A Vegan and Palm Free Soap Dough Recipe (Soap Clay)

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I’ve noticed quite a few people posting in our Facebook Group Saponification Nation (Join us!) asking for a vegan and palm-free soap dough recipe.

Coincidentally, I happened upon making one the other day so I wanted to share. I am in no way, shape or form a soap dough expert. But this recipe might be a good starting point for those looking to formulate this type of recipe themselves.

So what is soap dough?

Soap dough or soap clay is a mold-able soap that you can use just like you would clay to form little embeds and figures for embeding on soap.

I first saw soap dough being done by the whimsical Sarah Chapin of Whimsical Soap Works. She wrote an article for Soap Collaborative teaching how to make adorable nests with robin’s eggs. You can grab a copy here and all proceeds go to our non-profit, Lovin Soap Project.

Then the lovely Bee started posting her stunning soaps made using soap dough and even wrote a book! Check out her website here and be sure to join her Facebook Group for inspiration.ย Read her guest post on Lovin’ Soap here.

Another wonderful soap dough artist that I’ve noticed is Ronda Scorpio. She posts in our FB Group and I am just blown away by what she creates. She creates stunning soap dough creations and runs a Facebook Group that you can join here.

Do you have a favorite soap dough resource? Please share in the comments!

So like I said, I came upon this recipe by accident. I was making piped flower embeds. The next day I didn’t use all of the embeds so I rolled them into balls for another soap design. It rolled easily and was nice and smooth. I immediately though soap dough!

So I made a new batch, increased the water a bit and it was even better. Here is the recipe that I came up with and how I made the dough.

This recipe makes a small batch (447 grams total), perfect for testing. If you are new to soapmaking, be sure to download our free Basic Soapmaking Guide.

I used a 5% superfat and used water at 2.5 times my lye. If you wanted a softer dough (that takes longer to cure) then you can use water at 3 times the lye. This soap did not go through gel phase.

Vegan and Palm Free Soap Dough Recipe

  • Cocoa Butter – 45 grams (15%)
  • Coconut Oil – 90 grams (30%)
  • Olive Oil – 120 grams (40%)
  • Avocado Oil – 30 grams (10%)
  • Castor Oil – 15 grams (5%)
  • Sodium Hydroxide – 42 grams
  • Water – 105 grams

So here is what I did!

I made my soap as usual, bringing it to a light trace.

I then decided how many colors I wanted and grabbed some plastic cups. You could also use individual silicone molds or pour directly into plastic food storage containers.

I colored my soap using mica for the colors and charcoal for the black. I added about 1/4 teaspoon each. I wanted it nice and saturated.

Once I got them mixed up, I put the cups in a bag so that air would not dry them out.

Again, you can even pour straight into food storage containers and put the lid on them.

I ended up using my soap dough about a week later and they were still perfectly pliable.

The main thing is to store so that air doesn’t touch them. You can wrap in plastic wrap and put into bags upon unmolding.

Here they are unmolded.

Grab a pinch and work it in your hands to warm it up. This makes it more pliable and easy to shape.

I searched YouTube for easy polymer clay tutorials and one of the first ones to pop up was this owl tutorial. This looked easy enough!

So I gave it a shot. Not bad! But I do have a lot to learn. ๐Ÿ™‚

There are tons of YouTube videos of people making soap dough. Do a search and spend a bit of time browsing for tips and tricks.

Here are a couple of channels that I found, but please post your favorite soap dough artist’s channel or video link in the comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sorcery Soap | Ronda Scorpio

I hope this was helpful if you’re looking to jump into making soap dough! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Soaping!

-Amanda Gail

By |2017-08-25T09:58:45+00:00August 25th, 2017|Uncategorized|24 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.


  1. Kelly November 3, 2018 at 6:11 am - Reply

    This is a great little recipe! Iโ€™ve been seeing so many designs with soap dough and havenโ€™t had time to look it up yet, definitely something to try ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. review of amazing selling machine x October 15, 2018 at 10:53 am - Reply

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  3. Kris July 10, 2018 at 11:02 am - Reply

    Wondering if I can use this recipe to make balls, that would be embedded in CP soap, and then how long it would take to cure the whole loaf and slice? Does the heat of the fresh CP then cure these dough balls?

  4. Mary Torbett April 18, 2018 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    I feel so blessed to have come across your site and you’re soaping. I’m extremely new to it but read about it for months before hand I was a quilter for years but had to give it up and soaping allows me to have artistic expression like my quilts did I am so grateful for all the information that you provide and the recipes and overwhelmed that you are willing to share them I have found that has been a problem although I totally understand the hard work that goes into a creation again thank you for all your help and tips that you offer and your wonderful recipes I admire you and your husband so much

  5. Ambrosia April 14, 2018 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Hi friends I have one question
    How much time does soap dough will take to get hard
    I made rat 4 days back still it is soft and playable

  6. Sherry October 18, 2017 at 11:53 am - Reply

    This is my favorite dough recipe I’ve found so far! Very easy to make and comes out perfect every time. Now if I could just improve my artistic skills…

    • Amanda Gail October 19, 2017 at 12:37 pm - Reply

      Yay! I’m so glad to hear that! Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Amber September 4, 2017 at 9:09 am - Reply

    I see it says that the soap dough did not go through gel phase. My question is would it be possible to gel it or would it loose its shape?

    • Amanda Gail September 5, 2017 at 9:09 am - Reply

      I’m not real sure if it would change the consistency or not. Give it a try and see.

  8. shirin Mamujee September 2, 2017 at 7:02 am - Reply

    Thank you Amanda for sharing the soap dough recipe. I love the cute owl, I really appreciate it especially a recipe that is palm free. I will try it out. Love all the posts that you share, Thank you once again ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Rayna August 28, 2017 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    How long to cure? Still the same 4 week to 6 weeks?
    Look good..

  10. Rhonda August 27, 2017 at 4:54 am - Reply

    Aww, your Owl is such a cutie !!!

  11. Janene August 27, 2017 at 3:27 am - Reply

    Hi what can I replace the Coca Butter with I don’t have any Shea Butter and I was thinking of making it for kids just in case they are allergic to nuts with the Sha Butter ๐Ÿ˜Š Thanks ๐Ÿ˜Š

  12. Dawnia Radig August 26, 2017 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Also interested if it hardens. Would it be good for embellishments on top of CP soap? Thinking Holly Berries, etc for Christmas decorations.

    • Amanda August 26, 2017 at 11:47 am - Reply

      Yes, it hardens. It is simply soap that hasn’t cured. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Angie August 26, 2017 at 9:16 am - Reply

    How long do they need to stay in the plastic bags before I can use them? 24 hours? one week?

    • Amanda August 26, 2017 at 11:58 am - Reply

      You can mold them right after unmolding. So after 24 hours. Keeping them in the plastic bags makes sure that they don’t dry out and remain moldable for a long time.

      • Amanda August 26, 2017 at 11:58 am - Reply

        I meant form them, not mold them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Jpklmt August 25, 2017 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Does this harden after it sits or does it stay soft?

  15. Kim Seguin August 25, 2017 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    Great idea and tutorial. Thanks so much!

  16. Theresa August 25, 2017 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Yay! So excited to try this new recipe. I knew you would have one soon. Thanks so much and I will post pics of some of the creations we do for the kids’ classes.

  17. Montie August 25, 2017 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    So,you can mold with it right after making and the lye doesn’t hurt your hands? Then does it have to cure just like regular cp soap? Thanks for the info.

    • Amanda August 26, 2017 at 11:59 am - Reply

      After the soap is saponified it is safe to handle. It is regular CP soap, so yep, it will need to cure. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Hilda Bahner August 25, 2017 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the Palm Free Soap Dough recipe Amanda, you are always so generous!

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