Livi’s Homemade Soap Recipe

In the face of extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods, and cyclones, water-borne diseases are of particular concern in Fiji. Poor hygiene practices and lack of improved water and sanitation infrastructure in rural areas are all factors that lead to increased diarrheal illness.

Handwashing with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent the spread of disease. But for many rural households in Fiji, soap is considered a luxury item.

Our natural remedies practitioner, Liviana, is trying to make it readily available for hand washing in every household. Livi travels to rural communities and teaches families how to make their own soap at home using natural ingredients found in their surroundings.

Using local resources is better for our bodies, our wallets, and the environment. Watch how Livi prepares ingredients, and then follow the instructions of her soap recipe. It’s simple, cost-effective, and saves lives!

In this video, Liviana uses Sargassum seaweed to make soap. The large, dark brown plant, with branches that resemble oak tree leaves, can be found throughout the Pacific region. Sargassum is edible raw or cooked, and has many medicinal properties.

Fresh Sargassum
Sun-dried Sargassum

The seaweed contains beneficial minerals and vitamins that nourish and revitalise the skin. It is also used to promote weight loss and prevent goitre, heart disease and strokes.

Livi’s Soap

Liviana preparing seaweed juice extract



  • 1 kg dried seaweed; 5 litres water
  • 1 kg dried saluwaki; 2 litres water

1. Boil water in a stainless steel pot
2. Add dried seaweed
3. Boil for 10 minutes
4. Strain and cool in a jug or stainless steel basin


This is a large batch recipe making around 12 bars of soap.

  • 1 litre coconut oil
  • 1 litre seaweed extract
  • 250 grams caustic soda (lye)


  1. Mix coconut oil with 750ml of seaweed extract.
  2. Mix the remaining 250ml seaweed extract with caustic soda in a separate jug. Stir slowly until dissolved.
  3. Add the oil mixture to the caustic soda mixture and continue stirring for 40 – 45 minutes.
  4. Pour the liquid into a hard plastic moulding container and leave to cool for 1 hour.
  5. Using a knife, slice the soap into smaller pieces and do not touch for at least 21 days.
  6. Ready to use after 3 weeks.

Fijian Translation

Veika me kabakaba

  • 1 kg lumi; 5 lita wai
  • 1 kg saluwaki mamaca; 2 lita wai

Veitaravi ni kena saqa

  1. Vakasaqara na wai ena dua na kuro
  2. Biuta e loma ni kuro wai na lumi kei na saluwaki
  3. Vakasaqara me buebue ni rauta e 10 na miniti
  4. Vakadewataka ka laiva me vakabatabata ena dua na joke se beseni

Veika me kabakaba

  • 1 lita lumi sa vakasaqari oti
  • 1 lita waiwaininiu
  • 250 ml caustic soda
  • 50 ml na lumi mamaca
  • 10 ml roka ni kakana

Veitaravi ni kena saqa

  1. Wakia vata na 750ml na waiwai vata kei na lumi sa vakasaqari oti.
  2. Wakia vata 250ml na wai ni umawaitui vata kei na caustic soda e loma ni dua na joke qai uli rau vakamalua.
  3. Biuta vata na waiwai qai ulia vaka vinaka me yacova e 40-45 na miniti.
  4. Oti ya qai sova e loma ni nomu moulding container qai laiva me batabata e lomani 1 na aua
  5. Biuta na roka ni kakana o vinakata kei na umawaitui ke o gadreva
  6. Qai tawana e loma ni taga plastic. Qai vakayagataka me oti sara e 21 na siga

Rotary Pacific Water for Life Foundation works in Fiji to enable rural communities with access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and life-changing hygiene education. Want to learn more? Visit