To Start A Soap Making Business From Home
Read on for a short, but quite complete, plan about how
to start a soap making business from home.
Selling handmade soap as a business requires much more
than just making interesting soap. It isn't enough to
find the best soap recipe somewhere. Making great soap
is a part of making money with soap, but only a part.
The marketing of that soap is where the fun begins.
Read on for the details!
Making handcrafted soap is a fascinating hobby. Just
think about it. By crafting soap bars you produce items
of beauty that are also very useful.
Read on for top tips for making some really premium
soap, and then some ideas for turning a soap
making hobby into a part-time home-based
business. These ideas are based on personal
My family and I have operated a home-based, specialty
soap business for several years. We sold about 29,000
bars of soap over a four-year period. We are still soap
makers. We also still market crafts both locally,
regionally and on the Internet. Some of the story is at
Always remember that
soap ends up going down the drain if it's used.
That's a really good thing if you want to sell your
selling of replacement bars that makes selling soap
really worth a closer look.
At this point in time, many people want to buy fine
soap products, which means there is a demand for what
you might turn out. Before even thinking about making
money from your hobby efforts, there are a number of
things to consider.
Let's look first at some of the advantages of soap
making, both as a craft and as a business.
Starting A Soap Making Business
At Home - Advantages
- Soap making requires little money to get going,
- The supplies to make soap are easy to obtain,
- Equipment needed is easy to get,
- Making soap is relatively easy to learn,
- People already want
to buy handmade soap,
- You can specialize in what you make,
- It's easy to make soap that is different from
- You can make other products that go along with soap,
- You can potentially generate profits with soap,
- Finding places
to sell is simple.
How Much Money Can You Make
That's a question that is hard to answer, as a lot
depends on you. And to be perfectly clear, there
is no money in making soap. The money is in selling the
soap, of course. Just like with any business venture, it
takes a lot of work, and quite a bit of drive, to make
money selling a product.
Some home based
soapmakers have turned soap into major money.
Burt's Bees is an example.
Dr. Bronner's is too.
There are plenty of others.
Could you do that?
I don't know.
Think about this.
practice you could make a batch of soap that would
turn into 100 bars in about 2 hours.
You could then cut up a similar-size soap batch, that
had been drying for a couple of days, in about another 2
Then you could wrap up a hundred bars of soap, that had
been curing for 8 weeks, in about 2 hours.
So, once you got a system going, you could, with simple
tools, make and process 100 bars of soap in less than a
In 2 Hours You Can Make Soap Worth $500
Using the resources I will suggest, and a recipe as
shown below, you could look at prices of the materials
and determine the cost for a bar of soap.
Using the recipe I provide, and current material costs,
yields a cost for a bar of soap of about $1.00 or so.
Note that these figures will vary wildly, depending on
the scent oils used and on your source of other soap
oils, and the quantities you purchase. You
get the idea though.
If you have looked around a little, you probably know
that crafters are selling their soap for somewhere
around $5.00 a bar now. You can certainly buy cheaper
soap, and you can certainly buy more expensive bars as
well. Soap is trading locally for about that figure
That $4.00 difference between sales price and cost is
the potential profit per bar. This may sound
like a lot. It could add up, but as you can easily see,
you must move quite a bit of soap to make enough to add
up to much.
Now, if you
could make that kind of profit per bar, and you could
make 100 bars in a day, then you could get rich,
Challenges To Making Money
Selling Handmade Soap
Making it and selling your handmade soap are two
entirely different things!
In most cases, soapmakers who try to make money selling
their products will make nothing!
That's a bold statement,
and it is a guess, but why would I say that?
It takes serious action to make money with any
kind of business. In most cases the effort level stops
most people from getting anywhere. It's just too hard to
make soap in volume.
If the effort level doesn't get them, then the lack
of a plan likely will. You have to figure out how
to sell what you make, and then you have to actually get
the sales made and get the money in your hands somehow!
That's what has to
work required to make a home based business go
guarantees that few people will stick with it!
But, that's actually to
See, if you really work at it and have a good plan, you
competition. Most of your competition will
quit! If you
stick, you win. If
you quit, you lose.
you still with me?
Certainly there are already many people making soap,
and a lot of them decide to try selling it.
That does not necessarily mean there's no room for new
people to get into this industry. Handcrafted soap
an industry too. Make no mistake about it.
Of course soap making is not just about making
You could even sell soap mostly for the fun of
Let us look now at some handy soap making tips for
crafting soap as a hobby, mostly for fun, or for making
Soap Making Using The Cold
Process Method - Tips
At its most basic level, soap making is quite simple.
The most common method of making soap is called cold
process. It's "cold" because the ingredients are just
mixed without cooking. You can make soap using heat,
using the "hot process" method. We use cold process, and
that is what is described in this report.
At its simplest level, soap results when you mix fats
and oils with a lye and water solution. The mixture of
water and lye and fats and oils just turns into soap.
The fun comes as you vary the materials and the
proportions of the different materials.
But to keep it really simple, remember that soap making
is just mixing fats and oils with lye and water
in solution. That's all there is to it.
Making Soap Without Lye?
Can you make soap without lye? Not
really. You can buy soap bases that can be
melted and poured into molds. Somebody else used lye to
make the base so you didn't have to. You really don't
know what's in those bases though. The lye used to make
bar soap is sodium hydroxide. Potassium hydroxide is
used to make soft soaps.
One can make lye by leaching it from wood ashes. That
kind of lye makes for a softer sort of soap. That's a
project I have not undertaken yet.
Lye is usually hard to source locally, unless you have
access to a chemical supply house. It is easy to order
Lye is very caustic and will burn skin and remove paint
from any surface. It will blind a person if it gets in
your eyes. This is dangerous material and should never
be used where children could get to it. However, with
simple precautions, adults will have no trouble with the
Wear safety goggle at all times when working with lye.
Protective gloves and long sleeves are recommended as
well. Do not leave lye or lye mixtures unattended.
Uncured soap too should be treated like lye.
Fats And Oils For Making Your
Cold Process Soap
Here's another basic to making soap. Different oils
and fats require different amounts of lye to turn
them to soap. The amount it takes to turn oil or fat to
soap is known for every fat likely to be used in soap
making. One can just look in a table and read off the
amount of lye needed to make soap of a given oil.
For any recipe then,
the amount of lye is calculated based on the oils used.
You want to use a little less lye than it takes to turn
all the oils to soap. That's done as a safety precaution
to insure that all the lye is used up in the process.
That amount of reduction in lye used is called the lye
discount. It's usual to use about 5 percent less lye
than would fully turn the oils to soap.
Don't be tricked
by the many details discussed about soap making. It's
mostly a matter of simply mixing a few ingredients.
The main oils used to make soap are coconut, palm
and olive. If you make soap with just those three
oils you can make great soap. Each of those oils has
unique properties that make them valuable as soap oils.
You can make soap with just one of the oils, but the
results will be inferior to a soap made using all three.
If you want a lot of bubbles in soap, then you really
must use coconut oil. It's the source of big,
light bubbles and lots of them. However, soap made with
just coconut oil will clean so well that it strips all
the oil from the skin and thus is drying. That's the
reason to limit it to about 30 percent of the soap oils.
As for palm oil, it is the key to hard, long
lasting bars, but is not so cleaning or so bubbly as
coconut. Often referred to as "vegetable tallow," this
fat is really much like beef tallow in every way. Use
it, rather than beef fat, if you want to skip out on the
Then you must consider olive oil. Castile soap
is traditionally made using only olive oil. If you have
used this kind of soap you know about how great a skin
conditioner it is. It's fantastic. However, if olive oil
is the only oil used to make the soap, you get tiny
little bubbles and you get bars that fade away somewhat
faster than you might like. For that reason this kind of
oil is only used at about 40 percent of the oils in a
Now granted one can use just about any kind of fat or
oil to make soap, and there are a lot of choices.
However, as a starting point, these three are a great
way to go.
Adding Ingredients For Premium
If you wish to include other
oils, it is simple enough to just add a small
amount at the last stages of the soap making. You will
note in our sample recipe that we put in almond oil. One
can simply use more olive oil in the recipe, and
eliminate the almond oil. We included it as it adds a
little something to the feel and performance of the bar.
You can do a lot more with soap than just make
basic soap. It's all the additives that make soap making
really interesting. Additives include clays, essential
oils, herbal materials, colors, textures and just a
whole list of ways to customize soap.
Getting the basic soap right is the first step
to great soap and that can be done quite easily and
simply. It's only after the basic soap making is
mastered, that the soap maker takes it to the next level
with all sorts of exotic materials.
A Popular Soap Recipe And Soap
Following is one of our top recipes.
Lightly Lavender Soap Recipe
- 11.3 ounces (320 grams) Coconut Oil
- 11.7 ounces (330 grams) Palm Oil
- 15.5 ounces (440 grams) Olive Oil
- 3.9 ounces (110 grams) Almond Oil
- 6.1 ounces (175 grams) Sodium Hydroxide
- 15.5 ounces (440 grams) Water
- 2 1/3 Tablespoons Lavender Essential Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Almond Oil
The lye and the uncured soap mixture are very caustic.
It will burn your skin. It will blind you if it gets in
your eyes! You absolutely must wear goggles when you
make soap and it's best to wear rubber gloves and long
Soap Making Equipment You'll
- 2 Stainless Steel Pans
- 1 Plastic Pan
- Rubber Spatula
- Thermometer (90-200 degree F Range)
- Scale For Weighing Material
- Molds For Soap (Plastic Tub)
- Hand Held Stick Blender (Optional)
Soap Making Procedures -
Weigh oils and combine in stainless steel pan.
Heat slowly until everything melts. Cool to about 110
degrees Fahrenheit. Do not include the scent oil or the
small quantity of almond oil.
Weigh lye in a plastic container. Remember the gloves
Weigh water and pour into a separate stainless steel
Slowly pour the lye into the water. When all the lye is
added, let the mixture cool until it is 110 degrees.
Add the lye/water mixture to the oils, stirring while
you do so. Now stir the soap mixture until it begins to
It's time to stop stirring when a thin stream of soap
drizzled on top of the soap mixture lays on top. This is
To speed things up use your hand blender to stir the
soap for 30 seconds, let it rest for a minute and repeat
until it traces.
Add scent oils and the extra almond oil.
Pour into prepared molds. Let sit for 24 hours. Remove
from molds. Cut into bars and set aside to cure for 4
If you want a smaller batch size just divide each
ingredient by whatever number you choose. To cut the
batch size in half for example, simply divide each
ingredient by 2.
These are basic instructions. Lots of soap making books
are out there, but most of them make it so complicated
that it's tough to get going.
Even if you consult some of those soap making books,
you can come back to these instructions for the basics.
Give this recipe a try. You'll be pleased with the
Get many more details on our home page. You can check
it out at http://www.soapbizkit.com.
Homemade Soap Business
This section describes a simple system for starting a soap business at
home. As already mentioned, there are already many
people making and selling soap, so it will take some
thought to make a go of marketing your products.
What it takes to make this work is not complicated
at all. The only way to go, it seems to me, is to try to
make selling as easy and simple as possible.
Let's look at how to do that.
What You Can Do To Start A Soap
Business Fast Is Something Like This
- Build interesting and somewhat unique products,
- Find potential buyers for those products,
- Make presentations to those potential customers,
- Some will buy,
- Offer more products to those customer friends,
- Add more products to your mix,
- Repeat and do more.
are already many people making soap to sell, you have
an easier task in front of you if you make
soap that is different. If you can pull that
off, then you are the only source for what you have.
That's a good thing.
The reason to try to make something unique is repeat
business. Soap just naturally goes right down the
drain. If your customers love what they get from you,
then they come back for more.
The Hardest Sale To Make Is The
It's sort of like the first dollar you make in a
business is worth remembering. You often see them pinned
to a board in a little cafe! That's the tough one,
because of all it took to get in the position to get it!
The hardest sales to get are the sales to
people who don't know you, and have never used what you
easiest sales are to enthusiastic customers who want
what you have, based on positive experiences with
using what you make.
But Is There Some Way To Make
Your Soap Unique?
Isn't soap all pretty well the
You must try to get as many buyers as possible to come
back for more. That's the reason you want great products
that are somewhat unique. How do you do that? How do you
make unique soap?
producing unique products is telling your story.
Tell who you are, and how
you do what you do, and why you do what you do. By doing that, your story
gives what you make a unique twist. You can do
that with pictures of what you do in a photo album, or
in a collage of pictures. Give people details of what
you do and how you do it. Tell your story to set
yourself apart. Nearly nobody does that.
But the product ultimately speaks for itself. How can you
build soap that is unique? Actually it's not that hard
to make soap that is unique.
You can make soap using mostly organic ingredients. You
can use all natural scents. You can make milk soap. That
not only produces a different feel, it also adds a nice
Soap making with goat milk is so popular, that's almost
a niche market all by itself.
Research the most
popular natural soap scents and specialize in
You can use shea butter in all your soap. You can use
jojoba oil in all your soap. You can practice and
develop beautiful colors. You can layer colors. You can
marble the colors better than anybody else does. You can
make all your bars a little on the big side. You can
offer all sorts of formulas for different skin types.
Many soap makers only make one recipe and just vary it
Repeat Sales Of Your Soap
Products Is The Real Key
thing about the product as a marketing advantage,
repeat sales is where the money is.
Make soap that is really better and more pleasant to
use, and the repeat business will cover you up. That's
the key to success.
What you want is not just sales of a bar or two, but
sales by the dozens of bars. Those kinds of results
depend on building really great products.
Getting That Initial Sale
You can sell soap in all kinds of ways.
Certainly the Internet is one way to move some
soap. In a bit I wish to cover some details about using
the Internet to sell soap. For
now let us look at one way to get some soap out there
that beats most other ways.
If you can sell a lot of soap in a short period of
time, then you set yourself up to get those
desired repeat sales. The easiest way to pull that off
is to get what you have in front of a lot of people in a
short period of time. Those must be people who might
like the kinds of things you have to sell too.
this. You could sell bars of soap door-to-door.
Likely you would sell a few too. How many doors would
you have to knock on and how many doors would you have
to hear closed to make a hundred sales? How much time
and money would that take? I cringe to think of what it
That sort of approach is a bad idea for a
low-ticket item like soap.
A home party to sell soap is a better idea. But even
with that, you must look at what it takes to pull those
together and then it would be easy for buyers to just
make small purchases. That kind of marketing is an
improvement over knocking on doors, but we can do
A Soap Making Business Course
And Event Marketing
approach to moving soap is likely getting involved in
some event that lets vendors set up and display
products. These events include these.
- Town festivals,
- Holiday festivals,
- Art shows,
- School fairs,
- Street fairs,
- Farmers markets.
At these events you can potentially talk to hundreds
of people, who are there to have a good time, and maybe
buy something interesting. Like your products for
Likely there are multiple events like this right where
you live. That's where you get your start.
After you get some experience, you will find that some
events work better than others.
You drop the losers
and look for more winners.
You will also find resources that will point out other
shows you can participate in. There are actually
regional and national shows that attract vendors and
shoppers from wide areas. With some experience you can
likely get in some of those, but you may not want to.
Especially those of you that live in resort and tourist
areas may have your hands full just in your local
There are some costs to getting into this type of
marketing. Outside shows require a special tent. They
don't cost much though. You will often need your own
tables as well as table covering and display racks or
shelves. That's easy too. All in all it takes a
minimum of investment to get into this type of activity.
But what if you aren't the sales type? Actually
many craft marketers aren't. What
is required is mostly just telling about what you have
and how you made it and why. People interested
in soap are already quite knowledgeable, in many cases.
A hard sell is not necessary, and usually not helpful.
Learning how to sell soap at a craft fair is quite
simple. Just showing up, ready to sell, is half the
Like anything else, to get the best results you need
some specialized knowledge.
That's part of what we offer in our
It's partly about how to sell soap at a craft fair and
how to sell soap at a farmers market. But it's more too.
See, many people never figure out the easy part of
marketing. Read on.
The Repeat Part Of A Craft
When you do get some sales using whatever method you
choose, then the fun starts.
Imagine that you attend an event in a tourist
People that might buy your soap are there from all over
the place. You may never see them again, even if you are
in the same spot again. But if you give that person some
material that makes it easy for them to order more soap,
you can sell and sell again to the same person.
several easy ways to do just that in our material.
Repeat sales truly are the way to make a soap making
This is all based on putting
together great soap that people want to
replenish. That can be done quite easily though. Get
your product right, and make money mostly from home by
dealing with repeat orders.
Staying in touch with customers using the Internet is a
natural. Using your own website as you would use a
brochure is a great idea.
Note though that the Internet is already clogged with
people selling soap. Look at all the soap on Etsy, eBay,
Amazon and the Google search results and you quickly see
that you have a task in front of you to sell soap mostly
using the Internet. How will you get eyes on your offer?
It can be done, but it will take serious, professional
marketing efforts and some luck.
Can I sell soap using social media? Likely that
can work, if you get a following. But
how can you do that? It take a lot of time and
attention. And in my opinion should be only a piece of
an overall plan. If using social media to sell soap is
your only plan, then you better be really good at
building followers and readers.
Getting your own customers, folks who know you and your
products, to look at your offers on your own site or on
Etsy will not be hard at all. That's
the easier way to go. Use the Internet as a
marketing tool, but not your primary marketing tool, and
you will get better results, with less expense and
Based on my experience, I think this report describes
the best approach to a home-based soap business. Two of
the better publications to learn about shows you might
get in are these:
Sunshine Artist, 4075 L. B. McLeod Rd., Suite E, Orlando,
FL 32811, 407-648-7479.
Around the South
A Step Ahead, Ltd., 2090 Shadow Lake Drive, Buckhead, GA
My favorite soap making resources are:
Columbus Foods Company
730 N. Albany Avenue, Chicago, IL 60612
GloryBee Foods, Inc.
120 N. Seneca Road, Eugene, OR 97402
How To Start A Soap Making
Business At Home With The SoapBizKit
If you want more
details, get our SoapBizKit.
This is in digital form and includes a step-by-step detailed soap making guide
as well as a complete
marketing plan, with many more details than
contained in this short report.
The soap plan teaches how to design soap recipes and
includes our own recipes, as well as other tips on how
to make soap unique to you.
The marketing plan includes much more detail as well.
You'll get lots of ideas for getting customers. Then
we'll show you how to get repeat sales from your
customers. After all, they will want more of your soap
once they have tried it!
You'll get some ideas about the best way to use the
Internet to sell your soap, including the easiest site
builder to use. We tell what soap sold best for us,
potentially valuable info. You'll get our ideas on what
else will sell really well along with your soap.
Summing Up The SoapBizKit Offer
summary, with the SoapBizKit you get a complete plan
to not only make great soap, but a plan to sell it
Don't put off getting this valuable resource.
Don't waste any more of your time and money trying to
come up with a way to make money with your soap. Avoid
wasted days and wasted time. Get the plan and get a
giant head start on learning how to start a soap making
business from home.
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