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How To Make Pure Coconut Oil Soap (For Cleansing And Laundry)

Affiliate Disclosure | in DIY Beauty | by | with 459 Comments

How To Make Pure Coconut Oil Soap:  The easiest soap you'll ever make - only three ingredients! (photo tutorial included)

Amazing Lather? Check!

Simple ingredients? Yep, only three.

When it comes to soap, this is probably the easiest recipe you’ll ever make. And if you’re willing to break a few rules it can one of the most versatile, too. Here’s what I mean:

Traditionally, soaps are made from 5-7 oils blended to balance cleansing/moisturizing/and lathering properties. One of the well known “rules” is that a soap should be made of more than 30% coconut oil because it’s so effective at breaking up oil/grease that it can be drying.

Fortunately, there’s a way to simplify things without skimping on the end product – it’s called “superfatting.” Basically, you add the equivalent of “one quarter moisturizing cream” like big brands do, only you leave out the toxic slew of chemicals that usually go with it. By adding 20% more coconut oil than the lye can convert to soap, you end up with a luxurious body bar. Of course, this doesn’t work with most vegetable oils which go rancid easily – coconut oil’s high shelf stability is what makes it a good choice here.

The best part? Not only can you superfat and get the best of both worlds for your skin, you can break another rule and get your laundry clean, too!

How To Adapt This Recipe To Make Laundry Soap

Homemade Laundry Detergent RecipeNormally it is not advised to make soap with under 4% superfat due to the fact that it can be excessively drying and even burn skin if some of the lye remains unconverted, but for laundry soap it’s perfect!

I’ve found that using a 1% superfatted recipe yields a very cleansing bar with no extra oil. Since I’m washing my clothes to get oil OUT rather than put it IN, this totally works for me. I’ve actually washed my hands with this version and have never had any irritation from it, but it’s really only recommended for laundry.

Here’s the full scoop on making your own laundry detergent using just the laundry soap recipe below and one other ingredient. It’s been a tried-and-true recipe in my house for years, and lots of people have written me to say they’ve had amazing results with it also. Here’s a comment Hillary left after making laundry detergent with the coconut oil soap below:

“I washed a couple loads of laundry today- and it worked so well! Our laundry is always SUPER dirty too! My husband does mechanical work for a logging company and his clothes get REALLY dirty after crawling in, on, and under those greasy machines! I think the detergent cleaned it better than our natural detergent we were buying from Costco! I was very impressed, thank you! : )”

Click here to get the laundry detergent recipe

Now, About The One Rule You Can’t Break

One of the most common questions I get about soapmaking is how to make it without lye. As I share in five myths that have kept you from making soap (but shouldn’t!), both are needed to cause a chemical reaction called saponification – aka making soap.

Or, as Marie of Humblebee & Me put it, making soap without lye “is like trying to make a baking soda and vinegar volcano without the vinegar. No vinegar and you’ve just got a pile of baking soda. No lye, and you’ve just got a bucket of fat.” (Curious about the other four myths. Click here to read the whole article.)

Technically, you can actually wash your face with oil using this method, but it’s a totally different approach.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, are you ready to get started?

Video Tutorial: Making Coconut Oil Shampoo Bars

Before I started making soap, I asked a friend if I could stop by and watch her make a batch. She agreed, and that afternoon in her kitchen was what helped me become comfortable with the process. In the video below, I invite you into my kitchen to do the same. I’ll walk you through the method, and then you can scroll down this post for the exact recipe and written instructions to check as you go.

Looking for the shampoo bar recipe I mention in the video? Click the link below to access it:

How to make coconut oil shampoo bars

How To Make Pure Coconut Oil Soap (For Cleansing And Laundry)

Coconut oil soap recipe - The easiest soap you'll ever make - only three ingredients! (photo tutorial included)


All amounts are per weight. You will need to use a digital scale for these measurements.

 Lathering Skin Bar (20% superfat)

Makes approximately 44 oz. of soap.

Note: Because this soap is highly superfatted it can create a very dense lather when rubbed directly on skin. For a light, bubbly effect I recommend lathering with a natural sponge like this one.

Laundry Soap (1% superfat)

Makes approximately 44 oz. of soap.

* For soap making purposes there are several types of coconut oil. The stuff I buy has a melting point of 76 degrees. This is the most commonly available kind and the preferred type for soap making. There is also a coconut oil that has a melting point of 92 degrees and another that is “fractionated,” meaning that the long chain triglycerides have been removed, leaving only saturated fats. I have not tested this recipe with either the 92 degree or fractionated oils, but it works well with the 76 degree type.

** You can often find 100% lye in the drain cleaner section of a mom n’ pop hardware store. Lye is a naturally occurring substance that can be made by burning hardwoods and boiling the ashes, but it’s much easier to just buy. If you don’t see it, ask a sales clerk for help. They may be keeping it behind the counter because it has multiple uses. Be prepared to explain that you want to make soap, not meth. :)


Note: According to Anne Watson, author of Smart Soapmaking, you can use your regular kitchen utensils as long as you follow these guidelines.

Photo Tutorial:

Step 1: Weigh your ingredients and set your crockpot to low

weighing coconut oil for soap

Step 2: Add water to a medium-sized glass or ceramic bowl and take it outside along with the lye and long-handled spoon. While wearing your protective gear and taking care not to breathe the vapors, slowly add the lye to the water while mixing gently. Order is important here, so make sure it is the lye you’re pouring into the water.

adding lye to water to make coconut oil soap

The mixture will get very hot so be careful! Let it transition from cloudy to clear, then bring it inside. Let cool for 5-10 minutes while you work on step 3.

Step 3: Place coconut oil in a saucepan and heat to 120-130F. Make sure that your thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pot when taking your reading. (You can skip this step if you want to add your oil directly to the crockpot and wait for it to melt, but I prefer not to wait.)

melting coconut oil for soap

Step 4: Place coconut oil in your crockpot and set to low.

hot process coconut oil soap

Step 5: Add lye to crockpot (being careful not to splash) and stir a few times.

adding lye to crockpot for hot process soap

Step 6: Using the stick blender begin mixing toward “trace.” You’ll know trace is achieved when the mixture has the texture and thickness of a light pudding.

mixing hot process soap to trace

Step 7: Cover and let cook on low. During this process the oils should rise up the sides like a wave and then fold back into the mixture. Mine usually takes 45 minutes – 1 hour but the cooking time will vary depending on how hot your crock pot is. Check on it often.

hot process soap

Step 8: When the soap is ready it should look a little like semi-translucent vaseline with no oil puddles in the middle. There are two ways to test and see if it’s done. First, dip a PH test strip and wait several minutes for it to fully change color. It should be between 7-10. If it is higher than 10 it’s not done. For a slightly less scientific approach, take a little of the soap and rub it between your fingers. It should feel a bit waxy. Now touch it to your tongue. If it ‘zaps’ you, it’s not done. Note: It is really important to make sure all the lye is converted – otherwise the finished soap can burn!

testing hot process soap

Step 9: If you’re adding essential oils, wait until the mixture cools a little and then add them, otherwise they will lose their fragrance. (I skipped this, so no photo!)

Step 10:  Spoon mixture into your mold and let cool. If you want to speed up this process put it in the fridge

placing coconut oil soap in molds

Step 11: Unlike other bars which need to harden for 24 hours before being cut, coconut oil makes a very hard bar that will be difficult to cut if you let it dry too long. Cut as soon as it’s cool and firm.

Step 12: In an area with good air flow, place bars on a rack/tray with about an inch of space between them. Allow them to dry out and harden for another few days. Though you can try your first bar right away, it’s best to let them sit for 2-3 weeks to let the conditioning properties fully develop.

homemade coconut oil soap

Shelf Life

About 1 year when stored in a cool, dry place.

DIY Organic Beauty Recipes4

Want more organic beauty tips and recipes?

Check out my latest e-book: DIY Organic Beauty Recipes

In this 180 page guide, you’ll learn how ridiculously easy it is to make your own shampoo, conditioner, lotion, tooth whitener, body balm, soap, baby products and more.

Disclaimer: Sodium Hydroxide is highly caustic and should be handled carefully and knowledgeably. It is the soap makers responsibility to research safety procedures for soap making.

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459 Responses to How To Make Pure Coconut Oil Soap (For Cleansing And Laundry)

  1. This is great, I’m excited to channel my inner chemist. One question, is there any concern about the coconut oil melting when it gets hot outside? Like it does on my counter. Thanks!

    • Heather says:

      Unless it is hot enough to melt soap I wouldn’t worry about it :)

      • Doug says:

        Is there a way to do a cold pressed version of this soap recipe?

        • Lydia says:

          I make soap, and the only difference between cold process and hot process is using the crockpot. Bring the soap to a trace, and then put it in a mold. It will have to cure for 2 weeks before using. I always make cold process. I usually cut the soap the day after I make it, but I have never used just coconut oil.

      • sharon says:

        sharo has anyone recently used goats milk instead of water. did you use the same amount of lye?

  2. Stacey says:

    Quick question ~ The scale pictured is the same scale I own, and it only measures to a tenth of an ounce. The measurement given for the lye is to the hundredth of an ounce. Is guesstimating on the lye good enough?

    • Heather says:

      Generally, it’s recommended that you be pretty exact. I have a second one that is not digital that I use for lye. It’s more of pain to use so I measure everything else with this one. However, a 20% superfat is not unheard of for coconut oil soap, so if you get somewhere between 4.84 and 4.96 ounces you should be good.

    • Chan says:

      If your scale has an option for grams you can always do that, its more acurate. You can always run it through to see how many grams of Coconut oil, Water, and lye you will be needing

    • Bruce says:

      You might try converting to Grams it will get you a lot closer without having to get a new scale.

  3. […] Three 4.5 – 5 ounce finely grated bar soap (one made with coconut oil works best, here’s how to make it) […]

  4. Lisa says:

    How much of the prepared laundry soap should be used per load?

  5. Kristin says:

    Do you have a dedicated crock-pot for soap making? I don’t and want to make the soap. I’m assuming it should be ok because the lye gets converted.

    • Heather says:

      I don’t, though some soap makers recommend it. I soak my crock pot in vinegar water to neutralize any theoretical leftover lye (though as you noted it should all be converted to soap), then I wash it with hot soapy water.

      • Kristin says:

        Thank you! Also… I don’t have a stick blender. Is that something I can get away with or not?

        • Heather says:

          I’m not sure . . . I’ve never tried making soap without one!

          • Kristin says:

            Alright… :) This is the second time I’ve made soap, both in a crock pot, and both ended up splotchy. It’s marbled on the inside instead of a smooth pretty one-color bar. Kind of like some converted at a different rate or something. I’m wondering if I over blended it or over cooked it. I will try again in the future, but I just wondered if right off the top of your head you could give some advice? :) Also thanks for all the quick replies to everyone – I’ve learned a lot!

        • Renee says:

          Stick blenders are cheap. I would invest in one. One website I visited the blogger said since she has been using a stick blender she has never had a batch not turn out. So I’d say it’s worth the investment!

          • Lynne B says:

            I bought a stick blender at a yard sale for a quarter!!!! Check yard sales You could get one for less than 2$

        • Gale says:

          I make soap the cold way, and since seeing that the heat from the lye/water mixture brings the oils up to temperature it goes fast enough that I just use a wisk (yes, metal) but it works every time though this way does need the 3 weeks curing time. It has not failed me yet.

      • Rebecca says:

        same thing with the bread pan and stick blender? you can use for food after?

        • Heather says:

          I do after neutralizing the stick blender in vinegar and running it through the dishwasher. The bread pan is lined and only comes in contact with the finished soap so it’s fine :)

      • Grandma Bobbie says:

        ANYTHING used for soap making should be separate from cooking/food utensils. Look to the FDA website for more guidelines (especially should you decide to sell any soap). I’ve been in the handmade soap business for years, and it takes a while sometimes to get all the things together, but you don’t want to risk it. Crock pots tend to have small cracks in glaze, etc. that collect stuff/leach stuff…why risk anything with your family?

    • Kat says:

      You can make the same soap using the cold process method – which doesn’t require a crockpot as the reactions take place without an external heat source. The one described here is the hot processed method.

    • Tessin says:

      If you are concerned about using the same pot, you can often find crocks (without the base) at second hand stores. I have two that fit in my crock pot base, so I think I am going to dedicate one to soap making just to be safe. I think I will not at this point have dedicated utensils.

  6. Leah G says:

    Could this be any easier? Now I have no excuse for not making soap! Thanks for the super easy recipe.

  7. Tracy says:

    What exactly does ‘zap’ mean? Mine tastes soapy, then the longer on my tongue, becomes bitter/slightly burning feeling. Is that the zap?

  8. Kristen says:

    I love the simple ingredients! Just a few questions! Will the end product smell like coconut? Also, how do I know if my coconut oil is 76degree? (ok, one more random question. I noticed your parchment paper is brown, is it different than the basic brand I get at my local grocery store which is white? Do you use parchment paper for food? I’ve always felt conflicted about how it’s made and what it’s made of… thoughts?) :) Thanks for another great recipe for the home!

    • Heather says:

      No, it doesn’t smell like coconut unfortunately. If you want it to be scented definitely add essential oils. You can contact your manufacturer about the coconut oil, or try melting it while you take it’s temp! Most coconut oil is 76 degree, so chances are good that yours is. :) The parchment paper works the same as the white kind, it’s just unbleached paper. I do use parchment paper for baking, but it’s rare. Hope that helps!

      • David says:

        All coconut oil is 76 except the fractionated. The better the coconut oil is processed makes it much better taken internally. I use the least expensive pure coconut oil since it is only used externally. LouAnn will do fine and it’s sold at WalMart.

    • Kristen says:

      Thanks! I hope to try this soon! :)

  9. Monica says:

    I love this recipe! I’ve wanted to make your tallow soap but I don’t have any tallow. I saw that you use the same crock pot for cooking; do you also use the same stick blender? I want to buy a stick blender, but i wasn’t sure if I needed separate ones for soap and food.

  10. Ramy says:

    If using it for laundry, do you grate the bar? Add anything else? How much do you use?

  11. jennifer says:

    can goat’s milk be used to replace the water? I’ve used it in cold process soap, but it was much more complicated, but made great soap! This would be awesome if the liquid could be switched.

    • Heather says:

      Probably, but I haven’t tested it :)

      • Sarah L says:

        You might need to recalculate the lye, since milks often have fat of their own (which is part of why they make such nice soap). Google “lye calculator” or check a good soapmaking website. Typically you will enter your ingredients, enter a percent to superfat, and hit Go.

    • Jill says:

      Whenever you change ingredients in a soap recipe, you have to recalculate the amount of lye you use. The reason is that different ingredients actually require more or less lye and you don’t want to end up with a bar that can burn, or one that is so superfatted it won’t clean. There are several lye calculators online that you can easily find in a google search. They are essential if you are making your own recipe or changing anything in a recipe that is already tried and true.

    • Jordan says:

      Goat’s milk? Speaking of goat’s milk, there’s this family that raises alpine goats in Indiana. Just go to, they sell great stuff, like soap and lip balm. Did I mention it’s homemade and natural?

    • delana says:

      If you make this with goats milk please post results as I’d love to use my excess milk. I may go ahead and just try it on my own.

  12. Great recipe. I have a few doubts please help:
    1. How can I recognize if the rye we buy from market is from a natural source or not?
    2. A more general question that I have in mind for a long time – When the coconut oil mixes with lye doesnt it lose its properties because in the process the saponification process the the fat is converted into soap.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Swetha!

      1. It depends on what you mean by natural. Lye that is found in stores is manufactured, but the substance itself is found in nature. The thing to make sure of is that it’s 100% lye. The composition will be the same as it would be if you burned hardwoods and made it directly from ash.

      2. Yes, the properties of the coconut oil change from that of a fat to that of a saponified fat (aka soap)

      • Angela says:

        I don’t have a scale but am dying to try this! Is there any way around the scale??

        • Sarah L says:

          No. It is vital for both effectiveness and safety that your ingredients are measured exactly. If you have too much lye, you can produce a bar that will burn your skin. Too much oil will produce a bar that leave a residue.

        • Sarah L says:

          I got my digital kitchen scale at Wal Mart for $20 or $25. That was years ago, and it’s still going strong.

  13. Natalie says:

    This looks awesome and I want to try it since I use Kirk’s coconut soap a lot and also make my own laundry detergent. I am very chemically sensitive and I am wondering if there are a lot of fumes when you are working with lye?

    • Rachel says:

      Yes, there are fumes from lye. Do it outside, or under your range hood with the fan on. Do not breathe them. They will burn you.

      Chemically sensitive, huh? Taking magnesium? What kind? How much?

      • Natalie says:

        Thank you, Rachel. I do take magnesium – I take magnesium malate pills – I only take one pill right now, because I am taking a bunch of other things, and some ionic magnesium. I also like magnesium chloride baths but don’t do them often enough. Do you have chemical sensitivity and has magnesium helped you? I have a slew of other health issues too.

  14. Lisa says:

    Curious about the lye- do you have a source to buy from?

    • Heather says:

      A lot of “mom and pop” hardware shops carry it. Sometimes they keep it behind the counter, though, because it’s also used to make meth. My husband picked some up for me last week and got a lot of dirty looks because he insisted that it be 100% lye. He said he wanted it to make soap, but I guess he didn’t look the part!

      • Sarah says:

        Just a note: If you type in “lye” into’s search engine it brings back not only lye, but also the mold (if you didn’t want to use your bread pan), and the stick mixer.

  15. Shakoya says:

    This is great! I cant’ wait to purchase your book to see what other great recipes you have :-)

  16. Shalonne says:

    Looking forward to trying this but one thing confuses me. I use coconut oil as a moisturizer. But this, “Coconut oil is not used in more than a 30% concentration because it’s so effective at breaking up oil/grease that it can be drying.” makes it sound like I shouldn’t? Am I drying my skin? Thanks!

    • I have never felt straight coconut oil worked for moisturizing.

      • traci says:

        I’ve never felt that coconut oil moisturized my body. Feels good when i wash my face in it but not for moisturizing my legs and arms…I seemed to dry out. I’m glad to hear i’m not the only one that feels this

    • karenl says:

      I follow a high-fat, low-carb way of eating and consume 5.5 Tbsp coconut oil (plus butter and naturally occurring fats in meat and eggs) daily. I do use coconut oil as a moisturizer but with this much fat in my diet, I rarely need to. I’m getting hydrated from the inside out.

      • Dr. A says:

        Wow be careful- good fats can be bad for you in high enough amounts. Anything can be a poison.

        • William says:

          I disagree. I’ve been on a high good fat diet for over a month and lost 58 pounds from it and didn’t had any problems with my health, hardly visiting my doctor because i don’t believe in the stuff he tells me what to take because it’s not 100% natural nor 100% organic because i have a HIGH intolerance with anything that’s not natural and not organic like prescription drugs by the doctor his or herself, even injections of liquid drugs causes bad reactions to my skin and body. I already knew i had those experiences from time to time from age 2 – 29. I’m 30 now and living better.

          Also I take coconut oil internally for 1 tablespoon every other 4 days because i monitor what i’m taking because i too take other things. But the most good thing i take is raw avocados that good fat is like a butter replacement and a good way to make gelato out of.
          “An avocado a day keeps the doctor away.”

    • Amanda says:

      Coconut oil does not make up more than thiry percent of the oil blend used to make most soaps because without superfatting, it can be drying.

      At least, that is my understanding, just reading the article. (I read the paragraph in question four times before I came to that conclusion.)

  17. Lene says:

    Crockpots are not common where I live. Can I just use a regular cooking pot/vessel instead on my gas stove?

    I’m very intrigued by this and have made a batch of cold process coconut/olive oil soap before which I felt was a bit too superfatted if I wanted to use it in other ways than washing hands and skin. The coconut oil I used then was the fractionated kind I guess as I read on the ‘Down to earth’ blog it would work the same way – plus it fits in better with my skimpy budget for non-eating things 😉

    Thanks for taking time to do this whole blog! I’m always in here to see what you’re up to even though I don’t have kids.

    • Gloria says:

      You can use a double boiler instead of the crock pot. I make soap on a regular basis and just stack one big pot inside another pot that has water.

    • Lori says:

      I skip the crock pot altogether. I just put the coconut oil in a pot, pour in the lye, mix with a spoon until the temperature spikes and then starts to go down, then gently heat on the stove until the mixture is about 110-115 degrees F. Then I remove from heat and use the stick blender to homogenize. I add essential oils (sometimes) and pour into my soap mold once the mixture is cool enough that it starts to get thick like pancake batter.

      • HipFiggy says:

        Does anyone know whether Lori’s method means that you literally “pour in lye,” or did she mean she mixes the lye in water first & then pours in the lye+water mixture?

        • HipFiggy says:

          Also she didn’t say if she means in a double boiler? She sounds like she just heats it straight on the stove.

          I’m sure the experienced soapmakers know Lori’s method?

          Thank you

        • Lori says:

          Hi Hipfiggy,
          I just pour the powdered lye straight in and stir until dissolved. The blend for some time with a stick blender (in the later step after heating) takes care of it. I’ve never had burn issues with this method, but you should always test with litmus before using.

  18. Amy says:

    How many bars of soap does this make?

    • Heather says:

      You know, I meant to measure the total weight so I could say exactly how much it makes but I’ve already given away part of this batch. It made 9 large bars :)

  19. Jelaine Aprile says:

    Can this recipe be multiplied, doubled?

  20. Can this recipe be doubled?

  21. Carra says:

    Can this be used to wash dishes by hand? Looking for a natural, handmade dish soap. Thanks!

  22. Jelaine says:

    How bout using as a dog wash?

  23. Greta says:

    Thanks for the recipe…it’s been awhile since I’ve made soap, but this has me wanting to get back in the game! : )

    One question. I used to buy Red Devil lye at the hardware store, but I believe they discontinued it. Do you have another brand name I could keep my eye out for? Thanks!

  24. Taylor says:

    Can I add herbs to the recipe when it’s safe to add the essential oils? Or should I do that at a different time? Also, can I halve the recipe okay, or would I need a different ratio of lye to coconut oil?

  25. Bernadette Dyer says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I look forward to trying it. Your blog has been a real blessing. Slightly off topic. I was just wondering if you cloth diaper, and if so what brands you would recommend. I found that a lot of natural living bloggers use diapers with PUL covers. Do you think this is a concern or would you say it is safe. I’d love to know your opinions on the matter.

  26. Heidi says:

    Thanks so much for this soap formula. I will definitely try it, never made soap before, BUT I did make your two ingredient detergent a couple of weeks ago and it’s working great. A woman at our local FM makes detergents also, and had a new product which I purchased, she called “multi purpose cleaning” she said it’s a great pre treatment for stains and can also be used as a detergent, it lists the same ingredients, coconut oil, lye, and water as you do, except she also added glycerine to it, it’s the best “pre” treatment I’ve ever used, it got out dry blood on a white garment with no problems as all. My question “how much glycerine should one add to your formula for the detergent?” Do you have any idea?

  27. Thanks Heather for sharing! I have been intimidated to make my own soap for a while, so it is great this only calls for 3 ingredients! I am sure it is very economical too :)

  28. Olivia says:

    Thanks! One more clarification on the lye… lol, I have super sensitive skin that breaks out easily… and I know it all gets converted… I have just never done this before and am hoping this will be a mild soap that doesn’t tend to break people out. I have always used coconut oil based products with no ill effects. Also, do you use this soap with your children? It’s just funny to think about using something like lye that you have to be so careful with (gloves, ventilation, etc), and then you rub the stuff all over your body after it’s made! Thanks for any more assurance you can give!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Olivia! I don’t have sensitive skin so I can’t say for sure whether it would be a good choice. It is very cleansing so maybe not. I do use it on my kiddos, but they don’t take baths every day :). Not sure if this analogy will help, but chicken poop will burn garden plants if it is put on too early. It’s very good for the soil but it needs to go through a chemical process before it’s safe. Same thing with soap. Hope that helps!

      • Olivia says:

        Love the analogy! lol… I think I will give this a try… I love that it is only two ingredients and surely it can’t irritate anymore than other soaps I have used that have “junk” in them! Thanks for all the great recipes!

  29. […] How to Make Pure Coconut Oil Soap Did you know coconut oil soap can cleanse your skin without drying it out? And making your own […]

    • Gloria says:

      Any idea what would happen if you used goat milk instead of the water?

      • MotivatedinOhio says:

        If you use goat’s milk, instead of water, you need to freeze the goat’s milk first in ice cube trays. If I use a goat’s milk lye/mixture, I put it through a strainer since it isn’t clear enough to make sure that all the lye is dissolved. I also add a touch of honey to goat’s milk soap (great for the skin).

  30. Olivia says:

    Called all hardware stores around and no one sells the lye… but my friend bought some from an Amish community store awhile back for making soap (and made her soap just fine), but she says that it says 98.9% lye… do you think this will be okay? It’s a powder like what you have. Thanks!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Olivia! I’m so sorry you’ve had trouble finding it and I wish I could say that 98.9% is recommended, but based on the info I’ve read from experience soap makers I personally wouldn’t. Not sure if this may help, but I’ve heard that some people order it online when they can’t get it locally.

      • Olivia says:

        Thank you! And also, I am seeing that expeller a good quality expeller pressed coconut oil still has melting point of 76 degrees… is that what you recommend, or do you think I should use the raw virgin cold pressed?

      • Shutejute says:

        Essential Depot has lye for soap making, very good prices and it’s pure!

      • viki says:

        You can buy lye at Essential Depot. It is a great website.

  31. Emily says:

    If I made pure olive oil soap would it be ok to use for laundry?

    • Heather says:

      I haven’t tried it so I can’t say, but if you do try it make sure to run your formula through a lye calculator as your saponification values will change!

    • Mildred says:

      That would make pure castille soap – have a google of it – it creates a ‘slimy’ lather. Some people love it, some don’t care for it at all (as a body/face soap). Personally I wouldn’t go for it as a cleaning product as I wouldn’t find it bubbly enough but it is a commercially available cleaning product so experiment and see.
      The properties of coconut oil make it the bubbliest of all soap ingredients so perfect as a laundry detergent.

  32. debra says:

    I’ve been making soap for about 10 years now. Pure olive oil soap is more complicated as it doesn’t harden quickly like coconut soap. Any soap made from pure liquid oils will be very, very soft & take a very long time to cure.

    If you let coconut oil soap sit & mellow for about a month or so, it’s not drying but very conditioning for skin.

  33. Tara says:

    Thanks so much for the recipe I’ve been wanting to try homemade bar soap. Gave it a go last night and followed exactly but when I waited for it to cool to 100 degrees so I could add my essential oils it hardened and became crumbly. Do you know what I did wrong or could change for the next attempt? Also is it normal for it to have a distinct smell?

    • Heather says:

      Oh Tara, I’m so sorry! As I mentioned in the post I don’t add essential oils to this formula, so it may be that coconut oil hardens at a higher temp than my other soaps (which is where I got the temp). The good news is all is not lost! You can simply re-melt the soap and add re-pour into your mold if you’d like. Here are the instructions:

      The only other possibility I can think of is if maybe the lye measurement was off. If the soap is chalky and crumbly it might be a possibility that there was a problem with the measurements somehow.

      On the “distinct smell” question, I’m not sure how to answer! I grew up on unscented ivory soap, which had a fragrance based on the type of fats that were used. It wasn’t strong, but it was there, you know? I’d describe the fragrance of this coconut oil as being like that, only a different fragrance because a different fat was used.

  34. Mike says:

    Do you need to use a croc pot? I don’t have those available where I live.

  35. Heidi says:

    If I want to use your recipe for the laundry soap, how would one use it? Is it in bar form as well? If so, is it just to treat stains with it? Perhaps I’ve missed something. Thanks in advance!!!

  36. […] This image is meant to be a source of inspiration.No copyright infringement intended.I do not own images posted on this page. For more details please visit this […]

  37. Dawnn says:

    You don’t have to use a crock pot if you pour into your mold only about half full (I have wood molds that I line with parchment), then put it in the oven at a low temp for a few hours. When it’s done…no zap on your tongue, push it down like you’re packing brown sugar until its flat and level. Let it cool and slice.

  38. Jane says:

    Hi Heather, can this recipe be made using the cold process method? Despite the long curing time I do prefer that to hot process. I would guess the curing time would be less with this recipe anyway. Thanks!
    I’ve only just discovered yor blog do I’m looking forward to checking out your recipes and all.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Jane! I have a friend who loves cold process and have watched her do it, but I have not personally worked with that method so I can’t really say. :(

  39. Sunshine says:

    Can you turn the bars into body wash?

  40. Rachael says:

    This looks terrifying (chemistry and experiments and lye, oh my!) AND wonderful. I can’t WAIT to try this once I get my hands on some lye! And some strong gloves.

  41. […] Am I crazy for wanting to make my own soap? […]

  42. Maria says:

    Hello!! I can’t wait to make this soap!! But I have a question… Instead if placing the soap in one mold, could I place it in silicon molds and make cute little hand soap?? Just wondering if it would work… Also, I bought your book and I’m ordering the supplies I need to make most of the recipes tonight!! I love it!
    Thanks for all your advice!!!! And thanks for writing the book!!

  43. […] soap recipes, (since I have not branched out enough to write my own), and I really wanted to make this recipe, and my sweet DH was happy to help.  It is a pure coconut oil soap, which isn’t very common, […]

  44. […] How To Make Pure Coconut Oil Soap (For Cleansing And Laundry) […]

  45. Kelsey says:

    Could you use tea instead of the plain water?

  46. Kay says:

    I’ve never made soap before in my life, so please excuse me if I’m asking DUMB questions here. Can I make this with the coconut oil I already have at home? It’s Lou Ana All Natural Pure Coconut Oil. It says it’s Non Hydrogenated. Can I use this to make this recipe and have it come out right?? Also, I see in your recipe that you are using 32 oz of coconut oil. Does this mean that you’ll end up with 32 oz of soap? What size container will I need to hold the soap until it hardens? It looks like you’re putting it in a glass meatloaf pan. So would that work? Also, can I use freezer paper turned up with waxy side towards soap instead of the parchment paper? Thank you so much for your help! I’m getting really excited about trying this!! :)

    • Heather says:

      I am not familiar with Lou Ana so you’ll have to check with the manufacturer. What you’re looking for is a coconut oil with a melting point of 76 degrees. This is the most commonly available kind and the preferred type for soap making. There is also a coconut oil that has a melting point of 92 degrees and another that is “fractionated,” meaning that the long chain triglycerides have been removed, leaving only saturated fats. I have not tested this recipe with either the 92 degree or fractionated oils, but it works well with the 76 degree type.

      Because you are adding water and a tiny bit of lye you’ll end up with more than 32 oz. of soap. The container size depends on how tall you want your soap. I let mine set in a medium-sized bread pan. Freezer paper would probably work though I haven’t tried it. Hope that helps!

  47. Kay says:

    Thank you so much Heather for your response!! I’ve been doing some more reading and it looks like I can use that coconut oil. I’m going to probably be making this today or tomorrow! I’m soo excited! I’ll use the LouAna today because I just want to ‘play around’ a little, but in the future, I’ll probably buy better grade coconut oil. THANK YOU soo much for this recipe and your help!

  48. Kay says:

    I HAVE MADE SOAP!!! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! This is really too easy! Thanks so much for this tutorial! I’m pinning this to use again!

    • Heather says:

      Yay! I felt the exact same way when I made soap for the first time. When I realized how easy it is I couldn’t believe I had been intimidated to try it for so long.

  49. i love this post… this looks super simple and it would definitely be something i will make and use regularly!!

  50. Angela says:

    I am dying to make this but don’t have scales…do you think there is there any way around this??

    • Heather says:

      Sorry, Angela, but you definitely need scales for this recipe! Otherwise you’ll end up too much or too little lye, and neither is a good scenario.

  51. Nancy says:

    Very excited to try making soap using coconut oil. I’m thinking after measuring the coconut oil I could put it in the crockpot to melt and skip the melting in a pan part. Yay, one less dish to wash!

    • Jennifer says:

      I was thinking the same thing: why not just melt it in the crock pot? Aside from the extra dish to wash, some of the coconut oil will be lost because it will leave a residue on the pan. If we’re trying so hard to measure carefully, I’d rather keep it all in one vessel.

  52. Kay says:

    I am soo in LOVE with this soap! I’ve given some to some friends of mine, and they are loving it also! And much to my surprise, even my husband has converted! lol! He came in from working on greasy farm equipment and washed his hands with this soap and they came clean! Earlier today I made some lotion bars with Shea and cocoa butter and used some soap scraps to wash up my cooking utensils. It washed the oily residue off very well! I’m thinking this stuff would rival Dawn dish soap! Hence my question. I want to try and make this recipe into a liquid version, to wash dishes. I know I need KOH to make liquid soap, and according to the soap calculator to make 16 oz batch, I need 6.08 oz water and 3.37 oz KOH. (This is with 18% super-fated like your bar soap recipe) My question is this: Has anyone tried this? Do my calculations look right? I’ve searched the internet and I can’t find a 100% coconut oil liquid recipe. They all have other oils added and they aren’t super-fated, so I’m a little leery. From what I’ve read, you have to dilute with 3 times the paste weight. Heather, are you going to be trying this any time soon? lol!

    • Sarah L says:

      If you are making dish soap, you might want to skip the superfatting, that really is just for skin moisturizing. I would probably go with the 1% superfat goal for cleaning soap. If you make some, it would be awesome if you came back and posted how it went. I would be interested to hear about it. :)

  53. Karen says:

    Hello, I really want to try making this soap. I don’t see where the blender comes in. Also I know have a scale. Is this going to be a problem? If so are these expensive?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Karen, the immersion blender is used when you bring the soap to trace. You can do it by just stirring but it takes a long time. This recipe does require a scale – I picked mine up for about $20.

  54. Patti says:

    I am a soapmaker. To answer several questions, yes you can use a bid spoon if you don’t have a stick blender, it will just take a little longer. The soap will do the same in the crock pot anyway (called hot process soap). If you sook the soap AND have been correct in your calculations you should not have any lye left over when the soap is done. Some essential oils can make soap seize up, so not sure what oil made the soap crumbly on one person. ALWAYS make sure you add lye to water and not the other way. Soapmakers remember “The snow always falls on the lake” to help remember the order. And, you can also make a completely lard based soap and cut into bars to use as a stain stick for laundry (has to do with the enzymes in it).

  55. julia says:

    I’m in Venezuela and the lye I find is 95% Sodium hydroxide. Could I use it??
    Thanks for your time.

  56. Leigh says:

    Hi Heather. Thank you for posting this recipe. I have a technical question about soap making. I need to buy a soapmaking book, but haven’t yet… Anyways, I’m trying to figure this out. I thought you used the lye calculator for the coconut oil and then it would give you the recipe for how much water and lye to add… And then after that is cooked or at trace you would add the other oil that would not saponify and would make your soap less harsh? I’m confused about the 18% that your recipe states. Can you tell me about that? I’ve been putting off making soap because I don’t understand how to put my stuff in the calculator. Thank you in advance I really appreciate any help you can give me. Leigh

    • Heather says:

      Hi Leigh, the calculator I use allows me to enter a superfat ratio so that I can mix it all together at one time. There is only enough lye to turn 82% of the mixture to soap so the remaining 18% is unconverted, which makes it more moisturizing.

      • Leigh says:

        Thanks Heather! I made it! :) I didn’t cook it so it’s curing! I love your page and stories! Excellent Job!

      • Claudia says:

        Really amazing – going to try your recipe (my first soap ever, so really excited!). Thanks for being so clear in your process, this is one of the best descriptive user-friendly I’ve read online in hours and hours of researching this topic. :)

  57. Myava says:

    Is there any way of knowing what type of essential oil will seize up the soap? I so would love for my coconut oil soap to smell like coconut! Lol

  58. Nancy Jane says:

    I have a old hand held mixer, can I use that instead of a stick blender? thanks I am really looking forward to making both the laundry soap and the soap for our family to wash with. Blessings

    • Heather says:

      Theoretically yes, but I would be concerned about the mixture possibly splashing with a hand-held mixture. Lye can cause burns in it’s raw form.

  59. Courtney says:

    regarding the scale…. is there any reason why I couldn’t use a non-digital scale? this is probably a silly question but I am very intimidated by the whole soap making process… but am so excited to try it out! Thank you for sharing this!!!! :)

    • Sarah L says:

      I wouldn’t. Digital scales will allow you to measure to tenths of an ounce, or even more accurately, to the gram. You don’t want to take the chance of adding too much lye and burning your skin or too little and leaving a residue.

  60. Rebecca Payne says:

    I am new to all this and want to learn more. I read in a comment something about a book. Can you tell me more please. Thanks, Rebecca

  61. Sara says:

    Made the lathering skin bar tonight with .5 oz of wintergreen EO and .5 oz of eucalyptus EO and it’s fabulous. Lathers luxuriously and smells divine!

  62. Hillary says:

    Hi there! Thanks for all the great recipes and wonderful ideas! I’m sorry if this was previously asked. CAN you use the 20% superfat for laundry, or would it ruin your clothes? I’m asking because I already made the body soap a couple weeks ago and I would like to try the laundry soap now. Thanks in advance!

  63. Meg says:

    I’m looking to make soap for the first time and am planning to use your recipe, but I have a question. Your equipment list includes a plastic, long-handled spoon, but the one in the photos appears to be wooden. I am inclined to be somewhat concerned about using plastic with lye, and am guessing that since coconut oil does not tend to go rancid that a wooden spoon would be sufficient (plus I have tons of extras!). Thoughts or clarification? We’ll be using these things exclusively for soap-making as we’re producing to sell, so I’d like to make sure to get the right equipment. Thanks!

    • Heather says:

      If you’re using it exclusively for soapmaking wooden is fine. Since you’re new to this I just want to stress one thing – make sure it is cooked thoroughly! You may want to test it with a pH strip until you get the hang of things :)

    • Barbara says:

      the reason for not using a wooden spoon has nothing to do with rancidity. the lye will eat up a wooden spoon and you will end up with bits of splinters in your soap. high-temperature silicon is a better bet.

  64. Niva says:


    Just a quick question- once the soap is ready to be used, and after you grated it, do you add any washing soda/ borax/ baking soda or citric acid at all?

    Thanks for your reply!

  65. charles says:

    How can you say this soap is natural when you use Lye ? From my viewpoint Lye is a negative factor when making this soap.

    • Heather says:

      Lye is a product that is found in nature. I buy mine for convenience but it can be made from hardwood ashes, and it’s absolutely needed to convert fats into soap through a process called saponification. It’s how people have been making soap from the start :)

    • Kristin says:

      How do you think soap was made 100 years ago??? Lye was made in the old’n days by leaving used firewood/ash outside on slats over a bucket. It would get rained on and you’d get lye water in the bucket. You’d then heat and mix that with your fat to make soap. Only now they make it standardized so you’re not guessing at the pH of the lye water.

      Ever look on the back of a handcrafted soap label to see “saponified coconut oil” or “saponified mixture of … ” ? A way of saying it was made with lye without actually saying “lye”. The chemical reaction that occurs makes it safe to wash with.

    • RayeHawk says:

      Lye is how soap is made. Lye is a natural product. Every time you have ever used any solid soap, it was made with lye. If it wasn’t made with lye it is detergent, and THAT is an unnatural chemical shitstorm.

      The entire world is made of chemicals, including us. Lye, or sodium hydroxide, is refined wood ash, basically. It’s a salt. It’s also a strong base, or alkali.

      Next time you sit down to dinner, and sprinkle a little sodium chloride on your eggs, reflect if this is natural enough for you. Is the sodium bicarbonate in the biscuits natural enough? Is the hydrogen hydroxide in your soup pot acceptable? Or in that same soup pot, will you have hominy treated with sodium hydroxide (yes, lye!) in the posole.

      Or you can wash your body with sodium laurel sulfate, which is a known carcinogen. I’m sticking with the safe, pure, natural soap that I make myself.

  66. Maarten says:

    hello i do not have a crock pot but i do have an old deep fryer which i use to boil ham in @ 76-80 C.
    it can go lower in temperature so my question is how hot is your crockpot at the lowest setting
    kind regards
    Lye was easy to find found mine in the shelf for swimming pool mainanance in Global House store ( THAILAND)

  67. […] want more?  CLICK HERE: […]

  68. […] harder (its been setting for two days). For the first and second batches, I followed this recipe: First time with my own lye water I made through leaching hardwood ashes, which didn't work. Second […]

  69. Irene says:

    I couldn’t figure out how to “respond” so I am using the “Reply”.

    I have a question regarding the Coconut Oil Soap. Can you use soap bar molds for this product or is it too hard?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Irene! I’m not sure I fully understand your question – are you talking about regular soap molds? If so, then yes they would be fine to use. You might not want to let them sit too long before cutting, though :)

  70. Rae says:

    one question…………I have made one batch 2 days ago, and I love this so much making another as we speak, question tho, do you have to stir it as it is cooking????

  71. Aaliyah Taylor says:

    I am on my third batch of soap and it works wonderfully, but the only trouble that I am having is that it is hardening up on me too quickly. I try to let it cool slightly to add EOs and it clumps so none of my bars are smooth. Even when I take it straight from the crockpot to my molds I am having the same trouble. I have been following the recipe to the T. Please help…thanks!

  72. […] soaps, such as my pure coconut oil soap for laundry, can be used. However, some need more washing soda to thicken and some need less. When I first made […]

  73. Delana says:

    I have been making lye soap for a while. I do not use a scale and I do the cold process. I have multiplied my “Batch” by as much as 6 times, and just multiply the lye water and lard and oil the same and mine is perfect every single time. I’ve used coconut and olive oil, pure lard, and added lecithin once. I have never had a “bad” batch and it has always set up perfectly no matter what kind of oil I use. Not sure why you have to be so precise in your recipe. I do not own a scale and still make perfect soap every time. What’s the difference in yours and mine that makes your have to use a scale and lye calculator? Maybe I am just too old fashioned but I don’t believe 100 years ago they had scales to measure the lye in the soap they made. And theirs turned out good. My grandmother made it all the time and even rendered he own lard used in the soap. IT was not perfectly white but was always a good hard bar soap that lathered good. I buy pure lard at grocery store in 3 pound tubs. I always make large batches using minimum of 6 tubs of lard.

    • Nancy Jane says:

      I would LOVE to talk to you, via email, I have no scales and no stick blender and really want to make this soap as soon as possible. I need some to make laundry soap and I am about out of laundry soap. I really want to be able to so this but everyone I talk to says you Have to have the scales and the stick blender. I sure could use some help. ( i n good hope 16 @ msn .com with no spaces is my email address. ) tyia blessings

    • A Taylor says:

      I would also like to hear more about your recipe (taylor . aaliyah @ gmail . com) Is it possible to make it without the lard?

  74. Julz says:

    Hi Heather,
    So…..I just made my first soap EVER. Generally I tend to do something wrong so I think I did it again. I measured everything, right, I hope. I put it all in the crockpot, blended, got the pudding and I let it cook for a longgg time. Probably 2 hours or so. Because I was scared I would undercook it. So finally I decided to shut it off and it is very waxy. I did the test and it didn’t zap me BUT after about 10 sec my tongue slightly burned and then it went away??? My biggest concern is in this ‘GEL’ wax I have chuncks of something that looks like hard coconut oil when its below 70 degrees. The wax is hot but there are still chuncks in there! I tried breaking some of them down but there are everywhere. Some are big, some are small. So i just gave up and put it all in the molding pot and now awaiting to cut it because its 1 am and I have been doing this since 7 pm ): I would appreciate your input on the chuncks, tongue burning, if you think this soap is safe and what I should do? I did the the fat one. Hope to hear from you,

    • Heather says:

      Hi Julz! My guess is that the soap is overcooked. Here’s an excerpt from another blogger that may explain why:

      “When I first started making HP, I had the lumpiest soap ever. Even the cured bars showed the tell-tale white spots. There are two main reasons for hard lumps in soap — over-heating and over-cooking. In my experience, HP should never be brought to a temperature over 140F (60C). Doing so causes the indirect heat source to become more direct as the sides of the pot or slow cooker heat up enough to over-cook or burn the soap. The hot sides contact the soap, causing bits to over-heat and harden. While harmless, these hard bits will affect the look of the finished soap.

      As with cooking soap at too high a temperature, cooking it too long will also cause lumps. A longer cook time means more evaporation — and evaporation means harder, thicker soap. As the soap continues to over-cook, the soap will begin to form hard lumps. I have rarely had a batch of soap of any size which required cooking for more than 45 minutes.” Source:

      • Julz says:

        Thank you so much! I ended up cutting it and all the directions you posted and it turned out fine! I am just soooo happy that I made my first soap I pretty much told the world! Glory to God for giving me grace to do this lol. And blessings to you, Heather. I heard your daughter sing a song on one of the videos you posted how to make lotion, joy to my ears (:

  75. Rebecca says:

    My coconut oil was exposed to heat and is now liquid. Do you think I could still use this to make soap or was something changed chemically?

    • caiyah.lynn says:

      Melting oils will not change them chemically, unless you added something else to it. Pure coconut oil that has melted will re-solidify into pure coconut oil.

  76. joanna says:

    Well, I made this soap, but was looking at your site from my phone and because the reciepe for both types of bars are right next to eachother, I accidentally put the amount of lye for the laundry bar, into the bath bar recipe. I also added some food coloring to these bars, before I realize my mistake. Bar works great on greasy hands for hubby when he’s working in the garage, but too harsh for body use. My question is, if I grind these bars up to make the laundry soap on your site, do you think the food coloring will dye my clothes? May be a silly question, but I thought I’d ask.

  77. Moni K. George says:

    Can I mix a little of Honey wax? If yes how much? Will the lye remain same?

    • Heather says:

      If you change the ingredients you will need to recalculate the lye :)

      • Alyssa says:

        So I’d love to use this as a “base” soap of sorts. It’s simple and the ingredients are basic so I’d love to use this recipe for all/most of my soaps, but altering/adding ingredients depending on what I want. Question is– how do I know how much of the added ingredients (eg, clay, essential oils, etc) to use in the soap? I’d like to make an activated charcoal and tea tree soap but I’m not sure how much of each to add and whether or not it’d change the consistency. Also, can I add another oil, like if I wanted to include castor oil how would I do this?

  78. sasha says:

    Hi I am making this right now and the mixture isnt *folding in on itself * in the crock pot it looks more like it is puffing up and foamy almost…. could that be because it is a different crock pot? I did blend it first and it thickened and everything looked fine? it has only been in there about 10 mins but I judt want to know if maybe I have done somthing wrong?

    • sasha says:

      also I touched it to my tongue and it didnt *zap* but it slowly started to burn a little then went away…

    • Heather says:

      Hi Sasha, it should take longer than 10 minutes for the mixture to rise up the sides. You’ll probably see it happen soon :)

      • JoEllen says:

        Help! My soap has been in crockpot for two hrs. and it has not foamed up on sides at all. It is just separating. What should I do?

        • Heather says:

          I’m so sorry, JoEllen, but I have never had an experience where my soap separates. If I had to guess there may be an issue with the lye. If for some reason it is not working you’d have oil and water, which of course would separate. If the lye was converting the oil/water through saponification it wouldn’t separate. If it were me I’d check the label and make sure it is 100% lye.

          • JoEllen says:

            It was 100 percent. I decided to use stick blender and it turned for thick mashed potato consistency and I put it in loaf pan. Soap tuned out ok. Lye was still very warm when I added it to oil even though I waited 10 min. Should it be. Should I take a temperature and make sure it’s the same as oil?

  79. Carla says:

    Hello Heather,

    I have a question. How do you measure in those increments of 4.83 and 12.54 ounces…..the scale I have only goes from 4.80 to 4.85 and how would I adjust the oil and water accordingly for those measurements?



    • Heather says:

      Hi Carla! I’m sorry, but I”m not sure I understand the question. Your scale only measures form 4.80 to 4.85? If so, you probably need a scale with a wider range for this recipe :)

  80. […] & Shaving Cream: All Natural Shaving Cream from Homemade Mommy Pure Coconut Oil Soap by […]

  81. […] used a recipe I found on The Mommypotamus and altered it slightly, mainly due to my lye being in bead form rather than powder. The recipe […]

  82. Abraham Tharakan says:

    Last year,I bought,stocked and forgot one gallon of coconut oil.It has become rancid.I happen to grow vegitables and you say that coconut oil with potash lye makes a “very dry” liquid soap. Incidentally, insecticidal soap solution, sprayed on insects, dries the insects dead on contact. Now my question is: how I can make liquid soap, using Potash lye and rancid Coconut oil. Do i have to make any changes in the lye calculator because the coconut oil is rancid? thank you, Abraham Tharakan

    • Heather says:

      Hi Abraham, unfortunately making liquid soap is a completely different process that utilizes a different kind of lye. Though I hope to in the future I don’t currently have experience with it.

  83. Abraham Tharakan says:

    With referance to my comment of Sep12, 8.24 pm . and your reply on sep12. 8.52 pm. If I were to make solid soap with the rancid coconut oil and sodium hydroxide lye, would I have to make any changes in the lye calculator ? I do not want to feel guilty that I wasted so much coconut oil due to my negligence. Thank you Heather. Abraham Tharakan.

  84. gail says:

    How well does the soap hold up? Coconut oil melts if it comes contact with your skin won’t it still do that?

  85. reem says:

    hi!im a student from phillipines and thinking on how to make a simple papaya extract home made prob is i dont know the measurement of the ingriedients..tnx!

  86. […] How To Make Pure Coconut Oil Soap – This wonderful coconut oil soap requires just three ingredients, it has an amazing lather and can even be adapted to make laundry detergent! Find out how to make it here. […]

  87. Val says:

    NaOH is not compatable with glass, especially when hot. It actually reacts with the glass to form sodium silicate. It’s always much safer to mix up the lye solution in a plastic container instead. It may not be apparent initially but its always best to be safe.

  88. […] How To Make Pure Coconut Oil Soap (For Cleansing And Laundry) […]

  89. […] DIY project and photos credit to […]

  90. Tina says:

    I have looked through all the Q&A to find the answer to a question I have, didn’t find it so I have to ask, Is the coconut oil “super fated” or do you have to add more coconut oil to do this and recalculate the lye amount?I want to make sure my soap is silky and soft and not drying out my skin. Or can I just use the exact measurements that you have? I have never made soap before and I am so excited to start on this. Got some herbs drying in case i want to use them. Have a men and woman scent for 2 batches. Got molds, neat cutter and some colors on order waiting to come in. Hoping to get a batch made this weekend. If all this works out and I find out that I am going to love it I hope to continue to make the body washing soap. I already make my own laundry soap and I love it. It does a wonderful job on cleaning my clothes and the smell is wonderful. I hoping for the same results with the body soap. If you could answer this one question I think Im ready to go except waiting for the weekend for hubby to come home to mix the lye. lol thanks for all the info you have on this site looking forward to hearing back from you.

  91. Pauline says:

    i made a big mistake and added the oils before it finished cooking, now it got all puffy and fluffy and i’m worried if i should finish cooking it or just put it immediately in the loaf pan, help!

  92. abraham tharakan says:

    crockpots may not be available all over the world. it is difficult to find one in india. what if you use a stainless steel vessel or a glass vessel , instead of a crockpot? what temperature should i keep the mixture of lye and coconut oil going for a sucessful end result,ie soap.

  93. Anna says:

    Hi, My friend and I have made this soap twice, but it took us about 8 hours in the crockpot! What were we doing wrong? could we cook it on high instead if low?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Anna, I honestly don’t know why that would happen unless your crockpot “low” setting is really, really low. Do you have this experience with other soap recipes?

  94. Tina says:

    Just wanted to let you know my hubby and I made a batch of this soap last weekend. It turned out wonderful!
    This is SO easy I didn’t even have to do the zap test your pictures looked just like my product so I figured it was right. It set right up and cut like butter. I let it sit out for a week before wrapping the bars in plastic wrap. This weekend is the men scent. Did woman last weekend. Since this is so easy and I love coconut oil I was wondering if I could add things like rosemary and mint herbs. real Lavender herbs? Things like that. I think I want to try it but i don’t want to mess up that much soap. What do you think. Again thank you for this recipe!

  95. Kelly says:

    I made a batch of this a few weeks ago (body bar) from your beauty recipe book. My boyfriend and I both love it! I just had a question about sourcing coconut oil. I was looking to invest in a larger amount from a quality source (I’ve gotten from good sources, but want to get in more bulk quantity online) and was curious why you like Wilderness Family Naturals? I was looking at them, and Tropical Traditions, and was wondering if there was a large difference between the two, or a reason you might choose Wilderness over Tropical Traditions? Any information/ insight you could give me would be great!

    Thanks a bunch, and thanks for all the helpful recipes! They have really helped get toxins and nasty chemicals out of our lives!!

  96. Angela says:

    Haha oh my I had quite the experience with this one, but it was a good learning one :-) I’ve never made soap before and I’ve been nervous because of the lye, but I’ve read up on it a lot and knew not to use metal supplies. Ok glass bowls and plastic spoons check! I melted the coconut oil in the pan and added it and then the lye/water mixture to the crockpot and mixed until it traced. Then you said cover it, but I didn’t know I needed a cover and this one didn’t have one so…I used tinfoil. Well within 10 minutes it was bubbling up from under the tinfoil and down the sides. I can only assume it was the tinfoil reacting with it. Anyways by then it felt like soap and it hardened on the surfaces it touched even though it was warm. It looked like yours did even after only 10 minutes, maybe because of the reaction, so we put it in the pan, but we figure it should be fine if we let it sit about a month. Thank you!

    I also wanted to thank you for doing a recipe without borax. My husband won’t let me use it in our he washer because he says the whole nature of borax is that it’s insoluble and will never break down so it will wear down your water pump., so it’s a no go in our house.

  97. Rose says:

    I have a question about coconut oil being ‘drying’ if you use more than 30% in this recipe….if it will dry your skin, then why are we putting pure coconut oil on our faces? This may explain my face looking like leather after I’ve applied it to my skin (with a mixture of 1/2 cocoa butter).

  98. Kathy Clark says:

    I make coconut oil soap and after about 6-8 weeks it starts turning brown. How can I stop the soap from turn brown?

  99. Anna U says:

    This is a favorite post…pinned it on Pinterest!

  100. Derek says:

    I punched your recipe in the soap calculator with 20% superfat and here is what I got for the values. 5% is normal superfat. When you get around 10%, it can get tricky. Your soap might be oily. I can’t imagine 20% but I take your word for it that it works. I might have to try a test batch just to see for myself. For those who don’t know what this stuff means. The INS value is what you try to shoot for for a well balanced soap. Superfatting 20% sounds like a mess to me, but I might have to try it. I think for the novice soap maker, they might be better off with 3 or 4 oils and sticking to 5-8% superfat. That being said. Olive Oil, Coconut Oil and Palm(sustainable sourced) oils are the go to oils for soap making. I usually use castor oil and another one or two of 6-8 different higher end oils(avocado, pumpkin seed, jojoba, kokum butter, almond, shea butter, coco butter, shea butter, etc) to make luxurious conditioning soap for winter. I am now starting to experiment with deer tallow since it’s hunting season around here and the butcher was kind enough to save 20 pounds of deer fat for me to reduce down to oil. I ended up with a gallon of pure deer oil for free. Anyway. Here is what soapcalc dot com shows for this recipe.
    Soap Bar Quality Suggested Range Your Recipe
    Hardness 29 – 54 79
    Cleansing 12 – 22 67
    Conditioning 44 – 69 10
    Bubbly 14 – 46 67
    Creamy 16 – 48 12
    Iodine 41 – 70 10
    INS 136 – 165 258

  101. Ashley says:

    This is awesome. I can’t wait to use it once I get a crock-pot :) Until then, I have it pinned, keep up the natural awesomeness!

  102. greta says:

    I made 100% coconut oil soap…from first. It says to use only 9.6 oz water for 33oz coconut oil and yours is 12+oz. Yikes. Mine seems to be ok…just wondered what lye calculator you use? Want to get this the best it can be.


  103. Elisa says:

    I am pretty sure I followed the directions carefully. Everything seemed fine until after the time on low in the crockpot. I took it out at 43 minutes because it looked just like in the picture. It was pretty hard and in waxy clumps. I had let it cool a bit and mixed in some absolute rose essential oil. The essential oil mixed in but it was still so clumpy and crumbly. I scooped it into the mold and pressed it down to try to get the clumps to stick together… but most of it just crumbles into little bits. What did I do wrong? Did I leave it in the crockpot for too long?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Elisa, one or two possibilities comes to mind. First, sometimes soap can be crumbly when the lye is measured incorrectly and too much is used. Second, soap can be crumbly if it is cooked on high heat and/or too long. My guess is that your crock pot may run a bit hotter than most – I’m so sorry you had trouble with the recipe!

      • Elisa says:

        Thanks! I think it is my crockpot. It is still pretty new. Although there is also a chance there was a little more lye because our scale only measures by the tenth. I don’t think we were more than .05 off though. I think this soap will work out as laundry soap, so it won’t be wasted. It smells amazing! I will try out the recipe again. My mom has a more precise scale that I can borrow, and I will watch the crockpot more closely.

  104. lauren says:

    tried making this tonight. it was mostly a success, but i had a problem during the process – the soap WAY overflowed my 5 qt crock pot about 20 minutes in. i scooped what i could back in, but with the lid off while i was cleaning it cooled down a bit and never resumed climbing the sides. so i just kinda guessed when it was ‘done’ and left it on for a little over an hour. it has a….pretty strong scent now. it lathers beautifully and feels great,but this scent is unattractive. i washed my hands with the soap and i can smell it as i sit here and type. so i’m assuming this is not normal since no one is talking about a scent this strong. is the overflowing a sign my crock pot runs hot, should i try cooking on ‘warm’ next time instead? any other ideas? thanks!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Lauren, I think it may have mostly been the size of your crock pot. I use an 8 quart and will update the instructions to reflect that – so sorry it overflowed! About the scent, I’m honestly not sure what may have caused that. My soaps – which are made with organic expeller pressed coconut oil – are virtually unscented.

    • Wendy says:

      I suggest stirring your soap, I had this happen once with a lard soap recipe and now stir all my soaps.

  105. I was searching for a soap recipe, and found your post. I was wondering which lye calculator you use. I make 100% coconut oil soap, and my calculator shows a different superfat.. Just curious……


  106. […] How To Make Pure Coconut Oil Soap (For Cleansing And Laundry) […]

  107. Libs says:

    Hi…I’m making this right now. My crock pot overflowed in less than 2 minutes! It is a massive mess, and I feel like the oil prevents some neutralization. I can’t even keep it on “keep warm” without the billowing overflow. I followed each step exactly, and am a trained scientist. I feel confident everything was correctly done…help?

  108. Jen says:

    I love your blog, and everything you do, but I have to be honest about something. I feel that this recipe should be geared toward people who don’t buy coconut oil in bulk. I’m willing to bet that most people don’t, and that we’d benefit more from a recipe that uses 16 or 32 ounces of coconut oil, since they are sold in 16 ounce jars. Also, your option to leave a reply is at the end of all the comments, so if there are 1000 comments you have to scroll to the bottom of all of them to write a comment. If you wouldn’t mind, it would be a good idea to look into moving the comment box to the top of the comment section.

  109. Susie says:

    Love the tutorial! I tried making the bar soap yesterday and at some point in the process I turned the page (printed directions) and used the lye measurement in the bar soap recipe. All of my measurements were precise for the bar soap except for the lye. It was the 5.9 ounces instead of the 4.83. What do you suggest? Will this be too harsh for skin? Do I need to make it into laundry detergent instead? Thanks!

  110. Denise says:

    Epic Fail! My crock pot was way to HOT! I had it on low but the temperature gauge has never worked that well and when we first put it in it boiled over ….and now I have hard clumps of white in the soap. I will try again but with a good crockpot! Merry Christmas to me.

  111. Lori says:

    Can’t wait to try this!

  112. Amanda Burger says:

    you are my hero!!! I’m from South Africa so things have a slightly different meaning here – crock pot is called a slow cooker – coconut oil is not as easily obtainable, and is costly. But with the pic’s I got the crock pot ready and with a little search I got my coconut oil…and I am allllll smiles – the first batch is a little clumpy but will do just nicely for own use

  113. Beth says:

    This is a great , easy to use recipe. Thanks for posting. I am excited to try it out a soon as I get home. I live in Belize where coconut oil is traditionally made with organic abundance. I am also going to try this with cohune oil.

  114. Pamela says:

    I can’t wait to try this!

  115. Bree says:

    This recipe is currently in my crockpot right now..I’m so excited to see how it is when it’s done. Question: have you tested this on cloth diapers? I’m wondering how it is for that.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Bree, yes I have used it on my cotton prefolds. It’s worked beautifully, but some manufacturers will void your warranty if you use soap rather than detergent on your dipes. And of course depending on the dipes it may/may not be a good idea to use soap. I tend to favor natural fibers :)

  116. Dexter says:

    Can’t wait to try this… will be my first soap making venture. Wish me luck! :)

  117. chelsey says:

    I started making it then it began to look like lumpy mashed potatoes that are somewhat clear. Where did it mess up???? Tempature of crockpot is at 150 on low setting. Is this right???

  118. Yes that 20% super-fat should do the trick and we’d have a very blow bubbly bar. Love this. Good job!

  119. Gina says:

    Hello. Love your blog and appreciate all your tips on natural living. You are helping me change the way I live :) So thank you!
    I do have a question about this soap recipe… I have been looking for quite a while for a homemade all natural oil based cleansing bar and have tried a couple that I’m not really happy with. I haven’t heard of LYE before so I followed the link you posted and was alarmed that the label on the bottle says that it’s a poisonous substance. I researched a little further and from what I read, I’m not comfortable at all using this product. What is the reason you choose to use it? Is there any other alternative I can try (besides wax)? I’m not concerned with the “soap” lathering or not, (I’ve been very happy with how well coconut oil cleans by itself) I just want the bar to stay solid at room temperature and I want to be able to scent it so I don’t always smell like coconut. HELP! :)

    • Heather says:

      Hi Gina, lye is a product that is found in nature. I buy mine for convenience but it can be made from hardwood ashes. It’s absolutely needed to convert fats into soap through a process called saponification. It’s how our grandmothers and great-grandmothers made soap :)

    • Wendy says:

      Gina, sounds like you are not wanting to make soap but to solidify your oil. I’m not aware of any other natural ways than using wax, like you had stated. The reason you use lye is to MAKE soap from oils. The lye transforms the oils into soap through a chemical process called saponification. Think of making a cake, you combine the flour, eggs, leavening agent, oil, etc and use heat as the catalyst and in the end you have a cake that no longer has the properties of the initial ingredients-it’s the same for soap making. Many soap makers will “superfat” their soaps to add excess oil in the recipe that doesn’t get saponified to make moisturizing soaps. I hope this helps and didn’t confuse you more = ).

  120. Melissa says:

    Has anyone had experience using this soap in an HE washing machine? If so, how long has it been used? I was worried that a 100% coconut oil might be excessively bubbly for an HE machine.

    Is the coconut oil soap all that’s used in the washing machine, or is it being combined with some washing soda, baking soda, etc.?

    • Tina says:

      I have an HE machine. I make my own soap that I’ve been using about a year. I use 4 bars zoat or fels napa grind in food processor, baking soda, arm and hammer washing detergent boost, Pyrex crystals, oxyclean,borax. Not a lot of suds clothes are clean with no smell. Oxyclean takes care of the bleach part, puex crystal takes care of fabric softener part. So this also saves moneys on bleach and fabric softener. I used to be a Tida and Downey girl. But this does such a great job I’ve stopped using tide and Downey. I use 1 lid full off the crystals per cycle. My husband is a truck driver and to me dirt road and diesel stinks! This takes it all out. Sorry if I’ve stepped on any ones toes for not using what they use. This stuff just works so good for our family.

  121. Penny says:

    Hello! This looks great, I’m just doing the math to work out if it is cheaper than the current stuff I use. I’m sure you’ve put it somewhere but I can’t see it sorry – how many 5oz bars does this receipe make?
    Thanks so much

  122. Beth says:

    How to make ” pure” coconut oil soap ( for cleansing and laundry) I’m very confused. You really use this soap on your body with Lye in it?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Beth, lye is a product that is found in nature. I buy mine for convenience but it can be made from hardwood ashes. It’s needed to convert fats into soap through a process called saponification. If the ingredients are measured correctly and the proper method is used, lye fully converted during the process of saponification and none remains in the final product. Every store bought bar of soap was made with lye, and it’s also how our grandmothers and great-grandmothers made soap. Hope that helps! :)

      • Rebecca says:

        Just curious….you say to put the crock pot on low but yet in your pictures…. it is set to high??? Do you turn it down or something? I just want to make sure I have the right temperature. Thanks!

  123. Semmy says:

    me and my girlfriend were trying to make this soap twice with the exact recipe. First time we definitely used a crock pot which was too small and we also didm´t have a digital scale. The second time we used a 5.5l crock pot which is about 6 quarts and a digital scale. However, both times the mixture came all the way up to the top. Did we do anything wrong? The crock pot was set to low. The mixture wash´t really usable after that due the mess we had in the kitchen.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Semmy, it sounds like the problem is that your crock pot is too small. As mentioned in this post I recommend and 8 quart for this recipe. So sorry about the mess!

    • Wendy says:

      Don’t be afraid of stirring your soap and don’t step away from your crockpot until you are familiar with how a certain soap recipe will react in your crockpot. I had the same thing happen to me when I made lard soap for household cleaning purposes, I gave it a good stir and it was fine. Now I stir all my soaps made hot processed in the crockpot for even cooking and to avoid unprocessed lye pockets. I would try again with your size crockpot (you have same size as mine that I use for soap making with this size recipe of oils), just keep your eye on it and stir as necessary. Good luck.

  124. […] read quite a bit about making my own soap. The simplest recipes contain only 3 ingredients and are all natural. Unfortunately, lye is one of those ingredients–and because it is so […]

  125. […] Here are some simple recipes I picked up from Mommypotamus: […]

  126. alicia says:

    I just tried this soap recipe yesterday.. im hoping you might be able to identify what went wrong! i believe i followed all the steps correctly, measured everything exactly. I even believe the mixture got to trace, then i left it in the crock pot on low for an hour. The soap did eventually get hard but this morning, but when i cut it, it is very sticky. And im not sure it is exactly what you would consider “solid” at room temperature. I put it back in the fridge, but i dont expect it to be usable bars. Any idea what could have gone wrong? the only thing i can think of is that i added the essential oils too soon, i added them once i hit trace because i had remembered that from other recipes. So is there any way that baking the oils in the crock pot for the hour could have messed the whole thing up? other than that im not sure what happened! any help would be great! thanks!

  127. Angel says:

    I would love to make this with a lemon verbena scent for my boyfriend. I am having a difficult time finding lemon verbena essential oil that isn’t going to be really expensive. Would lemon verbena fragrance oil be acceptable?

  128. Kelli says:

    I tried your recipe, just because I had the ingredients on hand and I was curious. What really surprised me is how well it works. My laundry is not only clean, but it feels softer and cleaner than when I used regular laundry detergent. The tiny bit of essential oil I added for fragrance doesn’t carry over to scent the laundry, but I use a dryer sheet fabric softener anyway. I threw in a fairly dirty towel that I had used to clean the floor, to see if it really cleaned and it came out perfect. I don’t think I’ll go back to the detergent pods I was using. Thanks for this!

  129. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Heather
    I’m wondering if you know if it would be ok to divide the soap recipe in half and make 2 batches. I don’t have an 8 qt crock pot yet and when I tried it in my smaller crock pot it ran out the side.

  130. Beth says:

    With coconut oil’s melting point at 76° . What keeps this soap in a solid bar? And not a big glob mess?

    • Rachel H says:

      Soap is NOT coconut oil.

      The chemical interaction between lye and coconut oil is pretty powerful.

    • Megan says:

      When you heat the oil with lye, you are altering the chemical composition of the mixture – you no longer have lye *and* coconut oil; you now have soap (a process called saponification – YAY CHEMISTRY!!!), and it does not have the same melting property as the source oil. While incomplete reaction or poor mixing may result in pockets of oil left over due to superfatting, the majority of your soap is going to be solid, and most if not all of the remaining oil molecules will be trapped inside. Coconut oil has a long shelf life, so the extra oil shouldn’t go rancid.

  131. Elizabeth says:

    Hello Heather,
    How much of the laundry soap do you put in a load and will it disolve by itself or do I need to shave it? Thanks


  132. […] How To Make Pure Coconut Oil Soap – Image To Repin / ShareImage – […]

  133. Torie says:

    I tried to double the recipe and I could not get the soap to trace at all. Can you tell me what I might have done wrong? It just wouldn’t work.

    • Heather says:

      I’m not sure, but my best guess is that when doubling the recipe you may have miscalculated the amount of lye to use. So sorry you had trouble with the recipe!

  134. Rita says:

    Check the oil section at Wal-Mart or your local grocery store. My local price for LouAna is 30 oz for $6 and no shipping. Sams Club sells a larger jar, but the price per oz is about the same.

  135. […] made soap! As a matter of fact, I made pure coconut oil body soap following these Mommypotamus instructions. Not only do I have a simple soap using fewer than three ingredients, I finally got a taste of […]

  136. […] Here are some simple recipes I picked up from Mommypotamus: […]

  137. Tarzan Kay says:

    I halved the recipe (this is my first hot-process soap so I wanted to test it out) and it seemed to be going well until I stirred it and everything went pear-shaped! The soap accelerated like crazy and now I have a big batch of crumbles and chunks to work with. Def did not achieve neutrality. Ph was about 11 when I tested it.
    I guess I will let it cure and use it for laundry soap, but I’m wondering what went wrong here?

  138. Rachel says:

    Has anyone tried using a disposable plastic crock pot liner for protecting their crock pot (for food use afterward)? Just wondering if that would work so I wouldn’t need to get a second crock pot.

  139. Tiffany says:

    Is it ok to use this soap in a high efficiency washing machine and does it work well for cold water washes as well as hot?

  140. Gia Jacobson says:

    My first time making soap hot process and I LOVE it! Very rich creamy lather, my hubby has discovered it and it is now his favorite soap as well, I don’t scent mine, I like it as is, thanks so much for the wonderful recipe :) definite keeper to make again and again.

  141. Carly says:

    Just made this soap for the first time! I just cut it however its still pretty oily…is that normal? Thanks

    • Heather says:

      Hi Carly, I haven’t really noticed it having an oily feel :)

      • carly says:

        Yeah its drying but when I touch it its like I’m touching coconut oil and it gets oily. Maybe reduce the oil amount next time just by a little amount? Thanks

      • carly says:

        Oh and when you’re measuring everything out I added in the weight of the bowls too…so like the oil was 33 oz plus the amount of the bowl it was in. ??

        • Heather says:

          Hi Carly, when you measure ingredients you need to exclude the weight of the bowls. Usually there’s a “tare” button on the scale that allows you to zero out the weight after you’ve added the bowl but before you’ve added your ingredients. I don’t recommend altering the recipe, as doing that without recalculating the lye can leave leftover lye in the finished product which can burn skin. Is it possible the saponification did not complete? Perhaps it did not cook long enough?

  142. Christi says:

    My daughter started making and selling soap to earn money for college. She does a soap of the Month club through my business. she does a great job!

  143. Becca Glass via FB says:

    So trying this!

  144. Joyce Cross, hummm, good soap recipe to try!

  145. Angie Stoy via FB says:

    I love making this for my other DIY cleaning needs. It’s so much more me when i can use my own handcrafted soap vs store bought bars:) I love the lather and bubbles this soap gives me laundry and dish soap

  146. Victoria Lynn McGaugh via FB says:

    Id have to buy a bunch of equipment to even do this lol. Sounds awesome but seems like a ton of trouble to go through. I wish I could be that person though. Scrubbing with chemicals later lol

  147. LeeandMaia Forde via FB says:


  148. Iris Martell via FB says:

    Great recipe! I’ve been making for quite some time! once a month.. I do dishes & and laundry with it! Very easy to make..

  149. lauraUy says:

    Hi. an you recommend a shampo for kids?

  150. Allen Peterson via FB says:

    This is so easy to make and the results are not only cost effective, it works wonderfully.

  151. Jamie Condon via FB says:

    Love this soap!

  152. Karrielinn Moore Cadle via FB says:

    Sounds good, but wouldn’t it kill our washer or dryer over time since it hardens and would form residue? Or is there something that combats that? Curious.

  153. Allen Peterson via FB says:

    Karrielinn, you can use vinegar as your rinse agent. It’s natural, effective and removes soap from clothes.

  154. Stefani Allen Wood via FB says:


  155. Sarah Mason Keegan via FB says:

    I was actually going to try this during nap time today, but I don’t have a crockpot dedicated to soap making yet. Is there any other way to do it? Is the stovetop too hot on low?

  156. Sarah Mason Keegan via FB says:

    Iris Martell, how do you use it for dishes?

  157. Alexis Kay Eyer via FB says:

    Dorothy Forist Redner

  158. Iris Martell via FB says:

    I keep a bar by the sink and a sponge and scrub … Sparkling clean dishes… Old fashion way… It has to be at 1% super fatted

  159. Jennifer Warren-White via FB says:

    Sarah, you can use the stove top, if you use a double boiler. I just bought a thrift store crockpot.

  160. Angie Guerrero Brinkmeyer via FB says:

    If you use a double boiler does it have to designated to make soap only like the crockpot?

  161. Andrea Garcia via FB says:

    Janel Burley

  162. Amber Alink via FB says:

    I don’t get how oil base in a laundry soap wouldn’t coat the clothing and adhere permanently to fabric.

  163. All cp soaps are oil based :)

  164. Kate Runn via FB says:

    How much of the soap would you use in a load of laundry?

  165. Jenn Higgins Bogedin via FB says:

    Jenn Higgins Bogedin

  166. I’m a little confused. Doesn’t coconut oil clog pipes? How can you use it as soap yet keep it from clogging up the plumbing? I’d love to do it, but not if it’s going to cause a lot of problems later on.

    • Megan says:

      Hi April,
      Soap is made through a chemical reaction called saponification. In this reaction, the coconut oil is changed from oil form to a soap, which doesn’t have the properties of coconut oil. The remaining oil in superfatted soap is in a suspended state throughout the soap, much like the oil in mayonnaise is suspended in emulsion (which we don’t worry about clogging sinks).

    • Amanda @ Mommypotamus Support says:

      April, The coconut oil in this recipe is mostly saponified – aka turned into soap. The remaining oil is no more problematic than the “one quarter moisturizing cream” that is sometimes advertised :)

  167. Elizabeth Tetlow via FB says:

    I make this in my crockpot that I use for cooking. Remember the end product is soap so it cleans your crockpot! There is no lye left after saponification. For those wondering about the oil clogging things, the oil is saponified in the process, it isn’t oil once it is made into soap (unless you superfat it) otherwise all soaps would clog pipes as they are all made out of oil.

  168. Sorena Oberkirsch via FB says:

    Kelli Oberkirsch

  169. Philana Cassolato via FB says:


  170. Joan Butler Ward via FB says:

    And the benefit of using coconut oil to make laundry soap is????

    • Amanda @ Mommypotamus Support says:

      Joan, Coconut oil creates a very cleansing bar that is considered highly effective for cleaning clothes.

  171. Mandy Barnes via FB says:

    I will try to make soap this summer. I have all the ingredients already. I am so excited!

  172. Andrea Buckner via FB says:

    Nicole Loyd Sandoval and John Buckner….our summer projects need to get underway…

  173. Thanks, Elizabeth Tetlow!

  174. Khali Anderson via FB says:

    Is this cloth diaper safe?

  175. Khali Anderson – Yes, the recipe variation that has no added oil is what I use for my cloth diapers.

  176. I mean my sons. I don’t wear them, of course.

  177. Khali Anderson via FB says:

    Lol, thank you!!

  178. I have made this soap several times and it is wonderful, creamy, rich bubbly soap :) I leave it unscented.

  179. […] Image Credit: Mommy Potamus […]

  180. Anna says:

    Question: I wanted to use this as laundry soap….BUT, do I need to let it sit for 2-3 wks? I make soap all the time, but never the coconut oil soap. Mine has other oils….all natural. But again, I just wanted THIS soap for laundry. So I’d really like to know if I need it to sit for weeks, or if I can just use it after 1-2 days.



  181. Susan says:

    Hi this is in reference to your coconut soap recipe. Can you add roughage such as bits of dried flowers, as exfoliant and if so, at what point can they be added?

  182. Danae says:

    Have you ever used liquid lye? I think that is why mine doesn’t seem to be working. It’s not getting hard or foaming up the sides of my crockpot. It’s creamy and definitely soapy and I’m not getting the zap. Not sure if I should let it cook longer or just let it cure and see what happens?

  183. Charu Jain says:

    Hi, I wanted to ask if Castile soap can be used instead of Lye? Or if there is any other substiute.Thanks.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Charu, lye is needed to convert the oils into soap. Castile soap is a finished product – the oils and lye have already been mixed together and converted to soap. Because the lye in castile soap has already been neutralized it can’t assist with the conversion process, unfortunately.

  184. Matthew says:

    I had 2 questions. 1, can I use a hand mixer instead of a stick mixer? And 2, I have essential oils for tealight candle diffusers that I like, can I use those in making my soap?

  185. matthew says:

    Thanks, I’m trying to find the materials I need but I’m on a budget.

  186. Matthew says:

    So can you use just any plastic cooking spoon?

  187. Naomi says:

    HI Heather,
    Is this the “soap” you use for bathing your kids? I am wanting to find something to use for everyday baths and washing up for my 2, 4, and 6 year olds.

  188. […] not true! My coconut oil soap recipe calls for just three ingredients, and most of the other recipes I use aren’t fancy […]

  189. […] it’s just as easy as my three-ingredient pure coconut oil soap, it’s got a personality of it’s own. The lather is so luxurious I can’t help […]

  190. Crystal says:

    How many ounces of soap does this make?

  191. […] and with oats as an exfoliant. I have since made some batches with 100% coconut oil (see recipe here, there is also a good discussion on superfatting and on how the different properties of some oils […]

  192. Leah says:

    To anyone who has made this or any other soap, what kind of scale would you recommend for the most precise measuring? The one in the link above measures every .05 oz or every 1 gram and not in between. If we need to have precise measurements, specifically for the lye, then what would be best to use?

  193. Patrick says:

    Heather..just so you know..they are changing the formulation in many hardware stores for lye because these sick people are using them to make crystal meth and drugs so you cannot rely on the fact that the lye you buy in the store is the real stuff. Im sure you didn’t know this when you made your recipe but sadly this is true. Sometimes i think its another excuse to stop people from making homemade cheap products. That’s why they are raising the prices of baking soda and washing soda and all the other stuff. I heard it on the news so i thought i would share it with you so you can recommend where people can get the pure lye

  194. Allison says:

    I’m excited to try this soap! I’m wondering how many bars it makes when you cut it. Also, I have heard of people adding sea salt for exfoliating to some soaps. Can this be done with this soap? Thank you!!

  195. Michelle says:

    I made this soap last night but had a couple of issues that I didn’t see in the comments, so I thought I would share. Things were going well until I went to put the stick blender into the crock pot. I do feel like I have to mention that I bought my stick blender at the thrift store and it only had one speed and appeared to be an older version. So, I put the blender into the crock pot, fully submerged and hit the button and the lye, coconut oil mixture shot out of the slots in the blender and went everywhere (and I do mean everywhere, I was still finding spots of it this morning on my upper cabinets), as I was gathering my thoughts on how I was going to make this work, the stick blender was sitting in the crock pot, I looked down and the mixture is bubbling, I pulled the stick blender out and the coconut oil/lye mixture had eaten the finish off of the blender. So I bypassed the “trace” stage and hand-stirred for a while to thicken the mixture. I thought, no problem, disaster avoided, I can use this for laundry soap; put the lid on the crock pot and started to neutralize and wash all of my lye dishes. About 30 minutes later I turned around and the lid on the crock pot was bubbling off! So I stirred my mixture down, I didn’t see anything in the instructions that said I was supposed to stir or not to stir (that is the question, tee hee!!), so I stirred to avoid another clean-up mess. I am glad to say that at midnight last night, I was cutting coconut oil soap bars and will have lovely smelling clean laundry in a couple of weeks. I would like input on the blender problems if anyone has any thoughts. Thanks and God Bless.

  196. Leah says:

    Hi, how many ounces of fragrance would you recommend?

  197. lizg says:

    In my search for cruelty free body soap, I discovered Made from Earth’s soaps, and it has answered all my prayers for a perfect daily soap. Simple ingredients and a gentle scents – I use the Citrus Lavender and the Blood Orange Soap.

    No drying, no chemical scent, no sllck, artificial feel on the skin. My allergy prone skin is handling it well. My skin is in better shape than it has been in quite a while.

  198. Linda says:

    Hi Heather,
    Is 20% superfatting still lathering? I want to make your soap recipe but I’m worried about it not lathering enough. I like it bubbly and lathery. I’ve made soap before that didn’t lather very well using 10% superfatting. I forget what I used

  199. Erin says:

    So excited – I have my first ever batch in the crockpot right now!!! I’m going to try putting thieves oil in to help one of my kids with bad acne.

  200. Mama J says:

    Hey! I finally got the lye in to try this recipe (I had to talk a hardware store owner into having it ordered, long story short- meth is a serious problem in our area) and although I was scared of the lye reaction part, I pushed forward. I tested a bit on my tongue earlier after having it in the crock pot about 35 minutes and it was waxy and didn’t ‘zap’ me it just tasted gross. Hoping I did this right, I think I might test this batch on myself before passing them out to family and friends and potentially burning them, lol. So worth it to have fresh simple soap at home! 😀 Thanks for sharing!

  201. Johanna says:

    My stick blender is plastic on the end instead of metal. Is that going to be an issue when mixing the lye mixture and coconut oil?

    • Lori says:

      My stick blender also has plastic parts. I have never had trouble with it. I only use this stick blender for soap making though. I describe my process above (different than in this post) in the comments if you search the page for “Lori.” Over time the plastic on my stick blender has become a little foggy, but that may also be from washing it on the top rack of my dishwasher.

  202. Su Zi says:

    We tried the recipe, and our soap came out crumbley–before we could add any fragrance. It did lather up nicely, but we wanted to make bars for gifts…

  203. Debbie Reinbolt says:

    If someone else asked this, I missed it…….What about all that coconut oil going down our drains? That doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

  204. Debbie Reinbolt says:

    I posted earlier but forgot to click “notify me” for comments.

    I’m concerned about coconut oil going down my drain on a regular basis. Won’t this clog the drain eventually?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Debbie, the majority of the oil in this recipe is saponified. In other words, the oil reacts with lye to make soap, which does not post an issue. There is a small amount of oil that remains (20%), but I’ve never had a problem with using it. Drains are designed to handle a certain amount of oil because as we wash naturally occurring oils on our skin are rinsed away.

  205. Aria says:

    It’s risen really high (to the lid of the crockpot) and doesn’t seem to be going back down. Is this normal? Did I go wrong somewhere?

  206. Vickie says:

    First time making the soap and it turned out well, but it is drying my hands. What did I do wrong?

  207. Isabella says:

    is there any way i could do this without a scale, like if i converted the oz measurements to cups and tbs? or would that be too big of a risk? thanks :)

  208. bobbi jenkins says:

    thank you for posting this!
    quick question: mine is slightly crumbly and not difficult to cut even after several days.
    what is your thought regarding this.
    thank you in advance for your reply!


    • Heather says:

      Hi Bobbi, I’m honestly not sure. Slightly crumbly usually indicates that it was cooked too long or too much lye was used, but “not too difficult to cut” makes it sound soft as well?

      • bobbi jenkins says:

        i made it again today;
        i think i cooked it just slightly too long last time, it is such a pretty soap. moist though, which i think is weird.
        tomorrow or Wednesday i will make your French green clay soap; really looking forward to that.
        thanks for all the assistance. i am reading all the comments; it really helps to hear other people’s experiences.
        again, thank you!!!

  209. Andrea says:

    What type of crockpot liner did you use?? Just the crock inserted itself? Your photo is a little deceiving to make out.

  210. Mama J says:

    So quick question (answer when you get a chance of course tho, lol), but can I use the soap interchangeably? I made some a month or so ago and have a bunch of bath bars left, but now I need laundry detergent. Can I use what I have left, or should I just bite the bullet and make some of the laundry recipe? I don’t want my clothes oily but I don’t need them unwashed either, lol. Help!

  211. Amber says:

    Hi Heather,
    We used to use the precut base soap you find at the craft store to melt in your microwave to add scents to on a bar by bar basis. After the coconut oil soap is finished, cut, and cured, can this recipe be used the same way? I.e. can I make your recipe with no oils then remelt soap bars to add essential oils one bar at a time? I just got so many essential oils for Christmas, I want to play around with different combinations until I find my favorite. Thank you for all your hard work! I am always on your site looking for new projects.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Amber, this recipe is not quite like melt-and-pour soap. You can definitely rebatch it, but the process is not quite the same and the texture will change somewhat.

  212. Anita says:

    Thank you for your recipes Mommypotomus!! Question please: I am online looking for Lye and the one you link to is now $32. I found another one that says “food grade” and is also 2 lb. for $9…do you mind checking to see if that one is okay for that price?! Here is the link. I’d love to save the money obviously!!!

  213. Teri Orlando says:

    Wow!! Thank you so much for this recipe!! I was wondering if there was a good recipe for coconut oil soap or not. I’m going to make this today! (The old fashioned way, not the crock pot way.)

    You are so sweet to answer everyone’s questions, too!!

    Hope you have a great 2015!!

  214. Jaclyn says:

    I am making this soap as I type this! It puffed up and overflowed my crockpot at about 20 minutes in. I measured everything on a digital scale and followed all the directions exactly. I scraped up everything that overflowed and put it back in the crock but the soap also seems like it is already cured! It is so hard and will not remelt. Advice?

  215. William says:

    I have a question.

    1. Can there a way to use melt n pour soap or melt n pour soap from scratch recipe rather than using lye?

    The reason i ask this question is because i have a high intolerance with anything that’s not healthy, not natural and not organic. My concerns with this is i have very sensitive skin to where if i used a product that isn’t natural nor safe to my skin i will get bad skin reactions. So i am just wondering if there’s a better solution to this.

  216. Hayden says:

    Great recipe, I’m really excited to try it out. However, I’ve been making a lot of beer soap lately by just replacing the amount of water with flat beer, do you know of any reason why that wouldn’t work for this recipe? Thanks!

  217. Kari says:


    I’m making my own laundry detergent but don’t have the supplies to make my own soap yet. I found Kirk’s Original Coco Castile soap, a coconut oil soap, and was wondering if I could use this type of soap to mix with my Borax and Washing Soda for my detergent? What effect does the 1% vs. the 20% or so have on the ability to clean laundry? Help!

  218. Heather says:

    Great Article! Just curious, does this soap have any advantages other than it being all natural? Does it last longer? More effective clean? Thanks!

  219. Autumn says:

    Hi Heather,
    Could I use parchment paper in the bread pan instead of butcher paper?
    Thank you for this and so many fantastic recipes!

  220. Vanessa says:


    if you don’t mind me asking, which digital scale do you use? I’ve used a few and found they are pretty inconsistent.

  221. This is Great! I’m looking for different type of homemade soap recipes to make as gifts. Thanks for the great pictures too! Sometimes the explanation just doesn’t do it.

  222. Irene says:

    I’ve been following this for over a year-just good solid information-thank you!

    I have started a small business selling natural soap and skin care balms, etc. I use this recipe as may “basic” soap and add different things for variety.
    I have 2 questions
    1) I would like to make a double batch of soap when I have large orders? I am concerned about what size crock pot I would need?
    2) Could I add bentonite clay to add an exfoliate? If so, how much?

  223. jean says:

    I am confused. I have always made my laundry bars using lard and thought that it made the best soap for cleaning clothes. Please explain to me the difference between the two ingredients.
    Thank you.


  224. Lise says:

    I have made this soap (lathering skin bar) before and it is perfect and I use it as a base for everything. However this time I was making it with a friend, got distracted, and forgot to let the saponifying mixture sit in the crock pot. Instead, I poured it into molds immediately after trace. OOPS. Anyone have any insight on what skipping this step does/doesn’t do? I feel kinda foolish since I was trying to teach my friend how to soap!

  225. Marshall Jones says:

    All – When making any type of soap using lye (NaOH), do not use any pots, pans, etc. that are made of aluminum. Aluminum is incompatible with lye.

  226. GildaT says:

    Could I use goat milk instead of water for this recipe?

  227. Alyssa says:

    Hi! LOVE this recipe! The most simple I’ve seen yet and I loveeee that it only uses coconut oil!

    I wanted to know how to add other things to change it up like, I want to make a charcoal and tea tree soap that includes castor oil. Do I add the charcoal at trace? How much castor oil do I use and how would that impact the amount of coconut oil used?

    Also, is there a way to do this exact recipe but using the cold process method instead of the crock pot?

    Thank you! :)

    • Alyssa says:

      OH! & how much charcoal would I use?

    • Lori says:

      I’ve only ever done cold process for this soap. It’s much faster than the crock pot method. I have added fine sea salt to my soap during trace, but I’mnot sure how adding charcoal or other additives would go. Usually you add essential oils a little after trace as the soap cools but is still pourable.

      If you want to add castor oil you’ll want to use one of the online lye calculators to make sure you have enough lye to saponification all the fat, or not too much lye for the amount of fat you have, which would cause a burn. I’ve never used castor oil in soap before (though I have recipes which use it) but I imagine it has a different fat content than coconut oil. Enter your ratios into the online calculator and it will tell you how much lye to use. Make sure to litmus test the finished product since you’re experimenting a bit.

  228. Janell says:

    Has anyone made this soap recipe using the cold process?

  229. Janell says:

    Do you have any recommendations for a brand of essential oils or fragrance oils to use. I want something that won’t fade throughout the whole bar. I don’t like it when I buy a bar and it smells great then looses the scent before it’s gone.

  230. Rebecca says:

    Apologies if this has already been asked, there are so many comments that my eyes started bugging out trying to find a similar question. Once the process is done, before you pour the soap into a pan to harden, could you add water to create a liquid soap?

    • Heather says:

      No, unfortunately that will not work. You can grate it and mix it with warm water to create a liquid-ish soap, but it won’t work like what you’re used to.

  231. Jay says:

    Fantastic. My mom just started making soap a few weeks ago and is scared to get into the lye handling and such. She wants to try and start selling it at the markets but she wants to start out slow. I found this video as well that some folks may find helpful in addition to the information above.

  232. Laura says:

    Hello! I love your recipes so I’m really excited to try this one!! Forgive me if this question has already been asked, but how many bars of soap does this yield? I want to compare the cost to the kirks coco soap with this to see if it’s a huge savings or if I should just keep buying bar soap to make laundry soap! Thanks so much!


  233. Rebecca says:

    I was wondering how many ounces of soap this makes? I want to cut it into 5 oz bars and wondered how many this would yield. Thank you!

  234. […] of shampoo. Rather than hop out of the shower and mix up a batch of clay hair wash, I grabbed my coconut oil soap and rubbed on my head. ( I figured Tropical Traditions sells a coconut oil-based shampoo bar, so […]

  235. Robin says:

    I really enjoyed your video; very well done!
    You mentioned shampoo bars in your video. Is this made using the same recipe as the Lathering Skin bar (20% superfat).

  236. el says:

    PLEASE no more gray text – just use black so people can read without struggling

    don’t be a slave to fashion – readability is what matters

    black always works

  237. Amanda says:

    I would like to try this recipe, but I’m not seeing the recipe for the shampoo bars. I’m wondering if it is the exact same for the laundry bars and you just also can use it for shampoo? Or is it a different superfat and I just don’t see it?

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