Candy Cane Soap Bar

Candy Cane inspired soap bars couldn’t be more fitting as a homemade Christmas gift. If you’ve never made your own soap bars from scratch (with lye), please stop right here. Please read my beginner soap bar recipe first, or enrol in my soap-making course. That way, you will know all the safety precautions to take; and you’ll also benefit from the step-by-step visuals. This recipe is for intermediate soap-makers, so it assumes a bit of knowledge. If you’re an inexperienced soaper, but you really want candy cane soap, then rather buy melt-and-pour soap and follow my recipe from step 8 onwards.

Cost & Shelf Life

Cost price: R4.77 per 100g soap bar, or R71.50 for the entire 1.5kg batch (in 2019, based on best retail prices I’ve found.).
Lasted me about: 2 weeks using every day (one bar).
Shelf life: 2 years if stored away from direct sunlight.


If you’ve left Christmas gifts to the last minute, then the curing time may be a bit of a bump. Try to make this at least one week before it’s gift-giving time.

Cherry on Top

It’s not just homemade soap, it has that creatively clever twist for a Christmas gift.

Ingredient Information

  • Red iron oxide: is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of iron and oxygen. It is a natural pigment which is used as a colouring agent. For example, rust is iron oxide. Iron oxides are gentle and non-toxic, and not usually irritating to the skin. Iron oxides are oil-soluble. (buy here)
  • Zinc oxide: occurs naturally as the rare mineral zincite, but most zinc oxide is produced synthetically. It is widely used and considered safe in natural and organic cosmetics. It is a white, oil-soluble powder, which is often used to whiten cosmetic products. It is also used to treat a variety of skin conditions such as nappy rash and eczema, and is used in calamine lotion. (buy here)
  • Caustic soda: is also known as sodium hydroxide (NaOH), which most people know as drain cleaner. It is a highly alkaline substance (pH 14) used to dissolve fats in drains, and saponify oils into soap. Although it is a hazardous chemical, in the soap-making process it is necessary to convert all oil into soap. When measured accurately, there will be zero caustic soda in your final soap bar. The final products of the chemical reaction are sodium salt, glycerine and soap. This is why it is safe in natural soap, but it should be used with caution. i.e. Water + Caustic Soda + Oil —> Salt + Soap + Glycerine. (buy here)
  • Coconut oil: is used to create a hard, cleansing bar of soap with good lather. Since all the oil turns to soap in the chemical reaction, I recommend using the cheapest and most refined coconut oil. Remember, it also washes down the drain anyway. (buy here)
  • Sunflower oil: is used to create a moisturising and gentle bar of soap.

Let me know how your candy cane soap turns out in the comments below. Photos are welcome too 🙂


4 thoughts on “Candy Cane Soap Bar”

  1. What a pleasure to find a fellow South African with such useful recipes to make soap by using affordable products. I am fairly new to this and have probably watched more soap tuts than most people. My home is currently full of various stages of curing soap (some flops too). Would you mind me asking you if you can advise on bulk essential oil products in RSA?

    Thank you for you for your most inspiring input .

    • Thank you for encouraging comment Lola. It always makes my day when I hear positive feedback – that is what keeps this blog going. I’m happy to hear that you are a fellow soap enthusiast. If you’re interested in learning more about soap-making, you should check-out my online course. Here’s the link: . Regarding buying essential oils in bulk – Yes, there is a wholesale supplier called Nautica Organics (just Google them). They sell essential oils and fragrance oils in bulk – the smallest size available is 100ml. After you’ve registered with them, you can make your orders via email. I hope that helps. Thank you again for sharing your lovely comment 🙂

  2. LOVE this recipe. Would recommend it to anyone who enjoys soap making and likes to play around with fragrances and patterns.

    I’ve never had a flop with this recipe 🙂


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