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7 bars of white homemade soap on olive patterned dish towel
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5 from 3 votes

Olive Oil Castile Soap Recipe

A pure and simple olive oil soap recipe. Easy to make.
Author: Katie Shaw


  • 9.5 ounces water
  • 3.82 ounces lye
  • 30 ounces olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange essential oil
  • 0.6 ounces sodium lactate optional, creates a firmer bar


  • 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 warm the olive oil.
  • Warm the olive oil. Add all the olive oil to a large, non-reactive saucepan and melt over medium-low heat until 130-140 degrees. Set aside to cool to 100-115 degrees. This may take an additional hour or so.
  • Combine lye solution with the oil. (Before blending, prepare your soap mold and have any fragrance and color ready to go.) If using the sodium lactate, add it to the cooled lye water. Pour the lye water into the pot with the oil 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. This will take at least five minutes of blending.
  • Pour soap into mold. Immediately pour into the soap mold. Allow the soap to cure in the mold for 24-48 hours at room temperature
  • 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 four weeks. A longer cure time will result in harder, longer-lasting bars.


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.
Lye is calculated at 6% superfat.  
For a cleaning soap, use 3.98 ounces of lye, which is 2% superfat.