Try this single oil soap recipe, a sweet almond oil soap recipe coloured with paprika, and scented with a blend of citrus essencial oils. Besides using only sweet almond oil, this soap recipe uses citric acid to work as a chelator, and a DOS/rancidity preventer.
This recipe is simple enough, and can be used by soap beginners to learn how to make cold processs soap from scratch. Therefore, it goes to the Soap Recipes For Begginers section.
Table of Contents
- Can Sweet Almond Oil Be Used In Soap Making?
- 100% Sweet Almond Oil Soap
- What Is The Function of Citric Acid In Soap Making?
- Sweet Almond Oil Soap Recipe Ingredients
- Is This Soap Recipe Cheap?
- Find Where To Buy Homemade Sweet Almond Oil
- How To Use This Soap
- Related Posts
- Watch This Video About Safety
- Cold Process Soap Making Tutorial Video
- Cold Process Soap Making Lessons
Can Sweet Almond Oil Be Used In Soap Making?
Sweet almond oil can be used in cold process soap making around 5 to 20%. It saponifies easily and produces a rich conditioning and stable lather. It’s a lightweight, moisturizing oil, easily absorbed by skin, due to its content in linoleic and oleic fatty acids.
People with a nut allergy should be careful in using sweet almond oil, as even in soap it can cause allergic reactions. Perform a patch skin test before using sweet almond oil in your homemade products, just to be sure.
My only struggle with using sweet almond oil in soap and other natural products has been with rancidity. It’s an oil that easily turns rancid, in my personal experience, and requires an anti-oxidant, no matter how fresh it is.
100% Sweet Almond Oil Soap
But we are going to challenge these soap making rules, by making a 100% sweet almond oil soap. Single-oil soaps are my favorite as they are less complex, requiring few ingredients to make, and being more economical for that. Using this post as a guide, sweet almond oil makes up for a very good soap bar. It results in a creamy colored, shiny, hard bar, odorless, with strong lather and nicaly conditioning.
My experience with single-oil soap bars has been really good. I ellect these recipe as ideal for beginners to start soap making, to avoid the long, discouraging list of oils from other recipes. When you are just starting, checking if making soap at home is your thing, there’s nothing worse than looking at a list of many ingredients you don’t have at home.
Besides, let’s not forget the economical side of the thing. By choosing the cheapest oil available for you locally to make soap, turns soap making into a viably economical activity, where you can even compete against over-the-counter hygiene products.
There’s no need to to purchase coconut oil and olive oil and castor oil and sunflower oil and spend money in all those oils just to make soap. In some regions of the globe, these oils are actually very expensive and/or difficult to find.
Here are my other single-oil recipes, they can all be found in the “Soap Recipes For Beginners” category:
- How To Make Pure Coconut Oil Soap
- Olive Oil Soap Recipe
- Homemade Lard Soap Recipe
- Palm Oil Soap Recipe
What Is The Function of Citric Acid In Soap Making?
Citric acid is used in soap making as a chelator (avoids soap scum), and to help prevent rancidity and DOS (Dreaded Orange Spots).
Going back to the former, chelation is the ability of a substance to bond with metal molecules. Especially with hard waters, soap can react with mineral (metal) substances, like calcium or magnesium, creating this white build-up substance – soap scum – that covers your shower walls or faucets. It also reduces the soap ability to lather and clean properly. Using a chelator, the metal molecules react with the chelating substance instead, and no longer with soap.
Rancidity and DOS
About the later, this is the reason why I’ve started considering the usage of citric acid in soap, and studied in more detail (this post was my main reference). I have had some bad experiences with DOS and rancidity in lard and olive oil handmade soaps. I’ve used sweet almond for oil infusions and without vitamin E oil it got rancid as well. There’s nothing more frustrating than your wonderful soap turning rancid even before it finished curing.
Rancidity (and consequent DOS) is caused by oxidation of fatty acids present in oils. Factors that may accelerate oxidation include heat, light or water exposure, and contact with certain metallic contaminants (even from the humidity present in the air). Citric acid, as a chelator, provides protection against the latter. This is why it’s important to use distilled/deionized water, cleaner from metallic substances than tap water.
Along using distilled water, it’s a very good practice, or common sense rule, to use fresh oils only for soap making and natural products. It’s also true I have used oils a little over “best by” dates, and didn’t have an issue with the soap, while fresh oils turned my soap a bit rancid. Could it be contaminants, humidity present in the air? Not really sure why this happened, but it doesn’t hurt to use now citric acid to prevent rancidity in your soap, and since I have hard water, it will also improve my soap performance.
Why Use Citric Acid In This Specific Recipe
Well, because in this post, the soap made with sweet almond oil showed small signs of rancidity with time. I thought it would be a great idea to test the effectiveness of citric acid in preventing rancidity with an oil more prone to it, according to my experience. Let’s see how to goes 🙂
Citric Acid Doesn’t Reduce Soap pH: Nothing Does
Just as a side note, citric acid is an ingredient very mentioned in soap making as a way to reduce soap pH in soap bars, pretty much like apple cider vinegar. This is false, as soap pH is naturally over 8, and you simply can’t change it. You want to make a washing product with pH below 7, you don’t make soap, you make a syndet bar. Check about this soap making misconception in this SoapMaking Forum post, and in Is Yoni Soap Good For You?
Sweet Almond Oil Soap Recipe Ingredients
As usual, besides the main ingredients of this soap recipe, I use this section to name the remaining ingredients as well as what you can change/skip in the recipe.
The sweet almond oil, lye and water are basic to make the soap. Citric acid, as it was explained, is a very good addictive to improve your soap properties, but it’s not mandatory. Use it only if you experience rancidity over time, or you have hard water in your location.
The grapefruit seeds extract is an antioxidant, an ingredient I never skip in my soaps. I’d consider it as a mandatory ingredient, but you can use rosemary oleorresin extract or even vitamin E oil as replacements (you can use similar quantities).
The natural colorant is paprika, and is also an optional ingredient, as well as the essential oil blend. As usual, for a orange-yellow soap, I use citrusy scents. The essential oil rich blend I’ve used in this recipe was created to use several essential oils I’ve already had, but you can stick only to May Chang, or add other citrus essential oils. May Chang is the one that is going to last longer.
Is This Soap Recipe Cheap?
In my area (Portugal), you can buy sweet almond oil at around 10€/lt. This is comparable to a 100% coconut oil soap, and it is still affordable. But it can’t beat extra virgin olive oil, available here at 4€/lt. Therefore, it greatly depends on how much you can purchase your oil locally, since this is the main ingredient that is going to condition your soap price.
Essencial oils make up for about half of the soap price – and it’s only 3% of the soap ingredients. Making an unscented soap can greatly reduce your soap costs. Its natural scent is usually pleasant even if very faint.
Give it a try at this 100% sweet almond oil soap recipe!! Enjoy your soaps and soap making!
Find Where To Buy Homemade Sweet Almond Oil
Still not inspired to make your own soap at home? But you do wish to use or give it a try at a wonderful handmade soap made with sweet almond oil? You can find below where to buy this handmade 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?
- Vegetable oils: Oil Properties For Soap Making
- Essential oils: Best Essential Oils for Soap Making
- Colorants: How To Color Your Soap With Kitchen Ingredients
- Cold Process Tutorial Guide: Learn To Make Cold Process Soap?
- Cold Process Soap Recipes: Free Cold Process Soap Recipes
- Beginner Recipes: Soap Recipes for Beginners
Watch This Video About Safety
Cold Process Soap Making Tutorial Video
Cold Process Soap Making Lessons
The tutorials in this blog are a great – and free! – help to start with cold process soap making. Practice is the next step to harness the art of making soaps at home. However, I understand if you prefer to have some formal lessons, where you will feel more supported with the steps. Feel free to join these courses at Udemy.
- 70 g distilled water
- 33 g lye (100% sodium hydroxide)
- 5 g citric acid
- 225 g sweet almond oil
After Trace Ingredients
- 5 drops grapefruit seed extract (GSE) (anti-oxidant) or rosemary oleorresin extract
- 16 ml essential oils blend
- 1 tsp paprika (equivalent to 2 tsp for 450g of oils)
Essential Oil Blend
- Wear goggles and gloves! Look at “Safety Precautions” in the video above or in Soap Making Safety Precautions
- Watch the video above about "Cold Process Soap Making Tutorial" or read the post Learn To Make Cold Process Soap for instructions on cold process soap making before starting. These are generic but important steps for all recipes.
- Assemble everything: ingredients, equipment, safety equipment. Prepare your workstations. Measure all the ingredients. Don’t start the recipe without having everything ready!
Measure the Oil
- Measure the sweet almond oil and pour it in a pyrex bowl. As we will make the soap at room temperature, there's no need to heat the oil.225 g sweet almond oil
Make the Lye Water
- Make the lye solution according to How To Make Lye Water. Add the citric acid before the lye. Mix it well until the vapors start to dissipate.70 g distilled water, 5 g citric acid, 33 g lye (100% sodium hydroxide)
Make the Soap Batter
- Use as target temperature 25ºC-30ºC for the oil-solution mixture. It can be less than this, but the lye and oils should not have a difference of more than 10ºC between them.
- Pour the lye water into the oils carefully. Mix oils and lye with the immersion blender.
- Add the paprika during this operation. It's not usual, but paprika may accelerate trace. If it does, be swift with next instructions.
- Reach trace with the immersion blender.
Add After Trace Ingredients
- Add the extract and the essential oil blend. Mix with a spoon or spatula. The soap might accelerate at this point, be ready to pour it in your molds afterwards.5 drops grapefruit seed extract (GSE) (anti-oxidant), 16 ml essential oils blend, 1 tsp paprika
Molding the Soap
- Pour the dough in individual soap molds and sprinkle with alcohol or witch hazel. Let it set for 48 hours.
- Learn how to clean all equipment with How to Clean Soap Making Equipment.
Cutting and Curing the Soap Bars
- Unmold the soaps after 48 hours and let the bars cure for 4 to 6 weeks in a ventilated place. See How To Cure Soap and How Do You Store Homemade Soap?
- Enjoy your soaps!!