Olive Oil Soap Recipe

Make olive oil soap using only 100% olive oil, lye and water. Olive oil soap, best known as Castile soap, is a great soap, mild and conditioning, a classic among handmade soaps. It’s one of the simplest soap recipes, great to begin soap making.

No need to purchase Castile soap when you can – easily – make it at home.

Table of Contents

Can I Make Soap With Just Olive Oil?

You can make soap with just olive oil. Olive oil soap, also known as Castile Soap is one of the most traditional and well-known among handmade soaps. Actually, a soap is considered a Castile soap if it contains more than 70% olive oil in its recipe. This recipe is 100% olive oil.

Technically, we can use any type of oil to make soap, but in fact each one of them contributes with different properties to the final soap. For example, coconut oil contributes to hard bars and abundant foam, while sunflower oil contributes to softer and more moisturizing bars. However, too much coconut oil makes the skin “dry” and too much sunflower oil makes the soap bars too soft.

Check out all about oils properties for soap bars in Oil Properties for Soap Making.

olive-oil2

There are few oils that, used in 100% of the recipe, are able to produce good soaps: olive oil, animal fat, palm oil, coconut oil, babassu oil, rice bran oil. The purer the oil, the more natural and better the soap will be. For this reason, it is advisable to use extra virgin olive oil.

Olive Oil Soap – The Mildest Soap of All

By itself, olive oil gives good bars of very gentle and nourishing soap for the skin without being dry, so it is especially suitable for sensitive skin. It produces a not very abundant foam that some may find “slimy”, others will find it creamy. It does not generate abundant foam filled with bubbles like coconut oil, but there is nothing as moisturizing, creamy and smooth as a bar of natural olive oil soap.

It’s also the perfect recipe to start soapmaking at home. Due to its natural characteristics, you can learn about this thing called “trace” that soapmakers speak about so often, as this soap traces very slowly.

And it has a small list of ingredients: olive oil, lye, water and salt. You probably have them all at home right now! In addition, the end soap is delicious, very mild and conditioning, a huge difference compared to the bath gels and soaps you buy in stores.

Find Where to Buy Handmade Olive Oil Soap (Castile Soap)

If you’re not yet ready to try to make this recipe at home, but you still wish to enjoy a natural castile soap, you can find handmade olive oil/castile soap in the following links:

Other Soaps – Top 20 Handmade Soap and Shampoo Bars from Apple Valley Natural Soap

How To Use This Soap

In the shower or bath, wet your hands and rub your soap in them to create a lather. Wash your hands first, then repeat the process and apply soap to your whole body using the soap directly and your hands. You may also wash your face with it. Rinse hands and body abundantly. Also wash your soap from lather before placing it in your soap dish or bag saver.

Washcloths and sponges should be avoided. Avoid washing your intimate zone and your hair, soap pH in not adequate for those parts of your body. Avoid eye contact with soap to prevent stinging. Make a patch test before using your soap. Stop using your soap if you feel any immediate adverse reaction in your skin (red skin, rashes, itching).

To take best advantage of your handmade soap (made by yourself or store-bougth), read How Do You Use Handmade Soap?

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Watch This Video Before Starting Your Recipe

Instruções de Segurança para Saboaria
Soapmaking Safety Instructions

olive-oil-soaps

Olive Oil Soap Recipe

Learn how to make true castile soap!! A very basic recipe of a natural 100% olive oil soap, one of the most well-known ingredients for handmade soap. Excelent for beginners. In the end, you will have a hard and very moisturizing, silky and smooth bar of soap.
Difficulty: Beginners
Weight: 225g (7,9 oz)
Superfat: 5%
Lye concentration: 36%
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Skincare Product: Soap Bar
Method: Cold Process
Keyword: basic olive oil soap recipe, best cold process soap recipes,, best soap recipes, castile soap, castile soap bar, castile soap recipe, handmade castile soap, homemade olive oil soap recipe, how to make castile soap, how to make castile soap at home, olive oil soap recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 3 soap bars
Cost: $0,6 – $4 / 0,5€ – 3,5€

Ingredients 

Lye Water

Add After Trace

Instructions

Get Ready!

  • Wear goggles and gloves! Look at “Safety Recommendations” in the video above or in How to Make Soap From Scratch
    gloves, goggles and maks to safely make soap at home
  • Watch the video above about "Cold Process Soap Making Tutorial" or read the post How To Make Soap by Cold Process Step-by-Step for instructions on cold process soap making before starting. These are generic but important steps for all recipes.
    Pouring essential oils into soap batter
  • Assemble everything: ingredients, equipment, safety equipment. Prepare your workstations. Measure all the ingredients. Don’t start the recipe without having everything ready!
    soapmaking-workspace-preparation
  • The essential oil is optional. It adds scent to soap. I have suggested lemongrass for this soap, but you can choose your favorite between peppermint, litsea cubeba, tea tree or lavender, or a blend. Just don't exceed the quantity.
    small bottles of essential oils decorated with peppermint and rosemary plants

Prepare the Lye Water

  • Make the lye solution according to How To Make Lye Water. If using fine salt, add it to the water and dissolve it very well before doing the mixture. Add the lye and mix it until the vapors start to dissipate and the water clears. Strain it to catch any undissolved lye crystals.
    add-salt-to-lye-water
  • If using sodium lactate, add it in cooled lye water (below 55ºC – 130ºF) and mix well.
    lye-water-with-sodium-lactate

Heat the Oils

  • Heat the olive oil to aprox. 35ºC – 40ºC (95ºF – 104ºF). This step is only to speed up trace, you can actually use it at room temperature.
    Heating soaping oils in a microwave

Make the Soap Batter

  • Use as a target temperature 35ºC-40ºC (95ºF – 104ºF) for the oil-solution mixture. This recipe has a water discount to reduce trace time and cure time. Higher temperature also helps to reach trace.
    However, I've made this soap at 30ºC room temperature (it was a hot summer day) and took me 11 minute to reach trace.
    measuring temperatures
  • Mix the lye water with the oils. Pour carefully using a spatula.
    mixing lye with olive oil
  • Reach trace with the immersion blender. Recipes of 100% olive oil soap take time to reach it, you may need to use the stick blender for about 10-15 minutes. In the end, it should be a liquid opaque pale yellow batter.
    reaching trace
  • After trace, add the extract and essential oil. Mix with a spatula.
    adding after trace ingredients
  • Pour the soap batter in the molds with a pitcher. I don't recommend using box soap molds for olive oil, only silicone ones. Sprinkle with alcohol or witch hazel. You can put in pre-heated oven for gel phase.
    molding-olive-oil-soap

Molding and Curing

  • 100% olive oil soaps take time to solidify. By using sodium lactate or fine salt, your soaps will solidify faster. However, it is advisable to leave it in molds for up to 7 days, because of soda ash.
    Let the soap set in molds for 2 to 7 days (depending on your patience 🙂 )
    mold-olive-oil-soap
  • Unmold and let the bars cure for 8 weeks minimum. Some soap makers state that Castile soap bar is optimal at 6 months. Maybe because I always use sodium lactate or salt, mine are good to go after 2 months. See How To Cure Handmade Soap.
    Curing soap in a dry and well vented place

Video

Olive Oil Soap Recipe x
Olive Oil Soap Recipe

10 thoughts on “Olive Oil Soap Recipe”

  1. Hi Sofia, I have a sister named Sophia. Spelled with a ph though and guess what? She loves natural soaps, creams, hair products, anything natural lol.. I will share your site with her I am sure she will enjoy it. But I didn’t realize natural homemade soaps was this easy to create, seems the hardest part is the 6-8 weeks to cure. Thanks for sharing your recipes Sofia!

    Reply
    • Hello CeCemorgan, your comment was very warming to me 😀 thanks a lot! I hope your sister checks my website and shares her experiences as well!

      Soap making is really great, but I guess it’s a passion of mine so I am biased 🙂 but yes they are much more simple to make than we think, they can easily be made at home. Here in Portugal, our grandparents used to make soap at home, with animal fat. I know you can use ashes (filtered water from grey ashes) to make soap – ashes and animal fat were by-products for many households, so it was cheap and sustainable 🙂 . Maybe if you ask your elders in the family, maybe someone remembers someone making soap at home in older times 🙂

      Cheers, Sofia

      Reply
  2. Hi, I heard many years ago that making soap was easy and I knew it can be made with many soaps, but then whenever I read about this there kept being a mention of this substance called “lye” that everyone else seemed to know what it was except me. Finally – sodium hydroxide! This is very tempting to have a go at making soap but looking at the price of the ingredients I can see that this is not exactly cheap. After all, I don’t live in an olive grove so would have to buy the olive oil This does look fun though. Thanks for this. I learned something. Best regards, Andy

    Reply
    • Hello Andy and thanks for your comment.

      Soap making is relatively easy and super fun, as long as one gets over the fear to use lye, or sodium hydroxide (yes, that’s what it is 🙂 ). Besides, the resulting soap is a wonderful product to wash yourself with.

      Olive oil is in fact cheap in Portugal, around 3€/l, as we are a big producer of it. But why don’t you try this one: Homemade Coconut Oil Soap Recipe? Coconut oil seems to be relatively cheap everywhere. Use a conventional refined oil, skip scent – essential oils are the most expensive ingredients – and color – you will have a white soap – and your soap can actually be economic. Not cheap but not expensive either, and the quality is worth it.

      Best Regards,
      Sofia

      Reply
  3. Hello! 

    I am still surprised that olive oil is used in these bars and that this is almost to the top of the list of great ingredients to be included! The benefits it gives in how it is used to solidify the soap is super interesting! I do hate that it takes soo long to get the best form to be used!

    Thank you for the information!

    Keep  Being AMAZING 

    Reply
    • Hello Brendaliz, olive oil is a must-have ingredient in soap making 🙂 Soap made with olive oil may look a bit “creamy”, as it doesn’t foam a lot, but I simply love it and use it everyday, as it is very soft, gentle, and conditioning. 

      As for time that takes to cure, it’s true that best things in life take time to get 🙂 some soaps made with salt, might take around 6 months to cure, but I was told they are simply amazing. I am yet to experiment them. 

      Cheers, Sofia

      Reply
  4. Hallo,

    I am here to offer my comments about your site “HerbAlcochete”

    The site is well designed and created, all the menus are clear plus the Title Name, But there is only one problem with the Site contents and the Menus,

    This is when you click on a content or Menus, Someone or I expect it to open in a New Window but from your site the Contents and the menus all open from within the webpage which makes someone who has gone forward like five pages very difficult to press back five times.

    So if you can only improve this one from your settings or designs you will be doing well in the future.

    What would you call your Site, A manufacturing site or a Promoting Site?

    Thanks that’s all I had for you.

    Reply
    • Hello, and thanks for your comment, suggestions are much appreciated. 

      Blogs are just built like that though, they are supposed to show their posts in the same main window. If you wish to open many posts in new windows you can use the “CTRL” key while clicking on the post. Hope this helps and enjoy my website.

      Cheers, Sofia

      Reply

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