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Soap sprite preview.png

Soap is a particularly useful type of bar used for personal cleaning, which increases happiness ("recently took a soapy bath") and lowers the chances of an infection in case of injury, and for cleaning wounds in hospitals, preventing infections from developing. It is thus a vital commodity in dwarven health care, and one not traded in caravans: you're going to have to make soap yourself.

Soap is stored in Bar/Block stockpiles with the "soap" option enabled.

Unlike most other items, bars of soap have a "durability" level which allows jobs to partially consume them – each bar starts with 150 units, and cleaning jobs consume varying quantities of soap before ultimately using it up.


Soap is made of two components, lye and fat (either tallow or oil), and requires a dedicated workshop, the soap maker's workshop. It has a somewhat complicated production process; lye must be produced at an ashery from ash, which in turn must be created at a wood furnace from wood logs that must first be cut down. Tallow is rendered from the fat from butchered animals at a kitchen, requiring either livestock or hunting activities, while oil must be pressed from seeds or rock nuts at a screw press, which first requires gathering or growing crops and then processing them at the farmer's workshop. One unit of tallow or oil plus one of lye creates a single bar of finished soap.

Soapmaking procedure
Chop wood Butcher an animal Mill seeds with a quern or millstone Press oil from olives (fruit) in a screw press
Make ash in a wood furnace Render fat in a kitchen Press oil from seed paste in a screw press
Make lye at an ashery Tallow Oil
Lye Tallow or Oil
Make soap at a soap maker's workshop

Work Orders[edit]

Setting up work orders for soap can be tricky, as two of the recommended conditions are wrong:

  • The recommended condition for lye is "lye-containing items", but this is incorrect, as a barrel containing 10 items of lye will only count as a single lye-containing item. Instead, for "Type" select "Liquid" and for "Mat" select "Lye", resulting in a condition on simply "lye".
  • The recommended condition for the output is simply "bars", which is rather unhelpful. To make a condition for just soap bars, for "Type" select "Bars", and then go into "Adj" and check "Soap items". While many soap materials are listed under "Mat", make sure none of these are selected, as these will check only for that specific kind of soap.


Dwarves do not require soap to clean contaminants such as mud and blood from themselves – if necessary, they will use murky pools, artificial pools of water, brooks, or a well. However, using soap will often generate the happy thought "recently took a soapy bath". It is possible to construct bath-houses (rooms containing pools of water, a soap stockpile, and perhaps a few nice statues) so dwarves living deep underground need not venture to dangerous cave pools or surface brooks to clean off a little mud or some bloodstains. For cleaning wounds and preventing infection after surgery, however, hospitals should be kept stocked with a small amount of soap. Soap will get used up as dwarves wash themselves, and dirtier dwarves consume soap more quickly.

Dwarves have an internal "dirtiness" level, which slowly builds up over time, gets lowered when they have a bath, and lowered further when they have a soapy bath. This "dirtiness" value is connected to the chance of getting an infection if the dwarf is injured, making soap useful as a preventative as well as treatment.

"Soap" in other Languages Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Dwarven: uben
Elven: dathe
Goblin: snubez
Human: kamven

More: GemsMetalsStones
BloodBoneCartilageCheeseChitinEggFatFeatherHair (WoolYarn) • HoofHornIchorLeatherMilkMeatNailNervous tissueOrgansParchmentPearlScaleShellSilkSkinSpitSweatTallowTearsToothWax
Fiber (PaperSlurry) • FlowerFruitLeafOil • Plant powders (DyeFlourSugar) • Seed (Press cake) • Wood
AmberAshCoralFilthFuelGlassGrimeIceLyeMagmaMudPearlashPotashSaltUnknown substanceVomitWater
See also: Material science
Beekeeping · Farming · Fishing · Gathering · Meat · Poultry · Stone · Wood
Alcohol · Armor · Arms · Ceramic · Extract · Finished goods · Fuel · Furniture · Gem · Glass · Metal · Paper · Soap · Textile