Shampoo Bar Soap Recipe

Shampoo Bar Soap Recipe

I begin my journey into soap making almost 2 years ago. It all started when I read this post and began to understand how easy and cost-effective making my own really is!

I am by no means a soap making expert. I usually stick to pretty basic recipes and I haven’t experimented much with scents or creative designs.

Hot processed soap is the way to go for me. Cold processed takes a long time to cure and I’m just to impatient for that! (Okay…don’t freak out if you have no idea what I just said! Stay with me on this!)

Determine Your Method

There are so many recipes and soap-making methods out there. If you are new to soap making I strongly suggest you read through these super informative posts and find what will work for you. Here are just a few:

I would also recommend borrowing a few of these books from the library if you really find yourself wanting to know more:

Why shampoo bar soap and not just baking soda?

What a great question! I’m so happy you asked (smile). I have found that baking soda has more of a clarifying effect on my hair. Even after a vinegar rinse, my hair is still very dry and it doesn’t feel conditioned.

I have long hair and I was so frustrated. I could hardly even brush through it. This even after a month of allowing my hair the transition away from commercially-prepared product.

I really didn’t want to be dependent on store-bought shampoo! I know about all of the nasty, toxic chemicals in it  and they kind of freak my out. With more people bringing awareness to the problem, I knew it was time to commit to a change.

So I set out to create a solution!

Gather The Supplies

Alright! Here we go. It’s time to gather all of the supplies and ingredients. If you are new to soap making there is going to be an initial start up cost. But, I’m going to recommend to you the suppliers that I have found to have the cheapest prices. And the savings in the long run are huge!


I purchase lye, sodium hydroxide, online through (this sodium hydroxide is PERFECT for soap-making and I love this company)

You will need to run your recipe through a lye calculator to be sure that you are using the proper amount of lye and liquid (i.e. water, coconut milk, goat’s milk, etc.). I use the recommended amount of lye for a 5% superfat soap. (Trust me, this will make more sense when you start working with the lye calculator.)

Read more :: Do you really want to learn a sustainable practice? Check out this information on making homemade lye from wood ashes!

Note: Be careful when working with lye and follow all of the recommended precautions. What I’m trying to say is, I can not be held responsible for any craziness, mishaps, explosions, etc. that may happen when working with this recipe. 


You can design the properties of your soap based on the oils you use. For example, use:

  • Lard or tallow for a hard, long-lasting soap
  • Coconut or castor oil for lathering
  • Olive or canola oil for moisturizing and conditioning properties
  • Cocoa butter, shea butter, and jojoba oil for a luxurious, extra moisturizing effect

Have fun and experiment!


Most of the equipment you will need can be found in your kitchen. I do not have appointed tools for soap making simply because I use glass and stainless steel bowls and utensils. However, it would be necessary to have tools specifically for this task if you were to use wood or plastic.

See this exhaustive list of recommended equipment, tools, and molds.

Note: I do have a dedicated crock pot for soap making. It is an older model that I purchased from the thrift store for $4. The older models don’t seem to get as hot and that is a good thing.

Now on to the recipe!

Luxurious Shampoo Bar Soap Recipe

-9 ounces coconut oil
-9 ounces olive oil
-5 ounces castor oil
-3 ounces jojoba oil
-2 ounces shea butter
-2 ounces cocoa butter
-1 ounce beeswax

*Please note, all amounts are per weight. You will need to use a kitchen scale for these measurements.

-4 ounces water
-6 ounces coconut milk*
-4 ounces lye
*You could use only water, an herbal infusion, or any other type of milk.

Optional Essential Oils
-Rosemary and peppermint for dark hair
-Lavender and lemon for blonde hair
-Lime and coconut for all types
*Use approximately 0.5-1 ounce of essential oils for this recipe. Yes they are a fun addition, but not necessary.


1. Place the water and coconut milk into a large glass measuring cup.
2. Measure out the lye by weight into a 1 cup measuring glass.
Shampoo Bar Soap Recipe
3. Carefully add the lye into the liquid and stir to combine. (Adding the liquid to the lye could cause and eruption.) Be careful, the liquid is caustic and not to be touched in anyway. The outside of the bowl will be extremely hot as well. Note: Take the necessary lye precautions with this step.
4. Allow the lye mixture to stay under a vent and cool down while you prepare the oils.
5. Measure all oils, by using a kitchen scale, and pour into a pot.
Shampoo Bar Soap Recipe
6. Warm oils and beeswax on low heat until all are melted.
7. Pour melted oils into a crock pot. Be sure the crock pot is on the lowest setting. Note: Do not allow the oils to get to hot.
Add the lye/liquid mixture to the oils in the crock pot and stir. Note: Any equipment the lye touches needs to be neutralized in a mixture of vinegar, soap, and water. Vinegar will neutralize the lye.
After a brief stir, grab your stick blender and get to work! Blend the oils, lye, and liquid in the crock pot for at least 3-5 minutes. We are working toward “trace.”
Shampoo Bar Soap Recipe
10. Blend until the mixture becomes a thick, pudding like consistency.
11. Once the mixture is pudding-like, cover the crock pot and “cook” the soap for approximately 1 hour.
12. By the end, the mixture should have folded in on itself and it should be completely transparent. Turn off the crock pot.
13. Now it’s time to prepare the molds. I just use a standard glass loaf pan greased with coconut oil and it’s always worked perfectly. Post Update: I have switched to using these silicon loaf pans and LOVE them!
14. Now is the time to add the essential oils (if using).
Shampoo Bar Soap Recipe
15. Spoon soap mixture into molds.
16. Allow soap to cool and harden for 24 hours.
17. Remove from mold on to cutting board and cut into 1 inch thick bars.
Shampoo Bar Soap Recipe
18. Place bars on a tray with good airflow so that they can harden further. But go ahead and use your first bar!!!


-I’m telling you, this is the most amazing natural hair product I have used! My hair is so shiny, soft, and manageable. And the real test…my husband even uses this shampoo bar soap and LOVES it!

-When showering, be sure to complete the use of this shampoo bar soap with a 1 part apple cider vinegar and 3 part water conditioning hair rinse. I like to put this in a spray bottle and spray my hair with it just prior to leaving the shower. I do not rinse it out (more conditioning that way). The smell of vinegar will dissipate once the hair dries.


  1. Dana (*danavee*) says:

    I'm convinced! I'm going to make these bars as stocking stuffers… thanks!

    • I started using this shampoo about a week ago. I like it as it doens’t make my hair greasy or leave a film, but I think it’s drying my hair out a lot. I always rinse with acv, yesterday i used conditioner as well and my hair was still really dry. I used a hand mixer to trace the soap, and i’m worried that I didn’t do it for long enough and it didn’t actually trace? It did get thicker but maybe wasn’t pudding consistency. I also had to cook it for longer as it didn’t really fold in on itself and i had to stir it a lot at the end and keep cooking it so that it became transparent. Did I really mess the soap up and possible still have lye in it or something?

      • Just a thought maybe there’s too much Coconut oil in it for your hair. When I make mine I use as much castor oil as I do the coconut. Also, be sure to mix the ACV with enough water. The AVC can dry the hair and leave it feeling a bit weird at 1st, at least it did my hair. And I don’t use it everytime. I know this isn’t helpful with this batch but think about adding more castor oil to the next one you make. I love my shampoo bar, thankfully my customers do as well. If you’d like I can provide you with my recipe. Happy Soaping!

        • Debra Kimball says:

          I’d love to try your recipe for the shampoo bar. I’m still experimenting, trying to find the one I like best.

          • Sorry it’s been so long to reply but family matters got in the way. I’ll be happy to share this recipe. Took me a while to get the formal I liked so here’s hoping you like it too.
            25% castor bean oil
            25% coconut oil. ( I used 76 degree type)
            25% EVOO
            25% sweet almond oil, for extra moisture use avacodo oil.
            I used a bit of Johobo oil for super fat at trace you can use Shea butter, Mango butter, any oil you like it’s all in personal preference.
            Research what EO are best for your hair type and use at .5% total volume.
            Make sure you run this thur the soap/lye cal of your choice using all safety precaution. Gloves, eye protection, long sleeves and good ventilation. This needs to cure for at least 4 weeks but the longer the cure the better the bar. I have used it at 4-6-8-12 weeks and it just gets better with age.
            I hope you enjoy this as much as we do even my husband likes it and he’s a hard sell.

            • Charlotte Twitchell says:

              What is EVOO?

            • I am not familiar with what “76 degree” type of coconut oil means. Will you explain please? Thank you.

            • I have been making soap a little over a year now but cannot find a recipe I like on my hair. My question is? Why super fat . What is the super fatting for?

              • Superfatting is where you add extra fat (oil) so that there is absolutely no chance of any lye being left over that way you don’t end up with chemical burns. It’s like matching up cards: more or less every lye bit has a match with an oil bit, but some of them just don’t find their match because there might not be enough or the lye bit isn’t close enough to another not-paired oil bit to cause a reaction and turn to soap. Adding extra oil allows all of the lye to be used in the reaction and any actually left over oil adds to the moisturizing effects of the soap.

            • HI
              I’m a newbie as we’ll, I researching for a recipe to try out. Thank you for sharing your recipe but I have a question regarding your recipe:
              What about lye amount? Also how much water/liquid and what’s the % of superfat?

              • Rebecca, go to – you can enter the oils by percentage or weight amount, set the water percentage for 35%. It will calculate the amount of lye you need. I recommend setting the superfat at 3% in the calculator – you can add the extra 2% at trace, but it is important for your shampoo bars to be moisturizing :).
                It is actually much easier to do than it sounds. Also, this looks like a cold process recipe, but can be made in the crock pot too, and you won’t have to wait 6 weeks to use it. Because my hair dries out easily, I personally would reduce the castor oil to no more than about 15%, and add 10% shea or cocoa butter. But if your hair is more oily and thick, then the recipe should be fine.

                • If I am not selling the shampoo bars, holy hot process all the way. I do not have time to wait 4-6 weeks for a shampoo bar to cure. My boys run through them way too quickly! LOL

                  Great page!

            • Estelle Stone says:

              Hello, What if you are doing Hot Process? You can’t super-fat at Trace. Then what do you do?


              • Hi! Yes, you can super fat at trace using hot process, but the beauty of hot process is that you can do it at the end of the cook, ensuring that that oil is still in its whole unadulterated form, meaning it will be extra moisturizing. It can make your soap slightly soft, so only use a tiny bit, like a tablespoon. I hope you enjoy your so aping journey!!

        • Gabesgrammie says:

          Castor oil, while great for growing hair and restoring hair and preventing loss, is drying. Maybe less castor oil…

        • Can u provide me the shampoo bar soap n bathsoap receipes.please

      • I would ommit the coconut oil, which is very drying in soap 67 cleanising:(

      • Gene Hammond says:

        It made my hair too dry. How can I get it back to its original pH ? Or how long will it take to wear off?

    • Me too. Thank you kindly!

      • Posted

        • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

        • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

          • When you first start using a shampoo bar after using all the over the counter, chemical versions there’s still a layer coated over the hair shaft… This takes time to work past so give it a few weeks or try something to detox your hair. Another option is to deep condition with a warm oil. Simply warm up some oil of your choice (coconut, almond, jojoba, castor, etc) and apply it to your hair. Let it set for at least an hour or up to overnight, then wash your hair as you normally would

  2. healthynbalanced says:

    I am very excited to try this but I have a question, what is the purpose of doing the apple code vinegar/water rinse afterwards? what if you don't use that as a rinse? Also, I will be linking back to this post on my blog! I really can't wait to try it.

    • Apple cider vinegar needs to be diluted in water otherwise it will be too strong. how much you dilute it depends on preference and hair type and sensitivity, but just test around. The reason for this, is because sometimes shampoo bars can leave your hair feeling a little weird. ACV rinse will make your hair soft again. The vinegar will get rid of any excess oil or shampoo that you have left in your hair, and it will close the cuticle on your hair shaft, making it feel smoother and softer, giving you softer hair. It will also make your hair shiny. It is used a lot by long hair people to maintain strong and healthy hair. You can use this after your regular shampoo too. If you premix up a batch of this, and store it in an old shampoo bottle, or like Andrea in a spray bottle, you can mix it with soft water, that way if the water in your shower is hard and makes your hair unmanageable, the ACV rinse will soften this effect. If you in addition keep from heating up the water, and using cold to room temperature water in the ACV rinse, that will also help your hair cuticle close and make your hair super shiny. Good luck! 🙂

      • I do NOT dilute the ACV when I rinse my hair, never have. It works great and is not too strong. Without it I have dandruff and a very oily scalp. I have been doing the no-poo method for months. I am AMAZED by how awesome the condition of my hair and scalp is.

        I know some people dilute it and works for them, but you don’t have to do it to see great results 🙂

      • Form a hair course I took, unless shampoo is Ph adjusted, it being intrinsically alkaline, as soaps are a fatty acid+alkaline catalyst, the cuticle is opened by the high alkaline Ph, and closed by an acidic Ph, like conditioner or vinegar.or lemon neighbour and i are making this bar next week..she bought it on Etsy and loved it! thanks for sharing this recipe!

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you! So no conditioner (homemade or otherwise) is needed, other than the ACV mix? I get (long-hair version) Rosanna Rosanna Danna hair without conditioner so I'm a little scared. LOL

    Oh, how do you apply the ACV mix? I have long hair and am trying to think of a method that doesn't involved 90% of it running down the drain.

    • You can use an old shampoo bottle and just spray it over your hair, or like Andrea, use a spray bottle and just spritz it on your hair. A lot of people do like to rinse out the vinegar again though, but you won’t be wasting it, because as it runs down your hair, it will still have an effect. If you have hard water though, you might want to leave in the ACV rinse if you mixed it with soft or distilled water. It will leave your hair softer. But ACV does have vinegar which can dry your hair, so not everyone can leave in the ACV, or you can try to dilute it with more water. I used a combo of 1:10 ratio, and I liked that.. Just try different things find what works for you:)

    • Monique says:

      If by “Rosanna Danna”, you mean frizzy…try making flax seed curling gel. I usually run back to the internet each time I make it, google it and you’ll find tons of recipes. I love it for curls!

  4. Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable says:

    @healthynbalanced Apple Cider Vinegar is a conditioner and its okay if you don't use it, your hair just maybe a bit less conditioned. Thank you so much for linking back here! I really, really appreciate it:)

    @Diane That's right no conditioner other than the ACV:) That's all the conditioner you will need! I love to mix 1 part ACV and 3 parts water in a spray bottle and spray on my long hair just before exiting the shower.

  5. Moonbeams and Eco-Dreams says:

    Thank you! I am bookmarking this. Not into soapmaking yet, but who knows in the future…

  6. Ah, spray bottle. Duh. Why didn't I think of that? Thanks!

  7. Stacy Makes Cents says:

    Making soap fascinates me…..but I just buy it from a friend – that's her livelihood. 🙂
    Great tutorial Andrea – as always.

  8. How does this compare to regular store bought?

  9. This is really interesting to me. I have been making my own cold process soap for a year now. We often use it to shampoo with. But, I have been intrigued by the idea of making soap specifically for shampooing. I am bookmarking this and will be trying it in the not-to-distant future. I do have one question about your mold, though. When I make soap, I have to line the mold with waxed paper to lift it out. Does this just pop out easily because of the cooking method?

  10. Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable says:

    @Pam I have to be honest. I was out of waxed paper and I was a little nervous about using the bread dish without it. But I was amazed! I just greased the sides with a little coconut oil and just popped right out!!! I do think it's because of it being hot processed? Could be wrong on that?

  11. Cheryl Taft says:

    I was wondering if I could use this recipe & make it cold process insted of hot process?

  12. Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable says:

    @Cheryl I'm not an expert but I believe you could. All the recipes that I have seen using the cold process method use similar ingredients.

  13. I'm thinking you could probably just use the ingredients in a liquid form? (Minus the lye and beeswax, of course) If you didn't want to make the soap, that is… Thoughts?

    • You can’t make a liquid it would only be oil and not shampoo – LYE is not bad! CP soap cures for 3 weeks making sure the lye is completely gone before a person uses it. HP soap like the blogger here makes cures quickly because the lye is cooked out. NO LYE NO SOAP. Lye is an organic compound made from wood ash and it is the only compound that will hold the oils together in a solid form. Glycerin is also a form of lye.

      • Glycerin is not a form of lye. Glycerin is a bi-product of the soaponafication process which needs both lye and oils. Just so no one gets confused. And the reason homemade soaps are so great (other than getting rid of all the other chemicals) is that it retains the natural glycerin that is formed in the soaponafication process! And glycerin is a wonderful moisturizer!!!

    • If you want to make a liquid soap you will have to use a different kind of chemical to cause it NOT to solidify. Oil does not become soap without the lye. It is just oil. While the oil cleansing method works great for skin care it does not fair so well on the scalp. If you go on the ehow website and search how to make liquid soap there are many recipes on there about grating a bar of soap in water BUT there is one recipe I know of that teaches how to use the chemical process to make the liquid soap. A fellow soaper friend did try this once but was not impressed with its conditioning properties.

      • I have been making liquid laundry detergent for year for my family of 6. The recipe starts with a hard bar ie: Fels Naptha or Ivory grated and melted into water. It creates a jelly like liquid detergent. If I blend for 10 mins with my stick blender and do not expose to freezing temperatures it stays a nice liquid and does not separate. I will be making some soap to replace the Fels Naptha soon. But I’m pretty sure this method will work with any of your favorite soap recipes.

        • mocristy says:

          I used homemade lye/lard soap and made it into liquid shampoo (added lemongrass essential oil and olive oil), liquid dish soap, and liquid and powdered laundry soap. All of the liquid soaps have a wonderful translucent pearl look to them, but have the consistency of snot. It sort of reminds me of the goo on Nickelodeon. But, it is effective and very inexpensive. I get major compliments on my hair since switching to this method.

          When I made mine with homemade soap, I melted the bar soap with the water on the stovetop. Once it was cool enough to put in a bottle, I did. The liquid dish soap is in wide mouthed mason jars, so I can just scoop out a dose when I do the dishes.

          • For making dish soap, how much water do you use per bar of soap? Do you make hand soap the same way? Do you add anything extra to either one? Does the dish soap work really well on grease?

      • I have been making both liquid and solid bar soaps for years! The lye that you need to make liquid soap is called, potassium hydroxide. But the dilution rate that you use on the soap once it is cooked determines the gel stage that you want. Always use a lye calculator and make sure it is for liquid soap and not bar soap! Two different types of lye. Sodium hydroxide is for bar soap and Potassium hydroxide is used for liquid soaps….But PLEASE if you have never made soap before, read, read, read and learn before starting into this adventure… But well worth the studying and knowing what you are doing! Happy Soaping!

        • Hi Rhonda,
          Please do you have any recipe on liquid shampoo you can share which will be a bit thick and not watery? Would really love to hear from you about it. Here in Africa, potassium hydroxide is found naturally in plantain or cocoa pod ashes and we use it to make soap, but it forms into solid soap after some time. Does yours do that with your processed lye ? Please let me know.
          Thanks a lot!

  14. I have thought and thought about making soap. This post will put me to action. Thank you for explaining it so clearly step by step!

  15. This is one of my new year's resolutions — learn to make shampoo soap! 🙂

  16. Heather@ Creative Family Moments says:

    I've always wanted to know how to make this!

  17. Cata- Mafe says:

    hi I have a question…the lye is good for the hair???? is the first time that, can I use lye for the hair? not is bad….. for my the lye is CLOROX

    • Lye itself is not good for your hair, but when it is processed and combined with the oils, a chemical reaction takes place, and no lye is left. the product you are left with is a mixture of soap and glycerin and a little bit of extra oils to help moisturize.

  18. Oh My
    Wonderful post !

    – KAT –

  19. Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable says:

    @Cata-Mafe As I have mentioned in the text…I am certainly not an expert in making soap:) I would recommend reading more about saponification (the chemical reaction that takes place on the molecular level) during the soap making process. Lye is not left in it's normal state, just as the oils are not left in there normal state. Straight lye is caustic and will cause serious burns (the making of soap changes the properties of both the lye and the oils). There is a lot of very informative material available out there:)

  20. Sarah @ Mum In Bloom says:

    I've added most of the ingredients to my cart on my Azure Standard order this month but where do I get Lye? I saw some on but what do I look for when I order? Where do you get your ingredients from?

    • mocristy says:

      You can also get lye at ACE hardware, if you have one in your area. If they don’t have it in stock, they can order it.

    • Essential Depo is the best place for lye it’s food grade and inexpenses plus very fast delivery. Just my opinion in sources. Also, Brambleberry has it in flake form but cost quite a bit more. I started out my soap making adventures using ACE Hardware lye many many moons ago but quickly changed to food grade because if I can use it to clean drains I really don’t want to use it in my Body Soap. Again just me, many soapers will say there is no difference since once the saponification process of the oils and lye are complete there is no lye left it and it shouldn’t make a difference. Personnal choice. Do your research and please take all safety precautions when using this HIGHLY caustic substance it will hurt if it gets on you.

  21. Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable says:

    @Sarah I purchase my lye online through The Soap Dish. They are very affordable:)

  22. I too plan on making this. Thanks so much for posting it. In the next few weeks I plan on getting into making soap.
    Sarah, I bough Lye at Ace Hardware. Don't know if they have Ace Hardware where you live….but if not you could call different hardware stores.
    I can't wait to start making my own soap!

  23. Can I just buy this from you? I mean, I'd know that it was loving made properly, rather than me going out and buying all the stuff and goofing it up. Perhaps add a "buy" button to your site?

  24. Great, great recipe, thank you for sharing I've been making soap for years and have always shyed away from making shampoo bars, thinking they wouldnt leave hair manageable but your recipe and such good comments give me a reason to make some now, HURRAY for me:)

  25. I make soap too. Saw you on a blog hop, going to follow….your blog is all about what I want to blog about…so maybei can cheat and jsut read yours! 🙂

  26. Amy-Thrifty Treasure Hunter says:

    OK, this may be a "I totally missed the obvious" question, but… How exactly do you use a solid shampoo ?

    • Hi Folks
      I started making soap about four months ago from used cooking oil (canola). I use the cold process method and usually go for about 5% superfat.,,,but different calculators on line will give you slightly different results. You can always look up the saponification tables and do your own calculations.

      That said, I have been using my soap from day one (they get better with age but seem to be OK right away with a 5% superfat). Rrelevance to this conversation on shampoo? I make bar soap and have used it for bathing and shampooing and it works great. I don’t use a conditioner of any kind now and my hair is much softer than it used to be (I am 63). Use it on your hair like you would on your body–just lather it on and wash….
      I add water and melt it down and use it for dishes too….and am about to make try it in the laundry with Borax and washing soda (have finally convince my wife that her HE machine will survive the ordeal!

      I have discovered that there are no hard and fast rules with soap making other than BE CAREFUL HANDLING THE LYE and use the right amount.
      No need to be daunted by this is fun and easy and cheap..go get your oil from a fish and chip shop (one that changes their oil often…it will be the one with the best food too!)
      Hope this helps someone



  27. I am so with you on the hot process vs. cold process. That and every flop I've had has been making cold process soap. LOL!

  28. Hi,

    I know this is "shampoo" but couldn't I also use it as a body soap? Can the recipe be doubled or is it best to make two separate batches? Inspired to make my own soap, thanks!

  29. Tina Peterson says:

    I would love to try this but it looks like a lot of work. Would you sell a bar – or maybe would you like a review of your soap on my blog (if you sell it commercially maybe on Etsy or Artfire)? Just a thought.

  30. hi, thank you but your answer! yesterday I'm thinking about this post, mabye if you want to make liquid shampoo you should change the sodium hydroxide by in (spanish) potasico hydroxide.

  31. Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable says:

    @Estela You can absolutely use this as a body soap! It's very moisturizing for the skin:) And yes, you can double the recipe to make a larger batch. I've done it before:)

    @Tina Start to finish is about 1 3/4 hours including the cook time. I know the steps may seem like a lot but it's actually very simple:) To answer your question…I am looking into the best avenues for selling the soap.

  32. Jill@ says:

    Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

  33. Jodi@ says:

    WOW!! This seems like A LOT to take in, but with a kid about to be in college, I'm looking for ANYWAY to cut costs… :o)

  34. Awesome! ThanX for posting this recipe. It's just what I've been looking for. I LOVE my home made bar body soaps & haven't found a good shampoo ever so this might work. Thank you so much.

  35. anelementallife says:

    I've bought lye at Home Depot and Ace before. Look in the drain cleaner section and make absolutely SURE you get one that says 100% lye or sodium hydroxide on the lable. You don't want any other nasty chemicals in the soap. You can probably get cheaper lye online, but for convenience sake I've only ever bought it at those two stores.

  36. I really really want to try this but I am so scared. I used to purchase sheeps milk soap at the farmers market where I lived and I started using it on my hair. At the time, it was several years ago now, I knew what the ingredients where and they were all safe ones but no lye. My hair started getting a lot of split ends and falling out, I used it for about 6 months hoping it was just an adjustment to using natural products but I finally had to give up. My hair is very fine and I have little enough as it is without having it falling out in handfuls…

    • Gabesgrammie says:

      Jamaican Black Castor oil is great for growing hair, and making it thicker. I use a shampoo bar, (found in my local organic store, or something like this recipe would be great, just haven’t had the nerve yet to try 1) I also frequently use simply baking soda mixed with water, and rinse with my own hair “tea”: 2 cups apple cider vinegar ( raw, organic), bring to light boil, add 2 oz each of : lavender flowers, whole rosemary, horsetail dried herb, nettle leaves; remove from heat, steep for at least 30 minutes, strain and add 2 cups water. I keep this in my shower, put some in a glass, add warm water and rinse. Leave it on for a minute or two and then rinse out. You could leave it in, if you want. I find that for me, I tend to perspire a lot, and that does cause the vinegar to smell just a bit.
      If you are using heat appliances, and commercial shampoos and conditioners, you really should switch. I have thin hair, but using natural stuff like this, my hair is making a comeback!
      Best of luck!!!

  37. I get mine from the local Amish store. That might help someone hopefully. I just made my first shampoo bars but used mostly what I had on hand, sheep and deer fat, and some coconut oil. I used this calculator to figure it out:
    From reading your recipe I see that I need far more essential oils and "special" oils. Thanks for the post!

  38. Kanelstrand says:

    I've been washing my hair with baking soda for about 7 months now and I am so satisfied with the effects! Luckily, rinsing it with vinegar does the job for me and I can easily comb it. But I would also love to learn how to make shampoo bars and soaps though I feel kind of scared to use the lye. Thank you for a great informative post and thank you for commenting under my Green Living ideas article on green gift wrapping.

  39. anelementallife says:

    I've got my batch in the crock pot right now! I have a (not so) secret love for all things chemistry and soap making is right up my alley. It makes me think of this:

  40. There are two ways to use shampoo bars. Wet your hair and run soap on hair in a combing motion from front to back several times and then work in with fingers.Also slide bar down the length if you have long hair. Or work up a lather in your hands and apply to hair and scalp.

  41. Jill@ says:

    This great post is featured at Sunday Snippets this week! Thanks for sharing! Come and check it out!

  42. Hi there
    I have been making soap for 3 years and always leave it to cure for 5 weeks or so before using it.
    You say at the end that one an use this bar immediately without curing, is this correct?

    • Hi
      A bit late for this conversation, but for any other beginners out there:
      Yes, you can use cold process soap right away. Most of the Lye gets used up in the first rush of saponification and then it takes a few days to a few weeks for the rest of the reaction. It apparently works quicker if you let it go through Gel phase by wrapping it in insulation/towels (etc) as soon as it goes in the mold. It will be cooled off by the time you need to take out of the mold anyway.
      That said, the soap will be better (more Ph balanced) if you let it cure for a few weeks before use. Most of us use at least a 5 superfat for hand soap anyway so there will not be much lye left if any by the time it is set and cut into bars. If you are worried about it you could always make the first batch an 8% or so superfat to ensure it is more gentle. This will still provide a bar that will clean well. Then the next day do another batch at a lower superfat (around 5 say) and use the first batch while the second is curing.
      Have fun!


  43. @Tina You can purchase my handmade shampoo bar soap through my Etsy shop. Click the orange Etsy button just above the list of Pages on the sidebar:)

  44. Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  45. @Wendy You can use this after the 24 hour hardening due to the hot processed method of soap-making. At least that is how I learned it and we've done it for years without issue? Do you use hot process too?

  46. I make soaps/lotions with goat's milk from my Nubian dairy goats. Lye can be purchased from much cheaper and for bulk oils/butters has great pricing. 🙂 Happy soaping!


  47. For those wondering where to get lye, you may want to check your local hardware store or a Lowe’s or Home Depot. I found that Roebic Crystal Drain Opener, sold in the plumbing section, is 100% lye…there was a label on the front of the bottle I bought that said “100% lye” and on the back under ingredients it listed only sodium hydroxide, which is the chemical name of lye. You’d want to be sure not to get any drain opener that has other chemicals in it. The bottle I got was 2 pounds and cost $13 from Lowe’s. I’m not sure of the prices online, but it was worth it to me to be able to get my soap making products locally because I was so anxious to get started that I didn’t want to wait for shipping! I have used this product and just made my first batch of goats milk soap this week and it turned out beautifully!!!

  48. I made this shampoo a couple days ago, and used my first bar last night! It was very easy to make, but I did find it a little TOO moisturizing. I have normal, long hair, but the first time I used it my hair was stiff with oil (I did use the cider vinegar rinse), I could litterally brush my hair back and it stayed there like I had gel in it. So I re-washed and followed with baking soda then cider rinse, and it’s much better, but I may have to tweak the recipe a bit for my hair. Thanks for the recipe though Andrea, it gave me a great starting point! Blessings.

    • Bummer! I’d totally say try tweaking the recipe! Maybe lay off the castor oil and up the olive and coconut oils? Don’t let it go to waste though…it’s a perfect moisturizing body soap too:)

  49. Love this tut, and can’t wait to try this. I have used a shampoo bar I purchase online from Organic Creations which is wonderful, butI have always wanted to try and make some myself.

    When I shampoo I couple the shampoo bar with water from the shower and just a tablespoon or so of a diluted mixture of 1 Tbs baking soda mixed in 1 cup water which I keep in the shower. The lather is incredible and one lather is all I need. After rinsing the lather out, I then follow with the same ratio of dilution of Apple Cider Vinegar and water kept in a container in the shower, poured over my hair. I always rinse it out, but I’ll have to try leaving it in next time.

    I am 53 and have long silver and brown hair and it is shiny, thick and healthy and I only have to wash it once or maybe twice a week since I started using these homemade products 2 years ago. So fun!!!

  50. Just a note too, for great conditioning about twice a month I also will warm up about a teaspoon of coconut oil in my hands and rub it mostly into the ends of my hair then all over, just before getting into the shower. After shampooing it is incredibly soft and luscious.

  51. I just made this recipe and it hardening right now, but it seems like maybe it’s too dry. I think once it drys all the way it’s just going to crumble. I assume something went wrong during the cooking process. Would you have any idea what? Do you think maybe I cooked it too long or to hot?

    • It does look that way sometimes. Let it harden in the mold for 24 hours. It should come together for you! Give me an update this time tomorrow:)

      • Btw…the first time I ever made soap I let it get way to hot and cooked it way to long! But it ended up beautiful:)

        • Alright, I haven’t been able to use it yet but I did cut a piece of the soap and it stayed together. I’m so excited. I washed my hands with it and they were so soft after, it felt like I had used lotion. Can’t wait to try it out in the shower. It is a little dry
          And crumble at the top of the mold but the rest is fine. The is only my second attempt at making soap so I still have a ways to go but I’ll figure it out. Thanks again for the recipe.

          • Hooray!!! And the top will be a bit more “rustic” because we use the hot processed method with this recipe. I’m so happy it turned out:)

  52. Hello! We just made a batch of this soap and can’t wait to try it out tomorrow! One question, sorry if you’ve answered this elsewhere…why beeswax?
    Love to have you follow me. I’m on facebook, too.

    • Great question…I use beeswax (some other people use stearic acid) for hardening! Let me know tomorrow how it turns out:)

  53. Can you use the kind of coconut milk that you make by blending1 cup coconut with 3 cups water in a blender and then straining out pulp? Or are you using the liquid inside the coconut?

  54. From the picture it looks like your stick blender is all metal. Is that why you don’t have it dedicated to soapmaking? Or is it?

  55. This looks fabulous. I finally just got the trackback notification. I need to try that recipe.

    • Hi Renee! I’m so honored that you find my recipe “fabulous.” You are one of my big time blogging heroes:) I appreciate all that you do and thank you for being such an inspiration.

  56. If one wanted to exclude the beeswax, and instead use stearic acid in the recipe, do you know how that would change the measurements? I have everything but the beeswax and essential oils, so I’d like to give it a try without having to spend any more money. BTW, if you live near Portland, OR, there’s a fantastic soap/lotion supply store in Milwaukie called Shay and CO. I bought 9 pounds of lye today for 22$, but they won’t ship it-you have to pick it up at the store.

    • What a great deal on the lye Brandie!! My in-laws live in Portland (I’d love to live there…we love it) I should have mentioned this, but it’s not necessary to use the beeswax or stearic acid. Using will make for a harder bar of soap but it’s not necessary. Just be sure to run the recipe through the lye calculator without adding the beeswax so that you use the right amount of lye.

  57. Hello Andrea! Thanks a bunch for posting this great recipe. I made my first batch today but have a question… Everything went well in the making of my soap but at the end it never became transparent! It was very soft but didn’t “re-melt”. I added essential oil and mixed it up then placed the soap in my mold. Do you think that it went thru the whole saponification process? I’d hate to use it and get burnt! :(. When I mixed the sodium hydroxide with the water & coconut milk, I mixed it outside and left it to cool (in 40 degree weather) so when I mixed it into the oils mixture it had slightly solidified but mixed like your tute stated when i blended it with the stick blender. I’m at a loss.. I hope you have some insight for me :). Thanks a bunch!

    • I think the key to your problem may be in the temperatures. The oils and the lye solution should be within about 10 degrees F of one another. I usually mix them at around 125 degrees and they mix and trace in about three minutes. I have never had a batch “fail”. Once I used quite a bit of powdered parsley (coffee grinder) for some colouring and it took about 5 minutes to trace and several days longer to harden up, but it worked fine. the process seems to be pretty forgiving for the most part.


  58. I used shampoo bars several years ago and they just don’t work for me. Even with assiduous rinsing and a good acid rinse it was just too alkaline.

    I would recommend getting sample size bars from Chagrin Valley Soaps instead of jumping straight in to making a batch. They are well priced and cottage-made.

    Whether you have long hair or not, come over to The Long Hair Community and search for threads on soap bars and other non-industrial hair cleansing methods. There are threads on baking soda washes, coconut oil shampoo, water only, sebum only, soapnuts, Indian herbs and western herb washes among others. We have lots of knowledge and are happy to share.

    One last thing. Many of us find lemon juice to be a far better acid rinse than vinegar. It is great for reducing static.

  59. How long do you leave your bars setting on the tray? Thanks for the easy to follow tute! I made my first batch of soap using your instructions and it was sooo easy! That has been an aspiration of mine for a long time. Thanks for helping make my first attempt a success!

    • Horray for soapmaking!!! I leave the bars on the tray until we use them. With the hot processed method, they’re good to go withing 24 hours but the will harden and “get better” with time. So they stay on the tray:)

  60. I’m wanting to make this recipe, but a few questions first… do you use organic olive oil, cocoa butter, etc… or does that really matter since it’s externally used (sorry if that is a stupid question). Does the castor oil need to be cold pressed? I can probably get regular type @ pharmacy. Finally doesn’t matter what type of essential oils you use? I have seen that rosemary essential oil is good for brunette hair which I have… but my husband hates that fragrance and I really like the fragrance of grapefruit, so thought about trying that essential oil…

  61. I think I read somewhere to not use the acv rinse if you have colored hair…if so, can you recommend something for those of us with color treated hair? Really wanting to buy one of your soaps! 🙂

  62. I just have to say you have inspired me to move toward being more sustainable. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I am definitely an every day reader and will be ordering this off your Etsy before I go at it myself. Might even use a tweak on a recipe I found here: to turn it into a liquid? I don’t know my family will easily convert to the bar 🙂

  63. I’m having a terrible time finding castor oil at any of my local pharmacies or grocery stores. Is there an alternative to castor oil?

    • Castor oil is used in soap making to add suds and conditioning. To make up for it’s absence you could readjust the amount of coconut oil and shea butter. Be sure to run the new amounts of oils through the online lye calculator to get the correct amount of lye.

    • Michelle says:

      Emily, I too had difficulty finding Castor oil and someone directed me to the laxatives section of the drug store. Since I was thinking “soap” I never gave a thought to the other way it is sometimes used. Go find the Ex Lax and look to the bottom shelf. It’s not a very big bottle.

  64. My kids and I are loving making and trying homemade body products. However I’m wondering about the lye it make me kinda scared. Can you use a vegetable glycerin. Thank you!

  65. Purchased this bar from you to test before making a batch. I have only used it once so far and my hair feels a bit dry if anything. Do I need to wait to see how my hair reacts long term?

  66. Sounds like a great recipe but I would never use cold process soap after 24 hours – I let mine dry and become milder after 6 weeks.

    • Definitely! Cold processed soap must cure for 4-6 weeks. That’s why I love the hot processed method used in this recipe 😉

  67. I have seen some people express consternation about the lye component, so I thought I would try to help clarify that. I’ve been making my own soap for 5 years, and up until recently, when I discovered the hot process method, cold-process was my baby.

    We know that lye is evil stuff. However, you can’t make soap from scratch without it. The good news is, that it’s very simple to work with, as long as you do it safely, i.e. protecting your eyes with goggles, face with a mask, and hands with gloves. More good news is that, as a result of the chemical reaction that happens during saponification, the lye is busy becoming soap, so that it no longer is lye. In hot process, the time spent cooking speeds up that process, which is why the soap is ready to use as soon as it’s cooled. In cold process, that reaction is close to being finished at trace, but it takes some weeks of curing to completely neutralize any remaining lye.

    I’m not an expert, but I love making soap, so I’ve picked up a few tidbits of knowledge here and there. And I didn’t see this specifically addressed, although, it’s possible that it was, and I just missed it. =)

    • mocristy says:

      One way to test your soap to see if the soaponification process is complete enough to use, is to do the 9-volt battery test. Tap the end of your tongue to the soap. If it feels like you just tapped it to a 9-volt battery, it is still working on becoming soap. If it just tastes soapy, you are good to go. This works for both cold-process and hot-process soaps.

      • Ha! That’s true. You could do that, but I’d prefer to use a pH test strip. Also, contrary to popular belief, after 48 hrs, the soap is neutral in the cold process method – pH test strips don’t lie. The curing process is to allow further evaporation of excess moisture so the bars become harder and last longer.

        Your comment about the battery made me laugh! I think thats how they ued to did it in the olden days too. 🙂

  68. Natuamommy says:

    I’ve been experimenting with various all-natural shampoos lately, and was curious about yours. I’ve discovered that my hair does not respond well to vegetable glycerine, which is a byproduct of soap-making. The longer I use it, the more residue seems to build up in my hair, making it dull, hard to comb-through, and unpleasant to touch. Have you had this experience with glycerine too, or am I doing something wrong? I noticed it with coconut-oil soap, and castile soaps too–and ANY soap that I add glycerine too. I love what it does for my skin, but my hair is not a fan….

    • Natuamommy: I think I am having the same situation. Since using this bar, which is nice on my skin and works fine for my boyfriend’s short hair, I have a disgusting waxy residue on my hair. I have long hair and think maybe it doesn’t wash out completely since my roots are okay, but the middle and ends of my hair look wet or oily all the time, feel waxy/sticky, and leave a thick waxy residue on my comb that dust and fluff clings to. I’m trying not to use it everyday to give it time to release, but it’s not helping. I finally gave in and used a commercial liquid shampoo to try to end the cycle, but it didn’t cut through the residue at all. What’s your solution, Natuamommy?

      • I had the same problem, but I made this recipe:
        8 oz coconut oil
        8 oz castor oil
        8 oz olive oil
        8 oz sweet almond oil
        and this recipe is so good on my hair and no residue at all, I hope it helps you.

      • STEVIE!!!
        That’s 100% the exact problem I am having, did you ever get to the bottom of the WHY????

  69. I love using shampoo bars and I could sell this stuff for you!!! Shampoo bars make my naturally curly hair feel fantastic. I have dry, fly-away curly hair and it is very hard to get it to do anything. When I use a shampoo bar I have no problems. My hair dresser knew immediately that I was using a different product by how my hair felt. Another plus is traveling with a shampoo bar! You don’t have to worry about carrying liquid in your carry on because it’s a bar so I’ve never been questioned, plus, it doesn’t spill or explode in flight like some bottles do. Another plus is that you never have to fuss with a cap in the shower. Just rub it on wet hair and it lathers up nicely. I think people have a hard time getting by the fact that they are washing with a bar of soap. But I love my shampoo bar and wouldn’t think of using anything else.

  70. Jennifer T says:

    Hoping for a little help on supplies. I just priced everything out from Mountain Rose Herbs, my local co-op, CVS and even the grocery store for olive oil (wherever I found the cheapest place), and the best I can come up with is about$25 per batch based on the cost per ounce of item. That does not include any essential oils. We have been using Dr. Bronner’s bar soap as a shampoo, but it is pretty drying, so i would love to give this a try, but it is not looking any cheaper than what I already use. Any leads as to what I might be missing would be greatly appreciated since I would love to get the necessary ingredients and give this recipe a try!

    • Hi Jennifer! Check out the online store “The Soap Dish” they have really good prices, super customer service, and high quality supplies. “Soap Goods” is another good resource, but “The Soap Dish” is by far my favorite for soap-making oils, lye, and the like:)

      • Jennifer T says:

        Thanks, their prices are much better on the ingredients that I just priced. I am so looking forward to trying this!

  71. So do the oils in the recipe need to be cold pressed or does it not matter since you hot process them anyway?

  72. What is the purpose of using lye? If its caustic why use it? Does it act as a binding agent for the soap? Is there an alternative to lye?

  73. Is this specifically a shampoo bar recipe or can a person use any soap bar recipe for shampoo? I’m not sure what the difference here is, except that you added coconut milk…..

  74. Just double checking this for safety, but I read that lye has a bad reaction to aluminum and tin, but you said you use a stick blender to mix it to trace. My stick blender is metal, is the lye already nuetralized enough at that point to have the metal blending wand in it or are you using a different kind of “stick blender” that is not metal?

  75. OH! I just thought of something! For the sunscreen, you use zinc oxide or something that is the main sunblock right? If you add this to the shampoo bar.. would that create a shampoo bar with UV blocking? that will protect the hair from being fryed in the summertime? Any thoughts?

  76. ce kind says:

    question… crockpot- what wattage do you consider as an “older model that doesn’t get so hot”? And would it be better to cook it on the keep warm mode or the low mode?

  77. Sunrider says:

    On the optional essential oils front, is there anything you can recommend (other than the lime/coconut for all types) for color treated hair? I color mine a nice coppery red color and get a lot of compliments on it. If there’s anything to extend the color (and not react poorly with it), I’d love to include it.

  78. A quick question – does it have to be apple cider vinegar? I’ve been using white vinegar and wonder if there is a benefit to switching.

  79. Liz Baker says:

    I am so going to see if my mom will let me try this, but I do have some questions, if I do use the ACV conditioner will it make my hair greasy if I apply it to my roots? And if I don’t would I be able to use store bought conditioner (even though that beats the purpose of the homemade shampoo)? I really want to try this out!(:

  80. Like Sunrider I have color treated red hair and it is hard enough to keep the color from fading fast. Baking soda really sucks the color out. Any thoughts on this? Also My daughter is half African American and has long tight curly dry hair with a lot of frizz mixed in. Please advise because when I adopted her (she is 14 now) she did not come with a how to manual! HELP!!!

  81. Michelle says:

    Andrea, When we started researching the soap making process it was with the idea of eliminating the harmful chemicals – sulfates, parabens, etc. One book recommended food grade lye, which does not have the heavy metals and minerals found in Red Devil etc. from the hardware and Home Depot. I found food grade lye at I noticed one of the earlier posts mentioned them also. They’ve given me wonderful service.

  82. im interesting making bars a soaps
    to make my own cash in my pocket
    please send me soon

  83. Thanks for this recipe! I just got my supplies in the mail and am gearing up to try it. A little nervous about the lye, though. You mentioned that “Any equipment the lye touches needs to be neutralized in a mixture of vinegar, soap, and water. Vinegar will neutralize the lye.” Can you be more specific, please? Does this mean I have to make the vinegar/soap/water mixture and wipe everything with it BEFORE adding the lye? AFTER? What would happen if I forgot this step? What is the recipe/ratio for making the mixture? I feel like I can’t make the soap until I know this. Thanks!

    • Hi Karen! I don’t really have a recipe or ratio amount for the vinegar/soap/water mixture. I simply fill a large bowl of white vinegar, water and a couple spoonfuls of liquid soap. This mixture is used on the equipment AFTER you use the lye. I hope this helps 🙂

    • I have made cold-process soap for decades, and I just wanted to offer my two cents about using lye. Through the years we have had a few lye “incidents” and I just want to assure people that even when something does happen, it is really not that bad.

      For instance, I’ve had some lye mixed with the water on my skin and it got red and irritated after a few minutes. I rinsed it with straight vinegar and it just itched a little bit but within a couple hours, it was back to normal. My husband got a splash up in his eye, and it burned a bit (came into the kitchen when I was making soap and was messing around, not really aware of the lye); we rinsed with water a lot, and he was 100% fine. Lye is definitely caustic, and you wouldn’t want to let it “sit” on skin for a length of time, but with only a modicum of safety (e.g. rubber gloves and eye protection), it is easy to work with.

      Truly the biggest issue for me is the fumes when making the lye/water mixture. I do it inside, right in my kitchen sink so if there are any spills or tip-overs, the cleanup is minimal. I always open windows (even in winter) to make sure there is good ventilation. I know other people who mix it outside. After it’s mixed and cools down a bit, the fumes are minimal.

      I encourage people to give it a try, and not let the fear of lye stop you from trying to make soap. Most store-bought soaps remove the glycerin because they get a better price by selling the glycerin separately, but that results in a drying soap. Homemade soaps are wonderfully moisturizing! I make a pure castile (olive oil, lye, and water) soap for our every day use… I think I read somewhere the “byproduct” of the chemical reaction (of the oils and lye) is something like 75% soap, and 25% glycerin. So wonderful!!!

      So, if you are nervous about lye, I encourage you to do what you need to do to give it a try – wear a long-sleeved shirt, rubber gloves, goggles, and block off the kitchen so you don’t get interrupted – and dive in and give it a try. There is nothing more wonderful than homemade soap!

      Andrea, I’ve never tried hot process soap, and found your post when I searched for a homemade shampoo. I’m going to try it today! Thanks for posting!

      • Oh and I forgot to mention that I use my KitchenAid mixer to mix my cold-process soap. I don’t wash it in anything special (just soap and water) and I definitely use it for other things. I’ve never had an issue, and honestly, I never gave it a second thought.

        Did you know that some people eat lye in fish?! (Called lutefisk!) I’m from Minnesota, and it’s kind of a big deal here because of our Norwegian connection (although I’ve never tried it!). Certainly treat lye with respect, but I hope we can dispel some of the fear and anxiety surrounding lye use.

        Happy Soapmaking!

        • Lotta Boestam says:

          First of all; Happy new year!
          I´m swedish and we eat lutfisk (“lyefish”) at christmas time. The lye in it dissapears while making it, you use the lye for drying the fish. You eat it with a white sauce and ground allspice, at least in Sweden, (It´s really good. I thing I´m gonna have it tonight…; ) ).
          Well… I just have to try making this shampoo bar! But it can be really hard to buy chemicals in Sweden. For exampel, I was going to make laundry detergent and needed borax…I just found out that it´s forbidden to trade with borax in the hole EU from 2013… ( you have to have a special permission). But I don´t give up that easy, maybe I can make my own lye if that is forbidden as well (who´s gonna stop me 🙂 !?)
          A question; can you put any kind of scent in the soap? I got a lot of those tiny glass bottles with scent in, that you´re suppose to put on things like a cotton ball to get a nice smell in the room. It says on the label something like: “”strawberry essence” or “lavender oil”.

          • Hello Lotta – Happy New Year to you, too!

            We have a lot of Swedish descendants here too… I’m one of them! My great-grandfather settled in central Minnesota in the late 1800s. 🙂 I’ve never tried lutefisk, but I don’t like fish, so it’s not appealing to me. A LOT of my friends do, though!

            I’m sorry to hear about the difficulty in purchasing chemicals in the EU. Lye is getting more difficult to find here too but we can still find it at neighborhood hardware stores; and like the author says, you can find it online too. I’ve never tried making lye (with ash?) – it sounds intriguing!

            As for fragrance – yes, go ahead and add any fragrance that you don’t mind putting on your skin! I use essential oils, but it sounds like yours might be what are called “fragrance oils”. They usually have the fun names like “strawberry essence”. They are synthetically made, and usually last longer (and smell stronger) than essential oils. You add fragrance right at the end – just before you pour it into the mold. Just remember that some of those fragrance oils may change the consistency of the soap. Without knowing the ingredients, I don’t know exactly what it might do – but I would imagine the effect would be fairly minimal. Essential oils (maybe your lavender oil is an essential oil?) have even less effect on the soap, but they also are not as strong smelling, and the scent doesn’t last as long.

            I made the shampoo bars yesterday and they turned out EXACTLY as pictured! I’m so thrilled. I am going to try the shampoo tomorrow morning. I used lavender essential oil for fragrance, and it worked great. I can’t wait to try it!

  84. Thank you so much for this recipe: I’m new to soapmaking and have only done Cold Process so I went ahead and used your recipe with the cold process method. I’m waiting for it to cure but I noticed that some of the bars are a green colour in the middle. Has this happened to you before? Any thoughts? My first guess what that everything did not mix together sufficiently but I am 99% sure that I reached trace. Just wondering if you have every experienced this and if you would still use the bars….

    Thank you!

    • Hi Char! I’ve never made the bars cold processed but I can say that sometimes my hot processed bars have a green tint because of the herbs that I infuse.

    • I have cold processed soap a lot. Sometimes mine would have a different color in the middle during the curing stage, this is normal. When cold-processing, it is best to insulate the soap, so it soaponifies evenly. What happens if you don’t insulate the soap, is the middle stays warmer than the outside and turns into soap faster. I would wrap my soap in a blanket and leave it like that for a week or so. After that, I would toungue test it (if it stings like a 9-volt battery, it isn’t done). If it passed the tongue test, take it out of the blanket and cut it up.

      The few times I forgot to wrap it up, or left it in a cool place, it stayed darker in the middle and the outside part of the soap was more harsh.

  85. Just finished making the shampoo, and after an hour on low in the crockpot, it seemed like it did turn in on itself but was definitely NOT transparent. I stirred in some essential oils and put it in the mold anyway. It still seems to look like yours, and I’ll see how it turns out. Did I do something wrong?

  86. Have you tried this recipe with potassium hydroxide instead of sodium hydroxide to make liquid shampoo?

  87. christianmotherof5 says:

    I am new tousing essential oils. Would you be willing to add some recipes for mixing them for soap, lotion…


    • 3 part top not
      2 part mid note
      1 part bottom/base note

      Go to a site that explains what each EO is (top, mid, or bottom/base) and which fragrances blend well with what. Just google Essential Oil + blending” or such.

  88. Evelyn Blythe says:

    My problem is this. I have very oily hair at the top and very dry hair at the bottom. I currently use the strongest shampoo at the top and the strongest conditioner on my ends and nary the twain shall meet. i cannot use a conditioning shampoo bar on the top half of my hair or it will just look greasy, i cannot forgo conditioner and use vinegar instead because it will almost certainly dry the bottom of my hair right up. I have looked everywhere for a conditioner recipe but I continually find that people suggest vinegar. Does anyone have any suggestions or am I stuck buying the very expensive all natural, organic conditioner? Does anyone have hair like mine and find that what she is suggesting works for them? I am open to any and all suggestions. thank you for your time and have a wonderful day!

    • I made this and it definitely doesn’t make your hair greasy….I would say it does a little of the opposite. I have really dry scalp and it seemed to make it worse.

  89. I love your blog. I have one question. I have PCOS, with that my hair has started to thin out in a few area’s. Do you have any suggestion that I can do to help either regrow or stop hair lose. Maybe something I can do to this soap for that? Conventional medicine has not helped, plus it is very expensive. I would much rather do it with natural ingredients if I can.

    • Gabesgrammie says:

      Jamaican Black Castor oil is great for growing hair, and making it thicker. I use a shampoo bar, (found in my local organic store, or something like this recipe would be great, just haven’t had the nerve yet to try 1) I also frequently use simply baking soda mixed with water, and rinse with my own hair “tea”: 2 cups apple cider vinegar ( raw, organic), bring to light boil, add 2 oz each of : lavender flowers, whole rosemary, horsetail dried herb, nettle leaves; remove from heat, steep for at least 30 minutes, strain and add 2 cups water. I keep this in my shower, put some in a glass, add warm water and rinse. Leave it on for a minute or two and then rinse out. You could leave it in, if you want. I find that for me, I tend to perspire a lot, and that does cause the vinegar to smell just a bit.
      If you are using heat appliances, and commercial shampoos and conditioners, you really should switch. I have thin hair, but using natural stuff like this, my hair is making a comeback!
      Best of luck!!!

    • Castor bean oil is great for your lashes, eye brows, or any scalp thinning. It has many uses just do some research online and you will be amazed.
      Hope this helps.

  90. i have almost all my supplies togther and ready to make my first batch. one last question to before i start. ALL ingredients are by WEIGHT not volume…including water and coconut milk?

  91. May I suggest your replace the bees wax with sodium lactate? Fine hair will not the drag from the bees wax and sodium lactate not only hardens soap faster, helps HP keep its shape, but also is conditioning as well. It actually feels a bit like jojoba so you could potentially leave jojoba out also.

    • Delores Boone how much of the sodium lactate would you recommend for this recipe?

      • Margo, that depends on how you like the feel of jojoba. You can use anywhere from 1/4 oz to 1 oz per pound of soap. Start with 1/2 oz. and see if you want to go, down or stick with 1/2. ; )

        • I have Sodium Lactate in a powdered form instead of liquid and I have been
          trying to find out how much I would add per pound of soap using the powder
          and can’t seem to get anyone that know, do you happen to know the answer? I
          love using the soduim lactate in my soaps. And if I would add the powder to
          my lye/water after it has cooled down some?

          • The liquid for soap making is a 60% solution. But I have never mixed it, so I am not sure if is it 60% by weight or ???

            The manufacturer of your sodium lactate SHOULD have send you two things with it. 1: A Material Safety Data Sheet (using OSHA standards) and directions, including how to mix into for a 60% solution for manufacturers who prefer to mix their own.

            If you have been using it lye without a problem, just do it that way. If you don’t have these two items you have gotten, I would contact the vendor to request these two items and/or chemical company who sells it and ask them how it is used (in lye) and how to make a 60% solution should they refuse – and consider using a vendor who does things they way they ought to be done.

    • How do we know what specific comment is being replied to on this site

  92. I tend to just buy lye at places like Lowes. It’s more per bottle, but after shipping from the places online, it evens out. At any rate, it isn’t sold as “lye” but if you look in the drain cleaner area look for one that has the only ingredient listed as “sodium hydroxide.” Might be helpful for those who don’t know where to order from, or don’t want to wait on shipping. 🙂

  93. I have beeswax for sale at the current moment!

  94. Made this recipe and was so excited to use it. I’ve been makeing my own CP soap for 2 years now and love doing it. However, when I used this on my hair it felt like I hadn’t washed my hair for 2 weeks. It left a lot of residue in my hair. I tried rinsing with ACV and the marshmellow root hair rinse and also rinsed with just water. Tried using it for a week and the results kept getting worse. My hair was full of static also. I live in a city with very hard water, so I thought maybe that was the problem. So I sent a bar to a friend that has very soft water and her experience was the same as mine.
    I really want to get away from using the horrible store bought shammpoos and conditioners, but this just didn’t work for me. Any suggestions?

    • Debra- From everything that I read, your hair and scalp will go through a sort of detox peroid that could take up to 2 months. I tried for a month going between the shampoo bar and a shampoo that I made with liquid castile soap. My hair was not getting any better and I was loosing a ton of it. I used the ACV rinse but that didn’t help. I can’t do anything to change the hard water that comes out of my shower head so I gave up. I couldn’t take gong to work every day looking like I did. I am really bummed. I use the shampoo bars that I made on the rest of me and I love them. If anyone has hard water issues and has figured out how to over come them please help!!! I can’t afford a water softener….

    • 1/4 cup coconut milk, 3 heaping tablespoons aloe vera gel. apply to scalp, massage, let rest 3 to 30 minutes, rinse. this is pH balanced, will not disrupt or harm your acid mantle (sebum production on your scalp), stimulates and promotes hair growth, and is edible. I have a detailed comment posted with more info.

  95. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I have actually been testing shampoo bars myself and I think this is a great step-by-step tutorial on how to make one!

  96. I always cure my soap for longer than 24 hours! 3/4 weeks at least to stop it from still beng caustic and let the water evaporate and its weight settle. It also hardens so easier to use.

    Essential oils also I always add at trace, not an hour later… As the process of cooking is already under way and they won’t blend!

  97. All these ingredients only cost you 8 to 10 dollars to make? I really would like to make it but I’m concerned with the cost. 🙂

  98. I’m getting ready to start making my own soap. I would love to make this because I have been doing the “no-poo” thing for about 6 months now…and my hair is just not responding to it. Anyhow, I wanted to ask you… do you also use this as your body soap? If I didn’t have to make two different batches I didn’t want to. hahaha. Thank you for the post and for your help.

  99. Fallon's Mommy says:

    I just made a batch yesterday and the color is totally different. Mine never went completely transparent either but I’ve made HP soap before and it did look like the consistency of Vaseline which I’ve come to understand is right… It’s a dark caramel color and smells like baked bread or some other food (well, cyst plus the tea tree oil I added before molding) which is weird to me, lol! I used it for the first time tonight and, having never used a shampoo bar before, my hair is super shiny but it feels a bit oily. I’m hoping that oily feeling doesn’t continually build up and accumulate over time as I really don’t want to have to go back to chemical-laden commercial shampoos. Oh, and I used the ACV rinse, too. Maybe I need to dilute it less…?

  100. I tried you shampoo bar recipe for my first attempt at making soap today, what fun! It looks like yours, I’m waiting till tomorrow to take it out of the mold and slice it into bars. Thanks for a great tutorial and recipe 🙂

  101. I have bought shampoo makign soap sets (a mixture of coconut, castor, olive, shea butter, jojoba, and palm) before and have found that it makes my hair, literally, squeaky clean. I think its doing too good of a job cleaning the natural oils? Will the ACV help with the squeaky factor? I would prefer no poo, to over cleansing. Just thought maybe you know what I mean?

  102. Hello! I am so glad I stumbled upon your site. I have since been reading articles on soap making processes, late into the night wayyyyy past my bedtime!
    I am in the middle of gathering all my supplies for all the recipes I would like to try (especially yours!) and I had a quick question for you….Do you think I would be able to use Sweet almond oil instead of the jojoba oil? would it make a difference in consistency or would it just simply be a different scent to the soap? Are they both carrier oils?

  103. Hey there! I’m new to this site and JUST beginning to try to take my enviro-views a step further and begin making changes towards sustainable living 🙂 I really want to tackle this recipe my only question is – I have sensitive/acne prone skin and I was wondering if you, or any of your readers know whether this recipe is safe to use for people with bad skin??

    I tend to get afraid of the word oil, even when they’re good ones. Any tips or other substitute ingredients would be greatly appreciated. As I am sooooo new to all this.

    LOVE what you’re doing 🙂 xo

  104. Hi I made this shampoo yesterday and it did not turn transparent and seemed to separate in the mold without setting up The bottom was almost a brown consistency. I stirred it to see if it will set that way. I live at a high altitude and was wondering if I should bake it more if it doesn’t set or just wait longer than 24hrs. Thank you in advance!

  105. I’m going to try this with patchouli essential oil as that is good for dandruff. My husband’s scalp and skin are so dry, hopefully it will be nourishing to his skin as well. I have to check which essential oils blend well with patchouli.

  106. Andrea, thanks so much for the recipe, we’ve had great success with use and I’ve now just made another batch. For those that are wondering if this would work for them, I highly suggest getting a bar from Andrea. We have softened water and have been using natural shampoo (my DH) and the no-poo/co-washing for about 2 years before using this bar for the last 6 months and love it. I didn’t have much success with the no-poo method (tried it fir 1 year as I wanted it to work plus ACV makes my hair look like an oil slick-yes, I did dilute it) and tried cowashing but wasn’t really happy with the results. The shampoo bar was the answer for us. I did use the bar at my Mother-in-laws with well water and my hair felt like straw after the second use. Was it the water? Did I need an adjustment period? I’m not really sure. As for my hair, I am 42 with fine hair and about 2/3 of white/ gray hair and the rest is light brown hair (I look like a platinum blond with highlights). My DH has thick salt and pepper and always had dandruff unless he used that nasty dandruff shampoo, Nizoral. When he began using natural shampoo (he choose one with tea tree oil), the dandruff, for the most part,resolved itself. And, I’m excited to say, he’s had no dandruff since he’s used the shampoo bar!

    As for the recipe on my second batch, I did add .6 oz of sodium lactate to allow me to cool the soap more so my EOs wouldn’t flash off and still allow the soap to be at a loose enough consistency to easily scoop into my mold. I’ve also read it makes for a harder bar, a must have as this is a soft bar with all the butters in it. I also used low fat coconut milk because on the first batch my coconut milk/lye mixture turned into a solid mass and I was unable to use it. Lastly, I added about 1 tbsp. of honey after I cooked the soap for the extra moisturizing properties as it is a humectant. This batch cooked a little different and i think better than the first, and the first batch was the first time I ever made soap. Andrea, because of you, I am hooked on making hot processed soap…Thanks, you are a dear and I love your blog.

  107. how much does a batch cost and about how long does it last you?

  108. Is this soap safe to use on the body? Since if I use it in the shower, it will run down my body? Just wondering because of the lye.

    • With Andrea’s recipe, you should have no excess lye as it is superfatted, meaning the lye reacts with the oils to make soap and there is excess oil left to moisturize. FYI-I love this soap for my body as it isn’t stripping and leaves my skin moisturized (I have softened water), but must admit we definitely go through a lot more bars of soap.

  109. Can this recipe be made as a liquid soap? (from the start)

  110. could i use glycerin instead of lye?

  111. Can i use linseed oil instead of jojoba oil?

  112. Great recipe!
    I do have one question… I’m scared about lye! How come this very dangerous product is good for our hair? I use that stuff to unclog pipes!!!

    • Lye is what turns oils and butters into soap. If it is made with the right proportions of lye to oils/butters, then there shouldn’t be any lye left in the soap to cause harm. Andrea uses the hot process method which speeds (about 1 to 3 hours of cooking) up the chemical process (saponification) of lye and oils/butters to soap and theoretically (I use the soap, but some people disagree about this) the soap can be used immediately. Cold process does not include the addition of heat, therefore requires a curing process (about 4 – 6 weeks) for the chemical process to fully complete.

      • Just want to say your article is as asundoting. The clearness in your publish is just excellent and that i can assume you’re a professional on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thank you 1,000,000 and please continue the enjoyable work.

  113. Is lye bad for the hair? If it is, do you know of any alternative ingredient to put in the recipe?

    • This has been answered many time. Although this post is old it still comes up so for anyone new reading this:
      First I suggest you learn and understand the process before starting to make soap….it is pretty simple.
      It is a chemical process where the lye is used up in the process. Properly made soap with any superfatting will NOT have any lye left in it….period! So since there is none there, it cannot have any detrimental effect on your hair, skin etc.

  114. Hi,
    I wonder lye( sodium hydroxide is not harsh for the skin? When I was young my father was making soap bar using NaOH for laundry bar. He also made shower soap bar using coconut oil and he used KOH( potassium hydroxide) . So where can we get potassium hydroxide?


  115. How many bars of soap does this recipe make? I can’t wait to try it!!!

  116. Does anyone know if you can use a silicone bread mold for this recipe? Thanks!

    • I just started making soap and yes a silicone bread mold will work. I have a silicone 8×8 mold that I have used for hot processed soap that I purchased awhile back. It worked just fine!

    • If you use Essential Oils, or Fragrance Oils, it may stay on the silicone mold. So, if you want to use it for foodstuff later, don’t use fragrance of any type. I used silicone loaf pans and the smell of the essential oils will not come out. Now they are my soap molds only.

  117. Will be doing this after Thanksgiving with my 22 year old daughter. We are pushing hard towards self-reliance and a homesteading lifestyle in our household, so this will be a great step towards saving money, avoiding the nasties in manufactured soap/shampoo, and being self-reliant.

    Once we do this one, we’re going to do some of the recipes that use lard/tallow and eventually develop a few core recipes.


  118. Hi,
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE a version of shampoo from Lush that has seaweed and sea salt in it. I’m wondering if I could add sea salt to the bar soap? I think I would add it after trace but not sure and i have no idea on how much salt to add if i follow your recipe above. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance,

  119. I am leaning towards using glycerine instead of lye. Would I use the same amount as the lye and would the preparation be the same also?
    Thank you..

    • Please do some research on soap making and understand the process before you start. Glycerin will NOT make soap out of oil ! !

  120. Is there a recipe this easy with just one oil, say Olive Oil? I really can’t afford to buy a lot of oils. Thanks for sharing.

  121. Andrea this is awesome! I have been collecting different shampoo recipes to see which ones I like best for my hair (I’ve got this crazy mop which I’m always looking for easier ways to deal with!) Right now I’m using an herbal shampoo recipe I put together and it is okay for now but I want to try this one soon!

  122. Do you weigh your liquids too?
    I did and if I wasn’t supposed to will it affect the sop badly?

  123. I tried wading through the comments to get an answer to this question, but finally gave up. 🙂 I tried the recipe with a crockpot from a garage sale, and it must be one of the newer models that doesn’t have a really low setting, and the oils got pretty warm. The mixture was bubbling a little on the sides by the end of the hour, and 24 hours later, it was practically fused to the wax paper in the mold. I was able to get it out and it looks like soap … but is it okay to use as shampoo? Or just as regular soap? How hot is too hot? It didn’t really “fold over on itself” and become completely transparent, either. I’d appreciate any expert opinion! Thanks.

  124. I am genuinely happy to glance at this webpage posts which
    carries lots of valuable data, thanks for providing such information.

  125. I reccomend NOT using the soap until it has cured. There is some lye still active and you can tell if it is still too ‘hot’ by touching the soap with the tip of your tounge if it has a bite or acidy feel its not ready it could burn sensitive skin and scalp. I am not saying your skin will peel off lol but it could be horrible if it got in your eyes. Usually 4 weeks is safe but you can test it via toungue if you are impatient. it should not burn your toungue whe you just touch the tip to the bar. Don’t roll it around in your mouth of course, just a quick touch should be fine. Or you can get all scientific and find some way to test the acidity without tasting it.

  126. Malizabet says:

    Hi Andrea: I have been reading about conditioning bars. What are your thoughts on these vs the ACV rinse?

  127. PinkZebra says:

    Andrea, u say u dont buy commercial products in the stores because ur worried about toxic chemicals. but then in the same breath (next paragraph) u list Lye as the first ingredient??!! Ummm, that’s a toxic chemical sweetheart. different things work for different people. i wish u the best on ur soap making journey. Howerver, i will NOT be making soap with your recipe. let alone, putting it on my body.

    • Pinkzebra, you need to do some more research. You will learn that without lye, you don’t have SOAP! Even the commercial soap you buy has had lye added to it at some point.
      The lye CONVERTS the oils into soap. If you follow basic safety precautions, it’s not dangerous to use or in the finished products.

      I think she has a great blog 🙂

    • Gabesgrammie says:

      You can’t make real soap without lye. It CHANGES during the soap making process, and is NO LONGER LYE!!!!!
      Gosh, how many times must that be said in this post?
      I have read all these comments and still readers aren’t reading that LYE is CHANGED during the soap making process and is NO LONGER LYE!!!!!

  128. OK, so I made the soap (first timer) and know a few things for next time, like I need a better quality scale as mine is a very cheap one, so I estimated the quantities as best as possible. But a few things did not happen as outlined in your recipe:
    I measured the water and milk by volume (in a measuring cup) Everything else I measured by weight.
    When I added the lye I was expecting a big reaction. The bottom of the glass measuring cup got hot but I was expecting something bigger. As I set while I prepared the oils it seems to separate, brownish at the bottom and a creamer substance at the top. The glass never got that hot.
    I melted the oils, added the lye potion and it took about 10 minuted till it came to trace. I felt good about that. At the end of 1hr it didn’t seem too transparent to me, so I continued cooking in another 1/2 hour before pouring it into the molds. Now that the soap (hopefully) is in the molds it is transparent, but it is brown. As I wash the dishes afterward it does feel soapy but leaves a certain oily feel on my hands. Is that normal? I also assume it is safe to run the used dishes, ie crockpot and utensils, through the dishwasher along with my other dishes?
    Does any of this sound normal? Did I successfully make soap? Thank you for your input.

    • Maryeline Alvarenga says:

      This is exactly what happened to me, and i wash my hair with the soap my hair feels so dried out but greasy at the same time. :/ i invested so much money on the ingredients i’m sort of upset. I thought my soap had lye so i rebatched it. And my hair feels oily as ever.

      • The recipe, & several more times in the comments specified EVERYTHING is to be measured by weight. This is likely the problem you’re experiencing.

  129. Cool! I totally want to try this and some of the other cool things on your site. Now following you everywhere! (That sounds weird. I mean on the internet and in a totally non-creepy way.)

  130. I made your shampoo bars on Sunday. I finally used it last night. I was surprised to feel my hair so squeaky clean. I spritzed with a cider/water hair feels so soft. Thanks for sharing your recipes. I look forward to receiving your emails! 🙂 by the way….this was the first all the way from scratch soap that I have ever made. Thankyou and have a wonderful day!

  131. Hair has a pH of 4 to 5.5, so to not disrupt your acid mantle (sebum production on your scalp) you should only use pH balanced shampoos. I have done a lot of research on this, I have also attended beauty school so I can say this is true. Using highly alkaline solutions on your hair (baking soda, bronners soaps, etc.) though it feels soft and manageable that is really the disulfide bonds in your internal hair structure being weakened by the alkaline solution.The colors and perms that are performed use this method to work, they “open up” your hair to deposit the color or permanent, then a clarifying shampoo is used to “close” your hair and lock the color or permanent in. To then bring your hair down to it’s proper pH a acidic solution (apple cider vinegar) when using a alkalinic cleanser is used, this is called clarifying. This is not healthy for your hair or your scalp. There is a great tutorial on youtube on your hair’s pH and why this rollercoaster up and down the pH scale is highly disruptive. The maker of these tutorials is a licensed salon owner and stylist. You can check her out at KimmayTube on youtube. Or, you can ask any stylist that you know. This is why so many shampoos on the market advertise that it is pH balanced. Because that is very important. So forcing your hair to go up to an 8 or 9 and then forcing it back down to a 4.5 in a short period of time is very damaging. If you would like to keep your hair in it’s proper pH, and love making homemade beauty products, then mix 1/4 cup of coconut milk (store bought or homemade both are fine) and 3 heaping tablespoons of aloe vera gel (lily of the desert), shake well, strain through cheesecloth to remove aloe fibers, and wallah! You have pH balanced shampoo that cleanses your hair, stimulates growth of your hair, and is edible! Food for your hair! Refrigerate after use, it generally has a 1 week shelf life. You can find this recipe on youtube as well. I find that if you pour it on your scalp only, and massage and let rest till you are done with your shower, then rinse, it is magic on your hair. Just google all the benefits of aloe vera, and you will see. Then google all the benefits of coconut milk, and you will see again. This shampoo has been so amazing, I can’t ever imagine using anything else ever again.

    • Hi Amanda
      I tried this recipe for about a week but it left my hair soooo greasy, it felt so soft and nice but the grease was too much, Im wondering if I did something wrong or will this go away eventually?

    • Hi Amanda
      I tried this recipe for about a week but it made my hair soo greasy, it was really soft thats forsure but the grease was too much, just wondering if this goes away eventually or if theres something I could change?

  132. Hi Andrea – basic question here, but what sort of volume does your crock pot hold? I need to buy an old one to do this, and I’ve found a mini monier crockpot for sale, and not sure if it’s big enough. Waiting for the seller to get back to me with the size.
    Many thanks

    • The standard old monier crockpot size was 3 quarts (litres here in Australia). I assume this would be around the same?

      • Surely it is possible to make this soap cold process without the crockpot and pour directly into the mold after trace? Drying maybe a bit longer, but should result in smoother bars.

  133. Okay, a couple of questions – I’m allergic to beeswax and olive oil, can I sub candelilla wax and use almond oil instead? I’m so close to being totally away from all commercial products!! This is about my last step. We’re even making our own homemade laundry detergent and using wool balls for fabric softener!! Lastly, I’m allergic to apples and can’t use ACV! What else could I use instead? Regular vinegar? Yes, I have too many allergies (darn immune disorder!). Thanks!

    • Renee, you might be interested in this information:

      After taking colostrum with high peptide content (Proline rich Polypeptides [PRPs]), the immune and more specifically the cytokine system is balanced. All food allergies are manifested by a TH2 cytokine cascade. If the proteins in milk cause an imbalance in TH2 then the PRPs will rebalance it right away.

      I have had wonderful results with Symbiotics Colostrum from and I just ordered Immune Tree colostrum from to see how that is. Colostrum is one of the best supplements I’ve ever taken. If you need a coupon code for iherb, PEY561 will give you $5-$10 off and their shipping is free in the U.S. They also have some of the soap making ingredients if anyone is interested, but I couldn’t wait and bought mine locally.

  134. Can you tell me the PH of these soaps/shampoos?

  135. Can you tell me the PH of these soaps/shampoos?

  136. Leave out the beeswax and lower jojoba to 1 oz and castor to 2.5 oz and you will get plenty of suds and drastically cut the softening power of your recipe. It is better to use sodium lactate to help harden a soap recipe than beeswax. Of course, you will need to recalculate the water and lye (5%) amounts.

  137. I’ve been using “dripped” lye for ages to make soap at butcher time and beyond. So many folks think “lye” makes something harsh and strong, but it’s the opposite. Lye soap is gentle and rinses “clean” with no added chemicals to harm you.

  138. trudy bell says:

    why when i put your recipe thruogh the lye calculater it comes up sayimg use 0to 0oz of lye

  139. Oh my God, some of these comments are too funny, it’s Obvious that several people didn’t even read through all the information before they launched into a “Lye is Baaaaaaaad!!!” rant. I read everything I could get my grubby little hands on before I even attempted my first batch of Hot Process (last August), I checked every book I could find on the subject out and devoured them I joined message boards and read read read, I suggest the new comers to soap making do the same, there is tons to learn! For everyone that is scared of lye, I was too, that is why it took me a full 2 years before I attempted my first batch. My suggestion is again, to read everything you can find and please please please wear your safety equipment!! All it akes is one split second of inattention and you could spill your lye mixture or splash it or rub your eye (if not wearing goggles) and you could get seriously injured.

    About the lye, you can not sub anything else, you NEED lye for the chemical reaction with the oils/butters to change them from oils/butters into soap, EVERY soap on the market starts with oils/butters and LYE, every one! No lye….no soap it’s as simple as that. Even if you decide to work with melt and pour soap (because lye scares you) it started with Lye (and oils/butters) you just don’t have to bother with actual lye as you would be working with a finished soap product. PinkZebra specifically, do some research, all soap starts out with lye, it is NOT in the finished product because of the chemical reaction that takes place when soap is made, the original poster of the recipe and directions obviously did not want you to buy a bottle of lye flakes or beads and rub them in your nice wet hair which would cause you some nice red burns! Common sense people…

    Another thing that seems to be confusing to some, this recipe is made in the Hot Process method (cooked in a crockpot, though there are other ways to do hot process), TECHNICALLY you can use your soap after unmolding (12 to 24 hours after glopping into the mold) but I find a 3 week cure makes the soap milder and it lasts longer, longer is better, I have some castile that has cured for 6 months now and is heaven! Cold Process needs at least 6 weeks to cure…the longer the better for both methods though.

    Soap making is not cheap, my first order to Brambleberry was over $250.00! That was for not readily available oils and butters, a scale, lye (I get the flakes due to the lovely static in our house), and essential oils which are Not cheap if you buy quality oils. Just a fair warning to those who think it is cheap to get into.

    Also those who think they can whip out soap and make a bundle of money selling it, I reccomend you make soap for at least a year to work the kinks out of your recipes, get info on how the soap behaves, does the scent stay or vanish in a month or two, does it develope DOS (dreaded orange spots) etc….a lot can go wrong even after your soap is finished! Oh, and then there is product liability insurance incase someone gets it in their mind to sue you if your soap gives them an irritation or they slip in the shower and decide to blame your soap, insurance is needed in this sue happy day and age. i’m not about to lose my house because someone didn’t read the lable of my soap and realized after they used it that they are deathly allergic to shea butter! Insurance for soapmakers runs $500.00 per year and UP.

    Now, if you got through my blathering you should be on the right track to get started making soap, let me reccomend The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Natural Soap, a great easy to understand read! And please remember the goggles and gloves….and have fun (but not with kids or animals around!!). I have made hundreds of bars of soap and find it a great hobby but am nowhere near even thinking about selling (I’m also saving up for insurance!).

    • You’ve made some great points.

      Shea butter is likened unto an apricot kernel or an avocadoe seed, not a “tree nut”. While nut allergies are dangerous and people should seek advice from their doctor/allergist/naturopath before using Shea butter, there has been no scientific evidence of it affecting those with nut allergies.

  140. Oh and one other thing, there is no such thing as coconut essential oil, if you want coconut scented soap you will need to use fragrance oil.

  141. I think its very important that you mention this is a hot process recipe. Great recipe but if a beginner came to the site and didn’t know it …that could be a bad thing if they started as a cold process method not realizing it. Sometimes folks get excited over a new recipe, they gather the ingredients and skim thru and may miss that fact….esspecially since you mentioned both methods in the intro.

    I’m glad to hear about the book…can’t wait to get it.

  142. Important to mention for those allergic to shea butter (tree nuts) , mango butter can be used instead.

  143. Hi!
    I cant wait to try this! I was going to order some shampoo bars from Chagrin Valley but I would rather make my own! just wondering, if i don’t have a stick blender, could I transfer the mix from the crockpot into an actual blender, and then from there pour it into the mould? Im a cheap college student and I was hoping to not have to buy a stick blender!
    Thanks 🙂

    • Or I guess I meant to say: could I put it into a blender until its “trace” and then pour it back into the crockpot until it is ready to go into the mold. Sorry if I sound ridiculous haha

      • Erin, if you were doing cold process you could do that, although blender soap is not something I would ever try, if that cover flys off you have an EXTREAMLY dangerous mess all over your kitchen, and very possibly all over YOU! Stick blenders can be had for a mere $20.00 at Walmart or even order one from amazon, a stick blender is very much worth the money. I guess technically you could do it with hot process too but you couldn’t dump the soap right into molds you would have to dump it into a crockpot (a soap dedicated crockpot). Making your own soap is not as cheap as everyone seems to think, molds, FO or EO, oils and butters really add up, plus equipments (goggles, gloves, crockpot, stickblender, measuring cups (plastic, not glass whick can explode with lye in it), colorings (either natural or oxides, ultramarines, all are not terribly expensive but do take a bite out of your budget. Seriously no one ever makes just One batch of soap, it is seriously addicting!!

        Best of luck and above all, be SAFE!!! :0)

        • Awesome thank you for your reply! I think I will definitely buy a stick blender, going to check the second hand store for an old crock pot so I dont have to give up on using mine for other things. It definitely does cost a lot of money to make the transition to natural/home made products but in the end it is so worth it! I cant bear giving my hard earned money to big commercial companies who test on animals etc. This option is so much better.
          thanks again!

          • Hi Erin;

            You don’t necessarily need a crock pot to make hot process soap. If you have an oven proof dish that is large enough to hold your batch, you can use that instead. Just turn your oven on to it’s lowest setting and put your soap in the oven proof dish and let it “cook” on the lowest setting for an hour or so. It might need to be in there for up to 4 hours, just keep checking it. When it’s done cooking it will be transclucent and ready to pour into the moulds. Happy soap crafting!

  144. Hi! My husband and I are going to try this recipe and we are really excited! I have a question though. Is this strictly a shampoo bar or can you use it as a bod soap as well? We are looking for a recipe that can be used as both. Thanks!

    • The first recipe that I created was remarkably similar to this one with the exception of the Jojoba, I like creating my own recipes. I actually have used most of my soaps as shampoo, some more sucessfully than others (my salt bars are pretty awesome on my super duper oily hair), you could totally use this recipe on your body and it would be great! :0)

  145. Also, can I add tea tree oil to this recipe? Or will it mess anything up? If I can use it, which step should I mix it in with?

    • Erin, if you were doing cold process you could do that, although blender soap is not something I would ever try, if that cover flys off you have an EXTREAMLY dangerous mess all over your kitchen, and very possibly all over YOU! Stick blenders can be had for a mere $20.00 at Walmart or even order one from amazon, a stick blender is very much worth the money. I guess technically you could do it with hot process too but you couldn’t dump the soap right into molds you would have to dump it into a crockpot (a soap dedicated crockpot). Making your own soap is not as cheap as everyone seems to think, molds, FO or EO, oils and butters really add up, plus equipments (goggles, gloves, crockpot, stickblender, measuring cups (plastic, not glass whick can explode with lye in it), colorings (either natural or oxides, ultramarines, all are not terribly expensive but do take a bite out of your budget. Seriously no one ever makes just One batch of soap, it is seriously addicting!!

      Best of luck and above all, be SAFE!!! :0)

  146. Ashleigh says:

    Sorry if you already posted this, but I didn’t see it in your blog. How many bars of soap does this yield?

    • For a 32 oz batch (counting oils only) In my mold (Brambleberry), I get 8 to 9 bars depending on if I use my cutter to cut (I get 8) or just use a knife (I get 9 a tad smaller bars).

  147. I just got a bar of the Jasmine shampoo from your Etsy site above. It smells delicious and I love it so far. I just may have to start making my own. Thanks for sharing the soap and the recipe.

  148. Maryam Nanoh Gyet says:

    pls i would like to know if this recipe is for shampoo soap or just ordinary soap??

  149. I would like to make apple cider vinegar shampoo bar. Do you have any info on how to do it?


  150. NICKY-G says:


  151. What about glycerin.Can’t the lye be too harsh?And acv I use it straight no chaser ts est for me ths way but everyone is different.

  152. I just started researching and am brand new to this concept. I had one question, can you use these to make liquid shampoo by grating it?

    • From what I have been told, liquid soap has to have preservatives. That’s one reason why shampoo soap bars are recommended.

    • Christina says:

      you probably can….and it is true liquid soap/shampoo has to have preservatives. However, if you do it, only make smaller quantities that you will use up within 30 days. You could probably google it. This site might have some info (she uses vitamin e oil to preserve lotion bars but IDK if it would work for shampoo liquid.) And i made these lotion bars…heavenly! Like velvet on the skin!

  153. Why beeswax? Your recipe is the same as my regular soap recipe minus the wax. Wouldn’t the wax built up in your hair? Is there a specific hair benefit using it? Not criticizing, just looking for the best recipe.
    I’ve also tried ACV as a conditioner both diluted and undiluted. I go about my day smelling like it and feel embarrassed around others. I truly want to stop using shampoo and conditioner. Those are the only toxic produces I use. I make everything else. Is there anything else I can use as conditioner that would soften long curly hair?

  154. If anybody is online right now who can tell me if something is going terribly wrong with this recipe – everything has been going well so far until I looked at the crockpot five minutes after mixing the lye mixture into the oil mixture (I forgot to put the cover on) and it has risen way over the top of the crockpot. I heard a weird hiss or fizzing noise so I unplugged the crockpot. Frankly, I’m scared to go near it. Could this whole thing blow?

  155. Since I unplugged it the whole thick frothy mass has sunk back down, and I poked it with the end of a wooden spoon and there seems to be liquid underneath. I have put the lid on and turned the crockpot back on to low. Does this all sound okay?

  156. I think it’s turning into a very expensive disaster. It’s already almost solid in the crockpot and just breaks into chunks when I try to stir it.

  157. Michelle says:

    For the essential oils for all hair types you recommended lime & coconut oil, where can I find coconut essential oil? All I could find was synthetic, which I want no part of. Please help!

    • Gabesgrammie says:

      Go buy a jar of coconut oil, found in the oil section of your local organic store. When warmed, it turns to liquid oil.

  158. @Michelle, there is no such thing as Coconut essential oil, any coconut scent you will find will be a fragrance oil.

  159. @ Michelle, sorry forgot to add that you should be looking for coconut oil, actually organic coconut oil, it is not a scent, it is an oil that is solid below 75 degrees. I buy mine from Trader Joes, it is kind of expensive @ $7.00 for 16oz, though non organic can be found at most soap making supply sources (Brambleberry is great!).

    @ Marilyn, wow, Volcano!! That has never happened to me but sounds like you acted fast (unplugging was the thing to do) I doubt the batch was salvaged….did you use a stick blender or just stir in the lye? Did you get to trace? Your crockpot could have been too hot or the batch too big for the size crockpot you used. Have you tried a new batch?

    @ Nicky G, soapmaking IMO is not about saving money, it is about knowing exactly what you are getting in your soap and the pride of making and using something you created on your own. Actually soapmaking is very expensive to get started on and making one or two batches will cost you way more than a years worth of grocery store soap but once you’ve tried handmade soap you MAY never go back (some folks prefer their Ivory or Caress, nothing wrong with that…my husband uses my soap for his hands but is a diehard Ivory fan in the shower!).

    • I am so glad to FINALLY hear someone say that making your own soap IS expensive to get started. It definitely is!!! All the ingredients and utensils to start with. Then comes the ingredients. Depending on what you use to make you soap depends on just how costly it is. Even when I started out I used least expensive ingredients but it was still costly. Now that I am more educated on the different ingredients I use luxurious ingredients in my soaps and it has become even more expensive. Soap making is addictive. I buy every oil I can get my hand on looking for that absolutely PERFECT recipe that does everything I want it to do. With my luck it was probably just the 3 oil recipe after all. Olive oil, coconut oil and palm.

  160. C.S. Stone says:

    Can something be substituted for the lye? ( if asked already, I apologize.. wasn’t up for reading ALL of the comments.)

  161. A little side note to this blog, for all you persons that love liquid soaps there is a very nice Cream Soap Recipe you can do-also in the crock-pot using KOH instead of NaOH Lye. The consistency is not snot like at all. You can make it up and use small amounts at a time and store the rest in the fridge. Catherine Failor has a wonderful book on the subject and Alicia Grosso has a recipe and some good info here: Love the site Andrea! Keep up the good work!

  162. ACK! Okay, I admit it! I am a newbie to soap making but I put this stuff in my crock pot, started it and walked away, went back just 6 minutes later and what WAS just a couple of inches of liquid in the bottom of the pot is now FILLING my crock pot, growing up and touching the lid! PLEASE tell me that is normal! And how much does this recipe make anyway! WOW!

  163. Rebecca says:

    If your hair is long like mine, have you done hair oil treatments? These things are so easy I swear! My favorite recipe is as follows

    2 tbsp Coconut Oil
    1 Tbsp Sweet Almond oil
    1 Tbsp Jojoba Oil
    Essential Oil of your choice to your taste. I use clove. Tea Tree is great for dandruff but very harsh.

    Rub into scalp and massage into hair follicles. Let sit for an hour, wash as normal repeat once a week. (And be sure you’re not over washing your hair. It causes more problems than it solves.)

    I’m not a fan of natural news. I’ve read through their articles and I’m convinced they’re the fox news of the alternative health community. (Not that fox news is incredible, just that it uses scare tactics) I lost all trust in the source when their article on fluoride claimed it was added to the water supply in Nazi concentration camps to make the inmates more docile. As a history professor, I can assure you this is a falsehood and any credible news source would’ve known this.

    I also didn’t like how the linked article claimed a “correlation” not a cause. And further in rats. While rats are a great testing pool for research, dogs are much better when it comes to toxicity of such things. Furthermore, there was no such thing listed as an LD50 (or Lethal Dose at which 50% of the population dies) how much of these chemicals were these rats given? And in what method? I digress.

  164. I just made this soap but I used canned coconut milk and it curdled! It turned a yellow color. I went ahead and used it but I am afraid I ruined it! Has this happened to you?

  165. David Fraiser says:

    Lye is extremely hazardous…why would anyone who’s trying to get away from harsh chemicals think using lye is safe??? Lye is used in, among others things, drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and hair straighteners. Just touching it or accidentally breathing it in can cause serious damage. No thanks.

    • AtihcnocVM says:

      I can give you an answer about that, but I think is better for you to investigate what happens with SH (lye) after being mixed with oils?

      Remember knowledge is power!!

    • Gabesgrammie says:

      READ, please: LYE is CHANGED during the soapmaking process and is NO LONGER LYE!!!

  166. I started making soap about 5 yrs ago, I started because I have very delicate skin, and because since I remembered I want to learn how soap is making, why? I really don’t know, but now is one of my very good addictions, a very expensive one if we want to add essential oils and get crazy with all the exotic oils and nice molds and stuff that exist in the market.

    I have and advice to the new ones, please read a lot, explore a lot, check the videos, check the web pages that can teach you all about soap,about the different types of making soap, CP, HP, OP, etc. etc. etc. you will find there is one that works for you. You have to learn how to use the lye calculator, what kind of utensils you can use etc. etc. remember “Knowledge is power”.
    Making soap is not a simple craft, it is that ,if you just use the “melt and pour”base that exist in the market and that are not really soap but a detergent with a lot of chemicals to produce something that will feel nice in your skin, but that is a detergent and not soap.

    I’m the kind of person who likes to investigate a lot before start doing something, the history, the basics, the popular etc. that’s how I discover the history about soap, let me put a little bit of the basic history about how soap started, maybe that will awake in you the desire of investigate more about this beautiful art. Do you know why is called soap? well here is a little bit of history:

    According to Roman legend, soap was named after Mount Sapo, an ancient site of animal sacrifices. After an animal sacrifice, rain would wash the animal fat and ash that collected under the ceremonial altars down the slopes to the banks of the Tiber River. Women washing clothes in the river noticed that if they washed their clothes in certain parts of the river after a heavy rain their clothes were much cleaner. Thus the emergence of the first soap – or at least the first use of soap.
    A soap-like material found in clay cylinders during the excavation of ancient Babylon is evidence that soapmaking was known as early as 2800 B.C. Inscriptions on the cylinders say that fats were boiled with ashes, a soap-making method.

    So now you know why soap is called like that, it was because of the Monte Sapo.

    As you can read, they used to make soap by mixing ash and fats (lye was made in the past by burning wood= ash) some people know how to make it in the present, but with all the technology we have now is easier just to order our lye online, at least for me as I will not have an idea about the strength of the lye make it by burning wood.

    You are afraid of something when you don’t know it, that’s why it is so important to read a lot, and learn as much as we can about a product, in this case “Sodium or Potassium Hydroxide”, we have to show some respect to them as they are a dangerous product that can burn a lot, but showing the respect they deserve it we can use it with confidence. I been using both products for about 5 yrs and never ever had and accident.

    Why we have to read and learn a lot? Example: do you know which one are the oils and the percentages recommended to be used in a basic soap? and why?
    Do you know the iodine value of your soap? and why is that important?
    Which one are the cleansing oils? and which one are the base oils of your soap? Each oil and butter has a different property and a different use, which ones are the moisturizers?
    Why distilled water is used in making soap? What is trace? what is a superfat? etc. etc.
    I can continue with the basic questions, that’s why it is very important to learn about soap making.
    Making soap can be a rewarding addiction but as well if you don’t know what are you doing, you can be the cause of a strong skin dermatitis or a skin burning caused by you to your family and friends.

    I can see a lot of you asking how many bars you will obtain from the recipe posted in here, or complaining about the recipe because make it your hair feel oily, if you knew how to manage the soap calculator (there is a few online) you will know the qualities of the soap you want to make, as well the amount of batch you are making, maybe you will like to make a bigger batch, well that’s why is very good to know the basics of soap and that includes to learn how to calculate the batch of soap you want to make with the qualities you need in your soap.

    Good luck!!

  167. Maryeline Alvarenga says:

    I did this exact recipe and my hair became super dried out, but at the same time greasy. I have really fine wavy/curly hair. Usually i don’t have any problems with my hair.

  168. AtihcnocVM says:

    I forgot about this:
    Glycerin is not a lye, is a sub product obtained by saponification of fats and oils it is a simple polyol (sugar alcohol) compound.

    Glycerin is an alcohol that has a high moisturizing quality because of his hygroscopic nature.

  169. AtihcnocVM says:

    This is for Andrea:

    Thank you for sharing your recipe, I been making shampoo bar for a year and learned that one recipe maybe works for some and other recipe maybe work for others, at least in my experience and with my family and friends.
    Some of my shampoo bar works wonderfully for my sister and niece but not for my husband, so for hubby I make another recipe that works, and for me another one completely different.
    I like the oils in your recipe, I will try it.

    Again thank you for sharing the recipe.

    A big hug.

  170. As a soapmaker for over 10 years, I must caution that you NEVER leave a pot unattended during the post-trace phase of the hot-process method (this is the method you are using). You have to make sure that when the mixture “folds over on itself” that you stir it back down to avoid a very dangerous raw soap volcano spilling forth all over your counter. As with all toxic chemicals, Lye must be respected for the medium that it is. After saponification all Lye is gone as it has gone through a chemical reaction. Before attempting to use Lye or make soap, please educate yourselves so you do not get burned or even blinded. Always have vinegar on-hand to neutralize any raw soap or lye that may splash on you or elsewhere. Simply pour it on the area it is on. One last not, once a utensil, pot, etc. has been used with lye, it needs to NEVER be used for food again. Go to the dollar store and buy designated utensils.
    Sorry this turned out to be such a, pardon the pun, “soapbox”, but safety first!

  171. Monica I couldn’t have said it any better! I have been making soap for a couple of years but you have to respect the ingredients and the process. This is not something that you can put together and then wander away – not even for a minute! This soap is by far the best soap that we have ever used and I know each and every ingredient. I urge anyone who is struggling to really read and learn about soap-making. Watch a Youtube video so you can see what happens at each step. I recently took a group of friends through a step-by-step hot process and they were surprised how frightened they were before and how straightforward it was by the end. Blessings to you all.

  172. Andrea, thank you thank you! You are so generous to share your wonderful “recipes” with us. You are such an awesome, amazing person! I made this shampoo bar this week and it is Heavenly!! I didn’t put enough EO in it though. Totally my fault. It is still wonderful though. I wanted to ask a “soap” question. Does soap “Stink” all the time while cooking? I am still pretty much a novice at soapmaking and was wondering if it is MY soap, or it always smells like that. Now, I did make Lavender soap and the dried lavender buds made it smell better after it was done cooking and I put those in it. Thanks everyone!

  173. Oh, one more question: Andrea, on your shampoo recipe it does not list Palm Oil, but on your shampoo bars that you sell it lists Palm Oil as an ingredient. Could you please clarify for me? Thanks so much!

  174. Please check out for more Amish home made soap and Amish products such as pins, dolls furniture, etc. All products that are for sale are made by the Amish community. Thanks and more power to you.

  175. I made this recipe minus the beeswax but in a cold process method (and, of course, recalculated the lye and water). I let it cure for 5-6 weeks and used it. By the third day of washing, I could barely get a comb through it (I have fairly straight to some wave fine caucasian hair). I used an ACV rinse on the second and third washes in order to clarify and cut the oil to no avail. It just made my hair feel coated, coarse, and thick. My boyfriend said it felt like a horse’s mane, lol. With all the oils, I just don’t know how it wouldn’t coat the hair and make it feel this way. This could be great for African American hair — has anyone chimed in with that type of hair? I would love to make my own shampoo soap, but don’t see how it wouldn’t make the hair feel waxy and coated. I love it on my body so far, though 🙂

    • Hi Lisa, I haven’t seen any African American replies on this site but I have given several sample bars to a few of my AA friends and have had good reports from them. I have used my recipe on my hair for several months and love the results however, my daughter didn’t like it so much so I made her a bar with more shea butter in it and different EO’s and she loves this one. I would suggest you look at the amounts of fats your using and more importantly the EO’s, depending on the EO’s can greatly effect the way the soap behaves in your hair. Don’t give up, natural home made soaps are the best way to go. I posted my recipe several weeks ago but I haven’t heard back from the readers that wanted it to know if they made it, used it and liked it or hated it. Happy Soaping

  176. Okay, I lied. This was actually an amalgam of a tea tree shampoo bar and this recipe. Specifically, my recipe was:
    castor oil 14.3%
    cocoa butter 4.8%
    coconut oil (76 degrees) 28.6%
    Jojoba oil 4.8%
    olive oil (pomace) 14.3%
    palm oil 28.6%
    shea butter 4.8%
    I also used 1.5 ounces of tea tree oil. It has a nice tea tree smell and I will use it as a body soap, but it seems way too heavy for hair shampoo. If anyone has insight as to what needs to be adjusted, awesome. I’m willing to try another recipe — yours, Wanda. Worst that can happen is it becomes body soap, right?

    • Lol never lie when we’re dealing with lye. I think your recipe may be a bit off but I don’t if you ran it thur a lye calulator. Go google soapcalu and punch in your ingredients. Leave out the cocoa butter that’s a great butter but in my view its to heavy for a shampoo bar. Try using equal amount of coconut oil, olive oils, sweet almond oil and castor oil. Then superfat at .7% total oils, jojoba is a great choice but if you use it don’t use any other butters. Make a small test batch of 1 pound so you’re not out a great deal of money. One very important thing to remember even if you hot process this shampoo bar it still needs to cure a minimum of 2 weeks, I let mine cure for 4 weeks. The longer the cure the milder and more effective the bar will be. As for the apple cider rinse I use it straight out of the jug but my hair is now short BUT I used this recipe on my long hair with great success. Good luck and let me know if I can be of any help.

  177. What does it mean if my soap never turns color? Mine just got darker! I am afraid to use it, afraid of getting a chemical burn or something. Have you ever had this happen?

    • I’m not sure of what you mean by turning dark. Did you use any milk products? Milks will cause soap to turn dark but to be safe get yourself some Ph testing strips as long as it shows the Ph of the soap to be between 7 and 10 your good.

  178. So this is my first time making soap and I am wanting to omit the beeswax. I read in one of the comments that I could omit it and lower the jojoba oil to 1 ounce and lower the castor oil to 2.5 ounces and still get a firm soap that lathers up. I have typed all the amounts(1 ounce jojoba n 2.5 ounces castor oil) in the lye calculator and it has said I should use between 6-10 fluid ounces. I am also using coconut milk and am wondering it that will make a difference?. Just wondering if I could get some tips and advice? I also have long blonde hair(natural) so was thinking of putting in lavender and lemon essential oils. I am just wanting as much advice/help as possible as the ingredients aren’t cheap and I don’t want to stuff it up 🙂

  179. Cindy Freeman says:

    Andrea, would it work to substitute jojoba oil with apricot kernel or almond oil? Thanks.

  180. Thank you for sharing the recipe, I might give it a try someday. I have been washing my hair for two years now with a mixture of baking soda AND oatmeal flour. Just baking soda by itself makes my hair dry and hard to manage, but the addition of oatmeal makes my hair soft and moisturized.

    • Ok, now I’m REALLY interested in the addition of the oatmeal to the no-poo method. I’m loving bar shampoo, but there are times when I’d love the convenience of a dry shampoo, but have found them too dry-ING. Would you mind sharing your recipe or proportions? I realize you’re not speaking of a dry-poo, but I can’t help wondering whether it might translate well into one. Thanks!

      (sorry for the bit of derail!)

      • Hi Carla, please see my common below. Sometimes I mix it with just a little water so I have a loose paste for easy applying.

    • Yin,
      Will you please give some specifics on how you do this? quantities, etc. I am not familiar with this method, so don’t know anything about it. Are you mixing the b.soda, and oatmeal with water?

      All info. you can share regarding this process would be appreciated. Thank you.

      • Uh, this was just a made-up thing after I read something about oatmeal and skin (not even sure what it was now)…. I make a dry mix of baking soda and oatmeal flour in a jar (about 1:2), and then I mix about 2 teaspoons of the soda-flour mixture with a little hot water at shower time, I use a very small squirt bottle for mixing and applying. Wet your hair and massage your scalp with the “shampoo”, rinse and you are done. I did not feel the need for the apple cider vinegar rinse afterwards because my hair already felt “conditioned”. However, I started applying the ACV rinse lately just to see if it does anything different to the hair. I hope this helps, at least the oatmeal can’t hurt. I would like to know what you think after you try it.

        • Hi Yin,
          Thank you for responding. By the way, the second comment was not from me. But now that I have read your response to that post, I am confused. Do you mix it in and apply it with a spray bottle, or do you make it into a paste, and apply it? Or both? What would you estimate the amount of water you use to be, when you use the spray bottle? Do you mix it up with the water in the bottle each time you use it? And do you use the entire amount that you have blended in the bottle at one time? Thank you. Carla

          • Two Carlas! What are the chances!

            So Carla F., don’t use a spray bottle, it WILL get clogged. Use a “squirt” bottle (like the kind for ketchup or mustard, you can also find them in craft stores), or simply make a paste in your palm. I usually mix the dry with water right before I shower and I use it all up (I am not sure how long you can leave oatmeal in water before it goes bad) You can use a little more water if you plan to use a squirt bottle, say 2-4 tablespoons. Sometimes I get lazy with the bottle, then I simply put the dry mix (about 2 teaspoons) in my palm and just add drops of water until it forms a paste and use as is.
            You can add more baking soda if your hair is oily, or decrease the soda if your hair is dry. Use more soda-oatmeal mixture if you have a lot of hair (I have very thick hair down to my neck). Experiment. Feel free to ask if it’s still unclear to you.

            • Two Carlas, responding to one post, with essentially the same question… Anyone else hearing the ‘do do, do do, do do, do do’ in the background? Lol! Thanks, Yin! Have you ever tried it as a dry wash? If so, did you just use the same amount? Lol, I’m kinda thinking the dry would be great for camping trips, or over-booked travel, when stopping long enough to start from scratch, with a wet shampoo would just be so much easier to skip – my hair, clean, dried & naturally curly (read that; willful, wild & wooly), hangs to my butt! I’m sure I’m not alone on this. It can be a pain, but the hubby & I both really love my hair like this – just not always the time, products, & energy it sucks up.
              Thanks, again!
              Carla B

              • Hi Carla B! I have to be careful not to reply to the wrong “Carla” here! And I am sorry that all the information comes out in bits and pieces like this.

                I have yet to experiment with the waterless method, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Except that when oatmeal (which contains polysaccharides) is mixed with water, it (this is something I read on the internet, AND its for skin in general) “become gelatinous in water and leave a fine protective film on the skin, preventing dull, flaky dryness”.

                I used to use commercial shampoo everyday, my hair was too oily, and I lived many years with a troublesome amount of dandruff and itchy scalp. Then, one day, I discovered the baking soda and acv method (thanks to the internet again), I can never go back to commercial shampoo after that. I now have not a speck of dandruff, no more itchy scalp, and no more oily hair. However, baking soda by itself is not perfect, so I improved it further by adding oatmeal and I just love it!

                Sorry to give you such a long spill on your question. Try it dry and let me know how it feels compare to other “dry-poo” methods that you have used. Thanks!

                • Thanks, Yin! Personally, I’m not too worried about the mix-up likelihood. 😉 Well I have almost everything I need to make the bar soap, now. I’m leaving out the beeswax in mine, only because my hair, while a crazy-thick mane, is made up of very fine individual strands & I’m a tad concerned the wax might build a little, if I don’t get it all rinsed out, very thoroughly (I have some disabilities that sometimes really get my proverbial ‘panties in a twist’.

                  Those are other times I’m thinking of using the dry. If I get to try either the bar, or the powdered – wet &/or dry, I’ll come back & let ya in on my findings, too!

  181. Cindy Freeman says:

    What size crockpot do you use?

  182. I love your idea of the shampoo bar. I might have to try it. Right now I just use goat milk soap that a friend makes & sells. (Farm Maid)

  183. Nikki Boyce says:

    I am curious, how much does it cost you to make per “loaf”?

  184. If following your recipe exactly, is there any need to use the Lye calculator? Also, I have an older (but nice) kitchen scale, would recommend purchasing a digital scale for soap making instead?

  185. Shelly Timber says:

    I’m an old hand at cold process but will soon be trying the hot process for the first time. Really like the greater degree of scent that stays put after saponification and the faster cure time – good for last minute additions before a craft show! Here’s my question – as a CP soap maker I’ve enjoyed playing with so many techniques of coloring the bars with a variety of swirls. Sounds to me like this is not possible with HP just by virtue of the method. The bars pretty much will need to be one solid color and too thick to “mess with” once in the mold. Am I right? Have you any thoughts/experience with layering/coloring/etc.? Thanks!

  186. Hi! I just ordered a sample of your shampoo and I have two questions: do you use it like bar soap where you get a lather going and apply it to your hair like shampoo? Second, I have to have my hair up for ballet a lot which requires quite a bit of styling product to get it to stay (gross, but necessary). Do you think the shampoo coupled with the rosemary acv spray/rinse will be clarifying enough? Right now I’m using an Aveda shampoo and adding about a teaspoon of baking soda to it. It works well but I’m trying to detox and simplify my whole beauty routine. Too bad they don’t make organic Aqua Net!

    • Gabesgrammie says:

      Maybe try gelatin? I heard that is what the synchronized swimmers use in the Olympics. If it works under water, it should work for you!!! Good luck!

  187. brownhippiegirl says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I am planning to make my very first cold process bar soap, and I thought, hey why can’t it be used for hair too ? Anyway, that is how I ended up on your website. I live in Norway, where crock pot or slow cooker like thing is considered quite fancy – hence I would like to know if this shampoo bar could be made without using a crockpot. Are there any alternative methods that you suggest ?
    Thanks again, keep it up.

  188. Hello!
    I have one question. I made the lotion bar by your recipe. But I have one problem-after one day it is still soft. What should I do?

  189. This is a very luxurious shampoo bar too and when you add the Rosemary and Peppermint oils, it makes your head feel so cool and tingly in the shower. Love it!

  190. Have you ever worked with soap nuts in any of these receipes? It is also used for “soap” creation. It is a fruit that apparently has “foaming” qualities. CV uses it in their soaps and shampoo bars. I am hoping to find alternatives to all cosmetics, hygiene and cleaning products. Buy minimal, create my own, reduce my carbon footprint and know what is in my products!!

    Just curious if you’ve worked with soap nuts : )

  191. Michelle Shanks says:

    Have you tried this without the beeswax. I can tell it leaves a little bit behind in my hair by how it styles. It’s not terrible by any means but my hair has a loose curl and it weighs it down just enough to not make it curl.

    • Michelle-my hair has a loose curl too, and ‘Ive been using this recipe for a 4 months…I found it took about 6 weeks for my hair to adjust and not have a greasy feel. Brushing it with a boars bristle brush well before you wash it helps to distribute the oils throughout (that way you’re not brushing out your curls) and every so often I do a baking soda paste instead of washing-seems to remove any build up…You can also use a home made salt-water leave in spray to get nice beachy waves

  192. I am allergic to Jojaba oil and many recipes call for it. What/how can I replace it?

  193. Shandra Grace says:

    I am allergic to coconut oil, and sensitive to olive oil, are there any oils I could substitute? Also I’m curious about beeswax, do you think it could clog the hair folicles (leave a film over your scalp)? Haha and one more question, what about the ph of this mixture is it the same ph as your scalp? Thanks!! 🙂 Great recipe, thanks for sharing!

    • I guess it depends on what you want from soap. All I want is to clean. I will leave the other skin conditioners to something that will be on my skin a little longer before being washed off.
      I have tried a lot of oil combinations, though not a lot of exotic ones, and have basically returned to canola (I get it used from restaurants, settle it, filter it and use it – both in my car and in my house. I use it for everything from hair shampoo to dish soap, laundry and regular hand soap and shaving.
      I generally make it about 6% SF and it works great. sometimes I put a bit of ground/powdered parsley leaves in it for a bit of colour, but otherwise don’t add much. It doesn’t lather a lot (the laundry likes that) but feels good and cleans well.
      Having said all that, I suppose if I didn’t get my oil free and had more money I might try some other combinations – but I like what I have now, so……

      If I were you I think I would just try small batches of different oils until you find something that doesn’t bother your sensitivities. All oil will make a reasonable soap I suspect. It depends what you expect from it. It makes it a lot simpler if you expect what you get – most of life is like that …it is all about attitude.


  194. Aimee Hunter says:

    I really want to make these but the ingredients are so costly! Would love to figure out how to get a hold of some of this stuff for less….

  195. Can I just cook this on my stovetop at the lowest setting? Rather the using a crock pot>

  196. My mother-in-law birthday is coming soon, and this is the best idea to make this kind of shampoo bar soaps. Will experiment this today, so excited about it, I bet it should smell a million dollars.


  197. Hi, I would like to know if you have a shampoo recipe that includes olive oil and black seed. I heard these are very good for your hair . Thanks

  198. If I do not have jojoba oil, can I do it without it?? If not, what can I use in it’s place?? TIA.

  199. Thank you so much for posting this. I have a serious sensitivity/allergy to coconut and cocoa. What could I try to substitute those? Coconut oil is in every store bought hair product I have found. Consequently, I have been itchy (pardon the pun) to try making something my skin can tolerate for years. Baking soda was a disaster for my hair too. If you can help, I would be most grateful.

  200. You can make soap out of olive oil lye and water only

  201. Herbal Soap says:

    I started out my soap producing adventures utilizing ACE Hardware lye numerous numerous moons ago but rapidly changed to food grade due to the fact if I can use it to clean drains I actually don’t need to use it in my Body Soap. Again just me, numerous soapers will say there isn’t any distinction since when the saponification approach in the oils and lye are total there isn’t any lye left it and it shouldn’t make a distinction. Personnal decision. Do your investigation and please take all safety precautions when using this Hugely caustic substance it’s going to hurt if it gets on you.

    Thanks a lot of.

  202. I don’t waste ‘coz my any time and ingrediënt, yet, to make these “shampoos” in a bar , since my experince with a bar shampoo was not too good! It leaves me a strange kind of dry oil residue on the hair and it doesn’t wear good on the hair…I have been very entwined with DIYs on youtube and the net on self made ‘cremes”, but I also have lots of question about them, as if “the proportions” of oil and water – or tea wud be too heavy for me, since I notice, that, the real cosmetic ‘world’ do not “have” these kinds of proportions! OK, everyone claims they are organic, but aren’t we all wrong with the “heavy” proportions???

  203. christina F says:

    THank you for your post, THis wll be my first LYE soap that I try to make , I think im going to grab goggle, smock and gloves and get the ingredient’s and give a try

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