How to Make Homemade Glycerin Soap

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I enjoy crafting, but I have a confession. I only make easy crafts. I’m a busy mom and don’t have the time (or attention span) for complicated anything. The great thing about simple crafts is that it means you can make them with your kids. When my teen daughters were in elementary school we used to make soap all the time. We made it for fun. We made it for party favors. We made it for Valentine’s Day gifts. We made it for teacher gifts. While my oldest daughter was home from college, I was looking for something for the three of us to do together (you know, mom and daughter and daughter quality time together).  When both of my daughters were complaining of dry winter skin, I knew that we could make homemade glycerin soap together. It would be a nostalgic activity for us to do together and we could take care of and hydrate our winter skin, too. 

3 clear round homemade soap with blue and green circles on blue towel.

Making melt and pour soap is so easy that I’ve taught many, many friends how to make homemade glycerin soap. One friend wanted to learn so she could make personalized soap as wedding favors.  The creative possiblities are endless with choices of mold shapes, types of soap base, fragrance scents, colors and  even glitter. It’s a wonderful craft to make with children because of the creative possibilities,  but if you are making soap with younger children, you will have to carefully supervise because you are pouring hot liquids into the molds.

3 round clear with blue and green centers soaps on white wood table with blue towel.

This confetti soap is one of my favorites to make because it’s easy, but looks complicated. 

Supplies to Make Homemade Glycerin Soap

You can find soap making supplies in many craft stores, some big box stores and online. 

overhead view of soap making supplies including clear glycerin soap and dyes.

Soap Base I chose clear glycerin soap because I wanted to make confetti soap, but there are natural soap bases, solid soap bases, and almost any type you can imagine.

Soap Dye Be sure to purchase the dye that is designed to be used in soap making and used on skin.

Fragrance  Use fragrances designed for soap making. There are scents ranging from floral to bubble gum, with everything in between.

Rubbing Alcohol in Spray Bottle You don’t need much, so a small spray bottle is perfect.

Microwaveable Bowl I use a large glass measuring cup. Some people prefer to use dedicated containers, but you can easily remove the soap with hot water, so it’s a personal preference. It is soap, after all. 

Stirring Stick A bamboo skewer or disposable chop sticks are perfect. You can throw it out when you’re done. 

Soap Molds You can purchase soap molds in an endless variety of shapes and themes, but I used recycled plastic packaging for this project. 

two pink rubber soap mold trays with six round molds per tray.
two blue soap molds to make circular bars of soap imprinted with flowers.
two pink soap mold trays to make rectangular bars of soap imprinted with nature designs.

Microwave Your kitchen microwave is perfect. 

I have found that recycled plastic packaging is perfect as soap making molds. I used plastic trays that held chocolate candy and the plastic clam shell packaging that apples come in. If you look around your recycling bin, you’ll be surprised how many free soap molds you already have. 

overhead view of clear plastic packaging used as molds.

Steps to Make Homemade Glycerin Soap

Cut the soap base into chunks approximately 1 inch by 1 inch. The soap is soft enough that a sharp knife and cutting board will do the job. Place the soap chunks in a microwaveable bowl. 

Melt the soap in the microwave 10 – 20 seconds at a time. Stir in between each heating. 

When the soap is completely melted, add dye and fragrance. Add fragrance one drop at a time. Deepening on how much soap you’re making, one drop may be all you need.  Add both dye and fragrance slowly. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away if you add too much.  Stir well with the stirring stick.

Pour into the mold. If your soap starts to harden before you can pour it, you can microwave it again, but try 5 – 10 second intervals of microwaving at this point.

Spritz the soap in the mold with alcohol. This removes the tiny air bubbles and is just for aesthetics. Don’t worry if you forget or don’t remove all the bubbles., it won’t impact the effectiveness of the soap. 

Allow the soap to harden. Depending on the size of the mold this may take 30 minutes to overnight. 

collage of 4 images of the steps of making homemade soap.
overhead view of soap with bubbles in mold.

Pop the soap out of the mold. If you are having difficulty releasing the soap from the mold, you can place it into the freezer for 10 minutes to make it easier to remove the soap. I had difficulty removing the soap from the round apple container molds, even after time in the freezer, so I simply cut the side of the mold with scissors. No worries, since it was free and I have 9 more molds from the remainder of the apple container. To make confetti soap, first make the blue and green colored smaller soaps. Then pour a thin layer of clear soap into the larger mold, add some of the smaller colored soaps, then continue to add more clear soap and more colored soaps until the mold is full. It’s important to spritz alcohol on each layer of soap before you add the next layer. This spritz of alcohol removes the tiny bubbles you can see below and also helps the two layers adhere together better. 

3 round bars of homemade soap next to green and blue hand towels.

It took about 20 minutes active time to make this soap, plus cooling time. We let the completed bars cool and harden overnight. 

2 blue bottles next to 3 bars of soap and green towel.

Glycerin soap is know to be hydrating to skin, which makes it a great winter craft and gift. But as my daughters and I were talking, we all agreed that this winter has been particularly rough on our skin. We learned about Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer which is applied to wet skin, absorbs 2 times faster and is a no rinse product. Since Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer locks in moisture on wet skin, it’s a perfect combination with the homemade glycerin soap my daughters and I just made. 

When I was out shopping at Walmart, I found Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer on the body lotion aisle in the personal care area. Since I have two teen daughters, fortunately there are three different choices; Green Tea Oil, Coconut Oil and Monoi Oil. There’s a fragrance for everyone. 

3 round bars of homemade soap on white wood table with blue towel.

Now that you know how to make homemade glycerin soap you could whip up a batch this weekend. It’s a great stuck-home-in-a-snow-storm activity to share with your kids and teens. With your homemade glycerin soap and Jergens® Wet Skin™ Moisturizer  you can pamper your dry skin. Which of the three Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer fragrances would you choose?

Be sure to pin for later so you can always find this fun tutorial for homemade glycerin soap.

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  1. I’ve been making a lot of my own beauty products at home but haven’t made soap yet. I’m excited to have a recipe to try! I love that I can customize the soap to match my towels if I want. I can’t wait to buy and try some of the Wet Skin Moisturizer. I was using baby oil to lock in moisture after my shower, but it leaves the shower floor dangerously slick!

    1. Thanks, Kristi. It really is fun to make this soap (and so easy). I’m all for hydrating products this time of year, for sure.

  2. I was just sitting here thinking about what to do for my dry skin! Winter takes it’s toll and then there is age…bummer. I’m a fan of crafts now that we have granddaughters that I have one afternoon a week. This is a great activity for us.

    1. Your granddaughters will love soap making. You can add stickers of their choice to the clear soap base, too. Have fun making soap with the grands, Monica.

  3. Susan, it has been so many years since I have made glycerine soap. I love the sea colors that you put in the bars. So pretty. I can see how these would make great gifts for a special birthday and especially in a Mother’s Day basket.

  4. How fun! I have never made soap before. I love the colors and bubble look of your soaps. They would make perfect gifts. And I love Jergen’s lotions as well!

  5. This looks like so much fun! I haven’t ever made soap, but have really been wanting to try. I have been apprehensive about working with lye, so I love that this recipe seems so easy. I am really excited to try this!

    1. You’ll love making melt and pour soap. You can purchase all kinds of soap bases – goat milk, soy, coconut oil and more.

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