Liquid Soap

Making liquid soap is daunting because it’s a weird process. But it’s also pretty simple. In fact, the full description of the process takes longer to read and understand than actually doing the work.

I’ve produced this as a single recipe with quantities for a member of The Commentariat(tm) who wants to give it a try. So where I put specific quantities, you can use them and make exactly what I did, or there are links at the bottom for how to compute your own quantities based on different oils.

This process takes about 4 hours start to finish, but you’ll only actually do a little work. But you have to be there to deal with it; you can’t just leave your soap on the stove like you would a cat or a child or something…

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Fun: Liquid Soap

If you’re like most of us, you buy a variety of surfactant products: for your dishes, for your body, for your clothes – some of them are quite expensive. Most of them are made of the cheapest possible stuff. It’s not really hard to do better than the manufacturers do. It’s also fun to learn how to read the ingredients of soaps in hotels and stores – yeah, that “vegan” soap bar with the “sodium tallowate” in it? That’s beef fat.

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Hot weather is a good time for soap-making. It makes it easy to mix the oils: leave your shea butter and coconut oil on the porch in the sun and they are liquid in 10 minutes. Molds dry quickly in the heat, and the soap doesn’t have any problem gelling – in the winter I have to leave it in the oven overnight (risking a soap volcano!)  Summer soap just sits on the counter overnight and it’s ready to go in the morning.

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