How Much Essential Oil to Add to Soap? Homemade Soap Tips

Creating your soap is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever go through in your life, not only will you be able to customize the smells of the soap, but you can also change the texture as well. Adding in what you know will naturally soother your skin and make you relaxed as you continue to use the soap, however adding too much of your favorite essential oil will mean the soap won’t set.

You will need to measure the amount of soap you are making and adding the right amount of oils, with a general rule of thumb being to have 3% of the mixture to one pound of soap being made. This number drops sharply if you are making less soap, but on average it amounts to three teaspoons of essential oils being added to the mix when making soap.

However, the mixture you are making can greatly change how much oil you should be adding, with the type of essential oils you are using further changing how much to be used. Some oils can be stronger, while others almost evaporate when added to a hot mix of melted soap. Learning how to perfectly add in the right essential oils and when to add them will mean that your soaps and oils are mingling perfectly.

How do you mix the essential oils into the soap?

Before adding the oils to your soap, you will need to choose the base of the soap that you are going to be making, choosing from clean, white, or some with additives like goat milk, shea butter, or even aloe vera. Once you have the base selected and have them melted together, you should be adding your essential oil to the soap.

While the base is melted you should add in the 3% of essential oils that you have chosen, then mix in using a plastic spoon, chopsticks, or normal spoon. The base should be off the heat at this point, after which you will be adding in glycerin, which helps to draw moisture to the skin and keeps it hydrated. Just be sure to wrap your bars of soap in plastic for storage in humid areas when using glycerin.

The last step to making your essential oil soap is to add in a few colorants to make sure they are easily recognizable for the soaps that they are. This should preferably be done right before you cast the mixture into the chosen molds that you have. The colorants will be from color blocks as well as micas, which should both already be melted when added to the mixture.

Which oils work the best for soap making?

For top notes of smell and feel in soap, the best oils are basil, bergamot, lemon, sage, or tea tree. Many oils can give this effect on the soaps while giving clear and easy to smell aromas while they are being used in the shower or bath. It should be noted that using these types of oils may be easier to cause some skin irritation as the essential oils are stronger.

To get more controlled middle notes for your essential oil soaps you should focus on using chamomile, cypress, fennel, pine, nutmeg, or juniper oils for your soaps. Adding these oils will give a much more soothing effect to your soaps and help in relaxing the skin and the mood as you are using them. Usually giving off a much subtler smell that may last longer and give much more relaxation if used before bed.

If you want a base notes smell for the soap you are making, one that will be fine for almost any skin type that can be used daily, you will need to look at using ginger, jasmine, cassia, cedarwood, sandalwood, or even rosewood for your soap. All of these are more earthy tones and can happily be used by both the dad and the mom of the house. The smell of these soaps is always pleasant to behold and may very well be the best-smelling soaps despite their more subtle smells.

How much of the popular oils should be added to the soaps?

Each type of essential oil that you are using in your soap mixes needs just the right amount of oil mixed in. Many first-time soap makers think that just randomly adding oil will make for the best possible soaps. However, not only can this cause the soap to be overpowering, but too much essential oil can cause the soap to not set, or set in blocks with pockets of oils floating on top.

  • Rosemary: Unless you want an overwhelming smell, or you are mixing it with other oils, rosemary oil should only have about 5oz of oil added per 1 pound of soap. If you are using actual rosemary that has been cut up into the soap mixture you may have to use less to ensure that whoever uses the soap has a balanced impact.
  • Anise: A much more controlled smell anise will easily thrive if you only use 5oz per one pound and will comfortably accept other oils being mixed in. This creates a soap that is both relaxing to use and easy to have around, making it the perfect first-time soap to make if you have some anise oil lying around the house.
  • Lime: Lime is an extremely mellowed smell and oil which is why it needs to be added in at 9oz if it is the only oil being added, and even if it is mixed it should still be added at a higher ratio than the others. However, if you want to make a pure lime soap then it may be best to combine it with lemongrass oil as these two easily complement each other and you will be much more likely to get the desired effect and smell from your soap.
  • Spearmint: One of the strongest smelling oils you can find, it can be extremely easy to add too much spearmint to your soap. Causing the soap to have such a strong smell of the oil that you may not even be willing to use it. This is why it should be limited to only 5oz and not be used too much, with most people preferring to use even less than that.
  • Litsea Cubebe: With a much more exotic smell and feel the litsea cubebe oils can be mixed with some spicier oils to create an exotic feel in your soaps. On its own, the litsea cubebe should only be used at 5oz concentrate, so as not to become overpowering. However, when used with other oils it should be lowered to 3oz, with the other oils making up the rest.
  • Lavender: Possibly the most popular smell that you may find people asking for is the heavenly lavender, this oil has been popular for many years and most people will have at least one vial in their repertoire. Amazingly lavender needs some help and a whole 7oz needs to be added to have the desired effect on your soaps.

Can you add essential oils in melt and pour soap?

Usually, you may find that people add in essential oils only in cold-brewed soaps to ensure that the oils are not damaged by the heat of the soap. However, if you are using the right basis and have the heat at the required 120F then you can easily add the essential oils as the melting pot is removed from the heat.

This will allow the oils to mix in perfectly with the soap and to be evenly dispersed throughout the mixture, making each bar of soap a proper equal. However, it should be noted that the oils cannot be added before this point as the mixture will be too hot, and if you add the oils before everything has melted it will be burned off before it can be mixed in.

Further, many people make the mistake of only adding the oil right before the mixture is cast, however, this causes the oils to not mix properly at all. The oils need to be added to the mixture just as it starts to cool down to be mixed in properly. This ensures everything is mixing well and that all the ingredients know each other.

You may think that adding the oils to the soaps after they have been cast might be a good idea as well. However, this succeeds in creating nothing but pockets of oils throughout the soap that has not been set and will be unpleasant to uncover as you are using the soap. The only time to add in your essential oils is right before adding in the colorants and long before pouring.


Deciding how much essential oils you should be adding to your soap is a difficult process and will require that you have some of the finer measurement tools in your cupboard at the ready. However, having the mixture perfectly balanced and ready will easily allow you to have the best essential oil soaps available.

Nothing relaxes you after a hard day like a good shower, some nice songs, and just the right soap to make your entire body tingle!

Similar Posts