Gardening Cold Process Soap

  • Difficulty:Intermediate
  • Time:30 minutes
  • Yields:5 pounds

If you have never made cold process soap before, I strongly suggest getting a couple of  basic recipes under your belt before diving in. Check out Soap Queen TV on Cold Process if you want to get started with cold process. It’s a 4 part series that will take you through the basics (and be sure to watch the episode on Lye Safety). If you’re a book worm, Bramble Berry also has some helpful reading on the cold process technique.


1.6 oz Sweet Almond Oil

13.7 oz Coconut Oil

2.2 oz Mango Butter

19.2 oz Olive Oil

13.7 oz Palm Oil

4.4 oz Palm Kernel Flakes

8 oz Lye

18.1 oz Water

2 tablespoons ground coffee

2 tablespoons blue pumice (save a sprinkle garnish) or Blue Jojoba Beads

1.5 teaspoon shredded loofah for the top garnish

Essential Oil Blend: 3.5 oz Orange 10x, .3 oz Cinnamon Leaf, 1 oz Patchouli

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Measure out your fragrance oil ahead of time to make sure you like the combination. The orange, patchouli and cinnamon mixture is one of my new favorites. It’s bright and earthy!

Prep: Line your 5 pound ELF mold with freezer paper.

ONE: Carefully combine your water and lye and mix well. Always add the lye to the water and stir until the mixture turns clear. Make sure you’re in a well ventilated area.

TWO: While the lye mixture cools, melt and combine Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Flakes, Sweet Almond Oil and Olive Oil. Stir in the Mango Butter to the warm mixture so it melts slowly (this prevents the mango butter from getting a grainy texture).

THREE: Slowly and carefully add the lye water to the oil mixture. Stick blend until light trace. Add essential oil combination and stick blend until trace.

FOUR: Separate the batch into two even containers (eyeball the measurement).

FIVE: To the first half of soap batter, add 2 tablespoons of ground coffee and mix well with the stick blender until you reach thick trace. Pour the soap batter into the mold.

SIX: Add 2 tablespoons of Blue Pumice to the second half of the batter and mix until thick trace. Pour the second layer of soap.

TIP: Pour the soap over a spoon so it hits the first layer of soap gently preventing a “break through”. We want a nice and even layer.

SEVEN: Garnish the top of the soap with blue pumice and shredded loofah. Then insulate and put it to bed over night. I like to put a piece of cardboard over the top of the mold and wrap it in a towel. Cooling slowly will put the soap through gel phase and prevent soda ash.

EIGHT: Let the soap set for 24 hours. Unmold, cut and let cure.

P.S. Don’t you love the look of the blue pumice with the yellow color of the soap? I’m totally in love with this soap!

16 Responses to “Gardening Cold Process Soap”

  1. Lovely! That pumice would make a perfect bar for summer feet too! Can’t wait to try it! (After I’ve tried the other zillion cool ingredients I’ve ordered from BB. LOL)

    I’ve been experimenting with coffee in soap and to my delight I discovered that you can get that beautiful creamy brown in the soap (like yours) without subbing brewed coffee for the water. MUCH easier and less stinky :)

    Tip: if you want a darker or richer looking brown, use more finely ground coffee, such as that which you get from Starbucks. It looks gorgeous too and makes for a very “manly” soap.


  2. Linda says:

    That soap looks awesome and I love the scent combo. Guess I’ll have to add the pumice to my BB wishlist!

  3. Nublu says:

    Im going to make some CP soap, but i cant deside what size the shoup should be. Your soaps look just perfect. Could you tell me in cm how thick, wide and high your soaps are? (dimensions of soap)

    Thanks a lot :)

  4. These soaps are just gorgeous!I see I’m going to have to make a special trip to Washington to see you and your soaps.

  5. Blue pumice no longer available at Brambleberry… so I plan to substitute regular ground pumice (until it becomes available again). Love this recipe for gardener soap!!

  6. [...] a few of my favorites: wholesale supplies plus  bramble berry they have a lye calculator & soap queen blog too! Miller’s Soap The Soap Kitchen soaps, bath bombs, body butters & loads more The MMS [...]

  7. Karen says:

    Hi there
    Love the look of this soap. It looks like when you pour the lye water that it is already brown…are you using coffee?
    Thanks, Karen

    • Anne-Marie says:

      That dark liquid in the 3rd photo is the essential oil. Orange 10X is really a dark orange-brown =)

  8. Mrs.Griffin says:

    I plan on making cupcake soaps with CP, is there away to prevent soda ash with cupcake soaps because you cant wrap them in plastic wrap!

    • Good morning, Mrs. Griffin! The best way to prevent soda ash on cold process cupcakes is to spray the soap with a 91% rubbing alcohol solution. Then you will need to cover the cupcakes in a box or container for 24 hours. Soda Ash is a harmless but it can easily be scraped off or washed off. :)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  9. tory says:

    hi, just made the recipe, looks great. I have been searching for blue pumice at BB, are you going to carry it again? (I just used white). thanks for the recipe!

    • Good morning, Tory!

      Unfortunately, we don’t have any blue pumice at the moment and we are still looking to source it. But, the second we find a quality source for it, we will definitely have it back in stock. =)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

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