Handmade Dandelion Soap (Crock Pot Method)

Handmade Dandelion Soap Crock Pot Version


While Honey & Dandelion Soap is one of the most popular cold process recipes on my blog, I’ve often gotten questions about how to make it using a crock pot (hot process) instead. Since dandelions are popping out like crazy around here (hooray!), I thought this would be a good time to make some up and share a more detailed tutorial with you.

A few notes before we start:

– I buy most of soap making oils from Mountain Rose Herbs, Bramble Berry or my local grocery/health stores. (Those and other links on this blog are affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you any extra, but if you click on one and make a purchase, I earn a small commission. That helps to support my blog and lets me keep doing what I do. Thank you!) :)

– For my extra oils added after cook time, I used jojoba and tamanu oil from Mountain Rose Herbs. However, you can use any combination of your favorite oils – such as avocado, rosehip seed, meadowfoam, sweet almond and hemp, or try melted shea, mango or cocoa butter.

– You can buy lye (sodium hydroxide) HERE on Amazon or HERE at Bramble Berry.

– If you don’t want to cook your soap, you can make this cold process instead. Just add the extras at trace, stir well and pour into your mold. Let it sit for 24 to 48 hours and then unmold, slice into bars and let them cure for at least 4 weeks.

– I experimented with a little plastic mold and stamp set that my daughter bought me while on vacation. This size of a  recipe though will fit in a mold about the size of a 8.5″ x 4.5″ bread pan. (In fact, I often use my glass loaf pan as a soap mold – just be sure to line it with parchment paper or an inexpensive trash bag first, to prevent sticking.)

– This recipe yields around seven or eight regular bars of soap, depending on your mold and how you thickly you slice the bars.

Look HERE for more of my ideas on ways to use your dandelions!

 

Handmade Dandelion Soap Hot Process Recipe

Dandelion Soap (Crock Pot Method)

All measurements are by weight, not volume.

After cook time, add:

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite oil (I used half jojoba and half tamanu)
  • 1/8 tsp annatto seed powder (optional for a pale yellow tint)
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon water (to dilute honey so it won’t scorch)

Step 1:

Infuse the olive oil with dandelions. To do so, pick around 1 cup of dandelion blossoms (saving some for the bees too!), spread them out over paper towels or a clean dishcloth and let them wilt overnight. The next day, place them in a large mason jar or glass pitcher and pour 16 oz of olive oil over them.

Set the jar or pitcher down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water, to form a make-shift double boiler. Place the pan over a medium-low burner and allow the oil to infuse over the heat for around two hours. Keep an eye on things while this is going on, to make sure the water doesn’t evaporate out.

Strain the oil, weigh how much it yielded and then add enough extra olive oil until you have the 16 ounces (454 g) total of olive oil needed for this recipe.

dandelion oil

Step 2:

Make the dandelion flower tea and let it cool. Place a handful (half a cup? You don’t have to be precise here) of fresh dandelion flowers in a heat proof container. Pour 11 ounces (312 g) of simmering hot water over the flowers and let the tea steep until cool. Strain, weigh how much it yielded and then add enough extra water until you have the 11 ounces (312 g) of dandelion tea that you need for this recipe.

dandelion flowers in a cup

 

Step 3:

Wearing proper safety gear of gloves, goggles and long sleeves, weigh out the lye and pour it into the dandelion tea. I like to do this in my kitchen sink, to contain any potential spills. Stir well and set aside for a few minutes.

Melt the coconut oil and shea butter together, in a small saucepan. Weigh out the olive and sunflower oil and add directly to your crockpot. Once melted, pour in the coconut oil and shea butter as well. Turn your crock pot on low. (If you have an old crock pot that heats up super slow, then you might want to pre-warm it for ten to fifteen minutes before you start.)

Step 4:

Pour the lye solution into the oils in your slow cooker. Stir with a stick blender (immersion blender), like THIS ONE, until you reach trace. Trace is when the mixture has gotten thick enough to leave a slight, fleeting imprint when the batter is drizzled across itself. (See photo, below.) With a stick blender, this process will take maybe five to ten minutes.

Dandelion HP Soap At Trace

Step 5:

Once you’ve reached trace, put the lid on your slow cooker and cook the soap for one hour. I like to set my timer and check every fifteen minutes, to make sure things are going okay. Some people like to stir while the soap cooks, I don’t usually do that though.

Soap after 15 minutes:

Dandelion HP Soap After 15 Minutes Cook Time

Soap after 30 minutes:

Dandelion HP Soap After 30 Minutes Cook Time

Soap after 45 minutes:

Dandelion HP Soap After 45 Minutes Cook Time

Soap after 60 minutes:

Dandelion Hp Soap After 60 Minutes Cook Time

Step 6:

After cook time, stir well and mix in any additives you’d like. When adding honey to hot soap, it’s a good idea to dilute it with a tablespoon or two of water and any other extras that you might want to add. This seems to help lessen the chance of scorching.

If you don’t add anything, the soap will be an off white color. If adding honey and annatto seed powder, the soap will look orange-ish (don’t worry, it will lighten up as it cures!)

This photo shows the difference between the plain soap (left) and honey/annatto seed soap in the mold:

Difference Between Soap With Nothing Added and Soap With Annatto and Honey

and then again, after being unmolded:

Dandelion Hot Process Soap

PS: I knocked both of these soaps on the ground while trying to take this picture – ooops! – so your finished soap should not have dirt speckles on them, unless you’re klutzy like me! :)

Step 7:

Spoon the soap into your mold (or molds). I used this little mini-mold and stamp set my daughter bought for me at a thrift shop while on vacation, but you can use a regular loaf mold too. (Look for about a three pound mold.)

Whatever mold you use, tap it lightly on the counter, to help the hot soap settle in. One downside to crock pot soap is that it’s not as smooth as cold process, so the backs or tops of your soap – depending on your type of mold – will be rough and rustic looking.

Press Soap Into Molds

Step 8

Set the molds aside to cool until the next day. Unmold carefully and slice into bars, if using a loaf mold.

The great thing about making soap in your crock pot, is that it’s ready to use right away! However, it will still benefit and last longer if you let it cure in the open air for a few weeks.

 

If you enjoyed this hot process tutorial, let’s keep in touch! Be sure to sign up for my newsletter (HERE) and get my latest soap ideas, herbal projects and DIY body care recipes sent straight to your inbox, once a month(ish). No spam ever and you can unsubscribe at any time.

You may also like these other soap related posts:

Oatmeal & Honey Soap | How to Make Soap With Milk | Rosa Rugosa Soap

Homemade Oatmeal & Honey Soap Hot Process Method  How to Make Milk Soap From Scratch (Palm Free)  Rosa Rugosa Soap

Some links in this post, may be affiliate links. That means that if you click on one and make a purchase from the web site (Amazon.com, Bramble Berry or Mountain Rose Herbs), I will get a small commission for sending a customer their way. This doesn’t cost you anything extra, but does allow me to earn income from this blog. (So, thank you for helping me to keep doing what I’m doing!) :)

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49 Responses to Handmade Dandelion Soap (Crock Pot Method)

  1. Melanie says:

    I’ve got dandelions soaking in some oil on the window sill right now, just about ready. I love cold process for so many reasons, but I may just try hot process again. I just love dandelions! You’re so gracious to share your formula and process, thank you!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Melanie! Cold process is my favorite too, but it’s fun to switch it up every now and then. :) I’ve got another dandelion soap idea (CP) brewing in my brain I’m going to try out today. Hopefully it will work like I think it will and I can share that one soon.

  2. Jenny says:

    Hi Jan
    I started cp soap making just 6 months ago, and only soaping with 100% fresh goats milk using around
    15% to 17% coconut oil and around the same amount with tallow for less lauric and less palmitic but i find my soaps are still drying. I also used almond oil, castor oil and Shea butter and normally super fat at 5 %. Just wondering why it is still drying.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Jenny! Do you think that it’s drying just to your skin, or have others mentioned it as well? I usually superfat at 6%, but tried a few 5% superfat batches at one point and found with the 5’s that over time, they made my skin feel dry and tight. I wasn’t sure if it was just because I have skin that is naturally on the dry side, but I went back to 6% and it’s been fine. My kids and husband didn’t even notice the difference though. I did like the outcome of 5% otherwise as far as hardness/lather/longevity, just not how it left my skin feeling. Your oils all sound really nice and nothing jumps out at me as a red flag – maybe if you try notching your next batch up to 6% superfat and see how you like it? My only other thought (if you find that it’s just drying to your skin, but others like it fine) is that you might have a low grade allergy to one of the oils being used?? (Just something of a wild guess, since I get a TON of people writing in who are sensitive to soaps with coconut oil & find it irritates their skin.)

  3. Mary Colman says:

    Hi Jan, I can’t wait to try this recipe today. I love dandelions and have made all your recipes. My products with dandies have really taken off for my sales at the farmers markets and on my web page. I totally love the benefits of this beautiful yellow flower and its greens. Its spring and so many are dancing on my lawn. All my soaps are goat milk but I may do this recipe with the dandelion tea today.
    thanks you are the best! ~mary ps I love cold process best but starting to love the CPHP method for some bars. especially love the crock pot shampoo soap.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Mary, I’m so happy that your dandelion products are selling so well! I’ve found that they’re super popular here too. Plus, I love how effective they are! I am really going to have to try CPHP method soon – another person was telling me about how they used it and it sounds like the best of both worlds!

  4. Janeen says:

    Hi Jan, I’m excited to try this recipe but I have a question about infusing the olive oil with the flowers. How dry are your dandelions when you infuse them? I thought I read somewhere cautioning against fresh flowers in infused oils for soaps?
    Thanks for sharing!
    Janeen

    • Jan says:

      Hi Janeen! Mine are usually completely dry when I infuse for salves and such, but when I know that the whole batch of oil is going to end up in soap anyway, I’m not as particular about the flowers being 100% dry first. Since soap has water in the recipe anyway, that little bit won’t hurt. (Plus, I get to make my soap faster!) :)

  5. Mary Jo says:

    thanks so much for posting the crock pot recipe! This is on my to do list this weekend. The dandy’s are blooming fools in my yard now!

  6. Beth Walker says:

    I absolutely love dandelions and you’ve inspired me so much to use them more in my soaps and other products. :)

    • Jan says:

      Hooray, it’s the Soap Mage! :) (You have the best name ever; I love it!) I’m so glad to know that you’re inspired to use more dandelions in your products!

  7. Beth Walker says:

    Thank you so much. I love the name too and it’s a combo of my love of gaming, alchemy, and of course, soap! :) But yes, the dandelion salve is my absolute favorite! I used it on my son’s rash and it was gone in a couple of days! I tweaked it by adding chamomile powder, green tea finely ground, and arrowroot. :)

  8. annie says:

    HI!! I am gathering dandelions as I type (sot of :)). I was curious about something related to this recipe but maybe a more general question. I also make almost exclusively goat milk soap. I tend to use the raw milk and have never had a problem. I love using teas though as well – something about a tea gives my soap an extra little something. I was wondering…. given I infuse oils as well…. if you or anyone had ever tried making a milk based infusion with herbal additives… So instead of a water based tea; maybe making a milk based tea ish sort of thing. I was going to try it but was wondering if anyone had tried that. I sell milk based soaps exclusively and would love to incorporate the herbs this way too.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Annie, Yes! You sure can infuse milk for soap making. This is something I keep meaning to write about, but haven’t made up enough soap batches with photos and detailed notes so that it can make a good post. I think one of my favorites is a soap made with fresh rose petal infused milk. I just put the herbs/flowers in a mason jar with milk, cap it, and let it infuse in the fridge for a couple of days before straining and proceeding as normal. (Cold infusion versus the hot infusion a tea is. BUT I have wondered about lightly heating the milk first and trying an infusion that way too…. it’s on the things-I-want-to-try-but-there-is-never-enough-time-or-money-for-spare-ingredients-if-this-messes-up list!) :)

  9. annie says:

    Awesome. I am going to try a hot (warm) infusion and will report back. Im going to use calendula first. I will let you know how it goes!
    Thank you!
    PS – love the rose idea. just ordered organic dried roses. Sounds pretty. Plus there are so many higher end rose milk facial products so thinking it might also be worth using/trying for a face cream. (???)

  10. Just finished my homemade drying racks from old picture frames. Two are filled with dandelions. Can you infuse the oil longer via window to get a richer color by chance?
    Heading out to pick some Wild Violets next. Soap is on my to learn list and very thankful for your easy to follow recipes

    • Jan says:

      Hi Thaleia, Your homemade drying racks sound awesome! If you’re making soap, most often the color of the oil is lost during the saponification process. (Chamomile & forsythia will hold just a bit of a yellow tinge though.) However, I’m now trying to infuse coconut oil with dandelions to see if that will help keep more color. I’ll keep you posted on how that turns out! I hope you enjoy your soap making and let me know if you run into any questions when you get started! :)

  11. annie says:

    OK – question. I gathered about 3 gallons (nothing like starting off with a bang!) of dandelions. Should I remove all stems and just focus on the flowers? Do you recommend “washing” or “rinsing” before infusing? I currently have them all on a screen to wilt and dry a bit. THX!!!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Annie, That is a lot of dandelions! :) I keep the stems on sometimes. The sap reputedly has properties that are beneficial to your skin and has been used in the treatment of acne & warts by some people. So, I figure it’s good to have some in there! I don’t usually rinse my herbs and flowers before drying, I scan the available blossoms and just make sure to pick only ones that are clean and that don’t appear to be covered in ants. If you do end up with any that are sandy and dirty though, a quick rinse or shaking/brushing off before drying could help, but I’d avoid extra moisture otherwise. Have fun making dandelion-y things!

  12. Ruth says:

    Good morning Jan,
    Question? My dandelion tea is cloudy, will it be safe to use?
    Thank you.
    Ruth

    • Jan says:

      Hi Ruth! If you squeeze or press on the spent dandelions as you’re straining them from the tea, then it might turn cloudy, but that’s not a problem at all. You want to keep your tea refrigerated if it’s going to be longer than half a day or so before you’re going to use it in a soap recipe though, or it might start going off.

  13. Tammy says:

    How long can I hold the inffused oil and dandelion tea before use? I want to make this soap with my mother in law who I wont see for about a month but am seeing many dandelions now.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Tammy, The oil will last for many months (probably around a year), but the tea is very perishable and is only good for a few days in your refrigerator. However, it freezes wonderfully! You can either freeze it in ice cube trays or a big plastic container/milk jug, just like you would save juice for making jelly later in the year. I’ve frozen it in glass freezer-safe canning jars before too, but still had one break, so am a little more cautious about using those!

      • TiltedEars says:

        I’ve been scanning your posts to see if I can freeze dandelion tea! I gathered my first dandelions this morning & found a large amount in one of our farm fields. It would be great to have dandelion tea saved for use when dandelions are not so plentiful. THANK YOU!

        • Jan says:

          Hi TiltedEars, You sure can freeze your tea! I freeze lots of flower infusions and teas and petals… that way I can keep on creating even when the flowers are long gone. :)

  14. Tammy says:

    Oh great! Thank you so much!
    I am very excited to try this:)

  15. Ruth says:

    Hi Jan,
    Made the dandelion soap yesterday. Turned out great! Doing spring Violet today !
    Thank you for your wonderful recipes and salves.
    Ruth

  16. NancyB says:

    I’ve been making hot process soap for quite a while and love the soap! I superfat at 7% and have no skin problems whatsoever. I didn’t see anywhere above advice on using a dedicated crockpot for soapmaking. Lye will get into teeny scratches in the crock. Not worth the risk to use it for food again. I use dedicated glass bowls and plastic spoons as well. Good to keep soapmaking and food separated always.

    • Jan says:

      Hi NancyB, That’s an excellent point, thanks for bringing it up! The bottom of my crockpot is getting visibly worn from the stick blender as well. Using dedicated equipment just for soap making is definitely the wise way to go!

  17. Marianne says:

    I know I will enjoy doing these projects for myself and for gifts.

  18. Is there a way to make this without a digital scale, say…a fl oz conversion or such ?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Deni! It’s really difficult to make a good batch of soap without precise measurement. Too much lye will make it too caustic on your skin and not enough lye will make your soap too soft and squishy. You can find a pretty inexpensive scale in a place like Wal-Mart for $10 or $15. It’s really worth it!

  19. Thank you for your response! I did just that!

  20. Pingback: Honey & Dandelion Soap Recipe

  21. Lisa says:

    I would LOVE to try this recipe but where can I get these flowers from?? Do you just have to be lucky enough to have them growing in your yard or can they be purchased somewhere?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Lisa! I’ve looked, but have yet to find a place that sells dandelion flowers. I think it’s because they go to seed so quickly and their color fades (indicating lost vitality) within a few short months. I wish I could help more, but if I ever find a supplier, I’ll be sure to update everyone!

  22. Ruth says:

    Hi Jan,
    I made the hollyhock/ Rose infuse soap. Waiting for it to cure. It jelled really bad, not a bad thing , just takes longer to cure.
    My question is : can the hollyhock blossoms be dried to is later.
    Thank you for you wonderful blb and recipes.
    Sincerely ,
    Ruth

    • Jan says:

      Hi Ruth! You sure can dry the hollyhock flowers. They will probably start to look really faded after several months and won’t be as potent, so I’d try to use them up within 2 to 3 months if you can. You can also make a hollyhock tea or infusion and freeze that for up to a year for making soap later.

  23. Robin says:

    Making this right now!!! So excited to try this soap recipe. I’ve been making dandelion salve and everyone loves it. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  24. Jodie says:

    Small error :) You have (5 g) for sunflower oil and I’m guessing that’s wrong. I was just going over the recipe because I’ll be making some of this soon. I have dandelions galore to pick and use! I love wild-harvested ingredients even more than organic because it’s usually something I can pick myself for FREE.

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