Single Oil Soap – Palm Kernel Oil

Yesterday was a very different experience when compared to most soaps I make. Today, I wanted to show Palm Kernel Oil, an oil most of us are familiar with in our oils. But do we really know what it contributes to our bar? Let’s go find out through experience!


Needed Materials

Stearic Acid
Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
Microwave Safe Container
Immersion Blender


Recipe in Grams
454 grams Palm Kernel Oil
72 grams Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
177 mL Water
Recipe in Ounces
16 oz Palm Kernel Oil
2.55 oz Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
6 oz Water
Recipe in Percentages
100% Palm Kernel Oil
Q.S. Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
Q.S. Water

Weigh the Palm Kernel Oil into a microwave safe container. Heat until liquid. This took about 2 1/2 minutes for me. Add the lye to the water to for a lye solution. Mix the oils and lye solution and blend until trace is achieved. Pour into a mold and allow to sit for 24 hours. Cut the soap. Allow the soap to cure. Longer curing time will result in a harder bar. Enjoy!


I didn’t have any trouble mixing this soap together. It went smoothly. My only trouble was when pouring the soap into the mold I spilled some on the counter. Good thing I was able to clean it up quickly.

When washing with this soap, I got a lot of lather. And I do mean a lot of lather. When I first started scrubbing the lather was big and airy. The more I scrubbed, the more dense it became. The bar was also very hard. It had some very tough edges.


Finished Soap
Weighing Palm Kernel Oil
Melted Oil
Mixing Lye Solution
Mixing Lye and Oil
Mixing Soap

Soap in Mold
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Rating: 4.8/5 (5 votes cast)
Single Oil Soap - Palm Kernel Oil, 4.8 out of 5 based on 5 ratings

12 thoughts on “Single Oil Soap – Palm Kernel Oil”

  1. Quick question. Did it wash well? How was cleansing power?

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    1. I found it work well for washing. I tested it after I had cleaned up some spilled oils. Worked very nicely. I didn’t even need a detergent to help with the cleanup.

      I hope this helps!

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  2. Hi Taylor – I’m really enjoying this series of blog posts. You are sharing great info! I look forward to learning about tomorrow’s oil. Traci

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  3. Awesome information! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this particular series on single oil soaps.

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  4. Thanks for the information, Taylor! I am wondering when you washed with it if the bar felt harsh to your hands at all, and afterwards did the bar have either a drying or conditionaing effect? Overall, how desirable did you feel bar was?

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  5. That was my question also. Is the soap harsh or mild to your skin???

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  6. It felt a little harsh to my hands, but I wouldn’t have a problem doing a 50/50 Palm Kernel/Olive Oil Soap. I think that would be a very nice soap that wouldn’t feel harsh but would have great lather. Note: This soap wasn’t extremely harsh but I did feel after washing I needed to find some lotion for my hands. It could also be the dry air that is contributing that feeling to my skin.

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  7. RANGE (Recommended)
    Hardness 29 – 54
    Cleansing 12 – 22
    Conditioning 44 – 69
    Bubbly 14 – 46
    Creamy 16 – 48
    Iodine 41 – 70
    INS 136 – 165

    Hardness 75
    Cleansing 65 <<< Will literally strip skin of all its natural oils. YIKES!
    Conditioning 18
    Bubbly 65 <<< High lather is why PKO is a good sub for coconut oil.
    Creamy 10
    Iodine 20
    INS 227 <<< Add enough OO to get this number down to around 160 for "ideal" soap.


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  8. Hi
    please help me with a recipe that contains palm oil, Palm kernel oil and coconut oil as this is the only type of oil in my region.

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    1. This is what I would use. Happy soaping!

      6 oz, Palm Oil
      5 oz, Palm Kernel Oil
      5 oz, Coconut Oil
      2.4 oz, Lye
      5 oz, water

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  9. Please Taylor,how many bars of soap can i produce with 1litre of palm kernel oil?
    Also if i want to use red palm oil how can i bleach it to white color?Thanks so much for the info

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    1. If your bar soaps are about average size I think you will get about 8 bars from a liter of palm kernel oil.
      Bleaching is a different story. You can try to filter hot oil through clay to see what you get. The processes set up for bleaching oils are made for large scale processing.
      This makes doing this at home a difficult task. I would prefer you add small amounts of the red palm oil to each batch of soap you make.

      Good luck!

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