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What is a Soap Maker?

Diane Goettel
Updated Feb 18, 2024
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A soap maker is a person or company that manufactures and sells soap. The kinds of soaps that are manufactured depend on the purpose, focus, and scope of the company. Some companies have a very limited product line, selling as few as one kind of soap. Other soap manufacturers have numerous product lines that each include a number of different kinds of soaps. In addition to selling bar soap, the most common kind of soap, some manufacturers also sell liquid soap and other bath products such as shampoo and condition.

It is common for a soap maker to make hand soap. Each company has its own formula and packaging for this kind of soap. For example, one company might make soap using vegetable glycerin while another company might manufacture its products using Shea butter. There are even soap recipes that use goat's milk as a main ingredient.

The two main differences in soaps are the main ingredients that are used to formulate the soap and any fragrance that is used to scent the soap. It is common for a soap maker to use an essential oil to scent the soap. Some of the most common essential oils used in soap making are lavender and lemongrass.

There are a number of soap makers that work out of their own homes. This is because most of the processes that go into making soap can be done right in the kitchen. The difficulty of the process and the amount and kind of equipment needed to make soap all depend on the kind of product that is being manufactured. The many different kinds of soaps that can be made at home include vegan soap, herbal soap, shaving soap, shampoo bars, and exfoliating soaps. It is even possible to make liquid soap using the blender.

There are a number of great resources online with instructions on how to become a soap maker. There are even some newsletters and professional organizations that can assist those who are just starting out in the business. By watching videos on soap making available online and following recipes, one can easily become a soap maker by starting a home-based business. Alternatively, the soap produced at home can be used as gifts for holidays, birthdays, and other special events. Before choosing to become a soap maker, it is important to understand that there are some risks involved with using some of the materials, especially lye.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel
In addition to her work as a freelance writer for WiseGEEK, Diane Goettel serves as the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. Over the course, she has edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter “Sapling,” and The Adirondack Review. Diane holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

Discussion Comments

By stoneMason — On Jan 12, 2015

I buy regular manufactured soap. I do see the various natural ones at stores more and more frequently. But they're a bit too expensive for my budget. I've not had issues with regular soap. I know some people have sensitive skin and can't use perfumed ones but it has never been a problem for me. In fact, I really love the perfume.

By bear78 — On Jan 11, 2015

@Terrificli-- I completely agree with you. A friend of mine makes soap at home and sometimes sells them at the farmer's market. He's an amateur though and recently took an interest in soap making. All of his soaps are glycerin based. He just uses various colors and scents to put out different shaped soaps. But none of them are really healthy for the body or the environment. On the other hand though, I'm sure most people can easily tell apart natural soaps from unnatural ones.

By literally45 — On Jan 10, 2015

I love homemade soap. It can be more expensive but when it's organic, natural soap, it's best. Home soap makers that sell organic soaps tend to use very fresh, pure ingredients. I buy from a few sellers that make their soap at home and have always been pleased with their products. I can trust that their products do not contain any chemicals or harmful ingredients.

Although the options can be limited, some soap makers will actually take requests for soaps. One soap maker custom made a goat's milk soap for my husband to use for shaving. So I don't think anyone should worry about this. For the most part, soap makers want to work with their customers and they are willing to try different things. These people really enjoy making soap and would be making soap even if they weren't selling it. So the products are better because they are made with great love and interest.

By Terrificli — On Jan 02, 2015

@Vincenzo -- If you are hoping to buy some soap that is better on the environment than what is commercially available, you may or may not find what you are looking for from soap makers at your local farmer's market.

I know of one soap maker that cranks out lye soap. Not the most environmentally conscience choice out there.

By the way, farmer's markets aren't the only places to find local soap makers. Try a craft fair, flea market or other event that pulls in local artisans and you might find that soap maker, too.

Oh, and don't forget that some of them sell soap supplies for people who want to start making their own soap.

By Vincenzo — On Jan 02, 2015

If you have a thing for homemade soap, you might check out your local farmer's market. You will find plenty of hobbyists at those things and it is not uncommon to run across soap makers at them. If you are on one of those health and/or environmental kicks, finding organic soap at those markets is fairly common, too.

The great thing about farmer's markets is that you will find all sorts of local crafters present and selling their wares. It's not just about fruits and vegetables at many of those markets, right?

Diane Goettel

Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for WiseGEEK, Diane Goettel serves as the executive editor of Black...
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