2. olive, coconut and palm

In the beginning of making soap, I started with an Olive, coconut and palm oil soap recipe, which worked very well. Over the years and depending on supply deliveries, supplies on hand, environmentalism, and ingredient costs, we came up with 6 very tried and true soap recipes.

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soap logs out of the molds before cutting into bars

The only oil to not use in over 50% of total oils, is canola oil. Although canola oil is the oil of every single restaurant on the planet, it isn’t the best for soap, but only because of the reaction to the lye and the oxidation of the oils. Meaning that a canola oil based soap will start getting brown discolored spots on the soap bars. Which is too bad really, because the cheaper cost of the canola helps keep the price of your final product lower.

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small electronic scale to measure your oils

The following recipe is one-fifth of what a batch was in my store. Yet it could be too large for starters, so if you like, you can divide this recipe any way you like. This makes about 25 4-ounce bars, so dividing it in half to make test batches would work well.

Olive, coconut and palm oil:

  • 51.2 oz Canola/Olive oil blend, or just Olive Oil
  • 6.2 oz Coconut oil
  • 6.2 oz Palm oil
  • 23.4 oz water
  • 8.6 oz lye crystals
  • for a total 95.6 oz of soap base
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how the soap will look at “trace”

Directions for making soap:

  • using a scale, measure out olive, coconut and palm oils based on weight, one at a time, then add to the stainless steel soap pot
  • place on the stove on low heat for the oils to heat up and the more solid oils to melt, you will want the oils to be 130 degrees
  • measure out your water into a plastic water jug
  • measure out the lye crystals into another small plastic container
  • make sure you have a well ventilated spot for mixing the lye into the water, as the fumes can be very strong for about a minute
  • for safety, I would always mix this in a sink, to ensure no accidental spilling to anywhere other than the sink
  • place candy thermometers to the lye-water container and pot of oils
  • the lye-water gets hot, reaching 175 degrees, and we will wait till it lowers to 130 degrees before adding to oil pot
  • the temperature needs to be between 100 to 130 degrees to be mixed together
  • add the lye-water slowly and carefully to the pot of oils, and start stirring
  • some say to keep stirring constantly, but you can stop for a minute or 2 every few minutes
  • using a hand blender will help speed up the process – but be careful you don’t lift blender up and splash soap base around
  • your soap is ready for the scent, colorant and extras once it reaches the “trace” phase, this phase is when the oils and lye-water have saponified (basically have become soap), the soap base has changed color, is thicker, and doesn’t separate if you stop stirring for a couple of minutes
  • now you can add your scent, color and other additives
  • pour into your mold, cover with plastic, cover with a blanket or towel, and wait……..
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into the mold, cover with plastic, then a towel, and wait…..


Here’s a nice and easy olive, coconut and palm oil recipe to make, it’s one scent and one color, or skip the color – Lemongrass soap recipe.

Great article on all the wonderful uses for lemongrass essential oil, from Dr. Axe.

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