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Published Sep. 22, 2021

Making artisanal soaps is a terrific hobby to pick up because it’s both creative and practical. Soap is always a welcome addition to a home, with bars needed in the shower and by every sink. But soaps are also a fun opportunity to experiment with scent and shape. 

Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned soap maker, melt-and-pour soap making kits are easy to use and make experimenting with new signature soaps a lot of fun. 

Melt-and-pour soap comes with a base, so consumers don’t have to go through the saponification process. That process mixes fats and an alkali (a chemical compound that neutralizes or reacts with acids), such as lye, and takes up to four weeks to cure before it’s ready to use in soap. Soap-making kits come with a ready-made soap base (usually with nourishing agents, such as shea butter or olive oil) that can be used immediately.

Soap makers melt the base in a pan or large double boiler (even the microwave for some kits). Once it’s liquid, they add essential oils, moisturizing agents, colorants, or exfoliating agents so the bar smells, looks, and feels just the way they want. The hot contents of the pan are poured into molds that are typically made from metal, plastic, or silicone.

After cooling, the soap comes out of the molds as individual soaps. Commercial kits may use a block mold, in which the resulting brick of soap is sliced into bars. 

Interested in soap making as a hobby? Keep reading to learn which soap making kits are the best (in our opinion).

How We Picked the Products

Methodology

We all use soap in our daily lives, and a soap making kit is one way to create a product we enjoy using. As a writer and reviewer of home and health products, this thoughtful consumer is a big fan of doing research before making any recommendations. There are vast differences in each soap making kit, but in selecting my favorite products, I weighed several criteria: 

  • Completeness: Soap making can become very costly, with all the added pieces available for separate purchase (e.g., molds, colorings, fragrances, safety gear, etc.). I wanted to select kits that provide everything you need (or essentially everything you need) to avoid consumers having to purchase more than just the kit.
  • Value: Products need to be worth the money. I made sure to select soap making kits where the quality matched the cost.
  • Quality: Some kits on the market have higher rates of failure, such as the soap breaking when coming out of the mold, which I attempted to avoid in my picks. I wanted to select products that would give users a successful result.
  • Reusability: My picks should last for quite a while if used properly. Users will have to buy more raw materials (soap base, fragrances, oils, etc.) as needed, but the molds and other included tools should last for years.
  • Ease of use: I selected melt-and-pour soap making kits because they’re easy to use. The recommended kits contain easy-to-follow instructions and well-labeled products.
  • Age: Soap making is a hobby enjoyed by people of all ages. I wanted to include kits that were geared toward these different demographics.

The Best Soap Making Kits: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Grow and Make DIY Cocoa Butter Soap Making Kit

For Beginners and Artisans

User-friendly directions make it easy to craft your own soap. Grow and Make

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Why It Made The Cut: Grow and Make’s soap making kit stands out because it uses a cocoa butter base, which is among the best for sensitive skin. Their soap making kit works for a beginner or artisan soap maker.

Specs:

  • Kit includes 3 pounds. cocoa butter base, two mold sets, three essential oils, three dyes, and dried flowers
  • Made in the US (Portland, Oregon)
  • Crafts up to 16 bars

Pros:

  • Cocoa butter base for sensitive skin
  • Primary colorants for customization
  • Three pleasing scents
  • Stylish molds in two trays

Cons:

  • Does not include mixing or melting tools
  • More expensive than other options

Grow and Make’s Soap Making Kit is suited to both beginner soap makers and those who already craft artisanal soaps. While the price point is a bit higher, this kit provides excellent value for the dollars spent. Made with quality ingredients, consumers can expect a US-made cocoa butter base, which is wonderful for all skin types, including sensitive skin; kosher vegetable glycerine and food grade oils; non-GMO components; and no synthetic fragrances

Creating beautiful soap bars is super easy with this melt-and-pour kit. The included dyes are primary colors, making color customization a breeze. Grow and Make includes three single-origin essential oils—cedarwood, lavender, and blood orange—but users can add other essential oils of their own if they desire a signature scent. We love that this kit also includes some dried flowers to add a touch of artisan luxury to your homemade soaps.

This soap making kit comes with almost everything you need to get started. The only things missing are a melting pot or bowl, and mixing tools. You likely have these at home already, and if not, it’s an opportunity to get the tools you want, rather than be forced to use what comes in a kit.

The instructions and ease of use make this perfect for those just dipping their toes into soap making. The melt-and-pour method makes this kit safe for most ages (kids will need some supervision), and consumers can safely make this soap with beautiful results. This kit is geared more toward adults, but you can make it more kid-friendly by using your own fun additives, such as a small toy for your children to find as the bar gets smaller with use. 

Best Value: DilaBee Soap Making Kit

Perfect for Beginners

Everything you need to start a new hobby. DilaBee

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Why It Made The Cut: DilaBee’s soap making kit comes with absolutely everything a beginner could need without being as gimmicky as many of its competitors. The tools in the kit are reusable for new soap makers who find a passion for this hobby and want to continue.

Specs:

  • Kit includes 2 pounds shea butter soap base, four essential oils, four liquid dyes, two plastic molds, pouring pitcher, two stirring sticks, mixing bowl, and four soap boxes
  • Makes 12 bars of soap
  • Heated by microwave or stove top

Pros:

  • Absolutely everything you need is included
  • Comes with every primary color
  • Easy-to-follow instructions
  • Shea butter base

Cons:

  • Limited scents included

The DilaBee soap making kit is a go-to for beginners, and it’s a useful kit for seasoned soap makers looking to replenish some materials. It contains all the necessary tools and additives for making bars of soap, including: 

  • A shea butter base (that hydrates and protects skin)
  • Four essentials oils that smell like vanilla hazelnut, cherry blossom, grapefruit mint, and lavender
  • Green, yellow, blue, and red dyes, which can be mixed to make special colors
  • A tray of decorative soap molds and a tray of simple round and rectangular molds (that would work well with some dried florals or salt on the flat surface for artisanal customization) 
  • A pouring pitcher
  • Stirring sticks
  • A mixing bowl
  • Comprehensive instructions for new soap makers

Unlike other soap making kits that don’t come with a mixing bowl, pouring pitcher, or stir sticks, this all-inclusive kit removes the worry of “ruining” any of your kitchen items because everything you need is included. 

With this traditional melt-and-pour kit, consumers can make soap the moment they open the box. We appreciate that this kit is simple enough to be used by the young and the elderly alike, making it an accessible hobby for all. 

This is a great introductory kit, and creates 12 bars with the base that’s included. There are still plenty of essential oils and dyes left over, so all you need to do is replenish the soap base to make more. Though it comes with four scented oils, if there’s a particular scent you want, you can buy a bottle of essential oil separately and add it to your next soaps.

Best Educational Kit: Make Your Own Soap (Klutz Activity Kit)

Learn and Create

Soap, science, glitter, and reading, all in one clever box. Klutz

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Why It Made The Cut: The Klutz brand is more than just a soap kit, it helps kids learn through reading, humor, and fun facts about the chemistry behind soap making, with additional science experiments included in the instructions.

Specs: 

  • Includes soap base, mold, color tablets, glitter, fragrance, stickers, bags, and a toy fish
  • National Parenting Center award winner
  • Makes up to 10 soaps

Pros:

  • An engaging educational tool
  • Kid-friendly shapes and designs
  • Color tablets for less mess
  • Easy melt-and-pour product

Cons:

  • Meant for children
  • Only one scent included

Keeping kids busy with a project or craft gives parents a little time to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee before running around again. This Klutz Make Your Own Soap Kit offers kids more than just busywork. This brand is associated with quality children’s crafts and learning. The instruction book outlines how to make soap, but also contributes to reading comprehension and adds educational tidbits about the process and other easy experiments for additional learning fun. The full-color booklet outlines exactly where adult help is required.

The kit comes with a block soap base that can be quickly microwaved with two of the color tablets in a glass measuring cup. Unlike traditional soap making kits, these color tabs are much more user-friendly for a younger soap maker. This can limit the color choices, but kids can mix and match the tablets to achieve additional colors and help them learn how primary colors mix together. 

As for scents, the kit includes only a coconut papaya fragrance. Kids can get creative by adding aroma by using coffee grounds, citrus zest, dried flowers, and more. 

Kids will appreciate the mold tray, which has six different designs to choose from. They can make their own fun designs including a cat with sunglasses, a fish in a bag, rainbow soap, glitter star, and many other possibilities. While this is a product primarily meant for children, it can be a fun, low-cost introduction to adults interested in learning the fundamentals of melt-and-pour soap making.

Best Customizable Soap Making Kit: SOLIGT DIY Melt & Pour Shea Butter Soap Making Kit

Includes Everything You Need

The beautiful “homemade” labels elevate this kit. SOLIGT

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Why It Made The Cut: SOLIGT’s soap making kit comes with everything a beginner needs, including a glass measuring cup for melting the base and a wider variety of color dyes and fragrances than competing products have. 

Specs:

  • Comes with 2 pounds shea butter soap base, square mold containers, six fragrance oils, six dyes, a glass measuring cup, a silicone stir stick, dry flowers, and 12 wrap labels
  • Detailed instructions and a step-by-step guide to make handcrafted soap
  • Makes up to 20 bar soaps

Pros:

  • A complete starter kit
  • Variety of dyes and fragrances
  • Shea butter base

Cons:

  • Only one mold shape

SOLIGT’s soap making kit is well-suited for those who like to dive deeper into a hobby. It offers more selections for creators to really customize their soap bars. The kit comes with:

  • A shea butter soap base, which is naturally moisturizing and good for the skin (especially dry skin that needs a little TLC)
  • Six fragrance oils: eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender, peppermint, tea tree, and orange
  • Six dye colors: purple, red, yellow, orange, green, and blue
  • A mold tray that makes six 2- by 3-inch rectangular soaps
  • And more

Some may deem the plain molds uninspired, but it gives soap makers the opportunity to really exercise their creativity. You can experiment with creating a gradient or layering colors, or adding dried flowers, dried citrus, or even poppy seeds. The standard rectangular shape always looks handcrafted and elegant. 

The kit’s instructions are easy to follow, making this a simple and effective soap making kit. Once your bars harden, you can wrap them in the included labels and give them as gifts to friends and family. 

Best for Budding Scientists: B Me Soap Making Craft Kit

More Options, More Entertainment

Your kids will love the “creation station.” B Me

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Why It Made The Cut: In general, kids like variety. B Me’s soap making kit for kids was the one we came across with the most mold options in a kit, with more than 15 different shapes that can be made in the kit’s mold station.

Specs:

  • More than15 different soap bar shapes
  • Comes with fifteen 6.35 ounce-cubes each of white and  clear soap, 5 scents, 5 dyes, mixing sticks, mixing cups, and mold station
  • Colorful easy-to-follow instructions in a step-by-step book

Pros:

  • Two different kinds of soap base
  • Variety of fragrance
  • Various mold options

Cons:

  • Does not come with a lot of soap base

The B Me Soap Making Craft Kit provides hours of entertainment. It’s an awesome kit because it helps improve a child’s STEM skills, as they learn science while making these soaps. The colorful and easy-to-follow instructions outline each step, so kids can make the soaps independently, although younger kids will require parental help and supervision with the melted base.

Included in the pack are two different soap bases. One is clear and the other is white, offering two different looks for the soap bars. For additional customization, the kit comes with five scents: mango, lavender, sandalwood, vanilla, and jasmine; and five colors:  blue, yellow, green, red, and purple

While many standard soap kits come with plain oval or rectangular bars, the B Me soap making kit gives little soap makers diverse shapes for their bars. Instead of a standard mold tray, this kit uses a flexible silicone “creation station,” with 15 different shapes for soaps that makes it easy to pop out the solid soap bars without breaking them.  The small shapes include a duck, unicorn, butterfly, and flower. What’s fun about this kit is that once smaller soaps harden, they can be inserted into a larger mold, for a soap with more dimension (for example, a duck shape inside an oval bar). 

With so many soap shapes to try out, the included soap base won’t last long. It’s advisable to pick up some additional soap base if your little one takes to this hobby.

Best Basic Soap Making Kit: Dan&Darci Soap Making Kit for Kids

Just the Essentials

A great way for little ones to try out a new hobby. Dan&Darci

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Why It Made The Cut: New hobbies can be expensive and kids may lose interest, which is why we wanted to include a soap making kit that was affordable, but doesn’t skimp on the fun, hands-on experience of making your own soaps. 

Specs:

  • The kit includes soap-base blocks, 2 fragrances, 4 colors, glitter, 4 molds, 4 beakers, 8 popsicle sticks, and a removal tool
  • Creates up to 8 bars of soap
  • Includes easy-to-follow instructions

Pros:

  • A budget-friendly kit
  • Fun mold shapes
  • Customizable colors

Cons:

  • Only two fragrances
  • Makes only 8 soap bars

For a crash course in melt-and-pour soap making, this basic kit from Dan&Darci is a wallet-friendly option. Kids may flit from one hobby to another, which can get expensive. This soap making kit comes with the bare essentials, so kids can get a real sense of whether they want to pursue soap making further. With one kit making eight bars of soap, it gives kids enough experience to know whether they will enjoy making  more soap in the future. 

Though the price point is much lower than others on the market, the kit’s ingredients have been tested to meet or exceed all safety standards, and it still comes stocked with everything a kid needs to experiment with soap making. With four molds geared to a younger audience, the soap bar shapes include a heart, butterfly, flower, and smiley face.

The Dan&Darci Soap Making Kit comes with two kid-friendly fragrances, green apple and lemon, and four mixable colors including red, green, yellow, and blue. With only two scents, the kit seems a little lacking, but it’s one reason the kit is less expensive, and you can buy more fragrance oils if your child takes to the hobby. 

This is an excellent project to promote hand-eye coordination in youngsters, and it may promote better cleaning in the bath or shower too.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Soap Making Kit

Soap making can be a terrific hobby, but new soap makers should consider their needs before they select a soap making kit. Here are some considerations that will help guide your purchasing decision.

Skin Sensitivities

Whether you’re making soap for yourself or others, you should only choose products that work with your skin (if you’re aware of any sensitivities). This could be a base that lacks moisturizer, allergic contact dermatitis from a specific essential oil, or sensitivity to a particular fragrance. If you have particular needs for soap, make sure you carefully read the ingredients for a product before purchase.

Hobby or Profit

You may be looking to add a new hobby to your home life, or perhaps you’re considering selling handcrafted soap at a local farmer’s market. Your purpose dictates the type of kit you’ll buy. For artisanal soap, you want to avoid the kits meant for children, as these tend to lack the luxury appearance and ingredients you need.

Soap Base

There are several soap bases out there including shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil, glycerin, oatmeal, and more. Soap bases differ in each kit, and may be a dealbreaker when it comes to deciding which soap making kit you purchase. However, you can always buy a soap base separately and use the included soap base for experimentation or soap you give to others.

Safety

Melt-and-pour soap making kits come with a little risk as there are heated elements to making soap. Make sure you buy an age-appropriate soap making kit for kids and supervise or help them pour the hot liquid soap to avoid any accidental burns or spills.

FAQs

Soap making is a practical and fun way to personalize your home. From signature looks to scents, you make the soap you want. Though it sounds easy, new soap makers may have lingering questions about this hobby. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about soap making.

Q:

What is the base for soap making?

The soap base forms from a fat or oil mixed with an alkali. The oil is either made from animal or plant and the alkali is a chemical compound (usually something like lye).

Q:

How do you make homemade soap with a melt-and-pour kit?

To make homemade soap, you need to melt the base either on the stove or in the microwave (per manufacturer’s instructions). While it’s in a liquid state, mix in essential oil or fragrance and colorants (dyes). Pour the hot liquid into the mold and wait for it to harden into a bar of soap before removing from the mold.

Q:

Is soap making a profitable business?

Soap making can be profitable, but the market is heavily saturated. It can be difficult to stand out, but it’s not impossible to make a living from selling soap.

Final Thoughts

Finding a bar of soap that appeals to your personal preferences may be too difficult, too costly, or you may not find one you like in stores. Making your own soap ensures you get the soap base, scent, and color you like best. For high-quality, moisturizing soap, our preference is the Grow and Make DIY Cocoa Butter Soap Making Kit.

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