The Best Oil for Soapmaking: Olive Oil Vs. Other Options

Have you ever dreamed of making your very own homemade soap bars? Undoubtedly, making your own homemade soap can be an incredibly fun and rewarding process in many cases. What’s more, many people are actually surprised by how easy this process can be – however, one factor that’s not always so easy is choosing the right type of oil for your soapmaking efforts. Indeed, you could use numerous different types of oils for soapmaking, and each offers unique benefits and drawbacks.

As such, today, we’re looking at the key question: what is the best oil for soap making? Hopefully, this will help you work out which type of oil is best suited for your soapmaking efforts – and we’ll also give a few pointers on how to use the best oil for soap making.

What is the Best Oil for Soap Making (And Why)? 

What is the best oil for soap making? This question is one that’s often hotly debated, and it’s perhaps easy to see why since each of the different soapmaking oils offers unique benefits and drawbacks. However, some of the most common oils used in soap making include:

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Castor oil
  • Laurel berry oil
  • Jojoba oils
  • Avocado oils
  • Sunflower oils
  • A mixture of oils

In addition to oils, many people also opt for products such as cocoa, shea, or mango butter to make their soaps. However, generally speaking, making soaps from oil offers a simpler and more affordable solution – and as such, this could be an excellent option to consider overall.

With this in mind, of the different oils, olive oil is usually the best type of oil to use for making soap. However, if you can’t source much high-quality olive oil, you may be able to consider using a combination of oils, such as a mixture of olive and castor oil.

The Benefits of Using Olive Oil for Soapmaking 

Why use olive oil when making soaps? Well, there are several key reasons why olive oil is often the best type of oil for soapmaking, which may include the following points:

  • Olive oil is generally easy to source
  • Of the different oil types, olive oil is relatively affordable
  • Olive oil is high in Oleic acid, which helps soften the skin rather than drying your skin out
  • For soapmaking, olive oil bases create a long-lasting bar of soap that won’t run out as quickly
  • Olive oil is often a common ingredient in soapmaking for its excellent lathering ability
  • Some olive oils contain antioxidant chemicals, helping to repair damage from free radicals

These are just a few of the benefits of using olive oil during your soapmaking efforts; this could be well worth considering as part of your final decision.

How to Make Soap with Olive Oil 

At this point, we’ve outlined the importance of using the right type of oil in your soapmaking efforts. But how can you make soap with olive oil? Well, in order to do so, you’ll first need the right olive oil-based recipe – however, be sure to choose one that’s highly rated, as not all olive oil soap recipes are as effective as others. 

While researching olive oil soap recipes, it’s worth noting that these are often referred to as Castile soap if they contain 70% olive oil or greater. As such, if you find a good recipe for Castile soap, this could still be worth considering. 

Recipes for Making Soap with Olive Oil 

Making soap from olive oil is wonderfully simple, and as such, this might be an excellent option for you to consider. For this, you’ll need a little sodium lactate, distilled water, and sodium hydroxide. You’ll also need extra virgin 100% olive oil, and your choice of essential oils to finish the soap off. Make sure you stay protected with gloves and goggles, too – soapmaking can get very hot!

First, make a lye solution by combining around 73 grams of sodium hydroxide lye crystals with 215 grams of distilled water. Adding a little sodium lactate is optional but will help produce a harder, longer-lasting bar of soap. Mix these together carefully before starting the process.

Next, measure out 567 grams of olive oil into a heatproof container, and immerse this container in a water bath (so that the container begins to float). Continue heating the oil until 110 degrees Fahrenheit, which you can monitor with a thermometer. The lye mixture should also rapidly heat up to this temperature through an exothermic reaction, so keep a close eye on that.

Once the two mixtures have both reached 110 degrees Fahrenheit, combine them together until the consistency of thick gravy. This will occur when a trail rests on the top, rather than immediately vanishing if you’re not quite sure. Then, all that’s left to do is pour the mixture into a chilled mold and refrigerate.

After around thirty minutes, spray the top of the soap mixture with isopropyl alcohol, and then leave for around 12 hours (overnight works well). Then, remove the mixture and allow it to rest at room temperature for a further 36 hours or so, then cut into bars as necessary before curing.

Tips and Tricks for Successful Soapmaking with Olive Oil

Making soap from olive oils can seem like a challenge, but it really shouldn’t have to be this way. Fortunately, the following simple tricks and tips may help you find the optimal soapmaking strategies for your needs.

  1. Always start with high-quality ingredients. Many olive oils are impure, which may lessen their efficacy.
  2. Don’t use essential oils too generously. Doing so can give your soap an overwhelming scent which may be offputting.
  3. Be careful to take precautions at all steps to avoid getting scalded by the mixture or inhaling fumes from the soap – it’s not pleasant!
  4. Try to keep a close eye on the time to ensure you’re not going to forget about your soap mixture. Setting an alarm can be helpful here.

Final Thoughts

Making homemade soap is a highly rewarding process. However, to get the most from this, it’s critical that you’ve got the best oil for soapmaking; after all, this will directly influence the final qualities of your soap, so it’s a crucial decision to get right! Still, you’ll also need to ensure you’re following a top-rated soapmaking recipe for the best results overall.

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