Making soap

Posted on wo 03 mei 2023 in blog

We made a shampoo bar / soap for washing our hair. We did this for the first time in 2021 and after we had used up the first batch, we made a second batch in 2022.

We took every precaution to do this safely. Please familiarize yourself with the process before attempting to do this for yourself. At the bottom of this section are links to videos showing the process and how to protect yourself.

Ina researched and created the following recipe. This recipe makes 447 g of soap:

  • 90 g coconut oil
  • 75 g olive oil
  • 72 g rapeseed oil
  • 57 g castor oil
  • 101 g rain water
  • 6 g citric acid
  • 46 g NaOH

Mix all four oils together. Add a little heat to get the coconut oil to liquify. Not too much heat though because the best reaction comes from having oils and lye water a approximately equal temperature.

Add and dissolve citric acid in water. Add NaOH in small quantities until fully dissolved. We put the mixing container in a bigger container filled with water to quickly dissipate the heat from the lye's reaction with water.

Add the lye water to the oil. Mix with a blender until everything is emulsified.

Pour the liquid soap into a container lined with plastic or baking paper or use a silicone mold.

Remove from the mold after a day. Cut the soap into pieces, if necessary. Leave the pieces to cure for about 1 month.

Be sure to view the following videos:

Saponification table


oil or fat (acid) SAP Hard/Soft cleansing fluffy lather stable lather skin care
avocado oil 133.7 soft fair yes no amazing!
coconut oil 191.1 hard great yes no fair
castor oil 128.6 soft fair yes yes great
olive oil 135.3 soft good no no great
palm oil 142 hard great no yes fair
peanut oil 137 soft fair no yes great
soybean oil 135.9 soft good no yes fair
sweet almond oil 137.3 soft good no yes amazing!
jojoba oil 69.5 soft fair no yes great
kukui nut oil 135.5 soft good no yes great
lard 138.7 hard good no yes fair
tallow 140.5 hard good no yes fair

On the chart above you'll notice 7 columns: "Oil or Fat", "SAP", "Hard/Soft", "Cleansing", "Fluffy Lather", "Stable Lather" and "Skin care". Except for "Oil or Fat" which merely tells you which ingredient is being discussed and "SAP" which tells you the amount of sodium hydroxide (lye) needed in order for saponification to occur each of these sections is a characteristic of soap that could be produced by a specific acid. Click here to learn more about fatty acids and soap making.

Keep in mind that most saponification tables merely reveal the Saponification value (more on this later) and not the characteristics of oils in soap; but for your convenience, I've added the 5 most important attributes that are contributed to your finished product by using a specific fat or oil.

Soap calculator


Knowing the exact amount of caustic soda or sodium hydroxide should be added to the different oils or fats that you may use is important, because if you add too much, it could burn your skin. If you add too little, your soap will contain excess fat which will cause your soap to go rancid.

Use the following saponification saponification chart or table for making soap by multiplying the number of grams of oil or fats by the figure stated and this will give you the exact amount of sodium hydroxide to saponify it. For example, if you are going to use 150 g of sunflower oil or olive oil, multiply 150 x 0.134 which will give you 20.1 grams. You can round up or down your numbers accordingly, and therefore I would only add 20 grams of sodium hydroxide or caustic soda to the sunflower or olive oil to get the correct balance and to saponify your soap.