Making B&B Quality Soap

by Maureen Greer
(New Orlans, LA)

Is it more cost effective for me to make personalized soap for our new B&B in Mexico, or to buy it? I am very interested in making soap, but not sure about the cost factor. I might just make it for gifts.

Thank you,


Hi Mauren,
That's a pretty hard question to answer!!

I'm going to assume you want to compare buying handmade soaps and making handmade soaps that are of the same quality and are not referring to buying 'hotel soap'.

There are a ton of factors that must be taken into consideration to determine the cost of making handmade soap.

Lets talk ingredients first.

Some ingredients used in soap making are more expensive than others. Lard is butter is not. You will need to determine what type of ingredients you want to use in your soap making.

If you purchase your ingredients in small amounts, your initial cost will be little....BUT the cost of each bar of soap you make will be more than if you purchase your ingredients in bulk.

Buying bulk ingredients is great if you plan on making lots of soap. If you only want to make a few bars here and there, then bulk ingredients wouldn't be the best choice. Soap making oils have a shelf life and you need to be able to use up those oils before they go rancid.

Will you be making fancy, decorative looking soaps or will you be making soaps that are more organic in design?

Obviously a plain look is cheaper to make since decorative soaps require more ingredients in terms of colour and additives. Decorative soaps also take up much more of your time to create...again, making them more expensive to make.

Other possible cost factors can include packaging, labeling, equipment, somewhere to make it/store it, insurance if you plan on selling it...the list really depends on what you want to do with your soap making.

If you only want to make a few bars here and there and aren't really interested in making a hobby or business of soap making, then I think it would be cheaper to purchase your soaps from someone who buys their ingrients in bulk and sells quite a large volume.

If however, you're interested in making more than the occational bar and you want to tailor the soaps to your's most often cheaper to make it yourself.

Good luck,

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Thanks for your Comments
by: Maureen

Ugggh! So much to think about. I've never even made soap, so I don't know what to do.

I do not want hotel quality, I want better! I'm not interested in fancy because I am a beginner, but I would make quite a bit of it and store it. You can store it can't you?!

What would you recommend? I love lavendar and eucalyptis. Probably to difficult for a beginner. I also just want bars of soap since I am a beginner. I've read all about the soaps and ingredients and it's overwhelming, but I also love a good challenge. Just not sure if this is a challenge I can do. I'm lousy in the kitchen, so I'm not sure how I'd do in the soap making department.

I would also like to make my own bath and body products and put them in the B& B with our name.


First batch of soap
by: Cathy

My first batch of soap was scented with lavender essential oil so I don't think that will be too hard for a beginner.

I read non-stop every soap making book I could get my hands on for a month before I even attempted to make a batch. Do your research until you understand the process. Start with a simple batch and work your way up from there. New things can seem overwhelming at times but if you take it slow, you should do just fine.

As for other B&B products...tackle one thing at a time. Once you've got soap figured out, then tackle lotions or what have you.

Enjoy the adventure,

by: Heavenly Scent Soaps


Before you go much futher into this venture, I would carefully consider one important thing that Cathy pointed out - if you are going to offer your product to the public you need to have liability insurance.

Make sure you have a safe, top quality product that you've tested over time.

Good luck and have fun with your new venture!

by: Anonymous

Thank you for your thoughts on insurance. I do need to follow this up, but I'm not to sure it's much of an issue in Mexico since they do not insure homes, even homes with a pool.

We do own a business that caters to the food industry, so we are pretty informed on FDA rules and regulations and insurance, regarding food equipment and processing.

I do think I would like to do this for a hobby even if it's not going into our house in Mexico. I think it would make a thoughtful gift.

Again, thanks for your input!

B&B soaps
by: Anonymous

I have no idea when this letter was written, but I happen to be in the market to make and sell my soap to local B&B's in my area. I've been making soap for 15 years and have a vision for my soap in B&B's. And i am fully insured. If you have any interest or questions for me contact me thanks, Sep

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