After learning how to make liquid soap I worked to simplify and perfect my recipe. It’s all-natural and works great as a shampoo, body wash, hand soap, and even dish soap!
Summer is almost here and school is out, for that reason I have plenty of time to work on projects.
After mastering both cold and hot process soap making, the next step was to learn how to make liquid soap.
Sure, you can just grate some bar soap and pour hot water over it. As a result after a few days, a gel will form and you’ll have liquid soap. But wouldn’t you rather learn how to make liquid soap that is perfect for use as shampoo, body wash, and dish soap?
I’ve figured it all out for you! And after a lot of trial and error, I finally formulated a recipe that is much easier and less time consuming than my first few attempts!
Liquid Soap Ingredients
Like hot and cold process soap, there is an alkali component and an oil component.
For liquid soap, the alkali component is a bit different. Sodium hydroxide is used to make hard bar soap while potassium hydroxide is used to make liquid soap. Potassium hydroxide is harder to find and comes in flakes, not beads. The flakes are easier to work with, but are still caustic, so gloves and protective eyewear must be used.
The other ingredients include coconut oil, olive oil, rice bran oil, another oil such as soybean (there are a few non-GMO brands available), safflower or grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, distilled water, liquid vegetable glycerin, and any scent or color you wish to add. You can source all of these ingredients organically except the potassium hydroxide.
Note: all potassium hydroxide is eliminated during the soap making process through a reaction called saponification. It’s no longer caustic at this point.
Liquid Soap Equipment
Like hot process soap making, you’ll need a slow cooker, a stick blender, quart jar (I use a wide mouth jar), a potato masher, and plastic stirring spoons. And since this recipe is measured in ounces, you will need a kitchen scale.
How to Make Liquid Soap: The Recipe
- 10 ounces coconut oil (find unrefined coconut oil here)
- 10 ounces olive oil
- 3 ounces rice bran oil (find it here)
- 13 ounces other oil (I use safflower and grapeseed oils if I’m making a body soap, or soybean oil if I’m making dish or laundry soap)
- 5.5 ounces sunflower oil (find organic sunflower oil here)
- 9 ounces KOH, a.k.a. potassium hydroxide (find it here)
- 25 ounces distilled water
- 60 ounces distilled water (for diluting the soap paste)
- 16 ounces liquid vegetable glycerine (find organic glycerine here)
- 3 ounces (more or less to your taste) of essential oil or fragrance oil of your choice (find pure essential oils here)
- the natural colorant of your choice, use a very small amount (get ideas for natural soap colorants)
Liquid Soap Process
- Ventilate your work area well, cover your workspace with newspaper, and put on your gloves and goggles. Be sure pets and kids are not running underfoot as you begin this project.
- Start by measuring your oils and placing them into the crockpot. Remember: For this recipe, we’re measuring all ingredients by weight, not by volume, so you must have a scale (like this).
- Turn your crock pot on high and melt all the oils. I use a smaller crock pot to cook my ingredients down and then move to a larger one once I start adding the liquids.
- Place 25 ounces of the distilled water into a glass or stainless bowl. Measure out the KOH and slowly pour it into the water (never the other way around) while stirring. You may notice it making groaning noises as it dissolves; this is normal.
- Once mixed, add the water/KOH mixture to the oils. Combine by hand to blend the solutions, then start using the stick blender. The mixture will be kind of chunky and want to separate, but don’t worry. Blend for about 5 minutes, then walk away.
- Cover and keep on high for the first 30-60 minutes, then turn to low.
- Keep coming back once in a while to stir or blend. It will start to take shape soon. After about 2 hours it will look kind of translucent like petroleum jelly. By this point, it is harder to work with – heavy and sticky. I use a stainless steel potato masher to break it up more easily. Once it looks cooked through with no opaque spots, you can test it.
- To test: Place a small spoonful in some hot water and stir really well. It’ll take a bit to dissolve it all. If the water is clear, you can continue to the dilution stage. If it’s at all cloudy, continue cooking.
Liquid Soap Dilution
Once your soap paste is fully cooked, you can dilute it.
- Heat 60 ounces of water until hot, not boiling. (Remember to measure by weight, not volume.)
- Add the liquid vegetable glycerin. Mix together well.
- Add this mixture to the crock pot and stir, or use the masher if needed. Leave on low, cover, and walk away. You can leave it for a few hours and then go back to it. I like to do this step in the evening so I can leave it overnight.
- In the morning, stir the soap well and let it settle an hour or so. The soap paste that’s not diluted should rise to the top, leaving good liquid soap underneath. I push the chunky stuff aside and spoon the good stuff into pint or quart jars. Then I can scent and color each one differently if I want to.
- For the chunky stuff that remains, add a bit more water and turn the heat off. Leave this overnight and it should all be diluted by morning. Depending on the consistency you want, you may need to add a bit more distilled water. Start with a very small amount (1 teaspoon) so it doesn’t get too thin.
How To Make Liquid Soap: The Video
Using Your Homemade Liquid Soap
I use this liquid soap as shampoo, body wash, dish soap, and hand soap. Next, I’ll be adding essential oils to make a dog shampoo. They have slightly more acidic skin, so I’ll be adding a bit of lemon juice to the shampoo just before I use it.
More on Soap Making
If you’d like more information on soap making, check out our other articles here:
- Homemade All-Natural Soap for Face and Body
- Homemade Natural Soap for DIY Cleaning Recipes
- The Secret to Making Soap in a Slow Cooker
- 44 Ways to Color Homemade Soap Naturally
- Fun & Easy Substitutions for Making Soap at Home