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How Do You Increase Lather In Cold Process Soap

Posted by James Gaunt on
How Do You Increase Lather In Cold Process Soap

Cold process soap can be a bit of a misnomer, but it refers to the fact that no additional or extra heat is applied to the soap making process. The combination of butters and oils, mixed with the lye creates heat from the chemical reaction that leaves a block of soap. It is a long process, usually about 3 to 6 weeks or possibly longer to cure and the water to evaporate. However, it is completely worth the wait. 

As of late, cold process soap has become popular for all of its benefits. Benefits such as:

  • Natural Ingredients
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Nourishing For Your Skin
  • No Added Detergents

Really, aside from the time it takes to make a batch of cold process soap the only real drawback is that sometimes it doesn’t lather the way one would like soap to do. In that instance, here is how to increase lather in cold process soap whether you are making your own, or looking to buy. 


The different oils add different properties to soap. Some clean better, others moisturize better, and others can create more lather. There are many options to choose from, each with its own benefits.

Castor Oil

Traditionally, castor oil has been used to help heal skin conditions. It is moisturizing and creates a creamy, stable lather.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a very popular ingredient in soap making because of the luxurious lather it creates. But, too much coconut oil with actually dry skin. 

Argan Oil

Argan oil is high in vitamins A and E, as well as antioxidants. It is great for moisturizing, and has a rich lather that is stable. 

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp Seed oil, like Argan Oil, is high in vitamins A and E. However, it goes bad quicker than other oils so it is best to use a low percentage of it. It also does not lather well. 

Hazelnut Oil

Hazelnut oil creates a great middle of the road soap that cleanses well, moisturizes, and has a decent amount of lather that is stable.

Avocado Oil

Not just great for cooking, avocado oil has vitamins A, B, D, and E. It creates a medium creamy lather. 

Babassu Oil

Babassu oil is a tropical oil made from babassu palm seeds. It creates big bubbles, is cleansing, and it is high in vitamin E. 

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is high in omega 6 fatty acids, and produces a creamy lather that is stable. 

Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet Almond oil creates a medium lather that is stable. It is gentle on skin and contains vitamin A and E. 

Added Ingredients

Adding additional ingredients to your soap can help create a better lather to your cold process soap. Here are some ingredients that can help.


Sugar, and ingredients that have sugar in them can dramatically increase lather, not just the amount but the richness of the lather. These are some options for different sugars that can be used. Granulated sugar is the most simplistic form of sugar that can be added to soap. 


Wines and beers can be used. However, when using these, great care should be taken because the lye can bubble up in a volcanic way. 

Fruit Juice

Fruit juices are another viable option, but can only be used in very small doses. Citrus juices like lemon juice and lime juice are lower in sugar and more can be used. 


Milk, like goat’s milk, buttermilk, and coconut milk can be used to add creaminess and lather. In fact just about any milk product can be used. Even breast milk.


Just like adding sugar, honey will also significantly increase the soap’s lather. Be sure not to use additional sugars with the honey because it can cause overheating. 


While butters, like shea butter and cocoa butter, don’t necessarily increase the amount of lather that a soap produces, they do help stabilize the lather to make it last longer, and enriches it. 

After addressing what ingredients can increase lather in cold process soap, it is important to also discuss what ingredients can actually hinder good lather in a soap, because you may be unintentionally doing these things in your own soap. 

Single Oil or Single Fat

Some soaps, like castile soap, are made with 100% olive oil. This makes them incredibly gentle on sensitive skin, but very slimy with little to no lather. This is because they only use one kind of oil, and that does not give the ingredient diversity to create a nice lather.

High Superfat

High Superfat happens when there is not enough lye to create the chemical reaction needed to create soap. Using a higher oil to lye ratio can create a nice soap that is moisturizing, but will lack lather.

Too Much Butter

As previously mentioned, butters can be used to stabilize lather, and are great for the skin. Shea butter, cocoa butter, and the like do not help produce lather and can do the opposite when too much is used..

Hard Water

An over abundance of magnesium, iron, and calcium, in hard water will reduce lather by interacting with the soap molecules. To avoid this, soften your water.

There are a lot of benefits to cold process soap, and even more benefits of the ingredients that go into it. Not only does it preserve the nutrients of the ingredients, but it is also better for the environment. So, being armed with the knowledge of what oils, butters, and additives help and hinder the lather production of soap can help you create better soap, or help you be informed when shopping for the best soap for you, and for the environment. Clearstone offers the most natural, eco-friendly cold processed soaps on the market today. Check out our complete line here.

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James Gaunt

Product Specialist


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