Coming Clean

How to Make Toxin-Free Soap Without Breaking the Bank

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What's in your soap?

  • Does store-bought soap make you itch or sneeze?
  • Does it dry out your skin?
  • Do you want to reduce the amount of chemicals in your life?
  • Do you want to save money while using natural products?

Learning to make your own soap can solve all of those challenges for you!

I started making my own soap in 2003 because there was only one unscented soap that I could use from the health food store. Everything else made me itch and sneeze. At that point, I was also on a mission to remove as many toxins as possible from my home because I didn't want my children to grow up as sick as I had been as a child. However, being a stay-at-home mom, we were on a strict budget, so I couldn't buy all of the expensive products at the health food store. So, I learned to make my own all-natural products, including soap.

Although it might sound daunting and scary, you can learn to make soap, and I can help. I've been teaching soapmaking classes for more than a decade. Not only have I made a few mistakes, which I will share with you, but I've also heard about mistakes made by students, so I can share those with you too. (There's no reason you need to make the same mistakes -- especially like the woman who blew up her microwave!)

Here's what you'll learn ...

  • You'll see the entire soapmaking process from begining to end
  • Learn to make your own free or inexpensive soap molds
  • Discover the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils
  • Learn how to avoid having your soap seize
  • Save money when buying essential oils to naturally scent your soaps
  • Learn how to create your own soap recipes, choosing oils specific for your goals

The difference between this class and a book or a YouTube video is that all of the steps are laid out for you from start to finish. You won't have to waste time searching online to get each question answered. Once you start making soap -- or even before you've started to buy your supplies -- you can ask questions, which will be answered by someone experienced in not only soapmaking, but also teaching soapmaking, including via the Internet. Making a batch of soap is one of the requirements for my Raising Dairy Goats Sustainably class that I teach online through the University of Massachusetts, so I'm accustomed to troubleshooting soapmaking challenges via discussion boards.


Although this is not a complete course on starting a soap business ... if you want to sell your soap, you'll also learn these biz basics ...

  • How to slice your soap so that each bar is the same size -- without spending $300 on a soap slicer
  • What NOT to put on your soap labels (so that the FDA doesn't get mad at you)
  • How to package your soap based upon your sales goals
  • And how to figure out who your customer is, so you can make soap they want to buy

This course gave me the confidence to make soap without worry! It was the first time I utilized the lye calculator and it was successful the first time around and I really appreciated the resources list for soapmaking supplies. As always with your courses I appreciate the details such as soapmaking equipment (get them second hand and use them just for making soap), and I loved the recipes you provided.

~~ Rebecca Scott, Ravenna, Ohio

Your Instructor

Deborah Niemann
Deborah Niemann

In 2002, Deborah and her family moved to 32 acres on a creek in the middle of nowhere to grow their own food organically. With the help of goats, sheep, pigs, and poultry, they produce 100% of their meat, eggs, and dairy products, as well as a large percentage of their vegetables, fruit, and herbs. They sold chickens and turkeys for more than 10 years, and are currently a licensed egg producer in Illinois and sell eggs to a grocery store and through a CSA.

Deborah is the author of six books, including Homegrown and Handmade, Ecothrifty, and Raising Goats Naturally, as well as her latest book, Goats Giving Birth. She also teaches sustainable agriculture courses online for the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. She has been teaching Raising Dairy Goats Sustainably since 2013 and Pastured Poultry since 2015.

In 2022, Deborah got certified as a FAMACHA instructor so that she and her students could feel confident that she was providing the most up-to-date information on parasite research and management.

I recently took Deborah Niemann's "Coming Clean" soap making course via the Thrifty Homesteader Academy. I absolutely love her recipes that are provided in the course! The fact that I can use goat milk from my herd is a huge bonus! Deborah gives clear and simple instructions along with videos to create beautiful bars of soap. She has been very gracious about answering all my questions along the way. The unscented mocha java, and butter bar soaps are going to be super popular with my Colorado farm friends! Next on my list, is listening to her podcast about starting a soap making business!

~~ Tracy Camden

Have had a successful goat milk soap business since taking this course.

~~ Lori Zanin, Old County Farms, Westport, MA

I'm a member of a farmers market ... I made my first batch of goat milk soap the first of June, been giving away samples the last 2 weeks, and today was my first time selling it. I almost sold out! Two bars left!

I'm so happy with your recipes. A friend who I had given a small bar of the Gardener's soap to said she used it to clean her hands after she got them covered with a lot of grimy, black sewing machine oil and it came right off!

Thanks so much for your classes and recipes. I couldn't have gotten through birthing season as well without them and now I can start buying hay with soap money! LOL

~~ Lisa Gaunky, Wisconsin

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own. I'm also planning to add additional videos and information, and you will receive all of those updates at no additional charge.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If there's a problem with the course, please let us know, so we can fix it. But if for any reason you decide the course is not for you in the first 30 days, we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!