body wash bar surfactant free how to DIY recipe make your own bath products

How to Make a Surfactant-Free Body Wash Bar

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Solid bath products are very in–think shampoo bars and bath bombs. Today we have our own take: a cleansing and hydrating body wash bar rich in plant oils and gentle enough for sensitive skin. If you have a mold for this bar, you’re all set!

This solid cleansing bar melts onto your skin like a dream in the shower or bath. The Kaolin Clay gently cleanses skin while the butters and macadamia nut oil leave skin feeling silky soft. Add your own oatmeal to help soothe skin for an all-around body wash bar you and your customers will love! Add scent to customize this recipe and make it your own.

This recipe does not use a surfactant, meaning it is a little more gentle on sensitive skin (though it does use nut butters). If you’d like to learn more about surfactants, what they do, and how they work, check out this blog on surfactants.

Follow along with Teeneke in the video, or jump down to written instructions and links to buy your own luxurious ingredients:

Equipment You’ll Need

• Glass or non-metal Mixing Bowl
• Measuring cups/spoons or scale
• Stovetop safe beaker or pot
• Silicone soap molds – any shape or size – we used 3oz molds

Difficulty Level: Moderate
Approximate yield: 1 Pound (approximately 5 – 6 3oz bars)
Approximate cost per pound: $11.00
Suggested packaging: Soap bar packaging – check out our video –
Suggested retail price: $5 – $8 per bar

Ingredient                        lbs        Kitchen       %

Kaolin Clay                     0.3030      1 ¾ Cup     30%
Cocoa Butter Wafers           0.2020      ¾ Cup       20%
Macadamia Nut Oil            0.1515       1/3 Cup      15%
Goat Milk Powder              0.0909      1/3 Cup      10%
Organic Shea Butter           0.1010       ¼ Cup        10%
Oatmeal                        0.1515       ¾ Cup       15%


Directions – Body Wash Bar

1. In a glass or non-metal bowl, add kaolin clay, goat milk powder, and oatmeal. Mix together using a wooden or non-metal utensil. Set aside and move to the next step.
2. Add the cocoa butter wafers and macadamia nut oil to your beaker or pot. Heat until fully melted then remove from heat and add shea butter. The residual heat should melt the shea butter, but if it isn’t melting, gently heat until fully melted.
3. Pour melted butters and oils onto the dry mixture in your glass or non-metal bowl. Mix slowly and gently with a non-metal utensil until uniform and smooth.
4. Pour into your silicone molds and refrigerate until fully solid. This took about 1 hour for our bars.
5. Use in the bath or shower in place of soap bars!

Please note that this recipe has not been challenge tested for preservation efficacy. Even though the recipe provided is anhydrous, if you use this recipe for market sales, it is up to you to ensure the safety of the product.

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3 months ago

Hi I’d like to start with thanking you for the soap recipe it should devine! The thing that jumped out at me was the measurements are in ounces not grams?
This surprised me only because Teeneke graduated from Formula Botanica and they stress the importance of presise measuring in grams.

2 months ago
Reply to  Kimberly Burt

Hi Kim, good point.

When formulating I normally use weight – in the US it’s easier to use pounds rather than grams in order to scale up manufacturing. I’m not sure where you are seeing ounces, but the recipe lists both the weight in pounds and the measurement using kitchen tools for those that want to make this at home.


Lesley McKeen
3 months ago

Is there a particular type of oatmeal? Can I add a few drops of essential oil?

2 months ago
Reply to  Lesley McKeen

Hi Lesley!

Colloidol oatmeal is ideal, but any oatmeal would work.


Helena Jewell
3 months ago

I want to try this for my great granddaughter, but do not have the powdered goat milk. Can I use fresh goat milk ?
Shipping costs for one item are ridiculous.
Thanks looking forward to your answer

2 months ago
Reply to  Helena Jewell

Hi Helena!

I don’t think this recipe would work with fresh goat milk.


3 months ago

What can be used in place of macadamia nut and Shea butter to accommodate those with nut allergies?

2 months ago
Reply to  Lynn

Hi Lynn!

Mango Butter and any other oils you prefer would be suitable


Ann Sharp
3 months ago

Thank you, for the recipe Teeneka. I am looking forward to making it. Have a blessed and safe Memorial Weekend. 🙂

3 months ago
Reply to  Ann Sharp

Thank you Ann! We hope you have a great weekend as well 🙂

I’ve sent Teeneke your regards.


3 months ago

I am excited to try this bar, but have one concern. With the use of solid butters, especially the cocoa butter, wouldn’t it clog our pipes?

2 months ago
Reply to  Patti

Hi Patti 🙂

No issues that I’ve heard of with clogged pipes. I suppose if you shoved it in the drain with ice you could create a clogged pipe.


3 months ago

While this sounds great for your skin, I am worried about the oil it contains. Does it leave an oily residue in the tub?

2 months ago
Reply to  Joyce

Hi Joyce 🙂

I didn’t use it in the tub but it might…….


3 months ago

I just made the body wash bar just put it in fridge, texture looks great but I’m not too keen on the color. Next batch can I sub the white clay for French green or French pink clay? Or colored mica maybe? Thanks for your help
Julie HARMONY Products

3 months ago
Reply to  Julie Anduze

Hi Julie,

That sounds like a great idea! There may be some slight differences in texture with the other clays of course.

Thanks for your comment!

Patti Ann Gibson
3 months ago

I like this formula and would like to know whether this bar would need to include some form of preservative if it is being made for sale to the public? Could wetting it for use lead to growth of mould, yeast etc. on the bar?

2 months ago

Hi Patti!

I asked Teeneke and here is what she said:

It’s one of my favorites – It is always a good idea to add a preservative although I didn’t notice any issues with this bar in my shower. I would add Optiphen Plus at 1%


Alexis Mastrovuono
1 month ago

Hi! I tried this soap recipe and I loooove the feel, and I love that it doesn’t contain lye. I’m making it for an all natural eco friendly shop. However, I noticed that just in the car ride from home to work it started to melt. It set back up nicely when I got to work but I’m just wondering If anyone has any advice or care tips / experience? Will this keep its shape if it’s sitting in a hot shower?

1 month ago

Hi Alexis!

I asked Teeneke about this and she said she hasn’t seen any issues with keeping it in her shower. I would say try leaving it in your shower and let us know how it goes 🙂

Warmest Regards,