On this list, you'll find the 10 best books on soapmaking. Whether you're a beginner soap maker or a seasoned veteran these books are sure to teach, inspire and challenge you.
I know what you're thinking: Do I really need a book for making soap?
The short answer is: No.
But, while there are certainly plenty of online resources, tutorials, forums, and videos on how to make your own soap at some point on your soap-making journey it's nice to have a book in hand with all the information in one place. Aside from being useful, it's simply a satisfying experience to leave through a soapmaking book and drool over all the gorgeous photos. If you have a soap enthusiast in your life then a book would make the perfect gift!
Over the years I have acquired a collection of soap-making books and learned a lot from them at any stage of my soap-making journey. While I haven't personally owned every single book on this list, I have held them all in hand at some point when deciding which book to get. So, without further ado, let's get to my 10 favorite and best soapmaking books.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure here.
If you're only going to get one soap making book then I'd say go for this one. It's a comprehensive guide and covers in great detail every step of the process. Aside from cold-process soaps this book also touches on hot process, liquid, transparent, and melt and pour soaps. What I love is that it takes entry-level soap makers by the hand and guides them through the whole process step-by-step. It also talks about topics like coming up with your own recipes, packaging and presentation and even selling your own soaps.
This is one of the first books I bought and I use it frequently as a reference to this day.
Who is it for? Beginners and advanced soap makers that want to learn and explore different types of soap making.
This is another great all-around book that has detailed instructions for different types of soap making, like liquid soaps, hot and cold process soaps, melt and pour soaps and hand-milled soaps. With over 65 recipes you'll have lots to choose from and be able to explore different techniques and ingredients.
Amanda Gail is the blogger behind Loving Soap where she generously shares her knowledge about all things soap.
Who is it for? Beginner and veteran soap makers that are interested in learning different soap-making methods using a variety of recipes.
This is another great book for new soap makers that focuses on natural soaps made with 100% natural ingredients. Unlike the first two books on this list, this best seller focuses on the cold process method only. Step-by-step tutorials will teach you how to incorporate essential oils and natural herbs into your soaps. Every cold process soap recipe in this book is beautifully photographed. Talk about eye candy!
Kelly Cable is the blogger behind Simple Life Mom where she shares her natural soap recipes and more. Her book is filled with 55 recipes that feature basic techniques as well as advanced designs.
Who is it for? Beginner soap makers that want to learn cold process soap making. Anybody that's interested to have an extensive soap recipe book with interesting ingredients and techniques to choose from.
This is a beautiful book that features step-by-step techniques for cold process soap making as well as more than 50 unique recipes. The recipes presented in this book are all 100% palm-oil free and made using natural colorants and ingredients. Jan Berry incorporates materials from the garden, farm, forest and sea into her beautiful soaps. The photos in this book are gorgeous.
Herbalist Jan Berry is the founder of the very popular blog The Nerdy Farm Wife. She's been inspiring people to make their own skin remedies using backyard herbs for years.
Who is it for? Soap makers of all skill levels who are interested in making natural skin care soaps. Some recipes in this book use animal fats to replace palm oil, so if you're looking for mainly vegan or vegetable-based soaps this book might not be for you.
Similar to the books above, this book will teach you how to make cold-process soaps using natural ingredients in 32 beautiful recipes. The soaps are beautifully photographed and presented. But the best thing about this book is that it's spiral-bound which makes the book rest nice and flat while you're making soap.
Ann-Marie Faiola is the founder of Brambleberry a well-known soap-making supplier. She's been at the forefront of teaching soapmaking on the web.
As the name suggests, this book will take you on a deep dive into making milk soaps. Here you will learn how to incorporate different kinds of milk to give you creamy and luxurious soap. Don't just think goat milk soap, this book runs the gamut from using animal milk to plant-based milks and even teaches you how to make your own nut and grain milk.
Just like her other books, this one's spiral-bound as well which is a big plus.
Who is it for? Probably more advanced soap makers, but I'm sure a beginner would also do well thanks to the detailed instructions in this book.
If you're thinking your creative options are limited when making melt and pour soaps, think again. The soap recipes presented in this book are drop-dead gorgeous and incorporate an amazing variety of natural ingredients.
Making soap without lye is possible if you're using a melt and pour soap base and Jan Berry's book will teach you how to elevate easy diy projects into nourishing skin care soaps.
Who is it for? Everyone that doesn't want to use lye, but still be able to make beautiful soaps.
If you're interested in diving into liquid soapmaking then this is the book for you. Making liquid soaps is a completely different beast than let's say cold process soapmaking. It involves a whole process to get it right, so having a dedicated book on it is a good idea.
Who's it for? Soap makers of any skill level that want to learn about liquid soapmaking.
This was the first very first book I bought back in 2015 when I was a complete beginner. At the time it seemed like the only book out there that could teach me about interesting designs and creative techniques. And it did.
It's a great book for learning how to manipulate soap batter to achieve a desired look. It's not a natural soap-making book, however. The colorants and fragrances are mostly synthetic.
Who's it for? Although I got it when I was just starting out, I'd say you need to have at least a couple of batches under your belt before tackling this book.
A lot of soapmakers consider this book their soap making bible. While it certainly is a very comprehensive guide and the OG book on soap making (published in 1997), I put it at the bottom of this list.
Because I think it's not the most accessible book out there for new and modern day soapers. Some of the techniques are outdated, like hand stirring your batter and it lacks photos.
Who's it for? Advanced and beginning soapmakers
I hope you found this list helpful in choosing the perfect soapmaking book for you.