Chai Tea Soap Recipe
A steaming cup of chai can bring back memories of Indian holidays or cosy autumn days. The warming spices in the chai meld together beautifully and we thought they'd make the perfect aroma for a soap - so we created (and thoroughly tested!) this chai soap recipe.
Even better, it's 100% natural with just cocoa powder used to give the soap colour.
How do you use chai in a soap?
We have used two teabags of chai tea to create an infusion overnight that then replaces the water you'll find in a soap recipe.
We've also boosted that chai aroma by using essential oils that match the gorgeous spices found in chai - black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and clove.
You won't find any synthetic chai tea fragrance oil in this recipe, we're only using 100% natural essential oils to recreate the chai scent.
What will the essential oils in the soap do?
Apart from bringing the incredible chai aroma to the soap, the essential oils can also help to benefit both body and mind.
Black pepper is warming which can help soothe aching muscles, cinnamon oil is used in aromatherapy to reduce anxiety and improve sleep, ginger oil's anti-inflammatory effect is often used to help with arthritis and clove oil is used to boost focus and concentration.
Let's have a go at our chai soap recipe...
Makes 9-10 bars of soap
Takes 1 hour making time and 4-6 weeks curing time
- Two chai tea bags
- Olive oil pomace 256g | 281ml
- Coconut oil 160g
- Apricot kernel oil 40g | 44ml
- Castor oil 24g | 25ml
- Cocoa butter 160g
- Mango butter 144g
- Yellow beeswax 16g
- Cocoa powder 15g
- Sodium hydroxide 109g
- Cardamom essential oil 8g | 9ml
- Clove bud essential oil 2g | 2ml
- Black pepper essential oil 5g | 6ml
- Ginger essential oil 8g | 9ml
- Cinnamon essential oil 1g | 1ml
- Kaolin clay 12g
To make our chai soap recipe, you will need:
- Digital scales
- Digital thermometer
- Stick blender
- Soap mould or DIY alternative (View our range of silicone soap moulds)
- Silicone spatula
- Heatproof bowl
- Plastic measuring jugs, ideally 2x 1L and 1x 2L
1. Make the chai tea infusion
- Boil the kettle.
- Weigh 240g boiling water.
- Add two chai tea bags and stir.
- Leave overnight to infuse.
- Chill it in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
2. Mix the sodium hydroxide solution
- Put your gloves and goggles on.
- Open the window, the fumes are unpleasant.
- Weigh the sodium hydroxide
- Weigh the water from your chai tea infusion
- Top it up with more water to 240g if necessary
- Add the sodium hydroxide to the chai tea, not the other way around
- Mix well until combined. Careful, it will get hot!
- Leave to cool
3. Weigh and heat the oils
- Weigh the olive oil, coconut oil, apricot oil, castor oil, beeswax, cocoa butter and mango butter into a heatproof bowl.
- Heat gently above a pan of boiling water, or using short bursts in the microwave.
- Stir regularly until completely melted.
- Once melted, leave to cool.
- Weigh the kaolin clay
- Blend into the melted oils
- In a separate jug weigh the essential oils and mix to combine.
- Weigh the cocoa powder separately
4. Test the temperatures
- Test the temperature of the chai/sodium hydroxide solution. It should be between 25C and 40C.
- Leave it to cool if necessary, but don't reheat it if it's too cool.
- Test the temperature of the melted oils. They should be between 35C and 40C.
- Leave it to cool or reheat if necessary.
- Once the temperatures are correct, add the sodium hydroxide solution to the oil mixture.
5. Blend until trace
- Be prepared to work quickly, we found the soap reached thick trace really quickly.
- Mix with the stick blender, and blend with short pulses.
- Watch for the soap batter starting to thicken.
- Test for trace by dripping soap batter on the surface of the mixture. If the drips sit on the surface before disappearing, your mixture has reached trace.
- Add the essential oil blend.
- Mix and blend a little until combined.
6. Split the soap batter to create layers
- If you don't want to create layers, just add the cocoa powder to your soap batter and mix it in. Then pour it into your mould and move on to the next step.
- To create a layered effect, pour less than a quarter of your soap batter into a separate jug.
- Add the cocoa powder to your main batch of soap batter.
- Blend until combined until thick trace. Ours thickened really fast!
- Pour it into your mould
- Add the uncoloured batter to the top to create a layered effect
- Use a spoon or spatula to create top decoration
- Dust one side with cocoa powder for that chai latte soap effect!
- Tap the mould to get rid of air bubbles
- Leave on a flat surface for 48 hours before unmoulding.
8. Leave to cure
- Unmould your soap
- Place bars with space in between
- Leave to cure for 4-6 weeks.
Now you've learned how to make homemade chai soap, why not continue reading?
- Want to try hot process soap making? Why not try another holiday inspired soap recipe - Hot Process Coconut Milk Soap
- Looking for a soap with a fresh scent? Give our Seaweed Soap Recipe a whirl
- Do your feet need a little TLC? We've taken a peek into the science behind using Tea Tree Oil For Athlete's Foot
Did you try our chai tea soap recipe? Let us know in the comments below!