Rooibos Tea Soap Recipe

Rooibos soap recipe

August 15, 2023

We love taking every-day products such as tea and finding ways to incorporate them into our recipes!

Not only does it make a wander round the kitchen more interesting, they are also often cheap to use, easily on hand and can bring their own interesting benefits to our natural skincare recipes.

Our latest foray into the kitchen cupboards has given us this gorgeous rooibos tea soap recipe.

It smells amazing, has a lovely brick red colour and produces a nice hard bar of soap that is long lasting and has a rich and creamy lather.

What is rooibos tea?

Rooibos is a bush found in southern Africa and has been made into tea for hundreds of years. The leaves of the plant are cut, bruised and left in piles to ferment before being dried in the sun which turns them a red-brown colour. 

Just like black tea, it is prepared by steeping the leaves in hot water for a few minutes. It has a nutty, earthy, full bodied flavour and doesn't contain any caffeine.

Why add rooibos tea to a soap recipe?

Rooibos tea is well known for being packed with anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants help protect skin cells from damage and ageing, so we'll very happily add it to our soap!

It also helps bring some colour to the soap, although we have added some red mica powder to the recipe as otherwise the soap tends to be more brown than we'd like.

What does rooibos soap smell like?

We've added lemongrass, ginger, cardamom and cedarwood atlas essential oils to the soap to give it a lovely warm, spicy scent that pairs well with the brick red colour.

Let's turn this lovely tea into a gorgeous bar of soap with our Rooibos Tea Soap Recipe...



To make our rooibos tea soap recipe, you will need:

  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Digital scales
  • Digital thermometer
  • Stick blender
  • Soap mould or DIY alternative
  • Silicone spatula
  • Heatproof bowl
  • Plastic measuring jugs, ideally 2x 1L and 1x 2L


1. Make the rooibos tea

  • Boil the kettle.
  • Weigh the rooibos tea.
  • Weigh 240g of boiling water.
  • Add to the rooibos tea.
  • Leave to infuse overnight.
  • Test the temperature, it should be under 20C. If necessary, chill it in the fridge.

Mix lye solution

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
  • Add the sodium hydroxide to the water, not the other way around
  • Mix well until combined. Careful, it will get hot!
  • Leave to cool

Weighing solid oils for cold process soap making

3. Weigh and heat the oils

  • Weigh the olive oil, cocoa butter and babassu oil 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.
  • In a separate jug weigh the essential oils.
  • Weigh the red iron oxide powder and mix it into the essential oils.
Checking temperature of lye solution

4. Test the temperatures

  • Test the temperature of the 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.

Blend rooibos soap until trace

5. Blend until trace

  • 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 oils and mica powder.
  • Mix and blend a little until combined.

Pouring rooibos soap into moulds

6. Pour into moulds

  • Pour the soap mixture into moulds. We also offer a range of silicone moulds
  • Tap the mould to get rid of air bubbles
  • Leave on a flat surface for 48 hours before unmoulding
  • Create some surface decoration with a spatula or a spoon
    Rooibos tea soap

    7. Leave to cure

    • Unmould your soap
    • Place bars with space in between
    • Leave to cure for 4-6 weeks.

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    Now you've given our Rooibos soap recipe a try, why not branch out with some of our other great recipes...

    How did your Rooibos Tea Soap Recipe turn out? Share your pics with us on Facebook or Instagram!

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