Rosa Rugosa Soap Recipe (Palm Free)

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Rosa Rugosa Handmade Soap from Roses

Quite possibly my favorite part of the year is that time around May when all of my roses start blooming at once. When that happens, I gather together large amounts of rose petals and make all sorts of things from them, including this rosa rugosa soap.

If you don’t have access to fresh rose petals, don’t use ones from the grocery store or florist unless you’re sure they’re organic. Most are treated with a ton of pesticides that aren’t good for food or cosmetic use on humans. Just use dried rose petals instead – you can buy chemical free ones from Mountain Rose Herbs.


Fresh Rose Petals

To start with, gather up a jar full of rose petals. I like to let mine sit uncovered, on my porch, for a few hours so that any bugs I may have inadvertently gathered have time to escape.

Once you’ve ensured the safety of any little critters, pour simmering hot water over the petals and cover with a saucer. Let this steep for several hours and you will have a richly scented pink water. Strain and use in the recipe below.


Rosa Rugosa Homemade Palm Free Soap Recipe

Rosa Rugosa Soap (Palm Free)

(click HERE for a printable PDF version of this recipe.)


More detailed instructions for making soap can be found in my post Soap Making 101. I also recommend my ebook: Natural Soap Making: Cold Process Basics & Recipes which includes information on coloring soaps naturally, how to read a lye calculator, 25 of my favorite palm-free recipes, and more!

This recipe is sized to fit my wooden box molds which are non-standard and homemade – the inner dimensions of the molds are: 16 inches by 11.5 inches by 2 inches.  Here’s a great site that will tell you how to calculate how big a batch of soap you should make for the size mold you have. Remember you can easily adjust amounts using a lye calculator.


If you like roses, I think you’ll love my ebook: Things to Do With Roses!

Cover Rose eBook 300 px

You may also like:

Rose Petal Vinegar | Wild Rose Body Butter | Peppermint Rose Lip Balm

rose vinegar   Wild Rose Whipped Body Butter Tutorial   Peppermint Rose Lip Balm


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15 Responses to Rosa Rugosa Soap Recipe (Palm Free)

  1. Farmer Doug says:

    These pictures are so good, Jan, that your soap actually looks appetizing! Happy February…FD.

    • Jan says:

      Ha thanks Farmer Doug! It’s that wonderful summer sunshine and green background… I absolutely can not wait until spring and pretty flowers and more favorable photo conditions return! :)

  2. Doreen says:

    Gorgeous!! Love it and your recipes too!! Thank u for sharing!!

  3. Pingback: Carrot & Honey Soap Recipe The Nerdy Farm Wife

  4. kristen says:

    Just a question… your soap recipes are the first where I have noticed that additional oil is added at trace? Is there a reason for this?

    When calculating your recipes, do you allow for the recommended 5-6% superfat, and these oils are what is added at trace? I’m super curious about this method, thank you for responding!


    • Jan says:

      Hi Kristen, I learned to add in extra nutrients and such at trace from the book I used to teach myself soap making: The Natural Soap Book by Susan Miller Cavitch. I don’t see a lot of other people doing that either these days, but the habit just stuck with me, I suppose!

      I do calculate my recipes around 5 or 6% superfat, but don’t figure the additional trace oils into the equation. Those are just bonus oils; usually more expensive ingredients such as rosehip seed oil, tamanu oil, etc that I’m putting in for a specific purpose (anti-aging, eczema relief…)

  5. kristen says:

    Thanks Jan for responding. I just requested the Cavitch book from my local library along with two others from Anne Linnet Watson and Marie Browning. The next time I make soap I will be sure to add the extra oils!

  6. Corrie says:

    Hi there. I would love to use just 3 oils when I make my soap, but when I checked this recipe using the Soapcalc, the cleansing is too high. Do you think this could be drying to the skin?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Corrie! The coconut oil does tip over the high end of the suggested range of 25 to 30%. Some people find higher amounts of coconut oil drying while some don’t. My dry skin does great with this particular recipe, but what I’ve been doing lately with newer recipes is dropping the coconut oil down to around 25% and adding an ounce or two of castor oil to make up for lost lather.

  7. Steph says:

    Is there another oil that can be substituted for the coconut oil? My daughter has a mild coconut allergy.

  8. Marisa says:

    I’m confused about recalculating a recipe that has oils measured by volume for superfatting. Would I need to figure out the weight of those and go from there? And could you address the benefits of superfatting at trace, rather than just all at the beginning? Thanks for your help and your wonderful recipes!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Marisa! I learned to make soap from a book that added oils at trace for superfatting purposes. The idea was that the lye would be “used up” on the initial oils and then you could add small amounts of your more expensive and beneficial ingredients to be sure your final bars had the benefits you wanted. (That really hasn’t been proven; so some people disagree with that theory.) The amount is so small that it doesn’t have to be calculated into the recipe. If you roughly halve the recipe, then halve the add-ins. If you quarter it, then quarter the add-ins. I’ve actually stopped doing a lot of add-ins that way with my newer recipes, so you could always leave them out if you wish. 1 tablespoon of oil is not quite half an ounce; I think most measure about .4 oz by weight. (going by memory so you’ll want to double check with a scale.) If it makes you more comfortable, you can certainly factor the extras into the recipe using the calculator, if you want to make sure your bar isn’t too high in oils. I hope that helped! :)

      • Marisa says:

        Interesting and very helpful! Thanks for clarifying. So it looks like you superfat this recipe at 5-6% and then super-super fat with those extra oils. :)

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