Make Soap with More Lather

How different oils affect homemade soap.

| January/February 2009

Soap with lather

The lathering of a soap can be affected by the oil used to create it. Karner

While Lacy Razor got us started down the road, the art of soapmaking has so much more to offer. For starters, soapmakers refer to the "qualities" of a bar of soap. Stability and hardness contribute to a longlasting bar of soap. In some instances (such as shaving soap) a good lather is important. The moisturizing and conditioning qualities are discussed at a couple of levels. Many different ingredients contribute to these qualities (such as salt or goat milk), but one that can make a huge difference is the type of oil that you use.

Here's a quick list of the qualities and the types of oil that affect them.

  • Hardness, stability – palm, beef tallow, lard
  • Lather – coconut, castor, palm kernel
  • Moisturizing, conditioning – olive, canola, sunflower, soybean
  • Luxury, super moisturizing – cocoa butter, shea butter, almond, hemp, jojoba

Some oils provide more than one quality, for example, shea butter and coconut make hard bars of soap in addition to their moisturizing and lathering capabilities.

A check out this site to learn more about the qualities of soap making oils.

Doris Flynn
4/23/2013 12:45:49 PM

I made the liquid soap with pieces of different soap, I added a little coconut oil and honey to my soap as well as some essential oil. I like the consistency and smell of the soap. If I added more coconut oil would it increase the lather. I would like the liquid soap much more if I could get a nice lather.

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