How to Make Black Soap: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Make Black Soap: 15 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Make Black Soap: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

Black soap is a non-alkali soap made of potash (potassium carbonate). People in West Africa have used this soap for centuries as a cleanser and exfoliant. Black soap can also relieve various skin conditions (such as eczema) in some people. You can use it on your face, body, hands, or hair. This soap is suitable for dry and oily skin.


Potassium Basic Ingredients

  • 1 bag of organic potash measuring 95-110 grams
  • 600 ml warm distilled water


  • 70 grams of pre-made potash
  • 180 ml distilled water
  • 120 ml castor oil
  • 120 ml coconut oil


Part 1 of 3: Setting up Potash

Make Black Soap Step 1
Make Black Soap Step 1

Step 1. Buy organic potash on the internet

You may also be able to find it at a store that sells African goods, but this material is rarely available. Organic potash is generally packaged in bags measuring 95-110 grams. Make sure the material is food grade (safe for consumption) or labeled for soap making.

  • Potassium is ash obtained from various objects, such as cocoa, bananas, and clay. All of these ingredients can be used to make black soap, but the end result will have a different texture and color.
  • Potash can be purchased at online stores that sell soap ingredients or African goods.
Make Black Soap Step 2
Make Black Soap Step 2

Step 2. Mix potash with warm water in a stainless steel saucepan

Pour 95-110 grams of potash into a medium-sized saucepan. Next, add 600 ml of warm distilled water and mix well.

  • Although not as strong as lye, potassium can still affect the skin. Wear rubber, plastic, or vinyl gloves, and don't take them off until soap making is complete.
  • Do not use tap water or filtered water. This type of water can contain minerals that can affect the finish of the soap.
  • If you don't have a stainless steel pan, you can use a cast-iron pan. Never use aluminum pans as they will react on contact with potash.
Make Black Soap Step 3
Make Black Soap Step 3

Step 3. Bring water to a boil over high heat

Keep an eye on the water when it's almost boiling. Once it starts to heat up, the potash will start to boil and boil. It only lasts for a few minutes, but you have to be patient.

Boiling this potash needs to be done to speed up the saponification process (fatty acid hydrolysis reaction)

Make Black Soap Step 4
Make Black Soap Step 4

Step 4. Reduce the heat to medium, and continue boiling the solution for 30 minutes, stirring frequently

The potash is ready when it starts to harden and has a crumbly texture (similar to ground beef). When boiling potash, remember to scrape the bottom and sides of the pot as often as possible with a rubber spatula.

  • Potassium will absorb water and turn into a solid. You can speed up the process by spreading the potash across the bottom of the pan with a spatula.
  • Pay close attention to the bubbles, don't let the potash spill out of the pan. If this happens, remove the pan from the stove for a few moments until the bubbles subside.
Make Black Soap Step 5
Make Black Soap Step 5

Step 5. Turn off the stove when the potash starts to look brittle

If the texture is not yet like ground beef, boil the potash for a few more minutes. When the texture is crumbly, turn off the stove and remove the pot. Potash should be cooled briefly before use.

  • You can transfer the potash from the pot to the jar.
  • The pan will be sticky, chewy, and crusty. Don't worry, you can clean it with water.

Part 2 of 3: Making Soap

Make Black Soap Step 6
Make Black Soap Step 6

Step 1. Use low heat to heat the coconut oil and castor oil in a deep saucepan

Place 120 ml of castor oil and 120 ml of coconut oil in a deep saucepan. Place the pot on the stove and turn on the stove over low heat. Heat the oil while stirring until the two oils are melted and well mixed.

  • Make sure the pan is deep, like the one used to make pasta. This is useful so that the soap does not run out when you boil it.
  • Just like the pot used to prepare potash, don't use this pan for cooking anymore.
  • You can use palm oil instead of castor oil.
Make Black Soap Step 7
Make Black Soap Step 7

Step 2. Add 70 grams of potash and 180 ml of warm water

The pre-prepared measure of potash is 70 grams using a kitchen scale. Place the potash in a bowl, then pour 180 ml of warm water over it. Next, let the potash soak there for a few minutes until it dissolves.

  • For best results, use distilled water.
  • The time it takes to dissolve the potash will vary. Generally it is between 5 and 10 minutes.
  • Store any remaining potash in an airtight container. This is an important thing. Otherwise, the potash will absorb the moisture in the air and turn corrosive.
Make Black Soap Step 8
Make Black Soap Step 8

Step 3. Pour the dissolved potash into the warm oil

Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula until they are clean so that there is no remaining potash. Stir the mixture until all ingredients are evenly mixed.

Make Black Soap Step 9
Make Black Soap Step 9

Step 4. Boil the soap over high heat, and stir constantly until the solution thickens

This process will emit a lot of smoke. It's a good idea to open the window and turn on the fan on the stove. A better option is to use a portable stove that you can take outdoors.

Do not wait; if the potash has started to thicken, immediately proceed to the next step

Make Black Soap Step 10
Make Black Soap Step 10

Step 5. Remove the pan from the stove and let the soap cool to room temperature

This is to complete the soap making process. At this point, you can add the dye or essential oil to the soap, although this is not typical of black soap. Most people leave the black soap as is, without any additives.

Part 3 of 3: Finishing and Using Soap

Make Black Soap Step 11
Make Black Soap Step 11

Step 1. Pour the soap into the mold

The ideal type of mold for black soap is rectangular. You'll need to cut the soap into bars after the manufacturing process is complete. However, you can also use smaller silicone or plastic molds.

  • Scrape the soap off the sides of the pan with a rubber spatula so that nothing remains.
  • Alternatively, you can leave the soap in the pan. This way, you can remove them from the pan and cut them into small slabs.
Make Black Soap Step 12
Make Black Soap Step 12

Step 2. Wait for 24-48 hours before you remove the soap from the mold and cut it

Remove the soap from the mold and place it on a flat surface. Use a sharp (and non-jagged) knife to slice the soap into 2.5 to 4 cm thick strips.

  • If you use small molds that produce one soap per mold, you don't have to disassemble and slice the soap. Just turn the soap over on a flat surface, like when you took the cake out of the pan.
  • If you have left the soap in the pan, cut the soap into the size of a marble slab. This size is a single use portion that is perfect for washing your face and hands.
Make Black Soap Step 13
Make Black Soap Step 13

Step 3. Complete the manufacturing process by placing the bar of soap on a wire rack for 2 weeks

This is a very important step. Just like alkaline-based soap, black soap also needs to be allowed to stand and harden. However, keep in mind that the texture of black soap will not be as hard as regular soap.

After a week has passed, turn the soap over. This is useful so that the soap can dry evenly

Make Black Soap Step 14
Make Black Soap Step 14

Step 4. Store soap in a closed container when not in use

Wrap the remaining soap in plastic wrap, or put it in a plastic bag that has a zipper. If you are making black soap in small molds (without cutting it), you can store it in a jar or plastic bag that has a zipper.

  • If you want to place it in a soap dish, use a container with a hole in the bottom to let the excess water out.
  • Keep black soap away from moisture. The soap will dissolve if it gets wet.
  • Over time, black soap can form a white coating. This is normal and should not harm or affect the function of the soap.
Make Black Soap Step 15
Make Black Soap Step 15

Step 5. Rub the soap into a lather before you apply it to the skin

Coarse textured black soap. If used directly on the skin can cause irritation. The correct way is to rub the soap until it foams, then use the foam to clean the skin.

  • If you are using black soap in the form of small slabs, roll the soap into a ball so there are no sharp edges.
  • Black soap can cause a tingling and burning sensation, but this is normal. However, if you develop a rash, stop using the soap and consult a dermatologist.


  • Black soap does not have an expiration date or rot over time.
  • Potassium is ash that comes from various sources. This means, if you can't get one type of potash, you can still use another type.
  • Different types of potash will produce different colors of soap. Black soap can range in color from light brown to dark brown.


  • Do not use aluminum pots or utensils when making soap, as these will react with potash.
  • Do not use banana-based potash, coconut oil, or palm oil if you are allergic to latex. Use other oils, such as castor oil and olive oil.
  • Do not use cocoa-derived potash if you are allergic to chocolate/cocoa or caffeine.
  • Stop using black soap and contact a dermatologist if you have a rash or dermatitis (skin inflammation with itching).

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