Properties of Soap Making Oils
Soap Making oils have their own characteristics the differences are in the lather, hardness and properties of the oils. It is important in soap making to get the right combination of oils in order to produce a great bar of soap.
Here is a list of some common oils used in soap making and their characteristics. A good percentage to start with when making soaps is 60% hard oils and 40% soft oils. You can adjust it from there to make the right bar for you.
|Almond||Soft||Medium Lather||Conditioning, with low cleansing|
|Apricot Kernal||Soft||Medium Lather||Soothing and Conditioning|
|Avocado||Soft||Stable||Soothing and Conditioning|
|Castor Oil||Soft||Rich and Fluffy||Rinses and Clean *|
|Cocoa Butter||Hard to Brittle||Creamy||Conditioning **|
|Hemp Seed||Soft||Thin||Soothing and Restorative|
|Lard||Hard||Creamy||Cleansing and Conditioning|
|Olive||Soft to Hard||Poor||Cleansing, Soothing and Conditioning ***|
|Palm||Hard to Very Hard||Stable||Cleansing|
|Palm Kernal||Hard to Brittle||Rich and Fluffy||Cleansing****|
|Shea Butter||Hard||Stable||Soothing and Restorative|
|Tallow||Hard to Very Hard||Creamy and stable||Cleansing|
- *When making soap with Castor Oil the maximum oil that should be used is 5%. If you use more you can end up with a bar of soap that is very soft and sticky. With the right amount of Castor oil, you will get one of the best lathering soaps.
- **Cocoa Butter can be drying to the skin when used on it’s own. It is best and can be very conditioning when used with other oils.
- ***Soaps made with only Olive Oil can be soft after the 4 week curing period is up, it is best to leave them for another few weeks at which time you will end up with a hard long lasting bar of soap.
- ****Palm Kernal oil can be drying if more than 30 % is used in making your soap.
You can see by the chart above that some oils will produce better lathers than other, some are more cleansing and some soothing. Other oils are soft or hard. Finding the right combination is part of becoming a soap maker.
It took me many many recipes before I found the perfect combination that I use in my regular bars. I still like to experiment and try new recipes all the time. It’s the love of soap making.
Before you dive in and start creating your own recipes, get comfortable with making soap first. Maybe start off with a recipe and get used to making soap, then make it with color and scent, as you make more you will be more comfortable in creating your own recipes.
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