Soap & Sage Leaves: Cold Process Soap with an Oil Infusion

Sage is one of my favorite herbs. Now, I might be a little biased due to our name, but I love the scent of sun kissed sage in the afternoon. The warm, herbal scent is comforting to me. It doesn’t bring much of the way in food memories to mind, since I primarily grow the plant just for the looks rather than culinary uses.

As I can’t go anywhere without thinking what would be fun to use in soap, I decided to harvest some of the sage leaves and dry them for use in soap. I collected the leaves I wanted and then dried them on a cooling rack used for baking. It didn’t take much time for the sage leaves to dry in our arid Utah climate! After the sage had dried, I had a brown lunch bag filled with dried leaves.I decided to divide the amount into three groups so I could make three different soaps.

Join me today as I make my first batch of cold process soap with dried sage leaves and an oil infusion!

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Shea Butter
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Water
Dried Sage Leaves
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes
Immersion Blender
Soap Mold

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
170 grams Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
142 grams Coconut Oil
113 grams Olive Oil
29 grams Shea Butter
64 grams Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
177 mL Water
7.1 grams dried sage leaves
Recipe in Ounces
6 oz Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
5 oz Coconut Oil
4 oz Olive Oil
1 oz Shea Butter
2.26 oz Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
6 fl oz Water
0.25 oz dried sage leaves
Recipe in Percentages
37.5% Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
31.25% Coconut Oil
25% Olive Oil
6.25% Shea Butter
Q.S. Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Q.S. Water
Q.S. Dried Sage Leaves

I began by weighing the oils into a microwave safe container. Then I placed into the microwave and gently heated. Once all the oils had been melted, I added the dry sage leaves to the oil. I let the leaves and oil sit for about 24 hours. When I came back the next day, the oil had solidified so I placed the container back in the microwave to melt the oil again.

While the oils were heating again, I weighed the lye. I slowly added the lye to a container of water I had measured out before melting the oils again. DO NOT add water to your container of lye.

Once the oil had been melted completely, I removed the sage leaves. The leaves were still relatively dry, despite sitting the oil for 24 hours. I suspect this is due to the fact that the oils had cooled and solidified. The weight of my oils changed by 0.08 of an ounce (2.27 grams), so I left my calculated lye amount as I had originally calculated. That being said, I won’t be doing that again! Next time, I will place my dried botanicals in a single oil (preferably liquid at room temperature) and then weigh out the needed amount of oil.

Once my lye solution and oils were within an ideal temperature range*, I slowly poured the lye solution into the oils. I used an immersion blender to mix the oils and lye solution together until I reached trace. After I achieved trace, I poured the soap into the mold and allowed the soap to sit undisturbed for 24 hours.

I came back after 24 hours and cut the soap into bars. Then I placed the cut bars of soap on a piece of cardboard and arranged them to allow for good air flow between bars. I placed the bars on my curing shelf and made a note of their starting weight. As the curing process is the time that allows for any excess water to evaporate, soap cures fairly quickly in our dry climate.

Soap Notes: As I was mixing the soap, it had a slight pinkish hue. That pinkish hue did disappear while the soap was going through the gel phase and the final bar had a nice creamy color.

*Temperature Note: For most soaps, you will want to mix your oils and lye solution when both are somewhere between 110°F to 130°F. In the winter when your soaping area is cooler, you will want to soap at higher temperatures. In the summer when your soaping area is warmer, you will want to soap at cooler temperatures. This particular batch had temperatures around 120°F.

I had so much fun making this soap! Stop by tomorrow and we’ll try another batch with sage leaves!

Andee

Our sage is blooming!
Our sage is blooming!
Dried sage leaves.
Dried sage leaves.
The dried sage leaves sitting in the soap oils.
The dried sage leaves sitting in the soap oils.
Melted oils after removing the sage.
Melted oils after removing the sage.
Adding the lye solution to the oils.
Adding the lye solution to the oils.
Mixing the oils and lye solution together.
Mixing the oils and lye solution together.

Soap after being poured into the mold.
Soap after being poured into the mold.
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Soap & Sage Leaves: Cold Process Soap with an Oil Infusion, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

8 thoughts on “Soap & Sage Leaves: Cold Process Soap with an Oil Infusion”

  1. Great minds think alike: ) …I’ve just done a series of 3 Herbal Infusion CP soaps using Rosehip seed oil, Rosehips & Roses. I love herbal infusions!

    VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    1. I love herbal infusion too! I think your three pronged approach to a Rose/Rosehip soap is brilliant. So cool! I would love to try it myself. Now I am dying to know, what color is the finished soap?

      VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  2. This article came at the perfect time! I have a lot of sage; planned to harvest and start drying it tomorrow, and was thinking about using it in CP soap. Any suggestions for a fragrance to use with it? I have a lot of EOs and FOs, and don’t want to buy anything new right now. Thank you in advance.

    VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  3. I love it when you play with recipes….it always makes me try them too. Thanks for a great recipe.
    Janet

    VA:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    1. Janet,

      Playing in the kitchen is one of the many highlights in our day. We get much of our inspiration from our readers and love it when we can inspire them in turn. Happy soaping!

      VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Add Comment Register

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>