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Clay Soap Sampler

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Clay Soap Sampler

(from left) rose, rhassoul, kaolin and bentonite clays

David Fisher
As I was reorganizing my soap making space recently, I got out my jars of clay...not the kind you make cups or pots out of, but the kind you make soap with. I've used clays in shaving soap recipes but clay is a wonderful additive for every day soap too. The first time I made soap with clay, I couldn't pick just one though, I ended up making four batches using kaolin, bentonite, rose and rhassoul clays. I cut the normal size bars in four pieces, and then assembled a full "bar" of the four different varieties.
The four clays I used were:
  • Kaolin - a mild, white, fluffy clay. It's good for light masks or scrubs, and gives a silkiness and creaminess to soaps.
  • Bentonite - a light green clay, it is highly absorbent and good for oily skin. It gives a slippery silkiness which makes it good in shaving soaps.
  • Rose clay - a general purpose medium weight clay used mostly for its lovely rose color, but also adds silkiness, slip and absorbency to soaps.
  • Rhassoul - a light brown clay that has used for its great ability to absorb oils and impurities from the skin and hair. It gives a lovely brown speckled color and is lightly exfoliating.
To allow people to compare the differences between the clays, I used the same recipe for all four batches:
  • 30% Olive Oil
  • 25% Palm Oil (you can substitute lard or tallow as well)
  • 25% Coconut Oil
  • 15% Sunflower Oil (you can substitute other liquid oils like canola, soybean, or almond too)
  • 5% Castor Oil
I used about 2 teaspoons of clay for every pound of oils. My recipe had about 53 ounces of oils in it, so I ended up with a little over 2 tablespoons of clay in each of the batches.

Go to page 2 for ways to add the clay to the soap mix...

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