Coop Coco reveals our team’s tips and tricks for achieving a white soap.
You’d like to make a white soap but don’t know how? You’ve tried, and despite your best efforts, it never has that pretty light hue you’re looking for? This is normal: many factors need to be taken into account to obtain this particular effect! So if you want to learn how to make a vegetable soap as white as snow, follow this guide!
Why do we specify vegetable soap? In fact, it’s much simpler to make white soap from animal fats. However, this article is focused on soaps made exclusively from vegetable fats.
Tip #1 to make a white vegetable soap: Oils
So if you were thinking of using a green olive oil in your recipe, you would be better off replacing it with a paler oil—like sunflower oil, for example. (Olive oil and sunflower oil have similar properties in soap and have the exact same saponification number.)
Here are some examples of pale oils and butters to use in your recipes to make a handmade white soap:
- Sweet almond oil
- Safflower oil
- Hazelnut oil
- Coconut oil
- Apricot kernel oil
- Palm oil
- Castor oil
- Sunflower oil
- Deodorized cocoa butter
- Kokum butter
- Shea butter
- Mango butter
Tip #2 to make your cold-process soap white: Colourants
These two mineral colourants are used in the manufacture of mineral sunscreens and may be used to whiten soap. Titanium dioxide is a more intense whitener than zinc oxide. They may be used alone or in combination.
You will need 2-4 g of titanium dioxide per kilogram of oil in the recipe or 2-8 g of zinc oxide per kilogram of oil. If you want to make a very white soap, use the maximum amount of one or the other colourant. However, if you are using the colourants in combination, use the average of each colourant (3 g of titanium dioxide and 5 g of zinc oxide per kg of oil).
Be especially sure to mix the colourants into the oil, and not into the overall mixture, before adding the oil to your recipe. If you try to incorporate the colourants directly into the soap paste (for example, at trace), there will be lumps of colourant in your final product. Also make sure to first crush any lumps in the colourants before adding them to the oil; a silicone spatula works well for crushing lumps.
Tip #3 to make a white soap: Scents
It is also important to choose pale essential oils and/or aromatic essences when the time comes to select your scents and add them to your soap. Strongly coloured scents are best avoided. Indeed, some essential oils and aromatic essences can even change the colour of the soap while it’s curing (for example, vanilla). We therefore advise that you first do a few small tests to select the right scents for a white soap!
Here are a few examples of pale essential oils or aromatic essences that should not influence the whiteness of your soap:
- Lavender essential oil (true, spike, 40/42)
- Mint essential oil(peppermint, spearmint)
- Eucalyptus essential oil (globulus, radiata, lemon-scented)
- Rosemary essential oil (cineol, verbenone)
- Petitgrain essential oil
- Ho wood essential oil
- Siberian pine essential oil
- Balsam fir essential oil
- Ylang ylang essential oil
- Anise essential oil
- Apple spice aromatic essence
- Fig aromatic essence
- Gardenia aromatic essence
- Pomegranate aromatic essence
- And more!
There you have it! Now you know all you need to know to make a natural white soap recipe… Doesn’t that open up some new creative possibilities? Don’t hesitate to share your future white soap recipes with us: we can’t wait to hear all about your results and the creations you’ll dream up.