Making homemade soap is one of my new favorite skills. I especially love soaps that are made with foraged and wildcrafted ingredients. My friend Jan Berry, blogger at The Nerdy Farm Wife and author of 101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home and the Natural Soapmaking eBook, has a great recipe for wild rose and yarrow soap that she is sharing with us in this guest post! She has a new soapmaking book, Simple & Natural Soapmaking, that is full of awesome soap recipes similar to this one.
Wild Rose and Yarrow Soap Recipe
This natural soap recipe was inspired by a tangle of roses growing right by a patch of wild yarrow I discovered one day on my morning walk. They looked so beautiful growing together, I thought they’d make a perfect pairing in soap too!
Before you make this recipe, you’ll first need to make a rose and yarrow oil infusion. To do so, fill a canning jar about half-way with dried rose petals and yarrow. Pour olive oil over the dried flowers until completely covered by several extra inches of oil. Cover with a lid and infuse for several weeks, then strain. For a quicker infusion, set the uncovered jar into a saucepan filled with a few inches of water. Heat the pan over low heat for 2 to 3 hours. Cool and strain. Use in place of regular olive oil in soap recipes.
Wild Rose and Yarrow Soap
Makes 7 to 8 bars (2.5 lbs/1.13 kg)
- 3.85 oz (109 g) Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
- 8.75 oz (248 g) Distilled Water
- ½ tsp rose clay (for color)
- 6.5 oz (184 g) Coconut Oil
- 2 oz (57 g) Kokum or Cocoa Butter
- 15 oz (425 g) Olive Oil
- 3 oz (85 g) Sunflower or Sweet Almond Oil
- 1.5 oz (43 g) Castor Oil
Add at Trace
- 25 g geranium essential oil (for scent)
Notes & Substitution Ideas
To replace kokum or cocoa butter, try using tallow or lard instead for a similar effect. Shea butter could also work well.
Instead of scenting with just geranium essential oil, you could try a floral blend of 18 g geranium + 7 g lavender essential oils.
Step 1: Make the Lye Solution
Wearing protective gloves and eyewear, carefully stir the lye (sodium hydroxide) into the distilled water until dissolved. Next, stir in the rose clay. Work in an area with good ventilation and be careful not to breathe in the fumes. Set the lye solution aside to cool for about 30 or 40 minutes or until the temperature drops to around 100 to 110°F (38 to 43°C).
Step 2: Prepare the Oils
Gently heat the coconut oil and kokum/cocoa butter on low heat until melted. When the solid oils are melted, take the pan off the heat and pour in the liquid oils. This helps cool down the melted oils, while warming up the room temperature oils.
Step 3: Mixing
Pour the cooled lye solution into the warmed oils. Using a combination of hand stirring and an immersion blender, also called a stick blender, stir the soap batter until it thickens and reaches a light trace. Trace is when the soap has thickened enough so when you drizzle a small amount of the batter across the surface, it will leave a fleeting, but visible imprint or “trace” before sinking back in.
Step 4: Add the Essential Oil
When the soap batter has thickened to trace, or the consistency of warm custard, stir in the essential oil(s) for scent.
Step 5: Pour in Mold
Pour the soap batter into your soap mold. Cover lightly with wax or freezer paper, then a towel or light blanket. Peek at the soap every so often; if it starts developing a crack, uncover and move to a cooler location.
Step 6: Cut & Cure
Keep the soap in the mold for 1 to 2 days, or until it’s easy to remove, then slice it into bars when it’s firm enough not to stick to your cutting tool. Cure on coated cooling racks or sheets of wax paper for about 4 weeks before using. The soap is safe to touch 48 hours after making it but it needs the extra time to allow the excess moisture to evaporate out.
Thanks Jan! This wild rose and yarrow soap sounds so amazing, and it is beautiful, too! I can’t wait to try out this recipe, plus all of the other foraged and garden fresh natural soap recipes that are in Simple & Natural Soapmaking.
Free Mini Soapmaking e-Course
If you are interested in learning more about making soap, Jan also has a free Soapmaking for Absolute Beginners eCourse that you can take. Over the course of six lessons you’ll learn:
- common soapmaking terms
- all about basic soapmaking equipment
- what soapmaking ingredients you need
- why we use lye (and why it deserves respect, but not fear)
- plus an easy soap recipe, perfect for beginners
If you already know how to make soap, check out her Soapmaking Success eCourse to learn how to become more confident and adventurous in your soapmaking!
I hope you get a chance to make this wild rose and yarrow soap, it’s amazing and beautiful!