How to Make Artisanal Soap
One of the things I have seen so much of during the Pandemic is soap-making.
I dabbled in soap-making years ago and got into it a little more during quarantine. I do not sell my soap to other people but do give them as gifts.
Did you know you can make artisanal soap for far less than you can purchase some from the store?
In this article, I am going to take you through my amazingly painless process for making goat’s milk soap with essential oils.
I’ll also have a recipe for you for a glycerin soap.
Goat’s Milk Soap
- Goat’s Milk Soap. I usually buy mine from Amazon. Search organic goat’s milk base and choose the size that works best for you. I tend to buy in 5-pound increments because that’s best for me.
- A silicone mold. You can use one made for candy or cakes or choose one that’s made specifically for soap. I have some cute rose shaped molds and diamond shaped molds that give a product that is a perfect size for mason jars for gift-giving.
- Essential oils and/or herbs to scent your soaps.
- Fatty oil. You will want an oil that is fatty to moisturize the skin. I am a fan of hemp seed oil, coconut oil and sweet almond oil.
- Thermometer. I admit, I do not use one, but it is extremely helpful if you do.
- Double boiler (can also use a microwave and a microwave-safe dish).
- Wooden spoon for stirring.
Ingredients for making a couple trays of rose shaped soaps:
- 1 Pound Goat’s Milk Soap Base
- 1/2 Cup Carrier Oil (I used Sweet Almond Oil)
- 20 Drops Essential Oil (For this batch, I used doTERRA Lavender essential oil)
- Lavendar leaves
- Colorant, if desired
- For another batch, I used Hemp Seed oil and Matcha Green Tea powder
- Sharp Knife
Cut the Goat’s Milk Soap Base into small chunks so it melts more quickly.
Melt the chunks in the double boiler on low heat until liquid.
Once melted, add the carrier oil slowly and mix thoroughly.
Remove from heat.
*Note: if you want to use a microwave, make sure you put the Goat’s Milk Soap Base in a microwave-safe glass dish and run it in 30 second intervals until the base is melted. Make sure to continue to stir what you can, once the base starts to melt. Do not let the soap burn!
Let cool for a few minutes, then add the essential oil of your choosing; you do not want the mixture to be too hot, because it will cause the scent to flash off.
If you are using any mix-ins, like the lavender leaves or Matcha Green Tea powder I mentioned, this is the time to add those too.
Give the Goat’s Milk Soap Base, Carrier Oil and Essential Oil (and mix-ins if using) another little stir.
Pour into molds, making sure not to over-fill them.
You can let the soaps harden on the counter, or put them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour.
Demold the soaps.
Put them in a pretty jar for use.
That was super easy, right?
I promised you an easy glycerin soap recipe too. This one is just as easy at the Goat’s Milk Soap.
- Glycerin soap base (you can get this from any craft store, Amazon or retailers like Bulk Natural or Bulk Apothecary)
- Essential Oils (for this recipe I’ll use doTERRA Wild Orange)
- Fresh herbs (for this recipe, I’ll use orange zest)
- Glass dish that is safe for the microwave
- Sharp Knife
- 1 pound glycerin soap base
- 1-2 tbsp. orange zest
- 20 drops Wild Orange Essential Oil
Cut the glycerin soap base into small chunks so they melt easier.
Place the chunks in your glass dish that is safe for the microwave.
Run the microwave for 30 second intervals until melted, making sure to stir the soap base each time you remove the bowl from the microwave to check.
Let the soap base cool for a moment before adding in the orange zest and Wild Orange essential oil. Remember from the first recipe, you do not want the glycerin soap base to be too hot because it will make the scent flash off, and go to waste.
Give the soap base a little stir after adding the essential oil.
Add in the orange zest, a little at a time and stir along the way, until you are satisfied with how it looks and smells.
Give the mix one final stir before pouring it into your silicone molds.
Place In freezer for one hour.
Pop the soaps out of the molds.
Place your new soaps into pretty jars or dishes.
Wash and enjoy!
*Sneaky tip for parents …
Drop a toy your kids like into the soap and the only way they will be able to play with the toy is to wash with the soap until it is freed! Genius, right!? So many parents tell me they love doing this for their kiddos, especially the boys who will do almost anything for a dinosaur or car toy!
I hope you have found these recipes to be incredibly useful and easy to follow.
I tend to use the same silicone molds for all of my projects – from soaps to bath bombs – but if you’re planning to do the toy trick, you’ll likely want a mold that allows you to cut the soaps into rectangles and are a little deeper than my go-to rose mold.
Artisanal soaps can cost $10 USD or more and these soaps won’t cost you a fraction of that.
Handcrafted soaps make excellent gifts, that you can personalize for each member of your family.
Some of my favorite combinations are Rosemary and Peppermint; Lavender and Wild Orange; Green Tea Matcha and Peppermint; Grapefruit and Basil; Honey and Lime. You can also add ground up coffee (not used grounds) for a bit of extra exfoliation.
If you make some soap, please shout out in the comments below. We’d love to see your creations!