How to make natural soap

We’ve all seen soaps disappear from the shops in the last 12 months, and that’s something we never thought we’d see. If you want to be prepared learn how to make natural soap with us! 

Making natural soap is actually very easy, with a good formula and easy instructions.

You can learn to make soap with our DIY Hand Sanitizer Soap Course for beginners or our Diploma in Natural Soap Making for beginners to intermediate.

But if you’d like to start with a simple natural soap formula, we have that for you too!

How to make natural soap

Natural soap formula

This formula will give you 1085 grams of soap when you make it. But it contains water which will evaporate so you will have a bit less than 1000 grams after curing. And you can scale it up and make larger batches if you want.

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

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

Equipment to make natural soap

  1. 1500 grams plastic (check the bottom of the beaker to see if it has PP written in a triangle). Also glass beaker or stainless steel pot from your kitchen would work. But don’t use pots or beakers made of other materials.
  2. Smaller plastic or glass beaker from your kitchen – must hold 300 grams at least.
  3. Weighing scale that can go up to 1500 grams and weighs in increments of 0.01.
  4. Silicone spatulas.
  5. Hand blender.
  6. Gloves (the ones you use for cleaning). Also put on some old clothing and leave as less skin exposed as possible. Add a plastic apron, ski or diving goggles and you’re on your way
  7. Several empty yogurt pots.

How to make natural soap - preparation

  1. Put on the protective equipment – gloves, goggles, apron
  2. Then weigh the coconut oil and the olive oil in the large beaker
  3. Afterwards weigh the water in a smaller beaker and the lye in a “one time use” plastic cup
  4. Move 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

How to make natural soap

  1. While mixing the water slowly with a silicone spatula pour the lye in the water beaker. And ALWAYS pour the lye slowly in the water beaker not the other way around!
  2. Continue to mix and pour the lye slowly, be careful not to splash! Until all the lye is added to the water beaker. And do NOT inhale the fumes!
  3. After the lye is dissolved, pour the hot lye water into the beaker with coconut oil and olive oil. While pouring slowly be careful not to splash!
  4. When the coconut oil is melted, take the hand blender in one hand and with the other stabilize the beaker. Because this will help you not have any spillages.
  5. Start mixing your soap with the hand blender.
  6. Mix until there is no oil floating on top of the soap, and the soap is the consistency of melted chocolate. As you drag the hand blender through it, it will leave a trace.
  7. You can add essential oils like lavender and orange to fragrance your soap. If you do, use 21.70 grams of essential oil for this formula. But do not use perfume as it contains alcohol.
  8. You can leave your soap un-fragranced, as it doesn’t smell bad or chemical-like.
  9. Pour the soap in the yogurt pots and put them somewhere out of reach of children. And don’t forget to wrap the tops of the pots with cling film.

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

Video demonstration of making soap

Unmoulding the soap

After one week, put on your gloves and remove the soap from the pots. But if the soap sticks to the pots freeze them overnight and then it will be easier to take the soap out. Let the soap cure in a well aired place with low humidity, not in direct sunlight and not touching metals. You can use the soap 4 weeks after you’ve made it. But if you can wait for 6 weeks the soap will be milder to the skin and harder, and the bars will last longer.

Where to buy ingredients for natural soap

In UK you can buy ingredients from the below shops. But if you live in US and need tips on where to buy ingredients please write to me at roxana@naturalsoapworkshop.com:

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

What to do if you spilled lye

What to do if you spilled lye

How to cure your natural soap

How to cure handmade soap

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