What is the smallest batch that can be made well?

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Mar 31, 2008
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I am eagerly awaiting my birthday monday when I will get my soap making supplies. I want to get a lot of practice in while using as little stuff as possible. Ive seen lots of recipes in 1 pound batches but what about 8 oz or smaller. The idea is to make samples now for testing and practice. Thanks.
A one pound batch is actually much smaller than it seems. it's only four bars of soap...I've never tried to make smaller, but the smaller you go the more difficult it is to maintain a high level of accuracy... Also I'd have a concern about keeping the soap warm with such a small amount, you may need to look into puttin it in an oven which I have never done.
actuall there is a receipe for 1bar of soap recipe. I will look for it, if you want it

But remember it has to be measured out accurately..you have no space for error.
and you need a realllly good scale, like a triple-beam or something that goes to 3 decimal places (.ooo) so you can measure out the ingredients correctly. (unless the recipe maybe gives it in tsp or 1/4 tsp or something......Tab??)

curious for that recipe! Itll be the first 1 bar-er ive seen!
Missjulesdid said:
Also I'd have a concern about keeping the soap warm with such a small amount, you may need to look into puttin it in an oven which I have never done.

I've been lurking here a little while... but I just made a 1lb batch last night and it did a full gel with no trouble at all... I just cut it up a little while ago, actually :) I had added some baby oatmeal to it (about half an ounce) so I don't know what impact that had..

That was my first 1lb batch, but only my 4th overall - the others have all been 2lb batches. I poured it into one of these boxes from IKEA lined with saran wrap and it worked out great - the soap came to about 1/2" below the lid. I didn't insulate it at all.
i have done lots of 1lb batches and i get full gel on all of them. i use a milk carton as a mold and put shopping bag over it and wrap in a towel and then place in a small cabinet and it stays toasty in there....

wouldnt go any smaller though!
Thanks, four bars is what I was looking for. A bar for me to use, and a few to give away.

Im still looking around for something to mold it in. Any good ideas on about how much volume in cubic inches or whatever unit a 1lb batch is?
Not sure exactly, but you could play around with the equation paul posted in the sticky on top of the forum??

a milk carton like WFP suggested would be a good place to start, or a priority mail cardboard box cut down ??

look around the house/apt first there may be something you have already that you could use !
One-Bar Soap Recipe

0.6 oz lye
1.5 oz water

1.5 oz olive oil
1.28 oz coconut oil
1.5 oz palm oil
Combine at 120°. May take as long as 20-30 minutes to trace. Can pour into styrofoam cups which will insulate for you.

courtesy of "Soap Nuts" recipe nook
Hi! Happy birthday and welcome to soapmaking!

Something to consider...

I make 1lb test batches all of the time. However - there have been a few instances where the results differed when I made a larger batch with the same recipe. One recipe overheated in a 5lb mold but not in the smaller test batches. So while small test batches are great - some recipes may require further testing in a larger batch and using different molds.
Thanks for the tip. I've been making exclusively 1-lb. batches up to this point and I'll have to see how some of my soaps work out in larger quantities.

--Metal Substance