How to make natural soap (includes formula, equipment and instructions)

If you are at home worrying about when the shops will run out of soap or just want to start making your own natural soap you can use the below simple formula.

This formula will give you 1085 grams of soap when you make it but it contains water which will evaporate, so the total quantity of soap you can use will be a bit less than 1000 grams

Formula:

  1. Coconut oil – 175 grams
  2. Olive oil – 525 grams
  3. Deionized or distilled water – 266 grams
  4. Lye (caustic soda, NaOH) – 98.03 grams

Note: lye (caustic soda/NaOH) is a dangerous chemical so you need to be very careful after you start working with it, including after you’ve mixed it with the oils. Do NOT remove the protective clothing until after you have poured the soap in the yogurt pots!

Equipment:

  1. 1500 grams plastic or glass beaker or stainless steel pot from your kitchen (don’t use pots made of other materials)
  2. Smaller plastic or glass beaker from your kitchen – must hold 300 grams at the least
  3. Scale that can go up to 1500 grams and weighs in increments of 0.01
  4. Silicone spatulas
  5. Hand mixer
  6. Gloves (the ones you use for cleaning), put on some old clothing and leave as less skin exposed as possible, a plastic apron, goggles (ski goggles or diving goggles work just fine) or any other goggles you have on hand so you can protect your skin
  7. Empty yogurt pots

Instructions to make the soap:

  1. Put on the protective equipment – gloves, goggles, apron
  2. Weigh the coconut oil and the olive oil in the large beaker
  3. Weigh the water in a smaller beaker and the lye in a “one use” plastic cup
  4. More to a well aired place – in the garden, at the window, under the extractor fan going at max
  5. Make sure no kids or pets are around
  6. While mixing the water slowly pour the lye in the water beaker – it’s critical to pour the lye in the water beaker not the other way around!
  7. Continue to mix and pour slowly, be careful not to splash!, until all the lye is added to the water beaker – do NOT inhale the fumes!
  8. After the lye is dissolved, pour the hot lye water in the beaker with coconut oil and olive oil and mix slowly – be careful not to splash!
  9. When the coconut oil is melted start mixing your soap with the hand blender
  10. Hold the hand blender in one hand and with the other stabilize the beaker
  11. Mix until there is no extra oil on top of the soap and the soap is the consistency of melted chocolate (if you drag the hand blender through it, it will leave a trace)
  12. You can add essential oils to fragrance your soap, use 21.70 grams of essential oil for this formula. Do not use perfume!
  13. You can leave your soap un-fragranced, it doesn’t smell bad or like a chemical
  14. Pour the soap in the yogurt pots and put them somewhere out of reach of children, put some cling film on top
  15. After one week put your gloves on and remove the soap from the pots, let it cure in a well aired place with low humidity, not in direct sunlight and not touching metals. You can use the soap after 3 weeks (4 weeks after you’ve made it), but if you can wait for 6 weeks in total the soap will be milder and harder, so the bars will last longer

You can see a short movie on how to make the soap below.

Where to buy ingredients in UK (if you live in US and need tips on where to buy ingredients please write to me at support@naturalsoapworkshop.com):

  1. Coconut oil – the most price accessible is the KTC brand from Sainsbury’s which is £ 2.49 for 500 grams. You will be using only 175 grams for this soap and you can use the rest for cooking or to make more soap
  2. Olive oil – any shop, you can buy price accessible one in larger shops. Morrisons stocks light coloured olive oil in 1 liter bottle for £ 3.70, you will use a bit over half a bottle for this soap.
  3. Deionized or distilled water – petrol stations, Halfords (car shops) or Robert Dyas
  4. Lye – sold under the name of caustic soda by Robert Dyas or you can buy it from soap supplies shops https://www.thesoapkitchen.co.uk/sodium-hydroxide-caustic-soda-premium
  5. You can use equipment you have at home (you should not use it again for cooking because it might have remnants of lye on it), or you can buy some cheap equipment on Amazon or eBay.

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