- The sugars in the beer give the soap a fantastic lather.
- Beer soaps are a novelty that make a great gift. Plus if you have an uninterested man waiting for someone he is with to sniff all the soaps at your market table, if you hand him a beer soap, he’ll probably become interested! Beer drinkers are all about the beer soap!
- Beer is actually good for your skin. Hops contain skin softening amino acids and are known to be antibacterial and soothing to irritated skin.
- Once you are an expert at making beer soap, you can contact local breweries about private label soaps made with their beers – this can be a major source of revenue if breweries are plentiful in your area! The photo above is a private label soap I made for Lion Bridge Brewery, which is located in my town.
In the soap making world, beer is often considered an ingredient that you should leave alone until you’ve got some experience under your belt. This is true to a point, but if you know what to expect, it’s really not so hard.
First, let’s discuss a couple of myths that I see showing up in Facebook groups and forums on a regular basis.
Myths About Making Soap With Beer:
- You have to let the beer go flat first
- You have to cook off the alcohol
- You have to freeze the beer first
I’ve tried the first two, but all of these things require an extra step and waiting time, and frankly – ain’t nobody got time for that. And really, none of this is necessary. At all. No, really. Keep reading and I’ll tell you why.
How to Add Beer to Soap
There are multiple ways you can incorporate beer into your soap recipe. You can use beer for all or a portion of your lye water. Or you can add the beer at trace, as long as you’ve used some other liquid at a 1:1 ratio (lye:liquid) when mixing your lye water. As long as you do that, you can add the remainder of your water portion at trace, no matter what the liquid is. With beer, I don’t like adding it at trace, because your soap will thicken up fast – I’m talking crazy fast! At first I thought it was because the beer wasn’t as warm as my soap batter, but after cooking the beer and adding it warm, I had the same results. If you want more time to work with your soap, just use the beer as your lye water and be done with it. But keep the following tips in mind.
Beer Soap Tips
When you add lye to beer, it can start to fizz up. So much so that it overflows out of the container and all over your countertop. As far as I know, this is the only reason people suggest following any of the mythical rules I mentioned earlier. Solution: use a larger container than necessary to mix your lye water. And maybe mix it in the sink instead of on a counter, just in case. And add your lye a little bit at a time, very slowly.
Also, lye water made with beer stinks to high Heaven. I highly recommend mixing it outside. If you mix it inside, do it in the basement or a room with plenty of ventilation and wear a respirator that protects you from breathing the fumes. I use this one and it works quite well.
Lastly, darker, heavier beers can lend a bread-like smell to your soap. This smell does not fade with curing. Keep this in mind when choosing a fragrance. Dark beers will also turn your soap a light beige color.
Do you have any beer soap tips or questions? Please leave them in the comments. And thank you for reading!