How to make natural soap from scratch

A love of natural ingredients, growing anti-plastic packaging sentiment and a new-found passion for creating from scratch has created a resurgence in homemade soap.

A couple of generations before us soap was made with lye from wood ash and the fat from the animals slaughtered for food.

These days it is a much less dramatic process and the ingredients, thankfully, are easier to come by.

“Homemade soap is a great non-toxic alternative to the commercial products,” Dawn Organics natural home and body products owner George Salem says.

“Soap is a practical thing to make and has many uses.

“It’s a tangible product you can be proud of and the more you do it, the more creative you become.”

Choose what goes into homemade soap

ClassBento artisan workshops co-founder John Tabari says the beauty of homemade soap is you know all the ingredients that go into it.

“You are taking care of your mind and skin,” John says.

“Look for classes that use natural ingredients and remember when you are trying something new, enjoy being in the moment.

“Don’t let busy days get in the way of your social and mental health, and really enjoy the process of making with your hands.

“That for me is the best part.”

George agrees people love natural products when they work well.

“My business model is based on aromatherapy principles and creating truly unique essential oil blends,” he says.

“The one thing I love about creating products is letting my imagination run wild.”

So, why not let loose your creativity with this simple beginners recipe?

Homemade soap recipe


  • 453g soap base of your choice (you can buy a melt and pour soap base, or if you’re feeling adventurous, create your own).
  • Herbs and/or essential oils.
  • Heatproof bowl.
  • Silicone mould or a loaf pan lined with baking paper.


  • Chop soap base into large pieces. Put it in your bowl and melt it in the microwave or in a double boiler over low heat.
  • Once melted, add herbs and oils (about 30 drops essential oil and ½ teaspoon herbs).
  • Mix thoroughly and pour into mould.


  • Cool for several hours.
  • Remove from moulds. If using a loaf pan, cut into bars with sharp knife.

Your soap is ready to use. It will last longer stored in a cool, dry place with plenty of air.

Written by Donna Carton.