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RECIPE: Hibiscus Infused Cold Process Soap

Dried hibiscus flower is popular in teas and other edibles. It makes a great addition to our botanical-based handcrafted soap. 

Project Level: Advanced – Danger Chemicals
Estimated Time: 1 Hour
Yield: (8) 1" Slices


  • 8.6 Ounce(s) Distilled Water
  • 4.3 Ounce(s) Sodium Hydroxide Flakes
  • 12 Ounce(s) Coconut Oil - 76º Melt
  • 4 Ounce(s) Shea Butter - Natural
  • 10 Ounce(s) Olive Oil - Refined A
  • 4 Ounce(s) Rice Bran Oil
  • 2 Ounce(s) Red Hibiscus & Acai Fragrance Oil 359
  • 1/4 Cup(s) Hibiscus Flowers
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoon(s) Crimson Sparkle Mica Powder
  • 1 Piece(s) Regular Loaf Silicone Mold 1501


  •  Mixing Bowls
  •  Mixing Spoons
  •  Stick Blender
  •  Spatula
  •  Safety Equipment (Goggles, Gloves, Mask)
  •  Thermometer - Infrared, Professional (Gun Style)
  •  Scale - Digital Display (Professional)
  •  Straight Soap Cutter
  •  Measuring Spoons

Recipe Directions

  1. NOTE: This project and these instructions have been written for someone who has experience making soap and knows the potential dangers due to working with sodium hydroxide. It will not outline all safety methods of working with dangerous chemicals, it is simply a soap recipe for advanced soapmakers.
  2. Put on your protective gear. This is very important since you will be working with an extremely caustic base that can and will burn you if you touch it. Noxious fumes are also released from the exothermic reaction that occurs when you mix the sodium hydroxide with water. 
  3. Wear a face mask or leave the vicinity quickly after stirring the sodium hydroxide into the water. If you get any lye on your skin just wash it off quickly with copious amounts of cool water.
  4. Pour 10 oz. of hot water over dried hibiscus to steep and make a tea. Put in fridge to cool. The tea will turn bright red, but unfortunately turns brown/cream in soap.
  5. Prepare the lye solution by weighing 8.6 oz. hibiscus tea and 4.3 oz. lye into separate containers.  Pour the lye into the water, carefully mix in a well-ventilated area and set aside to cool while you prepare your oils. 
  6. Melt the solid oils (coconut oil and shea butter) either by microwave or stovetop. Melt just until melted and no more.  
  7. Add the liquid oils (rice bran oil and olive oil) to melted oils to bring the temperature down. Add the fragrance oil and ¼ teaspoon of Crimson Sparkle Mica to the oil mixture and stir. 
  8. Once the lye has cooled down to 90° F, pour the lye solution into oils and blend until light trace.
  9. Weigh 12 oz. of soap mixture into a mixing container. Add 1 teaspoon Crimson Sparkle Mica and blend. 
  10. Pour the darker soap back into the lighter base in four different spots to create an in-the-pot swirl. As you pour your soap into the mold, the colors will swirl together. Pour your soap into the mold. 
  11. Allow your soap to harden overnight and unmold the next day. If the soap is too soft, allow soap to harden for 48 hours. 
  12. Cut your soap into bars. Cure your soap for a minimum of 4 weeks. 

INCI Ingredient Label: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Fragrance, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower, Mica (and) Iron Oxides

Wholesale Supplies Plus is not responsible for the products you create from our supplies. You alone are responsible for product and recipe testing to ensure compatibility and safety.
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3 Question(s) Shown Below

WSP Questions And Answers

"This formula calls for Olive Oil - Refined A. I am outside the US and am unable to find a supplier that lists this type of Olive Oil. Question: Is Olive Oil - Refined A the same as Olive Pomace oil?"

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Posted By: H Erika   |   April 07, 2016

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"Hello We are moving out of the country soon, so I don't want to buy more oils and butters. I want to make this soap but I don't have rice bran oil. Can you suggest another kind perhaps? I have lots of grapeseed oil. Would this be an acceptable substitute? Also, I used the rest of my shea butter on my last batch of soap last week. I do have some cocoa butter left though...would this be a decent substitute for that? Thanks!"

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Posted By: LAURA   |   March 23, 2016

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"I tried this recipe but the tea was brown which I expected as that was in the recipe, but my batter remained hideous brown. Did I do something wrong? Will it lighten up. Your pictures shows a creamy color. Was I suppose to strain the tea? I m thinking the tea concentration is too strong. "

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Posted By: RNowak   |   March 21, 2016

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