Preparedness blog

How to Make Your Own Soap

By Ready Expert
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Make Your Own SoapBeing self-sufficient doesn't just mean having enough food to provide for yourself. It also means being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle - which means staying clean! Making your own soap is a great way to save money and be self-sufficient. You can even add your own ingredients to customize the soap to your family’s needs.

Soap making can be dangerous
Before you start making and using your own soap, please remember that soap making can be dangerous. If the contents are prepared, weighed or measured incorrectly, they can prove dangerous. Please take caution when preparing your own soap.

• 6.9 oz Lye (sodium hydroxide)
• 2 cups Distilled Water (refrigerated)
• 2 cups Canola Oil
• 2 cups Coconut Oil
• 2 cups Palm Oil
Needed Supplies
• Goggles
• Gloves
• Face Mask
• A mold for the soap (an old cake loaf, large PVC pipe, etc.)
• Plastic wrap or wax paper
• Large glass bowl
• Wooden spoon for mixing
• 2 thermometers
• Stainless steel or cast iron pot
• Hand held stick blender (optional)

1. Put on the goggles and gloves and make sure that you are working in a well-ventilated room or outdoors.

2. Prepare your molds by lining them with plastic wrap or wax paper. Set them aside.

3. Slowly add the lye to the cold, distilled water in a glass bowl. Do not add the water to the lye. Stir continually as you are adding the lye. Stir until the lye is completely dissolved. Place a thermometer into the glass bowl and allow the mixture to cool to around 110 F. (The chemical reaction of adding lye to the water will cause the mixture to heat.)

4. While the lye is cooling, combine the oils in a pot on medium heat and stir well until they are melted together. Place a separate thermometer in the pot and allow the mixture to cool to 110 F.

5. Carefully pour the lye mixture into the oil mixture in a small, consistent stream, stirring continually the make sure the lye and oils mix properly. Continue to stir by hand or with a hand held stick blender. Stir until the mixture has a consistency of thin pudding. This may take anywhere from 30 - 60 minutes, so be patient.

6. Once it has reached the right consistency, carefully pour it into the molds and let it sit for a few hours.

7. After you’ve let the mixture sit for a few hours, test it by poking it. If it’s congealed enough that it doesn’t melt back into itself once prodded, it’s good. You can then cut the soap with a table knife into bars. Let the bars sit for a few days, still inside the mold.

8. After a few days, remove the soap and place on brown paper (grocery bags) in a dark area. Wait 4 weeks before using.

Customizable Soap

While you’re stirring the soap mixture you can add other items to add variety and customize your soap.

For example, if you add dyes at that time, you can change the color. You can also add essential oils or oats for texture. Comment below to share what you’d add to your soap bar! Provide your tips and tricks.

12 years ago
Melissa Haas
12 years ago at 4:14 AM
I have been a soap maker for 6 years. I would recommend fully studying the hazards, the warnings, all about lye it's self and what to do when things go wrong.... BEFORE you make your first batch. I have not had any mishaps other then a few speck splatter on my face..... and running to quickly wash them off... but my friend's son was put into an induced comma and could have died after a soap accident..... and she knew full well all the info before starting..... yes women did this in the old days, but they studied too... don't just jump in.
12 years ago at 8:09 AM
thanks where does one purchase lye
12 years ago at 8:26 AM
I would guess that you are supposed to have your dehumidifier (for distilled water) and your refrigerator hooked up to the solar-powered generators sold by the Ready Store -- they are supposed to be able to supply energy for these appliances! ;)
12 years ago at 8:33 AM
Thank you for this information. While others do not think it is for survival, They need to remember that death thrives in filth. People started living longer once they started cleaning and washing.
12 years ago at 9:17 AM
Good info. However, my wife and i shower every day and use a bar of soap every two months. That's six bars a year. Just bought 30 bars plus dish soap and shower jel to last 7 years. If things don't work out by then I'll walk around smelling. I made lye soap with my grandma years ago and its not hard but can burn the heck out of your if your not careful. Didn't smell good either. Good luck to all and God help us all.
12 years ago at 9:28 AM
My granny made Lye soap in a scalding pot with white hardwood ashes and Tallow or Lard. Google wood ash lye soap, and have fun!
12 years ago at 9:38 AM
My granny used to make lye soap using a scalding pot, a pile of hardwood ash that were white made from a HOT fire. Some rain water, a scalding pot, and Lard or Tallow. It's not rocket science. Google 'wood ash lye soap' and you'll be happy.
12 years ago at 9:48 AM
Distilled water would be hard to obtain when the SHTF and I will just have to use well water which comes out of the ground at around mid to high forties regardless of the season. I for one thank you for this recipe! Extracting oils from lavendar or any scented flower would go well in these soaps.
12 years ago at 11:45 AM
I've made soap three times using a similar recipe. The first was perfect, the second a disaster, and the third I just managed to salvage. I bought my lye online, be careful if you buy it at Ace or any other hardware store. Be sure it isn't a Draino-type product that has additives in it. I still have some lye on hand that I can use to make soap using olive oil or lard. In a shtf situation you'll use whatever water you have. If you have the capability, I suppose you could boil it to make it purer.
12 years ago at 3:26 PM
Just a note here-- You get Distilled water by boiling water, and allowing it to cool. Then simply put it in a jug & stick it in a cooler or fridge-- geez. . Simplicity- at its finest. Some people really need to do their own research, and not be so negative. Well water or rain water works well too!
David M McGregor
8 years ago at 11:17 AM
No distilled water is pure water with no mineral content derived by boiling water in a still (yes similar to a wiskey still) catching the evaporated water funneling it through a hose. Through a cooling coil and accumulating it in a glass, stainless steel, orno leachable plastic to keep it from dsolving sedimens or mineral back into it. Distilled water is PURE water thers is a difference.
M. Hammond
7 years ago at 5:41 AM
That's not distilled water. That's just sterile
Mrs Britt
12 years ago at 5:57 PM
I think there are better ways of making soap without lye, for instance, using goat milk. Lots of small time businesses are making just that now, and its done without rendering down any kind of animal fat, and solely with goat milk...there are even some recipes that include only 4 ingredients..and its widely available.
12 years ago at 7:16 AM
Listen guys, use it or not information helps you be prepared. For someone like me (new to being a prepper)this is great because I know know what to add to my stocks (for basic soap). After I have the basics, I will be looking to add to my library and survival skills, hence the additional research. Wade - thank you I will reserch for Biodisel in my area. Soap and possibly a great contact if the SHTF
12 years ago at 7:16 PM
The information was truly a confirmation for me since my mother passed away last year and she was a soap maker. So,I decided to make soap and have enjoyed it. The prepper mentality besides the making or purchasing food is also the prevention of infection control. Soap will reduce diseases and maintaining your enviornment is part of survival besides wearing masks, gloves, tyveks suits, tc. Lets be open minded...we are the few who possibly will remain and we must all assist one another...besides, soap is a bardering element as well.
12 years ago at 6:45 PM
Way to go Chuck! The Golden Rule is exactly the standard that we should uphold.
12 years ago at 11:05 PM
@ Mrs Britt--- I do believe that you are considerably- MisInformed... 1. You Need Oils and or Fats to make soap 2. You Cannot make soap without Lye! -- It is a chemical reaction (to explain simply) between the fatty acids/fatty esters of the oils/fats AND the Lye. . .together, they Combine to make a sodium/salt of sorts, to become soap. You only need 3 ingredients to make soap-- Oil, Lye and Water. . . . . Using Goat Milk instead of water makes for a rich soothing soap As ALL soap makers say-- * No Lye- No Soap*
11 years ago at 3:43 AM
I am glad that everyone has put their thoughts and practices up here. I plan on using what I can to create my own soap, but by using goats milk instead of water plan. I own the goats, so the milk is handy. I am new to making soap, and do plan on being very careful until I get a real good handle on it all. I will be primarily making the soap for my own usage. I would rather make a more all natural soap, then to buy the store bought kind that is full of chemicals that over time does more harm than good. And buying the stuff that is already premade that is all natural costs and arm and a leg. I plan on writing down several recipes before I get started and then picking the one that I feel is best for my needs and go from there. Once again thanks to all those out there who have shared their opinions on the matter, it is very helpful!
11 years ago at 5:22 AM
For soap molds, I have been using empty cardboard milk cartons. The waxed carton works great and reuses something that might otherwise just be thrown away. Clearly not a end-of-the-world solution, but certainly works well now.
11 years ago at 7:07 AM
WOW..... Boiling water does not distill it, it boils it. It could make it safe to drink, but would not be distilled. For that to occur it must be heated to steam, water turns to vapor impurities are left behind, cooled it becomes distilled water. Close to what comes out of your dehumidifier, but unless that is brand new and very clean, and sanitized regularly, I would not use it! Get a flashlight and look where that water collects! Gross!
11 years ago at 8:34 PM
I loved all the explanations, (not the angry birds) thank you for your time and energy. An eye opener to me
9 years ago at 7:53 AM
Pure lye (NaOH) is no longer readily available here, at places like hardware or grocery stores-- because it is used in making "meth", a law was passed to get it off the shelves. You can get it at chemical supply stores (if you can find/get to one locally), and you need to provide ID/give name, address, etc. when you buy it. The other option, is to order on-line-- but shipping may be a problem.
8 years ago at 4:02 PM
Check out the words to the song 'Grandma's lye soap' "And they haven't heard a word they've said in years!" You all, be careful out there, you year! I loved all the comments!
8 years ago at 4:22 PM
Montgomery Ward started his career, by making soap in his little red wagon and selling bars, door to door!
8 years ago at 4:25 PM
Glycerin is a byproduct of the bio-diesel companies. It makes good soap and they are glad to get rid of it!