Basic and Easy Homemade Soap Making Recipes

jasmine soap
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It's important to understand the qualities of soap making oils in order to create your own basic recipe, but it's often times quicker and easier to use someone else's recipe to get started.

We've compiled several ​basic recipes from our library of classic soap making books. They're all "tried and true" very basic recipes...and are good starting places for learning the art of making your own soap.

  • 01 of 06

    Here is a basic soap recipe with simple ingredients that makes great soap. This is a basic recipe used in soap making classes

  • 02 of 06

    This recipe features ingredients you can get at the grocery store. It's a great recipe to get started with because the oils are easy to get and inexpensive.

  • 03 of 06

    Olive oil was one of the first vegetable oils used to make soap and forms the base of most high-quality soap recipes. Whether the recipe is a "Castile" soap using mostly only olive oil in it, or just uses olive oil as one of its many ingredients, olive oil makes great soap.

  • 04 of 06

    Ann Bramson's Castile Soap Recipe

    Ann Bramson's book Soap was one of the very first books published on making your own soap. She gives four basic recipes that she feels "should all be experienced." Her first recipe is a variation of castile soap which is a soap that uses all or mostly all olive oil. Hers uses 30% olive and 70% beef tallow, so (in my opinion) it's a bit of a stretch to call this a "castile" soap - but it's nonetheless a good recipe, especially if you don't have any coconut oil on...MORE hand. The lather isn't super bubbly, but it is rich and creamy. I've scaled her recipe down to make about 3 lbs. of soap and reduced her superfat to about 6%.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Sandy Maine of SunFeather Natural Soap Company  has a "basic" recipe with just three oils that she uses for all the varieties of soap in her book The Soap Book. It consists of:

    • 48% Crisco
    • 25% olive oil
    • 25% coconut oil

    It doesn't have quite the heavy, creamy lather that castor oil's a lighter lather...but quite plentiful. It's a great recipe to get started because these oils should be readily available at your grocery store.

  • 06 of 06

    Here is a super-simple recipe (inspired by a recipe at Majestic Mountain Sage) that just uses 3 oils. Would adding some other oils like castor oil or cocoa butter improve the soap? Yes! Is this a perfectly good recipe to get started with? Absolutely! It's basically:

    • 50% olive oil
    • 25% coconut oil
    • 25% palm oil

    This recipe will make about 3 lbs. of soap.

You can use these recipes forever and always have great soap. But I encourage you to learn more about the oils going into your soap recipes. Learn how coconut oil will give your soap a different quality than olive oil. Learn some of the subtleties of the liquid oils. Make your recipes your own unique creations!