I’ve wanted to make an oatmeal milk bar for a long time—they’re one of the quintessential bars of soap. Mild, classic, and comforting. So I finally got around to making one… and the strangest thing happened overnight. It turned bright red. I have absolutely no idea why.
I used my cheater’s way of doing a milk base; I added powdered milk powder at trace, along with the white white kaolin clay (USA / Canada) (I blitzed everything together in a coffee grinder to break up lumps). I added two different textures of rolled oats; one finely ground, and the other roughly chopped (a coffee grinder comes in handy here as well).
The essential oils are lavender and cinnamon. They seemed like the perfect pairing for an oatmeal milk bar; calming and warm, with a hint of spice. Like a cross between an oatmeal cookie and an oatmeal bath. Mmm.
And all went well—the soap was creamy and beige when I poured it. And somehow, as it saponified, it turned a bright, beautiful red. How strange, yet beautiful.
Cinnamon Oatmeal Soap
40% olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada)
25% refined coconut oil (USA / Canada)
20% lard or beef tallow (why?)
5% castor oil (USA / Canada)
5% oat oil
5% unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada)
Per 500g/1.1lbs of oils:
- 20g | 0.7oz lavender essential oil
- 10g | 0.35oz cinnamon bark essential oil
- 1 tbsp white kaolin clay (USA / Canada)
- 2 tbsp oatmeal, blitzed to powder
- 1 tbsp milk powder
- 2 tbsp oatmeal, roughly chopped in a coffee grinder
Calculate to a 5% superfat
2020 update: Given the irritation potential for cinnamon essential oil, I’d recommend using a cinnamon-y fragrance oil rather than the essential oil. Please refer to supplier documentation for maximum usage rates for the particular fragrance oil you’re using when used in soap/rinse-off products. This probably means the soap won’t turn red anymore, unfortunately, but your safety is more important than red soap!
Unsure about how to use SoapCalc? I made a video to walk you through it! Please ensure you’re familiar with standard soap making procedure before diving in.
Once you reach trace, blend in the essential oils, clay, blitzed oats, and milk powder with your immersion blender. Once that’s smooth, stir in the chopped oats.
Pour the soap into your mould, insulate it, and let the soap saponify for 24 hours before slicing (it should turn red as it saponifies!). Let cure for a minimum of three weeks before using. Enjoy!
Sounds divine! Do you make up all your recipes yourself? Or did you start with a book of recipes or a basic recipe from a book or online and then gradually start adding your own variations?
I started out by reading up on what different oils do in soaps. I learned about the four different categories of oils (lather, hardening, moisturizing, and castor oil), and the recommended percentages of each of the oils. Then I pretty much went from there, experimenting as I went. The soap calculator I use (linked on the resources page) includes numeric ratings for lather, hardness, moisturizing, etc. as well as target ranges whenever you calculate a recipe, so I’ll also run different combinations through there and see what happens to those numbers. That’s pretty much it! No recipes for me.
Hi Marie, what do you think about adding some fresh ground cinnamon. I don’t have any clay☺
You totally can, just go easy; maybe 1/2 tsp-1 tsp per 500g oils, depending on whether or not you want to use it on your face. I find cinnamon soaps to be extra scrubby and thanks to how stimulating cinnamon can be, it’s easy to go overboard 🙂
WordPress burp? I didn’t get the confirm follow comment email. So I’m trying again! 😛
I do wish we knew why it turned red, but it’s the perfect color for the cinnamon oatmeal! ‘Tis beautiful indeed!
I know, right? It’s a total mystery! I wish I’d taken a photo of the raw soap so I could show a good before and after—with the milk & oats I was really expecting a nice, creamy bar 😛 But I do just love the red… here’s hoping I can duplicate the effect!
Your mystery red made me curious too. When I made this recipe mine also turned red. What I suspect is that the cinnamon caused the soap to overheat. Milk or any suguars will contribute to that. When the sugars begin to cook, they darken. Why red and not burnt orange? That is the mystery. Mine was like yours though a bright lovely red. Although it truly overheated and had to be hot processed. Its still a favorite soap
How interesting! Thank you so much for sharing—it’s nice to know we’re still getting consistent results here 😛 Thanks so much for reading and DIYing with me!
It made me courious too 🙂
It will be my next soap to make!!! and I HOPE it also will turn red… it’s so beautiful and bright!!!
btw – Marie – I have noe 5 (!!!) soap molds inspired from your – it was so cheap to have the wood cut in store, I let them cut a lot and built 5 for the price of one if bought finished…
and I am so happy with that molds… it’s all I will ever need 🙂
That’s awesome! You’ve got more of them than I do, haha 😛 I love how the measurements work so nicely with this mould, even if it does require some weird metric/imperial co-mingling haha. It’s very Canadian 😛
I don’t know the precise chemistry of it, but this soap is so similar! http://www.bubbleandbee.com/servlet/the-8/Oatmeal-Spice-Organic-Soap/Detail
I’m going to guess that your soap reached “full gel” and that’s why the intense, clear colour, but why it started out creamy and turned red I don’t know. this forum http://www.soapmakingforum.com has been a source of interesting soap information so maybe if you asked there you’d get some suggestions?
Ha, thanks for pointing this out, Dawn! It’s good to know I’m not alone in my mystery red oatmeal soap 😛 And thanks for the resource suggestion, I’ll be sure to check it out 🙂 Maybe one of the sleuths there will have an answer for me!
That sounds like a great method to me! I am really psyched to try a recipe for guiness stout soap I found in a book (I think I already told you that!). I have my favorite essential oils so it makes sense to experiment. I would love to come up with a Vanilla Chai Tea soap. Yummmy! A lot of the soaps I want to make will smell like food. I love baking smells….and tea.
I’m just dying to make beer soap as well! The problem is that I always drink the beer before I can turn it into soap, lol. I’d also be really interested to try some red wine soap… oooh… just thought of that, actually, onto the to-do list it goes! I think I’ve made chai soap before… if not, I know several different chai-blend soaps are on my soaping to-do list 😛 I love the scent of chai! And gingerbread… I’ve also made soap using tea as a base before, though it seems to be more of a “sounds cool” thing than a “major benefits to the final product” thing. Oh well, gotta try new things!
You mention you added powdered milk. How much powdered milk did you add for this recipe? I am trying to replicate it to see it turn red as well. I’ve got all ingredients except for the milk. I wonder if I omit it, if it would still turn red.
Probably about a tablespoon… nothing overly specific! Sorry 😛
So I followed this recipe – except for 2 things:
I didn’t have milk powder on hand so I didn’t add it. And I used collodial oatmeal from NewDirections instead of grinding grocery store bought oatmeal.
My soap is in the mold for about 16 hours now and still very creamy and ivory in colour. 🙁
I’ll let it sit for another 24 hours and report back if it turns red at all. So right now, it might be the milk powder and/or the oatmeal that makes this recipe red.
Hmm… how interesting! Thank you for helping me out with the testing process! Did you insulate your mold well? Is there a chance the soap didn’t reach full gel and mine did? That could be another reason. Also, which cinnamon essential oil did you use? I know there are a few different kinds, so we might have used different types (I used Cinnamomun cassia blume). Hmmm… the mystery continues!
I used this one http://www.newdirectionsaromatics.ca/cinnamon-bark-essential-oil-steam-distilled-p-214.html
I didn’t insulate my mold, actually I never do… but I can tell it reached the gel stage. The ‘ring’ in the middle occurred and eventually evened out the colour after it cooled. Except it’s the creamy colour.
I also cut back on my EO blend of lavender and cinnamon bark. I only used 2/3 in proportion with the weight. I felt the scent was already strong (the cinnamon masked the lavender even though it’s only 1 part to every 2 parts of the lavender).
I want to try this again with the milk powder. Is it whole milk powder or skim? I got all my ingredients from NewDirections (I live in Toronto) – except for the lard which I picked up from The Healthy Butcher. What about the oatmeal? Is it the regular store bought quick oats oatmeal?
The red colour is absolutely gorgeous! And I think it should be red, since the scent reminds me of cinnamon hearts.
I am mildly obsessed with trying to replicate your red soap! I haven’t been able to get google to find me a CP soap that morphed to red like yours did and I REALLY want to know why or which ingredient! LOL
Yup, same cinnamon EO. You can’t really smell the lavender in mine, I just used it to soften out the cinnamon scent, and it does that. I used whole milk powder, I got it at my local health food store. The oats are definitely just the oats from the store, the same ones I eat for breakfast! I’m out of cinnamon EO right now, but when I get more, I am definitely trying again to see if I can duplicate my results—I’m super curious, too!
I used to live in Toronto—I think I visited the Healthy Butcher at least once. The St. Lawrence Market and the shops around Trinity Bellwoods were my favourite spots 🙂 I miss all the awesome, delicious foods I could get there! Have you ever visited The Spice Traders? They have the best black pepper!
I’d love to try this, and love the color! Do you happen to know if your cinnamon eo was steam distilled or a co2 extract?
Hi Marisa! I used the cheap one 😉 (Steam)
Amazing red soap
Did you ever find out what made it turn red?
Hey, Yvonne! I haven’t yet… working on it, though! I have to order more ingredients, and then the first step will be to see if I can re-create the red colour. Then, time to start experimenting!
If you add milk to lye solution that isn’t cooled (iced) the milk/lye solution turns yellow or red depending on how hot the milk gets… It caramelizes the sugars in the milk… Burnt milk… Giving a red color… As your milk was powdered spread through the soap the lye probably still got to it adding to the color…. Just a stab in the dark… Beautiful soap!
This is an interesting theory, but given that the lowest temperature caramelization can happen at is 230°F, and I’ve never seen lye heat up a liquid solution past 170°F or so (hot process soap also stays below boiling temperature), I doubt this is the chemical reaction at play here. Cool thought, though! Thanks for reading 🙂
We had a similar experience a couple days ago. Our soap turned out a little more orange than yours, but still an amazing color.
There are only a few things in common in our recipes. We used 6 pounds of oil, equal amounts of coconut oil, rice bran oil and vegetable shortening. We added ½ oz of cinnamon cassia oil from NOW Essential Oils as well as 1.25 oz (total) of several other essential oils, supper fatting with a total of about 5% with the rest made up of sweet almond oil and sunflower oil. We used powdered buttermilk instead of the whole milk you used.
Our soaps always turn from a cream color to a clear red color and then back to cream once they are in the mold. It usually takes 15 minutes or so to start to turn color and then by an hour or two it’s back to cream color.
This soap started turning red about a minute after we added the super fatting and essential oils, it definitely was not instant when we added the cinnamon oil so it was some sort of reaction. Once in the mold it turned darker red and the color never went away. When I pulled it out of the mold the next day it had a layer of reddish oil on the bottom, which is unusual, but the bars look good today.
Also we made one other batch the same day, 2 the day before and 4 yesterday and all the others worked fine, none with cinnamon oil. It’s the first time we’ve used Cinnamon oil and I hope we can reproduce it because the color is fantastic. I’d be happy to send you some pictures if you are interested.
Awesome! I love all this discussion 😀 After reading all the comments here it sounds like it is the cinnamon EO/milk combo. I have made soap with just cinnamon EO and no milk and it didn’t shift colours at all. However, I used Cinnamon Bark essential oil (Cinnamomun cassia blume), and you used Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia)—I suppose they must be close enough in composition to cause a similar reaction, but that might explain the colour difference?
Also we didn’t use any lavender or oatmeal.
WOW Thanks for sharing that! For the other batches you made, when you say “The other worked fine” – and you didn’t use cinnamon oil, do you mean fine as in they DIDN’T turn red?
So I’m thinking definitely the milk has something to do with the bars turning the color into red, reacting with the cinnamon EO right?
Agreed! Now to see if I can reproduce it… I just bought 500mL of cinnamon EO so I should be good to go 😛
Correct, the final soap made without cinnamon oil all came out a nice cream color, no red at all.
I’m not sure about the milk, maybe it’s just the cinnamon oil. Have you ever used cinnamon oil in any other soap and at the same concentration as the red soap? We’d have to try a batch without the milk and see what happens.
I was sort of hoping it was just the cinnamon oil and that we could use it in smaller amounts to color other soaps without the cinnamon sent coming through. Although it is a fairly powerful smell so that’s probably unlikely. It’d be great if just a drop or two would turn a batch red.
In my experience it’s not the cinnamon EO on it’s own—I’ve made several batches of soap that contain cinnamon EO without milk, and none of them have changed colour at all.
I missed it, but I guess Annie already tried it without milk, so maybe it is the combination of powdered milk and the cinnamon oil. It’ll be interesting to play around with it in future batches.
I’ll be doing the same thing! I’ve already got some ideas for some different types 🙂
I uploaded some pictures here if you’d like to see how ours turned out: http://s922.photobucket.com/user/junkscouts/library/Soaps
I included a picture of a regular (non-red) batch still in the mold so you can see the usual color. Also there is a shot from when I removed the red one from the mold and the oil on the bottom.
Awesome, thanks! What a beautiful colour. From the photos and how you mentioned that you had an unusual layer of red oil at the bottom of the mould, it sounds/looks like your soap sort of curdled a bit. I’ve had this happen a few times when using molasses or honey. The soap suddenly goes from smooth and creamy to something kind of like really runny ricotta cheese. Then, after it’s set up you have that extra oil in the mould, and the soap itself isn’t perfectly smooth like other batches (it looks a bit mottled close up). I’m still not entirely sure why this happens, but I believe it has something to do with mismatched temperatures and sugar. The soap is still perfectly fine to use, it’s just a bit more crumbly. My theory is that the oil that separates is the super fat percentage, but I obviously have no way to prove that one way or another. Anyhow, here’s a photo of a batch of my soap that split. I used honey and it REALLY split. There wasn’t a layer of fat, there was a trough of it in the top, as you can see. So sad. Still used it, though, and it ended up smelling awesome as it aged!
I’m so glad that I came across your blog. I found your blog from a link on Pintrest, for a serum…
HMMM, This sounds divine! I’m going to have to try this in the fall. I noticed that this recipe calls for lard, I wonder if it would alter the end of result it I made it with a vegetable based soap recipe. Have you tried it with a vegetable or olive oil soap version?
I haven’t—you should check out my entry on using lard/tallow in soaps for some info on why I do, and possible substitutions.
Yes, curdled is an appropriate description of how parts of the bottom of the soap looked, a little bumpy. It does also look a little mottled especially the bottom half of each bar which is a little lighter than the top half. Can’t wait to try it and see if it is ok. Thanks.
Interesting! I should set out to figure out exactly why that happens as it is really very annoying 😛 In my experience all soaps that curdle are perfectly fine to use, and even harder than non-curdled bars, but I think they are less moisturizing.
Can the lard be replaced with olive oil or coconut oil.
No—olive oil, coconut oil, and lard all play very different roles in a bar of soap. Lard is for hardening, while olive is for moisturizing and coconut is for lather. Please read my article on using lard/tallow in soap for other substitution ideas 🙂
I stumbled onto this very interesting thread while looking into home remedies for oily hair. lol.
Just wanted to add to the thread that I have made cold process soap using cinnamon tea and I noticed red liquid around the soap the next day as well. I didn´t use any essential oils. It was my chef´s soap for deodorizing, that included cinnamon tea made with ground cinnamon steeped in boiling distilled water, orange rind powder, coffee grounds and the usual oils (olive, coconut, tallow, shea, castor, cocoa, and stearic acid).
Thanks for sharing, Siloé! Did you use any milk in your recipe? That’s my working theory, so far at least—it’s milk + cinnamon + saponification that makes the soap turn red.
Hi Marie. No I didn’t use any milk in the recipe. My soap didn’t turn into a pretty red color but rather stayed an ugly brown after I dabbed away the red liquid and allowed the soaps to cure. lol. So your theory still holds.
Ok, that’s good to know. And brown soap can be pretty, right? 😛 I hope so, since I sure have a lot of it kicking around, lol.
Hi, I am so wanting to make this recipe – it looks divine! But I can’t see any measurement for the milk powder?
Whoops! I fixed it 🙂 Thanks for catching that.
So did the cinnamon essential oil cause the color change? Or was there powdered cinnamon added to it as well?
As best I can figure, it was the cinnamon essential oil in combination with the milk 🙂 I managed to duplicate this with my chai latté soap as well!
Hi. The curdling soap you mentioned is called ricing. Some EO’s and FO’s will cause it to happen. If you blend/beat it into submission and pour it into the mold it comes out fine. Any soaps that have separated on me in the mold, usually from a false trace, leaving a layer of oil, I rebatch for fear of them being lye heavy.
I have tried to duplicate your lovely red soap with cinnamon leaf oil but did not have any luck, just my normal beige from the cinnamon 🙁
Oooh, how interesting! The name definitely makes sense. This has only happened to me when adding sugars (honey or molasses) to soaps, though, never at the EO/FO stage. If it ever does happen again, though, I’ll be sure to blend it into submission 😛 The sugar caused ricing has always been accompanied by the oil separation, and I know it’s not a false trace because I will have reached a full trace before adding the sugary stuff, and then BAM. For me, the two (ricing + extra oil) always come in pairs, so I’m going to go ahead and blame them both on the the sugars (and being too warm, as I’ve solved this by making sure everything is cooled to room temp while I’m working). They’re all passed the zap test, at least…
As for the cinnamon, it does need to be milk + cinnamon bark EO (cinnamomun cassia blume), not cinnamon leaf, from what I’ve observed.
I too tried to recreate the beautiful red of this cinnamon soap, and my soap turned out cream colored 🙁 But, I too used cinnamon leaf EO and whole milk that I added to the lye solution. I attempted to make candy cane swirl by only adding the cinnamon leaf oil to half the batter, and the kaolin clay to the other 1/2 for an extra whiteness. After I successfully alternated and swirled my layers in the soap mold, I sprinkled edible glitter and beet root powder on top. The edible glitter didn’t “dust” the top like I expected it would, and of course, the beet root powder is now a deep rust color. I hope my soap making failure will save someone else needless work and time. It still smells lovely though 🙂
That sounds like a super pretty idea! How creative 🙂 I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you… it looks like it’s just that one type of cinnamon EO does the trick. It sounds super pretty regardless, though. And thank you for contributing to this experiment, lol!
Hi! I love the color of this soap!
Did it stay long? Or did it fade with time?
I have all these ingredients and will make it tomorrow!
And nice blog!
Hi Harmony! The colour actually has lasted quite well over the last 9 months or so. It’s a bit browner than it was, but it hasn’t gotten any paler. Thanks for reading & let me know how it goes! I’d love to see a photo—you can share photos with me on Facebook or Instagram (links in the top right column) 🙂
I just tried this lovely soap recipe. I decided to cpop rather than just insulate as I usually do. It’s already turned a beautiful red. I made a few adjustments for ingredients I had on hand. I used buttermilk powder and I used a mixture of hemp, grapeseed, and jojoba in place of the oat oil. I can’t wait to unmold this in the morning! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful recipes. I’ll definitely be trying your chocolate soap in the near future. 🙂
Oooh, exciting! I love hearing that people have made my soap recipes 😀 And I’m especially glad the red colour duplicated for you 🙂 Glad to know it works with buttermilk as well! Thanks for reading & DIYing with me 🙂
Sorry it took so long for me to add this. When I took the soap out of the oven the next morning it had further morphed into a beautiful red/brown color. Smells wonderful. Just about ready to use too. I can’t wait to try it! I just love your recipes! Thank you so much for sharing them with us. 🙂
OOoh, fantastic! I love how different people are trying this and having the same red results 😀 Yay soap and science, haha. Thanks so much for reading & DIYing with me 🙂
I was just wondering if this soap held the red color after curing or if the color changed at all as time went on.
I am about to make a goat milk soap and am adding cinnamon EO, but since I’m using cinnamon leaf and not bark, it sounds like I won’t get this lovely color. And I was so hopeful! Next time, I’ll try cinnamon bark oil and see what happens 🙂
The red colour has held fairly well over the last year(ish), though is has faded a bit closer to the brown side of things. It’s still very beautiful, and pretty darn cool as far as I’m concerned 😛 Your goats milk & cinnamon soap sounds just lovely, red or not.
Well, it turns out that I did actually have cinnamon bark EO after all! And the soap did turn a brilliant red as well – very exciting! As the previous poster did, I did CPOP instead of just insulating, and the dark red showed up about 30 minutes into the process. I had some overflow soap that I put into a plastic container that didn’t go into the oven, and it turned dark reddish brown but didn’t gel, so it looks quite different.
I did mine as a castile soap using frozen goat milk plus honey and ground oats added at trace, with cinnamon bark and clove EOs. I’ll try to post pics someplace to share once I cut the bars 🙂
Fantastic! So it’s not just cow’s milk, then—a great finding 🙂 And great to know that the temp of the gel really has an effect as well… science! 😛 I’d love to see photos when you’ve cut it—you can share them on my Facebook page if you like, tweet ’em at me, tag me on Instagram, or just upload them to Imgur and share the links here 🙂
I’ll post on FB in a sec …
Interestingly, the overflow soap that didn’t gel is actually getting darker now. I guess it’s the same chemical process but just going more slowly?
All of the soap is more brick colored than bright red now – it looks more like the pics of your chai latte soap. Maybe that is a difference from goat vs cow milk or fresh (frozen) vs powdered. I wish I knew! I do still like the color though. It’s so neat that it can change color without adding anything extra!
That does make sense—the general consensus is the cooler the saponification, the longer it takes. It’s interesting that the colour “bricked” out so quickly, though. I used powdered cow’s milk in both of mine…. hmm.
Okay Marie, do you measure the oatmeal before or after grinding? Thanks in advance!
You are so inspiring! I have come up with a variation of this soap using goat milk powder and orange oil as well as the Lavender, but reversed the strength of oils. Cinnamon is more prevalent in mine. Can’t wait to pull it out of the mold tomorrow!
Thanks so much, LeAnn 🙂 Aww, shucks. How does the soap look now that it’s out of the mold? It sounds lovely!
This is sooo cool that your soap turned red!! So I made my version, used Palm for Lard and Apricot Kernal for the Oat Oil; which I cannot find in my neck of the woods. I was inspired to see if mine changed color, but sadly it did not. I’ve got a creamy beige. So it has to be the combination of Oat oil or Lard or both! Either way, I like the oatmeal-clay-milk idea even though it is not that beautiful red color. 😉
Mine turned red with only olive oil, although it cured to a reddish brown.
My recipe had olive oil, goat milk, honey, ground oats, cinnamon bark and clove essential oils, and vitamin e oil. It seems that cinnamon bark oil plus milk is really the key!
Out of curiosity, how hard did these bars end up being?
They came out pretty hard – they were brittle enough when I cut (less than 24 hours from pouring) that I couldn’t mash the end bits into balls like I usually do with other recipes. The same happened when I made the plain castile soap that I posted on your FB a while back.
It was really soft, just a thin trace, when I poured it into the mold though.
Hmm, interesting—and good to know! You seem to have a knack for nice, hard castile bars 🙂 I really must give that a go… I need more lye first—I just emptied a 4kg container!
Hmm, which kind of cinnamon essential oil did you use? From what I’ve heard/tried myself it seems like cinnamon bark EO from Cinnamomun cassia blume and milk are the ingredients that trigger the reddening reaction. I have made soaps that turned red without oat oil, so I know that’s not it 🙂 It sounds like you still got a beautiful bar, though—and its the colour I set out to achieve with this bar 😛
I used a cinnamon leaf EO. So far it has turned a rich brownish red color. Beautiful, but not like yours. Thanks!
Interesting! I’d love to see a photo—you can tag me on Instagram (@MarieRayma) or share it on my Facebook page (Humblebee & Me) if you want 🙂
Ok sure. I will try to do that after work tonight!
The soap is a pretty brown color, but definately not red like you soap is. I actually just bought some cinnamon “bark” EO just so I can try this recipe again. I’ll keep you informed.
I should really try again to get that nice, gentle brown colour I was aiming for when I first made these bars 😛
I have jumped in head first to the wonderful world of DIY this fall since my discovery of your blog! I have my first lemongrass seaweed shampoo bars curing, I daily use the Perfect Body Butter, I just cut a loaf of this cinnamon oatmeal soap, and I have goodies for bath bombs, lotion, and lip balm awaiting!
I was dearly hoping my soap would turn red, but I got a creamy tan instead (which is also nice, but less holiday exciting). There are a few variables I changed, and I am curious which you think is the likely culprit:
I used nonfat milk powder instead of whole.
I used room temperature processing and let it saponify in a very chilly basement with no insulation.
I used grapefruit EO instead of lavender at a 50/50 with the cinnamon, and a dash of clove (it smells divine–perhaps a bit like your cranberry sauce bar!)
I suspect it is the milk, but I cannot seem to find any other internet sources about cinnamon and milk turning soap red. If the milk fat is key, than my nonfat substitution was enough to change the color reaction!
Thanks for all the inspiration! Your work is lovely!
Hi Heather! Thanks so much for reading & DIYing with me 🙂 I suspect you’re right about it being the milk fat—I usually soap at room temperature, and I’ve had the red reaction without the lavender EO as well. I wonder if perhaps the powdered nature of the milk is important as well… hmmm.
I make a cinnamon oatmeal goat milk soap with ground cinnamon and it is usually creamy brown. So I figured the red of yours was something to do with cinnamon essential oil and maybe powdered milk (I use fresh). But then I made it with tallow (I usually use all vegetable oils for this one) and it went pink! So maybe it has something to do with the oils you use as well? Also I love your site (if I haven’t already said before) you have so much useful stuff on here 🙂
Hmmm, interesting! I did make the original with lard, not tallow, but the animal fat theory is a really interesting one 🙂 Definitely worth experimenting with further! Thanks so much for reading & DIYing with me 🙂
I have been wanting to make this recipe for a long time and I’ve decided that now is that time. I do have a couple questions for you:
1. What temps did you use when you combined the lye mixture with the oil mixture?
2. I can’t find Oat Oil around me…can I use Sunflower or Walnut Oil instead? The SAP’s are the same as Oat Oil.
I love your recipes and I really hope I get that beautiful red color! Thanks =)
Hi Jill! I probably combined everything at room temperature or ~100°F… I can’t remember which as I made these bars ages ago. And yes, you can swap out the oat oil for whatever you have on hand, same SAP value or not—just run the formula through the soap calc properly 😉
Thanks so much! I’ll give it a try this week with the other oil. =)
I am so intrigued by the red soap – I intend to get my hands on some cinnamon bark EO (I’ve currently only got cinnamon leaf) and experiment. Thanks!!
Cool! Let me know how it turns out 🙂
Your red soap is so VERY BEAUTIFUL Marie. My next order will have cinnamon leaf EO in it LOL. Can’t wait to make this. You are so kind to share your recipes. Today I am making your Cinnamon & Patchouli Soap-beautiful too. I love how it has turned so dark and rich looking. Made your Oatmeal this morning with a couple of little changes due to supplies on hand. I am like a kid with a new toy, can’t wait to unmold, I keep looking at it. LOL THANK YOU
Darlene in Nova Scotia
Thanks, Darlene! Just a heads-up that I didn’t use Cinnamon Leaf EO, so I can’t speak for how it would work here for getting a red bar. As per the recipe, I used cinnamon bark essential oil 🙂
I have a fondness for rustic looking soaps, and this one is one has been on my to do list for quite some time. Unfortunately, mine did not have the gorgeous, rich red tones that yours has. Will probably try again using nda cinnamon bark eo. This was the first time I’ve soaped with powdered milk-have you tried using amounts greater than one tablespoon? I love the feel of gm soap, but my experience w/ fresh gm has always resulted in an intense goaty smell, that I can still detect even after curing. Am wondering if I can get away with using double or triple that amount without ruining the batch.
Hmm, interesting! What Cinnamon Bark EO did you use? I’m curious 🙂 I can’t recall if I’ve tried more than 1 tbsp of milk powder, to be honest, but I did just make a batch of goats milk soap using fresh goats milk and I don’t find it to be very goat-y. Anyhow, whenever it comes to trying something new my advice is the same—go slowly, and write everything down 🙂
I used goat milk yogurt, soaped at 39 C (102 F), added yogurt and honey and 10 ml cinnamon essential oil at thin trace (800 gram oils batch). Same recipe with and without cinnamon oil https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153766282029940&set=gm.519055681609479&type=3&theater
Thanks for sharing! I’m afraid I can’t see the link you sent me as I don’t have permission to, but you are more than welcome to share the photo on the Humblebee & Me facebook page—I’d love to see it!
Hi Marie! This is a super old post, but I found it and wanted to try the powdered milk method (because I can’t be bothered with the freezing milk nonsense haha). By the way – I find your posts so helpful and inspiring! Thank you for sharing your knowledge! For this recipe, I skipped the essential oil in favor of a fragrance oil, so I didn’t get the beautiful red, but I am surprised that it’s a SUPER soft soap. I brought it to a rather thick trace and was even able to do some pretty thick designs on the top of my loaf, which stayed put, but I had to leave it in the silicone loaf mold for 4 days before I cut it – and even then it was super soft and gooey on my knife. This is my first time using additives in a soap though, is that normal? I started with your recipe and subbed almond oil for oat oil and left out the clay (didn’t have any). I also used sodium lactate in the lye as well (ironically for a harder bar! haha) I’m hoping that it will dry and harden up as it cures, but I’m a super soap newbie, so thought I’d ask! I love your blog! (My hair has never been happier since going to natural soap – because of your hair soap/rinse posts!)
Hmm, that is very odd! It definitely should not be that soft. Since it sounds like the only big variable in there is the fragrance oil I’m wondering if that’s the culprit, though usually fragrance oils make soaps trace faster and harder if anything, not the other way around! Is there any chance you accidentally used way too much water? Or not enough lye? In any event it should harden up nicely, it might just take a while!
I was so hoping for this red! I am going to try again. I used cinnamon bark oil, substituted the oat with rice bran, and used powdered goats milk. It stayed so thin so long I thought I might have done something wrong!? I soaped at just under 80 F. I insulated the mold within a cardboard box with lid, and covered with some towels…. I have not cream, not red, not brown, but a murky sort of orange? Any ideas? Did I soap too cool? Picture poor Varooka on willy Wonka tapping her foot, “but I want the red soap, and I want it now!” 🙂
this scent combination is one I would never have thought to pair but it is lovely. The lavender calms the cinnamon into submission for a lovely warm scent. But I want the red. Lol. Any and all tips welcome, as I will be trying this again soon.
Hmm, how interesting; I wonder if the composition of goats milk is different enough from that of cows milk to cause the difference? Goats milk does contain less lactose, so if it is the lactose that is reacting, that could explain why you got partway there, but not all the way? Hmmmmmmm.
So I was purposely tried to recreate this red color so I followed the recipe closely with only a couple of substitutions. I substituted avocado oil for the oat oil, since I didn’t have oat oil and I used powdered coconut milk instead of regular milk powder. I added the clay, oats and milk powder to the lye water before mixing with the oils. It took a while to come to trace. My bars turned out a beige cream. They are lovely but I’m bummed that I didn’t get the red color.
The sleuthing and experimenting in the comments revealed the colour is from the combination of cinnamon bark EO and dairy milk—that’s why 🙂
Tried this recipe with slight variations. Didn’t have cinnamon bark only had cassia but I still got a reddish brown colour. The soap smells heavenly, can’t wait to try it out. Thanks for the inspiration.
Very cool! Thanks so much for sharing and DIYing with me 🙂
Do you think it would turn red if using the hot process method?
I’m not sure, I’ve probably made hot process soap twice. Given the EOs are usually added after the cook you may not get the same chemical reaction.
I tweaked mine a little but still came bout a lighter reddish brown and after 1.5 days it was soft more than some of my soap, its been 4 days now going on 5 still softer than most to the touch. I did SF a little bit more and wonder if this softness will be a problem then it maybe my high SF rate. Either way I just love the smell of my soap and will make a great fall edition but will try for a harder bar next time. Thank you
Thanks for sharing! I suspect the softness is due to the additional superfat—hopefully it hardens up enough to use nicely 🙂 Thanks for DIYing with me, and happy making!