GOOD MORNING (Coffee) Kitchen Soap




Introduction: GOOD MORNING (Coffee) Kitchen Soap

About: 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 texture.....fabric, wood, glass, stones....even rusty objects. I have a LARGE fabric…

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  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 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)
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.

Step 2: Step 2 Gather Supplies

MOST of what you need you already have on hand, or can buy locally. I have seen/made several recipes that use only 1 or 2 ingredients (like REAL castile) and I agree that you don't HAVE to add tons of high priced oils to have a glorious soap.

8 ounces STRONG Coffee cooled
 5-6 Tablespoons USED coffee grounds
12 ounces Lard (from the grocery store or Walmart)
12 ounces Olive Oil (the cheaper the better)
10 ounces Coconut Oil (again from the grocery store or the cheapest)
2 ounces Castor oil (Walmart by the pharmacy)
4 ounces Almond Oil (or other oil....I'll address this in a later step)
5.5 ounces 100% Lye  It MAY say drain cleaner (Ace Hardware) but DO NOT BUY DRAINO it has other things in it besides 100% lye

Stainless Steel pan......DO NOT USE ALUMINUM  to heat the oils/fats
1 or 2 thermometers
scales (I prefer digital but any good food scale will work)  I used my old Weight Watchers Scale when making large batches
Stainless Steel spoon or wooden spoon (that you will NEVER use for food again)
Pan scraper again you will NEVER use this for food again
large glass measuring cup or bowl
Rubber gloves
eye protection IF you don't wear eye glasses
Cardboard box or other NON METAL container to use as a mold
plastic wrap
plastic sandwich bag
Plastic garbage bag (you may NOT use it...I'll address later)
old bath towel or blanket to insulate the soap
old clothes
vinegar (to rinse with in case of a spill of the lye water)

Stick Blender (immersion blender) NEVER to be used for food again

Step 3: Step 3 Weigh, Measure, and Mix

1. Measure the cooled coffee, and put into a glass measuring cup (at least 1 quart) You need the handle so it's best not to use a mixing bowl

2. Put on your rubber gloves, and have the scale ready to go. CAREFULLY poor the crystal Lye into the plastic sandwich bag and weigh it on the scale until the weight is EXACT.   NOTE: sometimes it's easier to weigh the lye out in grams if your scale has that capability

3. This step MUST be done in a well ventelated area (as in windows OPEN) or do it out side......even if it's cold
Pour the lye INTO the cooled coffee (not the other way around) NOT breath in the fumes. Stir taking care NOT to splash. Keep kids and pets away. It will GET HOT....use the handle if you have to move the measuring cup.  Leave the measuring cup outside, while you work on the oils.

4. Weigh out the the oils (olive oil, lard, coconut oil) and put them into the pan on medium heat to just melt.....Don't cook! 

5. Weigh the Castor Oil, and the Almond Oil (put them in a bowl, and set aside)

Step 4: Step 4 Prepare, and Mix

Check the temperature of the lye mixture, and the oil mixture. You want them to BOTH be as close to 110 - 125 degrees as possible, before you combine them.  That is why making soap in the winter is good. The lye mixture can sit outside to cool, or if your oils get too hot, you can stick the pan outside as well.

PREPARE the mold you are going to use. For this Instructable I used a silicone loaf pan that I bought at a thrift store, but you can just as easily use a cardboard box that you have lined with an open plastic trash bag.

I like sticking my mold in the oven with a large bath towel around it, and the oven light turned on. In the summer I put the soap in my hot garage. It just needs to be able to stay warm to finish the chemical reaction (saponification). So prepare that area as well.

Have the bowl with the castor oil, and almond oil within easy reach. Keep the coffee grounds handy as well. Keep vinegar handy.

Once BOTH the lye mixture, and the oil mixture are ABOUT 110 - 125 degrees put your GLOVES, and EYE PROTECTION on, GENTLY pour the lye mixture INTO the oils (do NOT pour the oils into the lye mixture) Stirring continuously!  Once they are combined, IF you have a stick blender use it will save you a LOT of stirring

Step 5: Step 5 NOW We're Making Soap

Alternate turning the stick blender on for a couple minutes, and off (but still stirring with it) so you don't burn up the motor, until the mixture starts to thicken. This can take anywhere from 10 minutes to MUCH longer depending on the oils you are using, and IF you are stirring by hand or useing the blender.

Mix until you get to a TRACE stage......this is a cooking term that is used with things like pudding. It means you can see where you have just leaves a little trail for a split second. Don't rush it

Once you are at this point quickly mix in the castor, and almond oils, AND the coffee grounds. Mix well, then pour the whole mixture into your mold using your scraper to get it all.

Cover the mold with either the plastic wrap or the rest of the plastic garbage bag.....pressing the extra air out.

Put the mold in the oven (or where ever you have decided to put it) on the towel or blanket, and cover it. Leave it for about 24 hours

Step 6: Step 6 Clean Up

Think back to chemestry in school.......lye is a base (or alkaline), and vinegar is an acid, so one "counter acts" the IF you splash some of the raw soap, or heaven forbid the lye mixture rince with vinegar FIRST.

With your gloves still on, place all your "tools" in the sink, rinse with plain water with a good splash of vinegar added, before you wash everything with soap and water.

Remember anything that you used that is in any way porous will NEVER be used for food again. Glass and Stainless steel is OK, all though I save this pan just for soap, because it's old and dented!

NOW to address the oils I used. I used what I had on hand. I ALWAYS use some kind of animal fat.....lard is the cheapest and easiest to obtain. I have also rendered my own tallow from fat scraps I got for free from my local grocer. Both make a nice hard white soap. Most of the time I also use Crisco (soy bean oil), but when I made this for the first time, I didn't have any. You really can use any oil that is listed on the MMS Lye Calculator. You just fill in the amount and it calculates the lye needed.

PLEASE NOTE:any time you add, subtract or change an oil as an ingredient, you MUST run it through the lye calculator. These fats/oils are NOT interchangeable!

I did not add a fragrance to this thought is IF it removes bad odors, why bother putting in fragrance?  USUALLY when a fragrance is added you put it in at "TRACE". Fragrance oils can be purchased at the MMS site, or my other favorite

Step 7: Step 7 WAIT, Remove, CUT, DRY

WAIT about 24 - 36 hours, then remove the soap from the oven. It is no longer a liquid, and has got HOT in the oven from the chemical reaction going on. Remove your new soap from the mold, and cut into bars.  I use a dry wall blade/knife "thingy", or a putty knife,  but really any knife will do. Put the bars onto a drying rack and put in a dry place where air can circulate, for at least 4 weeks before using.

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7 years ago

kinda strange looks like the soap I make,even the silicon mould is the same.
keep up the good work.


9 years ago on Introduction

After ending the coffee I’m ready to start my inspiration in the morning. I’m offer you the most useful compilation of

Nice job! I have actually used this recipe before and love it. Funny how coffee can take kitchen smells from your hands.
also glad you listed some websites for the lye calculators.


10 years ago on Introduction

I love this! Thanks for sharing. These guys look so pretty and old fashioned!


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

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 ;-(

Next time I make soap I may tell him I'm making it into balls so I can do another INSTRUCTABLE!

I hope you try'll LOVE having it in the kitchen, and so will your family and friends, since you'll be "sharing" with them I'm sure!


10 years ago on Introduction

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.

I will probably give this a try since it is winter :)

Great instructable


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

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 "stain stick", and laundry soap out of a "lye heavy" batch of soap, instead of throwing it away.......Now I wish I could duplicate it!


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

I found instructables a few years back when I was still living in Michigan. I love colorado and want to stay a long time.

p.s. I found this site that might be of interest to you as they have a soap vendor or two.

Peace, Bryan


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

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

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


10 years ago on Introduction

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 "stalkerish"