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Soap Making Business in Malawi is gaining more and more attention each passing day. No wonder the article How to Make Soap at Home stills attracts good organic traffic to this blog. Many people send feedback on how the article has helped them make soaps.

…….before continuing a few questions with quick short answers…

  • How profitable is soap making? …………….yes
  • What is the cost of soap making?…………..K100,000 (even less)
  • Is it expensive to start a soap business?…. it is not
  • Can you make money selling homemade soap?….yes
  • is soap in high demand?…….yes

….back to the post of the day…

Over the years I have had the privilege of training many people in soap making both offline and online. And I have always had an interest to make following up on the progress the trainees make.

As a teacher, I feel good whenever I hear some positive feedback when some trainees report they are sustainably able to run a soap business.

It is sad to hear that some trainees do not get any further after they get trained.

From the feedback, I receive from various people across Malawi and from my personal experience in soap making, I have noticed several challenges that soap markers experience when starting.

One thing which is certain is that while it may take a few days to train a person to make soap at home, it requires much more to set up a sustainable business it. It is important for people interested in the business to know some of the common challenges involved before diving into it.

Knowing the challenges beforehand will help an individual or a group prepare on how best to overcome such if they rise along the way.

Without beating about the bush, let’s investigate some of the common challenges to consider before making homemade soaps.

Proper Training

Without knowing well how to make a good soap bar, the hope for success is almost impossible.

Therefore, it is critical for every beginner to master the skill of soap making and gain as much information about the process as possible.

A person who is not well trained is likely going to produce low-quality soaps that are not attractive to customers. And this is a recipe for disaster. To overcome this challenge, I suggest learning the soap-making process and practicing the skill adequately for some time.

Start making small batches and use them to see if they are good products that you may like to use.

Also, consider having test circles; have people within your reach use the soaps who can give you honest feedback. Use the feedback to refine your product.  

Before you make and sell soaps among others know how to create good recipes, take accurate measurements, package, distribution, and brand. It is not wise to rush into starting mass production because when the product is not saucerful on the market, you can lose more at once. You need to know the said aspects very well.

Material Supply Chain

After knowing the technicalities of how soap is made, the next important thing is to understand the supply chain of materials. The fact of the matter is that the quality of the raw materials will determine the final product. Ensure you have access to the required raw materials.

Some materials like molds, thermometers, and measuring digital balances are once-off purchases. However, consumables like caustic soda (Lye), dyes, oils, and scents must replenish time after time.  It is therefore important to identify stable suppliers of such consumables.

Out there are who failed to continue with the soap-making journey because of a shortage of soap-making materials.

Soap-making materials like lye, scents and some common oils for making soaps are scarce. This is a critical problem, especially in districts outside Lilongwe and Blantyre city. Because of their scarcity and increased demand, prices are usually expensive. Increased price for raw materials makes the price of the final product to be expensive as well.

soap making business malawi 2023


A house is not complete if you have not painted it. And so is a soap which is not well packaged. Soap is not complete if not packaged.

Usually, most of the homemade soaps found in the different markets are not packaged properly nor are they labeled. Lack of good packaging gives handmade soap low market value and makes them unattractive to potential customers.

But let’s always remember that customers buy what they see, they buy what makes them feel good. Before you produce for the market consider how you will package your soaps.

Package your soaps attractively

Branding and Marketing

Marketing and branding are important in the soap business as the other aspects discussed above. In order to sustain the product, you should vigorously market it to potential clients.

You also must brand the soaps well enough to give a good first impression to customers.

Some of the most sensitive aspects of soap branding are having good colors, nice smelling perfumes, an appealing shape of the soap, and suitable hardness.

Your soap must have the adequate cleansing capacity, suitable conditioning, and can produce enough leather/form.

Every soap should have a brand name. A good name for a soap should be easy to remember and pronounce. Word of mouth and digital marketing are some of the affordable means of marketing soaps.

You can also market soaps at farmers’ markets.

Factory Made Soaps vs Home Made Soaps

`Why are soaps made at the factory cheaper than the soaps we make? ` is one question beginner homemade soap makers ask often. I like this question a hundred times.   

In short, the answer is that homemade soaps are made in a different way than soap made in factories. Factory-made soaps are way cheaper than homemade soaps because of several reasons.

One distinguished reason is the use of sophisticated machines which makes it possible to produce more soaps within a short time than homemade.

The second reason is that companies that mass-produced soaps order raw materials in bulk. And last, the other reason is that in factories they sometimes use synthetic ingredients which are significantly cheaper than organic ingredients used in home soaps.  

These three reasons combined results make factory-made soaps cheaper than homemade soaps.

Homemade soaps are for niche markets. In niche markets, customers can pay more for the special characters in the soap.

Niche market soaps may include soaps that repair skin damage, and removes dark spots, stretch marks, and sunburn. You can also have special soap for babies, for sensitive skin, and soap that repels mosquitoes just to mention a few.

Comment your views, questions, or challenges in your soap-making journey.  

P/S: I still offer SOAP MAKING TRAINING (online only)at a fee of K15,000.

       Contact me through the email below to learn.


  1. Thokozani Yolam Fodya
  2. joseph jossam

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