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
Have had a successful goat milk soap business since taking this course.
~~ Lori Zanin, Old County Farms, Westport, MA
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.
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
StartWelcome! and Soapmaking Safety -- watch me first! (9:09)
StartSoapmaking Ingredients (28:17)
StartEssential Oils in Soapmaking (4:25)
StartEquipment for Making Soap (8:39)
StartMaking Your Own Molds (6:08)
StartChoosing Oils, Waxes, and Butters
StartMaking a soap slicer (ADDED June 2023) (4:28)
StartUsing Recipes and Creating Your Own Recipes (13:55)
StartEssential Oil Blends
StartLining a Soap Mold (3:44)
StartCold-Process Soapmaking with Milk from Beginning to End (17:01)
StartCold-Process Soapmaking with Water (5:52)
StartUnmolding and Slicing Soap (6:57)
StartQ&A: Myths and Misinformation About Soapmaking (11:47)
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