Rhubarb soap

As soon as I started to chop the Rhubarb root I knew that it would give colour to soap.  That strong yellow colour is even stronger that that of Rumex so there was no doubt in my mind.  And chances were that it would produce a pink, like the Rumex does.  So I chopped some root and poured olive oil over it and let it sit for a week or two.

Since I had all this Rhubarb infused water also left over from dyeing I decided to use that also for the lye.  so this is a double coloured soap.  The Rhubarb is in the water phase and in the oil phase.  And it produced a lovely pink that is still deciding whether to go to the blue or yellow end of the spectrum.

I made a recipe based on what ingredients I have right now, but it turned out to be remarkably like the Sorrel shampoo bar that I made some time ago.  It will probably be a great shampoo bar although I hadn't really thought specifically about making it that.  At least I look forward to take it to the gym.

Rhubarb soap

Olive oil 47%           280g / 10oz (out of this 40g was Rhubarb root infused)
Coconut oil 25%     150g / 5.3oz
Rapeseed oil 17%     100g / 3.5oz
Cocoa butter 8%       50g / 1.8oz
Castor oil 3%             20g / 0.7oz

Water 33%              200g / 7oz (this was water that I had simmered root pieces in for about an hour)
Lye   83g / 2.9 oz

When I stirred the lye into the soap, the whole thing turned this magical blue pink colour that I recognize so well.  The colour then turned a more tomato red as the ph dropped.  I didn't wrap my soap in a blanket to insulate, I never do (maybe I need to try that) so it gelled in the middle.  I kind of like that, but some people prefer to see the soap a solid colour throughout.  The gelled soap is darker than the ungelled.  The soap is still curing, but it is very soft.  I used Geranium, lavender and a touch of lemongrass in the absence of a natural Rhurbarb fragrance. Although I wonder: Does Rhubarb have a smell?  I don't really think so, it's more of a taste isn't it?

I couldn't resist taking the photo outside with my apple tree blossoms.  I bought the tree almost ten years ago and I knew it had pink flowers, but I've never really seen them properly until now.  The spring has been so cold that the caterpillars haven't  gotten to the flowers and now the tree is just covered in these sweet scented beautiful flowers.  Oh, I love it.  Finally something good came from this cold weather.

As I was snapping the photo balancing the soaps on this pressed glass dish (in the shape of an apple) that I bought because it was a neat retro looking yellow (turned out to be dirt), one of the soaps fell to the ground and got dirt on it (the bottom one) I wiped it as best I could and continued to try to get the apple blossoms into a good position and then of course another soap fell and I could hear the plop! of it diving into the goldfish pond.  The fish have been pouting for a few days because my husband put some cleaning stuff in the pond (quite harmless) but they didn't like it one bit and have protested by going on a hunger strike.  They are now in an even more of a huff, poor darlings, but at least they are clean!


  1. Seife aus Rhabarber zu machen, auf diese Idee muß man erst kommen. Sieht aber sehr gut aus, ein schönes, zartes Rosa.

  2. That is a lovely soap. I am not very familiar with Rhubarb in general, but it sure makes a nice soap! :)

  3. Muy lindo, me encanta el color!

  4. What a great pink color! I hope the fishies are okay =)

  5. I'm inspired! I have lots of rhubarb growing in my garden and will have to give this a try. I do think rhubarb has a slightly tart scent, but I could be wrong.

  6. Just made some rhubarb soap last night. I'm still waiting for it to change to pink - hope it does! Right now it's yellow :(

  7. I just puréed some rhubarb and put through a fine mesh sieve. I am planning on adding the juice as half of my water after light trace is reached. I came upon your soap while searching google for rhubarb soap. It is lovely! I'm planning on using beeswax in mine because I have just enough for a pound at 15% from a local beekeeper. So glad I found your soap. Wonderful post!

  8. I wonder how the pureed rhubarb worked. I use the root of Rhubarb and cut it up into small pieces an pour oil over it to fuse for 2 weeks or more. Then I use that as part of my oils. It doesn't take much to give a great colour maybe 20%.

  9. I came upon your post and love the color!!! So I went out and dug up some rhubarb for the root n I am brewing up the water base with it... So far mines a muted gray to purple simmering and I also added some to Olive oil to infuse for the oil color in my soap. I am hoping mine is even half as pretty as yours! Thanks for the post. Jlinnz


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