I've been making soap for about 12 years now. When I say "making soap" I mean REAL soap.....not the glycerine, or melt and pour kind like you buy from the craft store (all though I have had occasion to use it for SOME projects) I'm talking about what our Great Grandmothers (or maybe it was Great-Great Grandmothers) used to make out of necessity.  It was made with animal fat, and lye (which by the way they also made......YIKES I don't go THAT far)

I use a lye calculator that is found on line, as are many recipes. The site I like best is Majestic Mountain Sage http://www.thesage.com/index.html  When made properly you have THE MOST luxurous soap you have ever used.......of course most of us have never really used SOAP.....instead what we buy is detergent!  This soap will have NO lye left in it when the chemical reaction call saponification is complete (that's why I use a lye calculator).

I remember my Grandma's skin as being super soft, and smooth. She still made "her" soap, even when she could buy commercial bath soap at the store. Her's didn't smell, or look as pretty as the store bought bars, but she used hers on her face daily, and now I know why she looked like she did.

I will provide my recipe. I will also provide safety rules for making soap. It's a VERY safe project, but you DO need to understand what you're doing, and why.

I created this soap years ago (at least 10) when I tried some other "kitchen" soap made with coffee, but no coffee grounds.

This soap is GREAT at taking cooking smells....like Onion, Garlic, or Fish from your hands. It also works well (all though you may need to rince and repeat) removing the smell of oil, and gasoline!

Step 1: Recipe and Precaution using MMS Lye Calculator

Good Morning Kitchen Soap

Created by MaryT8M

Service provided by Majestic Mountain Sage
© 1996-2011 Majestic Mountain Sage, All Rights Reserved



For the size of fat batch that you are using, we recommend that you use approximately 10 to 15 fluid ounces of liquid.

WARNING: Always add your solid form lye, sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, to the liquid. If the liquid were added to the solid form lye a violent reaction could result. This means you could have a "volcano" erupt out of your container.

Fats & Oils

Fat Amount
(oz wt)
% in
Almond Oil, Sweet 4 10.00
Castor Oil 2 5.00
Coconut Oil 10 25.00
Olive Oil 12 30.00
Lard 12 30.00
Total Weight 40  

Lye Table (NaOH)

% excess fat Lye Amount
(oz wt)
0 5.94
1 5.88
2 5.82
3 5.76
4 5.70
5 5.64
6 5.58
7 5.52
8 5.46
9 5.40
10 5.34
0% to 4% excess fat range: Proceed with caution! We do not recommend this unless actual saponification values are known and used.
5% to 8% excess fat range: This is the range we use most often.
9% to 10% excess fat range: Creates a softer soap because of the amount of excess fat.
DISCLAIMER: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained here is accurate. However due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills we cannot guarantee the information is applicable in your situation. We are not responsible for any injuries, losses, or other damages that may result from the use this information available here.
Always wear protective goggles, gloves and other safety clothing when handling sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. Refer to the appropriate MSDS for complete details.


add coffee grounds, castor oil, and almond oil at trace

Basic Soapmaking Instructions

  • While wearing safety goggles and neoprene gloves, combine solid lye and liquid, stir well. Set aside and allow to cool (100° F to 125° F). This is best done outside while you are standing upwind.

  • Combine oils and heat gently. Once the fats and oils are melted allow the temperature to drop to 100° F to 125° F.

  • Combine lye solution and melted oils. Be careful not to splash while combining the mixtures. Stir until the mixture traces. If tracing takes more than 15 minutes, which it often does, stir for the first 15 minutes, then stir for 5 minutes at 15 minute intervals. Tracing looks like a slightly thickened custard, not instant pudding but a cooked custard. It will support a drop, or your stir marks for several seconds. Once tracing occurs...

  • Pour raw soap into your prepared molds. After a few days the soap can be turned out of the mold. If the soap is very soft, allow it to cure for a few days to firm the outside.

  • Cut soap into bars and set the bars out to cure and dry. This will allow the bar to firm and finish saponification. Place the bars on something that will allow them to breathe.
I made this but tweeted it a but and made it hot process and spit it in half. I did half coffee flavor and the other half cinnamon then piped hot soap on top then sprinkled with coffee grounds. smells just like cinnamon coffee!!
kinda strange looks like the soap I make,even the silicon mould is the same.<br>keep up the good work.
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thank you! great idea to use coffee. i will try this! <br><br>for everybody else making soap: when she says wear googles <br>WEAR GOGGLES!!<br><br>i made soap last summer and didn't wear my goggles when i was stirring the lye water mixture, and some splashed up and miraculously landed in my eyeballs and I ended up in the ER, and those retards had no idea what to give me (it was incredibly disappointing, they had no concept of pH values, no idea what lye or sodium hydroxide was, nor had they an eyewash station or dilution to neutralize the caustic chemical reaction that was continuing to damage my tissues while i waited for a doctor. they gave me 2 opiate eyedrops, and didn't tell me they would charge me $200 a drop. i would have done better going to a high school biology lab). 5 hours later i had micro tears in my cornea and pain-killing and antibiotic eyedrops that burned like hell! $2300 later...<br><br>to prevent this from happening to you - wear goggles. and if you're clumsy or accident prone like me - in addition to the safety glasses - have a gallon or two of a mild acidic dilution ready to dump on your eyes to stop the reaction (and THEN flood with fresh saline solution to neutralize your eyeball's pH) instead of flooding with irritating tap water for 60 minutes like i had to do because i didn't take preventative measures. <br>does anybody have any better DIY fixes for lye in the eye?<br><br>totally worth it though. homemade soap has no equal :)<br>
Nice job! I have actually used this recipe before and love it. Funny how coffee can take kitchen smells from your hands. <br>also glad you listed some websites for the lye calculators.
I love this! Thanks for sharing. These guys look so pretty and old fashioned! <br>Sunshiine
Thanks for saying so.....I REALLY like grinding the soap up (while it's only 24 hr old, and still soft) and making it into soap balls, but for some reason my DH only likes bars ;-( <br> <br>Next time I make soap I may tell him I'm making it into balls so I can do another INSTRUCTABLE! <br> <br>I hope you try this......you'll LOVE having it in the kitchen, and so will your family and friends, since you'll be &quot;sharing&quot; with them I'm sure!
I have made soap in the past but did not know of the lye calculator. I'm sure this will yield a nicer soap when finished.<br><br>I will probably give this a try since it is winter :)<br><br>Great instructable
BTW I lived most of my adult life in Colorado.......first in Colorado Springs, and later in Boulder County! I started making soap in Colorado will living out in the country! I also made my own &quot;stain stick&quot;, and laundry soap out of a &quot;lye heavy&quot; batch of soap, instead of throwing it away.......Now I wish I could duplicate it!
I found instructables a few years back when I was still living in Michigan. I love colorado and want to stay a long time.<br><br>p.s. I found this site that might be of interest to you as they have a soap vendor or two. denverurbanhomsteading.com<br><br>Peace, Bryan
I have never made it without using the calculator! Both of the sites I listed have great customer service. I've used several recipes from MMS, and have called them with questions......they're great! Both sites are very reputable <br> <br>IF you give it a try let me know how it comes out. I have another recipe ifn you're interested.......VERY creamy, and makes your skin feel super
I'm SO happy to finally be in the company of people who appreciate creativity as much as I do! I can't get enough of INSTRUCTABLES........YIKES that sounds a little &quot;stalkerish&quot;
Fantastic tutorial! Thank you for sharing this.

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Bio: I'm "retired", and now have time for all the creative things I've done since I was a child. I especially like anything with ... More »
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