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Formulating Basic Cold Process Soap

A lot of times people ask me this: what should i put in my soap? Why certain oils and not the others? Can i do a 100% Olive Oil Soap? Why can't i make soap using only one ingredients and the question continues.

Well, Not to scare anyone but coming up with your basic oil recipe is the most intimidating part in soap making. Its not the Essential Oil, its not the process of making soap, its the recipe itself. One wrong ingredient and there goes your chunk of soap into the dustbin. Learning how to make soap is not just about the practical part but also the Oils which for me is the most important part in soap making and thats what i teach my students in class  (advertisement hehe..)

So anyways, back to oils in soap making. If you are a beginner, i would suggest that you go with this ratio: 33/33/33 where each oils should be 33%- Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil/ Palm Kernel Oil. another 1% u can put any of these. Or better yet once mastering soap making 1-2 times, you can change the ratio to 30/30/30/10. 30% each of the oils above and another 10% of any other oil depending on the soap properties you are looking for. Usually most will put castor oil, shea butter, cocoa butter or any of the luxuries oils like sweet almond oil, Avocado etc. You can take a look at the properties in our previous post: Oils in Soap Making; Which to use when?

So anyways back to this three oils, why use them? Simple: Coconut Oil creates a hard leathery super cleansing bar of soap, Palm Oil acts as a secondary soap that creates a hard bar of soap, and olive oil for its moisturising properties.

So why can't you make a 100% olive oil soap? Yes you can but you will have to wait for 2-3 months for it to cure, and it will melt easily. if you don mind a soap that lasts hardly 1 week then by all means make your 100% olive oil soap.

On the other hand, you can omit the palm oil in the recipe, however, i find that the soaps that is not combined with palm oil + coconut oil soften fast too (not as fast as a 100% olive oil soap) but it still melts fast. And at times when i put more than 35% of coconut oil in my recipe, i find the soap to be super drying. This happens because coconut oil is a super cleansing soap. Its good otherwise but in soap it is suppose to remove the dirt i.e. oil on our skin. However, when use in high amount, it tends to remove the 'good' oil too, which further causes dryness in our body. Thats why you need to add moisturising oils like olive oil or shea butter to combat this problem.

So at the end of the day, whatever oils you put in your soap is what matters most to create the best soap. Some prefer to use and stick to one recipe, while others love to experiment. Regardless, start your soap making journey today. Its definitely an awesome and addictive journey (at least it is for me!) Below is a basic cold process soap recipe. I hope this helps you to start the journey:-)
Happy Soaping..

Lavender Cold Process Soap:

Recipe for 1kg Mould

  1. 210g Olive Oil
  2. 210g Coconut Oil
  3. 210g Palm Kernel Oil
  4. 70g Castor Oil
  5. 104g Lye/ NaOH
  6. 200g Water
  7. 50g Lavender Flowers Essential Oil
  8. Ultramarine Violet Pigment (as desired)
Or you can purchase the set at cheaper price here

To make soap, click the following video on how to. Make sure you wear gloves at all times!

Thank you for reading Soap Lab Malaysia.
If you are one of those who wants to understand why certain ingredient is in your skincare/ cosmetics, learn how to make and formulate your own cosmetics, do contact us on our next class. We also have business courses for those interested to start a business in handmade cosmetics.


  1. Hi, do i really need to add palm kernel oil and caster oil? Is it possible to sub them to another oil? Like Sweet Almond oil or anything is that ok to go along with this?

    1. hi sure you can change. but make sure to run it through our soap calculator here first to make sure the amount of lye etc is correct. lye is dangerous so the calculation must be correct for it: http://www.soaplabmalaysia.com/p/soap-calculator-this-calculator-will.html

  2. salam, do you sell mold box and the cutter? how bout the price?

    1. No not anymore sorry;_( we only hv the crinkle knife


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