Basic soap making instructions

The following post is a basic step-by-step method that applies to all soap making recipes. Follow the instructions below if you are interested in doing your own bar soaps.

And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me! 🙂

Basic soap making: 

1) Weight out the oils, fat and beeswax using either ounces or grams, but not both.


2) Place these ingredients in a stainless steel or enamel pan over a low heat until melted. Turn off the heat and leave until the oils reach approximately 130F (54.4C), stirring intermittently. 


3) Weigh out the sodium hydroxide (caustic soda/lye) and water.


4) Pour the sodium hydroxide granules into the water (and NOT the water into the sodium hydroxide – this will result of a bad chemical reaction and can be dangerous!) and stir until dissolved. You will see a bit of fume and a strong smell. Don’t worry, it is a normal reaction of the sodium hydroxide in contact with water.  


Leave until the temperature settles at about 130F (54C).

Make sure you were gloved and protect your eyes. Sodium Hydroxide is toxic and can be very dangerous when in contact with your skin or your eyes or swollen. So take care not to inhale the fumes too!

Store it in dry place, in a close container and far from reach of children. 

5) Add the sodium hydroxide solution  to the fat (step 1) and stir carefully. 

6) Stir intermittently until the mixture thickens to the point where you can trickle some soap off the back of a spoon and it will leave a trace line on the surface of the mixture. This is called ‘trace’


7) Add the colouring and essential oils as required.

8) Stir and then pour the mixture into the greased mould.

9) Cover the soap with a towel ob blanket and leave to set for 24 hours or until hard. Wearing a pair of rubber gloves, turn the soap our of the mould and cut into bars.


Cover the soap with a blanket to insulate it and leave to cure for fours weeks before use (curation time can vary depending on the ingredients used in the soap – in any case, 4 weeks is the minimum I would recommend)

And voila! 🙂

PS: Try your first soap recipe here:

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