How to Stamp Soap

Learn tips and tricks to help you stamp soap of all kinds: cold process, hot process, and melt and pour!

woman's hand stamping bars of soap; text says "how to stamp bars of soap"

Using a decorative stamp is an easy way to personalize an otherwise plain bar of soap.

However, there’s a little bit of learning curve when you start stamping, so these tips and tricks should help!

When is the best time to stamp soap?

Soap may be ready to stamp right after cutting into bars, or it could be several days.

For cold process or hot process soap, it mainly depends on your soap recipe.

  • Soap that’s high in ‘hard’ oils like cocoa butter, tallow, and lard, tends to be ready to stamp sooner.
  • Recipes containing a lot of ‘soft’ oils, such as olive, sunflower, sweet almond, etc., will likely take longer before it’s ready to stamp.
  • Using a higher amount of water in your soap can take longer to firm up for stamping, while soaps with a lower water amount can usually be stamped sooner.
  • If you use a hardening agent, such as sodium lactate or salt, your soap will be ready to stamp sooner.

For melt and pour soap, it’s usually best to stamp right away. (More on that below.)

Tips when stamping cold process or hot process soap.

  • Start with a clean stamp, free from any leftover soap from previous use.
  • If needed, wash the stamp with an old toothbrush to scrub any hard-to-clean spots.
  • Position the stamp on the bar of soap then firmly press it into the surface, being sure that all four corners are evenly pressed.
  • If one is available, a rubber mallet can be used to lightly tamp the handle or back of the stamp to help get a stronger impression. (I’ve successfully used a rolling pin instead, but you have to be VERY light-handed with it.)
  • Some soapers find success by placing a piece of plastic wrap between the soap and stamp.
  • You may also wish to try spritzing the bar of soap with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol before stamping.
  • If you try to stamp a test bar of soap and the soap sticks to the stamp – it needs more cure time. Try waiting 12 to 24 hours and trying again.

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bars of melt and pour soap being stamped

Tips when stamping melt and pour soap.

  • Older soaps may not take an imprint well, so it’s best to stamp the soap right after making it.
  • Lay a bar of melt and pour soap on a clean work surface and position the stamp where you’d like the design to go.
  • Use the palm of your hand and firmly press down into the stamp, rocking your palm back and forth to be sure you press equally all over the stamp. You’ll need to press very hard.
  • Alternatively, you can hammer the stamp with a rubber mallet.

A great thing about melt and pour is that if you make a mistake with the stamp design, you can just melt down the soap and start over again!

Where to buy stamps:

Etsy is my favorite place to buy soap stamps, but you can find them at a lot of your favorite soapmaking supply vendors as well.

(Soap Republic is the specific shop I purchase from most often.)

Practice makes perfect!

It can take lots of practice to learn the right time to stamp a batch of soap!

Use the end pieces or a test bar from each batch of soap to practice, practice, practice. You can stamp test bars multiple times on both sides.

collection of several print books on a wooden background surrounded by dried flowers

For more soap tips, be sure to check out my print books:

Simple & Natural Soapmaking – 50 unique cold process soap recipes, plus a natural colorants gallery, essential oil information, full color photos for almost every project, and more!

Easy Homemade Melt & Pour Soaps – 50 inspiring recipes featuring natural colorants, herbs, flowers, and essential oils, plus lots of full color photos!

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