LYE: Caustic soda (NaOH) for hard soap or Potash (KOH) for liquid soap making
OILS of your preference (your recipe)
POTS: At least two stainless steel or heatproof glass pots (if you are working with more colors you probably need some more pots which can also be of other materials because the soaps you are coloring are going to be colder. I my self prefer glass.
— A good SCALE ! It is very important to measure EXACLTY and not “kind of” in soapmaking in order to succeed =) Get your self a good electronic one, and when the recipe says 243 gr then measure 243gr, no more-no less!
–Silicone SPATULAS to scrape the last soap drops out of your pots
–A stick BLENDER with a long enough shaft to immerse to the bottom of your pot in your soap mixture without making bubbles. The blender shortens the steering time from hours to minutes. You are finished when the mixture has become thick like a pudding,  that is you have reached TRACE!
SOAP MOLDS! You can use almost about everything as long it can handle high temperatures- Use a milk carton, a lined shoe box, or buy a silicon mould from the internet! You can also make your own mould and sealt with polymer clay (FIMO)
Cutting tools:  A stainless steel long knife. a wire cheese cutter or a commercial soap cutter.
Thermometer When mixing lye/water and oils you nedd to have them both at 43 Cº so you will have a successful saponification and a great trace!

FOR SOAPCASTING (pour and cast) you need
— a crock-pot or a double boiler
— a food-processor or a shred



If you choose to make soap from scratch, which involves lye you have to take some precautions to keep your self and your surroundings safe.The basic safety gear you need is:
Eye protection (you can get googles on every hardware store or on ebay
Rubber gloves (prefer some long ones, and thicker than one use gloves which you can get in the pharmacy)
Oven mitts
— A painters dust mask or a filter mask. By combining lye with water you will be exposed to caustic fumes which you don’t want to breathe inn.
Water NOT vinegar. Vinegar neutralizes lye, but if you are so unlucky and you burn your self with lye, you don’t want to get vinegar on top of your alkaline spill, but  wipe the spill of your skin and wash it thoroughly off with a lot of running water and then with soap. You do the same if you come in contact with raw batter soap
Thermometer When mixing lye/water and oils you nedd to have them both at 43 Cº so you will have a successful saponification and a great trace!


When soapmaking there are several basic techniques, equipment and expressions which are not “everyday”. I will try to explain shortly and give you some links to study the subject deeper, and you of course you can always “google” what you are looking for, but the internet is sometimes very confusing….

  • Recipe
  • CALCULATE LYE: Calculate lye/water and oils? There are a lot of good lye calulators online, I my self prefer to use which comes in english/greek/Russian and Spanish. Excellent calculator which shows you:  how much cleansing the soap is going to be after your choices, its hardness, conditioning, and its lather (foamy). You can give your recipe a title and add notes.
  • Tools/utensils/ingredients:
    In order to make a soap you need:
  1. Lye
  2. Oil
  3. Water
  4. Googles and gloves!!!
  5. Pots
  6. Fragrances and colors

Follow the recipe as in “Base soap” !

And one more with good picture description!



Soap natural colorants!!

Alfalfa – medium green
Alkanet – deep purple to muted blu
Beet root – muted pink to red
Ground calendula petals – yellow
Carrots – yellow to orange
Ground chamomile – yellow-beige
Chlorophyll – medium green
Cinnamon – tan to brown (can be an irritant)
Cloves – brown
Cochineal powder – deep red
Cocoa powder – brown
Coffee – brown to black
Comfrey root – light milky brown
Cucumber – bright green
Curry powder – yellow
Elderberries – light brown (steep in lye solution)
Henna, ground – olive green, drab green, greenish-brown
Indigo root – deep blues (can stain)
Jojoba beads – come in many colors, and are exfoliating
Kaolin Clay – white
Kelp/seaweed – green
Madder root – rosy red to purple
Milk (goat’s or cow’s) – tan to brown, depending upon sugar & fat content
Moroccan Red Clay – brick red
Paprika – light peach to salmon (can be an irritant)
Poppy Seeds – blue-grey to black specks
Pumice, ground – grey (also exfoliating)
Pumpkin, pureed – deep orange
Rattanjot – lavender to purple
Rose Pink Clay – brick red
Rosehips, ground – tan to deep brown
Safflower Petals – yellow to deep orange
Saffron – yellow
Sage – green
Spinach – light green
Spirulina – blue-green
Titanium Dioxide – bright white
Turmeric – gold to amber

A Soamaking book!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *