Fat - Oils that make a hard soap. Usually come in a solid form
and need to be melted before using. Coconut Oil
, Cocoa Butter
and Palm Oil
Scenting Oils -
There are two types of scenting oils, fragrance oils, which are man-made
and contain alcohol and essential oils which are natural. The alcohol
in fragrance oils tends to cause problems in soap making so essential oil's
are normally used in soap making. Essential Oil's are more costly
and harder to find than Fragrance Oil's but have better scent retention
and will not ruin a batch of soap. The only time fragrance
oils can often be used safely is at the trace stage or during rebatching.
Essential oils can be added at trace or in the base oil.
Soap - This means that oils or fats have been left in the soap
unconverted by the lye
either because the amount of lye was decreased to
allow some fat/oil to remain or oil/fat was added at the trace stage after
the mix had saponified. (In lay terms saponification means that the lye/water
and oils have been mixed and brought to a trace stage where at this point
the lye has been mostly neutralized. Any oil added at this stage
will basically remain unchanged in the final soap bar) The method
of adding additional fat to the soap mixture after it has saponified
had an advantage in that it allows the soap maker to better control what
oil is left in the soap. Adding the extra oil at this time keeps
it in its natural state, and ready to instantly moisturize your skin as
you use the soap. When superfatting your soap at the trace stage make sure
you use the 1% excess fat lye amount. Otherwise the soap will be too oily
because it will not only contain the oil you add at the trace stage but
will also have excess fat from a lack of lye.
soap by decreasing the lye content eliminates the step of adding oil at
trace but decreases the control that the soap maker has over what oil is
left in the soap. For example, if 5% cocoa butter was added as part
of the base oil (say 95% Olive Oil) and the lye amount was calculated for
a 5% excess fat level the excess fat in the soap would be made up of a
combination of Olive oil and cocoa butter with most of the excess fat being
Olive oil. If the same batch was mixed using just Olive Oil
at a 1% excess fat level and the cocoa butter was added at the trace stage
you would know that the final soap bar contained 1% olive oil and 5% cocoa
butter. The cocoa butter would have in this case been unaffected
by the lye since it was added after the soap had traced.
(NOTE - When adding oils at the trace stage
(superfatting) be sure to use a lye calculatation that gives you about
1% excess fat. When using our Soap-Calc program or any other lye
calculator do not include the oils that you will be adding at trace in
- The point at which the soap/lye mixture begins to thicken. At this
point the solution is about 80-90% saponified and essential oils, superfatting
oils, soap colors
, additives, etc can be added without their characteristics
being changed substantially by the saponification process.
Fat - Oils that are in a liquid form. They need to be mixed with
saturated fats at the base oil stage in order to create a hard bar.
making Oils: (The oil names below are clickable)
Sweet Almond Oil Sweet Almond Oil
is often used for superfatting soaps. It is a great moisturizer,
makes a stable lather and helps condition the skin. Add 1 ounce per
pound of fats to your soap batch at trace. Aloe Vera Aloe Vera
is used in creams and lotions. It's a well known healing and soothing
agent for damaged, dry skin. It is soothing and healing for burns, skin
irritations, and raw open wounds. Liquid aloe vera may be added to
cosmetic formulations, soaps, and straight on the skin. Apricot Kernel Oil Apricot Kernel Oil
is often used for superfatting. It is also a good moisturizer
and helps condition the skin. Use one or two ounces in every pound
of fat at trace. Avocado Oil Avocado Oil
is a great moisturizer and is often used for superfatting soaps. Avocado
oil contains vitamins A, D, and E, which makes it healing as well as moisturizing.
Try it in a gentle baby soap. Use up to 30% as base oil. Beeswax Beeswax
has the sweet smell of honey. Beeswax makes a harder bar of soap and is
also used in creams, lotions, lip balms and candle making. It contains
a high percentage of unsaponifiables. At best, half of these substances
participate in the normal soap making reaction. You can use it at about
1 oz per lb. of oils in your base oils to make your soaps harder. Calendula Oil Calendula Oil
many therapeutic benefits and is known to successfully heal a variety of
types of skin damage. (burns,wounds,dry skin) To superfat soap use
1 2/3 tablespoons per 5 lbs of soap at trace or use up to 20% added to
other oils at the beginning of the soap making process. Canola Oil Canola Oil
is a good moisturizer but is less saturated than other fats, so it
can be slow to saponify. Use it in place of more expensive oils like olive.
Needs to be mixed with other saturated fats in order to speed up saponification.
Use as a base oil up to 50%. Castor Oil Castor Oil
is often used to superfat. It attracts and holds moisture in
the skin. Use it in combination with other vegetable oils to produce a
nice hard bar of soap. You can add a bit at trace for superfatting or add
it to other oils at a rate of no more than 30% in the beginning
of the soapmaking process. Cocoa Butter Cocoa Butter
is used to make soaps harder. When used in soap as a superfatting
oil it acts to lay down a protective layer which holds the moisture to
the skin, so it is an excellent skin softener. It has a natural chocolate
scent but it is also available in unscented versions. You can use
it from anywhere about 1 ounce to a pound at trace, to 15% of your total
base oils, depending on your preference. Coconut Oil Coconut Oil
makes soaps lather beautifully but can be drying when it makes up a
large portion of your soap's fats. It will make a very hard, white bar
of soap with abundant lather. It even lathers in very hard water or even
sea water). Coconut oil is a saturated fat. Use it at a percentage of no
more than 20-30% in your base oils. Cottonseed
oil produces thick and lasting lather, in addition to having emollient
properties. It can be vulnerable to spoilage depending on the season, so
use less of this oil. Maximum recommended usage - 25% of total base oils. Emu Oil Emu Oil
is reported to help heal skin tissues and help draw other ingredients
(like mint) down into your skin so they are more effective. Use 1
ounce per pound at trace. Evening Primrose Oil Evening Primrose Oil
is absorbed quickly into skin and provides essential
fatty acids that are reported to help inhibit bacterial growth and encourage
antibodies so the skin is better able to defend against infection or inflammation.
It is not recommended as an additive in soaps made for oily complexions.
Recommended Usage - 2 tablespoons per 5 pounds of soap, added at
trace. Grapeseed Oil Grapeseed Oil
is a lightweight oil that absorbs into the skin quickly without leaving
a heavy greasy feeling. Used in soaps as a superfatting oil.
Use one ounce per pound at trace. Hazelnut Oil Hazelnut Oil
is an excellent moisturizer for soaps. It is low in saturated fatty
acids, so use other more saturated fats to lessen your trace time and yield
a harder bar. Recommended maximum usage - 20% of total oils.
Hempseed Oil Hempseed Oil
is not as stable as some other oils and can spoil quickly. It creates
a silky bar of soap even if it is only used to superfat your batch. It
is a less saturated fat, and since it is prone to spoilage, keep it as
a small percentage of your mix to avoid having a soft, squishy soap
that may spoil in a few months. Usage - As a Superfatting at 5% at
trace or Base oil at 20-30% but no more than 40%. Honey
- (not an oil but can be used as an additive) Honey
is also a humectant, so it helps retain moisture on the skin in much the
same way as glycerin. Use it at about 2 Tablespoons per pound of oils,
added at trace. Jojoba Jojoba
helps to promote a stable lather and is good at conditioning skin. Because
of its expense, it's usually used to superfat soap batches or in shampoo
bars. It is an excellent emollient for skin conditions like psoriasis,
because it has a chemical composition very close to the skin's own sebum.
It is suitable for all skin types, beneficial for spotty and acne conditions,
and good for sensitive and oily skin. It also helps to unclog the pores
and remove any embedded grime, restores and conditions hair. When using
Jojoba in soap, limit its usage to one or two ounces per pound at trace.
Jojoba naturally accelerates tracing in soap recipes. Used as a Superfatting
oil. Kukui Nut Oil The
kukui nut is native to Hawaii and is high in linoleic acid. It is quickly
absorbed into the skin. Excellent for skin conditioning after sun exposure,
as well as for acne, eczema, and psoriasis. It offers just the right amount
of lubrication without leaving a greasy feeling. For soap making,
use 2 tablespoons added to 5 lbs of soap at trace just before incorporating
the essential oils to add richness to the soap. A higher percentage, 10-20%
of the total fats also makes an outstanding soap. Lard Lard
is made from pig fat much like bacon fat. Its advantages are that it is
cheap, easily obtainable, and makes a nice lathery, white bar of soap.
This fat should be combined with vegetable oils such as coconut or palm
to compensate for the lard's shortcomings Without other oils it can tend
to be soft and not work very well in cold water. Use it as a base oil.
Recommended at 70% max of total oils. Macadamia Oil Macadamia Oil
is a luxurious and slightly expensive oil. It has a long shelf life
so it can be purchased in quantity for a good price. It is a wonderful
addition to any soap. It is easily absorbed into the skin and acts as an
emollient protecting skin cells from deterioration and thus leading to
better condition for your skin. Use for superfatting your soap.
Use 1 ounce per pound at trace. Mango Butter Mango Butter
is extracted from the mango fruit. It is a yellowish oil and
has almost no scent. It is a great moisturizer and should be used to superfat
batches. Can be used at up to 15% of base or as a superfatting agent
at 5% at trace. Monoi Oil
, also known as Monoi de Tahiti Monoi Oil
is expensive but luxurious product made from coconut oil. It
oil has wonderful moisturizing properties and is great for your skin. Use
it as a base oil at 60% or higher. Neem Oil Extracted
from the bark of the Neem Oil
Tree. This oil has the ability to treat
a variety of skin disorders such as dandruff. Use as a base oil up
to 40%. Olive Oil Olive Oil
is excellent as a base oil in soaps, either in whole (Castile soap)
or in part. Avoid extra virgin olive oil. It is great for cooking
but not for soap making. The lower the grade the better.
Olive Oil prevents the loss of your skin's natural moisture, softens skin
and attracts external moisture to your skin. It helps keeps your skin soft,
supple and younger looking. If you're making an especially mild soap
use Olive oil. Use as a base oil up to 100% Palm Oil
, also known as Vegetable Tallow Palm Oil
makes a hard bar that cleans well and is also mild. It is a good
substitute for tallow in all-vegetable soaps. The quality of Palm
oil is far superior to other vegetable oils that are filler oils. Palm
oil is universal and used in many expensive luxury soaps. Use is
as a Base oil at 20 - 30%. Palm Kernel Oil Like
Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil
makes a soap that is very hard and lathers well.
It has most of the same qualities as palm oil. Use it as a Base oil
at 20-30% Peanut Oil Peanut Oil
contributes long-lasting lather to a soap. It is highly unsaturated
though, so it is prone to spoilage. Avoid using more than 20%. Peanut
oil is similar to olive and castor oils and has a good amount of
vitamin E. Use is as a base oil up to a 20% maximum.
Safflower Oil Safflower Oil
is an unsaturated oil and should be used in combination with palm,
coconut, or a similar oil. It is valuable for its moisturizing properties. Use
it as Base oil up to 60%. 20% of total is more highly recommended. Sesame Seed Oil Sesame Seed Oil
is said to be good for Psoriasis, Eczema, Rheumatism, and Arthritis.
It makes a good superfatting oil due to its moisturizing ability. It has
a strong nutty scent. It makes a softish bar unless used in conjunction
with other, more saturated oils. Use it as a 10% addition to base oils. Shea Butter Shea Butter
is a wonderful superfatting agent and contains a large percentage
of ingredients that do not react with the lye thus remaining in the soap
to nourish your skin. Use it with your base at up to 20% of your total
oils or as a superfatting agent at 1 2/3 tablespoons per 5 pounds
of oils added at trace. Vegetable
Shortening or Soybean Oil Vegetable
shortening is normally made out of Soybean Oil
. It is cheap and readily
available and produces a mild, stable lather. Use it in combination with
other exotic or moisturizing oils. Use this as half of your fats to keep
costs down. It is a good filler and makes a very hard white bar when used
alone and when mixed with other oils it makes a wonderful hard bar of soap.
Use vegetable shortening as a base oil or combine it with other, harder
oils for better results. Recommend use as base up to 50% of total
oils. Sunflower Oil Sunflower Oil
is a less expensive alternative to olive oil. It contains Vitamin E,
so it naturally resists going rancid (Vitamin E is a preservative). Despite
that, don't store it longer than six months. It is a less saturated oil
so you want to combine it with other, more saturated, oils -- try to avoid
using more than about 15-20% sunflower oil. It can make your soaps take
longer to trace and to harden. Use as a Base oil up to 20% Wheat Germ Oil This
oil is thick, sticky and antioxidant. It's also very rich in vitamin E.
Can be used to nourish dry or cracked skin and soothes skin problems such
eczema and psoriasis. Helps to prevent and reduce scarring and may prevent
stretch marks. Mature skin, in particular, will benefit from wheat germ
oil. Some people use it as a preservative in vegetable oils, soaps and
toiletries, and others totally disagree as to its preservative powers.
On its own, wheat germ oil oxidizes rapidly. It should be kept refrigerated.
Use at 1 ounce per pound added at trace.