Unilever logo
Cleanipedia UK logo

Sud's law: How to make your own antibacterial soap

Learn to make your own antibacterial soap at home with this 5-step recipe. How to make soap is easier than you might think – things are about to get soapy!

Updated Reading Time: 5 minutesBy Cleanipedia Team

person washing hands with antibacterial soap
Cleanipedia-Mobile-Leaderboards OP2b-2 new product info and offers

Despite good hygiene practices not being a new concept, viral outbreaks and other global events have increased our need for proper hand hygiene. Knowing how to make your own antibacterial hand wash can help in your fight against germs – plus, learning how to make soap is fun! Try our make your own soap recipe in this simple how-to guide.

Key steps

  • Wear gloves and protective clothing when making soap.

  • Keep ingredient stored away from children and pets.

  • Melt your soap base gently in a saucepan or microwave.

  • Add colours and essential oils for both scent and antibacterial properties.

  • Pour your homemade liquid soap into your chosen mould and leave it to set.

  • Turn the soap out of the mould. It’s now ready to use!

Safety notes when learning how to make soap at home

There are a few important precautions you should be aware of when you choose to make your own soap:

  • Always wear gloves. Traditional soap bases such as lye and potash are extremely corrosive chemicals that you don’t want in contact with your skin.

  • Store soap-making products out of the reach of children.

  • Wear protective clothing when creating your soap. Even using a ‘melt and pour’ method could result in burns as liquid soap is extremely hot.

  • When using biocides, do so safely. Take care to always read the label and any product information provided before use.

How to make antibacterial bar soap: What you need

Before you get started there are a few things you need to make your own soap.

  • Moulds. You don’t need a specialist product for this, we recommend trying to find something around your home. Why not try baking tins, cookie cutters lined with plastic wrap, or even a cup greased with petroleum jelly?

  • Soap base. The most common choice is glycerine. This is available from most craft shops. Alternatively, try shea butter or a biodegradable base such as green soap for a vegan-friendly option.

  • Food colouring. This will be used to turn your soap into the colour of your choice.

  • Essential oils. For the best antibacterial properties try lemon, eucalyptus, or tea tree oil. Ensure you do not use any fragrances designed for use in oil burners or potpourri as these can be irritants and unsafe for use on your skin.

Optional extras:

  • Vitamin oils. Oils such as vitamin E contain antioxidants and are great for skin nourishment.

Cleanipedia-MPU-banners OP2b new product info and offers

How to make soap: A recipe

Learn how to make antibacterial soap bars yourself in these 5 easy steps.

  1. Break up your chosen soap base into small chunks.

    Pop them into a microwavable bowl.

  2. Now it’s time to melt your base.

    Using a microwave, heat your soap base for a few seconds, stopping to stir it and reheating until all the chunks have gone. This should take a matter of moments, so take care to not overheat your base.

  3. Once fully melted, it is time to stir in your additional ingredients.

    Before your see a film appear on the surface. A few drops of food colouring and a couple of drops of essential oils should be more than enough.

  4. Select your chosen mould.

    Pour the soap mix into it.

  5. Leave your soap to set.

    If you wish to speed up the process you can pop the mould into the refrigerator.

  6. Turn out your soap once it has set.

    You can begin to use it immediately.

An easy start for your first recipe for how to make soap!

The Poll

When buying dishwasher tablets, which of these is most important to you?

0 Votes

How to make homemade soap: Additional tips and tricks

  • Use a saucepan to make large quantities of soap in bulk. Simply pop it over heat to melt your soap base and follow the step-by-step guide above.

  • Consider adding unique finishing touches to your soap, such as small plastic toys or other items to give it a fun visual effect.

  • Add extra food colouring to your soap to add intensity. This will create strongly-coloured suds.

  • Create a layered soap using different colours or shapes. Simply pour liquid soap over smaller soaps using moulds of increasing size.

Your, 'how to make disinfectant soap' questions answered

Why do you need antibacterial products?

Antibacterial products are important when you buy soap, and even more so if you’re learning how to make soap at home. A recent study showed that the use of antibacterial soap on intensive-care patients reduced the likelihood of bacterial infections by 44. Using these products in your home could help to reduce the risk of you and your family falling ill.

What makes soap antibacterial? Just like shop-bought products, when you learn how to make your own soap you’ll be able to use different combinations of ingredients to provide a variety of properties (such as antibacterial and antifungal). These are designed to kill, or at least reduce, the number of harmful germs and bacteria that could be found on your skin.

Do you need to use strong chemicals to reap antibacterial benefits?

Not at all! The best part about learning how to make an antibacterial soap bar at home is that you control which ingredients you use. There are many natural products which offer antibacterial and antifungal properties such as lavender, citrus, tea tree, and even eucalyptus.

Should you make your own antibacterial soap bars or liquid soap? The important part of learning how to make soap at home is to ensure it contains antibacterial and antifungal agents. Whether you learn how to make antibacterial liquid soap or a soap bar (like our recipe), the effectiveness of your chosen product will be similar. Choosing which to make is simply down to your own personal taste and preferences.

How do you make liquid soap instead of bar soap? DIY liquid soap recipes are a little different to bar soap and tend to use a different soap base, making this sort of recipe a bit harder to master.

One easy option you can try is to grate your chosen solid soap base before melting into a pot of boiling water and allowing to cool. You’ll need to use quite a high water of water to soap (approximately 1.8 litres of water to 100g grated soap) and may find that it has a more gel-like consistency once it’s cooled. Blitzing with a hand blender can help to smooth it out and bring it closer to liquid soap.

With our easy, step-by-step method you now have all the information you need to know how to make soap with antibacterial properties and give your home the best homemade products to ward off nasty germs and bacteria.

Originally published