If you are interested in soapmaking, you may become quickly overwhelmed by the complex recipes that involve many different ingredients. Especially exotic oils, fats, colorants and scents might be too much for anyone looking to just make some soap. Below are several great recipes that are very basic but great to try.
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Cold Process Soap
There are two main ways to make homemade soap from scratch: hot and cold process. There are other ways to make soap, including making liquid and melt-and-pour soap. However, cold process is one of the most preferred ways to make soap at home because it is simple, makes a solid, smooth bar that many people enjoy using.
If you want more information on how to make cold process soap, you can check out more here. There are also good websites that cover many recipes as well as troubleshooting issues. Simple Life Mom and Soap Queen are two of my favorites.
The Simple Recipes
- Pure Tallow Soap by Prairie Homestead: lye, water and tallow (rendered fat from cattle)
- Lard Soap by Walkerland: lye, water and lard (rendered and filtered fat from pigs). These pure fat soaps are often considered the most ancient as that is what pioneers used to clean with in the absence of other oils and additives.
- Goat Milk Soap by The Nerdy Farm Wife: lye, water, goat milk, coconut oil and olive oil. These can all easily be bought from your local grocery store which is an even better benefit.
- Basic Soap Recipe by Soap Queen: lye, water, coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil. The cleaning power improves with different types of oils and can have benefits to the skin, hence the large variety in recipes. If you use palm oil, please use RSPO sustainable palm oil and help the orangutans! Thanks!
- Castile Soap by Lovin’ Soap: lye, water, olive oil. You’ve probably heard of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap and the benefits this has for the skin. You can make your own but my only caution is that even with a hand mixer, it often takes a long time to come to trace. Keep that in mind when carving out time to make soap.
- Basic Recipe by Simple Life Mom: lye, water, coconut oil, olive oil and tallow. Simple Life Mom also has a great book called The Natural Soapmaking Book for Beginners. Its very helpful with excellent pictures no recipes with palm oil.
Notes about the recipes
It is important to note that none of these recipes have added fragrance or color. While you can customize basic recipes, be sure to check with soapcalc.net to make sure you have the lye and water ratio correct. This is especially true if you plan on adding any oils or fats. Usually colors and essential oils are added at “trace.”
This article from the Spruce has some great basic percentages you can follow making your own soaps. You will need to do a little math to get the correct grams (or ounces). All recipes at their base are a combination of lye, water, fats and/or oils. The addition of fun oils, nice scents and great colors is highly variable but turn the most basic recipes into delightful bars you can customize.
Also, as with any soap making adventure, use caution around lye which can burn the skin and always wear protective equipment. Make sure you have a good clean surface and a chunk of time without pets or children to make soap. Finally, in general remember you want your oils/fats to be roughly the same temperature as your lye/water solution.
Know any easy recipes? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for stopping by!
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