I was so curious after a few years of making soap I wondered what is the best oil I've used to make soap and after a much thought I have an answer.
Based on my limited 5 year experience of making soap I can answer the question, what is the best oil for soap making? Coconut Oil is the best and most versatile oil for soap making. There are so many ways this common oil can be used to make soap.
Why is coconut oil the best oil for soap making?
I have come up with five great reason why Coconut oil is the best oil for soap making compared to all other oils used for soap making.
- Readily available
- Low cost
- Can be manipulated
- Creates hard long lasting soap
- Produces stable and strong bubbles
Coconut Oil is readily available
Seriously you can find coconut oil just about everywhere you go. Food stores, pharmacies mom and pop corner stores and even gas stations.
Very few if any other oils besides olive oil is distributed so widely.
A good example of it availability is to compare it to jojoba oil. Its a great oil although expensive and very hard to find world wide. The same can be said about hard butters such as shea or coco butter.
Coconut oil can be found in every country worldwide so no matter your location you can always make a great soap using coconut oil.
Coconut Oil is low cost
So noticed I said low cost not exactly cheap. Coconut oil is not the cheapest oil you can use in soap, that would go to canola oil.
Having said that it is still falls slightly below the middle line of cost when stacked against all the other oils used in soap making.
This low cost value for coconut oil makes it also easy for beginners to get their hands on it and make soap at a low cost.
This by far is a great reason as to why coconut oil is one of the best oils for soap making. Imagine using expensive oils such as jojoba oil and having to sell a bar so soap for $30.00 just to cover your cost.
Coconut oil can be manipulated easily
Manipulation of this oil is so easy.
Firstly the beauty of coconut all being the best oil for soap making is that it is a stand alone oil.
This means you can use just coconut oil as 100% of your soap recipe and you will have a very good bar of soap.
Coconut oil produces and extremely cleansing soap that many may consider to be too harsh for their skin. The good news is that you can manipulate the recipe to make it less harsh
This is another reason I know coconut oil is the best oil for soap making. As simple as adjusting the water content and adjusting your lye for a super fat increase you effectively can do whatever you like.
An increase in water makes it easier to do swirls and other techniques. and by reducing your lye amount you increase your super fat which makes the soap a bit more moisturizing.
Coconut oil creates a hard long lasting bar of soap
This is by far one of my favorite reason for using coconut oil.
A strong hard and long lasting bar is something that makes coconut oil soap standout from most other handmade soaps
Coconut oil in soap cures faster and creates a harder bar of soap that can be used sooner. You can read a bit more on how soon can you use your soap at this Article.
Coconut oil allows you to effectively make your soap today and in less than a week its ready for use. In fact I've used 100% coconut oil soap in three days of making it with no ill effects.
As with all soaps the longer you let them cure the longer they will last.
I did an experiment and allowed a bar of coconut oil soap cure for 1 week versus another that cured for two months. There was very little difference in the hardness and performance between the two.
This is how versatile coconut oil is for soap making.
Coconut oil produces stable and strong bubbles
Bubbles... Isnt this what most persons ask for with a good bar of soap? How well does it lather and clean my skin?
Bubbles are somehow attached to how well a soap cleans. Its the same with dish washing liquid.
Many people believe bubbles clean dirt. While this is somewhat true its not the absolute truth on how soap cleans the skin.
Nevertheless coconut oil is known for its bubble boosting qualities and its cleansing qualities hence its the perfect soap for persons who expect a bubbly cleansing bar of soap.
Coconut oil works well with other oils.
Coconut oil is typically one of the two well known base oils used in soap making.
Although Olive oil tops the chart as the nuber one base oil used for soap, coconut oil falls at a close second.
Olive oil does cost more than coconut oil and when combined with coconut oil produces a well balanced soap.
You can read a bit on a 50/50 Olive Coconut Oil recipe HERE
You can combine coconut oil with the cheapest known oil, canola oil and still make a really good bar of soap with great properties.
This is the versatility of using coconut oil and why its without a doubt the best oil for soap making.
Coconut oil beyond soap making
Here is something you probably did not think of initially. Coconut oil is so versatile that you can cook with it.
Yes I know you knew that but what if you saved up all your used cooked oil and when you have enough filter it to clean out any excess debris and use it to make your soap.
This is one way you can recycle your coconut oil. I'm sure the same thing can be done with olive oil if you cook with them as well.
I consider myself a novice at soap making and have not been in the market place as long as other soap makers out there but I do like to try new things and run experiments.
While I enjoy a 4 or 6 oil soap one oil can make things so much easier for me when it comes to soap making and I'm sure it will make a difference for you if you give it a try.
Olive Oil as one of the best oils for soap making
I know I may get some feed back or rather blow back from this article as many may argue that olive oil is the best oil for soap making.
Olive oil like coconut oil can also be used as a stand alone oil to make soap.
This type of soap is called castile soap, it is a favorite world wide for its gentleness on persons with sensitive skin.
While I agree with usng olive oil as a single oil to make soap is a good idea there are some drawbacks that coconut oil do not have.
Castile soap can take a minimum of 8 months to fully cure and harden. This is a property of a soft oil like olive oil.
It can be used by its self but the time it takes before you can use it is just too long compared to coconut oil 3day to 1 week wait.
Another draw back for olive oil as the best oil for soap making is that it is more expensive than coconut oil.
In general olive oil can cost almost or more than twice the price of coconut oil. This is another drawback that pushed olive oil to second place.
By the way its good to note that there is also a name for 100% Coconut oil and its Bastile soap.
If you only use these two oils either as a combination or alone you can very well develop some really good and diverse soaps.