Making your own coconut oil soap at home is easier than you think! This natural soap recipe using pure coconut oil is gentle, cleansing, and extra moisturizing, leaving your skin feeling soft and refreshed.

Coconut oil’s moisturizing fatty acids have amazing benefits for homemade soaps. That’s why in this easy tutorial, you’ll learn a simple cold-process method to make coconut milk soap from scratch. With just three main ingredients, it’s perfect for beginner DIY soap makers.

Is Coconut Oil Good for Soap-Making?

Coconut oil has excellent cleansing and bubbly lathering abilities. The lauric acid in coconut oil gives it fast trace times, making coconut oil a popular choice for handmade soap recipes.

Coconut oil soap is gentle enough for sensitive skin. It’s moisturizing, soothing, and leaves skin feeling conditioned after use. Many soap makers use a coconut oil soap recipe as an everyday gentle body bar.

What is Cold-Process Soapmaking?

Cold-process soap making involves combining coconut oil (or other fats or oils) with a lye solution. As the lye interacts with the oils, saponification occurs, and they turn into soap.

Cold-process soaps use the heat from the lye reaction to saponify the oils without any external heat being added. This method allows you to safely make soap from scratch at home.

Should You Use Refined or Unrefined Coconut Oil?

Refined coconut oil works best to make coconut milk soap. It has the coconut flavor and scent removed, which results in a more gentle bar of soap.

Unrefined virgin coconut oil adds coconut fragrance. But it can make coconut oil soap that develops DOS (dreaded orange spots) more quickly. For beautifully white, long-lasting coconut soap, use refined coconut oil.

Easy DIY Coconut Milk Soap Recipe

Now let’s get to the recipe! Follow these simple step-by-step instructions to make moisturizing coconut soap from scratch at home.


  • 12 oz. refined coconut oil
  • 3.9 oz. lye (sodium hydroxide)
  • 5 oz. canned coconut milk (instead of water)
  • 1 oz. essential oils or fragrance oils (optional)


  • Digital scale
  • Thermometer
  • Stainless steel pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Rubber spatula
  • Soap mold
  • Stick blender


  1. Put on safety glasses, gloves, and an apron. Work in a well-ventilated area.
  2. Weigh out the coconut oil into the pot. Melt if needed.
  3. Weigh the lye and slowly add it to the coconut milk, stirring continually. Allow it to cool.
  4. When both mixtures reach 95–100 °F, combine them. Stir manually for a few minutes.
  5. Use the stick blender to bring the soap to a trace (thick custard-like consistency).
  6. Add 1 oz. of essential oils or fragrance if desired. Stir with a spatula.
  7. Pour carefully into the soap mold. Tap to release air bubbles.
  8. Cover soap with a cardboard box and wrap in towels to insulate. Allow to sit for 24-48 hours.
  9. Unmold the coconut soap and cut it into bars. Allow bars to cure in a well-ventilated area for 4-6 weeks.
  10. Wrap cured soap bars individually and store in a cool, dry area. Enjoy your homemade soap!

And that’s it. With just three main ingredients, you can now make lovely batches of coconut milk soap bars at home using this easy tutorial. Customize them with your favorite essential oil blends, too.

What Oils Can I Use With Coconut Oil to Make Soap?

Coconut oil makes a wonderfully gentle soap on its own. But blending it with complimentary oils enhances the qualities of your soap.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is rich in skin-nourishing vitamins and antioxidants. Using olive oil makes a nice, hard bar that lathers well. Typical olive oil soap uses about 30% of the recipe.

Palm Oil

Palm oil makes a hard bar of soap that lathers nicely. It adds creaminess. Use 15–30% in your recipe.

Castor Oil

Just a small amount (5–10%) of castor oil helps stabilize the lather in coconut oil soap. It also makes a harder bar.

Sweet Almond Oil

This conditioning oil helps make a smooth, moisturizing bar. Use up to 20% in place of part of the coconut oil.

Common Coconut Oil Soap Making Questions

If you’re new to DIY soap making, here are answers to some frequently asked coconut oil soap questions:

Is all coconut oil soap drying?

No, homemade coconut oil soap is actually quite moisturizing! It produces a fluffy lather that doesn’t strip your skin like detergents. The key is not to superfatten your recipe too much. 8–12% superfat is ideal for an all-coconut oil soap.

Can you use coconut milk instead of water to make soap?

Yes, the fat and sugars naturally found in coconut milk add a skin-nourishing quality to cold-process soap bars. Follow my coconut milk soap recipe above to try it.

How long does it take for coconut oil soap to cure?

Coconut oil soap needs 4-6 weeks minimum to fully cure after it’s unmolded. This ensures excess moisture evaporates, so it lasts well. Letting it cure makes a harder, longer-lasting bar.

Why does handmade coconut oil soap sweat?

High amounts of saturated fats combined with excess moisture can make coconut oil soap “sweat,” meaning beads of oil on the surface. Reduce sweating by curing bars uncovered in a very well-ventilated area.

What makes coconut oil soap lather?

The lauric and myristic fatty acids naturally found in coconut oil make it lather extremely well. Coconut oil soap whips up a bubbly, creamy lather that leaves the skin feeling pleasantly clean.

Beginner Tips for Making Coconut Oil Soap

If you’re new to cold-process coconut oil soap making, starting with this simple recipe using just three main ingredients is perfect.

Ensure Accuracy

Carefully measure out all amounts of oils, liquids, and lye. Follow my coconut milk soap recipe exactly so your finished soap bars turn out right.

Weighing out the coconut oil and lye on a digital scale removes the guesswork. Don’t attempt to make coconut oil soap without first using an accurate lye calculator, either.

Mix Well

Combine the lye-coconut milk and melted coconut oil mixtures together at around 100 °F. Stirring it well at first, then stick-blending to fully incorporate, produces nice emulsification.

Mind Temps

Pour your homemade soap into molds at around 110 °F or less. Hotter temperatures can cause partial gel or grainy coconut oil soap bars.

Cure Completely

This all-coconut oil cold process soap recipe needs a full 4-6 week cure after molding for excess moisture to evaporate. Resist using new coconut milk soap bars right away. Properly cured bars last longer and lather better!

Following my tips sets you up for success making moisturizing coconut oil soap from scratch at home.

Tips for Making the Best Coconut Oil Cold Process Soap

Follow these helpful tips for getting optimal results with your homemade coconut milk soap:

  • Use refined coconut oil for pure white bars with a longer shelf life.
  • Don’t pour soap at temperatures above 110 °F, or it may become grainy.
  • Insulate the molded soap well for even gelling.
  • Unwrap and rotate bars often while curing.
  • Add hard oils, like palm oil or cocoa butter, for a harder bar.
  • Consider adding castor oil for stabilized bubbles.
  • Use gentle essential oils like lavender so BAR doesn’t accelerate tracing too quickly.
  • Allow coconut oil soap bars to cure properly before use for the best lather.

Handmade cold-process coconut oil soap is simple to make with this easy recipe and step-by-step directions. Customize it with skin-nourishing oils and wonderfully scented essential oils suited to your skin type.

Whip up a batch soon and enjoy creating natural coconut milk soap using ingredients you know and trust!

The moisturizing qualities of coconut oil make a wonderful bubbly soap for head-to-toe cleansing. Follow this tutorial so you can learn how to make coconut oil soap from scratch at home.

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