Basil Soap Recipe

A recipe for cold process basil soap: affordable to make, with dried basil and basil essential oil. You’ll love it next to the kitchen sink.

7 bars of cold process soap with fresh basil leaves


3 bars basil soap on cutting board

Summer Basil Cold Process Soap Recipe

The perfect kitchen soap recipe, this cold process formula is moisturizing, easy to make, and adds dried basil for a twist.
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 2 hours
Serving Size 3 pounds soap


  • 4.28 ounces lye
  • 10 ounces water
  • 12 ounces olive oil
  • 11 ounces coconut oil
  • 3 ounces avocado oil
  • 2 ounces shea butter
  • 2 ounces castor oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon basil essential oil


  • Measure out the lye and the water in separate, non-reactive containers, using a digital scale. Mix the lye and the water and stir until dissolved, adding the lye to the water, never the other way around. The lye solution will heat up as the result of a chemical reaction. Be careful of fumes, heat, and the corrosive solution. Set the cup aside to cool in a very safe place.
    pyrex cup mixing in lye and water
  • Measure out the oils in separate containers and place them in a pot. Melt over medium low heat until fully melted and about degrees. The shea butter will take longer to melt, but keep the oils over the heat until it is fully melted. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  • Check the temperature of the oils and water. When they have cooled to 90-110 degrees, you are ready to blend. Before blending, have your soap mold, basil oil, and dried basil ready to go.
  • Pour the lye solution into the melted oils and blend with a stick blender until you reach trace. Trace is reached when the soap forms a batter and the stick blender leaves a trail when dragged across the top of the pot. Once trace is reached, add the basil oil and dried basil. Stir in by hand. Immediately pour the soap batter into the mold. Place on the counter or other safe, room temperature place to cure for 24 hours.
    stick blender mixing soap batter
  • Turn out the loaf of soap and slice into bars. Allow to bars to cure in a well-ventilated space for at least 2 weeks before using. This soap has a high percentage of olive oil, so it may seem soft at first. It will firm up within the first two days, but allow to cure for at least 3 weeks for the best results.
    pouring basil soap batter into mold


Want to resize this recipe?  Here are the percentages you’ll need: olive oil- 40%; coconut. oil- 36.67 %; shea butter- 6.67%; castor oil- 6.67%; avocado oil-10%.  The superfat percentage is 5%. 
Be sure to observe all soap safety precautions! Always work in a well ventilated space, free of distractions. Wear eye protection, gloves, and long sleeves. Lye water and raw soap batter are both  corrosive and can be fatal if consumed. 
Love the idea of natural additions in your soap?  You’ll love this natural soapmaking course that dives into adding herbs, flowers, and more. 

Sourcing your materials

Customizing the basil soap recipe

If you’d like to resize it, you’ll need to enter percentages into a lye calculator. It will put out the amounts of oil and lye you’ll need to use. This is my favorite lye calculator.

The basil oil can be left out or substituted for another fragrance oil or essential oil. Each oil has its own usage guidelines that you’ll need to refer to in order to see how much you need. Keep in mind that the basil oil has a very strong fragrance on its own and it likely to overpower anything else you add to it.

Adding a light green color would be beautiful.

Diving deeper into cold process soap

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Never made homemade soap before? Don’t be intimidated! But do read my beginners guide to homemade soap before you dive in.

Want to try other herbs? Go right ahead. Any dried herb will work well, especially thyme or mint. You can dry your own herbs, or just buy them from the spice aisle of the grocery store. No need to overthink this.

If you want to add fresh herbs, you’ll want to puree them as you blend the soap batter. Bigger pieces of fresh herbs will shorten the shelf life of your soap.

Lemon zest in soap is a great choice as well. This recipe adds it in two places for a pretty, fresh-looking bar.

Enjoy your soap!

Basil Soap RecipeBasil Soap RecipeBasil Soap Recipe

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Recipe Rating


  1. Just signed on today & love the soap recipie but, in Florida the castor oil leaves large brown dots in soap even when cured for 2 whole months, can I sub. Or leave it out? Have been making c.p. soap for many years. I am waiting for a small steal barn shed to come to the property soon, this will be my new temp. regulated soap making room, can’t wait 🤗!

    1. Hey Cheryl, castor oil is the BEST for lots of lather and there’s no great substitute that will be quite like it. for this particular recipe i’d do one. more ouncce avocado oil and one more olive. run it through a lye calculator first 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Why not the normal 4-6 weeks? Are you using less water? The soap is beautiful, I can’t wait to try it. Thank you for sharing!!

  3. Hello Katie!
    I have a family member with avocado allergies. What can I use instead of avocado oil?

    Oh and first time soap maker here!!!

    Thank you!


  4. Hi
    I am a first time soap maker and I am going to use your recipe it looks easy to follow and I watched your video on YouTube. My question is how much soap does this recipe yield? I am trying to figure out so I am able to buy appropriate amount of stuff example coconut oil Costco 1l what that will yield per recipe. Does this make sense? Thanks in advance!

  5. 5 stars
    What a perfect recipe! Love to try this basil soap and would love to add natural additions and some twists! 😍