question, which does not have a toxic effect on the skin and triggers allergies in them. With sage, rosemary and other herbs even medicinal properties are added.

You can also apply your oils, which can be left for a few weeks or months and then used to make the soap, as well as in the kitchen. For rosemary oil, for example, place rosemary sprigs in an oil of your choice, such as rape and sunflowers, thistle oil and olive oil.

It’s not so easy with flower scent, because you need large amounts of rose petals, for example, to produce an acceptable fragrance oil. That is the reason for the high price. Try it: Grated dry raspberry and blackberry leaves give the soap a rough consistency and a slightly earthy fragrance.

The soap can be dyed at will.
The soap can be dyed at will. It is important that the colors are free of pollutants and do not rub off.

Coloring natural soap

You can use all kinds of skin-friendly colors, but they should not stick to the skin. For example, do not use beetroot or blackberry juice. You should not use food colors but ask at art shops for non-toxic colors that will not penetrate the skin. The natural color of soaps is bright yellowish.

To compose soaps

Do not despair if the result leaves something to be desired the first time. That’s not just normal, it’s necessary. Nor will you begin to reach the fragrance you had in mind, as you write down an outstanding story in the first narrative you write.

Mostly we use fragrance oils bought at the beginning. Unfortunately, they are expensive, with the cheap ones for 1 Euro, the fragrance disappears quickly. Good lavender oil costs per vial, for example, around 7 euros. But you also have the certainty that the soap still smells good even after months.


When the oils, colors, and fragrances are in bulk, and the soap begins to harden but is still liquid, pour everything into molds. It is suitable porcelain containers as well as plastic or ceramic.

Pre-grease the molds with Vaseline so that the mass can be formed. To prevent blisters, tap the molds on a firm surface several times.

Skincare teas

Tip: In all recipes, you can use herbal drinks instead of water, which first of all smell and secondly care for the skin. These include marigold tea, lavender tea, spruce or pine needles.

Pure olive oil soap
Pure olive oil soap is particularly mild and therefore well suited for sensitive skin.

Make natural vegetable oil soap yourself

A nourishing olive oil soap can be quickly and easily made by yourself.

Recipe for olive oil soapFor about 1400 grams of soap you need:

  • 1 liter of olive oil
  • 123 grams of sodium hydroxide (NaOH)
  • 250 ml of water


  1. Heat the olive oil, water, and NaOH to about 100 degrees with constant stirring with a hand blender
  2. After half an hour, the mixture should have a creamy
  3. Then fill the mass into the appropriate containers
  4. After at least 48 hours, you can use the soap – but it is
    still greasy
  5. For the olive soap to harden and give off a lot of foam, it must be stored for about 6 months in a cool room

If you want a pure olive oil soap, that’s enough. But you can also add some rosemary, rose or lavender oil, rosemary leaves, crushed and dried lavender flowers, crushed and dried orange peel or other plant substances. One nuance is lavender or mint tea, which they use instead of the water. Even more unusual teas such as ginger tea or linden flower tea are suitable. Or you can make tea from pine needles or use birch water.

For a vegetable oil soap, for example, take 350 ml of olive oil, 250 ml of coconut oil, 300 ml of rapeseed oil and 120 g of NaOH, and 250 ml of water, and proceed as with the recipe with pure olive oil.
(Dr. Utz Anhalt)


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