Oatmeal Soap Recipe

A gentle and soothing cold process soap recipe. Palm free and simple to make.

Oatmeal is a great additive for homemade soap. It adds a nourishing, cleansing bar that’s gentle on the skin and smells amazing. Here’s everything you need to know about making cold-process soap with ground oats.

3 bars of homemade soap with oats on top

How to make oatmeal soap

Benefits of using oats in soap making (especially for sensitive skin)

Oatmeal soap can help you maintain your skin’s health. For dry or oily patches on the body – either one will benefit from having their pH balanced by oatmeal.

Oily skin can benefit from the absorbent nature of oatmeal. It’s often included in scrubs that work to remove dead cells and extra oil.

And of course, if you remember soaking in oatmeal after getting chickenpox as a child, you know that oatmeal can relieve itchy skin. A combination of oatmeal soap and an oatmeal soak is an effective treatment for rashes, chickenpox, poison oak, poison ivy, poison sumac, rashes, and insect bites.

What you’ll need

This recipe uses natural ingredients for gentle cleansing. I sometimes use artificial fragrances, but you can substitute essential oils or just leave them out.

shea butter, almond oil, olive oil, castor oil, coconut oil, lye, and oats
  • 4 ounces almond oil
  • 2 ounces castor oil
  • 11 ounces coconut oil
  • 10 ounces olive oil
  • 3 ounces shea butter
  • 10.5 ounces water
  • 4.34 ounces lye
  • 2 tablespoons ground old-fashioned oats
  • Color and/ or fragrance, if desired

You’ll also need standard soapmaking supplies: safety gear, a kitchen scale, a stick blender, and a soap mold.

stick blender, digital scale, and white silicone soap mold on blue counter

This recipe fits perfectly in this ten-inch silicone loaf mold.

Soap making process

Safety note: Working with lye demands special safety practices: gloves, long sleeves, and goggles are required. It’s important not to splash or spatter the lye water or the raw soap batter since both are caustic. If you have young children or pets, take extra precautions.

In a safe, well-ventilated place mix the lye and water. In separate containers measure out both ingredients. Then add the lye to the water container (never the other way around!). Place the lye water in a safe place to cool to 110-115 degrees while we move on to melting the oils.

image of mixing lye and water, pot with oils and butters melting

Next, melt the oils over medium-low heat on your stovetop. Make sure everything is fully melted before setting the oils aside as well to cool.

While your components are cooling, crush the oats in a food processor until they form a fine powder.

pouring lye solution into oils, mixing with stick blender until thickened

Now comes the fun part: blending! Pour the lye water into the pot with the melted oils and combine it with a stick blender until “trace” is reached. When a trail rests on top rather than immediately sinking back in, you know trace has been reached.

pot of soap batter showing thickened batter that has reached trace

I like to blend only to a thin trace, because you will mix it a bit more after you add the fragrance and oatmeal. Add the oats, fragrance, color, and stir by hand. You can use the stick blender without any power.

split image showing soap batter in mold and hardened soap with whole oats on topp

Pour the soap into the mold and allow for 24 hours of cure time in the fridge or oven. If using an oven, turn it to 140 degrees, then turn off the heat after one hour.

After a full day in the mold, turn the soap out and cut into bars. Let them cure for a few weeks in an airy spot.

More recipes + variations (goat milk oatmeal soap or oatmeal and honey soap)

This recipe can easily be adapted to suit different needs.

  • For sensitive skin, try a goat milk base (just substitute goat’s milk for the water)
  • For oatmeal and honey soap, add 1 tablespoon of honey with the oats. (You’ll need to cure the loaf in the fridge to keep it from overheating.)
  • If you love adding natural ingredients. to your soap bars, you’ll love this lemon zest soap recipe.
overhead view of soap loaf sliced into bars

Print the recipe

4 bars soap on wooden board with oats scattered nearby
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Nourishing Oatmeal Soap Recipe

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A gentle and soothing cold process soap recipe. Palm free and simple to make.
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Ingredients

  • 4 ounces almond oil
  • 2 ounces castor oil
  • 11 ounces coconut oil
  • 10 ounces olive oil
  • 3 ounces shea butter
  • 10.5 ounces water
  • 4.30 ounces lye
  • 2 tablespoons ground old-fashioned oats crushed in a food proessor
  • Color and/ or fragrance if desired

Instructions

  • Combine the lye and water. In separate, non-reactive containers, measure out the lye and water. Add the lye to the water, stirring until the lye dissolves. Set aside in a safe, well-ventilated place and allow the lye water to cool to 100-115 degrees while you melt the oils.
  • Melt the oils. Add all the oils and butter to a large, non-reactive saucepan and melt over medium-low heat until fully melted. Set aside to cool to 100-115 degrees. This may take an additional hour or so.
  • Combine lye solution with the oils. (Before blending, prepare your soap mold and have your oatmeal, fragrance, and colors ready to go.) Pour the lye water into the pot with melted oils and combine with a stick blender until “trace” is reached. The batter has traced when a trail rests on the surface of the liquid rather than immediately sinking back it. Add the oats, fragrance, color, and stir by hand.
  • Pour soap into mold. Immediately pour into the soap mold. Allow the soap to cure in the mold for 24 hours. To prevent gel phase, put it in a cold place such as the fridge. To force gel phase, place it in a warm (140 degree) oven, then turn the heat off and allow to finish curing in the oven.
  • Unmold and cut into bars. Carefully turn the soap out of the mold. Cut into bars. Place on breathable fabric or wire racks and allow the soap to finish curing at room temperature in a well-ventilated space for at least two weeks. A longer cure time will result in harder, longer-lasting bars.

Notes

Working with lye requires safety precautions: be sure to wear goggles, gloves, and long sleeves.  Take care not to splash or spill the lye water or the raw soap batter, as both are caustic.  Take special precautions if you have young children or pets.
 
To resize this recipe, you’ll need the following percentages: 13.33% almond oil, 6.67% castor oil, 36.67% coconut oil, 33.33% olive oil, and 10% shea butter.   Lye is calculated for 6% superfat. 
Author: Katie Shaw
Did you make this recipe?Tag me @heartscontentfarmhouse so I can see!

Oatmeal is a beneficial ingredient in soap, especially for sensitive skin. This recipe uses natural ingredients that are gentle on your body and includes oils to keep your skin moisturized. If you’re looking for an all-natural soap or need something with some extra benefits, this oatmeal soap recipe might be perfect.


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