Neem Oil Soap

in Lye Soaping

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Neem oil, if you believe all its fans are saying, will do anything and everything, and has done for millenia. For repelling insects, treating eczema, psoriasis, acne and dry skin, it has a league of admirers. Do a simple search and prepare to be amazed by the breadth of its curative wonders. If it does 1% of what is lauded to do, I’ll be happy.

I made up a recipe which is 8% pure neem oil.  I added an insect repellent blend of essential oils and use it as dog shampoo. It would also be good for a hunter/fisherman/general outdoorsy soap.  Use your favorites to suit your uses. As a dog shampoo bar, I like that I don’t have to wear gloves to wash my dog and wonder what the flea and tick stuff is doing to Rover and me.  It helps, but doesn’t get rid of every sign of fleas. (However, I’ve had similar results with the most “extra-strength” commercial pet flea shampoo).

Neem Soap

60 oz. olive oil

25 oz. coconut oil

8 oz. neem oil

7 oz. castor oil

13.85 oz. lye

30 oz. water

Follow safe soapmaking procedures. I always refer people to Kathy Miller’s site, and there are many good forums and other helpful sites online.



{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Diana October 28, 2009

I’ve always shied away from neem oil because of the ‘stink’ factor. It does have a very distinctive smell. Do you notice it in the finished product? Or is it like tea tree oil.. You either love it or hate it?

2 Tomato Lady October 28, 2009

Diana–Yes, the smell is in the finished soap. It is sort of earthy, but it isn’t overwhelming. It is somewhat masked by the essential oils. I would probably go with more earthy essential oils like the pine, fir, cedar, etc.

3 Ann October 29, 2009

How do you get that nice crickled/wavy surface on your soap?

4 april October 29, 2009

where can i buy lye?

i’ve also wanted to make my own laundry soap, but am not sure where to buy some of the ingredients for that.

5 Tomato Lady October 29, 2009

Ann–It’s a wavy soap cutter. Most soap suppliers sell them. It’s just a wavy blade with a wooden handle.

6 Tomato Lady October 29, 2009

april–Lye is available online from soaping suppliers and lye suppliers. Just do a simple search in your favorite search engine and it will turn up several outlets. You will probably have to fill out an online form in addition to your order form, but it’s pretty painless.
Laundry soap ingredients, such as Fels Naptha and washing soda are usually in most large supermarkets in the laundry aisle, along with the more obscure products like Mrs. Smith’s Blueing. It just usually takes some hunting on those high (or low) shelves. Best of luck!

7 Lynnette October 29, 2009

I’ll have to put this on my list of things to eventually get around to. My son has eczema and mosquito bites are my enemy in the summer. Thanks!

8 Soap Mom October 29, 2009

Just wanted to add that lye can be purchase at Colonial Hardware if you live in the Memphis area.

9 Carla October 29, 2009

Pine tar soap is also recommended for eczema and psoriasis by some doctors. Lots of people swear by it, too. Offhand I can’t remember what neem smells like but these bars sure look pretty.

10 Tomato Lady October 29, 2009

Carla–I have heard of making pine tar soap but I haven’t tried that one yet.
I would try to describe the smell of neem, but I really can’t think of anything to compare it to. . .

11 Lacy from Montana October 29, 2009

I have to say that you gals REALLY should sell your goodies on ETSY so I can be lazy and buy your wonderful products rather than trying to find extra hours in the day to make them. Love this page !

12 Carla October 30, 2009

I have some pine tar bars drying. If you make it, T.L., do it outside if you can. The fragrance is… amazing. I had to open windows. Thankfully, it is already less intense than when first mixed and should morph into a traditional pine tar soap fragrance over its 12-week cure.

13 Diana November 4, 2009

Do you mind if I use a variation of your recipe for a dog shampoo for my website?

14 Tomato Lady November 4, 2009

Diana–Yes, of course, that would be fine. Woof!

15 Apollocircle November 5, 2009

I discovered neem oil a few months ago. It absolutely rocks! You will find more and more uses for it as you get into it. It seem to fix just about everything.

16 zicoman November 9, 2009

Neem plant is widely found in my country Nigeria. however research into its varied use is still at elemental stage. It is mostly used for desertification control as a plant, leaves are employed in traditional cure for malaria, there are ongoing research into its repenlant activities among others. I am really interested in its use for psoriasis, what are the success rate?If combined with coal tar will it be better? please reply.
cheers!

17 Tomato Lady November 9, 2009

zicoman–The following article cites research studies (see below the article) and explains why it may and may not be effective:
http://www.discoverneem.com/neem-oil-psoriasis.html
It does not claim to be a cure, but rather a useful treatment without the side effects of some other treatments, including those of coal tar.

18 CB November 10, 2009

I discovered neem oil a few months ago. It absolutely rocks! You will find more and more uses for it as you get into it. It seem to fix just about everything.

19 Tasterspoon November 18, 2009

I stumbled onto your website and I feel like I’ve found my home on the Internet. You guys are awesome.

My husband has psoriasis (mainly it keeps to his head, fortunately), and I had seen a lot of neem oil hype so I made him kind of an oil treatment he could rub in then shampoo out. He was delighted at first – and then lost his enthusiasm. His theory is that maybe rubbing any kind of oil into his scalp (and which doesn’t totally wash out) would soothe the itch but wouldn’t ultimately banish the psoriasis. That link from TL is helpful and kind of tracks.

Oh and the SMELL! It IS hard to describe because it is unique, but it carries and lingers – I always know when he’s been ‘using.’ I guess it’s kind of…garlicky?

I’m going to get over my fear of lye one of these days and try making this soap, on the ‘can’t hurt, might help’ theory.

20 Tomato Lady November 19, 2009

Tasterspoon–Thank you and a warm welcome!
You’re right. I really can’t describe the odor of neem myself. Go ahead and give soapmaking a go. You’ll find it’s not scary at all. Let us know if you give the neem soap a try.

21 stephanie November 21, 2009

do you put the neem in with the other oils as part of the saponification process? do you leave any out to use as an extra nutrient at the end?

22 stephanie November 21, 2009

one more thing: in the saponification process does the neem retain it’s properties?

23 Tomato Lady November 22, 2009

stephanie–I do. You can superfat with neem for extra oomph if you like. Whether or not the oils retain all of their goodness after saponification has often been the subject of debate. I don’t have a definitive answer for you, unfortunately. I can only say that it is common practice to saponify oils in the hope and expectation that they will provide the benefits of its non-saponified form.

24 Shyla Smith June 13, 2011

When using lye, treat it with respect. It will burn your skin and it will plop out of the container you are using to make the soap. It really is easy tho. This is a wonderful website. It is going into my favorites.

25 S Casillas June 29, 2012

May I ask what essential oil blend you use for dogs and how much for this recipe??

26 Daisy June 29, 2012

S Casillas–I used something called “Pet Safe” from Essential Wholesale. For this amount of soap I put in 3-4 oz. essential oils.

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