Basic and Easy Homemade Soap Making Recipes

Homemade soap

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

We've compiled four ​basic recipes from our library of classic soapmaking books. All "tried and true," very basic recipes, each is a good starting place for learning the art of making your own soap.


Watch Now: 3 Ways to Make Your Own Soap

  • 01 of 04

    Basic 4-Oil Soap Recipe

    Four bottles of oil

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    This is a basic soap recipe often used in soapmaking classes using simple ingredients which combine to make great soap.

  • 02 of 04

    Basic Olive Oil (Castile) Soap Recipes

    Bars of soap in a bowl
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    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 (or only) olive oil or using olive oil as just one of many ingredients, olive oil makes great soap.

  • 03 of 04

    Sandy Maine's Basic 3-Oil Soap Recipe

    Stack of handmade soaps

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    Sandy Maine of SunFeather Natural Soap Company has a basic recipe using just three oils which she employs 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 of castor oil -- it's a lighter lather, but quite plentiful. This is a great recipe to get started with because these oils should be readily available at your grocery store.

  • 04 of 04

    MMS Basic 3-Oil Soap Recipe

    Overhead view of spoonful of cold coconut oil on jar
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    This super-simple recipe was inspired by a recipe at Majestic Mountain Sage using only 3 oils. Would adding other oils such as 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 makes about 3 lbs. of soap.

More About Soap Making Oils

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