Soap Making Oils – Coconut Oil

If you are going to take up soap making at home, you can choose to just use the recipes I provide in my training program (which are great, if I do say so myself), but you may eventually want to start creating your own soap making recipes.

In order to create your own soap making recipes, you will need to have a basic understanding of how different types of oils work in the soap making process so you will know how to choose the best combinations for your home made soap.

Coconut Oil for Soap Making at Home

Soap Making Oils - CoconutCoconut oil is one of the two oils I consider key to soap making at home (the other is olive oil).  The reason for this is the fact that it is the oil with the highest cleansing property.

When used in soap making at home, coconut oil provides three valuable qualities to your homemade soap.  It makes it more cleansing, gives it more lather, and makes the bar harder.  Making a harder bar is especially important if you are using a high concentration of olive oil in your homemade soap (which I do) because soap high in olive oil tends to melt away very quickly.

Choosing How Much Coconut Oil to Use for Soap Making

Although coconut oil is excellent for soap making at home, it is important that you use the right amount in your homemade soap depending on what it will be used for.
If you are making a detergent bar to be used for making cleaning powder and laundry soap, then you will want a very high concentration of coconut oil.   My homemade laundry bar is made of 75% coconut oil and 25% palm oil.

If you are making a bar to be grated in to liquid soap (which is very common in home soap making) you will want to keep the concentration of coconut oil to below 15%.  This is because at any higher concentration the coconut oil will cause your liquid soap to solidify quickly.

Of course, most people get into soap making at home in order to make soap to use for face and body.  For this purpose, you will want to keep the concentration of coconut oil to below 20%.  If you use more than 20% coconut oil for soap making for your body and face, you will end up with a homemade soap that is too drying to your skin.

Type of Coconut Oil Used in Soap Making

I have only ever used 76 degree coconut oil for my own soap making.  That number refers to the temperature at which the oil melts.  76 degree coconut oil is widely available for soap making at home and is inexpensive.  I honestly don’t know why you would use anything else, but just in case I’ll briefly discuss the other options available.

Soap Making with Coconut Oil

92 degree coconut oil melts at a higher temperature (hence the name).  It will produce a bar that is harder than that produced by 76 degree coconut oil, but one that does not lather as well.

Virgin coconut oil is another option for soap making.  It is not one I recommend though, at there are no standards in the industry for labeling coconut oil “virgin” and no benefits to using it.  Don’t waste your money.

As one of the most important oils you will use in soap making at home, I encourage you to experiment with using it in your soap making recipes.

  1. May 13, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Jessica says:I just started making soaps. When you say to use 20% and such, how many tablespoons (or measurement of your choosing) would I use per oz of soap? Or per pound? Thanks!

    • May 23, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      admin says:Hi Jessica, You would want to decide how many ounces or grams of oil you will be using in total and then base your percentage off of that. All of your measurements in soap making are by weight, NEVER by volume. For example, if you are making a 2 lb bar, then 20% would be 6.4 oz. Hope this helps!

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