How To Make Your Own Olive Oil Soap

  • By: Soap Crowd
  • Time to read: 11 min.
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olive oil soap making

Are you interested in soap making and searching for a recipe that doesn't require many ingredients? Castile soap is the best option for you. The castile soap is a handmade soap made of 100% olive oil that fits every skin type. You can make soap olive oil without breaking the bank. With just three essential elements, you can prepare a cold process olive oil soap without difficulty.

Castile soap originated in the Castile region of Spain in 1567; that's why its name is Castile soap. It is a natural soap that gives a lotion-like and creamy lather, making it a better remedy for sensitive or dry skin. Olive oil moisturizes the skin and makes it glowing. Moreover, it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. People with acne should use oil-based soap to get rid of this problematic skin issue.

If you are making homemade soap for the first time and want to know all the basic tactics, you're at the right place. In this article, we'll tell you how to make castile soap. So, stay around to get all the information for making olive oil soap.

Soap making oils

There are various oils you can use for making soap. Each oil comes with different properties. Coconut oil boosts skin health; that's why most soap manufacturers use it as an essential ingredient in their soaps. Coconut oil soap creates fluffy lather though the bars are hard.

The castor oil soap generates a dense and creamy lather and moisturizes the skin. Soaps made with sunflower oil are good at conditioning the skin. These are some of the oils which you can use independently for soap making. In some soap recipes, different oils are mixed, which make a perfect soap for sensitive skin.

These oils have a few disadvantages. Adding much coconut oil to a soap recipe makes it harder, while an abundance of castor oil will make the soap sticky.

Coconut oil, virgin olive oil, and tallow oil are better replacements for sunflower oil and castor oil. If you prefer to use olive oil, choose either pomace oil or virgin olive oil.

Olive oil soap – when did it start?

There is no clear evidence about when soap was made for the first time? But it is said that the earliest soaps were made up of laurel oil and olive oil. The olive oil soap and laurel soap were introduced after the Crusades in Europe.

The laurel oil was not that easily accessible in the France region: Castile. So, the people of that region started using olive oil for soap making. This incident could be the beginning of the soap making era.

Various grades of olive oil

Olive oil is prevalent in the soap making industry as it contains vitamin A and antioxidants. Soap makers use all sorts of olive oil because it makes great hard soap which creates a nice lather if mixed with other oils. If you're thinking about which types of olive oil are best to use, don't worry. This section will discuss all the types of olive oil and their properties.

Olive oil has various grades, and all of them make quality soap. But it depends on personal choice. Some soap makers use only one type of olive oil for soap making, while others prefer trying different grades over time. What makes them different is the refining and extraction process. Otherwise, all the grades of olive oil are good to use.

various grades of olive oil

1- Extra Virgin Olive Oil

When olives are crushed and oil is extracted from them, the first oil you get from this process is called virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil protects your skin cells and is better for sensitive skin.

Extra virgin olive oil has many health benefits because of the polyphenols, which are one of the antioxidants. There is no need to grow an olive tree at home to get olives to crush and extract their oil; it is readily available in the market.

Extra virgin olive oil has the following properties.

  • The extra virgin olive oil is extracted mechanically and not by hot water or applying any chemical to olives.
  • It is the first and pure form of oil resulting from crushing and extracting the oil from olives.
  • Extra virgin olive oil's free oleic acidity level doesn't exceed 1%.
  • The taste of extra virgin olive oil is also unmatchable and superb.

2- Virgin Olive Oil

Virgin olive oil is also the result of olives' first pressing, which have not gone through any chemical procedure to extract oil. What causes the difference between extra virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil is the free acidity level. Its free acidity level can rise to 3.3%, but extra virgin olive oil's free acidity level remains 0.8% or less than that.

3- Pure Olive Oil

We know pure olive oil as grade A oil. Though it is labeled as pure, it is a mixture of refined olive oil and virgin olive oil. This grade oil passes through a refining procedure which takes away a few nutrients, vitamins, and oil flavor. But that blending gives you a consistent and stable oil. Pure olive oil is the most used grade of olive oil for soap making.

4- Pomace Olive Oil

Pomace olive oil is extracted from the pits, skins, and pulp of crushed olives. Its color is too greenish, and the oil is very unclear compared to virgin olive oil. Since the taste of pomace olive oil is not as tasty as virgin olive oil, that's the reason people use it for industrial purposes and making soap olive oil. It has the same fatty acids as virgin olive oil has. So, despite the more green color, everything is fine.

Which grade olive oil is good for olive oil soap

There is no need to overthink which grade of olive oil should be good for soap making. All oil grades have similar fatty acids makeup, so use that olive oil for soap making, which is readily available to you. Some soap makers prefer pure olive oil or virgin olive oil, while others go for pomace olive oil. So it's all about personal preference.

Pure olive oil and virgin olive oil are expensive but easily available everywhere, so most soap makers use them for making soap olive oil. But pomace olive oil is not that suitable for cooking purposes, so it is a perfect olive oil for soap making.

The virgin olive oil soaps are lighter in color, while pomace olive oil soaps have a greenish tone. In this manner, choose olive oil for soap making by keeping the color aspect in mind. Check out any advanced search about which color people like the most; it will help you decide which olive oil to choose.

Another aspect that will affect your decision about olive oil selection is the "Trace." The Pomace oil traces fastly, which makes it ideal for beginners. It's up to your choice which grade of olive oil is close to your heart, or you are comfortable to use.

Tricks for hardening castile soap rapidly.

If you are using only olive oil for making a soap bar, that soap recipe probably takes much time to trace. If you have been making one with coconut or palm oil, you have to be patient when manufacturing soap olive oil.

The reason is that olive oil-based soap requires more time to harden the mold. Even you have to wait for up to two weeks to remove the soap bar from mold. But if you are curious to see the end product of your effort, a few tricks can reduce its hardening time. These tricks are as follows:

1- Use less water

By applying a recipe with a 20% water discount, the olive oil soap can harden within less time than it usually takes.

2- Sodium Lactate

Another trick for making the soap olive oil hard faster is to add sodium lactate in your olive soap. Lactic acid's sodium salt which we know as sodium lactate primarily works as a preservative in food products. Due to its moisture-retaining quality, it is considered one of the essential elements of lotions.

Put sodium lactate in your olive oil soap if you are a professional soap maker whose customers are waiting badly for new soap arrivals. When using silicone molds, you can add sodium lactate in olive body soap without hesitation.

Keep the ratio in view when mixing all the ingredients in olive oil for making soap. Use one teaspoon of sodium lactate for 1 pound oil. Though it is not mandatory to use this ingredient in your soap-making process, we recommend it highly for quick hardening. Though ordinary table salt is also a good option for hardening soap, sodium lactate is far better. Keep in mind that overuse of sodium lactate can make the soap brittle.

3- Gel phase

The next trick for hardening the soap olive oil faster in the mold is the gel phase. In cold process soap, the gel phase or Gelling is the part of saponification where pure olive oil soap gets gelatinous or warm fastly. It can heat up to 180 degrees which speeds up the process of saponification.

As the hot process soap becomes ready to cut within 24 hours, you can also reduce the time of your cold process soap. Increasing the heating element of soap at least up to 130 ° F and insulating it for the entire day (24 hours) paves the way for the gel phase.

Keep the soap in a warmer place, but if your room is quite cold, use the heating pad to provide more warmth.

4- Pomace olive oil

If you prefer pomace olive oil for making your homemade soap, it will harden faster. You can easily buy it from any nearby food store. The benefit of using pomace olive oil is that it is not expensive as extra virgin olive oil is. It doesn't mean that you should not go for extra virgin olive oil.

If you can afford to purchase virgin olive oil, you must try it because this natural ingredient comes with anti-inflammatory and boosting skin and hair health properties.

By applying any of the above tactics, you'll see that the soap will be ready within two days to unmold.

Ingredients required for the recipe

People who want to know how to make castile soap should get ready to make their soap. The soap recipe is so simple, and it requires the following ingredients:

  • Pure olive oil (35 oz.)
  • Silicone Loaf Mold (10″)
  • Sodium Hydroxide Lye (4.5 oz.)
  • Tomato leaf fragrance oil (2 oz.)
  • Distilled water with 20% Water Discount (9.2 oz.)
  • Sodium Lactate (optional)
  • Savon soap stamp (optional)

Safety measures for making olive oil soap

First of all, place all the safety equipment in front of you before starting the process of soap making. You need gloves, goggles, and long sleeves. Then make sure your children and pets are not around where you are making the soap bar. Never do this process in an enclosed place where the ventilation system is not good.

The Recipe!

olive oil soap making recipe

Here is the easiest recipe of soap olive oil that will solve your query: how to make castile soap?

1- Make lye solution

Put the lye carefully and slowly into the distilled water. Don't do this process reverse, which means never try to put water over the lye because it can create dangerous splashes. Stir the mixture until the lye completely dissolves in the water.

When the mixture is ready, set it aside to get cool. Though sodium lactate is optional, it is better to use it if you want the soap bar to be ready for unmolding instantly.

Add one teaspoon of sodium lactate if using one pound oil, double the quantity for this recipe. Mix sodium lactate only when the lye water becomes fully cool.

2- Pour olive oil

It's time to mix pure olive oil into your soap recipe. For that, heat the olive oil for up to 130 degrees. When the lye mixture and olive oil cool down, pour the lye water into olive oil and blend. Keep on stirring until the soap mixture starts to trace. This recipe includes 100% olive oil, so the blend may take more time to trace.

3- Blend mixture with a stick blender

Put the fragrance oil in the soap recipe and blend it with the help of a stick blender. You can also use lavender essential oil as an alternative to Tomato fragrance oil. Continue mixing until the fragrance oil blends superbly. If you over blend the mixture, no worries, it will still be ok to use.

4- Add colorant and fragrance

Let's talk about the color of your finished soap. If you are not adding any colorant at hardening, the color of soap olive oil will be light yellow. The soap's color depends on the type of oil you use, so probably your soap will have a bright white color. Try a different essential oil in your recipe to experience new fragrances. At this stage, add any color of your choice to proceed ahead.

5- Pour soap into the mold

Keep on blending the soap mixture until it achieves the medium trace. It is a time-taking process, so you have to wait for several minutes. When your best olive oil soap mixture is all set, pour it into the mold. Tap the mold at a table or counter to make the mixture become even at the surface and to remove bubbles from it.

You can also level the surface with the help of a spoon or spatula. Then put some covering on the mold and keep it aside for 24 hours, insulating the olive oil soap for promoting the gel phase. The gel phase is an optional step that will help the soap get harder fastly.

soap olive oil

6- Cut the soap into pieces

Check the soap olive oil; remove it and cut it into appropriate pieces if it can come out of the mold easily. If you follow the tricks discussed above, you'll get your soap hardened within 48 hours. But if you leave it to set the way it usually does, you have to wait for two weeks to unmold the soap olive oil. The benefit of leaving the soap to room temperature is that its color will be light that looks soothing.

7- Stamp the soap

When you are done with cutting the soap bar into pieces, use the Savon Soap Stamp for stamping the soap bars. A traditional soap recipe with extra virgin olive oil is Savon de Marseille, also known as Marseille soap. It is made in Marseille, France, and is a popular olive oil soap; that's why I chose that stamp. It's good to stamp the soap soon after unmolding.

8- Cure for a longer duration

Then leave the soap olive oil for 4-6 weeks. It is the ideal time, but some professional soap makers let the soap bars cure for a maximum of 6 months. The logic behind keeping the bars for such a long time is to improve their lather.


Olive oil is too beneficial for the skin; that's why it is good to use olive oil soap daily. If you are interested in using castile soap but prefer homemade products, be glad. Making olive oil soap is not a daunting task. All you have to do is properly follow the recipe of soap and keep the dos and don'ts in mind when making castile soap.

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