How to Make Soap Using Activated Charcoal

Things You'll Need

  • 10.33 oz. distilled water
  • Plastic bucket, chemical safe
  • 4.43 oz. sodium hydroxide (dry lye)
  • 2 soap safe thermometers
  • Melting pot
  • 12.27 oz. olive oil
  • 6.0 oz. coconut oil, 76 degree
  • 6.0 oz. palm oil
  • 4.55 oz. avocado oil
  • 1.43 oz. sweet almond oil
  • 2 lb. wooden loaf soap mold, with lid
  • Parchment paper
  • Immersion mixer
  • 1.4 tbsp. activated charcoal powder
  • Spatula
  • Soap cutter tool
  • Wire rack

Activated charcoal appears in skin care products due to its ability to ease inflammation and other problems that arise from sensitive skin. Create a batch of cold-process soap using activated charcoal and specially selected oils. Olive oil is nourishing for the skin. Coconut oil offers great cleansing and lather. Avocado and sweet almond oil are amazing for the skin, and the latter also gives the lather stability. The creation process requires the use of dry lye, which is 100 percent sodium hydroxide.

Pour 10.33 oz. of distilled water into a chemical safe plastic bucket. Add 4.43 oz. of sodium hydroxide (dry lye) slowly to the water mixture. Add a thermometer to the bucket. Keep checking the temperature during the rest of the steps, looking for a reading of 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add to the melting pot the following amounts of oils: 12.27 oz. olive oil, 6.0 oz. each of 76-degree coconut oil and palm oil, 4.55 oz. of avocado oil and 1.43 oz. of sweet almond oil. Keep the heat on low and allow the oils to gradually melt. Place a thermometer in the side of the melted oil.

Fill a sink with ice water and place the melting pot in the water. Keep checking on the temperature until it reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the lye bucket to the ice water if it still hasn't cooled down enough. Line the inside of the soap mold with parchment paper while you wait for the ingredients to cool down. Note that there should be an overhang of the paper to cover the soap once it's inside.

Pour the cooled lye into the cooled melting pot. Insert an immersion hand mixer and stir until the mixture starts to thicken slightly. Test for trace by lifting the mixer and allowing liquid soap to drip onto the surface. Note that if it takes a moment for the drips to sink back down into the mixture, trace has been achieved.

Stir in 1.4 tbsp. of activated charcoal powder and blend until well combined. Pour the soap mixture immediately into the lined soap mold. Smooth the surface with a spatula. Fold the parchment paper overhang across the top of the soap. Place the lid on the mold. Set the mold aside for 12 to 24 hours for the soap to harden.

Cut the hardened soap, still in the mold, into bars using a soap cutter tool. Keep the bars as even in size as possible. Place the bars onto a rack to cure for two weeks before using.


  • This soap recipe doesn't include essential oils or artificial colorants because those ingredients may inflame irritated skin.


  • Use caution when working with lye. It is a caustic chemical. Work in a well-ventilated area and avoid spills or exposure to skin, eyes or mouth.