We keep a large selection of natural oils, butters and waxes for the soap maker and toiletry maker, with many natural waxes also being very useful to the candle-maker. We bulk buy from several major UK and European sources to bring you on of the largest selection of natural oils and butters from a single supplier within our industry in the UK. All are available in many pack-size choices to suit the needs of any sized business, or simply the artisan soap maker or hobbyist. We regularly review our selection in order to bring you new and interesting products from around the world. If you have a suggestion for an oil, butter or wax that we don't currently stock but that you'd like us to, pleaselet us know!
What is a Soap Making Oil?
Any oil, butter or indeed wax that can be saponified is suitable for soap making. You can make soap from any natural oil or butter whether it be vegetable or animal in origin, although mineral oil cannot be used. A saponifiable oil or fat is one that will react with a caustic alkali to make what we know as soap. Not to be confused with essential oils which are volatile oils and not saponifiable. All oils and fats are made up of different fatty acids and bring different qualities to a soap. One of the most important qualities mosty people think about in a soap is lather, so when choosing to make a soap with good lathering qualities it pays to look for those with high Lauric Acid content. There are many other useful fatty acids present in natural oils. Here is a brief guide to some of the most useful to the soap maker.... Lauric Acid will add hardness to your bar, promotes a fluffy lather and cleans very well... although beware.... Too much lauric acid will create a drying product as your natural skin oils will be stripped because of its efficient cleansing abilities. Just try not to go overboard with ingredients like coconut oill, babassu oil or palm oil which have large amounts of lauric acid in them. A general rule is for coconut oil not to exceed 33% of oils in a soap recipe. Linoleic Acid will add conditioning and moisturising properties to your soap bar. Some also say it adds a silky feel to their product when using ingredients high in this acid. The only thing to really watch out for that it tends to go rancid more quickly than the other fatty acids. Just be careful of using too much of an ingredient that has a high linoleic acid content, especially if you want your bar to last a long time. Linoleic Acid will add conditioning and moisturising properties to your soap bar. Some also say it adds a silky feel to their product when using ingredients high in this acid. The only thing to really watch out for that it tends to go rancid more quickly than the other fatty acids. Just be careful of using too much of an ingredient that has a high linoleic acid content, especially if you want your bar to last a long time. Oleic Acid will also add conditioning and moisturising properties to your soap. It will not produce a very good lather though. Some say that oleic acid is what gives your bar that slippery feel. Palmitic Acid will add hardness to your bar and a creamy, stable lather. Careful though... too much can cause drying. Ricinoleic Acid will add conditioning properties, a fluffy lather and some creamy, stable lather. This fatty acid is prominent in castor oil and is great for adding a luxurious lather to the finished product even if only used in small amounts. Oils high in Ricinoleic Acid are good choices when making Solid Shampoo bars. Stearic Acid will offer many similar characteristics to palmitic acid. Once again, you'll gain hardness to your bar and add a creamy, stable lather. Myristic Acid adds hardness to the bar, offers good cleansing properties and gives a nice fluffy lather. Again, because of its cleansing abilities, too much myristic acid can produce a drying product.