Natural Clay Soap Recipe

Natural Clay Soap Using Funnel Pour Method

Clays are one of my favorite additions to soap recipes. Not only do they add natural color, but I love how the resulting bars leave my skin feeling so clean and refreshed!

Clay soap is especially helpful for itchy, inflamed skin conditions, like bug bites and summer heat rashes. It can also be used as a complexion bar to gently cleanse acne prone skin.

When I first started making this soap, I dug some of last spring’s violets out of my freezer and was going to couple it with Purple Brazilian Clay to make a light, floral, girly type of soap.

However, after I posted this photo on Instagram:

Frozen Violets and Purple Clay

a resulting conversation about using activated charcoal & clays in soap inspired me to head in a completely different direction!

I used a tried and true soap recipe, but feeling tired of the same old, same old pouring method – I decided to try out the funnel pour technique from my new copy of Soap Crafting: Step-by-Step Techniques for Making 31 Unique Cold-Process Soaps, by Anne-Marie Faolia, (“The Soap Queen.”) Alternatively, she has a great online video tutorial of the process HERE.

I really like how it turned out and my husband thinks it’s the coolest thing ever. I can’t wait to try more of the techniques in the Soap Crafting book!

One note about the Purple Brazilian Clay: I find it looks more rosy-mauve in my final soap than purple, but that could be because I didn’t use enough. I think next time I experiment with this clay, I’ll combine it with alkanet root and see how that works out.


Natural Clay Soap Using Funnel Pour Method

Natural Clay Soap (made with Funnel Pour Method)

Make according to directions in my Soap Making 101 post. The batch is sized small to fit a roughly 3 pound wooden mold that my husband made for me with inner dimensions of 8″ x 3.5″ x 3.5″.  It yields seven to eight bars.

Without essential oils, this soap has an earthy smell from the clay. I recommend adding a few teaspoons of peppermint essential oil for an especially refreshing wash.

Right before mixing the lye solution into the oils, mix up the following additions in three separate small bowls or cups:

  • 1 teaspoon purple Brazilian clay* + 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon activated charcoal + 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon bentonite clay + 2 or 3 teaspoons water

After mixing just to light trace, divide into three glass, plastic or stainless steel bowls. (I used leftover yogurt containers.)

Stir the bentonite clay into one part of the soap mixture, the purple clay into the second, and the activated charcoal into the third portion.

* Clays can be purchased HERE or HERE. Instead of the purple, you could also substitute another clay such as French green or rose, for a different color profile.


Clays for Funnel Soap


Situate your funnel over the middle of your mold and begin pouring each color in, one at a time, for just a few seconds. Alternate the colors until you run out of soap mixture.

Because it’s exceedingly difficult to wear gloves, pour caustic soap through a funnel, and take a left-handed picture of what you’re doing, all the while trying not to get lye on your precious camera – I didn’t end up with a great shot of the process! So, be sure to check out the tutorial HERE since it will show you everything more clearly.

Pouring clay soap through a funnel to make funnel pour soap design


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32 Responses to Natural Clay Soap Recipe

  1. Hi Your soap is beautiful!

  2. wow don’t know what happened to my name up there-lol

  3. I know of no one else who puts as much effort into creating such informative and aesthetically pleasing blog posts as you do, Jan. Being this talented helps a lot too! Thanks again.

  4. This is a wonderful soap! You make it look so easy!

  5. Amanda says:

    Wow! It looks really great! I’ve been wanting to try funnel pour for a while, now I really want to!

  6. Dani says:

    I love it! It reminds me of layered rock, like the Grand Canyon. Great job!

  7. I have an allergy to sunflower oil can I substitute with another oil?

    • Jan says:

      Absolutely! You can substitute other oils, you just want to make sure to run the new numbers through a lye calculator, such as this one: – to figure out the new amount of lye needed. So, for this recipe, if you decide to just use more olive oil instead of the sunflower – the new recipe would look like:
      3 oz avocado oil
      8 oz coconut oil
      18 oz olive oil
      2 oz shea butter
      and the lye would change from 4.3 oz to 4.29 oz which isn’t a big change at all in this case, but sometimes, depending on the oil types, you will see a more significant change. So, it’s always best to double check!

  8. Petra Kues says:

    love your color scheme – absolutely elegant. I will give this recipe a try right now, but today will do this in my favorite lined PVC tube
    Should be interesting what that will look like. I shall use rose clay instead of the purple clay now (only have green and rose and bentonite – and charcoal).
    Thanks for sharing this.

  9. Petra Kues says:

    well, I unfolded and cut: interesting patterns but colors somewhat dull – and I made a mix-up in the order of pouring. Better next time.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Petra, Thanks for sharing how it turned out in a PVC tube mold! That would definitely give a new, interesting pattern – I bet it looks great! I believe I remember thinking that my colors looks dull at first too, at least until they went through gel phase. One other thing I will do next time is add some essential oil. I really like how it cleans, but it does smell a bit earthy because of the clays. I think peppermint essential oil with green clay will be a nice combination.

      • Petra Kues says:

        Just reporting back – colors of the round PVC one not too bad now – muted, but nice.
        Did a batch in a big mold with French green clay, Bentonite and charcoal – so beautiful I can hardly stand it!! Thanks again for your wonderful idea.

  10. Krissi says:

    Can you use more clay? Say a tablespoon each kind. Why or why not? Thanks

    Also, your soap is inspiring.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Krissi, I usually use fairly low amounts of clay, but that’s just an instinct thing. I don’t want it to be too drying. You could always test out adding more in a small batch and see how you like it!

  11. Osiris steward says:

    Hi Jan, I had become a fan of your blog! Love your soaps recipes! I had bough soap colorants from Michaels, (finded in soap making dep.) what is your opinion about it? Like can I use them in my HP or CP homemade soap? Thanks Osiris

    • Jan says:

      Hi Osiris, thanks! I haven’t tried the soap colorants from Michaels before. If it doesn’t say how to use them on the package, then maybe you could ask someone that works there? I know at our Michaels store, they are really nice and helpful! I hope they do work out for you!

  12. Susan says:

    Thank you! I love using different types of clay in my cold process soaps.

  13. Carrie says:

    Could I make this as a HP soap? I made the cold process with this recipe (thank you!!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Carrie! You can usually turn most cold process soap recipes into hot process so I *think* you could with this one too. (I make a lot less HP soaps so am wayyyy less experienced with it than CP.) You’d just have a different design since you couldn’t pour. (Though you could probably do a camouflage style if you wanted!)

  14. Hettie says:

    WOW! I love your site. It’s so useful and easy to navigate. And your goodness shines through. Keep up the good work!

  15. Jan says:

    Greetings and thank you for this great information. Have you ever used clay with melt and pour soap? I’m new to soap making, so I was going to start with a base soap so that I don’t have to handle lye. Thanks again for the information.

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