I’ve posted before about making Castile soap, which traditionally is made using only olive oil. So this week we are taking it a step further because although 100% olive soap is beautifully creamy and moisturizing, it often means soft and quick to dissolve. This week I’ve been experimenting by adding a little beeswax (plus a vegan option) to my olive oil soap recipe and I have to say with some very nice results!
The addition of wax has helped to produce a hard and long-lasting soap that’s quite at home with a variety of different scents and textures. So, below you will find 2 recipes, the first is a basic homemade olive oil soap the second is a vegan and palm free olive soap.
You can also see further below that I’ve created a few fragrance variations of this particular recipe by adding some of my favorite scents. Feel free to experiment by adding your own choice of essential oil or fragrance oil and let us know how you get on by posting in the comments!
But keep in mind some essential and fragrance oils speed up trace considerable and as this olive oil soap recipe contains beeswax which also accelerates trace you may find yourself with a pot full of very thick soap mixture… which I might add has happened to me many times!
I avoided this as much as possible by adding the extras at very light trace and I always have my molds ready before starting. If you do experience this problem don’t panic, just get the soap mixture into the molds the best way you can and the soap should turn out just fine.
Two Olive Oil Soap Recipes
Both of these homemade olive oil soap recipes can be adapted by adding your favorite essential/fragrance oil or adding a few flowers or herbs. The flowers can often discolor as the soap saponifies, calendula petals are an exception to the rule and keep a lovely yellow color throughout.
Flowers can also be sprinkled on the top of the soap once it’s in the mold, as the flowers have not been incorporated into the soap, they will generally keep their original color.
Basic Olive Oil Soap Ingredients
- 680g Olive Oil
- 227g Palm Oil (From environmental sustainability programs)
- 57g White Beeswax
- 123g Lye (Sodium Hydroxide/Caustic Soda)
- 247g Distilled water
- 30g Essential Oil or Fragrance Oil ( blends can found bellow)
Vegan & Palm Free Olive Oil Soap Ingredients
- 680g Olive or Pomace oil
- 227g Coconut oil
- 57g Candelilla wax
- 129 Lye (sodium hydroxide/caustic soda)
- 258 Distilled water
- 30g Essential Oil or Fragrance Oil ( blends can found bellow)
- Make sure the room you are making this olive oil soap recipe in is well ventilated.
- Unless you are using a fixable silicon mold, you will need to oil and line the mold with greaseproof/waxed paper.
- In a good size stainless steel pan, melt the oils and wax over low heat. Or place the oils and wax into a heatproof jug and microwave using 30-second blasts until all the oils and wax is melted.
- Put on protective eyewear, mask, apron, and long rubber gloves. Pour the distilled water into a large plastic jug.
- Slowly, add the lye, using a plastic spatula to stir until dissolved. Then place in a safe spot to cool. You will need it to cool to around 100f (38c) to 120f (49c).
- Make sure you are wearing protective clothing. When both the mixtures cool to 100F (38C) to 120f (49c) immediately pour the lye mix into the oils and begin to mix with a hand whisk or spatula stir.
- Swap the spatula for an electric stick blender, and continue to blend until the soap batter has thickened a little.
- When a bit of the soap is drizzled over the top it leaves a line this is called trace. Once you have reached the trace stage, change back to using the spatula, and Pour in the essential/ fragrance oils and stir thoroughly.
- If you are adding any flowers they need to be added now, mix until they are evenly distributed.
- Pour the mixture into the mold that you prepared before.
- Cover the soap with a piece of cardboard, and then place a towel over it to keep the soap warm. Leave in a dry place for 24 hrs in order for it to set.
- When the soap has set which is normally around 24 hours, it’s time to remove it from the mold. Line a wooden board with greaseproof paper, put some protective gloves on, and turn the soap out onto the board. If it is too difficult to remove or it feels a little too soft, leave it for another 24 hrs.
- Use a carving knife to cut the soap into blocks.
- Put the homemade olive oil soap into a tray lined with greaseproof paper and leave for four weeks in a dry dark place.
- Turn them occasionally.
Photos From Making Olive Oil Soap
Below I have included some of my favorite essential oil blends for olive soap, all of the oils along with more information and where to buy can be found in my essential oil use chart.
Please remember that some essential and fragrance oils speed up trace considerably. So add the extras at very light trace and always have your mold ready before starting.
Wake Me Up
This is a great scent to use when you need a wake up in the morning soap, as it contains a wonderful blend of citrus essential oils which are very stimulating. The ylang-ylang gives the soap a long-lasting and sensual aroma that will leave you feeling happy and refreshed, giving you a kick start for the day ahead.
- 10g Bergamot essential oil
- 10g Sweet orange essential oil
- 7g Ylang-Ylang
Minty Lavender Soap
Peppermint and lavender are a match made in heaven. Out of all the soaps I make, this is the one that gets asked for the most. It’s a great allrounder with some terrific anti-bac and moisturizing benefits. It also looks great when you throw a handful of lavender buds in with them. I have a full tutorial of this mint and lavender soap here.
- 15g Lavender essential oil
- 15g Peppermint essential oil
- A handful of lavender buds (optional)
Sweet & Floral
This soap has a lovely sweet floral scent that I often sprinkle with dried rose petals. Adding the petals into the soap batter will turn them a brownish color, but it still gave a nice effect.
- 7g Rose geranium
- 11g May chang (litsea) essential oil
- 14g Sweet orange essential oil
- A hand full of Rose petals (optional ) Sprinkle on top of the soap once it’s in the mold or mix into the soap batter with the essential oils.
Fresh & Herby
These scents have been blended for the men in your life, they are both fresh spicy smelling soaps with a woody undertone.
Avocado oil is a carrier oil rather than essential oil. If you are using the unrefined oil (the green one) it has a strong earthy smell that mixes lovely with the marjoram and fennel essential oils. Avocado has some fantastic moisturizing values, I’ve added it at trace so that I don’t destroy the benefits.
- 15g Avocado oil
- 10g Marjoram essential oil
- 5g Fennel essential oil
Cool Woodland Scent
Sandalwood essential smells amazing, but it’s so expensive and not one you would want to waste in any wash off product, so I’m using sandalwood fragrance oil and teaming it up with pine essential oil for a cool woodland scent.
- 15g Sandalwood fragrance oil
- 15g Pine essential oil
Did you know that traditional Castile soap is also made using olive oil? I’ve posted about making this Castile soap at home, showing you a full tutorial along with and a modern variation known as Bastile soap, definitely worth a look!
Do you make your own olive oil soap? What ingredients do you use, let me know in the comments below?