Lavender Kombucha Soap Recipe
Recipe type: Cold Process Soap
Serves: about 3 pounds of soap
This soap is made with kombucha instead of distilled water!
  • 10″ Silicone Loaf Mold
  • 39 oz. Swirl Recipe Quick Mix
  • 5.5 oz. Sodium Hydroxide Lye (3% superfat)
  • 11.6 oz. Prepped Kombucha (10% “water” discount)
  • Lavender Mica
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • 2 oz. Lavender 40/42 Essential Oil
  • Lavender Buds
KOMBUCHA PREP: Before lye is mixed with kombucha, it needs to be prepped. Adding lye to carbonated beverages does not work well, so the kombucha is boiled first to get rid of the carbonation. Some kombucha can also have a small amount of alcohol, so boiling helps get rid of that as well. Pour about 1.5x the amount of kombucha that you need into a saucepan. Some of the kombucha will boil off, so adding more than you need helps ensure you’ll have enough for your entire recipe. For this recipe, I used one 16 oz. can of kombucha and needed to supplement a little with distilled water later in the process. Turn the heat to medium high and allow the kombucha to reach a rolling boil. Let it boil for about 5 minutes. Weigh out 11.6 ounces of the kombucha into a separate container. If you don’t have enough, you can add distilled water later. If you have too much, save the rest for another batch. Then, pour the kombucha into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer. Allow the kombucha to fully freeze. Once frozen, place a container appropriate for mixing lye onto a scale and hit the tare button. Empty the frozen kombucha into the container and extra distilled water if necessary (we added about an ounce of water).
SAFETY FIRST: Suit up for safe handling practices! That means goggles, gloves and long sleeves. Make sure kids, pets, and other distractions and tripping hazards are out of the house or don’t have access to your soaping space. Always soap in a well-ventilated area.
KOMBUCHA LYE PREP: With safety gear on, measure out the sodium hydroxide lye flakes into a container. Then, add about ¼ of the sodium hydroxide lye flakes directly to the frozen kombucha. Stir together for several minutes. Then, add about another ¼ of the lye flakes and stir. The lye flakes will begin to dissolve and heat up the kombucha ice cubes. As the kombucha heats up, it will begin to change color and emit an unpleasant odor – this is normal! Continue slowly adding the lye flakes and stirring. This process can take some time, so be patient. Once all the lye flakes have been added, continue to stir for several minutes. Because the kombucha is cold, the lye flakes do not dissolve as quickly. The more lye that is added, the more the color of the kombucha will change. Continue to stir until you no longer see or hear any undissolved lye flakes on the bottom of the container. If you’d like a harder bar of soap that releases from the mold quicker, you can add sodium lactate at a rate of 1 tsp. per pound of oils. For this recipe you’d add about 2.5 tsp. of sodium lactate. Set lye aside in a safe place while you prep the other ingredients.
COLOR PREP: To ensure that the titanium dioxide blends smoothly into the soap batter, we recommend micronizing it before dispersing it in oil. Please note this is an optional tip but it does help with the titanium dioxide clumping in the soap. =) To micronize colorant, simply use a coffee grinder to blend the colorant to break up any clumps of color and prevent streaks of white from showing in the final soap. We like to use a coffee grinder that has a removable, stainless steel mixing area for easy cleaning. Disperse 3 teaspoons of titanium dioxide into 3 tablespoons of lightweight liquid oil, like sweet almond oil or sunflower oil. Then in a separate container, disperse 2 teaspoons Lavender Mica into 2 tablespoons lightweight liquid oil. Use the mini mixer to help break up any clumps. Set aside.
FRAGRANCE PREP: Measure 2 ounces of Lavender 40/42 Essential Oil into a glass, essential oil safe container. Set aside.
  1. Fully melt the entire bag of the Swirl Recipe Quick Mix until there is no cloudiness. Shake to mix and measure out 39 ounces of oil. Once the lye solution and the oils have cooled to 120 degrees F or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye to the oils and stick blend until thin trace. Most likely, the kombucha lye solution will be on the cooler side – that’s okay.
  2. Once you reach a thin trace, add all the dispersed titanium dioxide. Use the stick blender to stir and pulse in the colorant until it’s completely combined. If your soap is becoming thick, use a whisk to stir in the colorant instead of using the stick blender.
  3. Split off about 600 mL of soap into a separate container and add all the dispersed Lavender Mica. Use a whisk to fully mix in the colorant.
  4. Add the Lavender 40/42 Essential Oil proportionately to each container (it’s okay to eyeball it). Use a whisk to fully mix in the essential oil.
  5. For the in-the-pot swirl, start by pouring the purple-colored soap into the white-colored soap in various places in the bowl. Pour from a high point so the soap penetrates the entire depth of the pot, which will create a swirl throughout the soap.
  6. Insert a chopstick or dowel all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Swirl the tool several times in various directions and loops to get the design started. Don’t worry about being too exact, just try to move the chopstick/dowel through the different areas where the purple soap was poured.
  7. Pour the soap into the mold. Tap it firmly on the counter to help get rid of air bubbles.
  8. Use a spoon to create texture on top of the soap. There is no right or wrong way to do this, so have fun with it! If you find the soap is not holding its shape, wait a few minutes for the soap to thicken and try again.
  9. Once you’re happy with the top, sprinkle lavender buds down the center of the soap. Spritz the soap with 99% isopropyl alcohol to help prevent soda ash. Because kombucha contains sugar, this soap has a tendency to become extra hot. Our soaping area was cold, so the soap was left uncovered at room temperature for the first 24 hours. If you live in a hot climate, you may want to place the soap in the fridge or freezer for several hours to avoid overheating and cracking. After the soap has been in the mold for about 2-3 days, unmold and cut into bars. Allow them to cure for 4-6 weeks. Enjoy!
Recipe by Soap Queen at