A Soap Business

Natural Soap Recipes Tips


After all, most natural soap recipes look much alike. They look like a combination of fats and water and lye blended together. They may show the ingredients in what looks like Greek, or is it Latin, but it really in English is a blend of lye, water and oils.

That's after all what soap really is. It's a blend of lye, oil or fats, and water.

Following note this somewhat typical sort of a handmade soap recipe, in this case for goat milk soap, and note what's in it. Learning how to make natural soap starts with understanding recipes.

Lightly Lavender Goat Milk Soap Recipe

  • 11.3 ounces (320 grams) Coconut Oil
  • 11.7 ounces (330 grams) Palm Oil
  • 15.5 ounces (440 grams) Olive Oil
  • 3.9 ounces (110 grams) Almond Oil
  • 6.1 ounces (175 grams) Sodium Hydroxide
  • 15.5 ounces (440 grams) Whole Milk
  • 2 1/3 Tablespoons Lavender Essential Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Almond Oil

As you may know, in a well designed soap recipe, each part is in there for a reason. Each ingredient is there in a certain proportion for a reason too.

Therein lies the trick to designing soap recipes. It's in knowing what to put together and in what proportion. There's a bit of art involved but it actually is mostly beyond art, it's mostly based on lots of information that soap makers have put together over a long time. You can learn how to do that yourself.

In fact the only way to really make unique soap products is to devise unique recipes, which can easily be done if you know how that is.

How To Make Natural Soap Recipes

Choosing oils gets at the basics. Here's the deal. Coconut oils soaps make for lots of lather. But coconut oil soap cleans so perfectly that it strips away all your natural skin oils. That's drying, not exactly what most people want. But leave coconut oil completely out of soap and you give up on getting those really big, fluffy bubbles, which is something you likely want in your soap. What's the answer?

Most soap has some coconut oil in it, but not over a certain percentage.

But why the palm oil?

What it does is the same as many animal fats do in soap. That's why palm oil often goes by the term vegetable tallow. It makes for hard soap that lasts well, as coconut oil does. However it is not as good a cleaner or suds maker as palm. It's mostly there for it's balance of traits and especially for the hardness.

Both the coconut and palm oils remain mostly solid at room temperature and are known as saturated oils for a different reason.

Then we have olive oil.

Olive oil soaps are known well. What you get with this as a soap oil are pure luxury. Olive oil is about feel and moisturizing. Leave it out and you really make a cleaner but not so much of a beauty bar. But on the other hand, olive oil soap lathers quite poorly. It lather but just with a thin lather, little small bubbles. Is bubble-ettes a word?

What's more, soaps using just olive oil will get hard but it takes a long time. It's more of a softer sort of soap that melts away compared to the two saturated oils in this blend.

Then the almond oil soap is just added mostly for fun. It's mostly like olive oil, just a subtle bit different. Especially added at the last minute to traced soap, as a superfat oil, almond oil makes for real luxury.

When we add "exotic" oils such as almond, shea butter, avocado and others, we really are shooting for subtle feels and performance to really make unique blends to make the best blends.

Can You Make Soap Without Lye?

There are substances that soap in nature. Soap Rocks? SoapWort? Some things contain soapy properties. But to get what we usually think of takes lye. You can make it yourself from wood ashes. You can buy it in a can. Either way works. But the can way works better.

Lye is very dangerous and has NO place around children or careless adults. It can blind you. It could kill you. But it's safe to work around if you use the proper precautions. For one thing, never leave lye solutions unattended. Always wear eye protection around lye.

Once the lye mixes with the soap oils though, in the right amount, the lye disappears and is no more. It's now part of the soap, a completely different substance.

The trick is knowing how much lye to use. That's critical.

It's easy to determine the right amount. Use too little and you really get poor soap that is too oily or just never quite turns to soap. Use too much and it does not really disappear, it hangs in there to make for stores about the soap that would peel the hide off the unsuspecting victims.

So the lye must be there and in the right amount too.

Water For Soap Making

Lye gets mixed into water and then that solution, once it's cooled, goes into the oils.

Never mix water into lye. Mix lye into water.

The right amount of water makes for a good mix of lye into oils. Too much water makes for soap that takes forever, at least a long time, to dry. That's a nuisance.

But wait? There's no water in this soap?

Milk works for water.

Again. milk soap makes for a quite subtle, but some say noticeable, difference compared to just water in the lye mix. Maybe it's the butterfat, you see.

Milk soaps take some tricks to get right but in the end make for unique soap with a bit of a difference. And difference is one of the things we seek for in handmade soap...

Makes it easier to sell for one thing.

Natural soap recipes appear at first to be all pretty much the same. That's true to some degree. But small differences can make for unique features that make simple soap an art form that also functions in special ways that make it more than a cleaning product. It becomes a functional piece of art worth more than the asking price.

Getting the volume of sales depends on how well you market which we cover in our material about starting a soap selling business.


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