Kelp Powder in Cold Process Soap 9

Today we are going to begin our 10 batches of cold process soap with kitchen spices by making soap with kelp powder.

Kelp powder is typically used as flavoring for soups and sushi in Oriental countries. Many people use it as an addition to dishes along with salt or in the place of salt and it has also been used as a mineral supplement. Now another use for kelp powder can be added to the long list of uses.

Collect needed items:

Hydrogenated Soy
Palm Kernel Oil
Sunflower Oil
Sodium Hydroxide
Kelp Powder
Soap Spoon
Rubbermaid Drawer Organizer #2915
Immersion Blender
Time spent:
Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to water: 15 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 90 seconds
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 10 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 90 seconds
Adding Kelp Powder and mixing well: 30 seconds
Pour into mold: 10 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours
Recipe in ounces:
6 ounces Hydrogenated Soy
6 ounces Palm Kernel Oil
4 ounces Sunflower Oil

2.2 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
6 fl oz water

1 teaspoon Kelp Powder

We are going to use the higher end of the water recommendations in the Lye Calculator so we can mix the kelp powder in easily. We are also making this soap in dry weather so the soap will dry/cure quickly. If you are making this in a humid location, please use a dehumidifier to help dry out the soaps.

Measure fixed oils on your scale. Warm the fixed oils on the stove or in the microwave. I melted the oils in the microwave. Add sodium hydroxide to the water. Mix well.

Combine oils and lye solution. Stir until thin trace. Upon light trace, add the kelp powder. Stir well. Pour soap into molds. I used the Rubbermaid Drawer Organizers #2915 as the mold. Allow to sit until soap is firm.

The next morning cut into bars. Stack to allow good air circulation. Allow to cure for several days before using. Longer curing will result in a harder bar.

I had originally thought that adding the kelp powder would make this soap more green than its actual final appearance. This soap has small grey-brown flecks and is grey-green in overall color. There is not any scent to this soap from the kelp powder after the soap has dried. There is a fish-like odor after the kelp powder has been added and while the soap goes through the gel phase. I would recommend a usage rate of up to 2 teaspoons per pound of fats. However I am reluctant to use the 2 teaspoons first because I am worried that this particular usage rate will leave a lingering fish-like odor.

After looking at the finished soap, I think the best scents for this soap would be either earthy scents to play off the coloration which seems to be a camouflage color or ocean type scents to play off the fact that the additive is kelp.

The Kelp Powder soap samples have been sent to the Shipping Department to send out in orders. I really want to hear your comments about this or any of the other soaps with kitchen spices. I hope that anyone wanting a sample soap will request one and if we have any samples we will send them to you.

Cut soap after 24 hours.

Kelp Powder.

Adding the lye to the water.

The lye and water need to be mixed together.

Stirring the lye solution.

Adding the lye solution to the melted fixed oils.

Continuing to mix until light trace.

Blending raw soap and Kelp Powder.

Pouring raw soap into the mold.

Mixing the lye solution and oils together.

Adding 1 tsp Kelp Powder.

Completely mixed raw soap.

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Kelp Powder in Cold Process Soap, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

About Andee

Director of Happiness. I'm a thirty-something soap snob. I've grown up with handmade soaps, and I love them! I really like making lotions, soaps, and perfumes. I adore mixing scents to come up with something new. My favorite scent is either Wicked or Cotton Candy. I tend to hoard fragrances, I even have an Earl Grey Tea from the MMS catalog. I won't tell you how old it is, but it sure is good!

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9 thoughts on “Kelp Powder in Cold Process Soap

  • Zany

    Awwww, I was expecting more green too! Did it get more color after it cured longer? Did you find the kelp powder in the spice section of the grocery store, or where?



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    • Andee Post author

      I found it in the bulk spices section of the grocery store. I’ve also seen it at health food markets in the bulk foods sections.

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  • bluebutterflz

    I tried using kelp powder in my CP soap before in my earlier soaping days. And I definitely have to say it was not a favorite of mine. It colored my soap a mucky gray with a slight tint of green. It did smell pretty fishy too. I jokingly called it my mermaid soap, which naturally my daughter loved! Sadly that batch was so fishy (even with your cucumber & aloe added to it, which I do not recommend with kelp.) it went straight in the trash.

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    • Anonymous

      I read on another blog that the kelp was first blended with the oils, during CP, and not to the lye solution. The reason being, that the saponification alters the color of the green and can even become tarry-black. The advice she received was to blend the kelp with the OILS and not the lye solution. In doing this, the kelp was pre-coated with the oils, protecting it so that it would not react with the lye during saponification. She said she had no problems and the colors were lovely (I am assuming she said this AFTER curing process). However, I would imagine this only is beneficial if you want your bar’s base color to be green. Most every blog I read (and I’ve read a lot of ’em!) that used seaweed, all had issues of over powering fishy smell during process…. BUT that over the 4 to 6 weeks curing time the smell drastically fainted leaving a more breezy ocean smell (some described as faint low tide smell). For some this may be too much and so they tend to blend a little essential oil or natural herbs (such as lemon or rosemary) to “sweeten” the smell. Hope this gives anyone who reads this some help. Also I struggled on a ratio… the best ratio I have seen thus far was (using kelp powder) using 1 teaspoon of kelp powder to every 16 ounces of base you prepare (which I believe is the recommendation here, too). The ratio is, of course, always based on trial and error and what suits you or customers best. Believe it or not, some folks LOVE that fishy smell. 😉 I have NOT yet tested this myself, but I will be making a sea salt seaweed soap for my next batch because I am eager to try this to really give my sea-bars an authentic ocean smell… I plan to remove a small portion of my base and place aside and use something natural to create a color to go with the green base so that I can swirl it in at the end. I will probably use the green for base (solid color) and use something natural in the remaining base to give it a brown swirl (to mimic wet sand)…. Fyi…. I plan to make tiny .5 inch fish embeds to place inside the soap bars for a fun look… I will probably leave the embeds plain colored. This will make it take 2 days to prepare one batch, because embeds need to sit to solidify just like your logs or molds do. Happy soaping!

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      • Andee Post author

        Adding the additives to the oils does not change much in finished color as saponification will alter the color no matter when the additive is added. Your plan for a sea bar sounds fun!

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  • Simona

    could you please let us know if you still have a kelp bar around? I am interested to see how to color has morphed!

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  • Mandy

    I have made a kelp, lemon teatree and dead sea salt soap and it came out a disappointing brown colour and although when dry smells of lemon when wet (washing your hands) it smells of fish… Not convinced about kelp in soap!

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