Soap is one of the most used products in Kenya. It has many uses and its use is widespread. Soap is easy to make. You can easily make soap for home use as well as sell soap to make money. To start a profitable soap-making business in Kenya, it is important to know how to make quality soaps, properly manage your stock, and adequately price your soap. This is a simple guide on how to start a soap-making business in Kenya. 

The e-book of success in soap making business


You will require the following list of ingredients to make soap: 

  1. Clean water 
  1. Oil. You can use cooking oil or palm oil. A litre of coconut oil costs sh.180 per litre while palm oil costs sh.85 per Kg. 
  1. Caustic Soda (sodium hydroxide or lye). It is sold at about sh.100 per kilogram. 
  1. Thermometer 
  1. Weighing scale 
  1. Mixing jugs 
  1. Spoons 
  1. Plastic bowl 

The ingredients required to make oil are cheap and easy to find. Follow the following steps after gathering all the necessary ingredients.

Soap-making Procedure

  • Measure 500 grams of water on your weighing scale. 
  • Measure 200 grams of caustic soda separately. 
  • Put the water in a glass jar and add the caustic soda while gently stirring the mixture. 
  • Leave the mixture to settle for a few minutes undisturbed. 
  • Measure 750 grams of oil in a separate container or a large bowl for easy stirring. 
  • Check the temperature level of the oil and the caustic soda and water mixture using your thermometer. 
  • If the temperature of the caustic soda and water is lower than that of the oil, or vice versa, heat until the temperatures match. 
  • Add more caustic water to the mixture and keep stirring gently but thoroughly until it looks thick and whitish. This step also reduces the splashing of the mixture. 
  • Pour the resulting mixture into containers of the desired shape. Wrap inside a warm blanket or towel and leave to cool for about 24 hours. Give the soap 4 weeks to become ready for use. This process is known as curing. 

This method can produce about 2 kilograms of soap, which is the equivalent of three-700gram bar soaps. The above formula is only good for producing soap on a small scale. For large scale soap production, one should consider purchasing a machine known as a plodder. A plodder is a machine that produces soap cheaply and efficiently. The machine can make up to 100 kg of soap in an hour. 

 Plodders are available from several vendors such as Nyaweco Engineering Works Limited found in Kariobangi, Off Outering Road in Nairobi. You can also check classified ads on OLX or import one. A plodder costs about sh.200,000. 

How to make liquid soap. 

Liquid soap is fairly easy to make, however, precision is required to achieve quality results. Follow the following steps carefully to make liquid soap. Liquid soap is also in high demand as it is also a good cleaning agent and disinfectant. 


You will require the following materials to make liquid soap. 

  • Distilled water (20 liters) 
  • Water-soluble dye (20 grams) 
  • Cocodiethanolmide (500ml) 
  • Benzalkonium chloride (40ml) 
  • Fragrance or perfumes (20ml) 
  • Sodium chloride/table salt (500 grams) 
  • Pot of boiling water 
  • Sodium lauryl-ether sulfate 
  • Gas or stove to heat the solution 
  • A basin (medium-sized) 
  • 500ml bottles for storing the end product 
  • A plastic spoon or ladle to mix the solution 
  • Measuring cups for quantifying ingredients 


Follow the following steps carefully to make high quality liquid soap. 

  • Heat five liters of distilled water and boil for about 15 minutes. Make sure you use clean water to avoid contaminating the product and for the best results. 
  • Add the salt to the boiling water and mix thoroughly until completely dissolved. 
  • Mix the detergent in the salty boiled water and stir with the ladle. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients and stir until the mixture is uniform and well mixed. 
  • Allow the liquid to cool until all bubbles have subsided and poured the mixture into 500ml bottles. It is advisable to brand the bottles to create familiarity with your customers. 

Ensure your soaps are of high quality and also well-priced to increase sales and profits. The soap-making business has a profitability ratio of 2:1. You get 50 cents on every shilling invested, which is a fair return. This article has been a simple guide on how to make soap and start a soap-making business in Kenya. Soap is also ever in high demand, making it a very feasible venture. It is also easy to start and manage as the business venture requires little manpower. 

The soap-making business is flexible as one can start with capital as low as sh.5,000 up to sh.500,000 depending on one’s scope. 

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