I posted some photos of the soapmaking process on Twitter a few weeks back. Since then, several of y’all have contacted me about soapmaking. Some want to know my recipe or directions on how to make soap for themselves. Others would like to purchase my soap or encourage me to sell it.
Thank y’all so much for the vote of confidence! I did consider selling soap shortly after I started making it. Unfortunately, I have pets in the house and no workshop. So producing soap and selling it isn’t an option.
Besides, soapmaking shuts down my kitchen for 90 minutes at a time. I don’t allow anyone (pets included) in the kitchen while I play with lye. Producing soap to sell from home would be a massive inconvenience for our family.
I do share, though! I just packed up a bar to send to a follower in Huntersville. I’ll be shipping it out to him this morning.
As to my recipe, I’m happy to share that with y’all! I created my basic hot process soap recipe with a soaping calculator after I got comfortable making homemade soap.
Before we jump in, let me say: if you use my recipe or any other you find online, I encourage you to run it through a soap calculator. The calculator will ensure you’re using the correct lye-to-water ratio.
Basic Hot Process Soap Recipe
Since lye is a necessary soap ingredient, your soaping supplies should never be used for anything else. I keep mine in a storage bin stowed away in the laundry room. That way, there are no oopsies.
- Glass measuring cups
- Silicone Spatulas
- Digital kitchen scales
- Stick blender
- Soap mold
- Safety gear – goggles, gloves, and white vinegar
- Litmus paper
- 9.6 oz coconut oil
- 9.6 oz olive oil
- 9.6 oz palm oil
- 1.6 oz mango butter
- .96 oz castor oil
- .64 oz beeswax
- 12.16 oz purified water
- 4.57 oz lye
- Weigh out your oils, butters, and waxes. Pour them into the crockpot to melt.
- When the oils have melted, put on your safety gear. Measure out your water and lye in glass measuring cups. Pour the lye into the water slowly to avoid splashes, and mix with a silicone spatula. (I do this step in the sink.)
- When the lye is dissolved, pour the lye water into the crockpot with the oils.
- Use your stick blender to mix the oils and lye water until you reach trace. Trace kinda looks like pudding.
- Put the lid on the crockpot. Your soap will cook on low for about 50 minutes. Don’t leave the pot unattended. Cooking soap rises and can overflow. To prevent an overflow, remove the lid and stir. Otherwise, no stirring is required.
- After 50 minutes, remove the lid, stir, and check the ph. If you are at a 7, your soap is good to go.
- Set aside for 24 hours.
- Unmold, cut into bars, and it’s ready to use!
If you’re a visual person – there’s a ton of videos on Youtube that can help you along. Just search for hot process soap tutorials.
- ALWAYS pour the lye into the water. NEVER the other way around.
- White vinegar deactivates lye. Once you’re done mixing your lye water, wipe down your surfaces with vinegar and pour some into your mixing containers. It never hurts to be overly cautious. 😉
- If lye gets on your skin, rinse with water for 15 minutes, and seek medical treatment. Do not use vinegar for this. I only mention this as a precaution. I’ve been soapmaking for years, and I’ve never been burnt. **Knocks on wood**
- I use litmus paper to make sure my soap isn’t caustic. Some soapmakers don’t. If you opt not to, please watch a video on the soaping process. You’ll need to be able to identify the various phases of the saponification process to eliminate this step.
- Add a teaspoon of salt to the melting oils for a harder bar of soap.
- Add one teaspoon of sugar before trace for bars with more lather.
- Add 1 oz of essential oil to the soap before molding for scent. Mix well.
- Mix in 2 tablespoons of whole, plain yogurt before molding for a creamier soap with a smoother pour.