Canola oil for making soap? When I started making soap, I used olive, coconut and palm kernel oils. These made a great soap but also kept the price up. Later when a blended variety was suggested, we researched Canola Oil for making soap and decided to use a 80/20 - olive/canola blend. Later, we switched to a 50/50, and appeared to still have the same quality soaps.
This help the cut the costs of our natural soap by a good percentage. Basically, Olive oil from 16 L containers cost 12 cents an ounce, but the canola oil cost 4.5 cents an ounce. Not that we were looking to cut the costs for ourselves, but we could pass these savings onto the price of our bars and our customers. I know that generally, people would prefer to spend $3.00 on a blended bar, than $5.00 - $6.00 for an olive oil only bar. But let's go over this oil's characteristics.
Canola is member of the Brassica family, which is also the mustard family, and where the rapeseed oils also originated. The 'rape' in rapeseed stems from the latin word 'rapum' which means 'turnip', hence the Brassica group of plants. Canola is a cross of two ancient plants. Whereas most mustard family seed oils contain a high-erucic acid, the canola variety contains a low-erucic acid content. Originally the high-erucic oils were too harsh for consumers to eat, but worked well as a machinery lubricant. Hybrid varieties were created over the last 50 years that made an edible low-erucic oil, newly named Canola oil. But since 1998, more Canola oil is genetically modified.
Its benefits as an edible oil, it is low in saturated fat, high in monounsaturated fat, and has omega-3 fatty acids. Making it a healthier oil to eat than palm or palm kernel oils. There still seems to some question as to whether this brassica oil is still safer than its higher-erucic oil counterpart. But if you eat any fast food whatsoever, then you are eating canola oil, because this is the oil that all restaurants ever deep fry in.
It will still make a nice bar, although it is considered to make your soap base slower to saponify. Often you will find that the sap values for Olive and Canola are the same, then in other resources, not the same. The characteristics in your soap with using canola is a stable lather and skin conditioning properties. Canola based soaps are also reported to take longer to cure, but once hard, they stand up to use better by being less slimy. I have made all canola oil (with coconut and palm) but some of these soaps got spotty and discolored, especially the Lavender, but not the Chocolate Chai. Which means that the essential oil you use will also come into play.
My advice is to use an olive and canola blended soap base, with coconut oil, and palm oil if you like. This way, you can cut costs while maintaining a fresh scented bar for a longer time.