This simple cold process soap recipe has it all—lovely lather, long lasting bar, well moisturizing. It makes an amazing bar of soap, but takes just two oils that you can buy at the grocery store.
It’s the perfect starter recipe for beginning cold process soap makers. You can hone your soap making skills with simple, inexpensive oils before moving on to pricey, exotic ingredients.
If you’re more experienced, this is a nice recipe because you probably have these oils on hand all the time. And you can jazz it up however you like.
This lovely soap recipe was formulated specifically for a cold process soap making class that I taught at Gavilan College in Gilroy, California. Collectively the class made over 40 pounds of soap!
Since we had a fairly large group, and the vast majority were brand-spankin’ new to soap making, I wanted a very simple and straightforward recipe.
And, since 40 pounds of ingredients needed to be carried, by me, to the classroom that was located at the top of a very steep hill (not to mention all of the pots, hotplates, bowls, and molds needed to make that much soap) I wanted as few ingredients as possible.
So, I created a very basic two-oil soap with just coconut and olive oils. Let me tell you, I loved the results.
This simple cold process soap recipe creates a nice, hard bar with plenty of lather and moisturizing properties. The best part is you can get all of the oils at your grocery store.
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Since I liked it so much, I thought I’d share the recipe with you. You can dress it up any way you like, with oatmeal, herbs, or fragrance of your choosing. Or, just leave it naked because it’s lovely that way too.
If you’re new to cold process soap, make sure you read the posts listed below FIRST. They’ll run you through the step-by-step processes of cold process soap making, plus give you all the safety info you need to know before getting started.
Because you can hurt yourself making soap if you’re not following all of the safety rules. I don’t want you to get hurt. I love you.
Read them, friend:
Did you read all the posts above? Do you have your goggles and gloves? Good. Now let’s make some soap!
Get the Step-By-Step Soap Making Cheat Sheet
You might also like to grab the Step-By-Step Cold Process Soap Making Cheat Sheet + Lye Safety Checklist along with a bonus printable easy cold process soap recipe.
This printable cheat sheet walks you through the entire soap making process, from start to finish. It also includes a checklist to ensure you never forget a lye safety step, so you can soap safely. And it includes my basic palm-free soap recipe that is moisturizing and lathers like a dream.
This cheat sheet is typically reserved for students in my How To Make Soap From Scratch course, but I’m sharing it here because I know it will be super helpful to you as a brand new soap maker.
Enter your info in the form below, and I’ll send the checklist + cheat sheet to your inbox right now.
Simple 2-Oil Cold Process Soap Recipe
OK, so you’ve read up on lye handling safety and you’ve signed up for the step-by-step soap making cheat sheet. Now you’re ready to make some soap!
This recipe makes about 2 lbs. finished soap, at approximately 6.5% superfat and a slight water discount. You’ll get about 8 average-sized (4 oz.) bars.
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You’ll also need:
- Soap making safety gear (gloves, eye protection)
- Stainless steel pot
- Digital scale
- Various containers for weighing ingredients
- Heat-proof container for mixing lye water (I like to use a heavy-duty plastic pitcher)
- Silicone spatulas
- Soap mold – 2 lbs. size
STEP 1: Don your goggles and gloves and weigh out the water into a plastic heat-proof pitcher. Set aside.
NOTE: I like to set my water pitcher into the sink, and do all the mixing of the lye here. This way, if there is an accidental spill, the lye water simply goes down the drain rather than all over your countertops and floor.
STEP 2: Into a separate container, weigh out lye. Carefully pour lye into container of water, stir to dissolve. Take care as this mixture will get hot. Let stand to cool down.
STEP 3: Weigh your oils and put them into a pot. Warm on low heat to just melt the coconut oil. Remove from heat.
STEP 4: Let the water and oils cool considerably until they are approximately the same temperature (anywhere between 85 and 110 is what I typically shoot for).
While you’re waiting, use this time to prepare your mold.
STEP 5: Pour the lye water mixture into the pot of oils. (You’re still wearing your gloves and goggles, right?) Place your stick blender into the mixture and blend until medium trace (a thick pancake batter consistency).
STEP 6: Are you adding in any herbs or fragrance? Stir them in now. Some ideas:
- 2 tablespoons ground oatmeal (learn how to make it yourself)
- 2 teaspoons dried herbs (some nice additions are chamomile, peppermint, rose petals, calendula, sage)
- 1 ounce soap fragrance oil or essential oil of your choice (please ensure your fragrance/essential oil is skin safe and not over the IFRA safe usage rate)
You can just leave the soap naked, too! Years ago when I used to sell my soap, my no-fragrance no-additives “Bare Baby” soap was a best-seller! So don’t discount plain soap. When it’s handmade, it’s lovely.
STEP 7: Pour the soap batter into the mold. Let set undisturbed for 48 to 72 hours.
STEP 8: After the soap has set for two to three days, it’s time for the unmolding! Put your gloves back on, remove from the mold and cut into bars.
The soap will be slightly sticky, that’s OK. It will harden as it cures.
STEP 9: Place your soap bars on a drying rack or brown paper sack in a dry place and let cure for at least 30 days. Turn occasionally to expose all sides to air.
After a 30 day cure, your soap is ready to use. Enjoy your handcrafted soap!