How to Make Coffee Soap

Sipping a steaming cup of coffee is already known to be the perfect way to kick off any morning.

Imagine if you could experience that same feeling of comfort and rejuvenation as you lather up in the morning bath or shower.

With this easy-to-make coffee soap, you can!

The combination of rich fats, coffee aromas, and exfoliating coffee grounds produces a bar of soap that provides a luxurious and invigorating start to your day. 

Coffee Soap Recipe - What you'll Need

There are many ways, some much more complicated than others, to incorporate your favourite morning drink into your mandatory morning ritual -- the shower.

This tutorial will teach you a basic recipe using easily sourced materials. Think of this as your gateway to soap making.

What You Need

  • 6 oz. of hot purified water
  • 1 teaspoon coffee grounds
  • 2 oz. lye beads or crystals
  • 5 oz. coconut oil
  • 5 oz. olive oil
  • 6 oz. soybean oil
  • A digital food scale (optional, but recommended)
  • A stick blender (optional) or a spoon
  • A mixing bowl
  • A thermometer
  • Soap molds
  • Parchment paper or plastic wrap
Pro Tip: Once you’ve made soap a few times, try experimenting with the types and ratios of oils you use. Each contributes to the finished product in its own unique way. For example, coconut oil lathers very well, creating plenty of frothy bubbles. Palm oil lathers very little and creates a hard, long-lasting bar. Don’t be afraid to play scientist and find the best mix for you! A handy chart can be found here.

The liquids in this recipe are measured by weight rather than by volume because different oils, and different brands of lye, have varying densities.

Pro Tip: Using a digital-read-out food scale is the best way to ensure accurate and reproducible results.

Steps to Making Coffee Soap At Home

Follow these simple coffee soap recipe steps and you'll be bathing in that caffeine goodness in not time!

Step #1: Make some really basic coffee

Mix the coffee grounds with the hot water in a bowl and let it steep. At this point, it should look like you’re making a pot of French Press coffee without the filter or lid.

Once it’s thoroughly mixed and brewed, you’re ready to move to the next step. If you’re wondering whether you should strain out the grounds or not, we suggest leaving the grounds right in the brew.

This might not make the most drinkable cup of coffee, of course, but leaving the grounds in the mix lends a welcome texture to the finished soap.

Allow the mixture to cool before carrying on.

Pro Tip: Since the soap’s flavour doesn’t really matter, you can even use soapmaking as a way to help use up old coffee grounds that are no longer fit for your morning coffee.

Step #2: Add the lye

Lye, which is also known as sodium hydroxide, is no longer available in grocery stores.

You can still find it in some hardware stores (just be sure to get 100% sodium hydroxide) or you can find it on Amazon

Small quantities of lye are very safe to work with, but take any necessary precautions.

Add the lye beads or crystals to the coffee and continue mixing until they are fully dissolved. Cool or heat the mixture as required until it is at 120 - 130 ͒F.

Step #3: Combine the oils

In a separate pot, combine the oils and warm them to 120 - 130 ͒F to match the temperature of the lye mixture.

Step #4: Get mixing, and keep mixing...

Stir together the lye mixture and the oil mixture until they are thoroughly combined. When mixed, oils and lye undergo a reaction called “saponification.”

This pairing is what produces soap.

This point is called “reaching a trace”. This refers to being able to see the path that your spoon leaves behind as you move it through the thickening liquid.​

Look for your soap to have the consistency of pudding.

This can be done be stirring vigorously with a spoon, but might take as long as 45 minutes.

A quicker alternative is to use a stick blender for 5 or 6 minutes.

Step #5: Mold the soaps

Pour your pudding-like soap mixture into molds, cover them and set them aside for a few days. Molds can be either individual or large loaf forms.

After that, you can un-mold the soaps, cut the soaps into bars if you used loaf molds, and wrap the individual bars in parchment paper or plastic wrap.

Step #6: Have patience!

Let the wrapped soaps sit in a safe place for 3 weeks to cure. After that, they’re ready to use.

Enjoy the smell of brewing coffee and the exfoliating texture of coffee grounds as you lather up in your next shower!

Despite what the prices at specialty soap stores might lead you to believe, making your own soaps is remarkable easy and highly fulfilling.

This basic recipe is a great starting point, but feel free to get even more creative with oils, coffee beans and decorative additions!

The Fragrance Factor

Obviously, the number one element in the olfactory department here is the coffee itself. After all, you’re not going to be drinking it, right?

For the first batch, it’s probably a good idea to follow the recipe closely and make sure you’ve got the hang of making the soap itself.

Once you’ve got that down, though, (or if you’re already a soap making master!) consider working with the fragrance a bit, adjusting quantities and possibly even adding your own new additions. 

At that point, you’ll know how much the bars will smell like coffee, which should be the perfect launching point to start to make them uniquely your own.

You can add things like peppermint or really any other smells that serve as a good compliment to that traditional, wake-you-up-in-the-morning coffee aroma.

Becoming a Coffee Soap Master

two bars of soap made with coffee

Remember, as with all true crafts, becoming good at something like soap making can take time. Just because your first batch doesn’t come out as perfectly as planned doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel!

Once you do gain mastery over the process, though, you will have the ability to bring the wonderful world of coffee right into the shower with you, and who could ask for more than the gift of literally bathing in their favorite beverage?

And speaking of gifts… this is the perfect time to master the art of coffee soapmaking, as these delightful bars will make wonderful and affordable Christmas gifts for your coffee-loving friends and family.

If you’re considering trying out making soap (or if you’re already a master that wants to add your “two cents”) please feel free to comment below!

And, as always, please remember that sharing is caring! 

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