High Lanolin Content Soap 9

Recently, I was asked about making a high lanolin content soap that could be used as a wool wash bar for wool clothing. I’ve never made a high lanolin content soap before, so I decided this would be an opportune time for testing! After all, a single ounce is great for shaving. Two ounces seems extremely luxurious. Why not use more for wool? Who knows!

I decided to make a 1 pound test batch that was a variation of the typical MMS test batch.
Collect needed items:

Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Sodium Hydroxide
Soap Spoon
Rubbermaid Drawer Organizer #2915
Immersion Blender
Time spent:
Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to water: 15 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 90 seconds
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 10 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 90 seconds
Pour into mold: 10 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours
Recipe in ounces:
4 oz Coconut Oil
4 oz Olive Oil
4 oz Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
4 oz Lanolin

2 oz Sodium Hydroxide
6 fl oz water

Measure the fixed oils on your scale. Warm on the stove or in the microwave. I melted the fixed oils in the microwave. As this recipe has a high percentage of lanolin, a temperature sensitive ingredient, I didn’t want to overheat the fixed oils and ruin the soap. Lanolin has a melt point between 100 – 110 ° F. It is much easier to stir the fixed oils and gradually melt the lanolin in the same manner chocolate is melted.

Add sodium hydroxide to the water. Mix well. The temperatures were near 115 ° F. See the beginning of the blog on making Cold Process Soap to understand our thermometer-less method.

Combine the fixed oils and lye solution. Stir until thin trace. Stir well. Pour soap into molds. I used the Rubbermaid Drawer Organizers #2915. Allow to sit until soap is firm.

The next morning cut into bars. Stack to allow good air circulation. Allow to cure for several days before using. Longer curing will result in a harder bar.

This soap will be a softer soap due to the waxy esters that make up the Lanolin. These waxy esters are very difficult to saponify.

I made this batch of soap at the lower temperatures because the lanolin will increase the heat by itself and I did not want to deal with a soap volcano.

72 Hour Evaluation:
I washed my hands with the soap 72 hours after making this batch and these are my observations.

1) There was a small amount of dense lather.
2) The soap had a silky feel to it as I was washing my hands.
3) The soap had a faint lanolin scent to it that intensified when the soap was wet.
4) After drying my hands it felt like my hands were smooth and then suddenly my hands felt waxy and slightly sticky. This made me feel as if I hadn’t really washed my hands.
5) This will work on wool clothing for hand wash use only.
6) I’m not sure if this soap will become much harder since I can still easily press a dent in the soap when normally soaps around here after 72 hours are as hard as they will ever be. We have had higher humidity over the last 72 hours, so this may have impacted the evaporation rate of the water in this soap.

Anyway, these are my evaluations. I hope this has helped you!

Would you make a wool wash soap bar?

Cut bars of soap.

Measured fixed oils.

Measured lye and water.

Beginning to mix the lye solution.

Stirring the lye solution.

Partially melted fixed oils.

Completely melted fixed oils.

Adding the lye solution to the fixed oils.

Not quite to trace yet.

Soap poured into the mold

Melted fixed oils and lye solution.

Mixing the fixed oils and lye solution together.

Pouring raw soap into the mold.

Soap in gel phase after 20 minutes in the mold.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
High Lanolin Content Soap, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

About Andee

Director of Happiness. I'm a thirty-something soap snob. I've grown up with handmade soaps, and I love them! I really like making lotions, soaps, and perfumes. I adore mixing scents to come up with something new. My favorite scent is either Wicked or Cotton Candy. I tend to hoard fragrances, I even have an Earl Grey Tea from the MMS catalog. I won't tell you how old it is, but it sure is good!

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9 thoughts on “High Lanolin Content Soap

  • Zany

    Interesting! I was wondering about a wool wash and you’ve answered that question. BTW, anise essential oil offsets the smell of lanolin.


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    • Andee Post author


      Taylor has a post that is queued up for tomorrow that is another style of wool wash. I think you will like that!

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  • Zany

    LOL Andee, I just read Taylor’s post and I DO like it! I’ve been using Polysorbate 20 or 80 for years to remove grease stains! Great stuff! It’s equally good for hair as a clarifier to remove product before shampooing, or as a gentle wash between shampoos.


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  • shara

    Hi, thanks for this tutorial! Im curious what could be used in place of the coconut and soybean oils and if they are necessary for the wool wash? We have allergies to most fragrance oils, petroleum and mineral oils and all butters! Thanks!

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  • KatKA

    Hello, I was wondering if there is any reason I couldn’t sub a hard butter for the palm or hydrogenated oil in this recipe. I have a customer who doesn’t want animal fat, and I personally don’t use palm oil. Thank you!

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    • Andee Post author

      I’d probably omit the Soybean, increase the amount of Coconut Oil by 2-3 ounces and use 1-2 ounces of Cocoa Butter.

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    • Andee Post author

      This batch made 20 ounces of soap and we cut this sample loaf into 9 bars. That means that each bar weighed an average of 2.2 ounces.

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