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5 Ingredient DIY African Black Soap

November 03, 2017

bananas and shea butter
By Kali Kushner

Remember the  African black soap article from just a few weeks ago? So many of you guys were interested in the process of making itso,I thought I would share this easy  African black soaprecipe for all of the do-it-yourselfers out there.Of course, you can always buy it from the store but isn't there just something a little special when it comes to  homemade goodies?

I'm not an  avidsoap maker so,I am going to be using the simplest recipe I've found, which happens to be from wikihow. If you're just starting out insoap makingbizz or curious about how to create your own  African black soap, you'll find this recipe to be incredibly simple with only 10 steps to follow. Now, let's get started!

Ingredients You´ll Need:

  • Base oil: palm oil,shea butter, and cocoa butter are typically used in traditional  African black soap
  • Plantain skins (note: you can substitute the plantain skins with cocoa pods if they are readily available in your area)
  • 2 cups of warm, distilled water
  • Desired essential oils: tea tree, lavender, and clary sage all make great options for skin ailments like acne and eczema but feel free to use whichever you prefer (or none at all)!

Kitchen Utensils:

  • Strainer
  • Double broiler
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Mixing Spoon
  • Mold
  • Oven-safe bowl with tight-fitting lid OR baking sheet


1. Select your base oil

For the purpose of this DIY, I will be usingabout2cups ofshea butter. According to wikihow, the amount ofbase oil needed should not exceed half of the capacity of your double broiler. There are no exact measurementsso I guess you justgotta eyeball it and hope for the best on this one!

2. Roast the plantain skins

Cut open the plantains,dispose ofthe insides and place the skins,skin side down, on a bakingsheet or in an oven-safe bowl. Again, there is no specific temperature or measurement (thnxwikihow) so we are going to oven roast four plantain skins at350degrees until brown. The number of skins, cocoa pods, and alternate ingredients used will depend on how much soap you are making or how concentratedyou want your soap to be.

3. Burn the plantain skins (or alternate ingredients)

Now we burn the plantain skins, so I guess roasting them for a long timeisn't really all that important!Burn the plantain skins in the oven broilerfluctuating between 250 and500degrees. An oven-safe bowl with atight-fitting lid ispreferred here due to thelikelihood of a fire. In case of a fire turn the stove OFF and coverthe bowl with thetight-fitting lid (without oxygen the fire will die).

Theashes will be completelyblack all the way through once theyare ready to use, you can crack them open and check the inside to be sure no brown is remaining. Plantain ash, when combined with water,creates a lye mixture. Lye isan alkalinesolution ofpotassium hydroxide, typicallyused inproducts likesoap or household cleaner for washing andcleansing.

4. Add the ashes to the water

Slowly add the ashes to 2 cups of warm distilledwater while stirring. You can add more water or ashes to make the consistency as thick or dark as you'd like.

5. Boil the mixture

Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat. Once the ashes have dissolved intothe water you can strain the mixture and set the liquid aside. The potassium hydroxide from the plantain ashes should now be leached into the water.

6. Heat the base oil

Using a double broiler (or a glass bowlthat fits snugin a pot) heat the base oil over low heat until it is completely melted.

7. Combine  ingredients

Slowly stir in the ashy water to the melted baseoil on low heat. Continue addingthe ash liquid until you get your desired shade of brown orblack and until the liquid is completely smooth. If desired add ascent or essential oilto the soap; traditional African black soap does not contain any additives but for my acne-prone and easilyirritated skin I will be adding Lavender (for calming) and tea tree (for blemish-fighting).

8. Remove the liquid soap

As you stir, you will notice that a waxy material begins to formon top of theliquid substance. This material is the soap and can be easily scooped from the broilerinto a mold. Continue scooping the soap from the surface into the molds as it forms. Eventually, almost all of the water should evaporate off.

9. Cure the soap

Leave the soap in the molds for up to two weeks to cure, this will be enough timefor the soap to become solid. While the soap is curing it should be stored in a cool, dry place with ventilation. Curing happens as most of the water evaporates out of the soap.

10. The soap is ready for use!

Once the soap is firm but malleable it is completely cured and ready for use! Use as a face wash, body wash, create your own African black soap shampoo, or turn it into a creative holiday gift!

Although it is a bit of a process, if you are making  African black soap yourself then you choose exactly the quality and kind of ingredients that you want to put into it; you can makethe batch as big or as small as you want and have total control over the quality.For a visual step by step demonstration (and to find out if this recipe  actually works or not) watch the DIY African black soap video above! Comment below if you tried out this recipe & how it worked for you!



2 Responses


April 06, 2023

So did it turn out?


March 23, 2023

Nice one,

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