Soap Making from A to Z – Types, Materials, Molds and Decoration


Soap is a substance that has been used for cleaning purposes for centuries. The cleaning feature of soap comes from its effect of dissolving oil and dirt. It is thought to have been first used by the Hittites. Originally, soap was made by mixing animal or vegetable oils with ash. It has been used to clean laundry and for therapeutic purposes since ancient times. The making of soap in the modern sense began with the invention of steam machines. Starting from the 18th century, scientific soap making started to be produced in accordance with prepared formulas.

What is Soap?

Soap is the salt obtained from the reaction of acid and base as a result of a simple chemical process. In its production, fatty acid is used as acid and alkali is used as base. It is the fatty acid it contains that determines its type and benefits. The amount of alkali used in soap also varies depending on the fatty acid used.

What are the Types of Soap?

  • There are many soaps in the market with different colors, scents and types.
  • The soaps used today vary depending on the production technique and place, and the purpose of use.
  • While there are soaps that harm human health in the long and short term, there are also soaps that do not contain harmful chemicals and help protect various skin health with the fatty acids they contain.
  • The vast majority of soaps are manufactured soaps; It is made with a soap machine and sold in soap packages. However, some manufactured soaps may contain chemicals that are harmful to the body.
  • Especially in the last few years, with the understanding of the harmful effects of these chemicals on the body, more natural fabricated soaps have begun to be produced.
soap making
  • These days, there are soaps sold in local markets and natural soap shops that are handmade and more natural. However, care must be taken when making soap and the residual substances that harm the skin must be separated.
  • Therefore, in order to buy soaps made in smaller enterprises, it must be ensured that the residual materials are separated.
  • Similarly, when purchasing manufactured soaps, soaps that do not contain chemicals harmful to the skin should be preferred.
  • Soap types can also be determined as hot and cold soap making. In hot soap making, the necessary fatty acids and alkali are reacted under heat, and then glycerin is separated from the resulting reaction. After this stage, it is dried and shaped. If desired, the soap can be colored with dye and finalized.
  • In the cold soap making method, the necessary ingredients are mixed and poured into molds.
  • The most important point in this method is to comply with the required waiting time.
  • However, the soap obtained by this method is not preferred for skin cleansing.
  • Soap also varies according to its place of use. Today, soap is used in the production of various cosmetic products, as a laundry and body cleaner, and in the production of various industrial products (such as paint, plastic, rubber).
  • While soap was widely used to clean laundry in the past, today people with sensitive skin wash their laundry with soap powder.
  • Soaps are specialized according to their intended use in body cleansing: There are soaps with different contents and sizes to be developed for different areas such as hand soap, bath soap, face washing soap.
  • At the same time, soap is used as a decoration material that gives a pleasant scent.
  • Soaps that are natural and help protect skin health vary depending on the type of oil used in their production, and soap properties also vary depending on the oil used in their production. These soaps can be chosen according to every skin type and skin sensitivity.
  • They also help relieve some skin conditions. These types of soaps are named after the oil used. This type of soap should especially be preferred when making soap masks.
  • The most commonly used natural soaps are olive oil soap, coconut soap, rose soap, cocoa soap, lavender soap, thyme soap and lemon soap.
  • The pH value of soap is also very important. It is necessary to choose soaps with a pH value closest to the skin, that is, 5.5, to protect skin health.

What Are Soap Ingredients?

  • What is the content of soap? Soap raw material is basically oil and alkali. Vegetable oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter or other oils extracted by chemical methods can be used as oil.
  • Sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide can be used as alkali. Apart from these, various chemicals, colorants and soap essences can be used to remove excess alkali in the soap and improve the quality of the soap.
  • For those who want to make soap at home, soap making materials are sold in many markets and online stores. However, soaps made with the ingredients here are mostly used as ornaments, gifts or to give fragrance. The materials required to make this type of soap are soap base, alcohol, soap dye and soap essences. In addition, to make soap, you need a container in which to mix the ingredients and molds in which to pour the soap and dry it.

Soap Making: How to Make Soap?

  • Since precise calculations can be made in soaps made today, soaps of the same quality can be easily obtained.
  • Soap making differs between soaps made in factories, workshops and at home. However, in general, there are two different soap production methods: hot method or boiling method and cold method or cold process.
  • In the hot method, the oil and alkali to be used are placed in the boiler where the soap will be produced. The oil type can be changed upon request, such as olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Then, the chemical sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide to be used as alkali is added and the heating and mixing stage is started.
  • Once the solution reaction occurs, soap formation begins. This stage is called saponification.
  • The soap obtained at the end of the saponification stage is dried by various methods.
  • At this stage, excess alkali in the soap is removed from the soap, or the soap is left to dry and the alkali is waited to separate from the soap.
  • Before the soap dries completely, fragrance and coloring agents can be added and poured into molds.
  • Another method is to dry the soap before pouring it into molds, mix it with fragrance and coloring agents and place it in the molds, and then give it its final shape using the process method.
  • If the soap is expected to dry on its own, this process may take several weeks.
  • Another method is the cold production method. Since the reaction is not accelerated by heat during this process, the saponification process takes longer to occur.
  • In this method, as in the hot method, the oil is poured into a container and the selected alkali is added.
  • By constantly stirring this mixture, a thick liquid is obtained. Color and soap scent can be added if desired at this stage.
  • Then, the resulting mixture is poured into molds and the saponification process is waited to be completed in the molds.
  • This process requires 1-2 days to complete.
  • The soap is then removed from the molds, cut if necessary, and left to dry. The soaps removed from the molds are waited for a few weeks to dry.
  • During this time, the excess alkali in the soap must be removed. This method is mostly used in the production of small amounts of soap.
  • Cold production method is generally used to make soap at home. However, there is no need to use either of these methods to make soap for decorative purposes.
  • The recipe for decorative soap is quite simple: Ready-made soap base is heated and turned into liquid by the soap melting method, and the desired color dyes and soap essence for a pleasant smell are added and poured into molds.
  • After the soap dries, soap to be used for decoration purposes is obtained.

Soap Molds and Types

  • There are many types of soaps, as well as soap molds. Different molds can be used in cold and hot methods. At the same time, the soap can be dried in larger molds and cut into its final form.
  • How to cut soap? Using a soap cutting tool to cut soap is the best method to obtain soaps with smoother shapes.
  • The molds in soaps made at home and used for decoration purposes are also more diverse, and these molds are designed to be more pleasing to the eye.
  • Silicone molds are mostly preferred in soaps made for decoration purposes, and different soap shapes can be created with various silicone molds.
  • How to store soap? Soaps can be stored in a soap container.

How to Decorate Soap?

  • In decorative soaps, it is the decoration that shows the soap.
  • A wide variety of soap designs can be made with commercially available materials.
  • Decorating soaps is very common today and is called soap art.
  • Designer soap samples appear frequently on social media.
  • Decorating the soap starts with the color added and the mold used.
  • Some molds are designed to leave a ring space inside the extracted soap.
  • Soap can be decorated by passing a ribbon or rope through this gap.
  • Various patterns can be made on the soaps taken out of the mold or ready-made with the help of paint and brushes, the soaps can be placed in soap bags or wrapped in ribbons and papers to package the soap, and the soap decoration process is completed with soap ornaments such as artificial flowers, hearts or beads pasted on these packages. .
  • Prepared soaps can be gifted in a soap box.
  • Small sized soaps are used to make soap flowers.
  • Soap bouquets and soap baskets can be made by attaching soaps to sticks or preparing soap flowers.
  • A soap arrangement can be designed and a soap set can be created with different models, colors and decorations.

What are the Benefits and Harms of Soap?

  • Soaps prepared with natural vegetable oils are very beneficial for the skin. The benefits of soaps vary depending on the oil used in soap making.
  • Olive oil soap softens the skin, coconut soap moisturizes the skin and helps prevent hair loss.
  • Cocoa soap helps prevent crack formation, and rose soap has a relaxing effect.
  • Lavender soap is effective in preventing eczema and itching, thyme soap helps remove skin blemishes, and lemon soap contributes to tightening the skin.
  • Soap prices vary widely. Cheap and unknown brands should not be preferred when buying soap. Some soaps may cause more harm than good to the skin due to the chemicals they contain. For example, the amount of alkali must be determined correctly according to the fatty acid used in soap making. If the amount of alkali used is excessive and is not removed from the soap, it will irritate the skin.

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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