Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Homemade Shea Butter Soap

For years, I made our own glycerin or olive oil soaps. Our family tends to be on the oily side, so glycerin can help with that. 

Well, it has been quite a while since I've made soap because I had to go back to work outside the home back in 2010 . . . so, today, with the help of my dear friends Balinda & Sherry, we decided to try something different and we made soaps with shea butter. It is a process that is very much like making glycerin soaps. SO VERY EASY and no lye to mess with.

You will need:

~shea butter soap block
~various essential oils (today we made rosemary & peppermint, cinnamon and real vanilla extract)
~various herbs and spices (today we used chamomile, dried rosemary and crunched cinnamon sticks)
**you will want to have these already crunched-up BEFORE you are ready to add them to the melted soap because the soap will start cooling immediately**
~soap molds
~mortar and pestle 
~glass/pyrex measuring cup
~small whisk or spatula
~cooling rack


1) cut shea butter block into small chunks
2) put chunks into the measuring cup
3) heat in a microwave beginning with 40 second intervals and then down to 10 seconds until chunks are completely melted
4) while soap is melting, crunch-up any herbs/spices you wish to add with your mortar and pestle
 Obligatory mug of tea never
too far away ;-)
5) QUICKLY add the herbs, spices and essential oils that you wish
6) with your spatula or whisk, quickly and thoroughly blend all ingredients
7) pour into molds
8) let sit, IN THE MOLDS, for an hour
9) after an hour, pop soap out of molds and onto a cooling rack
10) let soaps cure on the rack to 2 weeks
11) after 2 weeks, carefully trim the "uglies" off of the edges of your soaps and use, wrap or store as your wish.

**NOTE** We ran out of molds for the amount of soap we made so we tried something I'd never done before ~ we put cupcake wrappers in a muffin pan (since you can't push the soap out from the bottom of a muffin pan), that way we could simply lift the soaps out once they had sat for the 1st hour, and it turned out amazingly well. Paper peeled off nicely and the soaps will have those nice ripples from the papers. Sorry I didn't get photos of those. 

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><


  1. I've been looking for a soap recipe with no lye. I purchased some lovely soap made by an Amish lady at a farmers market, honeysuckle with glycerin and almond oil. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I always enjoy my visit here.

  2. I have been thinking about making some soap, but didn't want to go the route with the Lye. I was happy when I saw your post about this soap. Can I substitute glycerin for shea butter in your recipe. I bought some glycerin in the hopes that I could make soap, and am planting herbs and hope to make lovely fragrant soap.

    1. Yes, Faith, you can substitute glycerin for the shea butter. Click on the link where I mention my glycerin soaps and it will take you there. Very basic, easy recipes. You'll love it. Be sure to let me know how it works out for you.

  3. I think this is something that I must try! I've been making my own soap for a few years now, using lye and my crock pot. This sounds so much easier and no lye to deal with! Thank you so much, dear friend, for sharing this!

  4. P.S....I forgot to ask...where do you get your shea butter. ;)

    1. You can use shea butter from 2 different sources for this: 1) pure shea butter from a health food store, 2) as we did here, simply buy the blocks of shea butter from Hobby Lobby, Micheal's, or other craft stores. I like this one because it's less messy and is already blocked off in easily cut pieces. Let me know when you try it. :-D

    2. Thank you, Kim. I will let you know when I give it a try. We don't have a Hobby Lobby but there is a small Michael's store in Morgantown. I'll check there next time I am in.

    3. Guess what I got at Michael's today? I am excited to give it a try. I hope to have some time early next week to experiment! The kind of shea butter they had is scored so I am guessing it will cut easy like what you had. And I got the last one they had! I'm glad I didn't wait any longer to stop in.

    4. WOOHOO!!! Be sure to let me know how yours turns out.


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