As an Amazon Associate and affiliate with other programs, I may earn revenue from qualifying purchases through affiliate links. This does not affect the price you pay. Privacy Policy / Disclosures. **Sign up for my monthly newsletter and receive a free aromatherapy ebook.**

Making Aromatherapy Soap & Choosing Essential Oils

Making aromatherapy soap at home lets you choose the scents you want and avoid ingredients you don't want. This article describes options for making soaps, talks about how to choose essential oils, and points you to resources for detailed soap-making instructions.

Aromatherapy Soap Ingredients

Cold Process Soaps

To make cold process soaps, you combine a base oil containing fatty acids (almost any oil, from beef tallow to olive oil) with sodium hydroxide (lye). 

Lye is a caustic substance that you must handle with extreme care using the appropriate safety precautions. However, no lye remains in the finished soap. Learn more about lye in soapmaking.

For cold process soaps, Cathy Winsby of Soap Making Essentials recommends 3 to 4 teaspoons (15 to 20 ml or 0.5 to 0.7 ounce) of essential oil for each pound of base oil. She notes some people use as much as one ounce of essential oil for each pound of base oil. However, that much essential oil creates a very strong scent not everyone likes or can tolerate.

You want to add the essential oils near the end of the soap-making process, after the lye has mostly evaporated. Lye can damage essential oils.

Here's a video on getting started making cold process soaps:

Hot Process Soaps

A variation of soapmaking is hot process soaps, where you heat all the ingredients to put the soap through various stages. When the excess water evaporates, the soap is ready to cool and then use. You add the essential oils at the cooling stage.

Here's an introductory video:

Melt and Pour Soaps

The easiest way to make soap is to use melt and pour. You purchase a clear soap base, melt the blocks, add color (if desired) and essential oils, and place the melted mixture into molds to harden into solid soap. This approach is especially good if you want to get your children involved.

Essential Oils For Aromatherapy Soap

Which essential oils can you use in making aromatherapy soap? You can choose any oil that's not irritating to the skin. It's also important to use only high-quality oils.

Popular Single Scents

Floral scents are popular: jasmine, lavender, neroli, rose, ylang ylang.

Citrus scents are also popular: grapefruit, lemon, orange, tangerine.

Earthy scents: frankincense, myrrh, patchouli, vetiver

Woodsy scents: cedarwood, sandalwood

Spicy scents: ginger, nutmeg

Resource: Making Soap Magazine

Essential Oil Blends for Soap

These blends are given in percentages so you can adjust the amount to the size of the batch of soap you're making.

#1
60% rosemary essential oil
20% cedarwood essential oil
20% spearmint essential oil

#2
60% sweet orange essential oil
20% ginger essential oil
20% patchouli essential oil

Source: The Essential Oil Company

#3
30% clary sage essential oil
70% lemongrass essential oil

#4
50% lemon essential oil
33% lavender essential oil
17% may chang (Listea cubeba) essential oil

#5
50% peppermint essential oil
33% anise essential oil
17% vanilla oleoresin

Source: Lovin' Soap Studio

You might like these

  • Using essential oils that repel insects is a natural way to avoid bug bites. Options include citronella, eucalyptus radiata, and lemongrass. Learn more...

    Essential Oils That Repel Insects

    Using essential oils that repel insects is a natural way to avoid bug bites. Options include citronella, eucalyptus radiata, and lemongrass. Learn more...

  • Essential oils and pregnancy can mix if you understand which oils are safe to use and how to use them. Learn about safe use of aromatherapy while pregnant.

    Essential Oils and Pregnancy

    Essential oils and pregnancy can mix if you understand which oils are safe to use and how to use them. Learn about safe use of aromatherapy while pregnant.

  • This guide for essential oil use gives you information related to aromatherapy and essential oils, how they work, and how to use them.

    Guide for Essential Oil Use

    This guide for essential oil use gives you information related to aromatherapy and essential oils, how they work, and how to use them.

Click to buy essential oils from Rocky Mountain Oils

Free Webinar:
How to Become a Certified Aromatherapist



Photo Credit: kzinn / MorgueFile