How to make vegetable glycerine

Updated March 23, 2017

Vegetable glycerine is an ingredient that many cosmetic companies use in skin and hair products as a moisturiser. Vegetable glycerine does not give off an odour and is non-toxic and water soluble. It is also relatively easy to make at home. Use homemade vegetable glycerine as a soap, or add it to any homemade beauty products that you currently use.

Put on safety goggles and rubber gloves to protect yourself from chemicals and temperature changes.

Combine 235ml (1 cup) of coconut oil with 235ml (1 cup) of olive oil in a large pot. Add in 2 tbsp of lye and 235ml (1 cup) of cold water. Place the pot on the stove on high heat.

Place a cooking thermometer in the mixture. Stir the mixture frequently while it heats up to 50-51 degrees C (125 degrees F).

Lower the heat on the stove to bring the mixture back down to a temperature of 38 degrees C (100 degrees F).

Stir the mixture continuously for approximately 15 minutes or until the mixture begins tracing. Tracing occurs when the mixture is thick and you can see the trail of the stirrer through the mixture.

Remove the mixture from heat. Pour 120g (1/2 cup) of salt into the mixture. Let it stand as it cools. As it cools, you will see the soap begin to form on the top, and the glycerine will form underneath it.

Pour the soap into a soap mould if you would like to keep it. If not, pour or skim the soap off of the glycerine.

Pour the glycerine into a glass bottle. You can also pour the glycerine into a soap mould if you want a specific shape. Place the moulds in the refrigerator until completely cooled.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Thermometer for cooking
  • Glass bottle
  • Soap mould
  • Large bowl
  • Large pot
  • 235ml (1 cup) coconut oil
  • 235ml (1 cup) olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lye
  • 235ml (1 cup) cold water
  • 120g (1/2) cup salt
  • Spoon
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About the Author

Melanie Fleury has been writing professionally since 1995. She has written for various educational websites such as and is the educational consultant at the Knowledge Tree Center for Education. She enjoys creating curriculum for children with various learning styles. Fleury holds a master's degree in education specializing in early childhood from Ashwood University.