Craft How To Instructions

How To Make Handmade Soap


Since it will take approximately 1-1/2 hours to make a batch of soap, you should plan to set aside at least that much uninterrupted time before you begin.

handmade soap You'll need a well lit work area, preferrably with access to a sink and sturdy table or countertop. (It's always a good idea to protect any and all work surfaces with layers of newspaper.)

CAUTION: Make certain you wear rubbers gloves and safety glasses through the entire soap making process!


  • stainless steel or enamel pot (minimum 1 gallon capacity)
  • 1 square or rectangle plastic food storage container with lid
  • sturdy wide-mouth glass jar - minimum 2 quart capacity
  • 2 wooden slotted spoons
  • 2-cup glass measuring cup
  • 1 small stainless steel wire whisk
  • thermometer that can measure between 80° F and 110° F
  • accurate scale that measures up to 2 lbs. (in ounces and pounds)
  • rubber gloves
  • safety glasses
  • 2 blankets (wool works best)


  • 12 ounces of lye (sodium hydroxide)
  • 24 ounces of coconut oil
  • 38 ounces of vegetable shortening
  • 24 ounces of olive oil
  • scent oil
  • colorant


Place 32 ounces of cold water in the wide-mouth glass jar. Wearing rubber gloves and safety glasses, carefully and slowly add 12 ounces of lye to the water while stirring with a wooden spoon.

IMPORTANT: Lye will heat the water and create harsh and unpleasant fumes for about 30 seconds. During this time, turn your face away and avoid breathing in the fumes. If possible, mix the lye and water outside.

Once the lye is dissolved, set the mixture safely aside.

Place the coconut oil and vegetable shortening in the metal pot. Stir frequently over a low heat. Once they have melted together, remove the pot from the heat and add the 24 ounces of olive oil.

Prepare your soap mold (the plastic food storage container) by greasing the bottom and sides with vegetable shortening.

If you've removed your rubber gloves and safety glasses, make certain you put them back on before continuing.

Next, you'll need to get both the lye and oil mixtures to a temperature of 98° F to 98° F. This can be accomplished by placing the containers in hot and cold water baths until the desired temperature is reached.

Cold Water Bath: place container in a sink or tub with one or two inches of cold water.

Hot Water Bath: place container in a sink or tub with one or two inches of hot water.

When the lye and oil mixtures are both within the correct temperature range (95-98° F) carefully add the lye to the oil. Stir slowly and consistently until all the lye has been added.

Continue stirring for ten minutes. Mix in the scent oil and colorant and then carefully pour the soap mixture into the greased mold container.

For best results, scent oil, colorant, and soap mold should be warmed to approximately 98° F beforehand.

Place the lid on the container and set it somewhere fairly warm. Insulate the container by bundling it in the 2 blankets. Allow it to remain undisturbed for approximately 18 hours.

Remove the blankets and the container lid and allow it to sit uncovered for an additional 8 to 12 hours. To remove the soap, carefully invert the container and allow the soap to slip out onto a towel or clean surface.

If you like, you can cut your slab into individual soap bars right away. Allow soap to cure for a minimum of 2 weeks before using.

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