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How To Make Homemade Soap

This is going to look like it's really complicated like anything new to us does at first, but I promise after you do it once (maybe twice) you'll realize how easy it is to make your own delicious-smelling soap at home. 

The best part is, it's good for you and about 1/3 of the cost of buying a similar high-quality organic soap at the store. 

If you’re the “I’d rather buy my soap” type, I suggest checking out the delicious-smelling, natural soaps made by Becky at Miller’s Grove (code: GoodPatriot = 10% your first order). 

So what motivates me to teach this? I don't want you having to buy soap from this guy :

Woke soap? Ugh. The world is upside down and dirty but let's at least get our bodies clean with the following recipe for homemade beef-tallow soap.

(by the way, we use a beef tallow soap recipe because it has been used for generations for healthy skin conditioning - it has a similar fat profile to our own skin so bodies like it)

Here’s what you’re going to need:

  • stainless steel cooking pot

  • stainless steel stirrer - this can be a long spoon

  • an immersion blender

  • stick thermometer

  • a mold for your soap

  • an old towel

  • safety gloves (thin rubber gloves should be fine)

  • glass vessle (at least 32 ounces)

  • a pourable smaller container (can be a 16 oz.plastic cup or something similar)

  • digital kitchen scale

  • spatula

  • parchment paper (unless your mold is silicone)

Here’s what you need for the actual soap part:

(I use all organic ingredients)

  • beef tallow

  • coconut oil (I use refined usually)

  • castor oil

  • extra virgin olive oil (I use the Costco brand)

  • shea butter

  • lye (or sodium hydroxide - this is what turns fat into soap)

  • cold distilled water (put it in the fridge the night before)

  • essential oils of your choice (I used a 50/50 blend of wild orange and lemongrass) REVIVE code: GoodPatriot10 gets you a discount on oils!

Safety First

When I first started researching how to make soap, the videos I found were filled with lots of cautions for using lye. After watching them, I literally made soap for the first time with long, thick-material sleeves, gloves, goggles, pants, an apron, a respirator (geez), hair tied back and handled the lye container like it was a bomb, ready to detinate. I looked like a Chinese biolab worker getting ready to release their latest scamdemic disease. 

But after making soap a few times I realized that the safety precautions I heard were a little excessive. Now I choose to not even wear gloves and am just very careful around lye when handling it because it can be caustic to our skin. 

You do what you feel is best for you but if you’re clumsy and accidently pour the lye solution into your eyeballs, don’t say I didn’t warn you that it could do damage.

Let’s quickly talk about my soap mold. 

I made mine so you can’t buy it anywhere but if you’re handy with some simple power tools or have a spouse who is, the inner dimensions of my mold are 15”L x 4”W x 3.5”H.

This will give you about 15 standard size bars when cut. 

I used some spare, smooth wood and also made a wider platform base so when I take the soap out of the mold, I can simply turn the mold over and use it to cut my soap on. 

This is just me being fancy though so you can make the base whatever you want or buy a soap mold that is similar to the one I use here. 

If you do choose to make your own mold, make sure you have the sides slightly angled outward towards the top so taking the soap out will be easy - think ice cube trays releasing ice - they are angled to release everything in the mold’s cut-out part. 

Your Soap Recipe

I calculated my soap recipe by configuring the alignment of the stars and the direction of the wind during the winter equinox but you can also use this very convenient soap calculator online to make yours. My recipe is based on the size of my mold and is a total of three pounds of soap. 

Here are quick directions for inputting my recipe in the soap calculator. If you want to make your own recipe using different ingredients or adjust it for your own mold size, you can easily do that as well. I chose these fats and additions for their specific soap traits: hardness, cleansing ability, conditioning, sudsiness and creaminess. 

I find this recipe is great for hard water, is gentle on skin and all around wonderful. Feel free to just screenshot the recipe graphic below and print it out or you can enter in these numbers in the calculator and make size adjustments for another soap mold if necessary. 

Enter the following:

Type of Lye = NaOH

Weight of Oils = 3 pounds

Water = water as % of oils

Superfat = 5%  Fragrance = 0.4 oz/lb

(under Oils, Fats and Waxes) choose (double click): coconut oil 76* (32%), castor oil (4%), olive oil (33%), shea butter (5%) and tallow (beef )(26%) 

Now enter the percentages given for each in the column provided to the right of your list.

7.   Click “Calculate Recipe” (columns will be automatically filled in)

8.   Click “Print Recipe” 

Now you have a recipe to go by. Here’s how you actually put it all together:

I recommend using the “grams (g)” setting on your kitchen scale. This is the most accurate way to measure in both baking desserts and soap making. Your recipe print out will have the grams recipe option on the right side. 

Line your soap mold with parchment paper if necessary and set aside (If you bought a silicone mold, this is not necessary).

Measure/weigh out all your fats and oils into the stainless steel pot first and then set them on low heat on the stove top (coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, tallow and castor oil).

Take your 32oz+ glass container and measure your cold distilled water into it.

In your smaller, pourable container (plastic cup type), slowly measure out your lye (be careful) and bring both containers outside to an area where it won’t be disturbed by wind, pets or weird neighbors.

You need ventilation when activating lye. Slowly pour the powdered lye into your cold water container and gently stir it with your stainless steel spoon or stirrer. 

(Are you still alive? Good. See, I told you it wasn’t that dangerous.) 

Leave that outside for a bit. The mixture will heat up (that’s why we start with cold water) and we are wanting it to cool down over the next 10-30 minutes to about 110*-130*

Meanwhile, check on your fats and oils that are melting on low heat. Stir them around when they get warm and when you only have a few small chunks of fat left to melt, take it off the heat and continue to stir it until everything is liquid. You are also wanting this mixture’s temperature to cool to between 110*-130*

This would be a good time to measure out your frangrance(s) and set aside (I take off the little pourer on top of the essential oil bottle because it takes forever if you do this drop by drop. It takes at least one or two full bottles of oils to get the full amount needed for a stronger frangrance in your soap).

The lye mixture and fats mixture need to be within 10* of each other so your goal here is to check the temperature of each mix every 5-10 minutes until they hit between 110-130*, within 10* of each other. For example, your fats may be 125* and your lye is 115* - that works and once you get there, carefully bring the lye mixture inside and slowly pour it into the fats mixture in the stainless steel pot.

Carefully take your immersion blender and immerse it into the mix and start blending away, being careful not to mix air into it by constantly breaking the surface of the mixture.

What you are looking for now is what is called “trace.” That is when the mix starts to keep it’s shape on top of itself (see pic) - or it starts to not melt into itself totally but leaves raised lines. At this point, make sure all is mixed well and now you want to quickly add in your fragrance.

Pour in the essential oils and mix them in well. As soon as they are incorporated, take the pot over to your soap mould and get ready to pour it all in. 

Do it. Pour it all in using your spatula to help, working quickly (not stressfully - this is just soap) and gently tap the mold a few times on the table to release bubbles and help the mixture settle in. When this is done, smooth out the top with your spatula and start to get a bit excited. 

...Now you are excited for nothing because you have to wait 24 hours for your soap to harden enough where you’ll be able to take it out of the mould and cut it into bars.

BUT in the meantime, cover the top of your soap mould with an old towel to insulate it (silicone molds will be different so read those directions) and set it aside. The soap will heat up as it’s setting. This is normal but don’t leave it on top of anything heat-sensitive. A countertop is just fine. 

24 hours go by and…

Now you can take your soap out of the mold. Set it on a surface that you can cut it on and enjoy one of the most theraputic actions you will even do - cutting soap bars from a brick of soap. I use a longer serated knife. Not sure why this is so satisfying but you will now what I’m talking about once you do it. 

When you cut each bar (I usually cut them about an inch wide), lay them on a drying surface - this can be a cooling rack for baked goods or I actually go to our local garden center and get free pot trays that allow air to access most of the soap bars. (see pic). They have to sit on this surface for 4-5 weeks so keep that in mind. Make sure to have airflow in between each bar and then find a cozy spot for them to cure.

As if waiting 24 hours to cut the bars was bad enough, now you patiently wait for at least 4 weeks for them to fully cure. It’s worth it though.

It builds character :)

After 4 weeks, they are ready for use and if you want to get crafty, you can wrap them in natural waxed parchment and label them or really store them however you’d like - it’s your soap!


You could now be a useful member of the cast of Little House On The Prairie. 

Maybe be the leader of a apocalypse gang? 

The possibilities are endless and whatever you do, you’ll be clean doing it. 

If you’re wanting to get your own soap stamp like I used, ETSY has a lot of shops that make them. I used this one. 

I designed my labels using

The dimensions of labels to wrap regular-sized bars are about 3" x 7.5"

If you like chickens too, check out this T-shirt we sell :)

Thanks for reading along and let me know if you have any questions by emailing me at 

If you’d like to subscribe to my newsletters you can do so by using the box at the top of the page :)


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