What Is a Glycerin Soap Base?

By Jennifer Eblin

Hobbyists who make their own soap couldn't work without a glycerin soap base. This mixture forms the basis of the soap when melted down and mixed with other ingredients. It leaves the skin feeling smooth and moisturized, but also dissolves quickly in water.


Glycerin is a naturally occurring element derived from animal fat. In its pure state, it's dangerous to the human body.


A glycerin soap base mixes the glycerin with water and natural oils so that it's safe for the human body once put into a soap.


The typical size of a glycerin soap base is 1 lb. However, some manufacturers make it larger sizes, up to 5 lbs.


The glycerin soap base comes in a block form. It's usually clear, though it's also available in opaque and white shades depending on the other ingredients.


Glycerin soap bases are generally clear and odorless, but when mixed with other things this changes. Some manufacturers use goat's milk that turns it a white shade or they add essential oils to give it a scent.


The amount of glycerin in the soap base determines how long the finished soap lasts. A higher glycerin amount means the soap will dissolve faster in water than those with a lower percentage of glycerin.