About Our Soap

We use traditional cold process soap making methods with natural soap ingredients to achieve the highest quality product. This means only plant-based colorants, natural clays, pure oils (sustainably sourced and organic when available), and only high-quality essential oils.

But how is soap made? Put simply, oils are combined with lye and the chemical reaction creates a solid mass (soap). This process is called saponification: 

Triglycerides (fatty acids) + Sodium hydroxide = Soap + Glycerine.

After mixing, soap should cure for at least one month prior to use, though some soaps benefit from a longer cure  depending on the oils and amount of water used.

For example, pure olive oil soap, known as "Castile Soap," is best when cured for a full year--the soap gets harder and longer lasting, the lather more stable, and the skin-feel less slimy. 

  • Pure-grade olive oil: Used for centuries in beauty and cleansing products. It is known for being one of the healthiest oils to use in cooking, and it is very skin-friendly. Pure olive oil soap is mild enough to be used on the sensitive skin of children and babies. 
  • Coconut oil: Expeller pressed from the meat of coconuts, this oil creates a lather with large bubbles and is highly cleansing. We use just enough in our recipes to get the great bubbles without being too harsh on the skin. 
  • RSPO-certified palm oil: Palm oil comes from the pulp of the fruit from palm trees. It stabilizes lather and contributes to a hard and long-lasting bar. We only use Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified palm oil in order to ensure that the oil we use is not contributing to habitat destruction in South Asian and African countries, that pesticide use is reduced, and that workers are treated fairly. We love the hardness and lather of our bars made with RSPO palm oil, but we also have many beautiful bars that are made without, if customers prefer.  
  • Castor oil: Made from the extract of the castor bean plant. In soap castor oil creates large, wonderful bubbles. 
  • Avocado oil: Pressed from the pit of the avocado, this oil adds to the conditioning and moisturizing properties in soap. 
  • Cocoa butter: Extracted from the cacao bean, this butter adds to bar hardness and moisturizing properties in soap. Cocoa butter can also contribute to a slight cocoa fragrance when used in its unrefined state. 
  • Shea butter: Produced from the nut of the African shea tree. In soap, shea contributes to the moisturizing properties, and results in a very luxurious, skin-loving bar; excellent for shaving.
  • Sunflower oil: Full of vitamin E and essential fatty acids, sunflower oil contributes to a rich and creamy lather, that feels very skin-conditioning and moisturizing.
  • Hemp seed oil: Provides a nourishing lather with a high proportion of essential fatty acids. 


We only use 100% pure essential oils from reputable sources-- never fragrances or adulterated oils. This ensures gentle and pleasant aromas to tantalize your senses for a naturally luxurious bathtime experience.

Please note that despite the use of relatively large amounts of essential oils in our recipes (following appropriate usage guidelines for Category 9 beauty products, typically no more than 5% of the total product weight), the process of saponification together with the normal breakdown process of the essential oils contributes to an overall lightly scented product. Essential oils are delicate. The environment of soap making can result in a pH of up to 14 and may be too harsh for certain essential oils. Some would even argue that using essential oils in soap is a waste of essential oils, but we beg to differ. Nothing compares to the true aroma of herbs and flowers steam distilled or expeller pressed to capture their purest aromatic essence; the result in our mind is always worth the price tag.

You will notice that scents from certain oils will last notably longer than others (e.g. lavender relative to citrus scents), and you may also notice that scent characteristics evolve as products age. This is normal and preferable to some. Like any aged natural product, different notes may become more or less prominent with time. 

We take great care in crafting our soap blends with a combination of top, middle, and base notes to ensure a balanced and long-lasting scent. However, it's important to note that natural scents will not last as long as synthetic fragrances. If you prefer a soap with a stronger and longer-lasting scent, then our soaps may not be the best fit for you. In that case, you might want to try soaps made with fragrance oils, which are more likely to have a stronger and longer-lasting scent. However, please keep in mind that most fragrance oils are made in a lab and may contain phthalates, which have been linked to negative health effects. While some fragrance oils do contain essential oils or natural elements, they still may not be as natural as they claim to be. At Dirty Dandelion Soap, we prioritize using natural ingredients and avoiding any harmful chemicals for the benefit of our customers and ourselves. 

Another note on scent: when I was first soaping, my sister requested an almond-scented soap (she commented that a favorite Dr. makes a "natural" soap with this scent and it is one of her favorites). I searched high and low for an affordable almond essential oil, and to my dismay, none existed that was appropriate to put into soap. The same goes for finding a scent for pure chocolate, coffee, rose, vanilla, or banana. Either the true essential oil is prohibitively expensive (e.g. pure rose absolute costs $775 for 3.3 oz --enough to make a loaf of 10 bars of soap) or it isn't safe for the skin (e.g. bitter almond essential oil which irritates the skin). We do our best to utilize scents that closely mimic or satisfyingly substitute for these well-loved scents when possible, but again, we will never use fragrance oils --they are just not a satisfying substitute for our soaps. 


So many colorants, so little time! The color palate and magic in mixing plants or clays with oils and lye is nothing short of incredible. It is often frustrating and challenging, but it is always exciting and unique. You may notice that the natural colors of your soap evolve with exposure to light and time or are inconsistent between batches of the same named soaps. This is one of the most intoxicating aspects of soap-making with natural colorants. While clays are fairly stable and consistent, plant colorants like oils infused with indigo, annatto, and Himalayan rhubarb may bleed or change. Enjoy the evolution of the color, rest assured that it is a normal part of enjoying 100% pure & natural soaps. Here is a list of our natural colorants.  Each are used in different ways, some are mixed directly into the soap batter, others are slowly infused into oils over months in the window, while others still are made into a slurry or a tea. All are utilized optimally to impart the brightest and longest lasting colors: 

Annato seed, himalayan rhubarb, chlorella, alkanet, spirulina, kaolin clay, french green clay, rose clay, marine clay, ilite clay, morroccan clay, rhassoul clay, paprika, madder root, yellow dock, nettle leaf, chamomile, coconut charcoal, walnut shell, olive leaf powder, comfrey powder, cocoa powder, yarrow powder, calendula petals, cambrian blue clay, woad powder, laurel berry fruit oil, hempseed oil, liquid chlorophyll, mugwort powder, chickweed powder, moringa powder, alfalfa powder, wheatgrass powder, barley powder, oatstraw powder, parsley powder, safflower powder, carrot juice, pumpkin puree, saffron powder, orange peel powder, lemon peel powder, yellow brazilian clay, tomato paste, buckthorn oil, turkey rhubarb, aloe leaf powder, turkey rhubarb, buckthorn bark powder, egyptian pink clay, gromwell root powder.


Milks add creaminess, silkiness, moisture, and skin renewal properties to soaps. We mainly use coconut milk for our vegan soaps, and goat milk for the others. All milks are wondeful in soap, but coconut and goat milk are our preferred milk soaps.  


  • Salt: Salt contributes to a very hard and white bar (or pink if using himalayan salt). It also contains many skin-loving minerals. We love the exfolliating textured nature of our salt bars. 
  • Sugar: added to increase lather.
  • Honey: an antimicrobial humectant. 
  • Beeswax: Contributes to a hard, longer lasting bar. 
  • Tussuh silk: Creates a slick, soft feel to the lather. 
  • Kaolin clay: helps anchor scents, creates a lovely slip. 
  • Colloidal oatmeal: Skin soothing, extremely gentle exfolliant. 
  • Coffee grounds: super exfoliating
  • Calendula petals: mild exfoliant
  • Rosemary oleoresin: extends soap shelf life
  • Pine Tar: used historically to treat eczema and psoriasis, itchy scalps and dandruff, pine tar leaves a bold, piney scent in soap that leaves skin feeling refreshed and clean. 
  • Egg Yolk: we use the yolks from our very own backyard chicken eggs for their lecithin richness, adding protein, vitamins, and a creamy skin feel to our "Old Yolkel" soap.