Turmeric in Cold Process Soap 7

Today begins our sixth day of using kitchen spices in soap by using Turmeric Root Powder.

To make tumeric powder, the roots are boiled for several hours and then dried in hot ovens, after which they are ground into a powder. Turmeric is commonly used as a spice in curries and other South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is also used for dyeing fiber and to give color to various foods such as mustard, cheese, butter, salad dressing. Tumeric has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.

Collect needed items:

Hydrogenated Soy
Palm Kernel Oil
Sunflower Oil
Sodium Hydroxide
Turmeric Root 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 Turmeric Root 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 Turmeric Root Powder

We are going to use the higher end of the water recommendations in the Lye Calculator so we can mix the turmeric 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 turmeric 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 the turmeric powder would have a final coloration of a brown. Imagine my surprise when I added the turmeric powder and the soap turned a vibrant red-orange color! After 24 hours, the soap was a nice creamy tan color with a few brown flecks. The soap does not have a scent now, but it did have a spicy scent after the turmeric powder was added and during the gel phase. I would recommend 2 teaspoons per pound of fat as the maximum usage rate.

After looking at the finished soap, I think the best scents for this soap would be fall type or baked goods scents like Autumn Afternoon, Oak Leaves & Acorns, Warm Vanilla Sugar, Cinnamon Bear, Soothing Chamomile, Frosted Cupcake, Love Muffin and Bergamot & Chamomile.

The Turmeric 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.

P.S. After the wild color change of the soap, I did some research and found the turmeric naturally contains curcumin, which is a pH indicator. In acidic solutions when the pH is less than 7.4, the turmeric turns yellow and in alkali solutions when the pH is higher than 8.6, the turmeric turns bright red. Wow!

Cut soap after 24 hours.

Turmeric 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 Turmeric Powder.

Completely mixed raw soap.

Continuing to mix until light trace.

Blending raw soap and turmeric powder.

Raw soap into the mold.

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Turmeric 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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7 thoughts on “Turmeric in Cold Process Soap

  • Cheryl T

    Andee, is tumeric spice and tumeric powder one in the same? I made a basic soap recipe and I colored it using ground tumeric. It looked like it had all dissolved when I poured it. But once I unmolded it, it had flecks of tumeric all over thetop of it where the flecks had settled.

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  • Katie

    Do you think I could use this in hot process? And do you think it will stain a shower or tub?

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    • Andee Post author

      Yes. You could add the Turmeric Powder to hot process soap. You will probably want to mix it with your oils before adding the lye solution. I don’t think Turmeric will be as prone to staining a shower or tub as Paprika, but you will probably want to test first.

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  • Esan Arinola

    Can I add tumeric power with my grinded soap and use it like that?
    Hope it will still work by lightning the skin.

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    • Tina

      I am not sure about the turmeric lightening the skin. I think you can add the powdered spice as a color for the soap.

      Don’t worry about lightening your skin. You are beautiful as is!


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      • Marianne Walsh

        Hi there all,
        My daughter has been using a Turmeric soap that I made and she likes it very much for her skin. She also thinks it has a slight lightening effect but I don’t know if its imagination or not! She has very fair skin and likes to keep it that way. She thought it seemed to help with spots (pimples/zits) The jury is still out in my opinion but I thought it worth mentioning…

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        • Tina


          These are good things to know!

          In the next few days we will be doing a 10 day challenge and we will be using photos to document our journey. I wonder if your daughter wants to do this for the soap. It might have a good idea of whether she is getting a noticeable difference in the skin.


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