How to Make Chemical-Free Soap

Make Your Own Soap Bars that are Safer for the Family
Photo credit: soapylovedeb via photopin

You might think that soap and hygiene products are made with safe ingredients, but this is not always the case, even if the product packaging gives that impression. Often, soap contains chemicals and alcohol that can have drying or irritating effects on the skin. They are also not good for people with sensitive skin or allergies. Making your own soap can help to eliminate such concerns.

Why You Need To Make Your Own Soap

There are some chemicals in soaps that can be very hazardous to one’s health. Here are some common ones that are best avoided:

This is a pesticide and antibacterial agent commonly used in hand soaps and shower gels that claim to eliminate bacteria. However, the danger with Tricoslan is that it is considered to be one of the main contributors to the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance.

This can cause respiratory problems such as asthma as well as lead to chronic fatigue, irregular heartbeats, headaches or insomnia. It can negatively affect the immune system and make the body more prone to infections.

Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS)
This is a detergent and often found in cosmetics as well as hygiene products. When it is combined with other ingredients in products it becomes nitrosamine, which is carcinogenic. SLS can lead to skin irritation, eye irritation, organ toxicity, mood disorders, while disrupting reproductive hormones.

By making your own soap, you can avoid using chemicals that can cause negative side-effects and health problems.  On top of that, this fun project can be a great way to save money and have some fun with your family.  Here are some easy recipes to get you started.


Soap Recipes

There’s a process of soap making that is called ‘cold process.’ It is great because it’s quite a bit quicker than other methods of soap creation, taking only about an hour or so to make. However, the soaps require 48 hours to harden. The longer you leave the soap to mature, the better it will be. The great thing about making your own soap is that you can create a variety of different scents, depending on your preferences and it’s all natural with no negative health effects!

Important Tip: Lye is a common ingredient used in soap making, but be careful when using it. Too much of it can cause soap to become harsh or abrasive, while using too little will create an oily texture. Lye is hazardous so it’s important to make the soap in a well-ventilated area and not to breathe in its fumes. Lye is used in both eco-friendly and non eco-friendly soaps, so it is not a concern from a green point of view. It is often the other ingredients that are added to soap bars, such as chemicals, which are unfriendly to the planet because they do not break down easily.


Coffee Scented Soap Recipe

What you’ll need:

Safety goggles or glasses
Safety gloves
227 grams of soybean oil
113 grams of coconut oil
113 grams of olive oil
142 grams coffee
57 grams of lye
2 large measuring cups
1 wooden spoon or hand mixer
1 pan
1 thermometer
A sharp knife
Plastic container to be used as molds
Wax paper


1. Make a cup of coffee and let it cool down before popping it into the fridge. Once it’s cold, pour the coffee into a measuring cup.
2. Slowly pour lye into the coffee. Do not pour the coffee into the lye!
3. The lye and coffee mixture will be hot, so give it a chance to cool. Monitor the temperature regularly with a thermometer so that you ensure it doesn’t go below 100º F to 110º F.
4. Mix the soybean oil, olive oil and coconut oil in a pan. Heat it until the mixture temperature is 100º F to 110º F.
5. When both the lye mixture and oil mixture are the same temperature, take the pan off the heat and slowly pour the lye mixture into the oil mixture.
6. Stir vigorously, but don’t let any of it spill. Continue stirring until the mixture has a honey consistency.
7. Pour the mixture into a plastic container mold and place the lid on it. Wrap the mold in a blanket or towel to maintain warmth for 48 hours.
8. Check to see if the solution is soft. If it is, leave the mold with the top off for another day. When the mold is hard, peel the soap away from the sides and turn the mold over onto wax paper.
9. Place the knife under a stream of hot water and then cut the soap into bars.

Quick Tip: Make sure you leave the soap bars in the open for about 3 or 4 weeks. This helps them last longer and have great lather when you use them!

It’s always a good idea to purchase a soap base and these can be purchased from Brambleberry. Once you have a soap base, another useful resource is Teachsoap that contains many recipes for soap-making.


Oatmeal Soap Recipe

What you’ll need:

8 oz. of white or opaque melt and pour soap base
8 oz. of clear melt and pour soap base
1/2 oz. of oatmeal
coffee grinder
1/2 oz. fragrance oil (honey is a good option!)
Plastic containers to be used as molds
Rubbing alcohol


1. Melt the white or opaque melt and pour soap base as well as the clear melt and pour soap base in separate containers.
2. Place the oatmeal in the coffee grinder to blend it into a smooth consistency.
3. Combine the two bases.
4. Add fragrance oil and mix well.
5. Add the oatmeal and stir. Wait a minute to see what the oatmeal does – if it suspends in the mixture, pour it into molds, but if it sinks to the bottom of the bowl, cover the bowl with saran wrap and wait for the base to cool. Alternatively, stir it until it becomes thicker.
6. Pour the oatmeal into molds, wait a few hours for the soap bars to set. Once they are hard, wrap them in saran wrap and enjoy!

Quick tip: You can spritz the soap bars with rubbing alcohol to get rid of any bubbles that might appear on the surface. 

Will you be making your own soap? Tell us in the comments box below!

  • Ziah

    How can you make it different flavours?