Simple Steps to Mastering the Basics of Soap Making
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Gather all necessary materials
  2. Choose your soap base
  3. Melt the soap base
  4. Add essential oils and coloring
  5. Pour soap mixture into mold
  6. Let the soap harden
  7. Remove soap from mold
  8. Store your soap properly

Soap making: it's not just a practical skill, it's an art. But don't be daunted by the process—it's easier than you think, especially once you've mastered the basics of soap making. This handy guide will take you through the steps, from gathering your materials to storing your soap. So put on your creative hat and let's dive into the world of soap making!

Gather all necessary materials

Before we start on our soap making journey, it's important to gather all the necessary materials. This will save you time and stress once you get into the swing of things. Here's what you'll need:

  • Soap Base: This is the foundation of your soap. There are many types of soap base available in the market such as glycerin, goat's milk, and olive oil.
  • Mold: This is where your soap will take shape. Silicone molds are widely recommended for beginners because they're easy to use and clean.
  • Essential Oils: Essential oils add fragrance to your soap. Lavender, tea tree, and peppermint are just a few examples of essential oils you might use.
  • Coloring: If you wish to add a dash of color to your soap, soap-safe colorants are available in many craft stores.
  • Microwave-safe Bowl: You'll need this for melting your soap base. It's safer and easier to control the temperature with a microwave.
  • Spoon or Spatula: This is for stirring your soap mixture. A wooden spoon or a silicone spatula is ideal.
  • Protective Gear: Safety first! Always wear gloves and eye protection when handling lye, a common ingredient in soap making.

Now that you have your materials, it's time to get started on the basics of soap making. Remember, soap making is not just about cleanliness—it's about creativity, too. So let this journey be fun, enjoyable, and uniquely yours!

Choose your soap base

Choosing the right soap base is a key step in the basics of soap making. The soap base forms the foundation of your soap and determines its properties. There are several types of soap bases you can choose from. Here are a few examples:

  • Glycerin: This is a popular choice for beginners. It's clear, easy to work with, and creates a nice lather.
  • Goat's Milk: If you're looking for a soap base that's gentle on skin and rich in nutrients, goat's milk is an excellent choice. It's also great for achieving a creamy texture in your soap.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil soap base is known for its moisturizing properties. This makes it a perfect choice if you want to create a soap that leaves the skin feeling soft and nourished.

Each soap base has its own unique properties and benefits, so the one you choose really depends on your personal preference and the needs of your skin. Remember, the goal is to create a soap that you love, so don't be afraid to experiment with different bases until you find the one that's perfect for you!

Melt the soap base

Once you've made your choice from the wide array of soap bases, the next step in the basics of soap making is to melt it down. The melting process is simple and straightforward, but there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure you get it just right.

Firstly, chop your soap base into small chunks. This will help it melt more quickly and evenly. You can use a regular kitchen knife for this — just be careful not to cut yourself!

Next, place the chopped soap base in a heat-resistant bowl. You can use a double boiler to melt the soap base, but if you don't have one, don't worry. You can simply place your bowl over a pot of boiling water. The steam from the boiling water will gently melt the soap base without burning it.

Keep an eye on your soap base as it melts. You don't want it to boil or overheat, as this can cause it to lose its lathering properties. Once the soap base is completely liquid, remove it from the heat. Now, you're ready to move on to the next stage in mastering the basics of soap making: adding your essential oils and coloring.

Add essential oils and coloring

With your soap base melted, you're now ready for one of the most fun steps in the basics of soap making: adding essential oils and coloring. This is where you get to customize your soap to your liking. Whether you prefer a calming lavender, a refreshing peppermint, or a warm vanilla, the choice is yours.

Start by adding a few drops of your chosen essential oil. Stir it gently into the melted soap base. Remember to go slow — essential oils are potent, and a little goes a long way! Plus, you can always add more if you want a stronger scent. But be careful not to add too much, as this can irritate the skin.

Now, let's add some color. Soap colorants come in a variety of forms: liquid, powder, or even natural options like turmeric for a golden yellow or spirulina for a beautiful green. Just like with the essential oils, add your colorant slowly. Stir it in until you achieve your desired color.

And there you have it — you've just personalized your soap with your favorite scents and hues, a key part of mastering the basics of soap making!

Pour soap mixture into mold

Alright, it's time for the next stage in your basics of soap making journey: pouring your soap mixture into a mold. This step can feel a little tricky, but don't worry—you've got this!

First, make sure your mold is clean and dry. You wouldn't want any unwanted particles joining your beautiful soap creation, would you? Soap molds come in all shapes and sizes, so choose one that reflects your personal style. Remember, your soap is a reflection of you!

Now, gently pour your soap mixture into the mold. Be careful not to splash or spill—it's not a race. Take your time and pour slowly. If you're using a smaller mold, you might find a funnel helpful.

Once your soap mixture is in the mold, give it a few gentle taps on the counter. This helps get rid of any air bubbles and ensures your finished soap will have a smooth, professional look. See? You're already becoming a master of the basics of soap making!

Let the soap harden

Okay, you've poured your soap into the mold and now comes the next step in mastering the basics of soap making — patience. Yes, you've heard it right! Letting your soap harden is as important as any other step in the process. It's just like waiting for a delicious cake to bake in the oven.

Leaving your soap to harden is a pivotal step in the soap making process. This is when your soap changes from a liquid state to a solid state. It's the time when your soap truly begins to take shape.

Depending on the type of soap base you've chosen, hardening can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days. It can be tempting to rush this step, but resist the urge. Good things come to those who wait, right?

Remember, you're not just making soap; you're crafting a masterpiece. So, while waiting, why not start planning your next soap creation? The basics of soap making are all about experimentation and creativity. So, get those creative juices flowing!

Remove soap from mold

So you've shown some patience, and your soap is now firm to the touch. What's the next step in the basics of soap making? You're ready to remove your soap from the mold. This step is like opening a present on a special day, except the present is one you've made yourself. It's exciting, isn't it?

First, gently press on the bottom of the mold. You should feel the soap start to loosen. If it doesn't, don't force it out — that might damage your soap. Instead, give it a bit more time to harden.

Once the soap comes out of the mold easily, you've successfully passed another milestone in the soap making process. But hey, don't get too excited — we're still not done. Handling the soap with care at this stage is key. The soap may still be a bit soft and can easily get dents or scratches.

Seeing your soap finally take shape is a rewarding experience, isn't it? But remember, the art of mastering the basics of soap making lies in patience and care. So, take your time and handle your soap with the tender love and care it deserves.

Store your soap properly

Now that your soap is out of the mold, it's time to move on to the final stage in the basics of soap making: storing your soap properly. This is where you ensure that your soap lasts long and stays in the best possible condition.

First, let's talk about how to cure your soap. This is a simple process that involves leaving your soap out in the open for a few weeks. This allows the water to evaporate out of the soap, making it harder and longer-lasting. A cool, dry place out of direct sunlight is perfect for this. Remember, patience is a soap maker's best friend!

Next, you want to store your soap in a way that keeps it dry. When not in use, soap should be kept in a draining soap dish, so it doesn't sit in water. This keeps your soap from becoming soft and mushy.

Finally, when storing a lot of soap, don't stack them on top of each other. The soap needs air circulation to keep it dry and hard. Instead, store your soap bars side-by-side in a cool, dry place.

And there you have it! By following these instructions, you're mastering the basics of soap making and ensuring your homemade soaps are of the highest quality. So, how does it feel to be a soap-making whizz?

If you enjoyed learning about the basics of soap making and want to explore more creative DIY projects, consider checking out Meghan Yarnell's workshop 'Pottery Basics: Everything You Need To Know.' Although pottery is a different medium, the process of learning and mastering a new skill can be just as rewarding and therapeutic. Happy creating!