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Simple Cold Process Soap

Simple Cold Process Soap

Cold Process Soap can have a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and scents when made by talented artisans but the base recipe is what allows the magic to happen.  A solid starting place for a simple and effective cold process soap is a combination of coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, and castor oil which create a firm but gentle bar of soap with a good lather.   The perfect scent can be crafted by blending a few high-quality essential oils and/or fragrance oils to complete the soap.  

Percentage of Oils in the Formula
37.5% Palm Oil
27.5% Coconut Oil
30.0% Olive Oil
5.0% Castor Oil

Saponification Value for the Blend of Oils
0.1507 Sodium Hydroxide Saponification Value at 0% lye discount
0.1432 Sodium Hydroxide Saponification Value at 5% lye discount
33% Lye Solution (amount of sodium hydroxide X 2 = amount of water)

Fragrance for the Blend Calculated According to IFRA Standards
Maximum 5.0% of the total oils + Sodium Hydroxide (dry) in the formula

Recipe for a 48 oz. Batch of Soap


  • 18 oz. Palm Oil
  • 13.2 oz. Coconut Oil
  • 14.4 oz. Olive Oil
  • 2.4 oz. Castor Oil

Lye Solution

  • 6.87 oz. Sodium Hydroxide
  • 13.75 oz. Soft or Distilled Water


  • 2.74 oz. Fragrance Oil Maximum


  1. Using personal safety equipment (safety goggles, gloves and long sleeve shirt) weigh the sodium hydroxide in a heavy plastic or stainless steel container. In a separate lye-safe container, weigh the water. Add the sodium hydroxide to the water and stir until dissolved. Cover and allow to cool.
  2. Weigh the oils into a heat and lye-safe container (stainless steel recommended) of sufficient size to accommodate all the ingredients in the recipe. Melt the oils over low heat until clear. Allow the oils and lye to cool between 95° – 105° F. (35°- 40°C).
  3. Slowly pour the lye solution into the oils. Using a stick blender, blend the oil/lye solution to a light trace (when no streaks of oil are left in the soap solution and a portion of the solution, when dribbled over the surface leaves a faint trail).
  4. Add the fragrance, Stir to thoroughly incorporate. Pigments or dried herbs may also be added at this time if desired.

     Jackie Thompson

    Simple Cold Process Soap Recipe 

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