Zany's Murphys Oil Soap (Type)

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Mar 9, 2017
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SE Denver CO
NOTE: The Ingredients for Murphy's Oil Soap for Wood have changed since I created this liquid soap copycat recipe many moons ago. Both flaxseed oil and linseed oil are extracted from seeds of the plant Linum usitatissimu and appear side by side on SoapCalc. You can make liquid soap from both of them. Flaxseed Oil is more expensive than linseed oil and readily available at Health Food stores. It is generally cold pressed and fit for human consumption as well as bath and body products. Linseed oil can be found at Home Depot/Lowes in the paint department. It goes through a refinement process that contains additives to improve its cleaning abilities but are not suitable for bath & body products. Don't even think about drinking linseed oil!

LINSEED OIL LS FOR WOOD (pH 10.5) April 2, 2007

This linseed oil soap is ideal for washing wood. It preserves, protects, and beautifies wood and the natural fragrance is fresh, rich and nutty.

11 oz. Linseed (Flaxseed) oil (85%)
2 oz. Rosin (15%)
5 oz. Water (2 X KOH)
2 tsp. Borax or Calgon or Washing Soda (sodium carbonate)
2.5 oz. KOH (0% SF)

Weigh rosin powder and linseed oil into 4-cup Pyrex. Nuke 3 minutes @ high. Cool to 180°F. Rosin has a high melt temp. Continue to nuke @ 20 second intervals if necessary, to get it completely liquid. Don’t let the temp drop below 180° to keep the rosin liquid.

Weigh water into 2-cup Pyrex. Place in sink. Add KOH. Stir to dissolve. Add sodium carbonate. Stir to dissolve completely.

Combine when oils are @ 180°F and lye solution @ 140°F. Stir by hand, then SB 10-15 minutes (on & off), over low heat. Maintain 160°F until soap base reaches trace.

Let set 5 minutes off heat to make sure it doesn’t separate. (If it starts to puff up, that’s a good sign!) Pour batch into large stainless steel pot. Cover and put in preheated 170°F oven for 1 hour. Turn off. Let set overnight.


24 oz. Boiling water
2 tsp. Borax or Calgon or Washing Soda (sodium carbonate)
2 oz. alcohol

Remove soap base from pot and chunk up. Add water to pot. Bring to boil. Add sodium carbonate. Stir to dissolve completely. Add chunked up soap base. Cover and heat (SLOWLY) on medium to low until all soap is dissolved. Maintain heat @ 160°. (3-4 hours.)

When soap is completely melted, cool to 135°F. Weigh soap. Add 2 oz. alcohol and enough water (if necessary) to make 44 oz. total. Pour into clear container. Sequester 2 weeks.


1 gallon warm water
1/2 oz. linseed oil soap
1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 cup peppermint herb tea (optional)
few drops lemon essential oil (optional)

Combine ingredients in a pail or bucket. Swirl the water around until it is sudsy. Proceed as normal.
in the recipe you state “alcohol;” I’m assuming it’s isopropy? Does the strength matter (70%, 91%; 99%)?
Alcohol is optional. I don't use isopropyl except to spray down foam in LS.

Generally speaking, vodka is preferred. For liquid soap & shampoo, I use 1-2 Tablespoons of 80 Proof Vodka per 16 oz. to boost lather.

TIP: 80 Proof = 40% alcohol by volume. Vodka is "grain alcohol" aka "ethyl alcohol" aka "ethanol". At 20%, it acts as a preservative in water-based B & B products like room/linen sprays or body mists. The scent is negligible and will not cloud the product vs. isopropyl that tends to dominate whatever you use it for. ;)

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