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New Member
Feb 25, 2021
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New Zealand
Hi there.
I'm pretty new to soaping, and I've been playing around on SoapCalc formulating my own CP soap recipe for the first time. I would like some experienced eyes to have a look to spot any possible issues. I'm planning to make a small unscented/unfragranced test batch of under 500g. I'm wanting a well-balanced bar, not too stripping but still plenty of lather. I went for even amounts of olive/coconut/palm oils rather than mostly olive because I want a firmer bubbly bar that lasts well. Do you think the 25% of coconut oil is too high? I'm concerned it might be a little harsh. I put in shea butter and almond oil for the conditioning benefits, and castor oil for a stable lather. I'm trying sodium lactate for a firmer bar. Also, do you think this recipe would be at risk of getting DOS?

Olive oil 75g (25%)
Coconut oil 75g (25%)
Palm oil 75g (25%)
Sweet almond oil 30g (10%)
Shea butter 30g (10%)
Castor oil 15g (5%)
Water 85.77g
Lye 42.25g
Sodium lactate 1.5 tsp

Would appreciate any feedback or changes you would suggest. Thank you!


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Staff member
Supporting Member
Oct 14, 2007
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Since your recipe is high in oleic acid, it may not produce a long lasting bar. You might try leaving out the sweet almond oil and going with the following:
8% Castor Oil
20% Coconut Oil
25% Olive Oil
27% Palm Oil
20% Shea Butter
Jun 15, 2020
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Minnesota, USA
My personal preference on coconut oil: I do 19% coconut for kitchen/bathroom hand soap, since it might need to clean oil/grease, and it's easy to regularly apply lotion if necessary. I prefer 15% or less for bath/body soap, since it's not going to be fighting nearly as much oil, and it's inconvenient to frequently slather that much surface area in lotion.

Also, I agree with @lsg . On average, there isn't enough difference between the different high-Oleic oils to use more than one unless they're both at least 20% or more of your recipe.


Grandmother & Soaper
Supporting Member
Apr 30, 2016
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Western Illinois, USA
I prefer to use the same soap when I bathe as when I simply wash my hands, unless I am just testing a soap for a specific purpose. So most of my formulas contain no more than 15% CO as it is so drying to my skin. That may not be the case for you and your skin, so it is wise to try a few different formulas to see how your skin responds. It also is a good idea if you are going to be making soap for family or friends that may have delicate skin.

Putting on hand lotion year-round is not my cup of tea, although that is what I did for years prior to learning that washing my hands with soap doesn't have to result in dry skin. I have learned that my hands get just as clean with a low CO soap content as with a high CO oil content. The up side to this is I don't have to pay for Hand Lotion and I don't have to make it either; plus it saves on container waste.

Another soaper here (I currently don't recall who, however) goes as far as using a winter formula and a summer formula, which makes a lot of sense, as I notice that my hands are dryer in the winter than the summer. I just haven't made that leap.