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Home Business Ideas: Handmade Soaps


Nothing beats handmade soaps. The "soaps" sold in stores are not really soap, and they can be harsh for your skin. Handmade soaps are natural and real soaps that leave your skin feeling refreshed and are free of the many chemicals found in commercial soaps. Once you have the skills to make them, as well as communicate the value of handmade soaps to your target market, you'll have a great home business idea on your hands.

Education and Training

If you're willing to learn how to make handmade soaps, by taking classes, watching DVDs or asking an experienced soap maker for help, then you can be a soap maker. You don't need to go to school for it. One of the main ingredients, lye, is caustic and you have to know how to use it properly. You don't want to burn your skin or cause damage to your eyes. You can learn safety techniques in a short amount of time, and practice until you perfect your soap craft. You can also resale soap and not learn how to make soap.

Knowing how to market and sell soaps that you buy wholesale is essential if you choose that route. You can take marketing courses or read books for that. If you're looking for a home business idea that requires little education or training, then give handmade soaps a try.


The salary range for a soap maker is between $22,000 and $38,000. You can add to that income by selling related products, such as soap maker supplies, soap making kits and books on soap making. If you enjoy speaking, writing or teaching, you can do so about handmade soaps and earn more money.

Niche Market

When you do a search for handmade soaps, you may be intimated by the number of online competitors. You may even have local ones too. Don't despair over the competition, but find ways to distinguish yourself from them. Here is a list of soaps that you can make to target a specific niche market:

  • Organic soaps
  • Goat's milk soaps
  • Honey soaps
  • Soaps with logo, initials and other customized prints
  • Soaps for wedding and party favors

The ingredients you use, as well as the final soap product and packaging are all ways to stand out from competitors. Figure out what niche market you want to target, and learn to make the best soap you can to sell to it.

Equipment and Supplies

If you plan on making your own soaps, and not buy soap loaves from a wholesaler, then you'll need to acquire your own equipment and supplies. Here are some ideas for what you'll need to get started with your soap making business:

  • Soap molds
  • Soap cutters
  • Lye
  • Oils, such a coconut oil and olive oil
  • Essential oils for scents, if you choose to use them
  • Other optional ingredients, such as shea butter
  • Fabric, paper or plastic for packaging
  • Soap stamps, to put initials or pictures on the soap bars

Don't buy many supplies all at once. Practice making small batches of soaps first to see which ingredients you like, before making a significant investment.

Making and selling handmade soaps is an easy business to incorporate the entire family. Teach your children the trade, and have them help you run your business.

Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.

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