Old-Fashioned Rose Soap Recipe + Instructions
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Old-Fashioned Rose Soap Recipe

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Old-fashioned natural rose soap recipe using natural color, rose petals, essential oils, and rose-hip seed oil. Includes instructions for making it with the cold-process or hot-process methods.

This Rose Soap Recipe is by Jan Berry, author of the book Simple & Natural Soapmaking

This lovely soap features real roses, creamy shea butter, and nourishing rosehip seed oil. Rose petal-infused olive oil softens and conditions skin, while coconut oil adds plenty of bubbles and creates a harder bar of soap. Shea butter is not only great for your skin, but it adds additional hardness to the bar. Rosehip seed oil was included for its fantastic skin-regenerating and healing properties. Rose kaolin clay contributes a natural pink color, but you can use half as much for a paler shade of pink or leave it out completely for a creamy white bar

Rose Soap Recipe Ingredients

Old-Fashioned Rose Soap Recipe + Instructions

For the Rose petal-infused olive oil

This is a quick method for making rose petal infused oil. Fill a glass canning jar about one-fourth to one-half the way with dried rose petals. Next fill the jar almost to the top with olive oil.

Set the uncovered jar down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water, forming a makeshift double-boiler of sorts. Place the pan over a low burner and heat for about two hours. Keep an eye on things while you do this to ensure that all of the water doesn’t evaporate. Keep the water at a low simmer, not boiling.

You don’t have to be precise, but try to keep the temperature somewhere around or under 115F(46C) so you don’t accidentally cook your rose petals. After two hours have passed, remove the jar from the pan and allow to cool. Strain it through a fine mesh strainer and/or a layer of cheesecloth and measure the amount you need for the recipe. The rest can be stored in a jar kept in a cool, dark place, for about a year.

For the Rose-infused Water

You begin making this rose soap recipe by placing the rose petals in a heatproof jar or container. Heat the water to a simmer and pour over the petals. Allow the rose infusion to steep until it’s room temperature or cooler. Make sure that your tea is fairly light, and not a dark brown color, or it may affect the color of the finished soap. Strain the rose-infused water into a heavy-duty plastic or stainless steel bowl or pitcher.

Instructions

1. Wearing gloves, goggles, and long sleeves, pour the lye into the cooled rose petal infusion and carefully stir until it’s fully dissolved. It may turn a dark brown color as it meets the lye, but that’s okay at this point.

2. Set the lye solution aside for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until cooled to approximately 100 to 110°F (38 to 43°C).

3. While the lye solution cools, weigh the olive, castor, and rosehip seed oil and place in your soap mixing pot or container. In a double boiler, heat the coconut oil and shea butter until melted. Pour them into the container with the olive and castor oil. This should bring the temperature to somewhere around 90 to 100°F (32 to 38°C).

4. In a small bowl, stir together the rose kaolin clay, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water, and essential oil until smooth. This will be added at trace* (for cold process soap) or after cook time (for hot process soap).

5. Combine the lye solution and the oils. Hand stir with an immersion blender (powered off) for about 30 seconds, then turn the immersion blender on and mix the soap batter, alternating every 30 seconds or so with hand stirring to prevent the immersion blender’s motor from burning out. Continue mixing until trace is reached. This recipe will reach trace within a few minutes.

6a. For Cold Process Soap
Thoroughly stir the clay, water, and essential oil mixture into the soap. Pour the soap batter into a prepared soap mold, cover with a sheet of wax paper and then the mold’s lid or a piece of cardboard. Tuck a towel or quilt around the mold to help hold the heat in. Let the soap stay in the mold for 24 to 48 hours, then remove and slice into bars. Allow the bars to cure in the open air for at least four weeks before using.

6b. For Hot Process Soap

*Note from Tanya: When making the hot process version of this soap, make sure that you use full water. That means 3x the amount of the lye used by weight and for this recipe, that would be 12.4 oz (351 g) distilled water. Hot process heats up water and you’ll lose it to evaporation. You can see a simple hot process soap recipe and instructions here.

Pour the soap batter into a slow cooker turned on low heat. Cover with the lid and let cook for 1 hour, checking and stirring every 15 minutes. After the hour has passed, stir in the clay, water, and essential oil mixture, then spoon the cooked soap into a prepared mold. Allow it to firm up overnight, then remove from the mold and slice into bars. You can use hot process soap right away, though it makes a longer-lasting bar if it cures in the open air for a few weeks.

* “Trace” means that the soap batter is thick enough to leave a faint, fleeting imprint when it’s drizzled across itself.

Old-Fashioned Rose Soap Recipe + Instructions

52 Comments

  1. I was so excited to try this recipe! Everything seemed to go perfectly until the cook (hot process). I kept it on low and stirred occasionally. It dried very quickly and became dehyrated. I went ahead and pressed it into my molds to cure but it is just crumbling apart. :( I re-read the recipe and I followed it to a T. Any suggestions? I’d love to somehow use the “ruined” soap, maybe adding something to it to re-hydrate. I’m new to soap making so this may not even be an option. Would love your feedback. A lot of time and money went into this recipe so I’m really hoping to save it!

    1. Hi Sarah, when you use a cold-process (CP) soap recipe in the hot process method, you need to recalculate the amount of water you use. Hot process soap releases water as steam, so you need much more than in CP. For hot process, you need the ‘full water’ amount which is equivalent in weight to 3x the lye amount. There’s not much you can do with your first batch, as a beginner, but good luck on your next batch :)

  2. 5 stars
    You are an inspiration and your soap recipes are always perfect. Thank you for sharing all your experiences and recipes, you have made my lockdowns so much more bearable as well as giving me some purpose.
    The rose recipe was amazing, I didnt infuse my oils but the resulting soap is one if my favourites yet. Can’t wait for the next installment!
    Lots of love
    Fii

  3. Hi,
    I love your soap recipe. Thank you for sharing your experience.
    I made Lavender and Rosemary soap, came out good. But I tried rose soap, the mistake i made is in lye solution. While making the lye solution, I didn’t stir it properly so some of the sodium hydroxide got sediment on the bottom of the jar. However I used the solution to make my soap, its been more than 48 hours and I can see that the soap is not getting hard. Can I melt them and make a new lye solution and blend it. Will that work?

  4. Can I use plain olive oil instead of the rose infused olive oil? My supplies are low, I dont have enought to infuse the rose in the olive oil.

  5. I made rose water for my lye solution by adding 1/4 cup dried rose petals to boiled water and steeping overnight. It was a lovely medium pink colour and had a soft rose fragrance but when I mixed it into my batter, went a dark caramel. I added TD plus pale pink mica, but it just lightened it to a light caramel. Hoping like crazy it lightens during curing. Any suggestions for next time please?

    1. Though this is Jan’s recipe, not my own, I’ll pipe in with a suggestion. Just leave the rose-infused water out of the recipe. Use ordinary distilled water and continue on with the recipe/instructions. The color of this soap doesn’t come from the rose-infusion, nor does the scent.

  6. I have a question about the recipe. Do you have to cook the rose pedals to make the infused water or can you just put them in a jar and let them sit for a couple of weeks?

  7. Hello! I always love your soap recipes! I have been making hot process soap for sometime now but often not adding the clay. I did this time (mixed it with water first) and it completely clumped up, did not mix in well after the cook at all. What did I do wrong? Thank you!

  8. This is confusing, step three mentions to weigh the olive oil while the lye solution is cooling. There is no measurement for olive oil, just the rose infused olive oil…which is cooling with the lye at this point. What is the measurement for olive oil used in step 3?

    1. Please see the step about making the rose water infusion above step 1. It’s different from the rose-infused olive oil that should not be mixed in with the lye solution in step 3.

  9. I do not see a measurement for olive oil? I am trying to follow your recipe but a measurement for the olive oil is not mentioned. I am on stand.

    1. Hi Morgan — this is Jan’s recipe but I’ll jump in to answer your question. You can make infused water from many skin-beneficial herbs and flowers but unfortunately the scent does not come through in the final soap. For scent, you’ll need a stronger concentration of fragrance such as essential oils.

  10. Has anyone tried this recipe? The recipe calls for 8 oz (227) grams of rosehip seed oil. The link leads to a 1 oz. bottle which costs $5.79. Multiply that by 8 and this would be a very expensive soap recipe. I would like to try this recipe, but not at that cost. I’m wondering if this is a typo. Thanks.

    1. I think I see the problem. The amounts are showing up on the wrong lines on my computer. So it is 1 oz. of rosehip seed oil. Very confusing. Not sure why the recipe is jumbled.

  11. I am organising a fund-raising event again this year to raise funds for the Maria Letizia Verga Fund here in Italy where I live. It is a hospital and residence for the cure and research for children with Leukemia where our daughter was and still is in therapy. The name of our fund raising event is Natalie’s Rose and we, last year, made roses out of crape paper to sell. This year my idea was to make rose soap and would love to try your recipe as in your blog (which I love by-the-way)
    I may try first with the melt and pour Shea Butter soap. I was wondering where I could get a large quantity of this soap from and what is necessary to then add to it to get a final product.
    Could you help me?
    Many thanks in advance,
    Lucinda (Mummy to Natalie) xx

  12. I am just starting to make cold process soap, I have been making melt & pour for a few years, one of my favorite scents is rose, so this recipe I will for sure have to try, I also have relatives on the Isle of Man that I have never met, so when I found this lovely lady, and she also makes soap. I really enjoy making soap and lotions, and look forward to making more.

  13. I have a question about this recipe. The ingredients list rose petal infused olive oil, however, you give instructions for making a water infusion. Should we be infusing in oil or water for this recipe? Thanks!

  14. This sounds like a lovely soap. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at soap making for a while, but lye scares me a little, I’ve used it to clear drains so I know how caustic it can be. I know a copy of the book would inspire and motivate me to try it out :)

  15. I’ve made lip balms, skin scrubs and deodorant. I love making natural skin care products! Soap is on my list!

  16. I have started making soap and lip balm and other beauty products a little over a year ago and I love it! I love knowing what ingredients I am putting on my and my family’s skin and love the creative process involved.

  17. This week I made 3 of Jan’s projects from her website, honey dandelion soap, pineapple sage sugar scrub, and lavender whipped body cream. They are all wonderful. So now I want to win her book!!

  18. Soap is the only natural beauty product that I have made and I found it surprisingly straight forward. I will definitely be trying this recipe when my roses are in flower later in the year.

  19. Ok. Now I’m intrigued. I would love to try this recipe. A little timid about it but willing to try.

  20. I made deodorant, facial toner, herbal hair rinse, facial mask, and facial oil last year. My next projects are lip balm and remineralizing tooth powder. I want to make soap too but have been a bit anxious over all the important details. Thank you for all the wonderful ideas and detailed instructions on your blog. There are lots of projects here I want to try…you seem to offer just what I’m looking for :)

  21. Beautiful soap! I love the usage of the wild roses, they are often over-looked. Being so plentiful, it is easy to find what you need.
    I have been making my own lotions, shampoos, and herbal medicines since I was in my teens, but, despite having bought all the ingredients a few years ago, I have not made soap from scratch. I think this recipe has inspired me to cross soap off my bucket list this summer, and make a few batches, for home use, as well as Christmas gifts. Thank you!

  22. No, I have never made a natural beauty or health product before, although I cook regularly with herbs from our garden. Would love to try!

  23. I have been trying to learn how to make homemade salves, soaps, and more. I’ve been a little timid about trying soap but this book looks like the perfect tool to help! Thank you for the opportunity!

  24. This looks luscious! I’ve only made a face and hand scrub, so maybe its time to get a little more ambitious!
    Thanks! :)

  25. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your book Jan. I’ve made quite a few of your great recipes in the past. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.

  26. I’ve just started making natural cleaning and beauty products in the last couple years – skin scrubs, healing ointments with essential oils. We’ve started gathering and drying wild plants and weeds here in Alaska in the last year and can’t wait for the spruce tips to pop out so we can try to make products with them

  27. I’ve been making all sorts of concoction for a while now, but have not attempted soap yet-this recipe sounds like the one to get me started!

  28. I have been wanting to make some soap for a while because I want to do something good for my family – as well as doing something creative. This rose soap recipe looks like the one I want to try out. I would love to have a copy of Ms. Berry’s book!

  29. I love making homemade “concoctions” just tried a dandelion infusion. Next I am going to hunt down some rose petals from neighbors to infuse. Love natural products!! I regularly follow your blog and Jan’s. You are both truly inspiring in my endeavors.

  30. I have bought the tools and ingredients to have a go at soap making , having been inspired by your blog. I have not been brave enough to have a go – yet!!

  31. This recipe might be next on my to-do list! I make soap, bath salts, bath bombs, and lip balms. It’s wonderful to know exactly what’s in the products I use.

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