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Simple Soap Recipe

Simple Soap Recipe

gumdrops #soap #handmade #handmadesoap #handcraftedsoap #handcraftedbath #artisansoap #beautyandbath #sorcerysoap
The body of this soap and the marshmallows were made with this recipe.

I see so many new soapers ask for a simple soap recipe, so I decided to share one of my best go-to recipes. This recipe is ideal for new soapers and new to the art of hand molding cold processing soap.

A few things to keep in mind:

#1. Watch your oil and lye temperatures. The best results I’ve gotten so far have been at room temperatures. For Arizona that is generally about 85 degrees Fahrenheit. I have soaped colder, but this temperature is convenient. I don’t have to chill it, just mix oils/butter, lye and leave it for a few hours.

#2. Mentally walk yourself through your recipe, no matter how simple, and get all your duck in a row. This tip has helped me so many times I have to stress the mental state you are in when soaping (unless you’re on automatic pilot) is the type of soap you’ll get. This is why this soap recipe is so good for new soapers, not much to think about.

#3. Follow general safety guidelines for lye handling, covering exposed skin, eye safety and closed toe foot wear. I once got one grain of lye between my toes while wearing flip-flops. Last time I’ll do that.

#4. I used soybean oil for this recipe, although it can turn if you keep the soap for too long, because its easy to get and good for practice. No pressure about expensive oils and butters. All these ingredients can be gotten from just about any local grocery.

Never, ever add water to lye! Always add lye to water. 


Simple Soap Recipe
Recipe Type: Cold Process Soap
Author: Bhakti Iyata
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Water: 33%
Water : Lye Ration: 2.298 : 1
A simple soap recipe for your rotation, to build on, or a good go-to. An ideal soap recipe for cold process hand molding soap.
  • Lard – 50%
  • Coconut Oil – 30%
  • Soybean Oil – 20%
  • *Soybean oil can be substituted with castor oil or olive oil.
  1. Melt the lard and coconut oil in microwave or double boiler to incorporate these ingredients.
  2. Add your liquid soybean oil (or other liquid oil) to the heated mixture. This will help cool the oils.
  3. Add lye water to your oils, not the other way around (please read about how to handle lye).
  4. Stick blend your oils and lye until trace.
  5. Add colorants.
  6. Pour into mold.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap.
  8. Twenty four to 48 hours later, un-mold.
  9. Wrap in plastic.
  10. Place in sealed plastic bag.
  11. Use as needed to make your hand molded cold process soap!


11 thoughts on “Simple Soap Recipe

  1. I would love to try this. Is there an oil that is best used to substitute for lard?

    I love your blog btw. Thank you so very much for great words of wisdom.

  2. I’ve read that tallow or palm oil can be substituted, however, I haven’t used either as a substitute. I have used palm oil, which is a hard oil. I hope this helps.

  3. Hello there,
    I enjoy looking at your many pretty soaps. Don’t quite have your artistic flair or fine skills, but I’m loving the idea of working with soap dough, well…anything soap. I currently make cold process soap.
    I live in South Texas where temperatures are just over 100 at this time of year. I tried the soap recipe twice (lard, coconut, and castor) and did not get gel during either attempt. I wrapped the first try with Saran Wrap and left in the container where I mixed the batter. Since it hardened by the next day, I figured I had not covered completely so this next time I poured onto a mold, covered the mold in plastic wrap, and then put the whole thing into a ziploc bag so no air would get to it. By the next day, same thing happened. The soap had hardened. Any ideas? I used same percentages for everything, water included.

  4. That is a pickle. Truly difficult to say. If you still have soap from the mentioned batch, I would be interested in seeing it first hand. Did you use any hardeners, like sodium lactate?

  5. Thanks for the quick response. Didn’t realize you had posted a response. I can send a pic if you’d like. It looks like perfectly good soap. I did add Tussah silk ( Is the recommendation to use 3-5 grams of silk ppo?) but no sodium lactate as I will use it to help harden soaps with a higher ratio of unsaturated to saturated. I figure I’ll try using more water since it may be an evaporation issue. I do wonder whether a ziplock bag produces a great air seal.

  6. Yes indeed, no extra hardeners for soap dough. If you need more help, check out some blog posts I wrote about this process.

    I detail the use of not allowing evaporation and water/lye ratios for soap dough.

    Thank you for your comments! 🙂

  7. Hi,

    Love your soaps!! 🙂

    In the above recipe, I assume that you have Coconut Oil in solid form.
    Coconut Oil and Palm Oil are all liquid here in Malaysia.
    Can I still use the liquid Coconut Oil or I should be using a solid fat to substitute it?
    I can find Cocoa, Mango, Shea, Tallow and normal dairy butter.

    Please help!

  8. Irma, perfectly acceptable… My coconut oil and palm oils are liquid in the summer as well, living in the desert. No worries at all!

  9. Hi again!

    Thanks for the very prompt reply!! 🙂

    That means I just need to substitute the lard with other butters and still use the liquid Coconut Oil.


  10. Good afternoon! Can you do a water discount with the soap molding recipe? I usually do a 33% water discount. thanks in advance for your answer.

  11. Very good point, Marianella. Thank you for asking.
    Water: 33%
    Water : Lye Ration: 2.298 : 1
    For one pound, 149.7 g

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