How to Make Liquid Soap with African Black Soap

So many of you asked what to do with the leftover African Black Soap that you bought to make these salt bars… African Black Soap Salt Bars.  Well…you could put it in some liquid soap!  (I’m also working on a scrub…coming soon!)

how to make liquid soap

I didn’t know how well it would incorporate before trying it, but it turned out great!  This is nothing too fancy, just African Black Soap (ABS) Crumbles mixed into liquid soap.  If you want to make just the liquid soap part (no ABS crumbles) then go for it!  With the ABS crumbles, it makes a nice addition to a line of products that contain ABS.

African Black Soap Liquid Soap Recipe

Castor Oil – 6 oz
Coconut Oil – 10 oz
Avocado Oil – 8 oz
Safflower Oil – 8 oz
Olive Oil – 10 oz

Potassium Hydroxide – 9.11 oz
Initial Water for Paste – 27 oz

2 oz African Black Soap (you can get it at

Water for Dilution – 80 oz

Step 1 – Make a solution with the water and potassium hydroxide.  Potassium hydroxide likes to hiss and sizzle when added to water.  Fun!  (Yes, I am a soap dork.)

liquid soap with african black soap

Step 2 – Add all of the oils to the crock pot along with the African Black Soap and melt.  The ABS will not melt.  Stick blend it until it gets as smooth as you can.

african black soap liquid soap

liquid soap

Step 3 – Add the solution and stick blend until you get a THICK trace.  Then stick blend a bit more.

liquid soap

liquid soap trace

Step 4 – Turn the crockpot on to medium and let this puppy cook.  If it separates while cooking, stickblend it back into submission.  I don’t stir mine until the soap turns onto itself and all that is left is a little island of soap.  See below.

liquid soap to cook



Step 5 – Once only an island is left, stir!  And let it cook some more.

The timing of the soap finishing is going to depend on the heat of your crockpot.  Here is my timeline for this soap just for reference.

2:15 – set soap to cook
3:00 – soap turns – first stir
3:17 – stir again and test
3:30 – call it done and start diluting

To test the clarity of your liquid soap (if you care about clarity) you can take out a bit with a popsickle stick or spoon and put into HOT water to dissolve.  If its not clear – cook a bit more.  You can also tell the clarity a bit by the condensation that falls back on the soap.  Is it clear?

Not clear, so I cooked it a bit more.

testing soap

I cooked it about 15 minutes longer and declared it done!  Time to dilute.  I started by adding 40 oz of water.  You can always add more but you can’t take it away.  Boil the water before you add it so its nice and hot and doesn’t crack your crock.

After having the soap on warm for a couple of hours (and stirring occasionally), that wasn’t enough so I added 20 more and let it sit on warm some more.  That still wasn’t enough, so I added 20 more oz.  80 oz ended up being perfect for this batch.

diluting liquid soap

liquid soap

Ahhhh beautiful liquid soap!

I did strain it just in case it had any sediment from the ABS.  There wasn’t any that I could find.  That sort of surprised me a bit.

I added 2% Lavender Essential oil for scent.  You can add fragrance or essential oil – just be sure you test it in a small amount first!  Lavender EO makes it thick!  Citrus EO’s act as solvents and make it thin.  Be sure to test it first.  You can add 2-5% total.

Happy liquid soapmaking!   -Amanda

By |2017-02-01T15:33:09+00:00August 26th, 2014|Liquid Soapmaking|50 Comments

About the Author:

I am a soapmaker, author and blogger! I started blogging in 2008, sharing soap recipes, design tutorials and publishing articles on various topics of soapmaking.


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  10. Jenny January 24, 2018 at 11:53 am - Reply

    I have a jug of thick unscented liquid soap I made recently. Could I heat some up, add some more water add crumbled ABS to melt and stick blend? Or must the ABS be added before the cook?

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  20. hikky November 23, 2017 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    Why do we nid to add potassium hydroxide again! I tot ABS contains it, adding more will result to high level of lye? Cos most black soaps are made from ash. Pls clarify me.

  21. Mercy Umunna September 3, 2017 at 11:25 am - Reply

    Must the lye and ABS mixture be cooked before it’s ready for use? If it must be cooked, are there alternatives to using a crock pot

  22. Angel July 24, 2017 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Potassium Hydroxide – 9.11 oz?
    I plugged in your numbers and I got an average of 8.4 oz of lye.

    Which calculator did you use? Thanks

  23. Kirti June 17, 2017 at 3:39 am - Reply

    Hi Amanda

    Please advise what can be substituted for the safflower oil?


    • Ife April 14, 2018 at 4:47 am - Reply

      Sunflower oilncan be used as an alternative i believe.

  24. Olabimpe March 27, 2017 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Comment…Great tutorial. I’m still very new to soap making.

  25. busola August 17, 2016 at 10:22 am - Reply

    Hi do you need a preservative to make liquid blacksoap?

  26. Lilian Benjamin July 24, 2016 at 8:25 am - Reply

    How long do you keep mixed GHANA soap before use? One hour, 24 hours, 2days or more?

  27. Lilian Benjamin July 24, 2016 at 8:15 am - Reply

    How long does it take to begin to use your GHANA mixed black soap? Same day, 24 hours, 2days or weeks?

  28. Tami July 20, 2016 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    For some reason, though my soap tested Nutella and I cooked it for almost three hours, I never got clear soap. I’ve never had this happen. Is it safe to use?
    Thank you!!

  29. Nicole May 9, 2016 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    Can I add cocoa butter to this and use less water to get a creamy shampoo consistency?

  30. Jane August 14, 2015 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    African black originated from Yorubaland Nigeria. It was brought to Ghana during trading times when Yoruba women teased peppers for settlement in Ghana. Just thought I’d let everyone the origin of ABS. Amara Samina mean pepper traders soap referring to the Yoruba pepper readers of Benin, Togo and of course Niferia.

    • Jane August 14, 2015 at 3:15 pm - Reply

      I meant traders of Nigeria. Alata Samina is Yoruba for pepper and Samina is Ghanaian for soap. Ghanaians referred to it as the Yoruba pepper traders soap from Nigeria and Benin. Yoruba women traded the soap in Ghana and taught Ghanaian women how to make the soap in order to settle in Ghana. It was what Ghanaians wanted and because Yoruba women wanted to live in Ghana at that time they had no choice but to reach them.

  31. peaches March 19, 2015 at 2:26 am - Reply

    Tanks for d tip,pls how do u make d soap hard?i use to mix my raw african black soap wit a lot of additives like:honey,aloe vera,sandalwood,tumeric,essential oils and carrier oils,coconut oil and castor oils.but I will like to make it into bar soap.pls can u tell me how to go about it.tank u.

  32. shem February 15, 2015 at 10:33 am - Reply


  33. linda January 9, 2015 at 12:04 am - Reply

    Nice! I guess the abs you used is the one from Ghana or western Nigeria…that’s why it doesn’t melt in heat. The one we have here in southern Nig,prepared by our local women is very creamy/oily,has the colour of dark honey….its appearance is shimear(as in u see this brownish pearly reflection similar to dove/olay bar soap)…and it floats in cold water but can only melt in heat.

  34. carol January 8, 2015 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    How long can liquid soap last for.

  35. inda September 22, 2014 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    *N dillute with water(I mean to say)

  36. linda September 22, 2014 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    Weldone ….but,is it posible to ignore the pottasium hydroxide……n’ just mix oils,soap & dilluted water???

    • Amanda September 29, 2014 at 7:45 am - Reply

      No, you need either potassium hydroxide for liquid soap or sodium hydroxide for hard soap. 🙂

  37. Fran September 22, 2014 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    Hi Amanda, Waiting patiently for the African black soap scrub tutorial…

  38. Ni September 14, 2014 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Great post. Wondering where the liquid soap post before this went? The one that’s supposed to talk about fragrance? I’m trying figure out whether it’s 2% of paste or 2% of total diluted soap for scent. Thanks!

  39. Maria Korbe September 2, 2014 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the recipe. What temps do I bring the Oils and the Potassium Hydroxide/Water before blending them together? Thank you.

  40. Janelle August 27, 2014 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    Do you think that it would work with goat milk? I don’t want to have to use a preservative.

  41. Abiola August 27, 2014 at 9:40 am - Reply

    You make it all look do easy! I’ve been to lazy/scared to make liquid soap but with this tutorial I feel I can give it a whiz!
    Thanks for your generosity!

  42. Renee Lane August 27, 2014 at 7:21 am - Reply

    Just wanted to say that the ABS Salt Bars were a big hit for me and I have had no problem selling the straight ABS. Not too much into liquid soap so I can’t wait for your scrub recipe:) I tried adding ABS to melt & pour but that did not work very well for me so I ran it all through a salad shooter and because I just love the fragrance can I add these shreds to cold process? If so, how much?

  43. Fran August 27, 2014 at 3:06 am - Reply

    Thx for the tut! Can’t wait for the scrub tutorial

  44. Andy August 27, 2014 at 1:23 am - Reply

    I take my leftover ABS and add distilled water and zap it with a stick blender and pour in a bottle and I have liquid soap..I know you are saying OMG!! No she didn’t,but hey NO soap is wasted and you have yourself a nice liquid face soap or body soap. My mom made her own ABS and she got mad if you wasted,soap she worked so hard making

    • Abiola August 27, 2014 at 9:38 am - Reply

      Lol…that’s exactly what I did minus the stick blending. Just waited for it to melt.

  45. Rocio mendez August 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    Did you neutralize this soap? What was the total amount of soap you ended up with? What are the benefits of using abs? Thanks for the tutorial. Sorry for all the questions. Lol

    • Amanda August 27, 2014 at 5:16 pm - Reply

      Nope, I didn’t neutralize. I ended up with about 150 oz. Label appeal! 🙂

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