Interested in making your own soap? Handmade soap is not only fun to make, but, if done right, it can be better for the environment and more affordable than buying regular soap. But before you dive in, you should know how much it costs to make handmade soap.
Pick Your Recipe
The cost of making handmade soap really depends on the recipe and the ingredients you use. It goes without saying, but the more high-quality ingredients you use, the pricier handmade soap will be. On the other hand, if you are only making your own soap to save money, you may find the time and energy it requires isn’t worth it.
Consider soaps you buy in-store. There is a huge variance in price. Some soaps sell for less than $0.50 per bar, while others escalate to nearly $5.00 per bar! Why is the price of store-bought soap so all over the board?
For one, it depends on the ingredients. The cheaper soaps tend to be mass-produced with lower-quality ingredients. If you have sensitive skin, chances are, these soaps are irritating and harsher to use. Conversely, higher-end soaps include more natural and moisturizing ingredients, such as shea, jojoba, and avocado oil. Further, they likely come in a ton of luxurious scents.
If you’re looking to make your own soap, the recipe you choose will drastically affect the price per bar. And there are SO many soap recipes out there that it can easily become overwhelming. How do you know which one to pick?
To start, think about what’s important to you in homemade soap. Are ingredients more important? Scent? The appearance of it? Or is cost the main driver?
Secondly, how much time are you willing to spend mastering soap making? If you aren’t certain, you may want to take a class, which will increase the cost of making your own soap. Plus, you will need to purchase initial supplies, such as molds and fragrances.
And when it comes to picking a recipe, the simpler, the better. You will need to pick your soap-making method (cold-pressed, melt-and-pour, hot-pressed, and rebatched). For newbies, the melt-and-pour method is highly recommended, as it is relatively simple.
Once you pick a method, you can find a recipe that fits that. Here are some amazing melt-and-pour method soap recipes to get you started!
Buy Your Ingredients
Once you find a recipe you want to make, it’s time to buy the ingredients. Depending on the recipe, you may need to go to a couple of different stores, such as the grocery store and craft store. Choosing your ingredients will drastically affect the price of your soap. For instance, say you want to make a lavender-scented soap. You can either buy pricey lavender fragrance, fresh lavender from a market, or dried lavender. All of those ingredients vary in price, so it really depends on what your desired outcome is.
To keep the price of your handmade soap low, choose recipes with simple ingredients you already have in your kitchen, such as oatmeal, honey, olive oil, and more.
Purchase Used Supplies
Like with any hobby craft, there are plenty of people who have invested in soap making but are no longer using their supplies. Instead of buying everything new, ask around to see if anyone you know has supplies, such as molds, fragrances, and glycerin laying around. Chances are, they would be happy to sell it to you for a steeply discounted rate!
Calculate the Total Cost
Once you have purchased all of your ingredients and supplies, you can calculate the total cost. How do you do that? Add up the total cost of all of the ingredients and supplies you bought. If you used any ingredients already sitting in your kitchen, you can factor that in as well.
Now that you have the total cost of your soap, divide it by the total number of bars you were able to make. That is how you find the total price per bar. For instance, if you spent $40 for everything, and made 8 bars of soap for that, your price per bar of soap is $5. Remember, that does include the one-time cost of initial supplies, so your price-per-batch should go down over time.
How to Make Soap Making More Affordable
Want to make the cost of soap making even more affordable? Here are a few tips for you to consider:
Make Soap in Bulk
One of the quickest ways to decrease the price per bar of soap is to buy ingredients in bulk. You can go to mega box stores, such as Costco or Sam’s Club, and buy basic ingredients in bulk. This works particularly well if you are looking to make higher-quality soaps at home. You can purchase better ingredients in bulk for much, much cheaper.
Simplify Your Recipe
Perhaps the best tip of all: keep it simple!
The more simple you can keep your recipe, the better. Why? For one, you will have fewer ingredients to purchase. Plus, simple recipes rarely call for unique or expensive ingredients. Secondly, the more often you make a single recipe, the more time you have to perfect it. While experimenting with different recipes can be fun, it can quickly become costly!
Get More Uses Per Bar
The math doesn’t lie. The more uses you can get out of a bar of soap, the lower the price per bar becomes.
How can you get more uses out of a single bar? For one, consider using a terrycloth soap bag or loofah. They allow the soap to suds, giving you more product for less.
Lastly, you always have the option to sell your handmade soap!
If you enjoy the process of making soap, consider selling it. Selling your homemade goods is a great way to get some return on your investment. While you may not get rich from selling homemade soap, it can certainly help to offset the cost and give you a little extra income on the side.
Rachel Slifka is a freelance writer and human resources professional. She is passionate about helping fellow millennials find success with their finances and careers. Read more by checking out her website at RachelSlifka.com.