How to Make Homemade Soap Bars for BeginnersFollowing up to our article on How to Start a Soap-Making Business, we thought it wise to lend a helping hand to you who may be passionate about this line of business but may not know where to begin. How about we learn, How to Make Homemade Soap Bars for Beginners? It is one of the niches of soap making we spoke about in our last article. Don’t fret about not having the skills. We know it’s a man’s gift that makes a way for him. But some are born gifted, while others acquire the gift, learning and developing the relevant skills. Let us acquire some skills, shall we?

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But before we get there, here are four different methods of soap making:

1. Cold process:

This is a very much used method of making soap. With this method your soap is made from scratch, and you have the opportunity to customize right down to the last ingredient. Cold process soap is made by combining oils and sodium hydroxide lye causing saponification.

2. Hot process:

Hot oils and lye are combined to start saponification and then cooked in a crock pot or oven before the mixture is poured into a mold.

3. Rebatching:

This is another process of cold soap making. In this method, soap is either made from scratch using the cold process or a premade soap base is bought, shredded with a grater and placed over a heat source (in a double boiler or in a freezer baggie with a small quantity of either tea, milk or beer.

4. Melt and pour:

Here, premade soap blocks are melted and all you need to do is add your own fragrance to it.


The cold as well as the melt and pour processes are the most commonly used for soap making at home. However, for this article, we will be taking you through the cold process of soap making. Enjoy!!!

soap making


Before you rush into the process, it’s important to explain some very important security requirements:

  1. Make sure to wear goggles. Alkaline burns are extremely dangerous if they come in contact with your eyes, so avoid such burns by wearing your goggles. If you wear glasses, you still need to wear goggles over them.
  2. It’s important that you wear latex or nitrile gloves that go right up to almost your elbow. This is to properly protect your skin due to the very corrosive nature of lye (sodium hydroxide). Always make sure skin is protected from direct contact with the substance. It would be advisable to wear long trousers, longs sleeves and closed shoes, to prevent any risks of getting in direct contact with the chemical.
  3.  Let the kitchen equipment you use for this never be used in the kitchen again. This is to prevent residues of the chemical from contact with food. You are encouraged to wash the dishes yourself and not with the aid of a dish washer to promote the efficiency of the cleaning. Use equipment consecrated only to soap making.

Recipe time!

Organic Soap with Mustard Seeds:

This recipe will give you 6 bars of soap.
6 ½ oz (184g) olive oil
3 ¼ oz (92g) sunflower oil
2 ½ oz (65g) palm oil
2 ½ oz (65g) coconut oil
1 oz (28g) sweet almond oil
1 ½ oz (40g) beeswax
8 oz (227g) (230 ml) mineral water
2 ¼ oz (65) lye (sodium hydroxide/caustic soda)
2 teaspoons (7ml) lemongrass essential oil
1 teaspoon (5ml) lime essential oil
½ teaspoon (5ml) rosemary essential oil
2 drops benzoin essential oil
2 tablespoons mustard seed

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Step 1:

Measure all the ingredients with precision. Make sure to place each item on its own; You do not mix at this level.

Step 2:

Prepare your molds, make sure to avoid metal molds but for the stainless steel ones.

Step 3:

Wear your goggles and gloves; make sure no part of your body is exposed. Pour the mineral water into a sturdy plastic or glass container. Pour in the lye and watch as the water starts to heat up when it reacts with the lye.

Step 4:

Use a large stainless steel or enamel pan, gently heat the oils and wax excluding essential oils. Combine the oils and lye when both temperatures reach 130° f (55c). Use two thermometers to measure both the oils and lye before combining them. Slowly pour the lye into the oil as you stir.

NB: Never pour substances into lye, it should be the other way round, less it splashes and burns your skin.

Step 5:

Use your blender stick and stir the mixture for several minutes, then give your mixture a few short 3 second bursts stirring between each burst until it thickens and has the consistency of custard thus reaching the trace stage. If you are using your hand, you will need to keep stirring for about an hour.

soap making.i

Step 6:

Pour your mixture into your mold and use your spatula to smooth it out. Then place a cardboard over the mold or an old towel just so you can keep the heat in.

Step 7:

Allow your soap to set in a warm place until the soap has hardened. If it looks translucent at this stage it is normal.

Related: 5 business opportunities for African Entrepreneurs

Step 8:

After twenty four hours the soap must have hardened. Remove it from the mold and let it settle for a few hours. At this point the soap is still caustic so still use gloves till after an additional 24 hours.

Step 9:

Cut your soap into desired shape. Place each bar erect, in such a way that one does not touch the other. Leave the bars for 4 weeks, so they continue curing, then you use your soap.

There you have it; your soap is all made. Make sure to send us pictures of this adventure of yours. If the mixture happens to touch your skin “DO NOT USE WATER!” Rather use vinegar juice to wash it away. Water makes it worse.

On this note, we say good luck, tons of best wishes on your adventure, and please, remember to share!!!


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