Easy Melt and Pour Dog Soap Recipes

A Clean Dog Equals A Happy Dog

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Dog in the bath. GK Hart/Vikki Hart - Getty Images

Is your dog a little less than fresh smelling or being bothered by fleas? Well, a good blend of essential oils in an oil-fortified soap, while not nearly as potent as modern chemical flea treatments—and many people think that's not such a bad thing!—may be just the ticket to get your pup fresh, clean, and free of fleas.

The recipes below are all based on basic melt and pour soap making. (Though you can easily use the same essential oil blends in a ​cold process soap recipe.) Since you're not bathing your dog every day, a few bars of dog soap will probably last a while, so it's often not practical to make an entire batch of cold process soap.

The recipes feature a blend of essential oils, many of which are mosquito repelling as well. The main ones used in these dog soap blends are:

  • Tea Tree: It is known for its mild antiseptic and antifungal qualities and for being good for the skin.
  • Lavender: Great in just about everything, lavender is especially good for the skin and for repelling fleas and mosquitoes.
  • Citronella: Perhaps the most famous and widely-used mosquito repelling essential oil, citronella works for fleas too.
  • Peppermint: Fleas don't like peppermint and it gives your dog a minty fresh smell.
  • Cedarwood: It blends well with the other oils, helps anchor the scent blend as a base note, and repels fleas and mosquitoes.
  • Eucalyptus: Known as a germicide and for its flea and mosquito repelling qualities, eucalyptus just plain smells good.

You can blend them however you like. Any of them in a blend will be good for Fido's soap. It's a good idea to create a balance between top notes, middle notes, and base notes. But you don't have to limit yourself to just these; you can blend in with them any other essential oils you like—patchouli, ylang-ylang, and benzoin, for example. Be careful with citrus oils, though. They can cause your or your dog's skin to be more sensitive to the sun.

Remember, none of these is going to repel fleas like a chemical pesticide, but each is a natural, safe alternative that may be more effective than you expect.

For each of the recipes below, you'll need:

  • Melt and pour soap base: It can be clear or opaque, or even one of the specialty blends like olive oil or shea butter.
  • 2% (of the total recipe) castor oil, which is good for your dog's coat
  • 2% (of the total recipe) of a high vitamin E oil like emu, shea butter, avocado or wheat germ (you could substitute in some pure vitamin E — about 1/4 teaspoon per pound of soap base, which is also very good for your dog's coat).
  • About 3% essential oil blend—use a little less if you're using mint in your blend, or a little more if you're using a lot of lavender. To figure out the 3%, multiply the number of ounces of soap you're making by .03. For example, if you're making one pound or 16 ounces of soap, you'd use .48 ounce of essential oil. (Round that up to .5 ounce.)

To make two pounds of soap, you'd use:

  • 2 pounds (32 ounces) of melt and pour soap base
  • .6 - .7 (.64) ounces of castor oil
  • .6 - .7 (.64) ounces of shea, avocado oil, etc.
  • 1 ounce of essential oil blend (.96 rounded up to 1)

Basic Instructions

  1. Melt the soap base and add the oils.

  2. Stir well to blend.

  3. When well blended, add the essential oils and stir again. Pour into molds and you're ready!

Tip: If you find that the oils (castor and shea etc.) are seeping out of the bars after they harden, reduce the amount you're adding; your soap base may already have a little extra oil in it.

Here are four recipes to try:

Minty Fresh Soap

  • Basic Soap recipe (above) and for the essential oil blend:
  • 1 part peppermint essential oil
  • 1 part lavender essential oil
  • 1 part tea tree essential oil
  • 1 part cedarwood essential oil

Walk in the Woods Soap

  • Basic Soap recipe (above) and for the essential oil blend:
  • 1 part cedarwood essential oil
  • 1 part lavender essential oil
  • 1 part eucalyptus essential oil
  • 1 part tea tree oil

Sweet Pooch Soap

  • Basic Soap recipe (above) and for the essential oil blend:
  • 1 part citronella essential oil
  • 1 part tea tree essential oil
  • 1 part lavender essential oil

Outback Adventure Soap

  • Basic Soap recipe (above) and for the essential oil blend:
  • 2 parts eucalyptus essential oil
  • 1 part tea tree essential oil
  • 1 part cedarwood essential oil

Let it sit for a few hours, and then put your dog in the shower or hose her off in the driveway, and suds her up with your new dog soap.

Note: Essential oils are very dangerous/toxic to cats and rabbits. Do not use this soap on cats!