If you're looking for a sweet smelling soap with amazing skin care benefits, try making your own oatmeal soap. Oatmeal is a great additive to soap and can help give your skin some added moisture. Making your own bars gives you complete control of the added ingredients, and you can even customize the scent.
Three Recipes for Oatmeal Soap
Depending on your level of soap making experience, you may find one method for making this rich soap appeals more than another.
Hot Process Oatmeal Soap
This soap recipe uses lye to produce a creamy, sudsy bar. Keep in mind that lye must be handled carefully, and used in a well-ventilated area. It's a caustic substance that, handled correctly, can be used safely. Please review all safety standards and precautions before getting started.
- 8 ounces palm oil
- 6 ounces coconut oil
- 2 ounces olive oil
- 1/4 cup oatmeal
- 2.3 ounces lye
- 6 fluid ounces water, room temperature
- 1/4 ounce essential oil
- Scale for measuring ingredients by weight
- Disposable container (recycled plastic yogurt containter, for example) for measuring lye
- Food processor
- Safety equipment for handling lye - goggles, gloves, apron, etc.
- Spoons that will be used specifically and solely for soap making
- Crock pot
- Stick blender
- Soap molds
Note: Pick up spoons, a crock pot, and a stick blender that you will use only for making soap to avoid cross-contamination with your food.
- Pulse the oatmeal in a food processor until some of the flakes have been rendered smooth. Set aside.
- Measure your lye by weight using the disposable container.
- In a well-ventilated area or outdoors, don your goggles, gloves, and protective gear. Pour the lye carefully into the water (never the other way around, as pouring water into lye can cause a sudden and dangerous reaction). Set aside.
- Melt the palm and coconut oils together in a crock pot on low heat. Slowly and carefully, add the lye/water mixture.
- Combine the olive oil and oatmeal in a blender.
- Pour in the olive oil and oatmeal mixture, as well as any essential oil desired.
- Mix well and begin stirring with a stick blender, with the crockpot still on low. Blend until the soap reaches trace - this is a thick, custardy consistency, and should take about five minutes of continuous stirring to reach.
- When you have trace, cover the crockpot and cook on low for an hour.
- Pour the soap mixture into your molds.
- Cover the molds with plastic wrap and allow to set for 24-48 hours.
- Remove from molds and let cure for two to three weeks before using.
To make a coarser bar, good for exfoliating, add some cornmeal as well, after stirring in the oatmeal mixture.
Melt and Pour Oatmeal Soap
This is a simpler recipe for those just learning how to make soap. Since there are no harsh chemicals being added, it's a great project for kids and adults to make together.
- 8 ounces opaque base
- 8 ounces clear base
- 1/2 ounce of oatmeal, finely ground
- 1/2 ounce of essential oil, goat's milk, honey or any other additives you wish to use
- A few drops of soap colorant, if desired. Tan or light brown works nicely in these bars.
- Melt the two bases separately, then combine.
- Add in any fragrance, colorant, or additives.
- Add in the oatmeal. The more finely ground the oatmeal is at this stage, the better it will suspend.
- Keep stirring gently until the oatmeal is suspended well in the base.
- Pour the soap into molds and let them harden overnight.
For an interesting visual appeal, scatter a few flakes of whole oatmeal into the molds before pouring the liquid soap base. The finished bar will have these flakes decorating the top of the soap.
Simple Oatmeal Soap
This recipe isn't a made-from-scratch oatmeal soap, but it is a simple project that provides a good introduction to the concept of making your own soap. This recipe also makes a great inexpensive handmade gift idea.
- 1 large bar of soap, preferably a mild cleanser such as Dove beauty bar
- 3 tablespoons of oatmeal
- 4 tablespoons water
- Use a food processor to grind up your oatmeal.
- Grate your bar of soap into small slivers. Place shavings in a large, microwavable bowl.
- Add water to the mixture and microwave on high for up to two minutes. Watch carefully to make sure the soap doesn't bubble over the bowl, stirring the mixture as needed. You want the soap to be just melted, not burnt.
- Remove the bowl from the microwave. Stir in the oatmeal.
- Pour soap into mold.
- Remove from mold when cool.
To make a simple lotion to coordinate with your soap, add approximately 1/4 of a cup of ground oatmeal to a four ounce bottle of unscented body lotion. You can also add a few drops of soap fragrance, such as an Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey blend.
Oatmeal soap is a wonderful moisturizer, and can cost a pretty penny in most specialty stores. Indulge yourself by making your own for a fraction of the cost and treat yourself to the rich lather of homemade oatmeal bath products.