Yarrow Soap Recipe {cold process}

This cold process herbal soap recipe features an infusion of yarrow – an herb that’s excellent at calming irritated and itchy skin.

It’s naturally colored with French green clay, palm free, and vegan!

two decorative bars of soap on a bamboo cutting board with fresh yarrow flowers

When yarrow flowers are at their peak, and there’s plenty for me and the pollinators to share, I like to gather some to make projects such as salves, liniment, itch remedies, and this yarrow soap!

Related: Not sure how to identify yarrow? This article at my family site, Unruly Gardening, should help!

Differences Between Yarrow & Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Anne's Lace and Yarrow Leaves differences

Yarrow Herbal Infusion

Before we can make the soap, we need to infuse some olive oil with dried yarrow.

You can either harvest and dry your own yarrow, or buy some from a place such as Mountain Rose Herbs.

To make yarrow infused oil:

  1. Fill a canning jar 1/2 to 3/4 of the way with chopped dried yarrow.
  2. Add olive oil almost to the top, leaving a little room for expansion.
  3. Cover with a lid.
  4. Infuse in a dark cabinet for at least 4 to 6 weeks, shaking occasionally.
  5. Strain out the amount needed for your soap recipe.
  6. If you’d like, top the jar up with more oil and infuse for 4+ weeks longer.
  7. Strain the fully infused oil into a new jar.
  8. Store the oil in a dark cool spot for about 1 year.




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What parts of yarrow should you use?

You can use flowers, stem, and leaves to make a yarrow oil infusion. I usually cut some of the flowering tops and then throw in a few leaves. (Leave behind more flowers than you pick, so they’ll reseed.)

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wooden bowl filled with fresh yarrow flowers

Yarrow Soap Recipe

Oil, water, and lye should all be weighed with an accurate scale. Don’t use measuring cups to make soap!

If you’ve never made soap before, please read my Soapmaking 101 article and study up on the subject first. You may also find my Handmade Natural Soaps eBook Collection and/or Course helpful.

This is half the size of my usual batches. Double the recipe to fit in a Crafter’s Choice 1501 Regular Silicone Loaf Mold. Pictured soaps were made with YGEOMER Silicone Mooncake Molds.

Lye Solution

  • 1.94 oz (55 g) sodium hydroxide (lye) (5% superfat)
  • 4.08 oz (116 g) distilled water (2.1 to 1; water:lye ratio) – or you could use cold yarrow tea
  • 1 tsp French green clay (added when lye solution is hot) – for natural color
  • 1 tsp sodium lactate (added when lye solution has cooled) – optional, for hardening the soap

Oils & Butters

  • 5 oz (142 g) yarrow infused olive oil (36%)
  • 3 oz (85 g) coconut oil (22%)
  • 2 oz (57 g) sweet almond oil (14%)
  • 2 oz (57 g) cocoa butter (14%)
  • 1 oz (28 g) castor oil (7%)
  • 1 oz (28 g) hemp oil (7%)


  • Optional essential oils: I like a blend of cedarwood and lavender, but feel free to change it up or leave unscented. Below are the usage rate choices for cedarwood and lavender according to EO Calc. Choosing 5% will give you the strongest scent, while choosing 1% will give a very light scent.
Essential oil chart for yarrow soap showing usage rates: 1% usage rate is 2.7 grams cedarwood and 1.2 grams lavender. Can go up to 5% usage rate for this soap.
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    1. Hi Lisa! Would you still keep the olive oil and coconut oil in the recipe?
      If so, then that would probably work out really well!
      You would just need to run the new recipe through a lye calculator, to make sure that you don’t need to change the lye amount as well.
      If you need help with the recipe amounts, just write here and let me know – or for a much faster reply, use the contact form. :)

  1. Why do you use Cedarwood Atlas instead of Cedarwood essential oil? Is there a big difference between the two? Thank you for all the wonderful soap recipes – I have your book and have made many of the recipes and received rave reviews from my family!

    1. Hi Marci, I’m so happy to hear that you enjoy the recipes! Thanks for buying the book too! :)
      Cedarwood essential oil can be either Cedarwood Atlas (or Cedarwood Himalayan, which I use now, since Atlas is threatened) or Cedarwood Virginian – which has a somewhat stronger smell. (At least to my nose!)
      I prefer the softer scent of cedarwood Atlas/Himalayan, but you could definitely use any type of cedarwood you like! It’s completely a personal preference! :)

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