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
25% olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada)
25% refined coconut oil (USA / Canada)
30% beef tallow (why beef tallow?)
15% unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada)
5% castor oil (USA / Canada)
Calculate to 5% superfat
Per 500g (1.1lbs) oils:
Begin by running the recipe through SoapCalc to determine exactly how much of all the ingredients you’ll need. Not sure how to use SoapCalc? I made a video to walk you through it!
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!
What is the benefit of using the extra clay? How is the bar better?
It’s extra super creamy! I love it 🙂
I want to try this recipe but I have never made soap. So I don’t know how to use the soap calculator. Is there any one who can explain how to use the soap calculator.
I’ve got a whole video on exactly this 🙂 Happy soaping!
I looked up that tallow is from animal fat. What do you use?
I use beef tallow 🙂 You can learn to render your own here!
Haha. Can imagine. Love this stuff too. Clay soaps just feel….. <3
Though I hadn't gone quite that high yet…. maybe it is time 😀
Kaolin clay is a good choice for this.
Thanks, Vidyut! I am so loving having this soap in my soap dish 😀
Your soap looks awesome and I would really love to try it as my first starter soap. However as a first timer, the percentages are a bit confusing for me. Would it be possible for you to send me this recipe to my email address in grams instead?
Thanks so much for all your impressive recipes. I’m one of your biggest fans.
Have a great day!
Hey! I just made a video on how to use SoapCalc so you can do this yourself—you can find it here: https://youtu.be/e2IfuosYBos. If you want to make soap it’s really important that you learn how to use a soap calculator; you should always calculate or re-calculate out any soap recipe you make, even if it’s already been provided with solid measurements. What if the author made a typo and now you’re using 40% more lye than you should be and you end up with a bar of soap that burns your skin? Or you use too little lye and you end up with super soft bars that go rancid and have to be thrown out? It’s also a great way to start creating your own recipes 🙂 Anyhow, I hope the video helps!
I was thinking the same, who measures using %? Grams would have been nice and all these recipes.
The use of percentages allows you to decide exactly how much soap you want and easily calculate that batch size—if you are uncomfortable with using SoapCalc to calculate soap formulations I made a video that walks you through all of it. I’m a firm believer that every soap maker needs to be able to calculate their own soap formulas out—never trust a lye amount without verifying 🙂 Happy soaping!
Hey Jamie! She’s giving you the proportions so you can make 500 grams or 4000 grams of soap depending on YOUR mould size.
Hi, this sounds absolutly wonderful I really want to try this. I have some questions. I usually makes your all in one soap with 20 % castor oil (decrease the amount of olive oil) I like the bubbles since I also use it as shampoo. Can this recipe be used as shampoo? How should I change this recipe for achieve a lot of bubbles (like I do with your all in one soap)? Thanks
Hey Erika! You can certainly make the same changes with this recipe, and use it as a shampoo. I tend to use all the soaps I make as shampoos without any changes, and they’ve all worked really well 🙂
I normally add my clay to my slightly warm oils, letting sit about ten minutes, then stick blending well before adding my lye water solution. Do you think that would work with this amount of clay?
I suppose I’d be concerned about the possibility of it creating a false trace with how much clay there is here, but I can’t think of any other reason, and I gather you are quite an experienced soaper so you could probably avoid that 🙂 Out of curiosity, why do you do it that way?
I add my clays to the warm oils and let them sit 10 minutes before stirring because they always dissolve well that way. But, I mostly HP so that may make a difference.
I do the same as you…incorporate the clay into my room temp oils, prior to adding lye solution. I do this because I believe it gives me more time to evenly disperse the clay into the formula. I would be afraid adding the clay at full trace might make it more difficult to fully incorporate the clay into the batch. Either way, I guess the clay is still there, but I do it the same as you although I’ve not used 10x the normal amount of clay. But in my opinion, using 10x the normal amount of clay in your formula would be a more compelling reason to add it to your oils prior to adding the lye solution.
Maria – I agree. I plan to try this recipe next week doing it HP. Most people who use clay when they HP add it after saponification, but I’ve always worried that it would not mix in well enough into the soap batter.
Hi Anita, did you ever try this recipe as an HP soap? I’ve only done one CP soap ever and couldn’t feel any of the 3 clays I put in it! I was quite surprised because I always know when they’re in HP soap. So I’m wondering if this much clay would work in HP soap?? Or if I should only do it room temp, which I don’t have the patience for, lol
Hello, it looks lovely. Thank you. When you say tallow, what kind do you mean? Also, is there a veggie tallow?
I mean beef tallow 🙂 You can read more here and here.
Do you think if I subbed the tallow for Lard it would still be as nice and hard. I’ll run it through soapcalc first but I JUST wanted to get your opinion since I do not have any tallow on hand. Thank you 🙂
Yup! From my reading lard is slightly softer than tallow, but I’ve never found it to be a noticeable difference 🙂
Could this recipe be used as HP?
I don’t HP, but from my understanding you’d be adding all the clay at the end of the cook, when the soap is super thick, and I think you’d have a very hard time getting it to smoothly incorporate.
Precioso,suave y cremoso.
Translation: Beautiful, smooth and creamy.
Thanks, it really is! 🙂
Can we replace the tallow with something else? Thanks!
Hi Kelly! Read this 🙂
LOVE THIS! Just yesterday my daughter and I were soaping (she was assisting on her first batch with me, she’s 7) and she got to measure out the clay… It got me to thinking about how much clay is too much, and now I found you’ve done some research for me. I currently use 1 1/2 tbsp to 850 g of fat/oil, but now I’m going to x10 and see how it goes.
Serendipity! Thank you, Marie!
Woo! I am so in love with these bars, they are CRAZY creamy 😀
I love the creamy color! It looks like caramel fudge!
It really does, I love how the top turned out 😀
You’re a legend. Thank heavens for people who experiment and have a go.
I’ve used more that the 1tsb rule of thumb but would never have considered 10x! Your soap looks so creamy. Thanks for sharing this…I now MUST try it 😀
Do it! You’ll love it 😉
Love the soap….but couldn’t this be fudge instead? lol It does look good enough to eat!
Hmm, maybe I should give fudge making another go and then start a series of blog entries of fudge that looks like soap, and soap that looks like fudge ;P
It is! I love it 😀
I’ve read your articles on using tallow and lard. I totally agree. However, I’m all out of the tallow I rendered last time I made soap. Could I use either lard or palm oil? Which would be the better fat to use?
Thanks so much!!
Don’t you just love soaping at room temperature and letting the lye melt the fats. So easy! I don’t cream the butters beforehand, and they always melt perfectly.
Hey Shari! I’d definitely go with the lard 🙂 It’s a touch softer than tallow, so you could up the percentage a little if you wanted to, but I never do when using lard instead of tallow and I can’t tell a difference in the final product.
Thanks for your reply! You must be inundated at times with questions, so I really appreciate you responding so thoughtfully and in such a timely manner. I will give it a go this weekend!
Happy Valentines Day!
Another beautiful creation by you Marie! Pls suggest which oil/butter can be used as a replacement for Tallow. Would love to try this. The bars look so dreamy!
Hi Kal! Read this 🙂
I use plant and nut oils & butters in order to create vegan-friendly soap my sister can use. What would be a suitable substitution for the tallow? I’ve never used this method to melt the oils and am excited to try this!!!
Hi Laura! Read this 🙂
Great blog Quick question – when I use clays in soap they seem to crack – do you use any additional water?
Hey Mandy! At what point do your soaps crack? If they crack during saponification that’s usually because the soap got too hot. I don’t use any extra water and don’t have cracking problems unless my batch is over-insulated (and I use clay in all of my soaps).
Hi Marie, yes it’s definitely over heating – I’ve put the last few batches in the fridge and that seemed to (mostly) sort it. I’ve only just started putting clay in my soaps, and have been using milk too, and even with letting the oils and lye come to room temperature they still get hot.
Ah, yeah—it would be the milk that would get things hot enough to crack, not the clay 🙂 Have you tried freezing part of the milk into cubes like this?
I so love your blog and appreciate that you share such wonderful recipes on a regular basis. I’ve used many of them! As the owner of a home with a fragile septic system and drain field, I know that clay fillers in powdered laundry and dish soaps are not my friends. I’m not sure if 10 T. per batch is a potential for problems or not. Have you had any comments from anyone knowledgeable about this? Or do you know of any recommendations? Thank you for all you do!
Hey Shawna! There’s still almost no clay going down the drain at any one time when you use this soap, so I wouldn’t be worried about it. If you do clay face masks and rinse those off with no trouble, this soap will be more than fine 🙂
Hi Marie, I just discovered your blog and I love it! Thank you for sharing your talents. I am planning to make this soap this weekend and I am excited to try it. My question is about your water %. In soapcalc, I usually use 34% for “water as %of oils”. I know the default is 38%. What should number should I be looking to use for this lots of clay soap? I just wanted to ask because I wasn’t sure how it would behave. Thank you!!
Hi Jen! I used 38%, and that worked great for me 🙂
Have you used this recipe for your hair? You have wrote about using clay for your shampoo bars but I can’t find any recipes about that.
I used this to wash my hair yesterday, it’s lovely 🙂
I love using kaolin clay in my soaps! These bars look so creamy and amazing. =)
Thanks, Anne-Marie! These are so beautifully creamy 😀
Hello, I am interested to make a shampoo bar to clean my beard, do you have some tutorial to make it? I am looking for a shampoo bar to keep moisturizing my skin and beard, with a good smell. I am a fan.
Hey Hector! This bar would be great for beard cleansing—my hair loves it 🙂 Thanks for reading!
i cannot wait to try this!. I am thinking this would make a beautiful vegan soap but don’t want to use palm (if i can find something that is eco-friendly &similar)… cocoa butter maybe? thoughts?
I’ve written an entire post on that here 🙂
Hi there. Love this recipe, used bentonite clay instead…because this is what was on hand. So far so good. The bars are a deep grey not as pretty as yours but still a cool color. One thing however. I tried this soaping at room temperature thing. Even going as far as using the lye to melt my oils…And you know what didn’t happen? My mixture didn’t at all accelerate when the clay was added, nor did it get to the thick trace…weird eh? I love bringing my batters to a thick trace because I love the look of the soap when I make swirls on the top. Looks like fudge. Lol. Has this happened at all to anyone?
Hey Kara! Sounds like your bars are coming along beautifully 🙂 With the room temperature soap I’m not too surprised you didn’t see any acceleration; more heat = more acceleration, so less heat = less acceleration. You might’ve noticed some if you’d blended away for 30+ minutes, depending on how warm your kitchen is. It might also partially be the bentonite; bentonite acts pretty weird in water compared to kaolin clay (well, most other clays).
I have a ton of bentonite clay on had and was thinking about doing a repeat of this soap with it. I was wondering how your soap turned out when you went to use it? Did the bentonite clay give you an exfoliating effect?
I’ve been a busy bee all holiday weekend, making face creams for upcoming birthdays, face masks for me, and now this soap. I used the method of pouring the lye onto the buttered oils – it works a treat, so simple. Could you use this for most CP soap?
The clay soap is still curing but I can tell it’s going to be good, sometimes you just know. I think its simplicity is its key.
I also found time to get some fruit beer brewing – which will join the wine fermenting in the spare room.
DIYing makes me happy. I love your curiosity Marie. You’ve encouraged me to try so many things.
A question re patronage – is there any way I can donate a smaller amount as a one off payment – I couldn’t see a possibility for doing this, but I would like to if so.
Hey Wendy! You can definitely use the room temperature method with most CP soaps—anything with lots of hard, solid butters might need a bit of extra heat, but in general I think it should work out pretty well 🙂
Your fruit beer sounds fantastic! My fermentation hasn’t made it any further than kombucha, which looks very gross on a table near my kitchen haha.
You can cancel your patronage any time, so I suppose the solution would be to sign up and let it charge your card once before cancelling 🙂 Thank you so much for your support!
Well, this recipe just gave me my first mess. When I went to mix in my first couple scoops of clay, it stuck to the sides of my pot. When I tried to use my spatula to scrape it back to the middle, my blender slipped out of my other hand and flipped, spattering raw soap everywhere.
Then I had a mad rush to get the clay mixed in, as well as my grapefruit and orange 5x oils, and get it all to a smooth thick trace to go in my mold – all in quick time so I could get my clothes in the wash before the raw soap could do too much possible fiber damage.
Looks like my sweatpants might make it, but damn, that was not fun.
Here’s praying there’s no issues with separation. I used up my entire bottle of white grapefruit oil, and that would just be heartbreaking. Fingers crossed I get some lovely citrus bars out of it instead!
Quick update, my bars came together fine and smell fantastic. My mom was even asking how long they have to cure (ie: how long do we have to wait to try one?) The citrus seems like a great, summery pairing with the clay.
I have a question too: is this the All-in-one recipe you use all the time? Or do you alter it on a recipe-to-recipe basis? I imagine the higher % of tallow gives a harder bar.
I tend to fuss with it a bit here and there; more of this or that, or a different rich oil, or perhaps more castor oil. I can’t help but continue to fuss and experiment haha!
I just visualized the whole thing. Scary thought.
BTW, I do a lot of clay soaps, but I always mix the clay in some water. Unless you are using really slow tracing oils (what is the point of a soap without coconut oil, I don’t know), no way you are going to be able to mix any decent amount of clay with traced soap batter (for lack of a better term). Much easier to give the clay its own water so it isn’t stealing it from the soap recipe. Then it mixes beautifully.
On plus side, this isn’t going to separate. Ever. Never had a clay soap separate or even be the slightest reluctant to stay traced. If anything the problem can be acceleration.
If you don’t want to add water, you can mix the clay in your superfatting oil and fragrance to add after trace.
Thank you very much for that tip. I’ll make a note and keep it in mind for future batches. It’s also good to know that clay soaps won’t separate on me. I’ve not had a batch separate yet, but I dread the occurrence. And I was certainly freaked given I’d put all of my Grapefruit oil into this one. My curing bars certainly smell amaaaazing!
Thanks! I can definitely see that pre-mixing would be a great idea with any highly absorbent clay like bentonite.
Oh no! It sounds like a messy day 🙁 I hate it when my limbs don’t listen and I make similar messes!
Beautiful soap! Clay soaps usually dry my skin out too much. Even the kaolin can be too drying. Does using an abundance of clay counter act the drying effect?
Hey Mindy! I find this soap to be wonderfully creamy and no more drying than any other soap I make, but I don’t find clay to make for an extra drying bar of soap.
Hi Marie…This is a goreous soap in its simplicity, thanks for sharing your talents! I used this soap as my initiation into soapmaking, and my bars are three weeks into curing. They smell lovely and I’m waiting with much impatience to get my hands on a bar. My colour is not quite as creamy as yours because I used extra virgin olive oil. Am I correct in assuming a basic olive oil is best in soaping? The scariest issue for me with soaping is the gel phase. Could you give me the basics of your insulation method for this soap please? As in do you use heating pad etc? Thank you very much in advance for your help 🙂
Hey Karen! Thanks so much for reading and DIYing with me 🙂 I always use the cheap olive oil from costco for my soaps—no need for beautiful EVOO here! When it comes to gelling I really can’t be fussed and don’t take any steps to try and force gel. I usually just leave my mould on the counter and rarely get any gelling, which I love! Check out the most recent bars I made (the photo is on Instagram) to see how that turns out 🙂
Hi Marie….As I mentioned awhile back, this recipe was my intoduction to soaping and it remains my favourite soap. I have played with it a bit and recently added a pretty vein of jojoba beads for exfoliation. Its just so creamy and has a beautiful feel on the skin.
Your creations inspire me and I consider it a privilage to support you via Patreon. I look forward to your book 🙂
Oh yay! I’m so thrilled 🙂 And thank you so much for your support, it is hugely appreciated!
I finally found/bought tallow; five minutes after it came in the mail, I started making these bars! They’re saponifying in the corner and I can’t wait to try them!
Woohoo! Enjoy them 🙂 I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Marie – what percentage of superfat did you use for this recipe?
5%—it’s in the recipe st the end of the ingredients list 🙂
I saw this and had to try it.And since i can’t follow a recipe, I used 70% coconut, 10% lard and 20% olive oil at 15% superfat. A bit surprised that it didn’t seize. This has the most amazing lather.Wow!
Cool, thanks for sharing! I’ve never soaped with such a high superfat—is this something you do often with high coconut oil formulas? What’s the shelf life like? I’ve read about using high SF for 100% coconut oil soaps, but never tried it.
I SF my 100% coconut oil soap 25% and my 85% coconut oil salt bars 20%. I have some that are a year old. No rancidity and they are wonderful soaps to use with no drying of the skin.
Can I use Palm Oil instead of Tallow? Also I have Rhassoul clay. Can I use that instead?
Hey Jasmine! Read this on using and substituting tallow 🙂 Rhassoul clay is a lot heavier than kaolin, so you may find you need less and it will give the final bars a different feel. Read this on rhassoul. I haven’t written up kaolin yet, but it’s similar to the French clays 🙂
Hi Marie, I tried to make this soap yesterday. It was my first soap ever. I did not have castor oil, so I substituted it with coconut oil. While adding clay, they mixture turned like fudge. I added it to mold finally, but it was not at all nice shiny liquid or paste. I am not sure how the soap will turn out, I am going to give it a try though.
But what could have gone wrong with my soap making method? Was it not adding castor oil?
Hmm. What temperature did you soap at? What water % did you use?
This soap and your Mermaid Silk soap have inspired me so much for my first bar of soap. Now since it’s my first try I won’t be doing any fancy layers, but I’ve decided on a 250g batch with 3.5 tbsp kaolin, 1 tsp silk, and some swirls of mica and oxides. Just not sure what scents and colors to use yet! Any suggestions?
Hmm. I am concerned about how small that batch is; it’ll be hard to work with and get your immersion blender in there. You might also want to reduce the amount of clay as some people can find working with clay to be a bit problematic, and that’s lots (I’d probably go with 1.5–2 tsp for your first go with a batch this size). I’d work with one of the room temperature methods to give yourself lots of time for the swirls, and for scents, lavender and citrus ones are lovely and inexpensive 🙂 Happy soaping and good luck!
I love your creativity. It appears that you only line the bottom and sides of your soap mold. Does your soap release easily from the wooden end pieces? Thanks!
Thanks, Catherine! The ends release easily by running a knife down the loaf; check out my YouTube videos of soap making to see how I do it 🙂
Thank you for posting this recipe. I made a batch of this soap, and after a good long cure, finally started using it last week. Wholly cow! I will now be adding kaolin clay to every recipe I make. I can not believe how creamy and wonderful the lather is! My only problem is that I just can’t stop soaping up my body! It’s like a bubble bath right there in the shower. Thank you for sharing your efforts with us. I just recently found your site, but have made one of your basic lip balms in addition to this soap. The lip balm is better than any other I’ve bought or made. I don’t usually do such large batches of bar soap because I only make for myself and my loved ones, but I plan to dig out my 3 lb mold and make this soap again in larger quantity. Don’t want to chance running out. Thanks again
Hey Julie! I am so thrilled that you are loving this soap 🙂 It’s definitely one of my favourites as well—even I was blown away by how creamy it is when I first started using it! I’m stoked you’re loving my lip balms, too 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and DIYing with me, and enjoy your soap!
So I made this last month and used it for the first time today. Gosh golly wow wee! Good things come to those that wait! All I can say is thank goodness I made 2kg worth of it!
This is a great bar of soap for shaving! Thanks for a fantastic recipe!
Oh yay! This one is definitely still one of my top loves, I cannot get over the super creamy texture and lather 🙂
I am currently out of lye after making over 100 bars for Christmas presents. But! On my list when my new order of lye arrives is another awesome clay bar with 5% sea buckthorn oil.
And I’ve a question for you. I’ve recently started working with tallow and lard. I find the lard soap cuts quite easily with no issues. But the lard soap hardens up making cutting difficult as most of the time, the bar cracks. I’ve shorted the unmolding time to ten hours, but any less than that I’m afraid I’ll be interrupting the soaps natural gel time. My tallow bars are so hard within a few days of making I’m almost tempted to use them. Oh, and I find any less than 10% I don’t really have this problem. But once I add more than ten, I get crumbles.
Should I carry on and just brush the cracks off as aesthetics? Or might there be something wrong with my tallow?
Huh, how odd. Truly. I’ve never had that experience with tallow or lard, honestly. Are you water discounting at all? Using sodium lactate? I haven’t been able to find anything about soap cracking during cutting, just during saponification. Hmm.
I add clay to all of my soap recipes! I’m getting ready to make beer soap for the first time and your generous use of clay in this recipe has inspired me to do the same.
I recently discovered your YouTube channel and website and am thoroughly enjoying the content. I admire your talent!
Thank you so much, Sheila! Happy soaping 🙂
I just made this recipe last night for a 20 oz mold. I added 9 Tb kaolin to the oils before adding lye. Worked fabulously well. I fragranced with .30 oz white rose fo from brambleberry, .10 oz rose absolute, and .10 oz geranium. I did a modified dandelion stripe by adding 1 Tb rose clay to 5 oz of the batter….note to self, that could be halved….may get some bloody soap as Marie says, but I can’t wait to try it. I wish I could share a picture here….it was just gorgeous cut!
Marie I am loving your recipes! !!! Thank you so much for sharing them. And thank you for taking the fear out of cold process soaping!
Thank you so much for sharing! I’m so glad you’re loving it 😀 Just wait until it ages so you can use it 😉
Hi Marie. Happy New Year. I’m thinking of making this for my very first soap. I have some ingredients that will be expiring in a few months like Castor oil and mango butter (I’ll sub the shea butter). But I was wondering about the expiration date. Would the expiration date of soap be when the first ingredient expires or because of the lye does it extend that? I just read homemade soap without fruits, herbs ect will usually last about 24 months.
I should be receiving your book on Wednesday. I am beyond excited. I was going to order some make-up from 100% Pure in December but decided to hold off and make my own with recipes from your book. I will definitely keep you posted.
How do Canadian’s say herb? Is it like us Americans that don’t pronounce the H (E-rrb) or do you say it like the Brits and pronouce the H? I like to pronounce the H just for fun even though I’m American.
Hey Liz! There really is no hard answer for your question, BUT I have found that soap tends to last much longer than the ingredients in it would on their own—after all, after saponification they are not the same ingredients. I would expect your soap to last at least a year, if not longer (also, those listed expiry dates are just a guess, too).
I hope you love the book! I can’t wait to hear about the things you create from it 🙂
I tend to flip between the two, honestly! I can’t really speak for all of Canada, but neither sticks out to me as being obviously right or wrong 😛
I just received an email notification about a comment I made on January 1st but I can’t find the response anywhere. And I’ve scrolled through every comment twice, lol. Hitting the ‘continue reading’ in the email only brings me to the top of the page, not to an actual reply. . . . how can I find it? 🙂
You asked a fellow reader a question, not me, but the only way for me to clear your comment from the “needs a reply” area is to reply, which I did and then promptly deleted because you weren’t talking to me 🙂 Generally speaking other readers do not reply to questions left for them, so I’m not sure if you’ll ever get an answer.
My mistake! I thought with the ‘notify me of replies to my comment’ option that there might be a chance of hearing back from her. Because perhaps she put a check mark beside that, just as I did 🙂 I won’t make any more comments after this one.
There is a chance, but only if she’d checked that box as well, and I have no idea if she did 🙂 But I get notified every time either way!
Hi Marie. Thank you so much for sharing. I am new to soap making but have tried a few recipes. Will adding kaolin clay to soap make the bar drying instead of moisturizing? I like to have the moisturizing benefits of the oils when using the soaps.
Honestly… I have never, ever met a soap that was actually moisturizing. “Moisturizing” and “soap” just do not go together. Soap cleans by carrying the oils off your skin and down the drain, and that is the opposite of moisturizing. I do find that handmade cold process soaps are more gentle and less drying than harsher detergent based bars, and I find bars with lots of clay to be no less gentle (more gentle, actually), but soap is never going to be moisturizing like a lotion will be. Hope that helps!
Hi Marie, would you kindly explain the addition of x10 clay? How do you make the calculations? Thanks very much.
There’s really no calculations required—it’s all in the recipe 🙂
I had been wanting to make this soap for a long time now (saved it the moment I saw it on pinterest) and finally made it but with different set of oils. They are in curing now. Just loved the way they turned out…. creamy just like yours. I used turmeric infused coconut oil with some annatto for enhanced color. I DID FORGET that the sf was 0% 🙁 Hopefully they are as awesome and creamy as they look.
Oh one more thing, I added the clay to oils (as someone did mention it in the comments) and left it for around 2 hrs before adding the lye. Used coconut milk instead of water. Was shit scared the oil will be a thick sludge by the time am ready to add the lye but surprisingly nothing such happened!!
Btw love your recipes, tips & guide. Keep referring to them time & again 🙂 You are awesome!!!!
How fun! When you say you forgot about the SF, do you mean you forgot to enter it into the soap calculator? ‘Cause it is supposed to be 5%, and noted as such here. I love the milk instead of water bit—coconut milk in soap is amazing 🙂 I bet you’ll love these bars when they’re done aging, thanks for DIYing with me!
I forgot to add in the SF. It was sitting peacefully in the microwave :D. But the bars still turned out awesome!!!
Woo! Glad to hear it 😀
I have not got brave enough to try hp or cp. Can I use melt and pour instead?
For this recipe, yes 🙂
Hi Marie! Just wanted to thank you for this recipie and answering my questions about kaolin clay. I use it in almost all my soap, but just @ 1 Tbsp per pound. I’m excited to try adding 10x.
Thanks for your most interesting blogs and all the research you do and share. You’re a gem!
Thank you, Angie! I think you’re going to love it, it’s such a simple way to make a downright amazing bar of soap 😀
After reading this blog post I just tried adding 5T of Kaolin to 16 oz of oil, just my regular recipe, and OMG the lather is awesome! Thank you so much for this tip!!!
YAY! I’m so glad you’re loving it 🙂 Tons of clay = the best!
I really want to try making soap, and I read a lot of your recipes and this one sounds great. I went onto SoapCalc and changed it to 20% olive oil and 10% castor which would make it bubble more (I read your other post) and I was wondering what the maximum percentage for castor oil you could use (I was wondering because I have second sourcing that are quite young and thought they would enjoy really bubbly soap)
You can go up to about 20% castor oil, but keep in mind it will make for a softer soap. I do it for shampoo and it’s lovely—just age it longer if you find it’s vanishing too fast when you start using it. Also, take the time to play around in soap calc and watch the numbers for the bubbly and creamy values and see how those change as you change the oils 🙂
Also, sorry, this was kind of an after thought, but do you have any soap recipes without lard/tallow? I read your post on lard and tallow, and wanted to make a soap with cocoa butter instead of tallow, have you ever tried this, and would the superfamily be the same? Sorry, and thanks for all your great recipes
Can mango butter be used instead of Shea ?
Yes, but I’d only do it if your mango butter is on the verge of going bad given it’s more than 2x the price of shea butter 🙂
Hi! I love love your blog, so much inspiration!
I was wondering if I could make a clay bar with the M&P process? If yes (please say yes!), 10x kaolin to 500g soap base?
I’ve never used M&P so I’m hardly an expert, BUT do keep in mind that I’m doing 10x kaolin to just the fats, and you are looking at a complete soap, so it’s not quite the same thing. It should be ok?
Decided to try a cold process bar instead!
Another question though – India’s mostly vegetarian and i’d like to replace the tallow. Ghee (clarified butter) is plentily available and soap calc lists it as a fat I can use for soap making. Have you ever tried it? If yes, could you share a recipe? If no, do you know how I could go about it?
I’m afraid I have not worked with ghee in soap as it’s fairly expensive here. I would simply try entering it in soap calc and seeing if the hardness values are acceptable, and adjust from there. Happy soaping!
I just made the clay bar and it’s very white as opposed to the colours of your bar. Thats ok?
Most of the colour from this bar is from the olive oil and shea butter—if yours were paler than mine that will easily explain the variation 🙂
I’ve just made a batch of this soap as my first ever batch! I did tweak it a bit though, using lard instead of tallow since I couldn’t find tallow att the store (and was too impatient to render it myself). It’s saponifying right now. I’ve learned so much from reading your blogg and watching your videos and an currently goding through your beginner’s guide as well.
How exciting! Congratulations 🙂 Thank you so much for reading and DIYing with me, I really appreciate it!
So a while back I happen to pick up a bag of rose colored kaolin clay. I finally broke it out to make a batch of this soap. The color turned out absolutely lovely. Unfortunately, the top of my bar cracked open.
Beautiful! I usually leave this batch uncovered (well, I usually leave most batches uncovered these days), and it doesn’t typically crack on me 🙂 You could also try leaving it outside while it saponifies if it’s a bit chilly in your part of the world these days!
Hello. These soaps look amazing BTW. Does is have a good bubbly lather?
Does anyone who has made it know?
They have a really lovely creamy, rich, bubbly later—you can buy one here to see for yourself 🙂
Thanks so much Marie!! You are such an inspiring person with skincare DIY’s!
Thanks! Happy making 😀
I just wanted to thank you for all your awesomeness, I have tossed your name around to everyone I know who like these crafts. Only cause of your in-depth approach to the ingredients. You really have brought so much joy into my world. You deserve to know that.
I made this batch with lard, not tallow a few days back while heading out the door, 2 days later upon arrival at home it is still soft. I was 7 grams short on the castor oil so I added 7 grams of shea butter. I used vinegar instead of water and upped the SF to 7%. Cause I am an idiot who cant leave well enough alone.. SMH
It does look lovely, and it comes out of the moulds easily enough, but is quite soft to the touch.
I am going to give it a few weeks to see if the harden up, if not I am thinking of rebatchng and upping the lye a tad. Would this be a suitable approach?
I am building a soap drying room.. I have no qualms about leaving it for years even, this was going to be my second approach to soft batches. My question is can you tell if a bar will harden up, or if it will remain soft?
Once again, thank you so much.
Hey! Thanks so much for reading and DIYing with me 🙂 Between your increased SF and the vinegar (which would further increase your superfat by unknown amounts), I would be very concerned about this soap spoiling on you quite quickly. Because we don’t know what your actual superfat is, it’s hard to make recommendations on additional NaOH. Soap Queen has an article you mind find helpful—I’ve never created a super-superfatted bar and tried to re-batch it, so I’m afraid I don’t have any personal experience to share 🙂
In my experience (again, I don’t think I’ve ever made a bar as soft as yours), most things will harden up, but it’s a matter of how long they’ll take, and if they spoil before that happens. Soap Queen’s article says if it’s soft after a couple weeks that’s probably a superfat issue. I assume that’s because if the bars are soft because of water content, after a couple weeks that’s mostly evaporated off. So, if it’s still soft after a few weeks that’s because the fats are soft, and those won’t harden with further evaporation 🙂
I had ordered some Kaolin Clay but it’s really grainy. I got some Indian healing clay which is Calcium Bentonite clay. Would that work or would it totally mess up everything… I’m a bit scared. LOL
Don’t use the bentonite; it’s VERY different (watch this). Where did you get your kaolin from? It should be fine and smooth, like all purpose flour.
Hello Marie, I love everything I have made from your site you have taught me so much! Thank you again. My family wants me to make some Calamine soap from your fantastic Calamine salve, would this be a good recipe to use and how would I add it in the Soapcal to do this? I want to add as much as possible. Thanks!
Hmm. Technically you’d just add zinc oxide and a touch of calamine, but readers have reported too much zinc oxide in soap does not end well. I’d probably start with ~2tsp per 500g oils and work up from there 🙂
Can I use glacier marine clay instead? I purchased some on Etsy not too long ago and been wanted to try it in soap.
If you’ve never used this clay in soap before I’d tread carefully and not start with a massive load of clay like this recipe uses. Perhaps try it at more standard usage rates (~1tbsp per pound of oils) before amping it up.
what is your experience using this clay?
I don’t believe I have used that clay.
Your recipe are you saying to use 10tbs per pound of oil? I’m using 2.5lbs so that’ll be 25 tbs?
I was wondering if I could substitute French Green Clay for the kaolin?
That should work—they’re pretty similar in terms of texture and absorbency 🙂
Hi. I made this soap a few weeks ago and it has been curing. I added a bit of sodium lactate just to help get the bars our of my silicone loaf mold. I’ve been noticing a bit of white fuzz forming on the sides of the bar that were touching the mold… I’ve read that this could be crystalization from the sodium lactate, or just another form of soda ash. I’ve never seen this on any of my bars before, and I’m just curious to see what your thoughts are. Thank you!
I’m afraid I’ve never seen that before! What ended up happening after a couple weeks/months?
I ended up brushing it off with a paper towel, and everything was fine! I used it as normal and didn’t notice anything was different.
What is the lye concentration you recommend for this recipe ? Looked through your FAQ, could not find any suggestion. (recently made a batch of soap with glycerin pools)
I used a 5% superfat and the default SoapCalc water %. If you’ve experienced glycerin rivers you can decrease the water. This soap uses water at 22% of the oil weight and I didn’t have any glycerin rivers, but it also has far less clay than this soap, and I worry the high clay amount + low water might make for a batter that gets very thick very quickly. Happy experimenting!
I am really enjoying your blog. Great content and so refreshing! I havent ventured into CP soap making yet. Mainly as my space doesnt really lend itself to handling lye. I have been working and experimenting a lot with melt and pour soaps for a while and I was wondering if you could also add the kaolin clay to these? I usually work with the very basic bases (clear and organic) so I can add a few non heat sensitive ingredients (in small quanitities). Thanks for your help! Nicole xx
I believe you should be able to, but I’ve never made M&P before so I’m not a great person to ask 🙂 Happy making!
These bars came out hard or soft after curing? I want to know how adding clay affects the firmness of the soap.
I’d say lots of clay makes bars slightly harder, but the fat blend is much more important than the addition of clay.
I just made a soap with 2tsp kaolin clay in 500g. Looking forward to playing with this recipe. The soap traced really quickly as I believe clay increases trace, though I also added a fragrance.Anyway, be ready.I added clay as I was making a mans shaving soap.Then it occurred to me that women might also like to use a shaving soap to shave their legs, so I coloured the remainder of the batch with pink mica and added watermelon fragrance and poppyseeds for the lovely gritty feel I enjoy.Thanks so much for all your recipes, much appreciated.
I have made Melissa’s shampoo bar before, and I loved it!
I want to try this one due to the combination of tallow and bentonite clay.
Do you use this one for shampoo?
My instincts tell me it’s just fine for shampoo, but thought I’d rather ask before I go ahead and start the process.
Hi! I’m not sure who Melissa is, but I’m glad you found a shampoo bar you love 🙂
You said you wanted to make this because it contains bentonite, but it doesn’t, and I don’t recommend using bentonite instead of the kaolin clay this soap calls for 🙂
I also wouldn’t really recommend this as a shampoo—the pH is very high, as it will be with all soaps, and that high pH is hard on hair. That said, if you already happily wash your hair with soap and it works for you, there’s no reason you couldn’t wash your hair with this soap—just make sure you follow up with an acidic rinse. Happy making!
I’m sorry, I wasn’t being very specific. It’s Melissa from Bumblebee and me.
She has a recipe very similar to yours, and it’s market as a shampoo bar.
I do use apple cider vinegar after shampooing, and only use the shampoo once a week (the other times it’s just a water rinse)
This has really helped a lot on dryness, without looking oily!
How interesting, what are the odds of there being a “Melissa from Bumblebee and me” and a “Marie from Humblebee and Me”! Happy making!
I am surprised at the reference to “room temperature soaping” when using hot lye solution to melt the oils.
Most soapers call that the “heat transfer method,” since the lye is hot — not room temp or even close to room temp.
“Room temperature” soaping, in my soapy circles, refers to using both oils AND lye solution that are at or near the soaper’s ambient room temperature.
Hi Marie, I know this is an old post. My question is will adding so much clay be possible for a single oil soap. Olive oil with a low super fat or coconut oil with a high super fat? Any thoughts from anyone will be much appreciated.
Hello. Can I substitute olive oil for the olive oil pomace ?
They are both olive oil, pomace is just the cheapest grade 🙂
I’ve always failed at clay soap making, about half an hour after it’s in the mold, it turns to an oily sludgy and doesn’t incorporate or harden. I’ve never added fragrance so I know its not a finicky fragrance issue. Does that sound like a water discount issue? I’ve also always added the clay to the oil NOT after the batter reaches trace (will have to try that)