Garam Masala in Cold Process Soap 5

Today begins our fifth day of using kitchen spices in soap by using Garam Masala Powder, which contains cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, black pepper, and coriander.

Did you know that garam masala is Hindi for hot mixture? Garam actually refers to the intensity of the spices rather than heat like chili peppers are said to be “hot”. This is a blend of spices that are common in Indian and other South Asian cooking. Garam masala is typically used in curries and stews, but it has been used in other dishes and is only limited by the cook’s imagination.

Collect needed items:

Hydrogenated Soy
Palm Kernel Oil
Sunflower Oil
Sodium Hydroxide
Garam Masala 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 Garam Masala 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 Garam Masala Powder

We are going to use the higher end of the water recommendations in the Lye Calculator so we can mix the garam masala 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 garam masala 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 didn’t have any idea of what color the finished garam masala soap would be and I decided I was just going to be surprised. Well, I can promise that I was surprised with the final appearance of the soap. When I first pulled the soap out of the mold, my first thought was “Oh no! I didn’t mean for that to happen!” My soap was a purplish-brown color on the outside. When the soap was cut, the inside had a light tan color. After 48 hours, the purplish-brown color spread to cover the whole soap. The soap does not have a scent now, but it did have a spicy scent after the garam masala was added and during the gel phase. I would recommend leaving 1 teaspoon per pound of fat as the maximum usage rate because I think this soap is pretty with this amount.

After looking at the finished soap, I think the best scents for this soap would be fruity or fall type scents like Berries & Twigs, Plumberry Spice, Wild Mint & Ivy, Autumn Afternoon and Oak Leaves & Acorns.

The Garam Masala 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.

Garam Masala 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.

Mixing the lye solution and oils together.

Adding 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder.

Completely mixed raw soap.

Continuing to mix until light trace.

Blending raw soap and garam masala powder.

Raw soap into the mold.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Garam Masala 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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5 thoughts on “Garam Masala in Cold Process Soap

  • sincerelyemily

    OH – I really really love this series you are doing with the spices. It is really wonderful to hear and see how they are each reacting. I like seeing the reaction of color each spice makes to the natural unscented soap and also learning if the soap does or does not have any scent with it. Thank you Thank you for such a great series. Emily PS – also love the comment about using a dehumidifier. I have only made soap for the past year and I have noticed that my bars do not harden as well in the summer, so I had just decided to wait until fall and winter to make more and more and more. But now I will look into a dehumidifier and see if that does the trick. We do air condition our house, but it is still 80F in here. Thanks again.

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  • sbniemann

    I would love to make this – I’m actually more interested in the scent than the color, so I’m curious- the scent of garam masala didn’t carry through to the final product at all?

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  • Andee Post author

    Sadly, the scent didn’t carry through at all. If you wanted to achieve a similar scent, I would recommend blending various spice essential oils to get the scent. Maybe something like the Chai Latte Essential Oil Blend would work. (Without the vanilla) 🙂
    I hope this helps!

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  • Amanda

    I love the soap! I made it with spiced plum scent – wonderful!! I also used some different oils that I had on hand. What are the health benefits of using Garam Masala spice in the soap? I have searched and searched and can’t find anything on it.

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    • Andee Post author

      I’m not sure that there are any health benefits for using Garam Masala. I mostly made this batch to test if it would irritate the skin and to see the color of the finished soap. A spiced plum scent sounds lovely!

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)