All About Soap & How You Can Make Your Own! (Cold Proccess)

By Escali in Homemade

The History of Soap: Soap making has been an art form since 2500-2800 B.C. from which its origins are based in ancient Babylon. The Babylonians would boil fats and ashes together to create a hardened mixture used for cleaning. In Egypt around 1550 B.C., the ancient Egyptians would mix animal and vegetable oils together with alkaline salts to produce a soap-like substance.  The Celts made their soap from plant ashes and animal fat and named their product saipo.  These ancient peoples didn’t use the soap that they produced for hygiene purposes though, it was produced for cleaning cooking utensils, goods and medicine purposes. The common soap bar wasn’t created until the 19th century from which the use was for hygiene and grooming. Demand for soap steadily grew but originally, soap was mainly produced by small groups via their own personal techniques. The price of soap kept growing because of it’s exclusivity but in 1791, a Frenchman named LeBlanc discovered a chemical process in which he could produce and sell it for significantly less money, making it more expendable. 20 years after LeBlanc’s innovations in the process, another Frenchman found the relationship between acid, glycerin and fats marking the beginning of modern day soap making (Soap History).

Soap’s Chemical Reaction: SaponificationThe chemical reaction that occurs when an animal fat or vegetable oil is mixed with a strong alkali (a chemical base that dissolves in water). The product of the two is glycerin and soap. Water is present in the formula but doesn’t enter the chemical reaction, rather acts as a vehicle for the alkali which without it, would only be a dry powder. formula

The Latin word, saponification, literally means “soap making.” The root, “Sapo” means soap.

Make Your Own: Making one’s own soaps can be a great alternative to buying products with additives and irritants. The hobby has skyrocketed in popularity & people have created large businesses out of their home by making & selling them! To get the perfect soap bar, a digital scale is an essential part of the process. By using these ingredients and following the steps, you’ll have your very own soap–made exclusively by you– in no time!


  • Fatty acids/oils (Canola, Coconut, Olive, etc)
  • Sodium Hydroxide i.e. Lye (must be 100% NaOH)
  • Gloves, protective eye wear & a face mask  for protection when working with the lye
  • Distilled water
  • Escali digital scale
  • Soap molds (silicone, plastic or make your own from recycled milk or orange juice cartons or Tupperware)
  • Thermometer (digital or regular food thermometer)
  • Stick blender
  • Cutter of whatever design you desire (soap will be slippery, stay away from cutting with butter knives for safety)
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cup
  • Spoon
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Plastic wrap
  • Towels
  • Drying rack


  1. Measure out 5 oz of distilled water
  2. Measure out 2 oz lye
  3. In a well ventilated area such as outside, on a screened porch or patio, add the lye to the water carefully. Do not add the water into the lye–make sure the lye is the only ingredient being added first
  4. Stir to dissolve the lye crystals completely. Be careful not to inhale the fumes. Toxic fumes will be omitted when the lye and water mix
  5. Once mixed, set the lye water aside to cool off. Make sure no kids or pets could potentially get into it
  6. Measure out 7.5 oz of Canola oil and pour into the large mixing bowl
  7. Measure out 7.5 oz of Olive oil and add into the mixing bowl
  8. Take the temperature of the lye water and the oil mixture. Before adding them together, the temperatures should be between 10-15 degrees of each other. Microwave the oil mixture for 25-25 seconds to warm them up
  9. Once the temperatures are comparable, slowly add the lye water to the oils. Prevent splashing by stirring slowly
  10. Insert the stick blender at an angle into the bowl to prevent air bubbles
  11. Alternate blender between pushing and stirring until you reach the point of ‘trace’: small remnants will be left onto the stick blender when you lift from the mixture. The oils need to blend instead of staying separate from each other–this takes about 5-10 mins
  12. Pour your soap mixture into the molds and cover the plastic wrap
  13. Place a large towel over the filled molds as well for better insulation–this helps the saponification process along
  14. Set aside for 24 hours
  15. After a full 24 hours have passed, gently squeeze the sides of the molds and the soap should easily come right out. To have decorative moldings and designs, cut the soap bar with a crinkle cutter. Use this to cut into smaller bars as well
  16. Place the bars onto a cooling rack
  17. Don’t get too eager to jump in the shower with your new soaps right away–Your creations will need to cure *sit* for about 4-6 weeks before you can use them. All the water that is still inside the bar needs to evaporate so you can have a nice, hard bar that will last you longer in the shower. If you don’t let it completely dry out, you’ll end up with a gooey bar that leaves residue in your shower











soap cubessoap handcolor cubessoap gift*To see a visual step-by-step soap making video, check out the “How To Make Soap from Scratch” YouTube video and visit these recommended sites: Teach Soup, Soup Queen, Soap Deli News and Candle & Soap. About

Subscribe to our blogs!