Homemade castile soap can feel thin and watery compared to store-bought bars. The good news is that adding natural organic ingredients like oils, butters, and beeswax makes it easy to create a thicker, more moisturizing castile soap right at home. Using real, whole ingredients ensures your homemade soap bars are gentle, nourishing, and ideal for all skin types. This article outlines the top organic additives for enhancing homemade castile soap recipes, along with tips for incorporating them. Read on to learn how oils, butters, and other luscious ingredients transform basic castile soap into a luxurious, skin-loving body care product.

Benefits of Thicker Homemade Castile Soap

Finding ways to add thickness and viscosity to homemade castile soap comes with many benefits that enhance the quality, performance, and enjoyment of your handmade bars. The biggest benefits of pumping up the thickness of castile soap recipes include:

More Moisturizing

The oil and butter additives that thicken castile soap also impart deep moisturization to the skin. Luscious butters like shea, cocoa, and mango nourish skin, while oils like olive, almond, and avocado condition and hydrate. Thicker castile soap lathers slower to coat skin in moisture.

Better Lather

While thin, watery castile soap can still clean effectively, thicker soap achieves a more luxurious, creamy lather. The viscosity allows the soap to hold more air bubbles, so you can work up a richer lather that feels downright indulgent when washing.

longer-lasting Lasting Bars

One appeal of castile soap is that it lasts a remarkably long time. However, thinner bars tend to dissolve faster, especially when left in a wet soap dish. Thicker homemade soap bars hold their shape better and resist dissolving as quickly for longer-lasting use. Adding nourishing oils and butters not only pumps up the thickness of castile soap but also increases its hardness for a soap bar that really stands the test of time.

Common Organic Additives to Thicken Castile Soap

When it comes to thickening homemade castile soap in a natural way, some of the most effective options are organic oils, butters, and a few specialty ingredients that impart thickness along with hydration and bubbles!


Oils not only thicken your castile soap recipe but also impart nourishing moisture to the skin.

– Olive Oil: This nourishing oil thickens nicely while also conditioning the skin. Use extra virgin for a soothing, antioxidant-rich oil.

– Coconut Oil: Coconut oil adds a beautiful creamy thickness while contributing bubbly lather. Go for unrefined coconut oil.

– Almond Oil: This light, fast-absorbing oil lends thickness to castile soap bars while delivering essential fatty acids straight to the skin.


Butters mimic the consistency of natural body butter for an ultra-thick, velvety soap texture.

– Shea Butter: This East African butter is renowned for its moisturizing properties. It thickens distinctly while making the skin feel lush. Unrefined shea butter has the most skin benefits.

– Cocoa Butter: Often used for stretch marks, cocoa butter is intensely hydrating. It lends thickness and a dreamy feel to castile soap for supple, smooth skin. Opt for raw cocoa butter.

Other Organic Additives

A few specialty ingredients naturally pump up the viscosity of castile soap bars with unique skin benefits.

– Honey: This sweet nectar boosts the thickness of castile soap beautifully. Honey is also antibacterial and supremely soothing on all skin types, even sensitive ones.

– Oatmeal: Old-fashioned rolled oats pureed into a powder make homemade soap thicker and more exfoliating. Oats relieve irritation and inflammation, too. Steel-cut varieties work well.

– Beeswax: From honeycomb itself, beeswax makes soap hold together better, as well as adding thickness and a smooth honey-like feel. It also deeply moisturizes the skin through the rich compounds within.

How to Use Organic Additives for Thicker Castile Soap

Using oils, butters, and natural thickeners in homemade castile soap does take some tweaking to get right. Follow these guidelines when adding organic ingredients to thicken your soap:

How Much to Use

When it comes to oils and butters, start small, with just 1 teaspoon per 1 pound of soap base. Slowly increase up to 3 tablespoons, maximum, if more thickness is needed. Too much oil can prevent soap from solidifying properly.

With beeswax, honey, and oatmeal, err on the minimal side too, as a little goes a long way. Start with 1 teaspoon of beeswax per pound of soap. For honey and oatmeal, stick to 1 to 2 tablespoons of initial mixes.

When to Add Soap

The best time to incorporate thickness-boosting ingredients is right before trace, as the soap begins thickening during saponification. Adding at trace allows proper incorporation so oils don’t separate out later.

For mixing additional dry ingredients like oats or beeswax, it’s helpful to melt them into a small amount of oil taken from your soap batch first. This prevents clumping.

Mixing Tips

Use a whisk attachment on an immersion blender to thoroughly incorporate thickness-boosting additives without overmixing. Stick blend in short 5- to 10-second bursts.

Wrap soap molds straight away after adding thickening organic ingredients and let them cure for a minimum of 1 month. The extra oils and butters will need adequate time to fully saponify and harden. Unwrap for luscious, thicker homemade castile soap!

Essential Oils for Scent and Thickness

Adding essential oils to homemade castile not only provides natural fragrance; certain oils lend a slight thickening effect while also benefiting skin. Follow these tips when incorporating essential oils:


This floral and herbaceous essential oil lends a calming, relaxing scent, perfect for nighttime baths. Lavender also acts as an anti-inflammatory and heals skin conditions like eczema. It contains antioxidant compounds like linalool that nourish skin, while the aroma calms the mind before bed.


For an invigorating minty-fresh scent, peppermint essential uplifts the mood while awakening the senses. Menthol has a thickening effect on soap while leaving skin tingling clean. Peppermint also decongests and brightens dull complexions thanks to its high menthol content.

Tea Tree

With its slightly medicinal and woodsy green aroma, tea tree oil makes a great addition to morning shower soap bars. It acts as a natural anti-bacterial, clarifying clogged pores and troubled skin. Combine with lemon or rosemary essential oil for a brighter scent. The terpenes in tea tree thicken soap naturally.


Another invigorating scent for morning showers. Eucalyptus essential oil has a cooling effect thanks to menthol while also lending a slight medicinal aroma. It helps wake up the senses while thickening soap with fatty eucalyptol molecules.


This sharp, herbaceous essential oil stimulates the mind and senses while thickening soap bars ever so slightly. It also conditions the skin thanks to protective antioxidant diterpenes like carnosol that heal damage from free radicals.

For scent and thickness, add 15 to 25 drops of essential oils per pound of soap batter, right at trace.

Troubleshooting Homemade Castile Soap

If your homemade castile soap remains too thin even after adding oils, butters, and natural thickeners, try tweaking a few variables. First, allow more cure time—up to 6 weeks—for soaps to fully harden. Wrap molds well so additional moisture doesn’t hinder hardening. Check that your olive oil purity is 100% too. For best thickness, freeze soap for 12–24 hours before unmolding. Finally, try a higher amount of superfat in the next batch or a different blend of hardening oils and exotic butters until you achieve your perfect thickness and consistency.

Adding organic ingredients like oils, butters, and beeswax makes it easy to pump up the thickness, moisturization, and lather of homemade castile soap bars. Follow the tips above to transform basic liquid castile soap into an ultra-nourishing body care product that rivals any artisanal store-bought soap.

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