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Simple Handmade Pumpkin Soap Recipe

Simple Pumpkin Soap Recipe

One homestead skill I’ve been so excited to learn is making handmade soaps.

A blog I adore for soap making and soap recipes is the Nerdy Farm Wife which is why I’m thrilled today to have Jan Berry offer this Simple Pumpkin Soap Recipe from her latest book Simple & Natural Soapmaking.

Simple & Natural Soapmaking: Create 100% Pure and Beautiful Soaps with The Nerdy Farm Wife's Easy Recipes and Techniques

This book is gorgeous and contains amazing recipes & techniques

Simple Natural Soap Making Book

Simple Pumpkin Soap Recipe

Loaded with vitamin A and other nourishing nutrients, real pumpkin puree gives this soap its natural yellow-orange color. Both homemade puree and canned pumpkin work equally well; if neither is available, try using butternut squash instead.

Makes 7 to 8 bars (2.5 lbs/1.13 kg)

Simple Pumpkin Soap Recipe


  • Lye Solution
  • 3.95 oz (112 g) Sodium Hydroxide (also called Lye or Caustic Soda)
  • 6.5 oz (184 g)
  • Distilled Water
  • Solid Oils
  • 8 oz (227 g) Coconut Oil
  • 4 oz (113 g) Shea or Mango Butter
  • Liquid Oils 12 oz (340g) Olive Oil
  • 4 oz (113 g) Sunflower or Sweet Almond Oil


  • 2.5 oz (71 g) Pumpkin Puree

Notes & Tips

If you don’t have shea or mango butter, try using cocoa or kokum butter, tallow or lard for a similar effect. To further enhance the recipe, you could add 1 tbsp ground oats (at trace) and/or 1 tbsp dried milk powder (with the pumpkin). All oils, butters, water, lye and pumpkin should be measured by weight. You need an accurate scale to make soap.


Simple Pumpkin Soap Recipe Simple Pumpkin Soap Recipe Simple Pumpkin Soap Recipe

Step 1: Make the Lye Solution

Wearing protective gloves and eyewear, carefully stir the lye (sodium hydroxide) into the distilled water until dissolved. Work in an area with good ventilation and be careful not to breathe in the fumes. Set the lye solution aside to cool for about 30 or 40 minutes or until the temperature drops to around 100 to 110°F (38 to 43°C).

Step 2 : Prepare the Oils

Step 3: Mixing

Add the pumpkin puree to the warmed oils and blend well with an immersion blender (stick blender). Pour the cooled lye solution into the warmed oils/pumpkin mixture. Using a combination of hand stirring and an immersion blender, stir the soap batter until it thickens and reaches trace. Trace is when the soap has thickened enough so when you drizzle a small amount of the batter across the surface, it will leave a fleeting, but visible imprint or trace before sinking back in.

Step 4: Pour in Mold

Pour the soap batter into your soap mold. Cover lightly with wax or freezer paper, then a towel or light blanket. Peek at the soap every so often; if it starts developing a crack, uncover and move to a cooler location.

Step 5: Cut & Cure

Keep the soap in the mold for 1 to 2 days, or until it’s easy to remove, then slice it into bars when it’s firm enough not to stick to your cutting tool. Cure on coated cooling racks or sheets of wax paper for about 4 weeks before using. The soap is safe to touch 48 hours after making it but it needs the extra time to allow the excess moisture to evaporate out.


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  1. If you got the recipe from the book you really should not exchange one oil for another. It will have a different saponification factor. It could result in too much lye in the soap. It can be caustic (burn your shin).

    • Hi Leona! Yes, it’s always good to run a recipe through a lye calculator before making changes. In this case, I already verified all of the substitution tips in the book and made sure the lye amount remained within a safe level, so feel free to use any of the substitutions listed. 🙂

    • Hi Liza! You could add a little bit of pumpkin spice blend for texture and visual appeal, but it won’t add scent to the final soap. For that, you could add a small amount of clove and cinnamon essential oil. (Up to 6 grams total for a recipe that size – both of those essential oils can sensitize skin at a higher rate & will also make the soap thicken a lot faster, so mix fast & be ready to pour into the mold.) 🙂

  2. Hello ,
    just made this soap. thank you for the recipe..

    question tho. this is the 1st soap I have made without using castor oil for lather.
    Does the sunflower take the place of it ?

    thanks ,Lisa

    • Hi Lisa! Castor oil is wonderful for adding lather to soap – I love using it in soap recipes too! In this case, the sunflower oil isn’t used as a substitute for castor, but it does add a nice conditioning lather to soaps. If you wanted to use castor oil for extra bubbles, I’d swap out around 1.5 oz of the olive oil for castor (checking with a lye calculator to see if the lye amount needs adjusting.) 🙂

    • Hi Linda! The high pH of soap acts as a preservative of sorts, so that soaps made with milk, veggies, fruits, etc should have a similar shelf life to regular soaps. Just make sure to use smooth purees (or juices) since any large pieces of unblended fruit/veggie could mold in a soap.

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