Naturally Green Parsley Soap Recipe
Use garden-fresh or shop-bought herbs for this parsley soap recipe. It uses the re-batch technique, meaning that you will not need to handle lye.
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I love using homegrown herbs and flowers in handmade soap, especially when it turns out beautifully. This parsley soap is no exception. It’s a light green with specks of garden green and pairs well with herbal essential oils. Parsley creates a pretty color worthy of being added to my natural soap colorants chart. It is less stable than mineral colors or even some other herbs and botanical shades but it’s a fun way to use homegrown herbs.
This tutorial on how to make parsley soap is simple. You don’t need to wear gloves, eye protection, or handle lye like you would in hot or cold-process soap making. It’s also quick, meaning that you can have your soap made in about an hour.
Parsley is a Fugitive Soap Colorant
Although the vast majority of my soap recipes are cold-process, this one is a little different. That’s because my attempts to make cold-process parsley soap failed almost immediately. All seemed well until a day into curing the bars. It was so disappointing to see my bright green bars start to fade. Within days they’d lost all their green color, presumably because parsley doesn’t like the pH change or final stages of saponification.
No matter though. I eventually found a method that works better. It’s also easy enough for beginner soap makers and for those who aren’t sure about handling lye. This recipe will give you bright green bars that begin as bright green but will fade over the curing phase to a yellowy-green. It lasts much longer than if you make parsley soap using the cold process method, especially if you store the bars in a dark place.
You begin by using soap that’s already completed saponification. That means bars of soap purchased from the shop or soap you’ve already made. If you have some scruffy looking odds and ends of soap then this is a perfect way to rescue them.
Rebatching involves shredding these bars up and melting them down into a paste-like consistency. You then mold it, allow to cool and harden, and then cut it up into bars if applicable. There’s also a way to partially rebatch soap, but it’s not as suitable for creating green parsley soap.
Sometimes you make a batch of soap and realize afterward that you’ve made an error. Re-batching can save that recipe and yes, you could use this method in some circumstances. You just have to ensure that your soap is at least a week old and that you don’t need to add any more lye. As already mentioned, I think it’s contact with lye that zaps the color out of parsley soap.
Using Parsley in Soap Recipes
For this recipe, I used homegrown parsley that I’d dried and finely pulsed. You could use the same, which could mean shop-purchased dried parsley, or you could use fresh. If using fresh, then you’ll want to double the amount used.
There are two main types of parsley, flat-leaf and curly, and either will do for this parsley soap recipe. If you use your own homegrown, it will make this soap extra special. Parsley is sometimes difficult to grow from seed so I buy a small plant in spring and within six weeks it’s pretty big.
Rebatched Parsley Soap Recipe
If you’re already a soap maker, you’ll no doubt have a box of scrap soap stashed somewhere. Use that, as long as it’s a neutral to light color. Deeper colors may give you a different shade of soap than what you’ll see in my photos.
If you’re not a soap maker, you can use shop-bought soap or slivers of soap that you’ve saved up. Again, ensure that the color is white or very light. Adjust the recipe measurements up or down if you’re working with a different quantity of soap.
More Soap Recipes
Parsley Soap Recipe
- Cheese grater
- 6 bars Soap can be handmade or purchased, about 454 g or 1 lb
- 2 Tbsp dried Parsley or 4 Tbsp fresh. Can be flat-leaf or curly parsley.
- 1/3 cup Distilled water
- 1.5 tsp Peppermint (Mentha piperita) essential oil (optional)
- Prepare your soap mold. I'm using a take-away container like you'd get from a Chinese restaurant. It's lined with baking paper, shiny side up. You could also use silicone molds.
- Finely pulse or chop the parsley, place it in a pan with the water, and bring to a simmer. Allow to cook for about a minute before taking it off the heat. Pulse the parsley-water with a stick (immersion) blender until you have a fine texture. It's my theory that it's the bits of parsley rather than the juice that ultimately tint the soap.
- Shred the bars of soap using a cheese grater. It may take some effort if the soap is fully cured.
- Place the shredded soap in the slow cooker and pour the parsley-water over it. Turn the heat on to high and gently stir every five minutes. I also gently squished the pieces to try to break them up a little. Try not to agitate the soap because you want to avoid it becoming sudsy.
- After about 30-45 minutes your mixture should look like this. Scoop it out of the slow cooker and press it into molds. It's quite thick so you may need to squish it in.
- Allow to fully cool, which can take 12 hours or overnight.
- Cut into bars and cure for 2-3 weeks before using. Curing involves spacing the bars out in an airy place and allowing the water to evaporate out. During this time the green may fade a bit. The best-by date of your soap will be the original best-by date of the soap or one year. Whichever is closer. Store this soap in a dim or dark place if possible, the color might not hold up well if left in the light.
Dark Green Parsley Soap
While working this recipe out I had a batch that I forgot in the slow cooker. I got distracted by something else and it sat on that heat without stirring for about two hours. When you leave the soap in the crockpot without stirring it will become pretty crusty. What was interesting about my little mistake is the color.
With the same amount of soap and parsley the final bars were dark green and quite a lot smaller. They were like cured soap when I cut the loaf! It makes me think that if you wanted to, you could carefully monitor and stir the soap over that time period to get this deeper color. Just a theory though.
More ideas for naturally coloring soap
There are dozens of different clays, spices, leaves, flowers, and roots that you can use to naturally color soap. Some of the other ideas I’ve shared already include purple alkanet soap, yellow carrot soap, and orange turmeric soap. You can also have a browse through even more natural soap colors.
I’m excited to try this soap I made your pumpkin spiced soap and was absolutely thrilled with the batter it was absolutely beautiful I can’t wait to cut the soap to see the inside. The parsley soap I’m sure will be amazing too.
So pleased to hear this Bonnie! When making this recipe, make sure to keep the soap in a dark place afterward — it will help preserve the green :) Have fun!
I add dried parsley powder and a small bit of French Green Clay at trace and my green lasts for years.
Could l use my homemade non alcoholic (vegetable glycerin) instead of essential oils?
Essential oils are concentrated plant oils that are added for scent and therapeutic properties. Vegetable glycerin is a sweet and sticky substance with no scent that you’d use to add moisture and glide in lotions and creams. They are not the same so your question confuses me.
Lovely Green I was wondering if you can rebatch store bought soap that not organic or handmade ,like LEVER 2000 waiting for your reply
It’s possible but I’ve not tried it myself.
I have abundant parsley this year and have dried more than I will ever use. Excited to try your parsley soap recipe. Question: Have you tried it with goat milk soap?
Not yet, but I’m sure it would work. Also, make sure to store your soap someplace dark. I’ve found that parsley, spinach, and spirulina soap all fade in the light but are more color-fast if stored in a cupboard.
very good thanks for sharing
j ai fais un savon au chaudron avec du persil thym j ai infuser les herbes et ensuite filtrer le jus que j ai rajouter a la place de l eau qui est melanger avec la soude au totale pas de vert pas d odeur mais mon savon na pas ranci donc a refaire avec toujours ma lessive de perle met en gardant le persil sans le filtre
I’m going to try this with mint from my garden (oh,my god! It’s taken over!)
As for the darker soap you got; I think if you’d continued to stir it for a longer time you’d have a smoother result. A tablespoon of yogurt just before you mold would also make it smoother.
Thanks Suzy. Just keep in mind that mint turns soap brown and golden, rather than green.