Soapmaking is an interesting hobby which, when done correctly, can provide a neat little side-hustle for you.
There are numerous methods available online to help beginners get into this hobby but many of them can be rather…daunting.
Lye, which is a crucial element in the saponification process, is highly caustic and can cause severe injuries to the skin and/or eyes.
The risky nature of using lye tends to scare newcomers quite a bit and unfortunately, you can’t make soap without it as without it the chemical components (oils, fats, etc.) of your soap won’t combine well.
That said, there is a way to make soap without lye. It’s called a melt-and-pour soap.
This method relies on the use of a pre-made soap base which is then melted down, mixed with a dye and/or essential oil or scent, and poured into a mold. The lye is still present, but you don’t have to come into direct contact with it.
Making Melt and Pour Soaps
Melt and Pour soaps are made by melting down a soap base and mixing the liquified base with essential oils, herbs, or whatever you feel like making into soap. The most common ones that I was able to find are:
- Goats milk
- Shea Butter
- Natural Glycerin
Once your base is melted down and you’ve added whatever you wanted to add to the mixture; you pour it into a mold of your choice and leave it to harden. So, what are some good recipes to make?
1. Milk and Honey
Milk and honey soap is a great moisturizer and can be used to treat acne as well as improving your complexion. The fact that it has a pleasant smell is a bonus.
Making this soap is super easy and involves combining a goat’s milk base with natural, raw honey to create a soft, creamy bar of soap. You can find the recipe here.
2. Goats Milk and Himalayan Salt
This particular recipe uses a goat’s milk base and Himalayan sea salt to provide a nice exfoliating soap.
The use of jojoba or almond oil as a base allows your essential oils to blend nicely and provide a nice scent. As for the salt, well, that’s a natural exfoliate that can really help clearing your skin.
You don’t have to use sea salt, that’s the best part; you can play with it. You can use ground coffee, sugar, or any other natural exfoliates. If you’d like to try this one, you can get the recipe here.
Lavender is a very pleasant scent and has a range of anti-bacterial properties.
It’s a relaxing scent and can soothe your skin; it also goes really well with other scents/oils. The recipe I found mixes lavender and rosemary; you can get it here.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is well-known for its medicinal/healing purposes. It can soften and soothe irritated skin. You can also blend it with a few different things.
The recipe I found, uses a glycerin base and adds dried nettle leaves to get a nice color and improve the soothing qualities. You can get a recipe here.
Coffee is a natural exfoliate that has a pleasant scent with the caffeine providing nice anti-inflammatory properties. You can get a recipe for coffee soap here.
You can use either goats milk or shea butter bases to provide a cream-textured soap. Adding a touch of coffee or vanilla essence will enhance the scent.
6. Oatmeal Cinnamon
I never considered oatmeal as anything other than breakfast but it has an array of soothing and exfoliating properties.
The addition of cinnamon gives the soap a great scent and it has strong antioxidants which can help clear your skin. You can get a recipe for oatmeal cinnamon soap here.
7. Peppermint and Shea Butter
Shea butter has a creamy texture and the peppermint works as an antiseptic and helps to treat irritation caused by bug bites and acne. You can get a recipe for peppermint and shea butter soap here.
Much like the previous honey soap, you’re adding raw honey to a melted-down soap base. You can use either goats milk or shea butter bases and you can add a scent if you like.
You can get a recipe here. A honeycomb-shaped mold can add to the aesthetic value of your soap.
9. Pumpkin Spice
This is a good one for the fall season, the use of a goats milk base gives the soap a creamy texture which helps to moisturize your skin while the pumpkin spice provides a nice smell and gentle exfoliate. A pumpkin spice soap recipe can be found here.
10. Rosemary and Lemongrass
Two great scents in one bar of soap help to reinvigorate your senses. This one uses an aloe glycerin base, providing a soft, soothing bar of soap for sensitive skin.
The rosemary and lemongrass scents are strong enough to give you a pick-me-up without being overpowering. You can find this recipe here.
If lemongrass isn’t your thing, you can mix in lavender like we did earlier on the list or you can add vanilla to it.
11. Rose Quartz
I used to collect semi-precious stones and one of my personal favorites was rose quartz. There’s just something about these chunks of pink rock that I find fascinating.
This soap recipe is great because you can play with the shape of your soaps. You can find out all about making rose quartz soap here.
If rose quartz isn’t your thing, try making amethysts instead!
12. Candy Cane
Candy cane is synonymous with the Christmas season and it tastes great; with that in mind, please don’t try to eat this soap!
The stripes and swirls are formed by mixing a clear base and a white base with some colorant and a bit of peppermint essence. You can find a recipe here.
13. Turmeric & Dandelion
Turmeric and dandelion soap is great for sensitive skin and it works as an anti-inflammatory. You can use turmeric soap to treat eczema, acne, and other skin problems.
The use of oils and cocoa butter adds to the texture and antioxidant properties. You can get a turmeric soap recipe here.
14. Peaches and Cream
This is an interesting soap to make. The two-tone look is achieved by melting down a clear base and a goats milk base and layering the one over the other in a mold.
A bit of peach fragrance for the scent and voila, you’ve got peaches and cream. Try this one yourself with this recipe.
15. Cranberry Vanilla w. Shea Butter
The creamy texture of the shea butter with the added scents of cranberries and vanilla…sounds interesting.
My experience with cranberries is limited to cranberry juice so the idea of dried cranberries in fruit didn’t occur to me until I started putting this list together. It’s a cool idea and you can use this recipe to make it yourself.
16. Apple Pie
What is it with making food products into soap? I like a good, freshly baked apple pie and an apple pie soap is both weird and wonderful to me.
The goat’s milk base provides a soft, smooth texture, and the apple and vanilla fragrances give off that fresh apple pie smell. Take a shot at this one yourself and see how it goes.
17. Pencil Soaps
This is an interesting undertaking, pencil-shaped soaps are made by creating layers of clear and opaque soap base.
You can use any colors and scents you want and have fun creating a unique soap product. You can get a recipe here.
18. Citrus Mint
Citrus mint soap is fantastic because you can play around with the mixtures. Usually when you think of citrus, you think of lemons, oranges, and limes.
This soap uses a clear, glycerin layer over a creamy goat’s milk layer. As far as the mint goes, you can use any kind of mint plant along with the citrus of your choice.
This is an energizing soap with a well-balanced scent that is strong enough to wake you up without being overpowering. The recipe for this soap can be found here.
The one thing that I probably got into the most trouble for as a kid was eating my grandfather’s honeysuckle flowers…I was a kid, and it was honey!
Anyways, this one’s great; you’ve got the scent of honeysuckle in a bar of soap – what’s not to like? Check out this recipe if you’d like to try it for yourself.
20. Jasmine with Dead Sea Salt
This one uses a clear soap base with dead sea salt and jasmine fragrance to create a soothingly scented, gentle exfoliating soap.
I like the smell of jasmine and having used sea salt exfoliates myself a few times, this one had to be on the list somewhere. Check it out here.
21. Lavender and Bee Pollen
We know lavender is a very versatile plant and bee pollen, as odd as this is going to sound, is a healthy snack.
This soap is a good anti-inflammatory and is full of amino acids and vitamins to protect your skin.
The lavender adds a pleasant scent and, if you’re using dried lavender flowers, a natural exfoliate. Check it out and see what you think.
If you like roses, you’ll like this one. The use of rose clay and rosehips give the soap its pinkish color while the poppyseeds provide a natural exfoliate and the hints of lemongrass and lavender essential oils enhance the scent.
The base can be either goat’s milk or shea butter – either way your skin will appreciate it. You can get a recipe for rosehip soap here.
23. Coconut Shea Butter
A luxuriously creamy soap, this one uses a shea butter base with a coconut fragrance and is great for moisturizing dry skin. You can find a recipe to try here.
24. Thai Tea
I’m a big fan of teas in general, I don’t mind the Ceylon (breakfast blend) but I like the variety of flavors (vanilla, lemon, and Earl Grey are personal favorites) that you can find in stores.
This soap has hints of sugar, tea, and coconut and comes in a fiery red color with streaks of white – representative of how Thai tea is served black topped with cream or condensed milk. Try this one yourself here.
25. Beauty and the Beast Soap
1991’s Beauty and the Beast is one of the best Disney films ever. The story of a spoiled prince cursed to remain a beast for eternity unless he finds true love before the last petal of an enchanted rose falls is one that doesn’t get old.
This soap recipe allows you to have your own ‘undying’ rose – as long as the soap’s in one piece. If you’d like to try making this one, here’s the recipe.
26. Clay and Rosewater
This one can be used to treat acne, absorb excess oil, and encourage cell renewal.
The rosewater and jojoba oil add a pleasant scent while the pink clay gives the soap an aesthetically pleasing look. Try it yourself here.
27. Shimmery Berry and Vanilla
Another berry and vanilla mixture, this soap uses a goat’s milk base which gives it a creamy texture with the sugar/berry scent adding to the pleasantness. Try it here.
28. Pumice and Poppyseed
A natural exfoliating soap, this mixture of pumice and poppyseed has a nice texture. You can play around with the shapes and colors of your soap.
Use any essential oils you like and create something unique and interesting. The recipe can be found here.
29. Snowy Forest
Christmas is still a fair way off but that doesn’t mean you can’t set something up ahead of time.
The combination of clear and white bases provides an interesting look, and the use of fragrance oil can help promote the holiday feels.
The best part is that this recipe is amazingly flexible; different colors and scents will give off different vibes.
You can get this recipe here and have fun.
30. Mermaid Shells
This is a cool one to make! Using a clam shell mold, you can create a layered shell-shaped bar of soap. Scents and colors may vary but the result is still a nice-looking shell. Try this one yourself here.
31. Sparkling Fig
If you’re looking for something with a bit of depth, then this might be the one you want to try.
For this one, you’ll use both a goat’s milk base and a honey base which you’ll be melting and swirling to create an interesting pattern. The colorants and fragrance will give you a cool look and a nice fig scent.
The recipe can be found here.
32. Blueberry Tart
Blueberry tart…I know I’ve asked this already but why are we so fascinated by turning food products into soaps? This one is made to resemble a blueberry tart complete with wax blueberries.
The blueberry jam fragrance adds to the façade and presents you with an appetizing piece of soap. Make some yourself with this recipe – just don’t eat it!
That was Fun!
In closing, as always, I hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative. Remember to be careful while doing this stuff and have fun while doing it. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you all again very soon!
Greg spent most of his childhood in camping grounds and on hiking trails. While he lives in the suburbs nowadays, Greg was raised on a small farm with chickens. He’s a decent shot with a bow, and a huge knife enthusiast. Find out more about Greg.