Handmade Soaps Made Easy: {Crafting The Perfect Bar}

If you’ve been curious about how to make handmade soaps but feel a little overwhelmed on where to get started, don’t let intimidation hold you back! With the right guidance and techniques, the entire process can be a breeze.

Imagine creating your own luxurious bars with the exact scent, color, and texture you want. With just a few simple steps, you’ll be on your way to making beautiful and unique creations that you’ll be proud to use and share with others!

Whether you prefer the cold process, hot process, melt & pour, or rebatching methods (I outline each below), start with what you’re most comfortable with and watch your confidence grow from there.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to customizing your bars with different ingredients. These additives are often natural and not only make your soap look and smell amazing, but they can also provide additional nourishment and therapeutic benefits for your skin.

Below you’ll find a handy reference guide that is packed with information, tips and resources to help you become a pro in no time.

Since there is so much information here, I’ve organized everything into the following sections:

  • The Four Methods Of Soap Making (general introduction plus recipes for each)
  • Additive suggestions (exfoliants, natural colorants, etc.)
  • Troubleshooting Chart

The Four Methods Of Soap Making

Before getting started, it’s crucial to understand the primary methods for making soap: cold process, hot process, melt & pour, rebatching (or hand milled).

Each technique boasts its own distinct advantages and challenges, and ultimately, the decision of which one to choose depends on your personal preferences, experience, and desired outcome. So whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice just starting out, rest assured that each approach offers endless possibilities for crafting stunning, top-quality soap.

Note: You’ll often see references to “saponification” when reading through recipes and tutorials, this is the chemical reaction that occurs when oils or fats are combined with lye.

Cold Process

The cold process method is a simple way to make your own homemade soap bars from scratch. The basic steps are to accurately measure ingredients (oils and lye solution) then combine as instructed. Some quick, gentle heating may be required in the initial steps to better incorporate ingredients (ie. melting fats before mixing).

Once the batch has been fully mixed & trace has been reached (see each recipe for further details), you then incorporate any desired additives and pour the batter into a mold.

After hardening for up to 48 hours (or as instructed), cut into bars & cure as directed (usually around 4 to 6 weeks).


  • Highly customizable & great creative freedom
  • Batch is ready for mold sooner than the hot process method
  • Final product is more refined, creamier & smoother


  • Great care required when handling lye (caustic)
  • Fragrance oils can be trickier to work with since they may react with the high pH
  • Longest curing time


Directions: To review the recipes, click on images to visit the project page

Hot Process

This method adds an extra step that uses heat to speed up the saponification process. Here’s how you do it: first, mix lye with water and then add it to your oils and fats. Next, heat everything in a slow cooker or pot until it becomes thick and creamy. Finally favorite fragrances, colors, and other ingredients are added (if desired). Last, pour the batch into molds and let it cool down.

Hot process soap can be used right away (though some experts recommend allowing a couple days to cure so it firms up more).


  • Final product is ready to use much sooner than cold process method
  • Very customizable when it comes to ingredients
  • No expensive equipment required, a slow cooker will do the trick nicely


  • More hands on prepping time needed before pouring into molds
  • Working with lye requires careful attention
  • Final product is typically less smooth, more rustic looking and texture is thicker


Directions: To review the recipes, click on images to visit the project page

Melt & Pour

This is the simplest and quickest method. It involves melting pre-made soap base (microwave or double boiler) and then pouring into molds. You can incorporate a variety of additives such as colorants and fragrances to create a wide range of creative designs. However, it does not allow for complete control over ingredients and the results may not be as high quality as the other methods.


  • Well suited for beginners
  • Quickest & easiest method
  • No need to handle lye


  • Not as budget friendly
  • Not as customizable
  • Less lathering


Directions: To review the recipes, click on images to visit the project page

Rebatching / Hand Milled

Also known as hand milling, this is an excellent method for recycling leftover scraps or correcting mistakes from previous batches. It involves grating or chopping pre-made soap, adding some water (or other liquids such as milk or tea) and melting them down with optional ingredients (for exfoliation, color, etc.) before pouring the mixture into molds. Curing time will be at least a couple weeks.


  • Very economically friendly & reduces waste
  • A great way to recover costs & salvage products from a failed batch


  • Less easy to customize
  • Less polished product, more rustic in appearance


Directions: To review the recipes, click on images to visit the project page

DIY Liquid Hand Soap Recipe

It’s hard to imagine a time when we used bars of soap for washing hands throughout the day, today liquid varieties are more convenient and are preferred by many because of the perception that they’re more sanitary. The price comparison between the two is outrageous, especially if stocking up on generic brands when they’re on sale.

Here’s a way to take advantage of those cost savings yet still enjoy the convenience of the liquid form, make your own version! Just a few simple ingredients are needed that don’t break the budget, and it’s so easy to do too!

The benefits of homemade vs. store bought is the obvious cost savings, but the fragrance can also be customized (with essential oils or a herbal infusion). Here’s how…


Liquid Soap Pump With Ingredients To Make DIY Soap (Shaved Bars)

1 bar soap (6 oz)
1 TBS honey
1 tsp glycerin


  • Grate bar into small flakes, toss in blender.
  • Whip in 1 cup boiling water.
  • Add 1/2 cup room temperature water and stir in blender.
  • Stir in honey and glycerin.
  • Allow to cool (15 minutes) then whip again.
  • Mixture should be 2 cups at this point. Top with cool water until it measures between 5 and 6 cups, whip.
  • Pour into containers and allow to cool (do not put lids or caps on yet).
  • After an hour, close containers. Mixture will thicken up.
  • Shake before using as needed.

Optional: A herbal infusion can be used, just strain first.

Source: Adapted from Pearls of Country Wisdom by Debora S. Tukua (First published here on Tipnut September 12, 2008 and moved to this page for better organization)

Another version:

Save leftover bits (or grated shreds) then toss in a glass mason jar and top with boiling water (about double the amount of soap bits). Stir then seal with lid. Shake jar a few times while it’s cooling to get rid of any clumps. Once cooled, stir well and add a few drops of essential oil if a scented version is desired.

Pour into bottle then top with water as needed to get the right consistency (shake well). If for some reason it’s too thin, simply melt a bit of grated soap in a little hot water then combine with first mixture to thicken.

*First published August 25, 2008 and moved to this page for better organization

Crafting the Perfect Bar: Additives for Homemade Soap

Looking to give your bars some extra oomph? Incorporating various additives into a recipe can take your bars beyond just cleansing and help to nourish and soothe your skin. Whether you’re wanting to enhance texture, color, or exfoliation to your product, there are many options to choose from – herbs, clays, and exfoliants like oatmeal or coffee grounds, just to name a few.

Mixing Additives In Handmade Soap & Pouring Into Molds


These ingredients help to remove dirt, impurities and dead cells while improving circulation (which leaves skin smoother, softer and brighter).

Not only do exfoliants add texture and interest, but they can also provide therapeutic benefits:

  • Stimulating blood circulation & lymphatic drainage
    • Reducing inflammation & promote healing
  • Unclogging pores and preventing breakouts by removing excess oil & bacteria
  • Can stimulate collagen production & cell renewal
    • Reduces the signs of aging & improves elasticity

Common Exfoliating Ingredients

OatmealSea SaltBamboo PowderAlmond Meal
Coffee GroundsJojoba BeadsPumiceApricot Kernel Powder
SugarWalnut ShellsCranberry SeedsCharcoal
Poppy SeedsCoconut flakesLemon Peel PowderHimalayan Pink Salt
Corn MealGround Dried HerbsDried FlowersBlueberry Seeds


Adding fragrance or essential oils to your batch is a great way to make it smell amazing and cater to your personal preferences. You can even create your own unique scent by mixing different oils, but remember to start with a small amount since a little goes a long way.

Choosing The Right Oil

Essential Oils (EO)Natural fragrances that are derived from plants.

They are popular because they are pure, natural, and have therapeutic benefits. They come in a wide range of scents, from floral and fruity to woody and earthy.

Some popular EOs include lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and citrus.
Fragrance Oils (FO)These are synthetic fragrances that are created in a lab and offer a wider range of scents than essential oils.

FOs are usually less expensive than EOs and can be more stable in soap, meaning they will retain their scent longer.

Some popular FOs include vanilla, pumpkin spice, and ocean breeze.
Carrier OilsThese are not technically fragrances, but they are often used to dilute EOs and help them mix evenly with the base.

They can also have a light scent of their own, such as sweet almond or coconut oil.

It’s important to consider the purpose of the soap. If you’re making a relaxing bar for bedtime, consider a calming scent like lavender. If you’re making something invigorating for the morning shower, consider a bright pick-me-up like citrus or peppermint.

Peace & Calm
  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Clary Sage
  • Fir
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Petitgrain
  • Chamomile
  • Clove
  • Sandalwood
  • Frankincense
  • Patchouli
Refreshing & Uplifting
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Geranium
  • Lemongrass
  • May Chang
  • Cinnamon
  • Bergamot
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea Tree
  • Citrus: Grapefruit; Orange; Lemon; Lime

It can get a bit tricky adding EOs with the cold process method (seizing, fragrance loss, etc.). I found a good resource filled with tips here: Combining the Best Essential Oils for Soap Making. It includes a chart listing Top Notes, Middle Notes & Base Notes.

Notes On Blending Essential Oils

Do you understand what top notes, middle notes and base notes are? Or how to calculate amounts for optimal fragrance and therapeutic benefits? I included a general ratio in the table below that you can use as a rule of thumb but they can certainly be adjusted to your preference. A more detailed, helpful reference is found at houseoftomorrow.net.

Top Notes (30%)Middle Notes (50% – 60%)Base Notes (10% – 20%)
First fragrance notes smelled
Most volatile, evaporates quickly
Main body of the blend
Less volatile & lasts longer than top notes
Rich aroma
Least volatile, lasts the longest

Feel free to blend up to 4 or 5 different EOs and the total amount (in grams) should not exceed 3% of the soap recipe (source: n-essentials.com.au).

Quick Tip: Testing New Scents & Blends

(source: naturessunshine.com)

  • Dip a wooden toothpick into the EO of choice (counts as one drop). Desire a stronger scent? Soak the toothpick longer.
    • Do this for each EO you are experimenting with, one toothpick per EO.
  • Arrange the toothpicks together to smell test the combination & evaluate the blend.
    • If you like the combo, put them in an airtight container & set aside for a bit. Retest the fragrance & if you still like the blend, try it in your recipes.

With a wide variety of fragrance and essential oils to choose from, the options are limitless. The amount needed depends on the size of your batch and how strong you want the fragrance to be.

Herbs & Flowers

Pesticide-free herbs & florals can provide therapeutic benefits to skin that leave a sense of refreshment & rejuvenation.

These can be infused into oils, added as powdered herbs, or used as dried ingredients.

Vintage Rose Beauty Bar Wrapper

The possibilities are endless & you can customize to target specific concerns.

Note they will naturally add fragrance & color (some slight, others more bold) which may interfere with EOs, FOs & color additives.

LavenderSoothing & calming
Reduces stress
Antibacterial & antifungal
Analgesic effect
Aids in balancing the skin’s oil production (preventing acne breakouts)
PeppermintBoosts mood, energy & mental clarity
Cool & refreshing
Relieves inflammation, irritation & itchiness
Antibacterial & antifungal properties
Soothes muscles (easing tension, stress)
CalendulaAnti-inflammatory & antibacterial properties
Stimulates collagen production
Improves elasticity (helps reduce wrinkles & scars)
Good for eczema, acne
Rich in antioxidants, vitamins & minerals
Lemon BalmCalming, reduces stress & anxiety
Antibacterial & antiviral properties
Astringent & toning properties help balance oil production
Tightens pores
Antioxidants & anti-inflammatory agents
ChamomileAntibacterial & antifungal
Anti-inflammatory properties (good for sunburns, rashes, eczema)
Calming effect on mind & body
NettleNatural astringent properties (to treat greasy skin, insect bites, chickenpox, etc.)
Stimulates blood flow
Reduces joint pain, swell & stiffness (arthritis)
ThymeAntibacterial properties
Aromatherapy benefits (enhances mood, relieves stress, promotes relaxation)
Deters dandruff
Good for oily skin
Good for dry hair
Lemon VerbenaAnti-inflammatory properties (good for puffy eyes)
Balances the pH level
Regulates oil production
Brightens complexion
RosemaryNatural exfoliant & detoxifier
Has anti-inflammatory & antiseptic properties
Has anti-oxidant properties that fight free radicals & wrinkles
SageAntioxidants that slow down signs of aging
Antibacterial & antifungal properties
Regulates sebum production
Balances the pH level
BasilGood for combating blackheads & acne
Brightens complexion
Has antibacterial properties
Boosts collagen product
Fights free radicals
Has antiseptic & astringent properties
Promotes regeneration (helpful for scars & blemishes)
RoseBrightens skin
Beautiful scent for aromatherapy (relaxing & calming)
Antibacterial properties
HibiscusImproves elasticity
Improves tone
Anti-inflammatory, soothing
Boosts collagen production
JasmineBattles acne & infections
Reduces signs of aging
Good for dry skin
Does not clog pores
Improves mood
GeraniumBalances oil production
Improves blood circulation
Stimulates cell regeneration


Milk is a popular ingredient because it adds a creamy and luxurious texture plus has skin-nourishing properties. It is considered a gentle exfoliator because of its acidity levels and lactic acid content (animal based varieties).

Keep in mind that working with milk can be tricky since it can scorch and turn brown when lye is added (as heat is generated and high temp is reached quickly).

This can affect the final product’s color and scent. To avoid this, it is best to use the cold process method and freeze the milk beforehand (it will melt as the lye is mixed in).

There are several types that can be used, including plant based (outlined below).

Bars Of Homemade Goat & Cow Milk Soap
CowContains natural fats and proteins that moisturize and nourish. Has a mild pH that is gentle & helps balance its natural acidity.
GoatRich in vitamins and minerals and has a pH level similar to that of human skin, making it gentle and nourishing. Goat’s milk soap is also known for its creamy lather and moisturizing properties.
SheepLess common in soap making, but it can be used to add a creamy texture and nourishing properties. Contains high levels of vitamins and minerals, making it great for dry and sensitive skin. However, it can be difficult to find and may be more expensive than other types of milk.
CoconutA popular choice for those who want a vegan or dairy-free option. It is rich in fatty acids, which makes it great for moisturizing and nourishing. Coconut milk also provides a creamy lather and a pleasant tropical scent.
AlmondAnother vegan option. It is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids, which make it great for moisturizing and nourishing. Provides a subtle nutty scent. However, almond milk can be expensive and may not be as readily available as other types.
RiceA great option for those with sensitivities. It is gentle, soothing and can aid in reducing redness and inflammation. Provides a creamy lather and a subtle, sweet scent. However, rice milk can be thin and watery, which can make it difficult to work with.
OatA good option for those with sensitivities. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, and has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe and heal. Gives a creamy lather and a subtle, nutty scent. However, oat milk can be thick and may require additional water to dilute it.
SoyAnother vegan friendly option. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which makes it great for moisturizing and nourishing. It is especially good for aging skin. Soy milk gives a creamy lather and a subtle, nutty scent.
HempA great option for those with dry or mature skin. It is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which moisturize and nourish. Hemp milk provides a creamy lather and a subtle, earthy scent.

Natural Colorants

Natural colorants are derived from plant sources such as herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables. They are a great way to add beautiful hues to your product without using synthetic dyes or pigments.


  • Natural and safe for the skin
  • Can provide added benefits due to the presence of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds
  • Can create unique and interesting colors


  • May not produce as bright or vivid colors as synthetic dyes
  • May affect the scent
  • May require experimentation to achieve desired color

Color Chart

A great option for those who prefer to work with natural ingredients whenever possible, some popular colorants include:

Beetroot PowderPink / Red
Tumeric PowderGold / Yellow
Indigo PowderBlue
Activated CharcoalBlack
Cocoa PowderBrown
Annatto SeedsYellow / Orange
Carrot JuiceOrange
Rose ClayPink (soft)
French Green ClayGreen (muted)
Alkanet Root PowderPurple


Clays are a great natural, mineral rich additive and offer various benefits for different skin types and conditions. It’s important to choose the right clay based on your needs and the properties of the clay. As with any new ingredient, it’s best to test in small batches and adjust as needed for optimal results.

KaolinThis is a gentle, white clay that is perfect for sensitive skin as it helps to cleanse and exfoliate without drying out.

Kaolin clay can be added to increase lather and add slip (for shaving).
Gentle and mild, suitable for all skin types

Can reduce oil patches

Good for sensitive skin

May not add a lot of color or texture
French GreenA mineral-rich clay that is great for detoxifying and exfoliating.

It is often used in products designed to treat acne.
Detoxifying and cleansing

Can add a natural green color
May not be suitable for those with dry or sensitive skin

Can stain clothing and surfaces
BentoniteA highly absorbent clay that is great for drawing out impurities.

It is often used in products that are designed to help with acne-prone or oily skin.
Aids in unclogging pores and drawing out impurities

Can soothe itchy or irritated areas
Can be drying if used in large amounts

May not be suitable for those with dry or sensitive skin
RhassoulA mineral-rich clay that is great for cleansing and exfoliating.

It is often used in soaps that are designed to treat oily or acne-prone skin.

Also known as ghassoul or red Moroccan clay.
Assists in removing impurities and toxins

Can soothe irritated or inflamed areas

Adds a unique texture
Can be drying if used in large amounts

May not be suitable for those with dry or sensitive skin
RoseA mild clay that is often used in products designed for dry or sensitive skin.

It is gentle enough to use on the face and body, and helps to cleanse and exfoliate.
Gentle and mild, suitable for all skin types

Reduces inflammation and soothes irritated areas

Adds a natural pink color
May not add a lot of texture


Adding preservatives can extend your product’s shelf life and prevent soap from going rancid. When choosing a preservative, consider factors such as effectiveness, skin sensitivity, and natural vs. synthetic options. With the right preservative, the bars can last for months or even years, allowing you to enjoy your handmade creations for longer.

Vitamin ENot a true preservative since it doesn’t prevent microbial growth, it can aid in extending the shelf life due to its antioxidant properties (prevents oils from going rancid).

Vitamin E is also great for the skin, it is moisturizing and can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Cons: Vitamin E can be expensive and may not be as effective as other preservatives.
Grapefruit Seed ExtractGrapefruit seed extract (GSE) is a popular natural preservative. It is derived from the seeds of grapefruit and has antimicrobial properties, which help to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi.

Cons: Some people find that GSE can cause irritation and can be difficult to find a high-quality, pure form of the extract.
PhenonipA synthetic preservative that is relatively inexpensive and is a broad-spectrum preservative. This means it is effective against a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria, yeast and mold.

Cons: Some people prefer to use natural preservatives in their recipes, and phenonip may not be suitable for those with sensitivities.
OptiphenAnother synthetic preservative that is a broad-spectrum preservative, which means it is effective against bacteria, yeast, and mold. It is also relatively inexpensive and easy to find.

Cons: Some people prefer to use natural preservatives in their recipes, and optiphen may not be suitable for those with sensitivities.
Potassium SorbateA natural preservative that is derived from sorbic acid, which is found in certain berries.

Cons: Some people find that potassium sorbate can be drying and it may not be as effective as synthetic preservatives.

When Soap Making Goes Wrong: Understanding the Causes

While this can be a fun and rewarding hobby, it can also be frustrating when things don’t turn out quite as expected. Here are some troubleshooting tips to avoid common mistakes and achieve the best results possible.

Removing A Cured Brick Of Soap From Its Mold

Troubleshooting Chart

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, you’re sure to find some useful information in this section to take your skills to the next level.

Too SoftThis may be due to using too little sodium hydroxide or not allowing it to fully saponify. You can try curing for a longer period of time, or you can rebatch with a bit of additional sodium hydroxide and heat.
Too HardThis may be due to using too much sodium hydroxide in your recipe. You can try to rebatch by grating it down and adding a bit of liquid and heat to soften it up. You can also try adding some extra oils or fats to the recipe to create a softer bar.
Too CrumblyThis may be due to not mixing the oils and lye solution together thoroughly enough or not allowing the soap to fully saponify. You can try adding some additional oils or fats to the recipe to make it more cohesive, or you can try rebatching it with a bit of additional liquid.
Too BrittleInsufficient amount of fats/oils; Too much lye; Overheating during curing; Rapid cooling; Too much air trapped in the soap; Insufficient amount of liquid; Using hard water; Using too much salt; Using too much fragrance or colorant; Not allowing enough curing time.
Too GrittyA gritty texture may be due to undissolved lye crystals or not using a fine enough grade of ingredients. You can try using a more finely ground version of the ingredients, or you can rebatch with a bit of additional liquid to dissolve any undissolved lye crystals.
Too SlimyToo humid; Poor quality oils; Inadequate curing time; Overheating; Contamination (bacteria or mold); pH level is off; Low quality fragrances or essential oils; Inadequate mixing.
CrackingThis can happen if poured into molds too quickly. To prevent it, pour into the molds slowly and tap the molds to release any air bubbles.
Discolored, Dull/FadedSunlight/overexposure to light; Overheating; Old/expired ingredients; pH imbalance; Improper storage; Too much fragrance; Incomplete mixing; Water hardness; Herbs/Additives affecting color.
Separation or CurdlingProperly measure ingredients to achieve the desired chemical reaction; Avoid extreme temperatures; Blend together quickly and thoroughly, but careful not to overblend; Add ingredients slowly, stirring constantly, stop mixing as soon as you reach trace; Check water content (too much can cause separation).
Overheating or UnderheatingMonitor temperature carefully (too hot, it may crack…too cold, it may be mushy); Stir constantly to distribute heat evenly and prevent hot spots; A water bath will help regulate the temperature; Add lye slowly; Conditions too humid (workspace).
Soap Drying OutWater amount in recipe is too low; Overheating; Improper storage.
Incorrect ScentTo avoid using too much or too little FO, it is important to measure accurately. Follow the recommended usage rate provided by the FO manufacturer. Generally, the usage rate is 1-3% of the total weight of the soap batter. Start with a lower usage rate and gradually increase if needed. Problems also arise when using FOs not suitable or not mixing it well enough.


  • DIY Soap Saver Pouch out of Washcloth: Now that you’ve done all the work & you’ve got a pile of bars ready to wash up with, here’s a quick & nifty project that will help you get the most out of them.
  • 10 Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipes: Learn how to make your own laundry detergent with this DIY guide. These easy-to-follow recipes use simple ingredients and are perfect for those who want to save money. Say goodbye to store-bought brands!
  • DIY Felted Cover Tutorial: This is another project that extends the life of your favorite bars by tightly wrapping them in wool then felting so it stays in place. A lovely exfoliator too!

Related Posts


    • Lori S.

    I have made my own soaps for about 10 years and I love the creative aspect! I have come up with some very luxuriant soaps! Making your won soap can get expensive (like when you use almond oil, walnut oil, lanolin, beeswax, olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, essential oils, and powdered oatmeal all in the same batch of soap!!!), but ohhh what great soap!
    I found a small meat processing place that will give me all the suet I want for free (I just have to pick it up and tote it out, unpackaged by them), then I have frozen it until i want it. I render it down, strain, place in molds, then when cool, wrap and freeze for when I need it. This make sit very convenient. Even though the tallow is frozen, it is easy to break off chunks, weigh them, and melt them down.
    Hope this is helpful for those of you who cannot believe the high price of suet in grocery stores!

      • Courtney

      So do you use suet instead of the oils called for in the recipe?

    • John in SF

    Has anyone made a green tea scented hand soap? Willing to share the recipe?


    • Matt

    easy easy stuff

    • John in ROK

    I’d say, just use green tea instead of plain water in the recipe.

    • Pinny Cohen

    What is the total cost for this, and how does it compare to just buying it?

    • TipNut

    It depends what kind of bar soap you use Pinny since that’s where the bulk of your cost is. If you watch sales you can pick up a 12 pack of soap bars for a few dollars.

    • Andy

    After making the soap in my blender, what will my margaritas taste like?

      • Mimi

      Buy a blender at a yard sale for $2-$3. Then your margaritas will taste just fine.

      • renee davenport

      Don’t you usually put soap into your blender to clean it after you make your drink? If you clean well your next drink never tastes like soap, right? How will this be different? I make soap in my blender all the time and I NEVER have a problem with anything tasting like soap. Just be prepared to have a really clean blender. 🙂

      • stephen

      It will taste like a large savings if you drink magarita’s often.

    • ben

    where can you get glycerin at?

      • Jeri

      Hey I buy glycerin at the drug store all the time. I use it in my sewing room to make the fabric stick to my fingers better. Works really good. A small bottle of it goes a long way and is just a couple of dollars or so.

        • Emmy

        Why do you want the fabric to stick to your fingers?

          • Alisann

          So that it doesn’t move when you fold it

    • enthusiast

    wow! thanks for posting this. i will try it this weekend.

    • kooonin

    this site is fabulous! Great collection of household tips. i will link you to my site 🙂

    • Juan Quiceno

    Ben wrote:
    where can I get glycerin at?

    you can get glyceryn in several you might want to try where they sell bakery products, caldor, home depot, and many others it is used for many things, you can also get it in most super markets, /just don’t go the Tyler Durden way :P)

    I do have a question does this soap keep it’s gooey properties or do I have to shake it every time I want to get soap? does the soap mixture separate from the water after some time?

    • TipNut

    Hi Juan, it will need to be shaken up occasionally, not every time though. Thanks for the list of places to pick up glycerin, I get it at the drug store or grocery store.

    • Catherine

    I made this last night, it was super easy, and has a great feel and smell, but it is really thick – about the consistency of cheesecake! Should I add more water?

    • Spiff

    they will taste clean!

    • Meredith

    I found glycerin at my local Walmart, in the pharmacy department. I also added a few drops of lavender oil for a nice scent.

    • TipNut

    Yes Catherine, add more water because it will thicken up a bit more yet over time.

    • Ron

    The recipe didn’t work well for me. Maybe I whipped it too long

    • Phyllis

    Hi, does anyone have a “recipe” or formula for making the reed diffuser scented oils? I haven’t found a place that only sells refills for them and have bought some with scents I love! Too expensive too replace containers and scents as much as I’d like. Thanks..

    • Myshal

    has anyone tried making this without a blender? by hand? or with a whisk? i imagine it must be possible if the warm water dissolves the soap bar flakes?

      • Miss M

      Yes, you can combine the ingredients in a pot on the stove (~medium heat), stirring frequently until completely dissolved. Once it is dissolved, continue to heat a few minutes more to make absolutely sure it is completely dissolved. Add food coloring and/or scents. Pour into container, leave open to cool. Add cool water to desired consistency.

      • Michelle

      Hi, Yes the hand whisk works well.

    • John

    Roughly a decade or so ago, one of the ‘big’ infomercial items was a DIY liquid soap maker/dispenser; you added soap ‘ends’ and water and shook the container. A LOT. It made for an odd, watery soap but what “helped” the bits and water combine were the round, plastic “beads” inside the container. We don’t have a blender so I’m thinking of picking up some marbles at our local dollar store, placing them and the above ingredients in, say, an empty milk or water jug, and shaking it til the cows come home. Might be worth a try, especially for those who are worried about using a blender or don’t have one to begin with.

      • Peggy

      Hey john…not sure how long ago you wrote this, but do you have a grater? If so, you can grate the soap or even chop it up w/ a knife into little pieces. Then melt it on the stove like Miss M says above, on medium heat. I’m sure it would be easier than shaking it till the cows come home. You know how them cows are, they may not want to come home as soon as you want them too. 🙂

        • Norma

        I made a batch of dry laundry detergent tonight. The first time I made it, I used one of the 4 sided graters, but the soap was rather large pieces. Next I blended it and it came out just right. Tonight I grabbed the little hand cranked grater – like they use in the restaurant to grate cheese on the pasta, after it is served. This little thing grates it really fine. Just cut it into pieces that fit in the grater.

    • Kelly

    I’m trying this with a bar of Dial soap that already has glycerin in it. My blender is completely full of foam after the second step. I’m leaving it for a while and I hope the foam will eventually settle.

    Unfortunately, my blender only has two speeds – off and really, really fast. I’m guessing that I should stir by hand during the final steps.

    • Kevin

    Same thing happened to me. I used a bar of Dial soap and it is a bunch of foam. I let it sit per instructions. It is sealed now and has been sitting for about 18 hours and it is still mostly foam. It is kind of watery too. I am thinking Dial is not the right way to go. Anyone have any ideas?

      • Teresa

      Mine also is foamy. what kind of soap is the best to use. and should you find soap with no scent at all. i used caress and it is really perfumy.

        • Greatchalynne

        I use dial and it works great! Of course I have had to completely modify it. Instead of using a belender, I use a hand mixer, less bubbles. I added two tbs extra of glycerin to get rid of the stringy like texture, my whole family loves it!

        Here is a recipe to make it without suds and suds and more suds:

        1 4 oz bar of soap (I use dial)
        4 tbsp of glycerin
        4 cups of water.

        I cook it on the stove on low heat until the soap is dissolved. Then I mix it in the pot with a hand mixer.

        Pour into gallon jugs to keep. Sometimes it may turn out to thick, just pour it back into the pan, heat it on low until it turns back into liquid and then add 1 more cup of water at a time until it is the consistancy you want. Good Luck.

    • Roxana

    i apparently ran out of body wash last night and used this as a body wash, believe it or not, its GOOD! so i went and modified it a little bit and used that as my new body wash (it works better then Palmolive!!)

    1 cup green tea liquor water as the hot water
    1 cup normal water
    1 tsp vit e (got it from vit e capsules)
    1 soap (100 grams)(mine is a jhonsons baby soap )
    1 tbs honey
    1 tbs glycerin

    mix the hot water first with the soap grating, then add the rest of the ingrediants and blend away. oh, just use it when the hot water cools down 😀 washes great!!

      • Michelle

      Thanks will try that recipe 🙂

      • Linda

      I made shower gel and it does not work up to a lather ….I used ivory and bar of emue soap and some glycerm ….what did I do wrong ?

    • Phil

    I found a way on the interwebs somewhere to easily distill extracts out of stuff [you know.. flowers, herbs, meats.. whatever]. would it be possible to add that to the mix for a good scented soap?

    • JJ

    Just a warning. I must have had some super frothy soap! I had a lot of soap scraps, about enough to equal 2 full bars of soap. So I thought I’d double the recipe.

    I put the soap in and I didn’t have “whip” on my blender, so I picked milkshake. I found out from friends that whip is probably slow on the blender. I put in the boiling hot water, put my hand on the lid of the blender and turned it on. It LITERALLY exploded boiling hot water and soap foam everywhere. I had the lid on tight and the pressure exploded the lid off.

    I cleaned up the mess and had a giant blob of foam. So I divided what was left in the blender into two batches and wait for the foam to go down. And waited and waited. The next day it was still a thick blob of foam.

    So I put it in a pot on the stove on low and in about 15 minutes it melted down.

    Just warning you guys. Don’t make a double batch and “whip” is low! I think next time I’ll just use the blender to grind up the soap scraps and then just melt it down on the stove.

      • FiFi

      Just wanted to let y’all know, I’m pretty sure it was the hot water that made it explode. I didn’t know that was possible till I saw it on a cooking show. Instead of telling the guy it was dangerous, they just watched him do it and THEN proceeded to say it was dangerous, while shaking their heads, like he should have known. But, I mean seriously, who knows that unless some one tells you or it happens to you? I just wanted to pass that along and hopefully help someone avoid some serious burns.

    • Rodney

    Ok, I shredded 1 bar of Safeguard (my fav) in the cheese grater attachment of my food processor. Added 3 cups of hot tap water & heated it up in the microwave until everything was dissolved.

    Looked like it worked, so I put it in the dispenser bottle. An hour later it completely geled up into a pudding-like consistency. I put the dispenser in the microwave to “turn” it back into a liquid just to get it out, then added about 1/2 c of cool water, stirring to incorporate and immersed the pyrex measuring cup in an ice bath to cool it down to room temperature. It remained liquid at room temperature so I left it alone for 15 min only to have it gel back up again!

    Obviously this is an agitation issue.

    So, do I keep adding water and letting it sit until it STAYS a liquid? Will I dilute it so much it doesn’t actually work as soap?

    Anyone else have this problem, and, hopefully, a solution?

      • Kareen

      This is my problem. I grated soap in blender. Put this, water, glycerine on stove til totally melted. Set like gel. Watered down (low heat), now no soap action left. Added more soap gratings (low heat) and like heavy gel again. I didn’t mix in blender – is that the problem? – no froth this way. Or is it the soap I used?


    The liquid hand washprepared becomes thicker after few days (becomes solid) and does not come out of the bottle. Please advise

      • Michelle

      Hi, I just made the hand soap tonight, so was sort of expecting the same result. This is becasue I made some laundary detergent last week. Very similar recipe. However, if you didn’t heat it on the stove you had to keep it in a bowl covered, and then each day give it a whisk until all the soap peices have mixed in. (The soap floats to the top and solidifies, leaving the water underneath, but it broke up easy enough each day and whisked back together, it had to do this about 3 times) Hope this helps.

    • bernie

    I am having a hard time finding emulsifying wax. It is used in making your own hand lotion. None of the craft stores/drug stores carry it and was wondering if anyone knew where I might buy some. This is the first time I have tried to make hand lotion.

      • Carina

      I prefere to use bee’s wax for my lotions.

    • Linda

    I guess I didn’t get the soap chips small enough. I still have small pieces in my mixture. Any suggestions?

      • Michelle

      Either heat on stove to melt remaining pieces, or give a whisk up again to break them down.

    • Sarah

    I’m in the process of making my very first batch of liquid soap, currently at the cooling point, hoping that it works OK!!!!!!!

    • Sarah

    Well, soap all made and bottled – I didn’t have enough bottles so had to rummage for a couple more – it makes quite a lot!!! It is very thick, I do hope it comes out of the pump dispensers ok????!!!!!!!

      • TipNut

      Hi Sarah, you can add more water if needed.

    • Maggie Brayton

    I made this, had to keep adding water to it, until it didn’t gel up on me. How do you get this “soapy”? I wash my hands with it, and it doesn’t “foam up” and lather like other soaps do. I did have to add a lot of extra water to it until it didn’t get up, would that be the problem? I also added some clear aloe vera get to it, which is very nice. I am using ivory soap. Is there any other soap that would work better for this?

      • Greatchalynne

      Helpful hint maggie, I had the same problem, I added, 1/4 bar of castile bar soap and 2 more cups of water,it now has suds:) got the tip from another website. Good luck!

    • cheryl

    can you use vegetable glycerin for the glycerin?

    • mary

    To make hand soap we melt a bar of grated ivory soap in four cups of hot water and let it set till it thickens. I add a little liquid natural soap for a fragrance. Use your fingers to mix it up and presto you have your soap.

    • Ruth

    I make my own goat milk soaps & I just have to try this method. I’ve tried to make liquid soaps before, but without success. The honey & glycerin must make the difference (Although glycerin does occur naturally in soapmaking. It’s just that most commercial soap manufacturers remove the glycerin for a separate sale.)

      • atri

      ruth how do u know what commercial manufactures do? r u involved in this commercialization stuff?

    • Lotto

    Important Info: Triclosan is an active ingredient in Liquid soap. It is also registered with the EPA as a Pesticide. Other Ingredients in Liquid Soap have Neurotoxin Properties. Keep this in mind when making your soaps. What are you willing to ingest throuh your skin?

    • Paddi

    I have been doing this adding the hint and glycerin to my cold process soap. Mine is also gelling up. It will be a wonderful soap for about a week till it gets to thick to pump. Then if I sit it in hot water in the pump it will get thin once again. I never have trouble in the shower since I love hot showers it melts it again.

    • Farnham Soaps

    Dial soap is NOT soap… it is synthetic detergent…

    Great recipe but I suggest heating in a double boiler the soap flakes… and use a bar of REAL soap. There are LOTS of folks on Etsy that make soap… that would be a good place to find real soap…


    • Renee

    I have tried to make different homemeade items over the years, and it sees that everyhing I had to add water to would sour in a short time. I’m trying to get into making my own products, but afraid it will happen again. Has anyone had a problem with this changing it’s sell?

      • Carina

      You could try adding some vitamin E to your mixture. Vitamin E (tocopherols) is a common natural antioxidant preservative.

    • Leanna

    Before I make a batch I have a question… I hear alot of people have trouble with it thicking up after a week to where you can’t pump it. Is there a way to prevent this? Less glycerin?? Is it the bar of soap used? I want to make them for Christmas gifts and I don’t want it to thicken up on them…. Any help is appreciated!!

    • Gail

    What is TBS in TBS honey?

      • Lisa

      Tbs = tablespoon

    • durva chalak

    what is meant by ‘Whip’?

      • Tai

      The speed on the blinder. Mine has one that says “whip”.

    • anurag chaudhary

    i made it today :
    1 its too makes hand dry need more glycerin as prior iam using store one branded moisturizer handwash
    2 yes i also think that after some time water settle down and soap float over it jam the dispenser
    3 its shelf life may very short as i think it start contaminating by bacteria after a week even in closed container anyone tested its shelf life so how safe it is
    4 after making soap from bar its almost fragrance less that original bar have we need to add perfume etc in it
    5 will this work in automatic dispencer or clog it in after one or two refill
    6 i think shelf life is 3 week so its best to empty refills in this period and made new batch else put german plus etc in it
    7 its not completely a perfect substitute for liquid handwash as easy as market ready to use refills
    8 yet it is economical

    • Tai

    I made this today and it turned out great! Here is what I did!
    I used Yardley bar soap (4.25oz)99c @ wal-mart!
    used same amount of water i pored the hot water in a little at a time and added the soap shavings a little at a time where it didn’t explode like others had said there’s did! I did do it in the blinder on the whip button!
    I didn’t use extra glycerin(this soap has it already)
    I did use the honey!
    It smells great and the texture is great! It is also very bubbly soapy! 🙂
    Hope this helps!

    • karen

    to keep the hand wash a little longer add a couple drops of tea tree oil

    • Colleen

    I was wondering if u can add a little hand sanitizer or use antibacterial soap as I am a bit of a germaphobe plus I have kids and ya know what kind of gross things kids do with their hands! lol

    • atri

    if i want to commercialize this stuff…how can i do it? of course i cant make the bulk quantity in a blender…i’ll need huge blender then…..is there anything that i can use…any ideas??

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