How to Make Homemade Liquid Soap

Man cleansing hands
Photo: JGI / Jamie Grill / Getty Images

Though most people get started making melt and pour or cold process soap, by changing just one ingredient (the type of lye you use), you can transform a bar soap into a liquid soap. It's a longer and a bit trickier process, but by following recipes and instructions carefully, you'll be able to make your own natural liquid soap. Start with the basic instructions in item No. 1, but be sure to browse over the others. They'll give you a good perspective into the whole process.

  • 01 of 06

    Traditional Basic Liquid Soap Instructions

    Most of us get started making natural liquid soap using Catharine Failor's book Making Natural Liquid Soap. It's a pretty straightforward and reliable method. There are some idiosyncrasies in how she calculates her lye, but if you follow her recipes and the basic process shown here, the soap comes out great.

  • 02 of 06

    Diluting Liquid Soap

    Making the liquid soap is just part the fun. The liquid soap making process makes a thick soap paste that needs to be diluted before you can use it. Here are some tips on diluting your liquid soap paste. The key to diluting your liquid soap is patience, patience, patience.

  • 03 of 06

    Lye Excess in Liquid Soap

    In my article on Making Natural Liquid Soap, we state, "If you run most recipes through a lye calculator you'll see that there seems to be way too much lye! Indeed, liquid soap recipes are usually formulated with about a 10% lye EXCESS. This is to ensure that all of the oils are saponified."

    This is true, but there's more to the story.

  • 04 of 06

    Liquid Soap Project Gallery

    Extra photos of the liquid soap making process. Different oils in your recipe will create soap paste of a different consistency. But the basic process is the same. These photos will help you follow along.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Oven Proces Liquid Soap

    Instead of a crock pot, you can use your oven, set at a low temperature, to cook your soap paste. The process is otherwise identical to the crock pot method.

  • 06 of 06

    How to Store Liquid Soap Paste

    A batch of liquid soap makes a lot of paste - which makes even more soap when it's diluted. Here's a handy tip to store your liquid soap paste which not only keeps it fresh but allows you to experiment with different fragrances and colors.