DIY Brain Soap

Keep it clean and creepy.

The night I made my last batch of bath bombs, I couldn’t sleep. I lay awake wondering what other bath-related products I could make at home (I’m weird). After tossing and turning and obsessing for a while, I decided I wanted to make brain soap, because brain soap is creepy but also incredibly clean and nice-smelling. It’s also really easy to make, and way cheaper to knock out a big batch yourself than to buy individual brains on Etsy (however, for the lazy/rich among you, here’s a link).

There are two basic ways to make soap: “melt and pour” (the method I’m using in this DIY) and cold-processing, which doesn’t require heat or a soap base, but does require a lot more ingredients like butters, fats, lye, and safety equipment. Obviously cold-process soap-making is way too much work for someone who sits on her butt and watches Battlestar Galactica for 15 hours a day, so melt and pour it is. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Clear soap base: I bought a 25-pound chunk of clear glycerin soap base off eBay for $25. You can buy a bunch of different soap bases on Brambleberry, too. You CANNOT just use soap you buy at the drugstore; it will not work. You need an actual soap base. Soap is more expensive to make than bath bombs are, but it’s still cheaper than buying your stuff at Lush. And homemade brain soap makes an awesome gift!
  • A silicone mold: I bought my brain mold at Party City, I think? It was $2. You don’t need to use a brain mold specifically, any silicone mold will do—an ice cube tray, cookie molds, a sand-castle or popsicle mold, etc.!
  • Food coloring: You’re not going to be using a lot of it, so it won’t stain your skin, don’t worry. You can also buy soap colorant, but that is essentially just pure mica, aka loose eye shadow. You can buy pure mica from TKB Trading.
  • Fragrance oil (optional): I mean, half of the point of getting clean is smelling good, right? For this soap I’m using some jasmine oil I had left over from my bath-bomb DIY.
  • Plastic wrap
  • A microwavable bowl
  • A measuring cup (not totally necessary)
  • A knife
  • Mixing implements: In my house, we use chopsticks, ’cause I’m Asian. A spoon would also work!
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A microwave oven

Step 1 Soap base comes in chunks; since you’re going to melt this in the microwave, it’s best to cut it into even smaller chunks so it melts easier. Don’t worry if you melt too much or not enough—you can just melt more, or store unused melted soap base and reuse it later.

Step 2 Put the chopped-up chunks into your microwavable bowl and cover it with plastic wrap to keep in the moisture.

Step 3 Microwave your soap base for about a minute (this is gonna vary depending on your microwave). You want it to melt into a clear, uncloudy liquid, but not to get steamy or scalding hot.

Step 4 This is when you add your smelly stuff, aka fragrance oils. Different websites have different opinions on the what the oil:soap-base ratio should be; I say go with your gut. I added about one ounce of oil to eight ounces of soap base. (Don’t add too much fragrance or you risk skin irritation.) If you’re working with just one colorant, add that now, too. (I wanted each one of my brains to be a different color, so I waited until the soap was in the molds to add colorant.) Mix everything together with your mixing tool of choice.

Step 5 Pour your melted soap base into the molds.

Step 6 If you haven’t added your coloring agent yet, do it now. I poured a few drops of food coloring into each brain mold and mixed it in with a chopstick.

Step 7 To prevent air bubbles, which are gross, spray your freshly poured soaps with a li’l bit of rubbing alcohol.

Step 8 Put your soap in the fridge to set in the molds for a few hours. Then pop them out of the molds, and they’re done! Easy, right? Now you can say you shower yourself with brains of small children.


  • June 13th, 2012 11:18 PM

    This rocks!!! I’m trying it Tommorow :)

  • KinuKinu June 13th, 2012 11:20 PM

    You are CRAZY if you think this not happening.
    “Mixed it with a chopstick” I laughed so hard, because this is me, all the way.
    I am going to casually bring up I wash myself with brains of small children and see the reaction. Thank you so much for this, this has made me extremely happy :D

  • Tyknos93 June 13th, 2012 11:24 PM

    So cool. I want to do this with jello.

    • Lea June 14th, 2012 4:01 AM

      Oh my God yes. Brain-shaped Jello.

      Thanks for that DIY Arabelle! I’m totally doing them, they look really easy. Actually I think the hardest part is to find the brain molds, but I might get around to hunting them down in gadget stores (I don’t like buying off the Internet!).

  • SweetThangVintage June 13th, 2012 11:48 PM

    They look like gummies! Thanks! Now I’m hungry!

  • LilaLane June 14th, 2012 12:03 AM

    This is so cool! Want to make some soon!

  • Marlena June 14th, 2012 12:13 AM

    Brain-shaped soaps are a must! I’m totally doing this! *0*

  • Susann June 14th, 2012 1:29 AM

    This is yet another great DIY! I love the entire brains idea!

    Fashion in Pepperland

  • maddzwx June 14th, 2012 1:31 AM

    Yay! More awesome crafts to fill up my summer with!

  • Adrienne June 14th, 2012 1:37 AM

    What a brain blast. This is genius!! Okay I’m done. :)

  • mayaautumn June 14th, 2012 2:02 AM

    this is such a cool idea:o and they look seriously brilliant.

  • LittleMoon June 14th, 2012 3:12 AM

    Not gonna lie, I totally was thinking about Fight Club reading this article.

    • Abby June 14th, 2012 9:41 AM


      • Emilie June 14th, 2012 1:20 PM


    • shalalala June 14th, 2012 2:18 PM

      so did I

  • hvit June 14th, 2012 7:06 AM

    Why is it that I think brains look edible, especially when I know they’re soap? (Vegan here too, pahaha!) I want to make these, not sure if that soap base is veggie though. They look so awesome!

  • Abby June 14th, 2012 9:43 AM

    So, um… because of this, I just spent the last 20 minutes planning a Halloween party (4 months out), for no reason other than the fact that I now know how to make brain soaps, and those are pretty much the focus of the party.

  • I.ila June 14th, 2012 12:50 PM

    I am going to make these and put random stuff in the soap. I think glitter would be nice, but also plastic eyeballs, or googley eyes. Also, maybe if there were bubbles in the brain that would give a neat effect…

    • Emilia_Kingsley June 15th, 2012 5:00 AM

      The gross part about having bubbles in the soap is that the air would grow stale, which is not a very pleasant smell.

  • Cass June 14th, 2012 1:30 PM

    This is such an awesome idea! Now if I can only find the brain molds.

  • shalalala June 14th, 2012 2:16 PM

    OMG, it’s amazing! <3

  • missmadness June 14th, 2012 8:12 PM

    am I the only one who read “brain SOUP”?

  • zoe16 June 14th, 2012 9:16 PM

    This is awesome! I will really have to try this.

  • christinachristina June 14th, 2012 9:38 PM


  • Bloom June 15th, 2012 3:50 AM

    Creepy & Clean? Perfection.