These natural homemade dog shampoo bars feature neem oil, which is especially helpful at repelling fleas and treating a variety of skin complaints.
Since neem has a fairly strong aroma, I also included some lavender essential oil to help mellow the scent and to add a calming note to bath times.
After washing your dog with a shampoo bar, follow with a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse (1 part vinegar to 1 to 2 parts water) to help remove any soap residue and to leave your dog’s coat clean and shiny. Rinse well.
Lavender infused vinegar is perfect for rinsing dogs with! You can find directions for making it in my Five Uses for Lavender Vinegar blog post.
Ingredients for Homemade Dog Shampoo Bars
This is a smaller batch of soap, containing just 20 ounces of oil, in order to make it perfectly fit this K9Cakery Silicone 6 Paw Pan from Amazon.
You’ll get six paw shaped soaps from this recipe.
All measurements are by weight. You must use an accurate scale to make soap.
- 7 oz (198 g) distilled water
- 2.75 oz (78 g) sodium hydroxide (lye)
- 9 oz (255 g) olive oil
- 4.5 oz (128 g) coconut oil
- 3 oz (85 g) castor oil
- 3 oz (85 g) tallow (or cocoa butter or kokum butter)
- 0.5 oz (14 g) neem oil
- 7 g lavender essential oil (abt 2 tsp)
Optional add-ins: 10 drops ROE (rosemary oleoresin extract or rosemary antioxidants) to extend shelf life + 3/4 tsp sodium lactate to harden soap faster. You can also add 1/2 tbsp finely ground oats or colloidal oatmeal.
LEARN TO USE HERBS & FLOWERS IN SOAP
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- Discover 21 of the top herbs and flowers for making handmade natural soap
- How to make nourshing oil and tea infusions
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Neem oil should not be handled by pregnant women, or those trying to conceive, nor should it be used on pregnant dogs.
Directions to Make Homemade Dog Shampoo Bars
If you’ve never made soap before, be sure to read over my Soap Making 101 tutorial before proceeding.
You may also find my Handmade Natural Soap eBook Collection helpful; it’s filled with guides, handy printables, tons of natural soap recipes!
- Put on goggles and gloves.
- Weigh the water into a stainless steel or heavy duty plastic container.
- Weigh the lye into a small cup.
- Sprinkle the lye into the water and stir until dissolved. (Don’t breathe in the temporary, but strong fumes.)
- Cool the lye solution in a safe spot for 30 – 40 minutes, or until about 100 to 115 degrees F.
- Stir in the sodium lactate, if using.
- Melt the tallow (or butter) and coconut oil, then combine with the remaining oils.
- Add the rosemary oleoresin extract (ROE) to the oils, if using.
- Pour the cooled lye solution into the warm oils.
- Use a combination of hand stirring and brief short bursts of the immersion blender to mix until soap reaches light trace.
- Add the lavender essential oil, and the oatmeal, if using.
- Stir until blended.
- Pour soap into molds.
- Cover lightly with a sheet of wax paper, then a towel or blanket to insulate.
- Keep the soaps in their mold for 1 to 2 days or until easy to remove.
- Cure the soaps on sheets of wax paper in the open air, turning occasionally, for 4+ weeks before using.
If you run into any trouble while making this recipe, check out my extensive troubleshooting guide for cold process soap.