Make Your Own Soap, Then Use It To Make All Your Household Cleansers

10 Materials
2 Hours

When our youngest son was a baby, he had skin issues and we had to buy specific soaps, lotions & detergents that no one else in our family used. I finally decided to try my hand at making these things myself & had no idea how easy & inexpensive it would be.

That was 8 years ago & now there’s no going back. The 1 thing that I hadn't done yet was make our soap.

I just tried it for the 1st time this spring. I used a crock pot recipe that I found at DIY Natural. It really is the best way to get started making soap because it's so easy - there's no weighing or checking temperatures.

The only reason I rated this as a medium project is because of the sodium hydroxide (lye). You DO have to be careful working with chemicals.

This method took all the pressure away. You can see the original post at DIY Natural but I'll tell you what I used & you can watch the video below to see the process with full instructions below.

Step 1: SAFETY FIRST... Prep your space.

You will be working with lye so take care to:

  1. cover your work surface
  2. cover your eyes, hands, arms... your whole body!
  3. prep for cleaning. I did this next to the sink so I could put anything that contacts the lye into a vinegar bath to neutralize.
  4. make sure there are no small children or pets around. If they are home, make sure they are kept away from this whole process & are totally pre-occupied. You don't want any accidents.

Step 2: Gather your ingredients & tools.

¾ cup cool (distilled or filtered) water

¼ cup lye (I got mine at Ace hardware for $4.50)

⅔ cup olive oil

⅔ cup coconut oil (melted)

⅔ cup grapeseed oil

Glass jar, bowl or container

Measuring cups

A scale (this recipe that didn't require it - great for 1st timers)

Crock pot

Immersion (stick) blender

Spoon, spatula, or stir sticks (I’ve used wooden & silicone)

knife or straight cutter

**Note - SAFETY FIRST (again): Be sure to ONLY use these items for soap making, don't reuse them in the kitchen. I keep all my tools in a bin on the top shelf of the laundry room.

Step 3: Let's make soap!!

  1. Pour the water into a glass container with a wide mouth.
  2. Slowly add the lye stirring VERY gently as you pour. Put the lye mixture aside while you prepare the oils.
  3. Measure out your oils & add them to the crock pot to heat up.
  4. Now slowly stir in the lye mixture & continue stirring for about 5 minutes or so to get good contact between the oils & lye.
  5. Use the stick blender to bring the mixture to “trace” – a pancake batter consistency.
  6. Walk away & let the soap cook until it starts to roll in on itself from the sides of the crock – it took about 40-45 minutes. This is easier to see in the video below than it is to explain.
  • If it starts to look like it will overflow the crock, you can stir it down & continue to let it cook – I let mine cook for just over an hour total.

Pour the soap into soap molds. You don’t need anything fancy for this. You can get creative & think outside the mold. A few things I use are:

  1. egg carton to make rounded soap
  2. ice cube trays (I used this the 1st time to make a small batch just in case things didn't work out)
  3. clean empty yogurt containers
  4. shoe box top
  5. square or rectangular glass baking dish
  6. small square storage containers
  7. an actual soap mold 

Cover the soap with wax paper or a thin kitchen towel & let them sit for 24 hours.

Un-mold them, cut them, cover & let them sit for another week or 2.

  • I’ve read that the longer you let the soap sit the better. We started using ours after a week because I just couldn’t wait to try it. While the rest of the soap was still curing, it did get much harder & seemed to last longer.

Once the soap is done curing, you can use it for the whole family. And even better... you can use it to make other DIY cleansers to use around your whole home! You can find all the cleaning recipes I use here. Just melt/dissolve it for the liquid cleansers.

Store handmade soap just like you would any other – in a cool dry place with some airflow. We keep ours in a fabric covered shoe box in our linen closet.  Don’t use a plastic bin because it doesn’t allow air to circulate around the soap.

While you're packaging, don't forget to wrap some up to gift to your family & friends to try. Just be sure you don't give them any with oils they may be allergic to.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Barbara
    on Jan 7, 2019

    Is lye an all natural ingredient?

    • User
      on May 24, 2020

      I know this is a year later, but lye is made from the ashes of hardwood. You can actually make it in your kitchen! You just need the ashes from hardwoods and some soft water or you can also use rainwater. Boil the ashes in the water for about half an hour. Then turn it off, and allow the ashes to settle to the bottom of your pan/pot. Then you can skim off the liquid lye.

  • Lisa bong
    on Jan 7, 2019

    Can u add essential oils to the soap while making it..for fragrance?

    • N'Ckyola
      on Jan 7, 2019

      Hi Lisa! Yes you can. You add it at the end and stir it really well to distribute before pouring into molds. Any sooner & the scent might just "cook off".

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