Virtual Retreat: Making Soap


This post is part of the Virtual Retreat series. If you can’t be there, you can be here!

In times past, making soap at home was a necessity, not a craft. Today, people enjoy making soap at home for all kinds of reasons including controlling what goes into the products they and their families use on their bodies, frugality, and creativity. I came at making soap as part of my homesteading adventure. Could I do it? I had to prove to myself that I could! As usual, I wished there was somebody around to teach me. Attendees at CITR Retreat 2011 will get a chance to try their hands at homemade bar soap and liquid soap, with soapmaster CindyP leading the classes. Cindy mentored me as I was learning, and I can’t think of a better teacher.

Chocolate Spa Soap.

One of the confusing things for people today is the issue of lye. Old-time homemade soap is commonly referred to as lye soap. It was sometimes harsh, due to the non-standardization of the strength of homemade lye. You can make your own lye today, still, from ash, but most people prefer to use commercial standardized lye. All soap contains lye. Store-bought soap just calls lye by another name on the ingredients list.

If you’re scared of lye, educating yourself about it is the answer. Check out my “Getting Ready to Make Soap” series to learn all about lye and the other ingredients and equipment needed to make soap at home.

Read more about the different processes of making soap and what goes into soap here: Getting Ready to Make Soap: Part 1.

See all about the scary lye here: Getting Ready to Make Soap: Part 2.

And find out all about the necessary tools and utensils here: Getting Ready to Make Soap: Part 3.

Then jump into my how-to tutorials, with lots of pictures along the way, for bar soap and liquid soap:
How to Make Soap (Bar Soap)
How to Make Liquid Soap

See all my posts in soapmaking here.

CindyP also has some excellent soapmaking posts on her Our Life Simplified site, including a great tutorial on using a lye calculator. Tutorial links on CindyP’s site:
Hot Process Soap
Homemade Soap Recipes
How To: Using SoapCalc
Simple & Quick Liquid Soap

You can do it! Join us–at home!


  1. bonita says:

    All that canning, grandmother’s bread, soap, pickles and general farmy-ness has served you well.

  2. GarnetRuby says:

    HURRAY !!
    hur·rah (h -rä , -rô , h -) also hoo·ray or hur·ray (-r ). interj. Used as an exclamation of pleasure, approval, elation, or victory. n. 1. A shout of “hurrah.” 2. Excitement; fanfare.

    :sheepjump: :snoopy: :moo: :shimmy: :hug: :heart: :snuggle: :wave:

  3. Window On The Prairie says:

    Mmmmmm….chocolate spa soap. Do you wash with it or eat it? 😀 I’ll bet it smells just divine.

Add Your Thoughts