How to Make Natural Soap

By Liz Thompson in Natural Products

Soap is one product you can't live without. Whether you're washing your hands, face, or body, a bar of soap is handy and effective in cleansing the skin. Ever considered making your own? For a fun DIY project that also proves useful around the home and promotes green living, read our simple guide on how to make natural soap.


What to Know about Conventional Soap Ingredients


Before you get started making your own soaps, it's important to understand what's in conventional soap and how those ingredients differ from what's in natural soap.


Traditionally, soaps were made by combining fat with lye. Today, most soaps fall into the detergent family, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), especially liquid soaps. These conventional soaps may contain ingredients you'd rather avoid using on your skin. One ingredient that has been commonly used in conventional soap is triclosan. In 2016, this strong antibacterial agent was deemed not generally recognized as safe and effective by the FDA and banned for use in over-the-counter products, including liquid and bar soaps, due to its potential health risks, as the Mayo Clinic notes.


Another common group of synthetic ingredients often used in conventional soaps is fragrance. According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, some synthetic fragrance ingredients may be derived from petroleum rather than natural raw materials.


Choosing a natural soap means you'll know exactly what goes into the product you're using on your skin, and creating your own soaps puts you in complete control of the ingredients.


Person washing hands


How Does Natural Soap Work?


Soap loosens and lifts dirt and debris from skin, which is then washed away when you rinse. Not only is natural soap an effective way to clean the skin, but it also ensures you are using only naturally derived ingredients for yourself and your family.


Plant-derived oils, such as coconut oil, work well in natural soaps and are an alternative to petroleum-based or synthetic ingredients. Natural moisturizers, such as glycerin derived from vegetable oil, can keep skin feeling soft and smooth. And plant essential oils and naturally derived fragrance materials lend delightful scents to natural soaps.


How to Make Natural Soap Recipes


Natural Soap Recipes for Bar and Liquid Soap


Go ahead and stock your cleansing supply with these natural soap recipes.


DIY Bar Soap


Here's what you'll need to make your own bar soap:


  • A large glass bowl for melting ingredients
  • A knife
  • Molds for bar soaps (can use paper cups or muffin tins)
  • Soap base of choice, such as coconut oil or glycerin
  • Essential oils of your choice


To make bar soaps, start by preparing your soap base. Add coconut oil or glycerin to a glass bowl. If you're using glycerin, cut it into cubes to make melting faster. Microwave for one minute. If necessary, continue to microwave in 10-second increments until fully melted.


Next, remove the glycerin from the microwave and add two to three drops of your favorite essential oil and stir. Finally, pour the mixture into your molds and allow them to rest until solid. Gently remove the soap from the molds with a knife.


DIY Liquid Soap


For the liquid alternative, you'll only need a few ingredients:


  • A glass dispenser bottle
  • ¼ cup castile soap
  • 3 tbsp. of melted coconut oil
  • Essential oils of your choice
  • 1 cup of water


Start by pouring the castile soap and melted coconut oil into a glass bottle. Then, add two to three drops of your favorite essential oil and 1 cup of water. Shake gently to combine.


There are many ways to customize your natural soap recipes. Try orange essential oil for a zesty scent or peppermint to refresh the senses. If you don't have the time or ingredients on hand to make your own soaps, you can also purchase prepared natural soap bars and liquid soaps that suit your natural lifestyle.


Check out how to make natural soap on the @tomsofmaine DIY Naturally board on Pinterest!


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The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.


Why It's Good

Learning how to make natural soap is easy and fun, and it offers a way to cleanse without synthetic ingredients. With these simple, DIY natural soap recipes, you create your very own soap bars and liquid soaps customized to your liking!