How to Make Your Own Soap

What You'll Need
Thermometer
Digital scale
Protective equipment (gloves, face mask, eyewear)
Soap mold
Hand mixer
Pot
Mixing containers
Towel
Spatula
Measuring cups
Spoon
Parchment paper
Oil (coconut & olive)
Lye
Coffee
Ground coffee
Oat bran

Making your own soap is beneficially on many levels. Not only is it better for the environment because you are wasting less materials, but it is also more cost efficient. Here is a quick and easy guide on how to make your own soap at home and mix in a warm fragrance while you're at it.

Step 1 - Measuring Ingredients

Measure out the following ingredients and put them aside in separate bowls: 8.48 oz coconut oil, 12.48 oz olive oil, 7.0 oz coffee, 3.22 oz lye, 1 tablespoon of ground coffee, and 1/3 cup of oat bran. You can combine the ground coffee and oat bran if you do not want to waste another bowl.

Step 2 - Create Lye Mixture

With your protective gear on, pour the lye into the coffee bowl and stir. Combining the two substances will initiate a chemical reaction that heats up considerably, so make sure you keep protective gloves on at all times. You also want to make sure your work area is clean so that you avoid any accidental spills. Lye is not something you want to have to clean up.

Step 3 - Mix Oils

A variety of cooking oils

Over a low heat, melt the coconut oil and mix in the olive oil after everything is completely melted. Once the oils have been properly mixed, check the temperature with a thermometer. Reference that reading with the temperature of lye mixture. Adjust the heat source until both readings are only one degree apart. The temperatures should be at least 100 and at most 110 degrees.

Step 4 - Add Lye

Add the lye mixture into the oil pan. Stir with a metal whisk or blender until the mixture reaches the consistency of pudding. Remember to keep you safety gloves on while pouring the lye as the mixture will still be hot. This should only take between 5 and 10 minutes. After the soap is the right texture, mix in the oat bran and coffee grounds. Stir until everything is well mixed.

Step 5 - Mold & Sit

Once everything is combined, carefully pour the solution into your soap mold. Gently rap the mold on a counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. Then cover the top of the mold with a tight layer of parchment paper and insulate it with a towel.

Step 6 - Let Set

Homemade soap in molds

Depending on the size of the mold, it will take around two days for the mixture to solidify in the mold. After 48 hours has passed, you can safely remove the hardened soap from the mold. After the soap is out, you can cut it into smaller sections and smooth the edges with a vegetable peeler.

Step 7 - Curing Time

It takes about four weeks for soap to fully cure. Do not use the soap until the curing process is complete. During this time, the bars should be stored in a cool area of the house that gets plenty of ventilation. The curing time is necessary for the soap to complete the process of saponification, which gets rid of any remaining lye. It also helps to release any excess water, resulting in a proper soap bar.

Tips For Adding Scents

The recipe above uses coffee grounds that work as a natural scrub and a fragrance additive. You can substitute the coffee with essential oils or other fragrances. Just make sure the mixture works with the amount of lye you are using. You can also sub out the coconut and olive oil for an oil of your choosing or use animal fat instead.

When using lye, save the containers for soap making purposes only. Never use anything that has come in contact with the lye for regular cooking.