The Best Sources for Soap Making Supplies

Inside: a curated list of all the best places to buy soap-making supplies: everything from fragrance to molds to oils.

soap making supplies laid out on counter.

Soap making is one of those hobbies that can get expensive…fast.

The good news is, once you invest in basic tools and oils, you’re set for a while and can make dozens of bars. The bad news is the more you make, the more you’ll want fancy molds, new fragrances, and pretty colors!

That’s okay! Let’s go over the best places to get all of these things! There are a few items that are essential for beginners, and you’ll find those marked with a star.

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Soap making ingredients

soap ingredients on blue wooden board.


A word about molds

You can use a box lined in parchment paper if you really want to, but I recommend a basic 10-inch mold or 12 cavity bar mold for your first batch. Keep an eye on the batch size of your recipe.

If you find that you love this hobby, there are many beautiful choices out there. You can find silicone molds that imprint designs, solid wooden molds for making swirls, and much more.

Looking for the best soap-making books? Find a list of my favorites here.

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    Best lye for soap making

    You have a few options here. Lye typically comes in either flakes or little bead-like pellets. I find the pellets easier to pour and measure.

     ⭐️ Nurture is my preferred source for lye, as they carry the pellet form and I can be sure I’m getting the right thing.⭐️ (Yes, lye is essential for making cold process soap!)

    You can also find lye at hardware stores, where it is sold a drain cleaner. You must be sure you are buying pure lye (it might also be labeled sodium hydroxide). 

    Sourcing bulk oils

    When you’re looking for bulk oils such as olive, palm, or coconut, make sure you do not order food grade oils. Not because there is anything wrong with them, but because they are extremely expensive! 

    The best source for affordable bulk oils

    Nurture Soap is my favorite source for oils. They are affordable and have free shipping.

    Other good choices

    • is more expensive and has expensive shipping, but their products are very good quality and their customer service is wonderful. They also have a great selection of harder to find oils and butters.
    • For smaller quantities of things like castor oil or shea butter, Amazon is a good choice.

    Finding soap bases

    If you prefer melt and pour soap, all you need is a base, a mold, and any additional products you want. Melt and pour bases can be pricey, but they are a great choice if you don’t want to deal with formula percentages, new supplies, and other somewhat complicated elements of soap making.

    Where to buy fragrance oils

    The world is your oyster here! You can find fragrance oils on Amazon, in some craft stores, and of course, from reputable soap making companies such as Nurture Soap and Brambleberry.

    You can often find collections of smaller sizes of fragrance to test out what you like, or even email the companies and ask for samples. 

    Fragrance in soaps is totally optional, but one of the most fun parts of the process. 

    Some personal favorite fragrances:

    Colorants for soap making

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    Other body supplies

    Most soap making suppliers also carry what you will need to make lotions, bath bombs, homemade hand cream, and lip balms. A lot of these ingredients will be used in all of these products, so if you are interested in making homemade items beyond soap, don’t be afraid to buy in bulk.

    Keep in mind, each company mentioned here is full of kind people who can help you with any specific question you have about ingredients or supplies, and you can always leave me a comment here.

    Now what?

    Start with some recipes! See what oils appeal to you, and go from there.

    Some of my most popular:

    The Best Sources for Soap Making Supplies

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    1. Hi Pattie,
      Lisa List with Willow Tree Soaps here. Here’s a great tip I discovered a few years ago and it works fabulously to totally prevent ash on top of your beautiful soaps! I dislike the time you have to spend to steam the ash off from the tops & sometimes the sides of the soap. I’m sure I’m not alone here. Though they do look spectacular after steaming. I had a few styrofoam ice chests with lids (like the kind you get from Honeybaked Ham) but you can buy similar chests very inexpensively at Walmart or one of your local grocery stores. 98% of the time I make log molds. I love the way they turn out with zero ash on top using my tip below. What I’ve been doing is putting my mold(s) with my freshly made soap inside one or 2 of these styrofoam chests and put the lids on top of their chest and allow to firm up for between 12-24 hours. I want it firm enough to hold it’s shape before unmolding. But soft enough so that I can cut it. Using this method and depending on the size of your styrofoam chests you can fit multiple molds inside each chest. If you pull your soap out too soon, ash will form all over it if you’ve unmolded it prior to it being ready for unmolding. I usually just leave it overnight and that seems too work perfectly.

      I hope this tip helps you Pattie as well as any others who read this and care to try it out.

      Wishing you all my best and happy soaping!
      Lisa List
      Willow Tree Soaps
      The Lip Balm Queen
      Willow Apothecary

      ps; a box with a removable lid (such as a box that copier paper comes in.) I feel this works almost just as well and maybe you already have this type of box in your office or garage. If you don’t buy copier paper then a “bankers box” will work just as well since it has a removable lid.

    2. Thank you for the information. When I go to the Nurture Soap website I find no bulk oils to be purchased. I wonder if I’m going to the correct website? this is the website I go to.

      Thank you, Rena

        1. Thank you for the video tutorials. They are very helpful. I just made my first baby soap and it came out nicely. A little ash on top after cure day 3 and I had sprayed it after pouring it in the mold with the 70% rubbing alcohol. Would 99% make a big difference or maybe it is just the humidity and it wasn’t cured enough after the 24 hours in the oven. I had put a kitchen towel around it. What would happen if I waited 48 hours to remove it from the mold??? I also ordered a baby soap stamp on Etsy and I’m hopeful that the stamp will work around week 3/4 of cure time???
          The other question is that my first batch was made with my Organic Costco Olive Oil that I cook with. That is what I had on hand and like you had said, it is way too expensive. I remember you recommended a particular Costco brand Olive Oil that wasn’t as expensive as the Costco Organic Olive Oil, but I can’t find the video. You had said to stick to the same oils and I picked up the Kirkland 100% Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I can always return it. What Costco brand do you use and in the future, should I order the olive oil from Bulk Apothecary or Nurture Oh, I put the mango mango fragrance in the baby soap and it smells great! Nice and mild. I didn’t have the lavender.

        2. Hi Pattie: Both sources are good! The Costco olive oil I get comes in a 2-pack and it’s not organic. Much more affordable! Don’t stress about the soda ash. The. 99% spray will help, but I almost never use it: sometimes I get ash and sometimes not, with no real rhyme or reason.