Using Dandelion Tea in Cold Process Soap


Spring is here, and the dandelions are blooming like crazy! The bright color of the dandelions inspired me to make a batch of soap with a dandelion “tea” as my liquid.

Finished bars of soap made with dandelion flower tea surronded by dandelion flowers..

Finished bars of soap made with dandelion tea.

While herbal teas may not seem to be particularly adventurous for soapmaking, I’ve found them to add a little extra oomph to the finished soap. Since I wanted to try making soap with dandelion tea, I began my process by picking fresh dandelion flowers that border our company garden. As I know that we don’t spray the garden with pesticides or insecticides, I’m confident that using these flowers will not add any undesirable additions.

Join me in the blog kitchen with your goggles and help me bring this idea to life!

Ingredients

Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Water
Sodium Hydroxide
Dandelions

Equipment

Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Goggles
Pipettes
Molds (I’m using the Rubbermaid Drawer Organizer #2915 lined with plastic wrap)
Jumbo Heat & Seal Tea Bags

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams

170.1 grams Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
141.7 grams Coconut Oil
141.7 grams Olive Oil
170 milliliters Dandelion Flower Tea
64.2 grams Sodium Hydroxide

Recipe in Ounces

6 ounces Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
5 ounces Coconut Oil
5 ounces Olive Oil
6 ounces Dandelion Flower Tea
2.27 ounces Sodium Hydroxide

Recipe in Percentages

37.50% Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
31.25% Coconut Oil
31.25% Olive Oil
Q.S. Dandelion Flower Tea
Q.S. Sodium Hydroxide

Tea Brewing Instructions:

After picking your dandelions, I recommend rinsing them to remove dirt, bugs and other plant particulate. However, this step is optional and these items can be strained out. While you are rinsing the dandelions, this is a perfect time to have the tea kettle heating the water you will need to make the dandelion flower tea. Place your dandelion flowers into a heat-safe container. I used a laboratory beaker for this particular batch, but a teapot or cup will work just as well. Once the water is boiling, pour the hot water carefully over the dandelions and allow to steep. I steeped my dandelions for about 45 minutes, or until the dandelion flower tea was tepid. When I thought the tea was cool enough, I used a Jumbo Heat & Seal Tea Bag to strain my tea rather than using the mesh strainer that I normally strain my beverages with.

Dandelion flowers in a clear laboratory beaker.

My dandelion flowers after harvesting.

Dandelion flowers steeping in water to create a dandelion tea.

Steeping my dandelion flowers to create the dandelion tea.

Soapmaking Instructions:

Start by weighing all of your oils. Heat the measured oils gently until liquid. While the oils are heating in the microwave, weigh out your lye, and mix with your cool dandelion tea. Remember to add your lye to your liquid, not the other way around. Your safety is our first concern! Allow the warmed oils and the lye solution to cool to a temperature range of 110°F-120°F.

While allowing your oils and lye solution to cool, I like to put away my buckets of oils and set up my molds and other additions during this period. This helps keep my counters clean and my distractions to a minimum. When your oils and lye solution are both around 110°F-120°F, add your lye solution to your oils. Don’t worry about having your temperatures match perfectly as that will drive you crazy! I highly recommend no more than a 10°F difference for best results.

Adding the lye to the dandelion tea.

Adding the lye to the dandelion tea.

A small clear laboratory beaker on the left is partialy filled with a orange-gold liquid that is the dandelion tea lye solution. The larger clear laboratory beaker on the right is filled with a light yellow liquid of melted oils.

The dandelion tea and oils after slightly cooling.

Now that your oils and lye solution have reached the ideal temperature, you can gently pour the lye solution into the oils. Pour slowly to prevent splashing! Using your immersion blender, mix the raw soap until you reach a light trace. Once you reach a light trace, you can choose to add any fragrances or colors. Since I wasn’t adding anything to my soap, it was time to pour the soap into my mold.

A clear laboratory beaker on a scale filled with a cloudy yellow liquid that is a mixture of the oils and lye solution.

After pouring the lye solution into the oils.

An immersion blender submerged into a cloudy liquid that is raw soap.

Using the immersion blender to mix the raw soap.

Allow your soap to sit in the mold undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Then cut into bars and place out on a shelf where they can dry. You can use your soap immediately, but it will last longer if you allow it to dry completely. It will also keep longer if you store it in an area where it doesn’t regularly sit in a puddle of water. A great aid in determining if your soap has thoroughly dried are our Cure Cards. The best part is you can have them included in qualifying orders for free! If you want a set, let our order desk know, they are fantastic at taking care of special requests. Once the soap has fully cured, package it and give it away or use it yourself.

Notes:

While I loved how this soap turned out, I wasn’t happy to realize that my blender had bent blades and incorporated a LOT of air bubbles into my soap. The lather and feel of my soap didn’t change with the use of dandelion tea, and I was pleased to find that the smell was minimal when cutting and after curing had been completed.

Would you try to make a dandelion soap? Share your ideas and pictures of soaps that you have made with herbal teas. We’d love to see your creativity hard at work!

Andee

 

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About Andee

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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