I adore clay in my soap, so I thought I’d try a bar with lots of the stuff. The general rule of thumb I’ve been following is one tablespoon per 500g/pound of oils so I decided to take that up by about 10x and I’m loving the results.
All that clay makes for an extra creamy bar of soap that’s super luxurious—you have to try it!
I made this batch of soap with total room temperature soaping, using the heat of the freshly mixed lye water to melt the oils and butters, which I creamed together beforehand to make the melting as easy as possible (I go through this method quite thoroughly here). I’d definitely recommend doing some version of room temperature soaping (the one I usually use is outlined here) for this soap since we’re adding so much clay; it helps prevent the soap from tracing so thick that you can’t pour it properly once you add all that clay.
The base of this soap is a variation on my all in one soap, which I love. I’ve tweaked it here and there over the years, but it remains a fantastic recipe. The bars trace relatively quickly, age well, lather beautifully, and the batter is wonderfully flexible. If you’re new to making soap, it’s a great starter recipe, too.
I chose white kaolin as my clay as I wanted lovely creamy coloured bars. You could use a different light clay that you have on hand, but I’d recommend avoiding anything that’s too pigmented (Australian clays, I’m looking at you!) since we’re using so much of the stuff. I remember an early bar of soap I made with lots of Australian Pink Clay and the end result was me panicking the shower, thinking I was bleeding profusely from some unfelt wound thanks to the deep red of the lather!
As far as scents go, I decided to leave this bar unscented for an easy, gentle bar of soap that’s great when you’d rather be scent free. You could absolutely dress it up with some essential oils if you’re so inclined.
Lots & Lots of Clay Soap
Calculate to 5% superfat
Per 500g (1.1lbs) oils:
Ensure you’re familiar with basic cold process soaping how-to. If not, give this a read. I recommend soaping this recipe at room temperature to give you more time to work.
Follow my standard soap making instructions. Once your soap has reached trace, blend in the clay using your immersion blender (this ensures a smooth bar without clods of clay in it), a couple tablespoons at a time.
When all the clay has been blended in, pour your soap batter into your prepared mould. Let it saponify for 24 hours before slicing it and setting it out to cure for at least three weeks. Enjoy!