Hollyhock Flower Soap Recipe
I know I say it about all of my soap recipes – but this hollyhock soap truly is another favorite of mine!
Hollyhocks have soothing properties similar to their herbal cousin, marshmallow, and the drawing power of the rose clay makes this soap another one helpful for itchy or inflamed skin.
Looking for more ways to use hollyhocks? Be sure to check out my article: 5 Things to Make with Hollyhocks for more creative ideas.
(This recipe has been reformulated from the original one published, in order to make it palm oil free.)
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Hollyhock Flower Soap
Liquid & Lye Portion:
- 4.13 ounces lye (sodium hydroxide) (6% superfat)
- 10 ounces hollyhock tea/infusion
Oil Portion (30 ounces total):
- 17 ounces olive oil (57%)
- 8 ounces coconut oil (27%)
- 2.5 ounces shea butter (8%)
- 2.5 ounces castor (or meadowfoam) oil (8%)
At light trace, add:
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon rose kaolin clay (for pink color)
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon bergamot essential oil (optional, for light scent)
Here are a few brands of lye I use most often:
To infuse the water, add handfuls of fresh hollyhock flowers/rose petals to a jar and pour lukewarm water over them. Let this infuse for several hours.
You can also do a cold water infusion and let it sit overnight.
Strain, ensure that the water is room temperature or colder then add your lye and proceed as directed in the post Soap Making 101. (Make sure the tea isn’t too dark though, or it may affect the final color of your soap.)
This recipe is sized to fit my homemade wooden mold – the inner dimensions are: 8 inches by 3.5 inches by 3.5 inches.
It will also fit a Crafter’s Choice Regular Silicone 1501 Soap Mold.
New to soapmaking? You may enjoy my Handmade Natural Soaps ebook collection and or Soapmaking Success e-course.
LEARN TO USE HERBS & FLOWERS IN SOAP
Subscribe to Soap Tip Tuesdays and I’ll send you my quick start digital guide to Using Herbs & Flowers In Soap. Each Tuesday, you’ll receive one of my best natural soapmaking tips, recipes, or printables.
- Discover 21 of the top herbs and flowers for making handmade natural soap
- How to make nourshing oil and tea infusions
- Benefits & final color that each herb gives soap
For the record there is NO such thing as ethical or sustainable palm oil. It isn’t traceable and won’t be until at least 2020, by then orangutans could be extinct.. Some of the most respected people in sustainable palm oil promotion have been charged with chopping down virgin protected forests. As well, buying into this myth and purchasing it keeps the palm oil industry alive and robust further adding fuel to the corruption. If you want to help animals, you will do the right thing and not buy any palm oil at all therefore driving down the price and collapsing the industry. The reason so many people use palm oil is because it is cheap, cheap, cheap it is also very profitable for the corrupt. If you want to use ‘ethical’ palm oil, do some research and find a substitute for it period, and please do not use soybean oil as it is having the same effect on the Amazon Rainforest. ‘Ethical’ is used by the industry to convince you that buying it is OK, well it isn’t OK, well unless you don’t care about the plight of the animals.
Hi Karen, Thanks for this comment! I think a big part of me wants to believe that somehow I’m supporting some small family in Africa by buying sustainable palm oil, but you are correct. We truly can’t trust that’s true. I’m revamping each soap recipe as I can to remove the palm oil. I was afraid that it would make the quality of my soap diminish, but surprisingly I’m loving the new recipes even more! This week, my hollyhocks are in full bloom and I’d like to get a batch of soap made from them. I’ll be revising this recipe to be palm free as well. Thanks for the reminder that we can’t look at everything with rose-colored glasses; that’s what I needed to hear to kick my final bit of palm oil dependance!!
Good morning Jan, your note made my day (our city has been under a state of emergency from flooding since Thursday, long week). This is so awesome, I’m happy you’re able to find recipes that still work without the palm oil. I think we can all reformulate our recipes and share our experiences, especially the veteran soapers! Looking forward to more of your posts and recipes! P.S. The orangutans, Sumatran tigers, pangolins and many more say thank you!
I like the idea of the hollyhock infusion but am wondering why. What does it do for the properties of the soap as opposed to just using normal water? I also really like the idea of adding the red clay for color. Thanks.
Hi Jim! The idea behind using herbal/floral teas and infused oils in soap making is the hope that some of the beneficial properties come through into the final bar of soap. In hollyhock’s case, it soothes, cools and tames inflammation so it would be a good choice for irritated, sensitive or eczema prone skin. Now, whether or not any of the benefits actually survive hasn’t been scientifically proven. Some people think they don’t. Or, if they do, then maybe some herbs make it out better than others. From personal experience with a kid that had severe eczema and my own sensitive skin, a plain homemade soap is quite nice, but a homemade soap loaded with herbs that are good for your skin and inflammation is exponentially better. So, while there’s no proof that it will or won’t matter, I’m pretty convinced that adding herbs to soap does something special to it.
Thanks, That brings to mind a new question. Since the SH is such a powerful chemical, would it make sense to do an oil infusion with the hollyhocks that would be added to the oils late in the process as you do with the essential oils used for scenting? I am looking forward to trying this with my next batch. Perhaps turning the hollyhocks into a pesto like mix and adding it into the oils
As a skin friendly soap I have really liked a mixture of lard, coconut and safflower oil. One of the nicest and best received soaps I’ve made.
Hi Jim! I’ve started to prefer using infused oils over teas myself lately. I go through spells where I like to switch it up, but I’m thinking like you that the properties might have a better shot at making it through the soap making process in an infused oil than in direct contact with the lye.
I have been so inspired making your soaps and am wondering if you have tried making a soap with a rosehips tea or infusion? Rosehips are in season here and I was thinking with all that vitamin C and the beautiful color they would be wonderful for soap. I was thinking this hollyhock soap could be a good base but what EO combination would be good for rosehips? I don’t have rose EO but I saw a recipe somewhere that used geranium and something else maybe lemongrass? Scents are one of the toughest challenges aren’t they?
Hi Peggyrae! I’ve been pondering over making a rosehip soap too! :) I did a little digging though and it sounds like the beautiful rosehip infusion/tea will end up turning the soap more of a brownish-pink/red color. When I experiment with the idea, I thought I’d do a smaller amount of tea and add in some rose clay (or maybe some red clay?) so that I get more of a pink (or red), than brown tone. You can also add ground dried rosehip powder, but just a bit or it will be scratchy. (I will probably experiment with about 1/2 tsp to start.) I like the idea of geranium and lemongrass blended together! I agree that coming up with scents are tough! Here are a few links that might have some ideas for you too:
Thank you so much for you suggestions and the links. I recently finished cutting a batch of Hollyhock soap I made from Hollyhocks from my own garden. I did add some Kaolin clay. They are so lovely!
I decided to hold off on the rosehips and dry them. Too bad I accidentally broiled them to a crisp when I turned on my stove later that day to make a dinner for company. I do have some powdered rosehips and have just ordered some dark red Brazilian clay from Brambleberry. I may try a light tea from the powder and color with the clay… Planning to make another batch of Lavender soap today or maybe that Avocado Shampoo. I am so hooked. Looking at some Herbal medicine books currently to see what I have in my yard that I can put to use…. I am seeing lots of mallows, yarrow, and plantains. Anyway, love the weekends. Happy soaping!
I was wondering if you use the flowers or leaves or both for the hollyhock infusion?
Hi Amy! I’ve used both before. I try to go with leaves more often, but only because my flower supply is limited these days. (The chickens decimated my hollyhock patch one year and it hasn’t been the same since!)
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