Natural Soap Recipe with Natural Colors

Okay, so, first – how natural can soap really be? Some people ask me if soap can truly be natural since all soap must contain lye, by definition, which is a chemical. 

However, the soap making process creates a chemical reaction and the lye is transformed - the soap no longer contains lye as you added it. If you add other natural ingredients, then yes, your soap can me considered all natural! 

How natural can the colors be? Well, food coloring seems fine, since you know, we eat it. So if you’re going to have lye in your soap, I don’t think food color should be a problem.

make soap with natural ingredients

But today we’re going to use natural colors. That means we can never know the exact color the soap will turn into. 

Natural colorants seem to be a bit ‘naughty’ when it comes to soap, especially since you cannot know the exact reaction they will have with the other ingredients. 

In melt and pour it works fine, for example – the beet root extract will color the melt and pour red or pink, depending on how much you use, but the same color will turn the distilled water + lye soap into a brown color, it depends on the ingredients and the look you are going for.

Today you can choose from 5 different natural colorants – carrot juice, turmeric, grey clay, moringa leaf powder and alkanet powder. 

  • Carrot juice is obviously orange, so it should produce an orange soap.
  • Turmeric also orange, naturally we expect orange soap.
  • Grey clay – obviously gray soap.
  • Moringa leaf powder – green in color and we expect green soap.
  • Alkanet powder comes from alkanet root and it should produce some sort of purple color, but I’ve seen soap turn black or grayish. 

I’ll be using three colorants – carrot juice, turmeric and grey clay. You can choose whichever colorant you wish, and if you choose moringa leaf or alkanet root, do post your findings in a comment below!


All of the ingredients need to be weighed on a kitchen scale

  • 13.2 oz Distilled Water
  • 4.8 oz of Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
  • 38 oz Pomace Olive Oil       
  • Plastic bucket
  • Plastic or metal spoon
  • Thermometer
  • Molds
  • Colorants :– Carrot juice (about half a glass), Turmeric (also about half a glass, a bit less), Grey clay (1/3 of a glass), and I recommend 1/3 of a glass for alkanet or moringa powder.
  • Glass Size :– Normal 

This recipe is enough for about 10 normal sized soap bars. Also, I need to warn you – this is not a melt-and-pour soap recipe, so you cannot substitute ingredients. Each ingredient has its purpose and if you would like to use another oil – you’ll have to calculate a completely different ratio of lye and distilled water.

Step by Step Directions for Natural Soap Recipe

  • Your 1st Step :– Put on your protective gear - gloves and goggles, to be safe
protective gears
  • Your 2nd Step :– Take your bucket and pour in the distilled water.
take distilled water
  • Your 3rd Step :– Take your lye and slowly pour it into the bucket of distilled water.

Now comes the chemical reaction. The mixture will become hot, and you’ll see a fog, smoke coming out of it (do not breathe that in), but keep mixing a little.

add lye in to water

Your 4th Step :– Wait until the mixture comes down to 37.8 Celsius aka 100 degrees. (use the thermometer to check) You’ll see fogy water becoming clear again.

Your 5th Step :– Take the lye/water mixture (after it has cooled down to the appropriate temperature) and slowly pour it into the olive oil.

slowly pour mixture into the olive oil

Your 6th Step :– Now mix the mixture until it comes to a light trace. Basically it must be a consistency of a very liquid pudding. If you want to speed up the process, you can use a hand mixer.

Your 7th Step :– Okay so, next come the colorants. I split my batch in 3 bowls – you can split it in 5 if you have all of the colorants, or less if you don’t have as many.

Your 8th Step :– In the first bowl mix in your first color, in the second the second, etc. I believe you’ve got it!

add colors
add second color

Mix a bit of water into the clay

add your third color

Your 6th Step :– Pour the mixture into your molds.

Your 6th Step :– Cover the molds with a towel and leave it for 24 hours.

Unmold your soap.

My observation the next day – the carrot juice soap turned yellow. Like...damn these naughty natural colorants! The turmeric turned brownish with specks, and the clay one of course, stayed white and plain. So, now you have natural colored soap, rich in vitamins and minerals.  

Tiny hint: If your soap doesn't turn out exactly as you'd like, don't be disappointed - you will know to add more or less colorant next time!

The carrot juice soap bar - great for your skin!

1st soap

The turmeric soap bar

2nd soap

Grey clay soap bar

3rd soap

Let it cure for 6 to 8 weeks, and you’ll have your natural colored soap!

Happy Soapy to You.....

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