Single Oil Soap Test

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Feb 1, 2023
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Hey everyone!

As hinted elsewhere, I did a single oil soap test, and today I tested the outcome 2 months after I made them.

I tested sweet almond oil, babassu oil, canola/rapeseed oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, grape seed oil, palm oil, peanut oil, and Shea butter. I used Zany’s faux sea water, with a lye to water ratio of 1:2, and superfat of 5% for all oils except babassu and coconut which I made at 20%. I tested bubbles both washing with clean hands and again after covering my hands on wheat germ oil. Here are the results!


First, all the solid oil soaps had slight speckles throughout, I think reflecting air bubbles. Then all the liquid oils developed some degree of DOS.

Almond oil (A)
Appearance: formed DOS patches, and the surface developed little pits.
Texture: very slight stick to surface, edges dent with strong pressure
Bubbles: mildly creamy, but a usable amount of bubbles. Slight residue by end of washing, but water washes everything away eventually.
General impression: average, not good alone.

Babassu (B)
Appearance: perfect (except speckles)
Texture: rock hard
Bubbles: super bubbly of all sizes, both with clean hands and oily hands. Basically indistinguishable from coconut oil (as promised).
General impression: great, also alone!

Canola ( R )
Appearance: perfect except for a single DOS speck.
Texture: surprisingly hard, although when it sits in water it dissolves quickly, forming a gelatin.
Bubbles: with clean hands, small bubbles and not too many. With oil, basically no bubbles, just sticky creamy. Washes away, but not extremely cleansing.
General impression: actually quite good, but needs to be in combination with something more longlasting. Might work in salt bars and coconut oil? My preferred liquid oil or this test.

Cocoa butter (Ch)
Appearance: slight soda ash, but very much like a crayon.
Texture: hard as a rock, had a slightly rough feel once used as soap, maybe solid residue of some kind?
Bubbles: hardly any with clean hands, none with oil, not even a cream. Barely cleaned.
General impression: only good for hardness.

Coconut (Co)
Indistinguishable from babassu, maaaaybe more bubbly and more cleansing, but hardly noticeable.

Grapeseed oil (G)
Appearance: most DOS of all
Texture: softest, dents anywhere with pressure, sticky even when dry
Bubbles: with clean hands, normal amount of bubbles, with oil, no bubbles but quite milky, still cleans.
General impression: boooooo

Palm oil (Pa)
Appearance: substantial soda ash on top, and in crevices of air pockets
Texture: hard, smooth, traced instantly
Bubbles: not great lather, worse with oil, but a bit better than cocoa butter. Not sticky.
General impression: more trouble than it’s worth, but it works to add hardness.

Peanut oil
Appearance: DOS
Texture: sliiightly more rubbery than the solid oils and canola, but not bad. Doesn’t dent with pressure.
Bubbles: the slimiest, but not outrageous. Clean hands produces ok bubbles, but with oily hands just a sticky cream. Still cleans though.
General impression: it can work, but needs to be combined with something. Also more headache because of allergies.

Shea butter (S)
Appearance: slight patches of soda ash or similar, otherwise fine
Texture: hard. Traced quickly.
Bubbles: creamy/milky lather with small bubbles, almost no big bubbles with oil. Late in washing still feels like there’s a residue, but it washes off in the end.
General impression: fine, just not economically worth it as a single oil soap.


I now want to experiment more with canola oil, I feel like it was the liquid oil with the fewest downsides :)