How to Make Your First Soap at Home - Sunset Soap Co.

equipment to make soap

This easy and gentle soap is the perfect project for somebody who has never made cold process soap before!

This recipe makes: 2-3 pounds of soap


  • 8 oz. Coconut Oil (24%)
  • 15 oz. Olive Oil (44%)
  • 11 oz. Palm Oil (32%)
  • 4.8 oz. Lye
  • 11.2 oz. Distilled Water


Prepare your Mold: For this recipe, we are going to use a mold with dimensions of 10"L x 3.6"W x 2.25"H,  but you can substitute the mold with a box or a milk carton.

If you are using a box or a milk carton as your mold, remember to line it with freezer paper. Freezer paper is super durable and will not stick to the soap once the soap is ready to be un-molded. When you line your mold make sure to place the shiny side of the freezing paper facing the soap!

    Before we start, it’s helpful to have your soaping area clean and ready for work. Soaping can feel like a race against the clock at times, because of that, you don’t want to be running around looking for a spatula or a whisk! make sure you have all the tools you need close by.

    Luckily this recipe does not have any complicated steps or designs, so the tools needed are minimal. But at least you will need a fully line mold, prepared lye water, pre-mixed oils, stick blender, and a spatula. We will talk about how to do soap prep in details on a later blog :)

    Now let's get started

      SAFETY FIRST: Suit up for safe handling practices! That means wear goggles, gloves and long sleeves. Make sure kids, pets, tripping hazards, and other distractions and  are out of your soaping space. Always soap in a well-ventilated area.
      • Step 1: Slowly and carefully add the lye to the water and gently stir with a metal spoon (don't use plastic, the reaction of the lye and the water will cause the plastic to melt) until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside and let the lye water cool down. The temperature will rise to about 200 degrees F.
      • Step 2: Combine the coconut oil, olive oil and palm oil (remember to fully melt and shake your entire container of palm oil before adding it to the oil mix). Allow the lye water and the oils cool to 130 degrees or below (ideally within 10 degrees of each other). For this recipe, both the oils and the lye water mix well around 120 degrees F. If you want your soaps to cure and release faster from the mold, you can add sodium lactate to the cooled lye water. Use 1 teaspoon of sodium lactate per pound of oils in the recipe. For this recipe, you’d add about 2 tsp. of sodium lactate, but that's optional.
      • Step 3: Place your stick blender into the oils. Gently tap the stick blender on the bottom of the bowl several times to release any bubbles that got trapped in the stick blender head. This is called, “burping the stick blender.”
      • Step 4: After Burping the stick blender, gently pour the lye water down the shaft of the stick blender and into the oils.
      • Step 5: Turn on the stick blender and pulse a few times. You will see the lye water and oils immediately start to mix, and begin to create a creamy yellow color. After about 30 seconds, see if your mix turn into a pudding like texture. We call this trace, we will discuss more about trace on a later blog post.
      • Step 6: Keep pulsing the stick blender until your soap mix looks thinner than pudding. This is a great consistency!
      • Step 7: Once your soap has reached medium trace (pudding like texture), pour it into your mold until all the soap is in the mold. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure you get every last bit of soap!
      • Step 8: After the all soap is poured into the mold, firmly tap the box on the counter to help release the bubbles within the soap. Make sure you still have your goggles on! Sometimes soap can jump up during this process.
      • Step 9: Spray the top of the soap with at least 91% isopropyl alcohol. Doing so helps to avoid soda ash from forming. Whats soda ash you ask? Don't worry we will discuss that in full detail in another blog. Allow the soap to sit in the mold for 3-4 days. Un-mold, and cut into bars. Allow the soap to cure for 4-6 weeks. During this time, water evaporates from the soap making it firmer and longer lasting in the shower. The soap can be used before the full cure time, but will not last as long. Trust me It's best to wait! :)
      Let us know how your soap making adventure is going! Follow us on instagram @sunsetsoapsco and tag us on your soap making adventures.
      Written by Angel Reyes

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