DIY Basic Cold Process Soap

Begin your soap making adventures with this easy recipe for a DIY basic cold process soap.

| February 2018

  • The cold process is one of the basic forms of handmade soap-making.
    Photo by Pixabay/PublicDomainPictures
  • “DIY Artisanal Soaps” by Alicia Grosso guides you step-by-step through the home soapmaking process, from basic recipes to packaging and selling your creations.
    Photo by Stephanie Hannus

DIY Artisanal Soaps (Adams Media, 2016), by Alicia Grosso equips readers with everything they need to begin making their own beautiful soaps right at home. Grosso lists the main ingredients needed, plus recipes on how to personalize your soaps to be perfect for your home. In this excerpt, she gives her recipe for making a basic cold-process soap.


• 6 ounces water
• 2 1/4 ounces lye
• 10 ounces olive oil
• 6 ounces coconut oil
• 1 tablespoon castor oil


1. Put on all protective gear, including goggles, gloves, and long sleeves.

2. Place the water in a heatproof glass 4-cup measure. Sprinkle the lye slowly and carefully into the water. Stir until dissolved. Set the lye solution aside to cool.

3. Combine the olive oil, coconut oil, and castor oil in a second heatproof glass 4-cup measure. Melt in the microwave or over boiling water. Coconut oil has a low melting point, so it will melt quickly from an opaque white solid to a clear liquid. As each setup is different, be sure to watch your microwave or double boiler closely, and make note of how long it takes. (Do not overheat, as oils take longer to cool than the lye solution.) Set the oils aside to cool.

4. When both mixtures are at 110 degrees Fahrenheit, pour the lye solution in a thin stream into the oils. Stir constantly until the mixture traces, about 10–20 minutes. (If using an immersion blender, take care not to whip air into the mixture.)

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