How to Make Liquid Soap from Scratch: Step-by-Step Guide

Making your liquid soap is a great way to save money and create a product free from harsh chemicals. If you’ve never made liquid soap before, don’t worry! This blog post will provide an easy-to-follow guide on how to make your liquid soap at home. 

You’ll need a few basic supplies and a bit of patience, but it’s easy to do and the results are worth it. Read on to learn the simple steps for making liquid soap from scratch.

What You Need

Making your liquid soap from scratch is simple and rewarding. Before you get started, you’ll need to gather a few supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A large stainless steel pot
  • Potassium hydroxide (also known as lye)
  • Olive oil, coconut oil, or any other type of oil
  • A stick blender
  • Protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses
  • A mold or container for the finished soap
  • Fragrance or essential oils (optional) 

Once you have all the items on hand, you’re ready to begin!

The Process

Making liquid soap from scratch can be a time-consuming and tedious process, but the result is a natural and eco-friendly cleaning product that is free from harsh chemicals and additives. 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make liquid soap from scratch:

  1. Start by heating approximately 8 ounces of distilled water in a small saucepan.
  2. While the water is heating, measure out around 4.5 ounces of a solid oil-based ingredient such as coconut oil, olive oil, or almond oil.
  3. Add the solid oil to the saucepan and stir it with a spoon until it melts completely into the heated water.
  4. After the oil has melted, pour the mixture into a large bowl and add 5 tablespoons of lye. The lye will react with the oil and produce a thick mixture.
  5. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon for several minutes until it begins to thicken.
  6. Once the mixture has thickened, add 15 drops of essential oils of your choice for scent. 
  7. Keep stirring the mixture for another 10 minutes until it forms a paste-like consistency.
  8. Transfer the paste to a blender and blend it for several minutes until it becomes smooth and creamy.
  9. Slowly add 8 more ounces of distilled water to the blender while blending until the mixture reaches your desired liquid soap consistency.
  10. Finally, pour the liquid soap into an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Your liquid soap is now ready for use!

Tips and Tricks

  1. If you want to make liquid soap with added scent, add essential oils during the cool-down phase of your soap. This will ensure that your desired scent is properly incorporated into the liquid soap.
  1. For a smoother texture and better clarity in your liquid soap, blend it for a few minutes using an immersion blender or similar device. This will help create a much more pleasing consistency.
  1. Always test your liquid soap before using it on your skin or body. Skin irritation can occur if you are allergic to any of the ingredients you use.
  1. Store liquid soap in airtight containers to prevent mold from forming. Do not use metal containers as the soap will react with them and affect the pH balance.
  1. Add natural exfoliants like oatmeal, coffee grounds, or sea salt to your liquid soap for extra benefits to the skin.
  1. To thicken your liquid soap, add xanthan gum or guar gum. Both are natural thickening agents and will give your liquid soap a more luxurious feel. 
  1. If you want to add some color to your liquid soap, try adding mica powder or food coloring. These will both give you vibrant colors without affecting the performance of the soap.
  1. For a foamy liquid soap, add castile soap and a little vegetable glycerin to create a nice lather.

End Result

Once you have finished the process of making liquid soap, the result should be a beautiful and fragrant homemade liquid soap! The final product should have a creamy, rich lather that is both gentle and nourishing on your skin. 

You may also want to add a few drops of essential oils to give the soap an extra special scent. The shelf-life of your liquid soap will depend on what ingredients you used and how you stored them. In general, it should last up to 12 months. 

If stored properly, it should remain mild and bubbly, but if you find that it begins to separate or turn cloudy, simply give it a quick shake before using. Enjoy your natural, homemade liquid soap!

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Q: How do I make liquid soap?

A: Making liquid soap requires the use of potassium hydroxide and water, which react together to form a potassium salt. This reaction is done in a slow cooker or similar device, resulting in a concentrated liquid soap. The recipe varies slightly based on the desired thickness and scent, but the basic steps remain the same.

Q: What is potassium hydroxide?

A: Potassium hydroxide is an alkaline substance that is commonly used in making soaps and detergents. It is also known as caustic potash.

Q: Is liquid soap better than bar soap?

A: This depends on personal preference. Liquid soap can be easier to apply and has a longer shelf life than bar soap. However, bar soap may be more cost-effective and is better at exfoliating the skin. 

Q: How long does liquid soap last?

A: Homemade liquid soap can last for up to a year when stored properly in a cool, dry place. Commercial liquid soaps may have an even longer shelf life due to preservatives added during production. 

Q: Can I make liquid soap without using lye?

A: Yes, you can make liquid soap without using lye. Instead, you can use other ingredients like castile soap or glycerin.


Making your liquid soap is an easy and rewarding process. You can customize the scent, color, and texture to suit your preferences, making it perfect for your home and skin care needs. 

The key is to use the right ingredients in the right proportions and allow the mixture to fully cool and thicken before use. With a little practice, you can easily create your homemade liquid soap that will last for months! Have fun and experiment to find the perfect combination of ingredients for you.