Why should you learn how to make vegan soap? Because homemade vegan soap is prepared from non-synthetic, natural ingredients that are gentle on your skin. Often delicate areas in our bodies can become dry or sensitive after using commercial soaps. Homemade vegan soap avoids the unnecessary ingredients that create lather, replacing them with cleansing, vegan substitutes. Here’s how you can make vegan soap that will save you money and improve your bathing experience.
At your local health food store, look for the following ingredients to make vegan soap:
- 6 oz cocoa butter
- 3 oz castor oil
- 42 oz grade B olive oil (fattier than grade A)
- 28 oz vegetable shortening
- 30 oz coconut oil
- 41 oz cold water
- 14 oz lye (sodium hydroxide), which can be found at home improvement stores
Here are the kitchen supplies you’ll need to make vegan soap:
- Rubber gloves
- Small pot
- Wooden spoon
- Measuring cups
- 2 heat-resistant pitchers with lids
- Kitchen towel
- Sharp knife
- Large container with lid
- Kitchen thermometer
Follow these steps to make vegan soap
- Lye preparation. The first step for making vegan soap involves using lye, which is corrosive. Therefore, be sure to wear your protective rubber gloves. Measure 14 oz of lye into to the first pitcher, and 41 oz of cold water into the second pitcher. Gently pour the water into the lye and mix slowly to avoid splashing until the lye dissolves. Be careful, as the mixture will be naturally hot. Cover the mixture with a lid. Place the sealed container in a sink filled with cold water to help the mixture cool.
- Vegan soap oil preparation. The second step for making vegan soap involves heated oils, therefore, be sure to keep using the rubber gloves for protection and work slowly to avoid splashing. Pour all the oils into the pot and stir on medium heat until the oils reach 100°F.
- Combine the lye and oils. The third step for making vegan soap is slow but important, so be sure to take your time. Very carefully pour the lye into the oils and mix gently. Keep mixing for between 15 minutes up to an hour. You should start to see “trailings,” which are drops of soap on top of the mixture. However, if after 1 hour you cannot see these signs, consider the mixture ready regardless, as “trailings” are sometimes difficult to spot when making vegan soap, which is vegetable based.
- Molding your vegan soap. Pour the thick mixture into the plastic container and close the lid. To keep the mixture warm, cover the container with the towel. Check the soap every 12 hours and stir in any water that floats to the top. After 48 hours your homemade vegan soap mixture will be fully congealed. Open the lid and let the soap continue to dry in the open air. Do not touch the homemade vegan soap with your bare hands as it will still be caustic for a few days more.
- Cutting your vegan soap. The best part of making vegan soap comes at the end. Press on the sides of the mold while holding it upside down to release your homemade vegan soap. Then cut the large bar into smaller ones using a sharp knife. Customize the size of your homemade vegan soap bars to your taste and needs.
Tips: Add herbs to your homemade vegan soap mixture to give your soap bars a natural fragrance like lavender, rosemary or sage. Just make sure to avoid herbs you might be allergic to.