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How to Make Soap From Scratch

Home Projects Crafts How to Make Soap From Scratch

Want to know how to make soap? If you want to stop buying soap from the store, then this is a skill you should learn today!

— This post is courtesy of Survival Life shared with permission —

How to Make Soap

DIY “Cold Process” Soap You Can Make At Home

I’m going to make some homemade soap using a very simple, basic recipe. I use my own homemade soap and I’m running low, so I’m going to make a quick batch.

Here’s what you need:

  • Plain, standard vegetable oil; nothing fancy
  • 100% lye (sold as drain opener)

Soap Making

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  • A measuring cup — ONLY use Pyrex glass!
  • Something to heat with. A lot of people use the stove, but I find it’s very hard to get the right temperature. An electric like this one has a dial so you can get the right temperature. You want to cook the soap to around 100 degrees, so this makes it convenient.


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  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • Long sleeves
  • Long pants

Those last four items are because lye is extremely caustic and can melt your skin. When working with this stuff, be extremely careful.

My recipe calls for 16 ounces (2 cups) of vegetable oil. Again, this is a very very simple formula I’m making here. Measure out two cups of oil, then pour it into your pot or skillet.

how to make homemade soap

Next, carefully measure out 8 ounces of water and 2 ounces of lye. You want to have a good kitchen scale and make sure it’s zeroed out before you measure your lye.

The best way to do this is to place a paper envelope on top of your scale and pour your lye into the envelope. (I cut off the corner of a used mailing envelope.) You don’t want to use metal or good kitchen utensils, since the lye is caustic and will destroy what it touches.

how to make your own soap

Now in this next step you must be very very careful. Mix your lye into your water. Never pour the water into the lye. Put the lye into the water, a little bit at a time.

homemade soap

You’ll notice I’m using a stick. to stir with I have lost too many stirring spoons in the past to being dissolved, and I learned to use a stick.

soap making

Stir in a tiny tiny bit of lye at a time. You’ll notice already this little bit of lye is bubbling. This gets extremely hot; be very careful working with water and lye. There’s a chemical reaction that goes on here. I should also note you should have ventilation where you work; this gives off some very poisonous gases.

Next, I’m going to set a thermometer inside and let that sit until it’s down to 100 degrees.

how to make homemade soap

I’m going to preheat the oil to 100 degrees. This thermometer starts at 160, so it’s a little bit of guesswork.

making soap

OK, my oil is heated up. Now very slowly, very carefully add your lye mixture to your oil.

diy soap

Now it’s just a matter of continuously stirring until you get what’s called “trace” (when oil and lye water have emulsified.) This will take a while. What’s important right now is to continuously stir. This could take anywhere from 15-20 minutes to a half hour, sometimes longer depending on the situation. For me it’s always been different; there are too many variables involved. Some people use an electric hand mixer for this process. It’s your preference. I don’t like to make a mess or risk spilling.

homemade soap recipes

I’ve been vigorously stirring for about 15 minutes now. You’ll notice the oil mixture is getting thicker. There are little particles floating in it – those are little particles of soap forming. You can see some foam starting on the edges, and you can see a lot more little particles of soap forming inside here. It’s getting there.

melt and pour soap

About 15 minutes later, you can see a whole lot more foam forming on the top.

melt and pour soap recipes

10 minutes later, it’s becoming almost more like cream in appearance, and you can see the liquid is not settling as fast behind my stir as it was before. There’s a soapy sheen on the surface now.

how to make your own soap

A while later, the surface is starting to look like applesauce now. You can see this has become very thick now. This is called trace. When you stir it, you can see the tracks left behind. It is now ready to be poured into the mold.

soap making recipes

What I have here is a silicon bake mould. I use that because I happened to get it for free and it can take the 170 degree temperatures of the soap.

how to make soap at home

Now I’m not making anything spectacular here, this is just for me to use privately, so I’m just going to scrape right out of the bowl into the mould.

homemade soap recipe

Now that the batch of soap is “done,” let it sit overnight with a towel wrapped around it. Cover the top and let it slowly cool down and cure overnight.

After 24 hours, remove the soap from the mold and slice it into soap bars. Then let the soap sit and cure for 6-8 weeks until all of the lye has been worked out and all of the oil has been converted to soap. At that point, you can use it as normal body soap, bath soap or dish soap.

how to make your own soap - click for the tutorial!

The advantage of cold process soap like this over hot process is that it’s still liquid-like and you can get a very smooth surface on the soap if you want. The hot process soap is lumpy-looking, rough and coarse. A lot of people prefer the cold process because, although it takes longer to cure, you get a nicer looking bar of soap.

Do you have any soap making experiences of your own to share? Let us know in the comments!

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

23 Different Ways To Make Soap from Home

Homemade Toiletries

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?


Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.


  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients

Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips

Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt

Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage

Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar

Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar

You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band

Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!


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Self Sufficiency


Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!


Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.


Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.


Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.


Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.


Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.


There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.


A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.


Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.


Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!




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