Lemongrass and Clove Bar Soap


I had a bunch of leftover oils lying around – half a bottle here, third of a bottle there, that type of thing. So, I thought I should use up all these lousy half empty bottles once and for all in a batch of soap. Turned out nice! And I learned that canola oil is a good substitute for olive oil, and safflower oil is extremely similar to sunflower oil. You should limit the amount of safflower/sunflower oil in your recipe to not more than 25%, otherwise the resulting bar soap is very soft (mushy and hard to unmold).

The below recipe makes about 5 lbs of soap. I used my long wooden mold.


*All measurements are weight measurements, not liquid measurements.

  • 10.9 oz Olive Oil
  • 13.3 oz Canola Oil
  • 16 oz Coconut Oil
  • 12 oz Cocoa Butter
  • 6.8 oz Safflower Oil
  • 13.3 oz Sunflower Oil
  • 25 oz water
  • 11 oz lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
  • 2 oz Lemongrass EO
  • 1 oz Clove EO
  • 0.5 oz Ginger EO
  • 1 oz. Peppermint EO
  • 1 oz. Rosemary EO
  • 1 oz. Kaolin Clay
  • 1 oz. Annatto seed powder  (color)
  • 0.5 oz sparkly gold mica powder

Base Oil Composition:

  • 40% Olive Oil & Canola Oil
  • 20% Coconut Oil
  • 15% Cocoa Butter
  • 25% Sunflower Oil & Safflower Oil


More detailed directions here.

  1. In a heat-safe container, add lye to your water, stir, set aside to cool to about 110F. It took about an hour or two for the solution to come down from 160 F.
  2. In a separate container, melt and combine the base oils. I like to break up the hard cocoa butter into small chunks so that it melts more evenly. It will melt around 130-140F. This step takes hardly any time, especially if you use a double boiler.
  3. When the lye water is about 100-110F (within 10F of the oils), pour the lye water into your base oils and blend with a stick blender.
  4. After a few pulses with the stick blender, add the mica powder, the clay, and the Annatto seed powder. Pulse a few more times to incorporate the powders.
  5. Stir in every essential oil EXCEPT THE CLOVE OIL by hand. If you use the stick blender, do so with caution! You may accelerate trace.
  6. After your hand stir it well, blend with the stick blender.
  7. Fold the clove oil into the mixture. I left the clove oil for the last step because it is a spice oil, which is known to rice soap if it is agitated with the stick blender.
  8. Pour in your mold, and allow to sit for 1 day.
  9. Unmold, cut, and cure for 6-8 weeks.