Friday, January 6, 2012

Making Soap

For once I documented  the process of a creative project, and now I can't find the pictures anywhere!  You'll have to take my word for it, I did make soap.

Someday I'd like to learn how to make soap from scratch, but for now I'm happy making fancy soap from soap blocks.  It's really fast and easy.  It's definitely a kid-friendly project.

This recipe comes from Darling Clementine, along with all the pictures. 

Citrus Peel Soap

  • 1 lb block soap (olive oil, glycerin, goat's milk are all good choices; available at craft stores)
  • Molds--mini loaf pans, muffin tins or special soap molds are good choices (I used my heart-shaped measuring cups.  Those IKEA ice cube trays would make really cute little soaps).
  • Turmeric powder
  • Lemon and orange essential oils
  • Fresh lemon and orange
  • Pretty paper and ribbon for wrapping
  1. Cut a block of soap into approximately 4" x 2" chunks and place in a microwave safe pitcher or bowl. Warm for 30 seconds to one minute, taking care to catch it before it foams over.
  2. Remove from microwave and add 1/8th teaspoon turmeric powder. Stir with a spoon until dissolved.
  3. Add 2-4 drops of orange essential oil until you are satisfied with the smell (I had to use more for it to really smell)
  4. Grate 1 tsp of orange zest into the mixture and stir until combined. 
  5. Pour into selected mold. Let set for 45 minutes (or until the soap sets) and freeze for 10 minutes more before demolding (the freezing is so the soap shrinks and you can coax it out of the mold easier).
  6. Repeat with process for another bar of soap with more or less color. Use just a tiny speck of powder for lemon soap and substitute lemon zest and essential oil for orange. Make as many bars as you like.
I got my soap block from Go Planet Earth.  They have a good selection and the price was competitive.  I would use them again.  I got their organic soap base, and their goats milk soap base.  The organic soap looked like the one in the picture, and the goats milk turned out nice and creamy looking.

Another great place to go is Soap by the Loaf.  This is where to go if you are going to make lots and lots.  The minimum order is three loaves, with each loaf being about three pounds each.  If you're going to be making your soap from now on to avoid nasty chemicals, this is probably the way to go.


  1. Wow Ariel, what a fun idea. I saw your train soap at the Marshall house and remembered that you are, after all, the queen of good gift ideas. I look forward to trying this sometime.

  2. I don't know if you actually intended me to use the goat's milk soap you gave me for Christmas, but I have to tell you, it is lovely! It smells good enough to eat... :D You are wonderful!

  3. We just put our soap engine in the soap dish this evening! Makes washing that much more enticing. :) Thanks, Ariel.

  4. I recently came across your blog and have enjoyed it immensely. You ladies have something special here!

    You really should try making cold process soap for yourself. It's easy after you do it once or twice, and then you can have full control over everything in your soap. Super sudsy, super creamy, you name it. has a whole section on making cold process soap. It's a great place to start.

    Go to and they have a lye calculator so you can make sure your soap is in the right parameters beforehand so you won't end up with too much lye in it.

    These are great places for getting soaping supplies: